With the Prospect Park deal, to bring One Life to Live and All My Children to the internet, seemingly back on track we wonder which other fallen soap operas would you like to return with new episodes premiering online?
For this poll we have decided to include soaps from America, Australia and, of course, the UK itself. We’ve also been extra generous, as its Christmas, and allowed you to select two choices just encase you can’t decide between two of them! So what are the options; let’s begin with…
Guiding Light which was the longest running soap opera in the world when it ended on CBS in 2009; it had clocked up a truly staggering 72 years on-air. That’s because GL, as it was also known, first started out on NBC radio in 1946; then it moved to CBS radio in 1947 and premiered on television in 1952. Guiding Light remained on CBS radio though until 1956! Since the show ended in 2009 classic episodes have been released on DVD meaning fans can still enjoy the antics of residents of Springfield.
As The World Turns ran on CBS between 1956 and 2010 and clocked up more than 13,000 episodes by the time it came to an end. ATWT was created by Irna Phillips who also created Guiding Light. In its final years on-air the soap was memorable for its gay romance storyline between Luke Snyder (Van Hansis) and Noah Mayer (Jake Silbermann) which attracted media coverage around the world. A clip of the duo’s first kiss was a huge hit on You Tube. Since ATWT’s end episodes of the soap have been released on DVD.
Sunset Beach was produced by Aaron Spelling and as such it was full of high drama and implausible plots. Sunset Beach had cursed jewellery, masked murderers, evil twins, earthquakes and tsunamis! Sunset Beach became cult viewing for millions of fans but its low ratings spelled its end in 1999. However, the show was such a hit in the UK that broadcaster Channel Five offered to pay the soaps’ production costs but NBC wasn’t interested and the show ended.
Crossroads was the Motel soap that millions of viewers in the UK tuned into every episode but the press and critics hated it. The critics lampooned it for what they perceived as poor production values and shoddy acting but 18 million viewers were watching Crossroads at the height of its popularity. The Birmingham based soap had a charm of its own made headlines were leading lady Noele Gordon, who played Motel owner Meg Richardson, was sacked in 1980. ITV axed Crossroads in 1988 but it was revived in 2001 for a short run starring Jane Gurnett, Sherrie Hewson and Cindy Marshall-Day. ITV ordered a drastic revamp of Crossroads in late 2002 with Jane Asher, Anne Charleston and Kate O’Mara drafted in to give the soap a touch of glamour. The revamped Crossroads premiered in January 2003 and was cancelled eight weeks later and ended its run May of the same year.
Brookside was created by Phil Redmond who had previously created Grange Hill and would later create Hollyoaks. The Liverpool soap had plenty to say its early years and was especially politically charged during the dark days of Maggie Thatcher’s premiership. Brookside was the soap that tackled social issues in a gritty/in-depth way which other soaps dared not; the rape of Shelia Grant (Sue Johnston) was a particularly memorable storyline from the 1980s. As Brookside entered the 1990s it became more sensational and used big stunts and wild storylines to attract viewers. Channel Four decided to axe Brookside in 2003 after 21 years on-air. For the 30th anniversary of its launch a DVD was released, after years of tireless campaigning by fans, with a range of episodes from across its run.
Eldorado was the soap the BBC hoped would be as popular as EastEnders; launched in 1992 bosses at the corporation had huge hopes for the Spanish based serial. Unfortunately Auntie Beep had undermined the soaps first few months on-air by bringing forward its premier date prompting production to begin before sets were completed, scripts were written or actors were ready. Eldorado’s first few months on air were a disaster and it was quickly mauled by the press BUT the soap managed to turn its fortunes around and by 1993 it had ironed out earlier problems and enjoyed good ratings. The press though had inflicted enough damage on Eldorado and the BBC decided to cancel it after just one year. Earlier this year it was reported the BBC were considering reviving Eldorado prompting some support, surprisingly, from sections of the press!
The Young Doctors was created by Reg Watson who was the first producer of British soap Crossroads. Watson would later create Neighbours . The format of the hospital based soap was one that has been replicated many times around the world; it followed the life, love and traumas of the doctors, nurses and patients of the hospital at which it was based. The Young Doctors was a huge hit with viewers but much like Watson’s other soaps it was criticised for its low production values. But once said such programmes were made for viewers not for television critics! A remake of The Young Doctors was under developmented several years ago but has since got stuck in development-hell with fellow Reg Watson soap Prisoner Cell Block H (or just Prisoner to those of you who are not UK based) being remade instead.
Sons and Daughters was also created by Reg Watson – a man who has given us many enjoyable soaps across the years and one of his creations, Neighbours, is still with us today. Sons and Daughters ran between 1981 and 1987 and, as with Watson’s other soaps, was a huge hit with audiences. The soap has been successfully remade in several countries such as Germany’s Verbotene Liebe which launched in 1995 but has since moved away from its original source and established its own identity.
So there are the voting options and remember you can pick two soaps. To vote simply find the poll on the right-hand side of our website. The poll will appear in our news articles between the Recent Stories and Recent Comments boxes – have a look there now and you’ll see it.
And don’t forget you can also comment on the poll and the soaps featured – or not featured as the may be – by using the box at the bottom of this page. Voting will close on January 1st 2013 so vote now.