As I look back on GL this week, I am reminded again of the parallels that exist both on-screen and off-screen in Springfield. And as the weeks and years go by with only a downhill slide to show for it, I am getting more than a little worried about the fate of our show.
Until the advent of the internet, I had been a pretty passive GL viewer. I've watched the show since 1976. Sometimes I bought a soap magazine to read the stories about the stars and see what was going on. But I never felt that I was a part of the show or had an impact on its outcome. Now I see the many GL fans online who are so devoted to the show and want to talk about it with other viewers. We aren't paid by GL, or P&G, but have a vested interest in the well being of GL. And some days, like today, I really feel that we are the only ones who give a damn about the show. (Pardon the language - but I am pretty ticked right now).
Like many of you, I've seen the show through good times and bad ones. While I don't like every storyline, I try to be supportive. But I think the time has come when GL needs to do all it can to make itself stronger so we aren't cancelled. And P&G and Televest seem to be working against the very show they supposedly work hard to produce.
Recently we saw the stories about P&G cutting salaries, laying off employees and moving the show to a new (ostensibly cheaper) home. We've seen cast moves that boggle the mind, and plots that waste precious air-time that could be better spent. And once again, when you thought P&G couldn't aim any lower, they prove me wrong again.
The show has reportedly cut Jerry verDorn (Ross) and Michael O'Leary (Rick). Some reports have said that verDorn was taken off-contract due to illness, which I have yet to get any confirmation on. Of course, CBS, P&G and Televest aren't exactly quick to return phone calls or quell rumors about the show. Start rumors and get the fans riled up they can do - but when they want to clam up, it can be brutal trying to get a straight answer out of them. On top of this, Marj Dusay (Alex) has told fans she will not renew her contract when it ends this September - more bad news for GL fans.
I've been on this soapbox before. GL needs some balance and direction in order for it to survive. And GL needs their fans to let TPTB know how we feel. We really need to take some time and let TPTB know that their actions have a definite reaction from the fans. We want the show to thrive, as it has done in the past.
"So what can I do?" is your response? That's easy. COMMUNICATE! Let TPTB know how you feel about the show. What made you first tune in? Who can't you wait to see more of? What would you like to see on GL? Let them know what is on your mind. Be respectful. Remember that the actors do NOT write the scripts - they have to play the role the way it is written. We are all very busy people, I realize that, but it only takes a few minutes to let your voice be heard. You take 60 minutes a day to watch the show, then more time to come to a web site like soapcentral.com to talk about the show with other viewers, so you must care about GL. You obviously all have access to computers, so it's pretty easy (and really freeing) to let yourself be heard. Voice your concern. Tell them truthfully what you like and don't like about GL. Tell them how long you have been watching and let them know the city (or at least state) where you live. Let TPTB see that GL fans from all over are concerned about the direction of the show.
Here are some great contacts for you to use (these are also on the GL soapcentral.com message board as well). Guiding Light's Studio (212) 986-5330 The Office of Mary Alice Dywer-Dobbin (MADD) Executive in Charge of Production (212) 474-5811 CBS ...in New York : (212) 975-4321 ...NY -- FAX : (212) 975-4516 ...in LA (Les Moonves) : (213) 852-2345 Addresses to send your concerns to: Ellen Wheeler, Executive Producer Guiding Light 222 East 44th Street New York, NY 10017 or c/o CBS, 51 W. 52nd Street New York, NY 10019 David Kreizman, Head Writer Guiding Light c/o CBS 51 W. 52nd Street New York, NY 10019 Mary Alice Dwyer-Dobbin Procter & Gamble Productions c/o Televest World Wide Plaza 825 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10019 Alan Lafley CEO Procter & Gamble 1 P&G Plaza Cincinnati, OH 45201 Phil Dixson Sr. Vice President Televest World Wide Plaza 825 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10019 Barbara Bloom Sr. Vice President CBS Daytime 7800 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036 Richard Mensing, Jr. Vice President CBS Daytime 51 West 52nd Street New York, NY 10019 Nancy Tellem President CBS Entertainment 7800 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036 Meredith Eden Ring Publicity Coordinator Guiding Light Televest Daytime World Wide Plaza 825 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10019 Leslie Moonves President CBS TV 7800 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036 Alexandra Johnson Producer, Guiding Light 222 East 44th St. New York, NY 10017 Emails: firstname.lastname@example.org (Guiding Light/CBS) SPWPubOp@primediamags.com (SPW) SODsound@primediamags (SOD) CBSmail@soapsindepth.com (SID) CBSspeakout@soapsindepth.com (SID) I really encourage all of you to write and tell GL how you feel. emails are effective, too, but they do "count" the letters that they receive. It takes about the same amount of time and even if you factor in the cost of a book of stamps, it's still less than your Internet access each month. We really need to let TPTB know how we feel and that we are concerned about the show.
OK, now about the show itself. It seems that the "Who Killed Phillip" storyline might well go on until Christmas (or at least, it seems that way). Alan has gone around the bend and is scaring off the only family members he hasn't killed (yet). Harley and Gus are on the run in an "ice cream truck"? Funny - I don't remember P&G having any ice cream products they could place in plain sight - I wonder how the writers got away with that plot device. ; )
There is a bounty on Harley's head, and Frank wants to be the white knight who rescues his baby sister. I can't imagine that would sit well with the Springfield PD, but who am I to say? Since no one else in Springfield really seems to work, I guess Frank can take off to parts unknown to look for Harley and Gus. I'm sure we'll have some more near misses, but hopefully the two lovebirds can figure out that Alan shot Phillip very soon.
And who thought that Nate was just a guy who happened to meet Reva? Of course he had to be connected with Jonathan - but didn't Alfred die last year? Are they ever going to address this? Seeing Tom Pelphrey's powerful scenes this week just makes me all the madder that he didn't receive the Emmy he deserved last month. Still, I'm waiting for Jonathan and "Dinah-mite" to have more sizzling scenes - they really make my day.
One storyline that has really not piqued my interest of late is the Cassie/Edmund/Jeffrey/Dinah story. If Cassie is dumb enough to go back to Edmund (as feeble as this once dastardly character is these days) LET HER!! This whole back and forth thing has gotten as old as the murder mystery. Enough already - I can't wait for the baby to arrive so we can move on to something else!!
It looks like it's the same old, same old next week. Hopefully we'll see some romance and family ties in the spoilers soon. A little "love in the afternoon" and the strength of families and friends overcoming life's little obstacles (and not divorcing after a few months) would make many GL fans very happy. Until next week, please take a few minutes to contact GL this week (and keep it up!!) and... Keep the Light Shining and Have a Great Week!