Soap legend Agnes Nixon announced her consulting role with the AMC and OLTL reboots a few weeks ago, saying that the transition from television to the Internet was “comparable to how life was changed when television took over from radio.”

That’s not completely true.

The Guiding Light began on radio in 1937. (Trivia: “The” was dropped from the title in 1975.) It debuted on television in 1952.

But it’s worth noting that GL remained on the radio until 1956, running concurrently with the TV version. The actors would perform the TV show live at the CBS television studio, and then run down the street to the radio station to repeat the exact same show live on the radio.

Procter & Gamble, which produced GL, gave its radio listeners a full four years to adjust to watching their soap on TV before they canceled the radio version. This is very different from AMC and OLTL, which will have been off the air well over a year before fans will be able to watch them again on the Internet. It can certainly be argued that magazines like Soap Opera Digest, Internet soap sites like Daytime Confidential, and the many forms of social media available to us today have kept the shows alive during their absence, but it is not the same as if they ended on TV on a Friday and picked up on the Internet the following Monday. Never mind playing on TV and the Internet with the same actors for four years…

Clearly there is great interest in AMC and OLTL on the Internet, as there has been with other Internet soaps like Gotham, Venice , The Bay, Fumbling Through the Pieces and the soon-to-launch Tainted Dreams. But this will be a different way for AMC and OLTL fans to watch their soaps and they will need to adapt – not always a strong suit for a fan base that takes years to adjust to a recast. (I’m talking about you, Jack Abbott!)

Agnes Nixon knows all about adapting since she was the co-head writer of that long-ago television launch of GL (with creator Irna Phillips). And she is right that the transition of soaps from TV to the Internet is historic. But it’s a whole lot easier for fans to pick up a new soap opera on their computers than it is for them to log into the reboot of AMC expecting to see Erica Kane in her lavish Fusion offices and finding Angie and Griffin in a hospital hallway.

Truth: The reboots will be different from the AMC and OLTL we watched on TV. But if viewers are patient, they’ll be able to adjust to the “new” Pine Valley and Llanview just as easily as they adapted to watching Bert Bauer on that “new” big box instead of listening to her on the old small box.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t take four years!


19 Responses to TAINTED DREAMS: History Lesson

  • Joan Paylo says:

    If it’s on the Internet, that means I can watch it on my smart phone from wherever I am when I have the time! As much as I miss and adore Susan Lucci, however, I just don’t know how I could have taken a few months of her being trapped in that bunker bedroom if I’d been watching it on a tiny screen. It was endlessly clautrophobic to begin with! But I’d rather be watching her trapped somewhere, anywhere, than not have her and Pine Valley at all. Even if she were just talking to someone on a cell phone while sitting on her Malibu Pilates. Where is she in all of this? Possibly showing up occasionally in a cameo role? Or, I guess we can’t afford her anymore…

  • Deborah says:

    If you don’t have internet access, how can you respond to something on the internet? Either you want to watch the soaps and you will, any way you can, or you will pout in a corner until they make it back to the Television screen. Get over yourself and stop making BS excuses.

  • Cin says:

    There are lots of places without internet. Go to rural anywhere they don’t have anything but dial up or very slow DSL. If you live in a nursing home you don’t have internet. If you are in the hospital you don’t have internet. If you don’t have a computer you don’t have INTERNET. The internet may be a common thing for most of the people who are seeing these posts, BUT there are plenty who access the internet only by their phones or live in an area that internet isn’t accessible in High speed. So to say who doesn’t have internet you are living in a bubble and don’t look at the real world out there. Plenty people won’t see AMC or any internet soap because they don’t have Internet. Of their own choosing or the area of which they live doesn’t have it. Wifi isn’t have to have internet to have WIFI. Wifi is taking your existing internet and putting out a signal so your computer doesn’t have to be hard wired to the wall. If you don’t have internet access you can’t have WIFI.

  • Susan says:

    Where in the US is there no internet access? I was surprised to read that. From all I read, cable is possible but not definite yet so for now I would suggest finding a way to see it on Hulu, Hulu plus or I-Tunes if you can.

  • Mary says:

    I can’t with you writing a blog about how Agnes Nixon is wrong. How arrogant. Agnes Nixon is the queen and you should write a blog about that. And thank her for your life, while you’re at it. Let’s be real.

    • Carey says:

      Agnes Nixon has no choice about it. It’s not that she’s wrong, it’s that she has to put a positive spin on what the reality is. She would have preferred her shows to stay on TV all along and keep their stories going and not lose actors that we want to see because those actors lost their jobs then found new ones.

      I get internet access, but find it excruciating to sit in my home “workstation” rather than in my comfy recliner chair. But I don’t have any device attached to my TV that gets internet.

      And my question still is…are they REALLY going to offer a 1-hour, unique episode every weekday? Seems impossible!

      I do hope one of the other cable stations is able to pick it up.

  • It still saddens me that the internet transition cannot be a seamless matter of just picking up where the storyline and characters left off. Even in a realm of fiction and fantasy where art imitates life I guess I live in a certain bubble of unreality. That being said, I do intend to watch and approach with as much of an open mind as I can muster.

  • Jim Fung says:

    Episodes of the shows have been available both on TV and on the Internet for years, so in a way its the same as soaps being made both for TV and radio at the same time for a few years.

  • Troy Turner says:

    I get what you’re saying, Carolyn-but aren’t you also implying that TV has to be a part of this for the less Internet-savvy… We soapers are a resourceful lot-and will help as many as possible, but TV MUST be in the picture somewhere…

  • marcia says:

    AMEN, Sister! Change is just going to happen if we like it or not, but we’re getting our “stories” back!

  • Jesse says:

    I agree that the shows will be different, I just hope they are better then they were before. As much as I loved OLTL, and AMC, the last few years of all the ABC soaps before the cancellation were not that great. Both had their problems, and I hope this is where we get a fresh start, not just story wise, but chaqracter wise as well. No more crappy teens! I think the biggest lie some of TPTB have told is that younger characters will attract younger audience. NOT TRUE. I hope PP knows they arent going to attract new audience’s until it makes its old audience happy! I almost wish they would be pay per view. I think its the only way to ensure the audience gets what it wants.

    • Robynne says:

      I believe that ABC/D worked at making them terrible in their last few years so that no one would complain when they were canceled. If so, then they will be better. Fingers crossed!

    • Jewell says:

      I think it will be better, AMC will have different writers and producers.. Lorraine did make it better before it went of the air, like undoing Stuart’s death..

  • Denise says:

    I, for one, expected this to happen all along. I understand the concept that this is the way of the future. I predict that in another 5 years “most” of everything we watch will be via the internet. I have not gotten into the new web series that are available yet and anticipate the reboots of AMC and OLTL will help me adjust to watching more shows in this manner. The fact that both these shows have a built in audience is and has always been a “no brainer”, in my opinion. For those who don’t have internet access in their area, I do hope there will be a way for them to view on tv.

  • Kathy smith says:

    Sorry to say I wont be following the new web soaps. No internet access where I live so I feel a little pissed that this is my only way to see my soaps. Oh well……

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