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PGP Soaps Get Huge Makeovers; Permanant Outdoor Sets, and 4 Wall Sets
Topic Started: Oct 16 2007, 02:17 PM (940 Views)
Rick
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Dreamlander

TVweek.com


Changes Planned to Save 'Turns' and 'Light'

CBS is readying plans to cut costs and modernize the production process of two of the longest-running shows on television, “Guiding Light” and “As the World Turns.”

The low-rated vintage soaps are on the bubble for renewal in July and CBS is taking dramatic steps to try to keep the classic series on the air.

Plans include ditching their traditional soap opera production sets—which use three cameras shooting simultaneously into an expansive series of three-wall sets—in favor of using smaller crews shooting with nimble digital cameras inside enclosed four-wall sets. "Light" is considering using multiple crews to shoot scenes simultaneously, reducing the number of production hours. All exterior scenes will be shot on location—a rarity on daytime soaps—on permanent sets built in a small town outside New York City. (On-location shots are typically more expensive, but the reduced crews and digital production process will offset the extra costs.)

For viewers, the effect is supposed to add some realism to the staging, as rooms will not lack a fourth wall and shooting can be done in a more cinematic style. The outside location shots will give the shows a more natural sense of setting.

But the bottom-line benefit to CBS is finding a way to reduce the shows’ cost. Daytime soaps typically run more than $1 million a week and shoot nearly year-round, compared with syndicated daytime fare like court shows (about $10 million a year) or talk shows (about $20 million for 26 to 33 weeks a year).

CBS met with “Light” and “Turns” producers two weeks ago and gave them a mandate to “evolve” their production process.

“We all agree now is the time to really challenge the form,” says Barbara Bloom, senior VP of daytime for CBS. “We know what the audience loves about this form. But are we still doing that in a way that’s relevant to our audience, in a way that’s the best business and production model? I have partners rising to the challenge in terms of evaluating that. How can we do it different, better, faster and more impactfully.”

The shows are not going to change cast members as part of the revamp, Bloom says.

“Light” has been on the air for 55 years and is the longest-running drama on television. “Turns” has been on for 51 years. But both have become a ratings drag on the ticket amid CBS’ daytime lineup. The shows typically rank as two of the three lowest-rated daytime soaps.

Here’s a look at a typical lineup on CBS-owned stations during the first two full weeks of originals this season, excluding news shows: “Judge Judy” (4.6 average household rating), “The Dr. Phil Show” (4.5), “The Young and the Restless” (4.0), “The Price Is Right” (3.0, but these are repeats), “The Bold and the Beautiful” (2.8), “As the World Turns” (2.2), “Guiding Light” (1.9) and “Rachael Ray” (1.8).

The new production model launches in January. CBS sees the changes as part of a larger effort to overhaul daytime, which started this morning with the relaunch of veteran game show “The Price Is Right” with new host Drew Carey.

“This is not just about the space of CBS daytime, this is about the evolution of a daypart,” Bloom says.

Chris Pursell contributed to this report.
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Mason
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Except for the hand-held cameras, this actually doesn't sound too bad really. There won't be any significant cast changes, and I LOVE that we're going to be getting regular outdoors sets!
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Rick
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Dreamlander

I love love love the fact that we are getting both permanant outdoor sets and 4 wall sets.
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DrewHamilton
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This sounds like a great idea. I can't want to see how it looks. Hopefully, if it's successful, the other 6 soaps will follow.
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Mason
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If it is successful, maybe we could even get Salem Place back on DAYS! (long shot, I know, but I can dream, LoL)
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DrewHamilton
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Mason AKA Hogan
Oct 16 2007, 04:00 PM
If it is successful, maybe we could even get Salem Place back on DAYS! (long shot, I know, but I can dream, LoL)

Hm, I wonder if that building being built that forced the show to shut down Salem Place is finished being built. The last time we saw Salem Place was in the summer of 04. Three years later and they're still building that building? :lol:
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ljacks13
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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,302533,00.html

Procter & Gamble once had 10 soaps on the air. Now it has two left, "As the World Turns" and "Guiding Light," and they’re determined to kill them off, too.

On Tuesday, it announced the shows would be filmed like the reality program "The Hills" starting in January. P&G already has hobbled the shows with cut budgets and no sets. Now it will opt for handheld cameras and exteriors shot off sets to save money. It’s a recipe for disaster and I suspect they know it.

It’s too bad: The P&G soaps have been launching pads for Kevin Bacon, Morgan Freeman, Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, Susan Sullivan, Steven Weber, Kate Capshaw, Tamara Tunie, Justin Chambers, Brad Pitt and dozens upon dozens more.

P&G can afford anything. It's one of the world’s richest corporations. This cost-cutting just makes it look kind of pathetic. It should just sell the shows if it doesn't want them.
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MichaelGL
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Sexy Jew

Before they go along with a production overhaul, I believe they should do one with the writing of both shows.

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Mason
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MichaelGL
Oct 17 2007, 01:35 PM
Before they go along with a production overhaul, I believe they should do one with the writing of both shows.

Amen!
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Steve Frame
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I see it basically as some do with Days. If the shows are through in 2008 as so many are hinting at why put them through a writing transition for what seems like their last year or so. If the network or P&G seemed more committed than just wanting to cut their budgets I would say go for it. AW brought in Goutman and new writers in the last year and just as he was getting the hang of things and stuff started to gel - NBC and P&G pulled the plug. If that's the case just let Kreizman & Passanante play it out without a writing transition.
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Mason
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But the difference between DAYS and the P&G soaps is that no higher up at P&G or CBS have outright said GL/ATWT probably wouldn't be renewed. I think they will be both renewed in 2008 (albeit with a severely slashed budget), so a writing transition can't do any harm (assuming that said new writers aren't just as bad or worse than Kreizman/Passanante).
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DramaKing
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Re Salem Place.... im going down there on sat. ill look and see if the sets still up. last tyime iw as there in 05 it was
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Steve Frame
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I'm reading in several places that the rumor is that if the shows don't improve by July they are both gone. So we are looking at possibly 8 to 12 more months of both shows and that could be it.
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juniorz1
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The Royal Stoner

These changes actually sound pretty good- I've noticed ATWT has had a good amount of location shoots of late. Perhaps they've already started their transition?!?
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Mason
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SteveFrame
Oct 18 2007, 09:06 AM
I'm reading in several places that the rumor is that if the shows don't improve by July they are both gone. So we are looking at possibly 8 to 12 more months of both shows and that could be it.

Well, crap.

But if ATWT and GL have any hope of improving, they HAVE to get rid of Passanante and Kreizman ASAP. All those two hacks have been doing (for the most part) is driving the ratings down for their respective shows. I don't see their logic in keeping them on and hoping that things will miraculously change. But I digress...
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RogerNewcomb
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juniorz1
Oct 18 2007, 09:42 AM
These changes actually sound pretty good- I've noticed ATWT has had a good amount of location shoots of late. Perhaps they've already started their transition?!?

I agree. The changes sound good to me. The shows can be made for much less money increasing the chances they will stay around. The writing obviously needs to improve, but if there's no show, there's no hope. At least this gives the show new hope, and I actually think the show is going to look at lot better once these permanent new sets are used.
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DrewHamilton
Oct 16 2007, 02:51 PM
This sounds like a great idea. I can't want to see how it looks. Hopefully, if it's successful, the other 6 soaps will follow.

Um, the other SEVEN soaps, I hope, you mean?

And I would agree. There should be an across-the-board change if it slashes the budget and improves prod. vals.
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Steve Frame
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Here is another quote from an article. Something in this surprises the shit out of me and I will comment about it.

Quote:
 
Guiding Hills? CBS has a wacky plan to rejuvenate the tumbling ratings of its 70-year-old afternoon soap, The Guiding Light. Looking at the huge success of MTV's The Hills, CBS said starting next year it will use small, handheld cameras, no sets and no scripts, with just notes for the cast to follow.

http://www.thestar.com/Television/HotBox/article/268407


It says no scripts - just notes for the cast to follow. Now this only says this part about GL but I bet they mean ATWT too. Are they going to cut the script writers completely.

The sets thing might be okay, but no scripts. Sure GL and ATWT have some talented actors but I don't see this as good at all.
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Mason
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Oh, no. They can NOT have actors simply improvising each episode a la Laura's funeral on Knots Landing. Especially when you have "actors" who can hardly handle the lines they're actually given.
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bellcurve
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HOLY FUCK!
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