The Bold and the Beautiful is certainly living up to its name these days with plenty of bold moves. In addition to the shocking revelation that Karla Mosley's Maya was actually born as Myron, the CBS soap's Emmy submission is a whopper of a reel that defies the reels of the show's past. What went into choosing the Emmy-nominated episodes? And what kind of planning went into the show's recent transgender storyline? soapcentral.com caught up with B&B's executive producer and head writer, Bradley P. Bell, to find out.
soapcentral.com: Congratulations to you for all of B&B's nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series. I heard you mention that the episodes you submitted were the traveling episodes. Which ones were they specifically?
Bradley Bell: They were Abu Dhabi and Dubai, when Ridge [Thorsten Kaye] came and broke up Bill [Don Diamont] and Brooke's [Katherine Kelly Lang] wedding, and he fell out of the helicopter. And then also the Paris episodes.
soapcentral.com: How far in advance do you know something will be Emmy-worthy? Is it in the writing process when you think, "This could be Emmy material." Or do you wait until you see the finished episodes to make that call?
Bradley Bell: Well, it's both. Sometimes you think you have it when you're writing it, and then it doesn't turn out so well. And then other times, you're surprised with what the actors and everyone does with it. This, we really had high hopes for. And you know, we don't usually submit [episodes like these]. They had strong emotional content, but it also had a lot of action and adventure, so that's new for us. And we feel like we accomplished it well, considering they are just a couple out of 250 episodes a year. It's pretty amazing that we were in Abu Dhabi and Paris and Amsterdam and all of that.
soapcentral.com: The location shoots definitely give B&B an edge. But is there anything you ever see on the other shows that makes you go, "Darn, I wish I would have thought of that?"
Bradley Bell: Yes, I watch the other shows, and The Young and the Restless has had some great episodes, General Hospital, Days of our Lives, everyone has had some great work this past year. And yes, whenever they have a great story, I go, "Oh, my God, I wish I would have thought of that!"
soapcentral.com: I'm sure they're probably thinking the same thing about you right now, when it comes to the Maya/Myron storyline! Speaking of which, how far in advance do you plan stories once you decide to write a twist like that? Meaning, once you decided on the Myron twist, did you immediately start thinking about one month down the line, six months, a year?
Bradley Bell: No, I'm thinking maybe a month or two down the line. I really do map it out. I map it out to the first peak, like what is a really great, dramatic peak, and then kind of work backwards to get to that point. So I put little markers a few weeks out, a month out, and say, "How do I get to that great, dramatic peak?" I have to get everything organized and in line to get there.
soapcentral.com: Were you hesitant at all to tell the Maya/Myron storyline? B&B has traditionally not played around with stories like this in the past, so was it something you were a little nervous to do?
Bradley Bell: I wasn't that nervous. You really weigh it out carefully, but once I did, I thought, "This is going to be fantastic." And it's great. This is one of those things, it's a new story, because the ability to do this wasn't around 20 years ago. So now, to be a man and to physically become a woman, or to be a woman and become a man, can be done. It's amazing, and for the transgender people of this world, I think it's something to celebrate. They find who they really are and are able to live the life they want to live, and that's what it's all about.
soapcentral.com: The first bombshell was the reveal, and the next will be everybody on the canvas finding out about it, which I imagine is creating loads of story for you.
Bradley Bell: It is, it really is. And I'm so excited. I'm just lining them up and knocking them down, and there will be some great reactions. It's going to play out for months.
Do you think B&B deserves to take home the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series? And what would you like to see happen as the Maya/Myron storyline progresses? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.