Former One Life to Live Head Writer Michael Malone to Speak at Duke University Thursday


The man responsible for the powerful Marty Saybrooke (Susan Haskell) gang rape storyline, as well as the saga of gay teen Billy Douglas (Ryan Phillippe) on ABC Daytime's One Life to Live, has gone academic. Michael Malone will be speaking at noon, this Thursday, April 26 at Duke University.

The best-selling novelist, short story writer and TV veteran currently teaches a course at the University entitled "American Dreams, American Movies." His lecture, part of Duke's "Office Hours" program, will be on the art of storytelling. The event is being webcast via Duke's Ustream channel.

Are you excited to hear what Malone has to say about storytelling? Watch a few clips from his iconic first stint on OLTL below, then sound off in the comments!



7 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Camp is not a sustainable model
    Camp is not a sustainable model

    I suggest Ron C., Frank V. Scott H., Hogan S., Maria Arena Bell and Brad Bell all need to be watching and listening to what this man has to say. Because none of the four remaining soaps are at least 80% good. It is like 50% at best for Days/GH, between 30-50% for B&B and 20-30% for Y&R.

    It seems like Agnes Nixon needs to have head writer conference and teach these people how to write a fully engaging soap that fans want to watch. Because they all seem to forget what made them so good in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

    It is time for constitutional soap convention!

    Douglas Marland and Bill Bell’s pictures would be hanging in the background too.

    As apart of the conference we have these required courses:

    -Casting 101: On how to cast actors that “pop” off the screen.

    -Douglas Marlands Rules on How Not To Wreck A Soap: On why these old rules still apply in the new school of soap.

    -Diversity and inclusion: How to cast and write for non-white American ethnic and racial groups of all sexual orientations.

    -Bill Bell’s Creativity 102: Learning how to pull story from air.

    -Daytime Social relevance with Agnes Nixon: On how to write socially relevant stories that educate and entertain audiences, while drawing mainstream media attention.

    -The Necessity of Continuity: On how to draw on a soap’s true history to have relevant impact on contemporary storylines.

    -Generation Y: On how to create engaging younger characters that will take your soap into the future.

    -Story Bible 304 with Sally Sussman Morina: Sally who once wrote a 7 year story bible for Generations teaches the art of writing long story.

    -Vision 360: In this class we discuss how to create a compelling vision for a soap that wins fan approval.

    -Deal With network Brass: How to navigate through the slosh of network brash to create and maintain the best story’s and characters the audience loves.

    – The Art of Controversy with Agnes Nixon: The Queen of daytime shares with you tips from her experiences at how to use controversial storylines to your advantage.

  2. Profile photo of soapfan616

    david46208—you are my soap fan hero of the day. I agree with every word you wrote.

    Unfortunately today’s “wisdom” is that what was good storytelling during the heydays of Bell, Marland, Nixon and Labine is not relevant today. I read the arguments all the time that the rules need to be thrown out, that given this era’s ultra-competitive environment that what used to be good storytelling can no longer capture an audience. We get reminded that Guza brought GH the top rating in the 18-49 demo as if that has anything to do with good story telling or moving this dying genre forward. We get reminded of the “wonderful” and “miraculous” things FV/RC did at OLTL. Camp has won out over quality. Hacks are rewarded and re-hired and praised. Soaps are written to the lowest level stereotypical soap fan, not to anyone with an IQ above double digits.

    It’s highly unlikely today’s writers even know how bad they are. I’ve heard many spout their “love” of writers like Nixon and Labine and Marland yet they churn out stories like the “Tale of Two Todd’s”, “I don’t know if my serial killer husband got me pregnant or if his twin brother raped me”, and “oops I thought it was just a cold but I caught DID but still run a successful fashion magazine”.

    I did not always appreciate all that Mr. Malone did at OLTL. I was never a daily viewer. However, by today’s lack of standards, he was practically a genius. He seemed to understand that soaps had to change to survive yet never forgot that the story is the thing. If the story doesn’t resonate, nothing else matters. Unfortunately, hacks who came after Malone had to re-write and change his stories. Look what happened to Marty and Todd. Look who became the hero and who got trampled on.

    Networks don’t care enough about the shows to hire anyone with any level of success at writing a soap. They’re just buying time until the fans give up and they replace it with a talk show.

  3. Profile photo of Jabot1991

    I absolutely LOVED his OLTL, both stints… Him and Josh Griffith made OLTL so great. I wish they were never fired/left in 2004 or they could have brought them back to the show in 2008 along with Linda Gottlieb as EP and they stayed till the end. The stories would have been different.

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