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The Story of Soaps

The Story of Soaps

The new special created by People Magazine and ABC just might be more interesting than how it sounds. Not that you would fully support TV series that feature steamy romance storylines, but the fact the genre has changed over the years from simple daytime dramas of yesteryear to blockbuster prime-time programming. There was even a Christian soap opera, Another Life, that aired on CBN from 1981-1984, although I doubt that the special will talk about that. Not to mention that many stars with household names today got their start working on these soaps.

The Story of Soaps explores how no genre of television has laid deeper roots into our cultural consciousness and serialized storytelling than the soap opera,” says ABC. “In today’s shifting television landscape, The Story of Soaps traces how female creators migrated from radio to television to become the dominant force in daytime for more than three decades. Today, that legacy is alive and well all over prime time and reality, and much of what propels modern television traces its roots back to those first sprawling, steamy storylines. The Story of Soaps takes an extensive look at this iconic, impactful genre and the cultural phenomenon its massive impact has had on the world at large.”

This two-hour special features a huge list of names of former actors, current actors, show executives, directors and more including:

  • Abigail De Kosnik, author
  • Agnes Nixon, creator of All My Children
  • Alec Baldwin, actor
  • Allan Sugarman, co-founder of Soap Opera Festivals Inc.
  • Andy Cohen, creator
  • Angela Shapiro-Mathes, executive
  • Brad Bell, executive director
  • Bryan Cranston, actor
  • Carol Burnett, actor
  • Chandra Wilson, actor
  • Chris Van Etten, writer
  • David Jacobs, creator
  • Deidre Hall, actor
  • Denise Richards, actor
  • Donna Mills, actor
  • Drake Hogestyn, actor
  • Eddie Mills, actor
  • Eileen Davidson, actor and reality star
  • Erika Jayne, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
  • Erika Slezak, actor
  • Finola Hughes , actor
  • Genie Francis, actor
  • Greg Vaughan , actor
  • James H. Brown, writer
  • Jill Farren Phelps, executive producer
  • John Aniston, actor
  • John McCook, actor
  • John Stamos, actor
  • Jon Hamm, actor
  • Jonathan Murray, executive producer
  • Joyce Becker, co-founder of Soap Opera Festivals Inc.
  • Kate Coyne, editorial director, entertainment, PEOPLE
  • Ken Olin, executive producer
  • Krista Smith, consultant
  • Laura Wright, actor
  • Lorraine Broderick, head writer
  • Marc Samuel, actor
  • Marc Cherry, creator
  • Mark Teschner, casting director
  • Mary Crosby, actor
  • Maurice Benard, actor
  • Melody Thomas Scott, actor
  • Shelly Altman, head writer
  • Susan Lucci, actor
  • Susan Sullivan , actor
  • Vivica A. Fox, actor
  • Yhane Smith, creator of Harlem Queen

The Story of Soaps airs on Tuesday, May 19 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

(Main images: ABC/People)

Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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