A poll by ATV Today has revealed that the BBC’s Spain-set soap Eldorado is the soap our readers would most like to see return.
With the news that ABC daytime soaps All My Children and One Life To Live are to return with new episodes premiering online we asked our readers which other axed soaps they would like to see in a similar format. We picked soaps from American, Australian and British television to give our readers the widest possible choice and after a week of voting the poll has closed with Eldorado emerging the clear winner. The sunny saga finished with 46% of the vote and was ahead for the entire duration of the poll.
The short-lived serial was created by Julia Smith and Tony Holland who had earlier brought EastEnders to fruition for the corporation in 1985. It revolved around ex-pats living in the fictional Costa Del Sol town of Los Barcos with Patricia Blake, Polly Perkins, Jesse Birdsall and Derek Martin among its cast. Eldorado lasted just a year between 1992 and 1993, clocking up 156 episodes across a thrice-weekly transmission pattern.
Eldorado was axed by the BBC following low-ratings for some of its run and a mauling in the UK press. The soap has become a byword for dodgy acting, fluffed lines, bizarre plots and poor production values. However, many hold the view that it improved during its year on-air and consider the decision by BBC One controller Alan Yentob to axe it hasty. While Eldorado’s ardent fans may be biased, the show saw an increase in viewership in its last months.
In second place with 22% of the vote is another British soap; Crossroads. The Midlands-based motel saga ran from 1964 to 1988 when it was axed by Central Television bosses but found a new – but short – lease of life when it was revived in 2001 by ITV only to be axed again in 2003. Crossroads still remains hugely popular today and DVD releases of episodes from the original series have helped the soap remain firmly in the public’s affection. The soap has its own Appreciation Society and will mark fifty years since the first transmission in 2014.
In third place with 15% of the vote is former CBS daytime soap As The World Turns which came to an end in 2010 after more than 50 years on-air. In its final years ATWT gained press interest around the world for a gay romance storyline between Luke (Van Hansis) and Noah (Jake Silbermann) with a video of the pair kissing proving to be a huge hit on YouTube. Luke and Noah became the first real ‘gay super-couple’ of the daytime soaps in America and even if some of the audience weren’t appreciative of the storyline it put ATWT on the map – for all the right reasons – during its dying years on-air.
In fourth place with 15% of the vote, but with fewer votes than ATWT, is Channel 4’s cul-de-sac in Liverpool based saga Brookside. The show marked its 30th anniversary in 2012 with a DVD release containing memorable episodes from across its run. Brookside was axed by Channel Four in 2003 after 21 years on-air and since then there have been repeated calls for the series to return. Fans have been campaigning for several years for episodes to be released and their calls were heard in time for the shows anniversary last November.
In fifth place with 5% of the vote is Sunset Beach – the bonkers NBC soap from the late 1990s that has a cult following around the world. It may have been off-air for nearly 15 years but that doesn’t mean fans have forgotten all about the saga’s wacky storylines. Viewers were treated to Earthquakes, serial killers and evil twins in the saga’s few years on-air. Sunset Beach was so successful in the UK that when NBC announced its decision to axe it British broadcaster Channel Five offered to contribute towards the production costs but alas SB remained cancelled.
Australian soap The Young Doctors, created by the legendary Reg Watson, also had 5% of the vote but had fewer votes. Another bonkers NBC soap, Passions, finished the poll with 4% of the vote. CBS series Guiding Light, which ran for a staggering 72 years before it was axed, finished with 1% of the vote as did another Reg Watson soap, Sons and Daughters.
ATV Today would like to thank all those who voted in the poll.