DC #466: Jonathan Reiner Gets Real About Future of Soaps

With reality television becoming more and more popular, as production of scripted fare dries up, it’s good these day to be a jack of all genres. That’s exactly who Jonathan Reiner is. The veteran reality show producer (Starting Over, Big Brother), who got his start as an intern at Theater Week magazine, which led to him meeting the legendary Soap Opera Weekly editrix Mimi Torchin, and a career covering soaps, drops by Daytime Confidential to chat with Luke and Jamey about the differences and similarities between soaps and reality shows.

Reiner reflects on what it was like to work on daytime’s first and only reality soap, Starting Over, co-created by the late Mary -Ellis Bunim, and offers a fresh perspective on why network television dramas seem to be struggling so much. He also ponders the question, why didn’t Procter and Gamble seek out producers with reality television experience before embarking on their risky production model shift for the now-cancelled sudser Guiding Light? It’s an interview you won’t soon forget.

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5 Responses

  1. Profile photo of elbugten

    I’m looking forward to listening to this. I enjoyed Starting Over and was disappointed when it was cancelled after 2 seasons. I’ve often wondered what happened to the cast. Thanks for doing this interview.

  2. Profile photo of dodgeyboy2

    That was nothing new that we didn’t already know.
    Sorry, guys. The bottom line is they need to get rid of the dead weight on these shows. Invest in a smaller cast that the writers can write for all of them instead dealing with a cast of 35-40 and having so many different storylines going on at the same time and dropping the ball.

    I have to say OLTL is doing a great job right now balancing all their actors. My only complaint is that some of the actors are on way too much. I agree that there are fan faves, but there is a chance that there could be a character or couple that could have that factor if they just invested in them more.

    All the hair models need to take a one way ticket out of Soap Land! Right now we can’t afford to waste time. Also, there should be a clause in everyone’s contract (like a 90 day review) to see if they are even working on the show. On One Life, you have Stacy, who they shoved down our throats. The actors weren’t even happy with the storyline! Now you have taken a popular couple (Rex and Gigi) and demolished any chance of rooting for them. By adding Kim (although she is fun) and Schyler (who’s acting style/approach is exactly like John Paul), it just becomes a bigger mess.

    I am looking at the cast list of OLTL and there are characters on here that just don’t matter:
    Jared – Thank God he’s going. What a bore!
    Stacy – Just stop already!
    Langston- It was cute, but does she serve a purpose anymore?
    Markko – Read above

    Characters that are good, but not utilized:
    Marty – after a year of great story, now she’s wallpaper. Hello? 2 time EMMY WINNER! Kick it into gear now!
    Cristian & Layla – I could look at (David Fumero) all day, but c’mon! After this Fish story dies down what will they do again?
    Charlie- He’s soooo sweet! blah, blah, blah…. Didn’t he have a life before Viki? Let’s find out some dirt that Dorian dug up.
    Clint – Where did he go? We went from a GREAT triangle with Bo & Nora, then everything just vanished. Oh, that’s right, we have to watch Stacy!

    Give the fans what they want and listen to them! Ratings would improve if they just listened!!!

    Here’s what I love:
    Nora/Matthew/Bo – what a great story for Eddie
    Todd & Tea – (I love Blair too, but so sick of her w/Todd)
    Fish & Kyle – What a powerhouse storyline
    Natalie- I love the bitchy Nat
    NEW Rachel- Daphne is wonderful! Not crazy about her storyline, but love her chemistry with Hillary
    Can’t forget Tuc Watkins – although his appearances sometimes annoy me, this one I have really enjoyed. Plus, I want to sleep with him! LOL
    One last thing, Gina is coming back home!!! Let’s not ruin this peeps!
    Ok, well I’m off to watch OLTL now!



  3. Profile photo of PST

    What Frank said. Lastly, please save Rachel. Get her away from Greg and this horrible story line asap. Try her with John or Schuyler!!! Better yet, get rid of Greg or recast him.

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