Here we are in a brand new year. There has been a lot of news over the past twelve months, but here are four stories that I think really summed up the year that was 2008. In the months ahead, I will occasionally reflect back on things that made news in the past and offer some insight on how those stories are still relevant today.
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Revolutionizing daytime… well, not quite
Guiding Light started off the year with a bold announcement: it was going to change the way that soap operas were filmed. The idea was to make daytime look more like primetime, complete with on-location shoots, and sets that actually had four walls. It sounded like a good idea, at least in theory, but television's longest-running scripted program had troubles actually delivering on its promise to revolutionize the soap industry. The sound quality has suffered, many on-location scenes look like they were forced, and the picture quality has often been wobbly. Still, other soaps took their own attempts at on-location shooting. All My Children and One Life to Live have done so with amazing success, while The Bold and the Beautiful has also mixed up its studio filming with more "real world" sets.
Waving goodbye to Harmony
Passions, television's kookiest soap opera ever, came to an end -- twice! While I admit that Passions wasn't tops on my TiVo list and I didn't watch every single episode, the show was oddly entertaining. It was a television program that didn't take itself too seriously and it was definitely good for laughs. Where else could you see an orangutan nurse?
We love you, but it's time for you to go… No really, you have to go
As soaps were continually looking to save money here and there, the unthinkable started to occur. Not only were big name stars being asked to take pay cuts, but big name starts were actually being fired. Days of our Lives stunned everyone with the news that Deidre Hall (Marlena) had been let go. The Young and the Restless released Don Diamont (Brad Carlton). Guiding Light lost a slew of its stars, two of which (Ricky Paull Goldin and Beth Ehlers) landed on All My Children.
The Daytime Emmys are about as wanted as the chicken pox
A few short months after daytime's finest baked on the Red Carpet outside the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, everyone in daytime television seemed to want nothing to do with the awards ceremony. CBS backed out of hosting the show, and no one else seemed ready to step up to broadcast the two-hour kudos fest. There are rumors that a few cable outlets are interested, but to date there's been no official announcement on where and when the Emmys will be held -- nor has a definitive date been announced for the Daytime Emmy nominations. As previously mentioned, I am willing to host the awards in my living room, but Big Bird might be a little too big to keep things reasonably uncramped.
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