The Daytime Emmys: Happy At Last

newFor another view of the Daytime Emmys, read the post following this one by Marlena’s longtime friend and colleague Ed Martin.  A veteran TV industry journalist and analyst, Ed is a columnist for JackMyers.com.

By Marlena De Lacroix

From out of a dying soap industry, from out of a cable network I never watch, last night arrived the most unexpected shock of my decades-long soap watching/journalism life: a Daytime Emmys that was pretty good.  Who know that after most of us gave up the fight and moved on to other lives that daytime would finally get what we (the actors, the press, and hopefully the fans) had fought for forever: a Daytime Emmys that wasn’t condescending to daytime soaps!

Hooray!  No soaps-are-stupid jokes!  It’s taken the always awkward Daytime Emmys since 1974 — the year they were first broadcast by themselves – not to make fun of what they’re celebrating.  Even though this year’s ceremony was on 

Best of all, without the traditional sneering and disrespect for soaps, many moments of actual warmth emerged.  It’s called professional showmanship with heart, and the producers of the Emmys this year have it! Yes, yes — emotion — that’s what daytime soaps are all about.  And used to be about. 

such a small scale, it grew large because it finally treated soaps with dignity. They are not, as most people in the world think, and we soap fans know in our hearts – a punch line!

Unlike in past years, the host wasn’t sleazy or smarmy (like Bob Barker) or totally miscast (as Eric Braeden and Melody Thomas Scott unintentionally were the year they hosted.)  Vanessa Williams, who has no ties to daytime save for starring in a night time “soap” Ugly Betty, was perfectly fine as host. She’s gorgeous; she can act, sing, dance, and she has authority!  The show moved fairly well, with its only failings minor mechanical ones. The Guiding Light tribute was cut off. The Bold & Beautiful best soap winners were denied a speech.  Problems like these are inevitable and forgivable in a live awards show struggling to stay on schedule.  Well, certainly not for B&B fans who waited 22 years for this night!

Best of all, without the traditional sneering and disrespect for soaps, many moments of actual warmth emerged.  I laughed when I heard that the Emmy people were sending Tony Geary, Susan Lucci, Kelly Monaco and Montel Williams to Africa to visit starving children served by the Feed the Children charity.  What showboating, I thought, what a bunch of showbiz phonies. Well, how wrong was I?  The tape shown on the Emmy broadcast  of Tony Geary and Susan Lucci both so poignantly crying over those kids will stay with soap fans like me long, long after anything we’ve seen on soaps this year, or for the last 15 for that matter!

It’s called professional showmanship with heart, and the producers of the Emmys this year have it! Yes, yes — emotion — that’s what daytime soaps are all about.  And used to be about.  Oh, well.  If you quit watching soaps years ago (before they became so plot-centric and went round the bend in the 90s) and watched just this one Emmy show last night, you might not even know that … yes … soaps are dying.  That’s a huge achievement for the CW and a new executive producer I never met named David McKenzie.  A moment of real … theater.

But enough Marlena gush!  Okay, I guess I could have thrown water on all of the above by mentioning the only award that I thought was totally inappropriate — and disgusting: Best Writing to Bob Guza and company at General Hospital.  How could they? That sexist, misogynist, twisted ugly show!  Worse, during the Emmy show, ABC chose to advertise GH‘s upcoming story, something malevolent with an evil fortune teller that starts at a carnival in Port Charles.  Wasn’t a carnival (complete with a  malevolent fortune teller named Tabitha?) exactly the way Passions premiered in 1999?  (Guza and the late Jim Reilly were friends.)

Except for that sour note of ugliness, there were many sweet moments to enjoy.  I loved Vincent Irizarry‘s graceful speech when he won Best Supporting Actor (in a tie with Guiding Light‘s Jeff Branson) thanking his soldier son in Afghanistan and everyone on all the four shows he’s been on.  I remember interviewing him when he first exploded onto GL as Lujack. He was fresh from Lake Ronkonkoma on Long Island and still living in the back room of the 13 St. Theater then!  We then-young hotheads (both Italian-Americans) actually had words over Italian stereotyping on TV. That was so long ago!   Over the years, Vincent’s gone from overnight GL sensation to someone who, by his talent, soap experience  and sheer exertion, greatly helps to save the sorry mess that is Chuck Pratt‘s miserably written All My Children now.  He’s the kind of seasoned, skilled actor who saves mostly dreadful soap watching for me now.

There were many other good awards and speeches I could mention here. But there’s someone who didn’t win an award I’d like to mention because she exemplified the rare class of this year’s presentation.  Yes, still  serenely smiling, still looking absolutely gorgeous (dressed in white décolletage like a miniature Gina Lollobrigida) at age 62, Susan Lucci still reigned over the entire broadcast.  She whose personal graciousness piloted so many awful years of the Daytime Emmys (her 18 unsuccessful nominations publicized the Emmys until she finally won Best Actress in 1999) was still here last night in all her radiance.  In a fashion segments, in going to Africa, in presenting awards, Susan was still showcased by the savvy producers as exactly who she is. 

A few weeks ago someone reported in a story about AMC moving to the West Coast that the network didn’t regard her as the star of the show and the one they were worried about relocating was Thorsten Kaye.  In a pig’s eye, as we Italian-American kids used to say in Queens.  In her beaming, charismatic presence, Susan Lucci is still the most famous and classiest  performer in soap opera history — and the forever Queen of a now much improved Daytime Emmys.

Comments

  1. Larry says:

    Wow, to refer to cutting off the Guiding Light tribute and not televising the Bill Bell acceptance speech as “minor mechanical failings” seems like an understatement.

    It seemed apparent within a half hour or so of the show beginning, they realized they were running behind, as all clips from nominated performances were no longer shown and acceptance speeches were kept to the time limit.

    The “fashion show” sequence could have been eliminated, as could have Vanessa William’s second song. Even if eliminating these were not an option, the Sesame Street tribute could have been reduced in time. Or at least Bill Bell’s acceptance speech could have been shown split screen with the closing credits (it’s seems ironic these closing credits were shown on the full screen, when almost all of the nominated shows show their credits using a split screen).

    And where was the montage of beloved daytime people we have lost in the past year. Again, that could have been planned to air at the end with the split screen showing the closing credits.

    Marlena says: Your opinions are very good. But it is much easier to direct a show from an armchair. I worked as a production assistant on the Daytime Emmys in 1995 and I couldn’t believe what a multi-faceted difficult technical job it was for the director and the huge backstage crew to put the show together. All live! It was a real enlightening experience to witness.

    I totally agree with you about missing the death reel, though.

  2. Christian in Boston says:

    I was thrilled for Susan Haskell. I knew while watching her in November (yes, during the much detested storyline) that she would be nominated and win. I have not been that impressed by a daytime performance in many, many years. I was also glad to see OLTL get Best Directing. (OLTL really messed up with their episode submissions and easily could have won Best Show this year).

    GH winning best writing WAS a joke. But they may have won for dialogue. GH has some of the better written dialogue in the industry, albeit in absolutely terrible stories.

    Can I be honest? I think B&B is absolute garbage. Horrifically written and acted. (With 3-4 or actors not included, Susan Flannery is one of my top 5 daytime actresses ever)..
    This was truly its worst year ever, and they lucked out by having a weeks worth of solid episodes. If based on a years work, this is easily the most undeserved Best Show emmy win ever. Only 50 of GH’s 100 Best Show wins come close. lol.

    Marlena says: GH having sparkling dialogue? I think not—not since the days of Claire Labine, that’s for sure, Christian! I agree with you about B&B being a bad show. I loved it for the first 15 years or so, but the last seven have been nothing but retread trading on the talents of Flannery and a few other veteran actors. I thought the whole Storm story was sicko stuff — committing suicide to give one’s sister a heart! Pul-eeze! Storm was a such a worm in his last incarnation. I was glad for Susan Haskell — at least she got something from acting that awful, disgusting re-rape story. From the interviews she did at the time, she didn’t sound like she liked the politics of it any more than we did!

  3. renee says:

    I’ll admit I bounced between this show and my beloved — Da Bears football game (you know we scored Jay Cutler from the Broncos and had to go back and school them on what a bad bad thing they did but we’re oh so grateful they did. Anyway, I can’t believe I’m saying this either, but it was a classy show, but Vanessa has a habit of doing that … bring class … as long as her choice of wardrobe doesn’t trailer her down and last nite it did not. Way to go Nessa.

    Agree the worst moment of the night was Best Writing to GH. Sent our mutual friend an email that says that means “bad bad things,” and you summarized the badness beautifully, Marlena. I do not know what woman has done what to Guza but it was ugly and deep. Now while some folks do well working their angst out by writing … it’s one thing to do it via a book or movie, and taking it to a whole other level when you make it a long range soap story book. Guza needs help. I got a great shrink on Santa Monica in Santa Monica who’s magic. Bob, if you’re reading this, post a Marlena comment and the sistah will hook you up.

    Funny moment — BaBa who has begged for a View Emmy. THEY WEREN’T THERE. LOL

    Your poignant moment — the Feed the Children tie in with the AMC storyline. While appreciated, I’m so over everybody going to Africa to save the kids, and yes you know I’m Black. When I look at all the problems we have here in America I’m screaming, go down to the corner and teach a kid to read or fix them a peanut butter and raisin sandwich. We’re going to Hades and you need to travel 3 to 5000 miles. Why!!! I care, but where’s the “taking care of home” care.

    Next, I loved, absolutely loved B&B winning best drarma. Do I get a told you so (did I mentioned to anyone this was the best camp on soaps right now)? Skpping Hunter’s and Jennifer’s “I bet you wish you could take back those procedures now” lips, that show has me rolling in laughter. Brooke and Ridge and Taylor and Eric and Stephanie and Jackie and Owen have finally evolved out of the pity into “pure fun” category. I mean, Taylor and Brooke mud fighting with Ian Buchanan trying to be serious about it. That’s funny cause Brad can’t expect us to seriously buy anybody acting like that. LOL. Folks, y’all need to watch this show.

    Also liked Tyra winning most informative Emmy. My nieces and goddaughters love this show. Tyra does a lot of shows that I consider akin to that Kellie Pickler song — “You’re Beautiful Just the Way You Are.” Young people need to hear this and Tyra relates to them well, so go Tyra.

    Finally, oh I wish I could go there with you on the Lucci exemplifies class. Okay, no I don’t, because I’ve never ever gotten the Lucci l’aura, and I’ve watched her since she was “preggers and had the abortion.” She cannot act. She cannot sing. Her gift has always been this doe eyed “you mean me innocence” that she has built into an empire. If she doesn’t move with AMC to LA, c’est la vie. Okay now beat me with nigel’s leash. LOL

    All in all, improved show, but anything that gives me time with Vincent and Anthony is an improved show, and I HATE David.

    Marlena says: Renee, thank you for prompt review, which was a lot more comprehensive than mine. You have to understand I go back a zillion years with Lucci, almost to the beginnings of the Emmys when NO ONE did anything but laugh at them. I did a million stories on them for every publication on earth, but in our interviews Lucci never lost her cool no matter how many times she was called a loser by the outside world. Yeah, she may or may not be soap’s greatest actress but she is gracious … and she’s still here. She doesn’t whine to the press! She’s looks great. She’s a total pro. She is still the only soap actress any one outside of soap opera really recognizes. I hope ABC gives her points when AMC moves to L.A. Who else is going to do the show’s p.r.?

    Your take on Guza is hilarious! Did anyone out there catch or hear the reason he was not at the showto collect his “Best Writing” award? And as our mutual friend Esther probably said to you, they’ll never fire him after this. So many of us were hoping he and Jill would leave soon.

    You thought that mud-bath scene on B&B was funny? I was so embarrassed for everyone in it. But I like Jackie and Owen. They went totally top with the recent fashion competition with Jackie in her S&M gear. Even “cougar”-hating me got a good laugh out of that.

  4. Leona says:

    Marlena, I’ve got to back Larry here. A show being a complicated technical production doesn’t excuse it from being sloppily aired or produced. The people who put these shows together get paid to do these jobs and to hopefully do them well. That’s what they do for a living, after all.

    I didn’t watch the show, but I did catch the Guiding Light “tribute.” They actually said that it was the first soap opera on television. Something as glaringly WRONG as that tells me all I need to know about the production.

    Marlena says: As always, I bow to you, Leona! (Leona is a professional TV production person.) What was the first soap on TV anyway, dear?

  5. Judi Sohn says:

    I was not thrilled to see the fashion show and Vanessa Williams production numbers if it meant that we didn’t see clips from the nominated actors. I don’t watch every soap, and I enjoy seeing those glimpses of why an actor is up for an award (I guess nowadays we always have YouTube).

    I think what made this year’s Emmy’s special wasn’t that daytime got its due. It got the same shaft it always does. What made it special this year was the complete lack of attention to the non-soap elements aside from the salute to Sesame Street (which was a total blast since I remember watching it when it premiered!). No constant cuts to Barbara Walters or Oprah or Rosie to get their reaction after every joke. The headlines this morning weren’t all about The View’s win as if that was the only reason to have the show. I guess if the ladies didn’t want to cut their vacations short to show up, the press didn’t care either. “Cash Cab Wins Again!” Not so much.

    Finally, the GL salute was great but I wish it spent more time on the glory years and less in Peapack. They could have done a whole package on just those actors that got their start (or a career boost) in Springfield: Alison Janney, Taye Diggs, Kevin Bacon and so many more. Non-soap folks love that stuff. And they should have had the backstage folks standing up there to get their ovation too, not just the actors.

    Marlena says: Thanks, Judi, for this very wise and insightful letter. I was thinking during the GL tribute that it would take hours to show a clip package that was adequate to represent the show’s long and glorious history. Still, the short one shown did manage to make me cry. After all my decades of devotion I only stopped being a fan of the show around the time it went to Peapack. So I agree with you — too much Peapack, not enough Bacon. Or Zaz, or Chris Bernau or Lisa Brown or Justin Deas or Bev, always Beverlee …

  6. Daniel R. says:

    I had to log on here to see what Marlena would say! I knew she would cut this pseudo-fiasco to ribbons. I knew she…huh? Wha? She liked it?!?

    All kidding aside, yes, the air of respect for soaps was there as you said. But the heart of daytime, at least for the majority of viewers—sorry Alex Trebek and Big Bird—is the dramas. I doubt there are lots of message boards dedicated to game shows and afterschool special dissecting the award show.

    Daytime shows were there, yes, but what makes them great was, as always, absent: the drama! After the first two categories, acting clips were cut. The ‘best show’ pieces were what they always are, random music videos with things exploding, women slapping each other and guys flexing their pecs. And, the biggest sin of all was the under 2-minute ‘tribute’ to the American icon called Guiding Light. Was the CW afraid that a five minute piece with show clips, actor and fan soundbites and the mention of Irna Phillips would have put the teenyboppers to sleep? Sesame Street received a much longer fanfare, and it will be back next year.

    Since I’m sounding like Oscar the Grouch, let’s really blow the lid off the garbage can! The Dancing With Vanessa bit and that silly ‘fashion shoot’ should have been cut, because as Larry said above, they knew they had lost control of time early on. They served no purpose to begin with.

    Other than that, the daytime actors (aside from shellshocked potty mouth Darrin Brooks) were gracious, eloquent, genuine and beautiful.

    I may even watch next year, even though my only soap will no longer be on the air.

    Marlena says: The first year I covered the Daytime Emmys for a non-soap publication — it was USA Today — I remember my editor being cross with me because all I wrote about on my original take was the soaps, skipping the game and talk shows. They are daytime too, he yelled. So I know only too well where you are coming from. But I agree that soap fans are the heart of daytime, and every time I hear a new game show or new talk show is going to take a soap’s place I want to cry! I too wanted more on GL than Sesame Street (which I was — ahem — too old to watch when it debuted in 1970) on the Emmys!

    Daniel, this was such a sweet letter, it really made my day. I’m sorry about GL — but please don’t give up on soaps!

  7. Bruce says:

    After being passed over by the major networks, it’s a miracle that the Daytime Emmys even aired this year. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Vanessa Williams hosting, but she did an admirable job.

    I was happy that Guiding Light was recognized, but I would have liked for Kim Zimmer or Robert Newman to have a chance to briefly address the fans.

    Here’s hoping that next year the Daytime Emmys won’t have to honor any more departing soaps, and that soaps in general get back on track!

  8. Levi says:

    I thought the emmys were decent this year. I thought it was a little rushed at the end, but like you said I am sure it’s not easy putting on a show where people need to stand here and there. On a positive note, Vanessa Williams is awesome and an admirable host.

    You know I will write about the Guiding Light tribute first. I thought it was very sad on terms of the emotion I felt. I really thought Betty White did a great job introducing it. I didn’t know she was that big of a fan. I did ok until the actors came out on stage. Then the tears came. Although it was too brief, I am lucky they did anything at all. So on that note, they did focus on soaps more. My thought was these actors deserve a lot of respect from everyone. It isn’t always easy changing clothes in the backseat of a car and doing your scenes out of order. I think all these wonderful actors deserve many amazing opportunites on other shows. Wherever Kim Zimmer goes, I will follow. And not just Kim but all the other actors from the show. It will be hard to pick another show to watch although which one I haven’t decided. To see Maureen Bauer, the Reva fountain scene, and Jonathan lying on Tammy were nice clips. Even to see Bert and Papa Bauer on the clip was great as well.

    However to see many GL stars going on Crystal Chappell’s new web series is a comfort to know.

    And congrats to Jeff Branson in winning GL’s final award in its rich history.

    On terms of B&B, I am not surprised it was cut. It has happened many years. I do remember Jill Phelps being cut off when Lucci and Eric Braden said goodnight. So, it happens.

    The emmys are always fun, but the lesser shows that come in every year has me concerned. Even though my show is going to be gone, I will still watch daytime. Although, it needs to be so less darker than it is now.

  9. pjs says:

    Brava, Marlena, for noting what a classy affair the CW’s Daytime Emmys was. With Daytime facing its own edge of night as never before, what a nice change of pace it was to hear people in the industry in praise of it without the standard belittlings and apologies.

    Though uneven, the fashion show was a genuine highpoint showcasing (somewhat unevenly, I admit) not just the clothes of daytime, but surprising hidden talents of its actors. What a terrificly realized James Bond mini-scene Ricky Paull Goldin and Chrishell Stause played in a Pine Valley-minute (half-minute?). They were stylish, hot having fun and making me smile. And of course, then came Susan Lucci, proving that when it comes to daytime stars, no one comes close! There is nothing left of the original Pine Valley without Erica Kane … and if the powers that be at ABC don’t realize that they have no show without her, they weren’t paying attention last night.

    The Feed the Children segment was a great Daytime gives back moment. It probably raised a ton of money for a very worthy cause … and provided an emotional counterpoint to the night’s celebrations.

    Those who choose to carp about the CW’s racing through the 2nd half of the ceremony to get out of the broadcast on time are gonna carp. I choose to thank the CW for giving those of us who still wish to be Daytime fans a classy, entertaining show that the other networks refused to present. The Guiding Light Tribute pretty opened with Bert Bauer and Papa Bauer, and kept Bert on screen in the photo near the end of the tribute as well. I thank the CW for that.

    And thanks for a terrific tribute to Sesame Street as well. If it took a shortening of The Guiding Light tribute and the elimination of the thank you from The Bold and the Beautiful to allow for the full Sesame Street tribute, so be it. Sesame Street deserves all its acclaim. Who seriously thinks the soaps should outrank a quality children’s programin a salute to the best in daytime television? I don’t. Sesame Street’s 40-year achievement may not equal Guiding Light’s longevity, but it’s probably done more for all our children than Guiding Light’s 72 years.

    The only thing I missed in the Daytime Emmy-cast was what I always miss in every Emmy-cast, day or prime. And that is that the clips shown are put together for splash and flash. None of them indicate the strength of the actors or the drama of the scenes. Even in this diminished age of daytime, there are enough scenes both comic and dramatic that could lure new viewers to the soap genre’s few remaining shows. But these ceremonies never have time for the drama of daytime, and I’ve just got to accept that for as long as we’ll still have these ceremonies.

    Thank you, CW, for, however briefly, dispersing the dark shadows that are shrouding our soaps.

    Marlena says: Thanks, pj, for always encouraging Marlena to stay positive about soaps all these many years of our very treasured friendship. And dear, also for your love of life!

  10. oliver says:

    I keep reading that the GL tribute was cut off or too short. However, I was really moved by the whole cast giving a bow to a thunderous applause while Kim Zimmer mouthed. “keep it going.” and the classic “hold on to love” theme played. It gave me chills and I think any speech would have been superfluous.

    However, The Night of 100 Stars from 1981 emailed me and they want their oddly placed fashion show back.

    Then, Tuesday Weld tweeted me from 1963 to ask Julie Berman to gave her hairdo back.

    Finally, Mr. Blackwell poked me from the grave on Facebook to comment on both Judith Chapman and Brenda Dickson but he didn’t have the strength.

    All in all, I thought it was a valiant effort, (I like cheese as much I like soaps) – especially given that Feed the Children was highlighted.

  11. Tom says:

    I agree with a lot of the comments about how the show could have better fit in the GL tribute and B&Bs win and the rushed pacing of the second hour. One the whole I thought it was a much better show than years past and I’m grateful for that.

    Two minor digs that I don’t think I’ve seen elsewhere. Was there some reason GL was not featured in the fashion show? Also, for constructive criticism for anyone who may broadcast the show in future years. I realize with time constraints that the clips may have to be cut. If you do, it would be nice to attempt to show the nominees seated in the audience when the envelope is opened. I know it’s such a cliched shot but it would have offered the only opportunity for the fans to see their favorites.

  12. Leona says:

    Marlena, you’re too sweet :)

    Regarding your question, a show called “Faraway Hill” (1946) is generally regarded as the first television soap opera, although there’s no clear consensus on that because in the very early days of TV, lots of experimenting was going on. Some local stations, like WGN in Chicago, had actors reading scripts for a camera, basically doing a radio show for a TV camera. But “Faraway Hill” had the elements that we consider a serial for TV. Other early efforts that are credited with establishing soaps on TV include Irna Phillips’ “These Are My Children,” “A Woman To Remember,” and “The First Hundred Years.” However, the first real successful soap on TV was a little show called “Search For Tomorrow” which began in 1951 and was followed shortly thereafter by “Love Of Life.” “The Guiding Light” didn’t join the CBS lineup until 1952.

  13. Matthew J. Cormier says:

    I agree that overall this was a great year for the Daytime Emmys and it gave The CW it’s best Sunday night ratings EVER (and improved 81% over the same time period a year ago! 81%!) , But a few minor technical issues made the show less than what it was—Julie Berman and Brad Bell getting cut off, GL tribute being cut short (they should have done what AW got in 1999, a grand tribute)… but overall it was a great show and i hope that the CW will bring it back next year.

  14. Dave F says:

    It all depends on what you count as “network.” “Faraway Hill” was a DuMont show. The first soap on what became the big 3 networks was “These Are My Children” (on NBC), which has the further pedigree, which was created by none other than Irna Phillips.

    The popular press usually cites “Search for Tomorrow” as the first network soap, but Leona has it right.

    I also think you were a little too kind to the show, Marlena, but I love you for it, and I agree that it was highly satisfying to have a show that didn’t make fun of the soaps. Too bad the ratings were so miserable.

    Marlena says: As someone who has been around since the 70s, Dave, you know the long struggle we industry veterans went through to see that the Daytime Emmys got some respect. The Image Committee, all those long postmortems every single year where everyone bitched and moaned, the meetings with NATAS and ATAS! Here finally out of the blue was the improvement we fought for all those years! That’s what made me do such an positive review. My column about this year’s show was really about the whole long history of the Daytime Emmys from 1974: the unlikely culmination of the ideas and struggle and changing attitudes, not about the fact that the B&B acceptance speech was cut off. Young viewers today have no idea or knowledge off any of it. But I was there for most of the history of the Daytime Emmys, witnessed the artists and the press fight for respect and excellence both on screen and in its award show. If the Daytime Emmys are to die now, at least they die with dignity.

  15. antmunoz says:

    Those who are complaining about the brevity of the GL tribute, please remember…

    ANOTHER WORLD left our daytime world in 1999 after 35 years and received NO tribute at all during that year’s Daytime Emmys.

    Linda Dano and Stephen Schnetzer, who introduced a category, had to AD-LIB a shout-out to the demise of their own show.

    Oh, the shame.

    Yes, GL had 72 years to AW’s 35, but 35 was nothing to sneeze at, and AW was top-notch for so many years, and had so many iconic daytime actors. (When we refer to Beverlee McKinsey, let us never forget her Iris Cory Carrington. And that wasn’t even her first soap role, or her first role on AW.)

    I was disappointed that any actor attending who had once been on GL wasn’t asked to join the current cast on stage. Laura Wright, for one, would’ve probably loved to join her former castmates, with whom she is reportedly still close. Isn’t anyone who graced GL with their talent really still “the cast” of GUIDING LIGHT, especially when the tribute was for all 72 years?

    Not reciting the “There is a destiny that makes us brothers” poem was an error, though. Betty White could’ve done it. Robert Newman certainly could’ve done it. I would’ve preferred Mary Stuart’s version from the show itself as a clip, just a few years ago. (We miss you and Meta, Mary.)

    But I digress…GL got SOMETHING. We could be bitching for the next ten-plus years about how AW didn’t even get a “We do not live in this world alone…” recitation. Actually, I am.

    Vanessa Williams=CLASS. Don’t hate on her just because performing her musical/dance numbers was part of her deal to host. Vanessa was in no position to go backstage and demand that her second song/act be cut so the GL tribute could run longer, or so that Brad Bell could give his speech. She did HER job, and very elegantly at that. (I personally thought the opening was hilarious, in a GOOD way.)

    Marlena says: I think the tributes and obits for Guiding Light are just kicking into high gear and some time in the next few weeks someone will mention the recitation, Ant. I’m very cynical about the coverage of the show’s upcoming demise. Where was the publicity when they needed it? And why exactly is GL fading away? I have some ideas that of course are different from everyone else’s. The show does have glorious, glorious alumni and I hope everyone will be respectful of the show’s demise for a change.

  16. Jonathan Reiner says:

    Marlena —

    I did not not watch the Emmys this year (this coming from someone who has worked on the Emmys, covered the Emmys and won an Emmy!), I’m sad to say. The honest truth is that I fell asleep (tired from work, school, social life, dogs and community service) and knew that I would never find the time to watch them even if I DVR’d them.

    Sure, I miss the glory days, but I’ve moved on (as have millions of us). I cherish the memories, the friendships, the lessons and the love… but nothing lasts forever.

    JR

    Marlena says: I’m sure this letter is well-meant, JR. But I started in daytime, and I’ve done lots of other major entertainment journalism and am a college professor—but I still am interested in daytime. Some interests do last forever, for me! I did forget the Emmys were on and didn’t do picks this year. I had no expectations at all. Perhaps that’s why I was so struck at how unusually different it was than the same old bad annual shindig.

  17. JTG says:

    Gotta give ATI’s Jim Romanvich credit for getting the show on the air because no one else was going to lift a finger. Hopefully, some of the missing moments, like Bradley Bell’s speech will turn up on YouTube.

    However, I must agree that last year and this year’s B&B up until 6 weeks ago were HORRIBLE. The wretched Ham and Cheese (Ridge and Rick) storyline clogged up the show with ridiculous, revisionist crap. Acting that was so bad that it was routinely lampooned.

    Only recently, has B&B turned around, and that has been because of the wonderful Leslie Anne Down and Brandon Beemer and the rest of the Jackie M. crew. The romance, camp, and comedy have finally returned with a vengeance.
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    As for Guza and company winning the Emmy, I can only shake my head in disgust. More of the same poop will continue to clog GH’s plumbing system. What a shame.

    I know that you, Marlena, don’t like OLTL but it is the best soap on ABC. It is features more diversity than any other soap in terms of age, ethnicity/race, and sexuality. The acting is tops across the board with a few notable exceptions. Last week’s performance by Tika Sumpter as Layla was incredible. I hope to see her nominated next year.

    And, yes, I was disappointed in the short tribute to GL but I was extremely pleased that CBS/P&G flew the whole cast to California for the celebration. (Hopefully, that will make up for the actors having to change clothes in the back of cars or suffering with broken toilets.)

    Marlena says: Prior to the Emmys Jim Romanovich of the CW gave interviews and statements to everybody in soaps but my Aunt Tillie, but is he the one who is really responsible for the success of the Daytime Emmys? Or was it Dave McKenzie, who is listed as the executive producer of the show? Marlena would really like to know.

  18. esther says:

    I thought the show (the parts I watched) was okay, minus some factual errors (as Leona pointed out) but cutting off Brad Bell’s speech……I was horrified.

    Vanessa Williams does have a connection to daytime — she was nominated this year as Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program. I found her opening number delightful.

    TPTB like to have fashion shows or whatever because it breaks up the action — always having intro/clip/award, intro/clip/award, intro/clip/award becomes boring so that’s why you didn’t see THAT cut to make room for anything. They will never cut a live number.

    I can tell you why the show was respectful to soaps — it was written by Kenny Shapiro and the consulting producer was Al Schwartz — those two teamed together for years to bring you Emmys via dick clark productions. I have to disagree with you Marlena that the Emmys have been disrespectful to daytime all these years. I thought they were quite respectful during the dcp-produced years.

  19. Levi says:

    I am looking foward to the 60 minutes special coming up. I think a repsected show like that will give an honest report about Guiding Light. I think that week of Septemebr 14th, GL deserves to have full covers on all 3 magazines.

    Marlena, what do you think of the Y&R cameos (if it is true, which it think it is) to end GL? I love Jeanne Cooper but I guess I have mixed reactions. It is a noble gesture but is it needed? I think this is GL’s time to end it with just the cast. This is just a personal opinion.

    But I think GL coverage will be there in the next few weeks and a lot longer than the emmys gave.

    I just hope a lot of people do not badmouth the show too much when it ends. I would say don’t dwell on the last 2 yrs and focus on all 72 years. I will love the ending no matter what because die hard fans stay with it right until the end.

    I think the last 6 months have been great. it has been great to be invested in some good stories.

  20. LindaV says:

    I was really glad we did get to see the Daytime Emmys after all. Vanessa W. did a great job – she was comfortable as hostess and there is no denying her talent. B&B I think really deserved the recognition after all these years. They do have some great talent on the show – Jack Wagner, Susan Flannery, Lesley Anne Down, Leslie Kay, Heather Tom, etc., but with a half hour format some are put out to pasture for quite a while. The good thing about the half hour is that if it stinks one day, we’ve only wasted a little time, LOL. Betty White is such a joy! But Guza winning – even he was apparently too embarassed to show up. I do agree that the dialogue for certain characters, such as Alexis, Diane, Patrick and Robin, is usually quality stuff, but the rest and the overwhelmingly bad storylines is undeserving of any award.

  21. Gene says:

    Marlena, great column. The Emmys was great, but it did have some setbacks, the missing Brad Bell’s speech and the GL tribute, but whoever did the show should get kudos for trying to put up a good show for Sunday night. And the winners was well deserve of the award and hope that the Emmys come back next year. I don’t think that fans are mad at GL, I think they are mad at the tiic who let the show go out the way it did and it didn’t have to go out like it is now.

    Marlena says: Hi Gene! I will have a column about GL going up later this week!

  22. Judy says:

    I too am glad that at least they Daytime Emmy’s aired. But like many I think the time was poorly managed. They simply tried to get too much into 2 hours. By the end I felt like I had whiplash. I also think Guiding Light deserved the longer tribute than Sesame Street. Did we really need to see the Emmy being eaten? I think not. Sesame Street is still going and I think will be honored again but this was the last chance for GL. And were the actors really flown out there or did they pay for it? I know the ATWT actors had to pay their own way and then we hardly saw any of them on the show. I thought GL actors had to do the same.

    As a soap fan I watch to see the soap stars. It was criminal that they couldn’t even flash the nominees on the screen along with cutting the clips. How can you not show nominees? And how about showing the audience more? I want to see the actors!

  23. Matthew J. Cormier says:

    Um, i recall that when AW left the air they did a tribute at the daytime emmys. I recall Linda Dano, Stephen Schetzer, Lisa Peluso and others discussing it during the broadcast.

  24. Katie says:

    Hey Marlena did you see that Michael Fairman posted the entire GL tribute? It was good, had a lot more moments in it, the ending was what we the viewers got to see. I did find it strange that no one has complained about GL not being included in the fashion show, yes I thought it a stupid segment but that put the icing on the cake for me. Other than that good show.

  25. Katie says:

    Also for people that don’t know this GL is eligible for next years Emmy’s they just need to send in their Emmy reel by this Friday.

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