There may be only four broadcast soaps left but the folks at “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of Our Lives,” “General Hospital” and “The Young and the Restless” served up plenty of sudsy, sensational moments in 2013 — many of which will earn gold statues June 22 at the 41st annual Daytime Emmy Awards.
“Bold’s” most combustible moment last year was Katie ripping into her husband, Bill, and her sister, Brooke, over the affair they had while she battled post-partum depression.
“We submitted that for Outstanding Drama Series,” says Bradley Bell, nominated as “Bold’s” executive producer and head writer. “The storyline’s a timeless classic, and there were so many great performances.”
“Bill and Katie had been married for four years, which in daytime is an eternity,” notes Heather Tom, a five-time Emmy winner and a nominee this year for lead actress. “People are really invested in them so when it unraveled it was heartbreaking.”
Among “Days’” highlights was Kristen and Brady’s wedding, which came to an abrupt halt after the groom’s mother played footage of the bride’s sexy romp with Eric — the priest officiating at the ceremony!
“That was the culmination of a long story arc,” says nominee Greg Meng, “Days’” co-executive producer. “Eileen Davidson (a lead actress nominee for her perf as Kristen) gave a brilliant performance. We also had Will and Sonny’s romance, and some dark comedy moments with Kate, Sami and Gabi disposing of Nick’s ‘body.’”
Fans of “Restless” ran through several boxes of tissues during the storyline in which young Delia was unintentionally struck dead by Adam’s car after her father left her unsupervised for just a few fatal moments. “It was a very difficult story to tell,” says nominee Jill Farren Phelps, “Restless’” executive producer. “The primary source of the story was to tell the journey of two fathers — and all that happens with them and the people who were affected by this.”
Another standout for “Restless” was the tribute to the late Jeanne Cooper, who played matriarch Katherine Chancellor on the show for 40 years.
“That episode was a love letter to Jeanne,” says Angelica McDaniel, senior vice president, CBS Daytime. “We had 25 cast members on set to share their emotions. Jeanne’s last moment had her going up the stairs as (her rival) Jill asked if she could help. It was written for Katherine to say no. Jeanne added a ‘good night.’ And that was the last time we saw Katherine.”
The tribute program earned a Special Class nomination.
However, not all the memorable moments of soaps from last year are up for accolades. While eight “GH” actors were nominated, the show itself was surprisingly shut out in series, writing and directing categories.
The most polite word that could be used about the glaring snubs is “ironic” since “GH’s” dream team, executive producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati, delivered one memorable moment after another last year. The pair resurrected the Nurses Ball (which featured Rick Springfield performing “Jessie’s Girl”), staged a deadly confrontation between Luke and Laura and evil Helena Cassadine, revisited the classic Lesley/Monica feud, and brought back veteran Rachel Ames as Audrey to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary episode.
Finola Hughes, strangely absent from the lead actress category, briefly played a dual role in which she brought to life both Anna and evil Dr. Obrecht, masquerading as Anna. “Finola gave just enough so that you knew something was off,” Carlivati says. “She was brilliant.”
“One of the real highlights (from 2013) is that our ratings are so strong,” says Valentini. “ ‘GH’ is vital and alive. That’s our most important accomplishment.”