This year's Daytime Emmys nominations were a sore topic for many in the daytime community. Here we are in September - about three months removed from the Emmy telecast - and there is still talk that the issue is not dead and buried. Like many a soap villain, this looks like it could come back to haunt everyone for many years to come.
For those of you not familiar with the controversy, out of total of 30 acting nominations, only three nominees were from an ABC soap. Moreover, those three nominees were all men. No - yes, as in zero -- ABC actresses were nominated for a Daytime Emmy.
Critics blasted the new Emmy process as unfair. The process was overhauled five years ago in an attempt to better represent the best of the soap world. Prior to 2003, it was conceivable that one soap could earn all (or most) of the nominations in a given acting category. The nomination process involved everyone in daytime voting for their choices in each category. The top vote-getters in each category then landed on the final ballot. A show with a large cast could wiggle their votes around to make sure that they had the lion's share of nominees. In 2003, things were switched up to allow for a maximum of two nominees from any soap in a given category. This past year, things were again re-jiggered and it was possible for up to three nominees from a program to land in a particular category.
Shortly after the nominations were announced, ABC lured two of Guiding Light's top performers to All My Children. In fact, the network waited to officially announce that it had signed Beth Ehlers (Taylor Thompson, AMC; ex-Harley Cooper, GL) until the Daytime Emmys telecast, which was broadcast on ABC this year. Insiders say that ABC was more than just a little miffed that it was basically promoting a rival network's soaps for two hours and planned to do its best to make wine from the otherwise sour grapes. If you are playing the home game, the other star lured over to AMC was Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake Martin, AMC; ex-Gus Aituro, GL)
Now there are rumblings that ABC is at it again. Published reports hint that ABC wants two-time Emmy winner Tom Pelphrey (ex-Jonathan Randall, GL) to join the cast of General Hospital. If you ask me, it would seem like a better idea to snag stars from the top-rated drama series, The Young and the Restless, rather than the lowest-rated soap, Guiding Light. Maybe there's a plan in there somewhere that I am missing. I mean, it's not a bad idea to get extra eyeballs no matter where you find them.
Stars jumping from network to network is nothing new. In fact, it's been going on for as long as there have been soaps on the air. For this week's interactive portion of my column, I'd like to know who you would poach from a rival soap. If you could hire a soap star from any other network, who would you choose? Once you hired them, what kind of role would you create for them? Please be original and do not re-hire an actor that previously appeared on your favorite soap. Have an idea or two? Head over to the message boards or drop me an email and share your ideas. I may share some of my favorites in next week's column!