Television Week's James Hibberd broke news earlier tonight that ATWT and GL are instituting major cost-cutting changes to their production in order to stay on the air. Both shows come up for renewal in July 2008 and are on the bubble.
Among the changes will be a move to digital cameras and pink slips for some camera crew members. The shows will also institute new enclosed four-wall sets, as well as permanent outdoor sets for exteriors a la Salem Place on DAYS. These changes will launch in January. Additionally, GL is said to be considering shooting multiple scenes at the same time to further reduce costs.
You know, CBS Daytime does such a good job of putting on their happy face, that I'm shocked when I see stuff like this from them. DAYS is panic central and ABC's a joke, but CBS always manages to seem above the fray, even with an increasingly weakened B&B and bottom-of-the-barrel ratings for ATWT and GL.
The piece also includes quotes from CBS Daytime Chief Barbara Bloom who sees the changes as part of an evolutionary process to CBS as a whole. Evolve into what?
And so the biggest cfliffhanger to hit daytime begins: Can the P&G soaps survive? Could we be sitting here a year from now with only six soaps on the air? And with the DAYS situation the way it is, could we enter Spring 2009 with only five? Looks like we'll be biting our nails for months to come.