Before June 19, 2011, only two soaps had ever won three consecutive Outstanding Drama Series titles at the Daytime Emmys. Santa Barbara pulled off the threepeat in the 1980s, General Hospital repeated the feat in the 1990s. Now The Bold and the Beautiful has joined the exclusive club.
The Bold and the Beautiful has won each of its three consecutive Emmys with storylines that have focused on issues that are decidedly less soapy than normal, though the stories are certainly ones that viewers can relate to. In 2009, B&B picked up its first Emmy for a storyline that involved the suicide of one of its main characters. The following year, the show earned praise for its emotional right-to-die storyline featuring acclaimed actress Betty White. This year, The Bold and the Beautiful told a tale that wove together two issues far too prevalent in America: homelessness and cancer.
B&B may have been seen as putting all of its eggs in one basket: four of its six nominations on Emmy night involved the homelessness storyline. The show submitted the two episodes for consideration in the Directing, Writing, and Drama Series categories. In addition to those three categories, Susan Flannery (Stephanie Forrester) also submitted the episodes as her Lead Actress reel. At the end of the night, The Bold and the Beautiful won two of the four awards revolving around the social issue storyline.
Because it is a 30-minute soap, The Bold and the Beautiful is permitted to submit two episodes to equal the one-hour length of the other soaps. The episodes do not necessarily have had to run consecutively.
It took 16 years for The Bold and the Beautiful to earn its first nomination in the Outstanding Drama Series category. Since then, the show has received five nominations in the last eight years.
B&B's executive producer and head writer, Bradley Bell, has let it be known that he is much more comfortable behind the camera than being the center of attention. In fact, last year Bell quipped, "The less of me at a microphone, the better."
This year, though, Bell seemed more at ease and shared a rare look into his private life, offering thoughts on his father, William Bell, and the folks who made the show's Emmy-winning episodes so special.
"We submitted some episodes from Skid Row. It was the hottest day in history in Los Angeles, and when we got there, we felt that we were touched by heaven -- there was a divine presence. [It was] such a special place, with such special people that really have hit rock bottom and have nowhere to go but up," Bell stated. "Everyone at the Union Rescue Mission where we shot was amazing -- and I just can't say enough about them."
"I think my dad would be incredibly proud. I was hoping to win [an Emmy] while he was still alive, but I know he is here and very proud of this accomplishment not just here onstage but the accomplishment of my wife and his kids," Bell offered. "He was such a great family man, and this evening would have been just one for the record books."
Some critics have taken The Bold and the Beautiful to task for submitting episodes for Emmy contention that are not necessarily reflective of the show's entire body of work. Bell defended the show, and B&B's ability to go from camp to reality.
"I try to be unpredictable," Bell said to laughs. "And I think I try to show some range so that we can go from fantasy. I think that's an important part of telling 250 episodes a year. You can laugh a bit, you can cry a bit, and think it's ridiculous, and be really grounded."
When asked by Soap Central what the show has planned for its Emmy story for next year, Bell grinned broadly and responded, "Now you know I can't tell you that!"
The Bold and the Beautiful's three wins are the fourth-most wins of any soap in history.