Wow, did I get a response to my recent blogs answering fan questions and on the status of All My Children. Don’t tell me soaps don’t still matter.
Here’s what I know about AMC: Actors and behind-the-scenes people have not been getting their calls returned from their bosses for awhile. One actor told a head honcho that he was taking another job unless AMC could guarantee him a paying job on Season 2. They couldn’t. Without a contract (or assurance of one), he took the other job.
Most actors have been reluctant to speak on the record about this because they all want AMC to come back so badly.
“There are a lot of good people who worked in Stamford,” notes Thorsten Kaye, who played Zach. (He starts airing on B&B as the new Ridge Forrester on December 13.)
Debbi Morgan (Angie) stepped forward this weekend to address the current state of things: “I guess what really hurts my gut R all the positive proclamations I gave 2 all of U that we’d definitely be coming back,” tweeted Morgan. “Bcuz those were the earnest proclamations we’d been given! I’m so very sorry 2c U disappointed yet again & believe me we feel the same!!! Thanks 4 all the support & luv U gave hoping this would work. Wenever know what’s in God’s plan. I do know there’s always a bigger picture!”
Cady McClain (Dixie) echoed that on her Facebook page today:
“If you aren’t hearing anything about the ending of AMC as we know it, it’s really out of shock. I am also trying to allow PP to have the moment to contact all the actors and explain what has been going on with AMC, and then gather themselves to try and explain it all to you, the fans.”
I’m looking forward to that explanation – aren’t you?
Okay, let’s answer some more questions:
Do any OLTL actors have contracts for Season Two?
Why don’t beloved relatives and past characters come back for funerals and weddings when in real life they would?
Because the show would have to pay those actors a lot of money to basically sit on folding chairs and smile. I also think it can ultimately be frustrating for fans. When GH brought Jack Wagner (Frisco) back for a short stint at the Nurses’ Ball this year, some people railed at GH for not bringing him back permanently – instead of being grateful for his brief return.
How come important characters STILL ON THE SHOW don’t attend weddings or funerals they’d normally attend in real life?
Same reason: Money. The actors who play GH’s Sonny, Y&R’s Victor DAYS’s Marlena, etc. make too much per episode to just sit in the audience. That’s probably why Marlena was given the storyline of swapping Brady’s “Ode to Kristen” video with the sex tape of Kristen with Father Eric during the wedding. (Besides, the irony was delicious.)
Why is a song used on the network show but is replaced by a different song on the SOAPnet (or other channel) replay?
Shows don’t usually have to pay for one-time usage of songs. Sometimes they replace the song with music they don’t have to pay for when the episode is rerun later on cable. Music rights would also be a sticking point if soaps ever made a DVD compilation. When Barbara Walters tells one of the panelists on The View to stop singing an impromptu song or else ABC will have to pay for it, she’s not kidding.
Why do major characters without much of a story pop up for two seconds just to be a talk-to for another story? Does it have to do with a promise of minimum airtime in their contracts?
Sort of. Actors have “guarantees” in their contracts that they have to appear on an average of X episodes a week or be paid anyway. If an actor is under his guarantee, the show might use them in a peripheral way until their story heats up again. By the same token, actors over their guarantees sometimes disappear for awhile to give other actors the chance to hit THEIR guarantees. It’s amazingly difficult to balance each character’s storyline with the actor’s guarantee. This is why shows prefer it when actors work on a recurring basis. The actor gets paid the agreed amount for each episode they work, and that’s it.
So to sum up, the answer to most of your questions is… money!