The Best Soap Opera Moments of 2013

Best Soap Opera Moments of 2013

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.”

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  1. Rex Rivers says:

    The Young & The Restless’ major storyline about two fathers’ dealing with a tragedy featured Billy Miller & Michael Muhney in those roles. What Ms. Phelps failed to mention is that she ran off both actors at the conclusion of the story this past January. Since their departure, the ratings for the show have plummeted by over 20% and key female demos are in a downward spiral. This is the real story for Y&R now.

  2. Very disappointed that you failed to mention AMC & OLTL! Both are up for quite a few emmys this year and not one mention of them….shame on you!! Last night at the Creative Emmys they tied for Outstanding Direction in Art Achievement! If I am not mistaken that is the most prestigious award from the Creative Emmys. They both walked away with another award as well! I hope that OLTL wins for BEST Show and that Kelley Missal wins for younger actor tomorrow night!! And since I see no mention of it here, the Daytime Emmys will be live streaming both the Red Carpet and the awards show at starting at 3pm pst Make sure to watch!!

  3. Father Time says:

    Days of our Live was and still is the best!

    • Leslie says:

      Days WAS a great soap opera until the writers decided to move it from story lines about families to social commentary. There are still competent actors there, but also quite a few who just know how to indicate. I was a watcher from very nearly the beginning and now rarely watch and when I do it is recorded so I can fast forward … which happens a lot.

  4. Matt says:

    You forgot to include One Life to Live, it’s nominated for the Best Drama Series this weekend. Try again.

  5. Troy Lee Turner says:

    Well intentioned article, but I think you missed the overarching point. Instead of one favorite storyline, the big story should be that daytime’s future is as bright as its been in a number of years. The only piece missing is the mess between Prospect Park and ABC not being settled, so that either AMC/OLTL can procede, or have a final, dignified ending

  6. CTwildheart says:

    You didn’t mention One Life to Live at all – and they are up for some emmys; nothing about Tainted Dreams or Venice either.

  7. Paola Peña says:

    Why are people surprised that GH wasn’t nominated?! It’s been one plot point after another. Vets have been used terrible and flavors of the week have been propped in the most extreme manner. No one should be surprised and the lack of nominationg were justified.

  8. charcramer says:

    You left out One Life to Live. It deservedly edged out General Hospital for the best drama nomination despite the fact it aired on line, not on ABC. The GH moments you mentioned were brief ratings grabbers, but the story was all over the place.

  9. MattArmando says:

    Outstanding article. LOVE that all of you at VARIETY make it an effort to show the continued liveliness and recent upswing of ALL four daytime dramas. Keep it up!

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