I’m cautiously optimistic about some new developments we’ve been hearing about over the last few weeks, all from veteran creative forces in daytime.
Writers Janet Iacobuzio and Nelson Aspen are launching a series, and the list of talent is impressive: Colleen Zenk (Barbara, ATWT), and Anna Stuart, Stephen Schnetzer, David Forsyth and Alice Barrett Mitchell (Donna, Cass, John and Frankie, AW), to name just a few.
That’s one project, with platform and viewing opportunities yet to be announced.
And then there’s Sudsville.
From what we know, Sudsville is a brand that will be dedicated to fans of soaps, and it’s led by former daytime writer Meg Kelly.
There’s a mix of content, from a proposed trivia show with Guiding Light’s Michael O’Leary (Rick Bauer) as host, to a soap called Year Rounders.
I’m really intrigued by what I hear so far.
I’m not exactly thrilled by the Sudsville name, though it does a great job in terms of short-handing what the network’s about.
And, OK, I don’t want to be Ebenezer Soap Scrooge, and I get that at this stage of the game, the money is going to production and talent. But this graphic for the website – oy, vey. This is very 1995 GeoCities.
But the idea of Sudsville? I am totally on board.
The “caution” with new shows, of course, is the very recent experience with Prospect Park, and the ways that the crash-and-burn of One Life to Live and All My Children’s 2.0 versions may have scared other production companies away from attempting new shows or reboots.
I’m also very intrigued by the company behind Sudsville: Conklin-Intracom.
Conklin-Intracom is not an entertainment company. Its “About Us” page includes a description for an arm that is a “global telecommunications systems vendor.”
On their website, they list one of their products as “Intelligent Personal TV” (IPTV).
This seems to be the likeliest possibility for where the Sudsville content might live.
So this makes me still “cautious.” Like Prospect Park, the company launching this has new and potentially great ideas, but also doesn’t have experience with serialized TV.
Granted, the runs of these shows, especially the first seasons, will be much shorter (I believe a handful of weekly episodes, instead of 40 episodes off the bat).
The lack of experience at Sudsville might be helpful if they get out of the creative team’s way and let them do their job.
With the Iacobuzio/Aspen project, their collective experience, and Nelson Aspen’s ability to promote the show, could be the shining jewel in the crown.
I’m not sure how this is being funded, or if any of the same contract/union issues will emerge with such a low-budget enterprise.
But I’m hopeful. If The Powers That Be, 2.0 Version, can figure out a space and a way where we can create content, get it to the audience and monetize it to the point that everyone makes money…..? Then we might see some really, really great storytelling again.