Could AFTRA be Doing More to Keep the Soap Opera Genre Alive?

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Deadline Hollywood's Nikki Finke has put the American Federation of Television and Rado Artists (AFTRA) on blast in a scathing new blog post detailing what Finke says the union is failing to do for its members. Here's what she has to say about AFTRA in regards to recent daytime soap opera turmoil.

Stephanie

"..It's not doing anything publicly to oppose the shuttering, relocating, or future shortening of daytime dramas whose actors and crews make up an important part of AFTRA membership. Unfortunately, AFTRA has claimed exclusive jurisdiction over soap opera actors, which is why the Guild's inactivity on these matters is so bewildering. The final episode of TV's longest running scripted series Guiding Light will be shown on CBS September 18th after 72 years on the air. Nor has AFTRA spoken about efforts to find another home for Procter & Gamble's Guiding Light, despite such a rich history on radio and then TV and such loyal fans. AFTRA also remained inactive this past week when ABC Entertainment, after multiple denials, finally announced that All My Children is moving from NY to LA which will idloscate many actors and other workers on the show. Meanwhile, ABC also  is denying rumors that, if it adds The Aisha Tyler Show (already okayed for a pilot) to its daytime line-up, the network may trim two of its daytime soaps to a half-hour each. AFTRA has provided no public updates on any of these soap developments."

In 2008 cast members from CBS Daytime's The Bold and the Beautiful, headed by leading lady Susan Flannery, seriously considered seeking out a new collective bargaining agent. As for the rumors that ABC may cut two soaps to a half hour to accomodate Aisha Tyler's piloted talker, multiple sources tell Daytime Confidential Tyler's vehicle is currently stuck in "development hell" as the comedienne reportedly isn't testing well with the target demographic ABC was hoping to attract for the show.