Daytime/Primetime Serials


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About

Daytime/Primetimes serials describe series in which multiple plotlines are carried over from episode to episode. In daytime, these programs are generally referred to as soap operas.

Highlights
Aaron Spelling on Joan Collins joining Dynasty
Agnes Nixon on how the process of writing soap operas evolved throughout her career
David Pressman on directing Another World 
David Canary on his first big TV role on Peyton Place, playing Mia Farrow's doctor
Felicity Huffman on her favorite scenes and moments on Desperate Housewives
Wiliam Bell on the excitement of creating new characters on The Young and the Restless
Who talked about this genre

Kay Alden

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Kay Alden on parlaying her interest in daytime television into a career
Kay Alden on writing and producing The Young and the Restless
Kay Alden on writing and producing The Young and the Restless
Kay Alden on writing and producing The Young and the Restless

Howard Anderson, Jr.

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Howard Anderson Jr. on creating the opening titles for Dynasty

John Aniston

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John Aniston on playing "Dr. Eric Richards" on Days of Our Lives
John Aniston on playing "Eddie Aleata" on Love of Life
John Aniston on playing "Victor Kiriakis" on Days of Our Lives
John Aniston on how he feels about working in daytime

Bonnie Bartlett

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Bonnie Bartlett on appearing on Love of Life

Joe Behar

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Joe Behar on directing the pilot for General Hospital
Joe Behar on directing the Days of Our Lives pilot and becoming a regular director on the soap opera
Joe Behar on the amount of turnover in daytime soap operas
Joe Behar on working with the cast of Days of Our Lives and significant storylines while he was directing the show
Joe Behar on becoming a regular director for General Hospital in the 1990s
Joe Behar on the future of the soap opera genre
Joe Behar on working with the cast of General Hospital
Joe Behar on the sets, rehearsals, and production on General Hospital

William Bell

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William Bell on writing for Guiding Ligh t on television; on meeting and working with Irna Phillips, creator of Guiding Ligh t
William Bell on the popularity of, characters on, and writing for As the World Turns  
William Bell on writing Guiding Light in Chicago while production was in New York; on interactions with sponsors
William Bell on Walter Cronkite interrupting As the World Turns to announce President Kennedy had been killed
William Bell on taking over Days of Our Lives from Ted Corday and changes he brought to the show
William Bell on a typical workday with Irna Phillips on As the World Turns
William Bell on writing for, production of, and major storylines on Days of Our Lives
William Bell on creating the show The Young and the Restless and how the title came about
Wiliam Bell on the excitement of creating new characters on The Young and the Restless
William Bell on co-creating (again with his wife, Lee) The Bold and the Beautiful
William Bell on the format changes, adult nature, and popularity of The Young and the Restless

Eric Braeden

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Eric Braeden on his role as "Victor Newman" on The Young and the Restless; on not enjoying daytime television when he first got the role; on the love story between "Victor Newman" and "Nikki Newman"
Eric Braeden on playing "Victor Newman" on The Young and the Restless

Robert Caminiti

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Robert Caminiti on stage managing for The Doctors
Robert Caminiti on working on Another World

David Canary

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David Canary on his first big TV role on Peyton Place, playing Mia Farrow's doctor
David Canary on his early experiences in soap operas on The Doctors and Another World
David Canary on his start on and how he plays twin brothers "Adam Chandler" and "Stuart Chandler" on All My Children
David Canary on changes he's seen in soap operas over the years
David Canary on production on All My Children and working with his co-stars

Reuben Cannon

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Reuben Cannon on casting Santa Barbara 

Diahann Carroll

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Diahann Carroll on the essence of the creation of her Dynasty character Dominique Deveraux
Diahann Carroll on joining the cast of Dynasty

Robert Clary

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Robert Clary on appearing on Days of Our Lives
Robert Clary on appearing on The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful

Janis Paige with Emerson College

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Janis Paige on starring on the daytime drama Capitol
Janis Paige on appearing on the series Santa Barbara

Richard Coogan

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Richard Coogan on acting in Love of Life

Hal Cooper

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Hal Cooper on directing Search For Tomorrow

Jeanne Cooper

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Jeanne Cooper on working on The Young and the Restless
Jeanne Cooper on the cast and crew of The Young and the Restless
Jeanne Cooper on the production process for The Young and the Restless
Jeanne Cooper on learning dialogue; on the rehearsal process and shooting schedule for The Young and the Restless
Jeanne Cooper on the subject of plastic surgery on The Young and the Restless
Jeanne Cooper on the challenges of playing dual roles on The Young and the Restless

Ken Corday

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Ken Corday on the creation of and early days of Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on the Days of Our Lives cast
Ken Corday on storylines and production on Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on storylines and production of Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on the Days of Our Lives legacy

Douglas S. Cramer

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Douglas S. Cramer on developing Peyton Place
Douglas S. Cramer on developing Dynasty

Elinor Donahue

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Elinor Donahue on her role as "Evil Nurse Hunnicut" on Days of Our Lives

Edie Falco

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Edie Falco on appearing on the soap opera Loving early in her career

Julian Fellowes

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Julian Fellowes on how he came to write Downton Abbey
Julian Fellowes on writing Downton Abbey  (Part 2) 

Norman Felton

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Director Norman Felton on bringing These Are My Children to television- TV's first soap opera - with creator Irna Phillips; on working in radio 

Dorothy Fontana

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Dorothy Fontana on writing for Dallas early in its run

John Forsythe

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John Forsythe on playing "Blake Carrington" on Dynasty

Genie Francis

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Genie Francis on taping her first on-screen kiss (with Kin Shriner) on General Hospital
Anthony Geary and Genie Francis on the wedding of "Luke and Laura" on General Hospital

Jonathan Frid

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Jonathan Frid on playing "Barnabas Collins" Dark Shadows
Jonathan Frid on playing "Barnabas Collins" on Dark Shadows

Pamela Fryman

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Pamela Fryman on directing Santa Barbara

Eileen Fulton

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Eileen Fulton on playing "Lisa Miller Hughes" on As the World Turns
Eileen Fulton on playing the character of "Lisa" on As the World Turns
Eileen Fulton on playing "Lisa" on As the World Turns
Eileen Fulton on playing "Lisa" on As the World Turns

Anthony Geary

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Anthony Geary on the evolution of General Hospital's Luke and Laura "rape" storyline
Actor Anthony Geary on his celebrity during the time of the "Luke and Laura" craze on General Hospital
Anthony Geary on the future of the daytime serial

Herb Granath

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Herb Granath on the start of Daytime cable TV programming
Herb Granath on the start of the Lifetime cable channel

Lee Grant

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Lee Grant on appearing on Search for Tomorrow
Lee Grant on starring on Peyton Place

Larry Hagman

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Larry Hagman on his role on The Edge of Night
Larry Hagman on the infamous "Who shot J.R.?" storyline of Dallas

Earl Hamner, Jr.

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Earl Hamner on the casting of Falcon Crest leads Jane Wyman, Robert FoxWorth, Susan Sullivan and other cast members

Don Hastings

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Don Hastings on appearing on The Edge of Night
Don Hastings on appearing on The Edge of Night
Don Hastings on playing "Bob Hughes" on As the World Turns
Don Hastings on As the World Turns

Katherine Helmond

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Katherine Helmond on the difficulty of writing a long-term series, such as Soap, written by Susan Harris

Leslie Hoffman

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Leslie Hoffman on doing stunts for Falcon Crest

Hal Holbrook

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Hal Holbrook on being cast as "Grayling Dennis" on the daytime drama The Brighter Day

Ellen Holly

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Ellen Holly on playing "Carla Gray" on One Life to Live
Ellen Holly on playing "Carla Gray" on One Life to Live
Ellen Holly on playing "Carla Gray" on One Life to Live

Monica Horan

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Monica Horan on her work on the Daytime series General Hospital

Felicity Huffman

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Felicity Huffman on Desperate Housewives
Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy on Huffman's experience at the advertising upfronts for the first season of Desperate Housewives and how Macy helped her in a tough moment

Kim Hunter

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Kim Hunter on appearing on The Edge of Night

David Jacobs

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David Jacobs on the genesis and production of Knots Landing and Dallas

Allison Janney

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Allison Janney on playing "Ginger" on Guiding Light

Geri Jewell

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Geri Jewell on her role on The Young and the Restless

H. Wesley Kenney

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H. Wesley Kenney on producing Days of Our Lives
H. Wesley Kenney on producing Days of Our Lives
H. Wesley Kenney on producing The Young and the Restless
H. Wesley Kenney on producing General Hospital

Lynwood King

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Lynwood King on how he came to be a freelance director for daytime dramas such as The Doctors and Ryan's Hope
Lynwood King on directing daytime dramas

Bernie Kopell

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Bernie Kopell on trying to make a living while trying to be an actor, and on appearing on the daytime drama The Brighter Day with his friend Harvey Korman

Rita Lakin

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Rita Lakin on writing for Peyton Place
Rita Lakin on being head writer for The Doctors
Rita Lakin on creating and acting as showrunner for Flamingo Road
Rita Lakin on during down Dallas, and on her very short stint on Dynasty

Louise Lasser

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Louise Lasser on playing the title character on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Louise Lasser on the real-life incident that inspired the dollhouse episode of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

Michael Learned

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Michael Learned on appearing on daytime dramas

Judith Light

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Judith Light on playing "Karen Wolek" on One Life to Live
Judith Light on playing "Judith Ryland" on the revival of Dallas

Susan Lucci

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Susan Lucci on playing "Erica Kane" on All My Children
Susan Lucci on playing "Erica Kane" on All My Children

Stewart MacGregory

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Stewart MacGregory on being unit manager for The Doctors

Loring Mandel

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Loring Mandel on writing for Love of Life at the behest of Fred Silverman
Loring Mandel on writing for Love of Life

Randolph Mantooth

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Randolph Mantooth on appearing on Loving, General Hospital, All My Children, and As the World Turns

Ann Marcus

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Ann Marcus on writing for Peyton Place
Ann Marcus on creating The Life and Times of Eddie Roberts
Ann Marcus on writing for Knots Landing

Wink Martindale

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Wink Martindale on retiring from hosting, and on acting on The Bold and the Beautiful

Leslie H. Martinson

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Leslie H. Martinson on directing Dallas

Rue McClanahan

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Rue McClanahan on being dropped from the soap Another World and going on Where the Heart Is

Paul Monash

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Paul Monash on creating Peyton Place
Paul Monash on creating and writing Peyton Place

Thomas W. Moore

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Thomas W. Moore on programming and developing Peyton Place, and on ABC dealing with the advent of color

Robert Mott

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Robert Mott on various sound effects bloopers including on Studio One, The Edge of Night, and Search For Tomorrow
Robert Mott on working on The Edge of Night

Gareth Neame

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Gareth Neame on producing Downton Abbey

Horace Newcomb

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Horace Newcomb on his first writing about television, "Reflections on the Structure of Soap Opera"

Agnes Nixon

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Agnes Nixon on collaborating with Irna Phillips on the creation of As the World Turns; on the differences between a thirty-minute and fifteen-minute program
Agnes Nixon on writing for the television and radio versions of Guiding Light
Agnes Nixon on the creation of All My Children and how it reflected its era; on the title and setting of the show
Agnes Nixon on creating One Life to Live; on topical storylines on the show
Agnes Nixon on how the process of writing soap operas evolved throughout her career
Agnes Nixon on creating the character "Erica Kane" on All My Children
Agnes Nixon on the humor, characters, and production on All My Children
Agnes Nixon on how the process of writing soap operas evolved throughout her career

Pam Polifroni

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Pam Polifroni on casting General Hospital when it first went on the air in 1963
Pam Polifroni on casting The Young Marrieds and Alexander the Great
Pam Polifroni on casting Santa Barbara, and on the process of casting a daytime drama

David Pressman

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David Pressman on directing Another World 
David Pressman on directing One Life to Live
David Pressman on directing One Life to Live

Frances Reid

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Frances Reid on playing "Alice Horton" on Days of Our Lives
Frances Reid on being cast as Portia Blake Manning on Portia Faces Life
Frances Reid on starring in Portia Faces Life and the state of early TV soap operas
Frances Reid on appearing on As the World Turns
Frances Reid on appearing on Edge of Night
Frances Reid on playing "Alice Horton" on Days of Our Lives

Del Reisman

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Del Reisman on being associate producer on Peyton Place
Del Reisman on writing the network presentation for the daytime version of Peyton Place, and on the show bible

Lee Rich

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Lee Rich on Dallas

William Self

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William Self on developing Peyton Place

Ralph Senensky

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Ralph Senensky on his role in the creation of Dynasty

Richard Shapiro

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Richard and Esther Shapiro on writing for the soap opera Love of Life and how it helped them later when creating Dynasty
Richard and Esther Shapiro on creation of Dynasty
Richard and Esther Shapiro on the cast, producers, audience reaction, and memorable storylines on Dynasty
Richard and Esther Shapiro on memorable storylines and the legacy of Dynasty
Richard and Esther Shapiro on the Dynasty spinoff The Colbys

Esther Shapiro

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Richard and Esther Shapiro on writing for the soap opera Love of Life and how it helped them later when creating Dynasty
Richard and Esther Shapiro on creation of Dynasty
Richard and Esther Shapiro on the cast, producers, audience reaction, and memorable storylines on Dynasty
Richard and Esther Shapiro on memorable storylines and the legacy of Dynasty
Richard and Esther Shapiro on the Dynasty spinoff The Colbys

Fred Silverman

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Fred Silverman on making CBS the "serial network."

Erika Slezak

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Erika Slezak on her role as "Victoria Lord" on One Life to Live and some of her character's early storylines
Erika Slezak on the popularity of the soap opera genre
Erika Slezak on the impact of One Life to Live on her life and on viewers' lives
Erika Slezak on her co-stars of One Life to Live

Herbert F. Solow

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Herbert F. Solow on Daytime Serials as a mainstay for NBC

Aaron Spelling

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Aaron Spelling on Joan Collins joining Dynasty
Aaron Spelling on Joan Collins joining Dynasty

Dick Stiles

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Dick Stiles on acting as assistant art director for Peyton Place

William Tankersley

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William Tankersley on CBS Standards & Practices not having many issues with daytime soap operas

Richard Thomas

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Richard Thomas on appearing on From These Roots co-starring Charlotte Rae, and on appearing on As the World Turns

Daniel J. Travanti

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Daniel J. Travanti on appearing on The Doctors and General Hospital

Helen Wagner

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Helen Wagner on appearing on Guiding Light  as a tryout for As the World Turns
Helen Wagner on playing "Nancy Hughes" on As the World Turns (Pt. 2)
Helen Wagner on how As the World Turns  changed during her tenure and why the show has been so successful 
Helen Wagner on playing "Nancy Hughes" on As the World Turns

Ruth Warrick

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Ruth Warrick on acting on Guiding Light
Ruth Warrick on her stint on As the World Turns
Ruth Warrick on playing "Hannah Cord" on Peyton Place
Ruth Warrick on playing "Hannah Cord" on Peyton Place
Ruth Warrick on playing "Phoebe Tyler" on All My Children
Ruth Warrick on playing "Phoebe Tyler" on All My Children
Ruth Warrick on playing "Phoebe Tyler" on All My Children
Ruth Warrick on working with Agnes Nixon on All My Children

Ellen Wheeler

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Ellen Wheeler on playing "Marley Love Hudson McKinnon" and "Vicki" on Another World
Ellen Wheeler on playing "Cindy Parker" on All My Children
Ellen Wheeler on appearing on Dark Shadows
Ellen Wheeler on appearing on The Bold and the Beautiful
Ellen Wheeler on appearing on As the World Turns
Ellen Wheeler on directing As the World Turns  and Another World
Ellen Wheeler on how she came to be a producer for Guiding Light
Ellen Wheeler on executive producing Guiding Light (Part 1)
Ellen Wheeler on executive producing Guiding Light (Part 2)
Ellen Wheeler on executive producing Guiding Light  (Part 3)

Perry Wolff

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Perry Wolff on going to write for Guiding Light

Kim Zimmer

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Kim Zimmer on the origin of Guiding Light's title and its original premise