The 2024 Daytime Emmys: Marlena’s Picks

Unfortunately, 2024 was a lackluster soap year overall, disrupted as it was by a pesky writer’s strike. Even so, there were some shining moments, thanks as always to the good work of the professionals we like to think of as “our people” — those who produce, write and act in the shows that are still hanging in there, no matter what is going on, or … [Read more...]

Happy 60th Anniversary, Another World

I’d like to dedicate this column to my hard-working friend Karen McKenny, who spent the past few months organizing a 60th birthday party for our beloved NBC soap Another World, so sadly missed since it went off the air in 1999. The anniversary tribute took place in Tarrytown, N.Y., and was attended by many of the soap’s stars. I’m so sorry I wasn’t … [Read more...]

The Bad Old Days of the O.J. Trial

The news of O.J. Simpson’s passing last week at age 76 brought back a flood of memories for long time soap fans. We remember vividly how his sensational murder trial pre-empted our soaps almost every day from November 1994 to October 1995. There were 10 soaps on the big three networks in those days. Would the OJ trial help knock them off the air? … [Read more...]

A Soap Miracle At Last!

After decades of watching and writing about daytime soap operas, even this most fervent advocate must confess to a bit of ennui lately. But all is not lost. Now comes the best soap opera news in more years than I care to remember! Just when it looked as if the television networks were losing interest in soaps, CBS, with the support of the NAACP, … [Read more...]

General Hospital: A Time for Celebration and a Time for Sorrow

General Hospital’s 60th anniversary celebration earlier this month was a fun collage of bits and pieces of history that triggered nice memories from the long tenure of the soap we all love so much. But in the end, the 60-minute romp was a disappointment. Instead of a examining why this iconic soap has endured for so long, the show treated us to … [Read more...]

A Death in the Family

Marlena grew up as a spoiled, and very lonely, child. My parents both worked full-time.  Like many other “latch key kids,” I eased my childhood loneliness by watching daytime soap operas. Soap characters became my childhood “friends”—and my involvement with them led to a 40-year career covering soaps. My loneliness was cured decades later when I … [Read more...]

Looking Back at “Another World”

When I was a lonely teenager, soaps filled my after-school hours with surrogate friends and family.  Another World became my favorite when young vixen Rachel Davis, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, played by a very young and poignant Robin Strasser, seduced chiseled businessman Steve Frame (George Reinholt), breaking up his romance with … [Read more...]

Tom Lisanti’s Amazing New Book on Ryan’s Hope Is a Gift to Soap Fans Everywhere

Tom Lisanti’s many followers know him as Mr. Sixties Cinema, based on his wonderfully collectible series of 10 books on that era’s pop culture. In such richly evocative studies of the period as Hollywood Surf and Beach Movies, Drive-In Dream Girls, and Film Fatales, as well as biographies of Carol Lynley and Pamela Tiffin, he tackles his subjects … [Read more...]

The Soap Opera World Mourns Recent Losses

  Soap Opera Mourns Recent Losses: It has been a heartbreaking time for those of us who love daytime TV.  Five of our beloved actors and three top-rated soap journalists have left us in recent months. We Soap Opera Weekly alumni have lost our beloved managing editor Robert Shorke, 51, and features editor Katie “Caelie” Haines, 54.  … [Read more...]

Melted Ice: The Ice Princess Story Revisited

Marlena delights in introducing a new contributor, Jeffrey S. Pearlstein. Jeff is a veteran soap journalist and long-time colleague of Marlena’s who has written for many soap magazines.  He is an expert in soap history, a wonderful interviewer, and his great passion for soaps shines through in everything he does.  He is also a wonderful … [Read more...]