The Bold and the Beautiful will become the latest soap to transition to high-definition. The 30-minute soap will make the leap to HD beginning in September, and the change means that all six of the soaps on the air will be broadcasting in a widescreen format.
"I'm not sure our cast members know this is happening yet," Bell mused as he revealed the show's plans in an interview with TVGuide.
B&B's conversion to the high-definition format comes a full decade after its sister soap, The Young and the Restless, made the switch. Y&R became the first soap to broadcast in HD in June 2001. It was another eight years before a second soap, ABC's General Hospital, made the investment to upgrade its studio to support a hi-def broadcast. All My Children went hi-def in early 2010 as part of the show's relocation to Los Angeles. Days of our Lives marked its 45th anniversary in November 2010 with an upgrade to HD.
One Life to Live began broadcasting in a 16x9 SD format in December 2010. While the upgrade isn't high-definition -- the SD stands for standard definition -- the broadcast does feature the familiar widescreen format.
According to industry figures, it costs several million dollars to upgrade a television studio with the new lighting, cameras, and other production equipment needed to broadcast in the enhanced video format.
The Bold and the Beautiful's first high-definition broadcast will air on September 7.