Spinning As The World Turns’ Luke and Noah — Again!

Thinking Fans weigh in on the Nuke “surprise”: Aprioriguy avers “This is about ATWT deliberately not promoting this couple” …  while keie loved the surprise so much, he “literally jumped out of my chair and screamed!” … and Michael thinks “The show is trying to have it both ways — being progressive while trying to appease conservatives.” See Comments below.


Luke and NoahBy Marlena De Lacroix

I was out of town yesterday and I missed the As the World Turns episode in which Luke and Noah made love for the first time.  Why?  ATWT‘s production company, Telenext chose not to publicize it, in other words, give the viewers any advance notice of the event.  What were they afraid of?  Protestors walking the streets of Brooklyn, where the show is taped?  Or equally abhorrent (to a production company which is starved for soap viewers right now), that advance word of the sex would discourage viewers from watching the show at all?

What cowards!   Every soap viewer knows that advance story information in the form of spoilers is regularly ladled all over the soap magazines and on many, many websites.  It’s the network publicists and, in ATWT‘s case, the production company, Telenext, who give out highly detailed advance notice of what they want  to publicize.  So it’s mighty, mighty telling that Luke and Noah’s lovemaking was left a “surprise” to viewers.

Of course it’s the mission of public relations to do anything to spin their product  (here, a soap story)  any way they want.  But the Luke and Noah love story means a lot to a lot of viewers and is in fact soap opera history.  To discourage viewership by leaving it as a “surprise” is scurrilous.

In a medium where straight couples normally have sex after a day or at most a week, Luke and Noah’s lovemaking was a year and a half in the making.  Last year,  ATWT  did not even let Luke and Noah kiss for months.  And now, with the lack  of advance publicity for the lovemaking, Telenext and ATWT are being unfair  to their viewers. The way in which this story has been told is beyond curious.  The Telenext publicists have been so manipulative in spinning their world, they almost have it going backward!


  1. As a HUGE fan of Luke and Noah (Nuke), I’m actually happy that they did not publicize the boys’ FIRST TIME. It should always be “not a big deal” in the first place, that a soap couples are making love. It also prevented the homophobic right from railing against the couple beforehand. If you are a REAL fan of the couple, you didn’t miss anything. There is DVR, TiVo, fan sites and YouTube. if you are a “fan”, you SAW them either live or later, becuase YOU RECORD the show. 🙂

    I think MOST Nuke FANS actually wanted to be surprised and *I* was. I just want themt on MORE, MORE, MORE,being a NORMAL copule (making love, fighting to stay together, having interesting stories and making the FANS happy!) This is small step for Nuke being “treated like other souple couples”. Later when it’s no big deal anymore, they’ll have the spoiler: Luke and Noah make love (as they have with others)

    Looking forward to Valentine’s Day!

  2. PetiteMiel says:

    As one of those fans you’re so concerned with I have to say I didn’t mind in the least that it was a surprise. I like the fact that the show doesn’t always feel the need to reveal all it’s secrets to the soap press ahead of time. They released a carefully worded spoiler and a sneek peek on Friday that gave enough info to get the fans wondering if Monday would be the day. They was the only reason I watched the show life something I don’t ordinarily do.

    I also think it’s out of line calling them cowards just because the soap press didn’t get the scoop. They are as far as I know still the only daytime drama with a male/male couple that are lovers so cowards might be a word better used for other shows not ATWT.

    Marlena says: The group I called coward are the Telenext publicists who decide what to disclose to the press. I’ve been a soap press member since 1980, so I am certainly not puting my colleagues down.

  3. What?!?! I’m behind on my soap viewing and I had no idea this was happening! Thank you for addressing this serious lack in judgement, Connie dear!

  4. Thanks for telling it like it is Marlena!

    TeleNext’s handling of Luke and Noah’s story has been shameful. This whole storyline is deeper in the closet than closet-case Brian. If ATWT wants people to believe that they are actually supportive of this storyline like they claim they are, they need to remove the secrecy veil and the code words surrounding this story and start promoting the couple as they do other couples. there is not way they would have brushed such an important moment under the rug for a straight couple. Hints and teasers would have been on the covers of the soap rags and in the various spoilers.

    The love scene definitely did not live up to the build up and anticipation that ATWT created by dragging it out for an unbelievable year and a half, but at least it is a start. Let’s hope that ATWT do not think they are now off the hook in regard to physical intimacy for Luke and Noah. I expect more physical intimacy in the future for this couple, not less. A credible couple, needs to be shown having regular physical intimacy.

    Marlena says: Thank you! I am so happy to be perfectly understood! Given advance knowledge (which is what public relations people always give the press), this story could have gotten the soap magazine (or regular magazine) covers it has so richly deserved. Most major soap couples are given covers when they reach a milestone in their relationship in soap magazines. By not publicizing plots as usual, Telenext deliberately kept the spotlight off this story and Luke and Noah fans got nothing. That is something to be angry about!

  5. I’m not exactly sure if you consider yourself an actual “maintream fan” but most everyone is genually THRILLED that it was a surprise. Remember their third kiss? Would that have been as affective if it was spoiled?

    We are NOW getting the attention, and we didn’t need it beforehand.

    If you polled 100 hardcore Nuke fans, I’m guessing more than 90% will agree with me. The rest may have just been initially upset that they missed it live.

    As PetiteMiel pointed out, the spoiler we did get was vague enough for us to actually HOPE. More than ever. So if someone was that big of a Nuke fan, they would have been prepared.

  6. You know I still remember a time where everything on a soap opera was a surprise. When the audience actually FELT the shock of a cliffhanger or the joy of an unexpected coupling. So, as a HUGE Luke and Noah fan, I was SO happy that I had no clue they would finally be together.

    And though I can understand in some way the frustration you feel, I have to wonder where was all this outrage, all this complaining and calling the show on the carpet when WE the fans were ASKING for a Luke/Noah love scene? There was little to no support from much of the soap press (aside from perhaps SOW’s Mala Bhattacharjee) and no real kind of inquiring of TPTB as to why it was taking so long.

    So, I ask…if the show was shown so little real interest or involvement from the press as to what was going on with Luke and Noah’s relationship, why SHOULD they have given away such a scoop? Fans for the couple saw it because they watch the show. Those who didn’t will go find it either on YT or on CBS.com and see it. So, those who really matter get to see it. I assume that is what is important to the show.

  7. You know to me, and this is just my personal opinion, I think in alot of ways soap fans, (I mean the ones that actually take time to buy the mags, find messageboards for the characters they like, etc.) have become to spoiled.

    I myself remember the days when, okay, here’s an example:

    Then: You literally see somebody hanging off the edge of a cliff. It’s the last shot on Friday. You would actually have to wait until Monday to see if said character would be saved. Sure, it was a popular character. So you were pretty much assured that the character would survive. But how?

    Now: In the previews for next week. You see said character hanging off the edge of the cliff. The characters love interest/mortal enemy is SEEN pulling the character up off the cliff. Or, on the cover of SOD/SOW, you see, “Guess how ‘blank’ survives”. There’s no anticipation to find out cause all you have to is type in google….ATWT spoilers. It’s all right there for the fan.

    Myself I enjoy the little/big moments that are not spoiled cause I’m just as bad as the next guy. I need to know now! Yesterday, was the most fun I’ve had watching a soap since I came home sat down after work and decided to watch and turned the DVR on and watched ATWT without going on the boards first and saw the 3’rd kiss in Old Towne. I literally jumped out of my chair and screamed! I was that excited. Yesterday was just the same. I was able to enjoy the moment without knowing exactly what was going to happen. Even though we were given little tidbits, it wasn’t spelled out for us in HUGE BLACK INK. It was fun.

  8. ATTN Nuke fans: Put down the happy pills for a second, quit understating your hunger for spoilers 😉 and understand that this is not about whether we like to be spoiled or surprised. This is about ATWT deliberately not promoting this couple. ATWT is making some glaring exceptions for this couple and this raises some questions that all Nuke fans should be concerned about. TeleNext’s failure to promote the couple and this scene, likely cost Van and Jake having a prominent position or mention of their storyline on the covers of SOD and SOW. That’s a big deal for soap actors because it gives them and their storylines exposure they wouldn’t normally have. (especially ATWT actors who rarely get featured on SOD/SOW covers) Not to mention the increased viewership that the show could have brought in if they had promoted this historic event.

    Marlena says: Thank you, thank you, sir! This is EXACTLY how I feel!

  9. I commend ATWT going as far as they have with the story. Should they have hyped it up more—yes they should have.

    This is a money couple for ATWT—we have invested so much time as fans in these two characters.

    I am not worried of the publicity so much as to what happens next. Is this just a ploy for another 6 months before they have sex again? I never know what to think with “Nuke” because I quite frankly don’t know if ATWT knows how to handle this storyline.

    I commend ATWT for the storyline but puzzled with the story if that makes sense.

  10. I guess I have a bit of a different take on it. If you read the spoilers carefully you’d have been tipped that something was going to happen. i believe I saw one spoiler that said something along the lines of “then Luke and Noah go home.” Now sure that was pretty cryptic, but one might have surmised that SOMETHING was going to go on. As for the soap press complaining about not being fed the story beforehand, maybe I have a different idea about the role of the press. I kind of thought you would write your own stories and not wait to be fed press releases. There were plenty of opportunities in the last year and a half to put Luke and/or Noah or Van and/or Jake on the cover of a magazine with the headline “Why can’t they have sex?” or “Why the double standard?”. I don’t remember seeing any of those. Where were all the hard hitting stories about the double standard treatment of the gay couple? I saw a number of interviews with both Jean Passanante and Chris Goutman and none of these interviews ever pressed them on the kissing ban or the totally timid treatment and presentation of Luke and Noah’s love story. I’d be a bit more sympathetic with the press’ concerns about being left out of the loop on this story if they had been a bit more of a champion for treating the boys right in the first place. Finally, I was quite happy to be surprised. From the moment Noah said “Let’s get out of here” to Luke until the scene where Luke locked the bedroom door, now that was some 15 minutes of suspense (are they really going to do it!?). I’d be a lot more sympathetic to the press feeling left out of the loop if they had been out there beating the banner for Luke and Noah in the first place. If it was so important for the press to get the heads up about Luke and Noah’s first time, why wasn’t it important enough for the press to write a few articles highlighting the glaring absence of that same first time. Just saying.

    Marlena says: We’ve always been pro Luke and Noah and have done columns on them. Click “As the World Turns” on the right and you”ll see the stories.

  11. Sorry, but this all sounds like SOUR GRAPES to me. I read all the justifications about why this should have been “spoiled” ahead of time, but it doesn’t change the wonderful surprise that the Jan. 12 episode was to all of the NUKE fans! I assume you’ll continue to “punish” As the World Turns and keep Van and Jake off the covers of the soap magazines. So what else is new?

    Marlena says: I haven’t worked for the soap magazines in years. This is what I do now. If I had known that this important milestone was coming up in Luke and Noah history, our site would have done something 1) special and 2) ahead of time on them, too.

  12. Chere Marlena,

    Well, I was indeed surprised they actually went through with it. In fact,I almost didn’t watch Monday’s episode when I saw that the snooze inducing Dusty and Paul were on. But since Lucinda and Luke were also on, I watched, fast forwarding through the characters I so dislike.

    And I wasn’t even paying hard attention to the Nuke scenes since it seemed their scenes were a retread of all their recent scenes. Was stunned when Noah planted a kiss on Luke since it’s usually Luke who initiates the kisses. That’s when I knew something was going to happen.

    I would have liked to have seen they in some foreplay or at least in bed together afterwards, Instead, we got them rushing upstairs, then cutting to them coming out of the shower post sex. But P&G is still a conservative company, so the fact they allowed Nuke to do it at all is a step forward, even if we didn’t get to enjoy them in the act.

    I’m of two minds about this controversy. I’m not a fan of spoilers. I firmly believe they are in large part responsible for the decline of soap quality in general and viewership in particular.

    But at the same time, important events in character stories should be publicized. Even back in the 70s, before the advent of constant spoilers, there was *some* publicity for events like Doug and Julie’s weddings or Karen on the witness stand.

    And while I’m mostly anti-spoilers, I am firmly against the double standard TeleNext is using regarding their treatment of Nuke. If they’re going to have this couple on the canvas, their storyline should be highlighted like any straight couple’s would. Nuke is always treated like the red headed stepchild. And that is wrong.

    So, thumbs down to TeleNext for their double standards. But thumbs up for finally letting Nuke do it.

  13. Hi Marlena!

    I for one hate spoilers, but that’s what this is about. Given that we live in a world of spoilers and I am told exactly who is going to get shot on GH every week and who’s going to survive cancer on GL every week and who’s going to have sex on AMC every week, it makes sense that I would be spoon fed EXACTLY the day and time for the Nuke Big Event on ATWT. Given technology, this would have spread like wild fire on other websites, including FaceBook, and it could have been a huge ratings suceess.

    Instead it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. They didn’t promote it, so people didn’t know. If the ratings were low, then Telenext can say, “oh those homosexuals don’t support our show, forget ’em.”

    There was absolutely politics and homophobia behind this. EVERY other couple that has sex for the first time gets a big notice on the cover of a mag. How disappointing Telenext took the ostrich way out.

    Marlena says: Thanks dear. This whole controversy is about not treating people equally. As you state so clearly, this is about politics and homophobia.

  14. I’m gonna throw in my two cents from a non-ATWT viewer. I mostly watch GH regularly, but I care about what goes on with Luke and Noah, due to what I read on the internet from ex-soap press, ex-soap writers, soap thinking fans all across the internet. Never what I read in soap magazines, because there is literally nothing about the two in the actual printed press. If I didn’t have the internet, I probably wouldn’t know that Luke and Noah even exist, and that’s sort of a shame. I understand the fact that spoilers do kind of ruin the soaps in this day and age, but now they are a fact of life. Whenever a popular couple on a soap is about to have sex for the first time, it’s usually on the cover of these soap magazines. This is the very first I am hearing of this event, and I probably would’ve tuned in had I known ahead of a time.

    I think this is the point Marlena was trying to make (?)

    Marlena says: Thank you Jen. This is EXACTLY the point I am making.

  15. I understand exactly where you are coming from – while ATWT was, for a while, the only show that was regularly featuring a gay couple and should be applauded for that, almost the whole time they have acted ashamed of the story while excepting the accolades for having the story. It’s aggravating. The show is trying to have it both ways – being progressive while trying to appease conservatives. It creates a weird situation where they have found themselves with a popular couple that they are absolutely terrified of publicizing. It makes you realize that we haven’t come quite as far as we had hoped – well, maybe WE have, but the networks haven’t.

    On a larger scale however, I completely agree that spoilers and the like have damaged soaps to a degree. Once upon a time, if you wanted to know what was going on with a soap, you HAD to watch it. Today, you know almost every story beat a week out and can choose to watch which particular day you want – if any days. Returning characters are announced a month or two in advance, you know the contract status of performers so if it looks like their character died but they haven’t left the show – well, no worries. I would like the soap press to monitor themselves. Interview actors on their characters or their home life; ask them opinions about their stories – talk about the stories AFTER they have happened, get their perspective. Spoil little things like two characters having a confrontation, but don’t reveal that one character pushes the other over a cliff. Tell us a character is in danger, but don’t tell us it’s Betty on Tuesday in a car wreck. Self-censorship is needed to try and get people watching again.

    Really – remember ATWT back in the day? Lucinda going to meet Lily’s birth mother for the first time – and it was IVA? Barbara crossing paths with the mysterious monk and it was a long-thought-dead JAMES? Duncan reveals that Beatrice was his DAUGHTER, not his SISTER? Duncan’s wife being held by the police was SHANNON, not Jessica? Never mind the story twists of Lily sleeping with Dusty before Holden, or Barbara trying to split up Margo and Tom, and on and on. All these stories came at the audience as complete surprises and kept me watching EVERY DAY. Now, there’s no point.

    Marlena says: Bravo, bravo for understanding what I am saying. Telenext does want to have it both ways. FYI, Marlena has been against spoilers since her very first soap job-writing, then for the late Jon-Michael Reed, syndicated columnist, in 1980. They spoil soaps! My column wasn’t about spolers. It was about hiding Luke and Noah’s making love from people who are against gays by not previewing or publicizing it.

    I have watched ATWT since 1969 — when Irna was writing it. I remember when she sent Tom to Vietnam. And I had the pleasure of both watching Doug Marland’s ATWT, and knowing him, too, throughout those years. This man was class all the way. He was always for equality and would be totally against hypocrisy and publicists who sought to spin his work. As his breakthrough Hank Elliot story showed, he was passionate about his beliefs!

  16. I also feel that the gay romance has helped gain viewers a little bit anyways. ATWT ratings aren’t too good but I think “Nuke” is what a lot of fans want to see. Of course you want to see Carly and Jack and others but this is a couple who I hope get a storyline not involving them to break up.

    I think Luke and Noah need to have a cover in the daytime magazines soon. They are a supercouple. In CBS Soaps in Depth they were in the top 50 I think of best supercouples. They have made their mark, made the audience care, and they deserve the publicity. This includes commericals and etc.

    I do remember and I wasn’t old enough to remember this, the Thirtysomething controversy in the late 80’s. I feel like we are being represented better but in daytime that we still are the sideshow. I am not saying to be front and center all the time but I hate to see Luke and Noah as a sideshow. They have earned much more than they get. And I feel for the actors who are under the radar most of the time.

    Well, I think homophobia as a nation is getting better but with the daytime audience it will get better I hope as the generations go on. As of now, I am not so sure. But in the future, I hope gays will get a cover and enjoy front burner storylines that the audience will enjoy.

    Marlena says: I agree — Luke and Noah should get lots of covers — they are a major, major daytime couple and are certainly not a sideshow. I think gay couples are the trend of the future on soaps. The audience wants to see real life as we all live it! The problem is: how long will daytime soaps be around?

  17. Marlena, do you think that this is the way to get the industry to move forward in the 21st century instead of the old way of things lately. I think the if the industry is going to survive, they need to get with the program and move on with different ideas instead of the same old same old all the time. I do wish the writing is good, but I glad they are take a step in the right direction and letting them move the relationship on forward. I just feel that they need to move on and move in a new direction to survive for the next five to ten years, if it is on-air.

  18. I can see this both ways…that it appears that the show is deliberately not publicizing things this the boys. But, did anyone saying that happen to notice the sneak peek on cbs.com last Friday. That kiss they showed was hot and it definitely got some people to watch Monday’s episode live instead of watching later in the day. And for many of us long time soap viewers based on the spoilers that were released them NOT having sex would have been more of a suprise them them having it. What spoiler have any of you read recently goes into details (Casey, Lucinda, Jade all went to Noah at Java. They met up in Old Town. The boys argued and kissed)…then suddenly SKIP a big section of time (later on they are back at the house eating ice cream). For people with half a brain it was clear something was going on in the middle that wasn’t being discussed.

  19. Sorry..hit send too quickly. I for one love that the fact wasn’t stated 100 percent in any spoilers. Why should the show do that to get press when the reactions always get them press anyhow? Bloggers, soap magazines etc. complained about not knowing about the 3rd kiss in April before hand but I think the show got more exposure for NOT letting it be known than they EVER would have gotten by telling people about it in advance. To say it was coming up would be simply a ratings ploy in my opinion.

  20. anonymous says:

    I don’t think psycho meg on atwt is a hoot!
    She spends most of her time chasing after and threating Damien.She leaves Eliza withPaul and Emily all the time. Now,Damien asks her to come and leave at his suite does Meg want her daughter to stay with her father all the time now? i don’t think Paul would be happy to think of his daughter staying at the lakeview with Lilys’ husband.The one thing I think Damien told the truth about, he doesn’t want to loseLuke or Lily but by sleeping with meg in the hopes that she won’t say anything about what he’s done, he is going to lose them. Oh and to get to some other queustions about atwt; why don’t they say what was wrong with Bob and why don’t they show Lisa?

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