The world of daytime television is in the middle of a serious shakeup. In the past few weeks, no less than four soap operas have had some sort of changes to their writing teams.
On May 29th, Procter & Gamble Productions, the soap giant that produces the soaps Guiding Light and As The World Turns, announced that All My Children head writer Jean Passanante would be leaving her post at AMC and joining the Emmy-winning writing team at As The World Turns. The announcement came as quite a surprise and AMC is scrambling to find a replacement. There have been rumors that Barbara Esensten and James Harmon Brown, the current top scribes for Port Charles, are in line for the job.
Also last month, P&G announced that Emmy winning Claire Labine was out as head writer of Guiding Light. This was not the first time that Labine had been released from her job with GL. Last year, an announcement that Labine was out was followed up quickly by a decision to keep her aboard. This time, a P&G spokesperson insists that Labine is gone for good. Labine's name has also been brought up as a possible replacement for outgoing AMC scribe Passanante.
And in other Guiding Light news, P&G has named Christopher Dunn co-head writer of Guiding Light. Dunn will be second in command to Lloyd "Lucky" Gold.
Michele Van Jean, the first African American to be promoted to head writer of a daytime drama, will be leaving her post at General Hospital. The decision to leave was made solely by Val Jean.
Also make the rounds is a rumor that ABC Daytime President Angela Shapiro has been fired. The report first started circulating about two weeks ago when an anonymous source claimed that Shapiro had been seen clearing out her desk. Under Shapiro, ABC has adopted its "synergy" format. For explanation's sake, the term refers to the soap-hopping by several characters. ABC viewers have been critical of the decision to transplant characters from one soap to another and the ratings boost Shapiro had hoped for have never materialized. ABC has called the reports of Shapiro's ouster as "absolutely untrue."