Y&R’s Peter Bergman Wants ABC “Embarrassed” by All My Children and One Life to Live’s Success





He isn't a doctor and he doesn't play one on TV anymore, but that isn't stopping Pine Valley's former Dr. Cliff Warner from cheering on the reboots of All My Children and One Life to Live. In a new interview with Time, The Young and the Restless actor talks about his 19th Daytime Emmy nomination and the future of soap. Below are a few excerpts.

On how things have changed for the genre since he was first nominated for a Daytime Emmy back in 1983:
 

“It’s a slightly different animal now; back then, there were 11 different soap operas—and now there are four.”

On his hopes for the new AMC and OLTL:

“The state of the soap opera is actually healthier than it was a year ago,” he says. “This may be the perfect time for All My Children and One Life to Live to launch online. And I’d love to see it be a giant success and for ABC to be really embarrassed by it all.”

Nice to see after after almost 25 years as Ole' Smilin' Jack in Genoa City, Bergman still has love for his Pine Valley roots!

43 Responses

  1. Avatar of liason4real
    liason4real

    Cliff and Nina. Sigh. There was time when I watched all of the ABC soaps.

    Here’s hoping AMC & OLTL work out any kinks and end up having a long life online. :)

  2. Avatar of maxsmom
    maxsmom

    I loved Peter Bergman enough to give up my once favorite AMC to follow him to Y&R but I didn’t love him enough to watch Jack lose to Victor over and over again. I had other issues but Victor’s Victories were at the top of the list.

  3. Avatar of pferrando
    pferrando

    Actually ABC has already been embarrassed with the “Revolution” mess and the not so successful “Katie”.

    That’s probably good news for GH, which has enjoyed a bit of a revival, at least in the ratings recently. I don’t think it’s going anywhere any time soon.

    As for the CBS soaps. They’ll be fine if they continue to maintain or grow their audience. Hands down. No question.

    I’m not so sure with Days…which is up a bit over LY, but still not the most stable and last in that stupid 18-49 demo (that I don’t believe in). And NBC really doesn’t seem to have a Daytime lineup. I don’t count Today.

  4. Avatar of al0792
    al0792

    Can you explain why you think that? I think both shows are well produced and the storylines have been really good.. My only problem is with AMC jumping 5 years into the future. They are not explaining where the vets like Erica, Tad and others are. To me it’s really a distraction…

  5. Avatar of mfarris70
    mfarris70

    [quote=al0792]Can you explain why you think that? I think both shows are well produced and the storylines have been really good.. My only problem is with AMC jumping 5 years into the future. They are not explaining where the vets like Erica, Tad and others are. To me it’s really a distraction…[/quote]

    I think you’re directing your question to me? AMC I think has too many disjointed characters, the result of signing on who would have them and gaps where actors wouldn’t come back. The storylines aren’t interconnected and seem very old fashioned without anything new besides all the tech jargon. Some of the acting is really bad. On OLTL, I think the writing and directing are really amateur. Too many intense stares, not enough dialogue. The scene where Victor walked into the hospital to the family who thought he was dead– and there was practically no reaction!

    As I’ve said before, the new AMC seems to be all about character development and very little plot, while OLTL is all plot with very little character development. Prospect Park and the soap press created a lot of hype about these shows and I just don’t think they live up to it– so far. For now I’m chalking this up as “growing pains” with a new production team and I’ll keep watching with fingers crossed.

  6. Avatar of Cyberologist
    Cyberologist

    I think they (ABC) have already been embarrassed somewhat in that its a fresh approach to soap opera and they have redefined the genre (because of being online) while GH is drawling out the same predictable drivel in the same stale way;

    since I didn’t keep up with these two soaps much, I don’t know much of their history when they were recently cancelled so I’m good with just taking it from here and moving on. I wish them well and hope they succeed.

  7. Avatar of mfarris70
    mfarris70

    I’m perplexed by this “redefining the genre” claim. Haven’t most people been able to record the network soaps and watch at their leisure for decades now? SoapNet has been showing reruns of some of the shows for years. And all of the networks have a library of recent episodes on their websites. What am I missing here?

  8. Avatar of david46208
    david46208

    @mfarris70: I would counter that AMC is well defined. Agnes Nixon has always been about developing characters. Her soaps are character-driven.

    Yet, there is also plot too. We’ve got the starting of the development of a new younger couples AJ/Miranda and Pete/Celia. Each one is being done very differently. Miranda is the girl who wants to be with the “cool people” and does not see the love of her life is right there in front of her. Celia is looking to break away from the control that has existed over her life and Pete is just the man to do it. The Hubbard’s are leading the show with a mystery behind Cassandra being kidnapped by the Russian Mob and the connection to Zack. Cara is keeping a secret about her baby from the recently paroled David Hayward, while she is in a relationship with Dr. Castillo. Adam and Brook are musing about an impending wedding date as Brook’s memories of the past are consuming her. Finally, Dixie is fretting over her son son JR who is slowly coming out of a coma. This will have implications for everyone.

    But especially we are seeing the socially relevant elements pouring in (which is a Nixon touch) with Miranda dealing with how life is with a Lesbian mother. And how she is feeling for not have an quote unquote “normal family.”

    So I don’t see how there is no plot on AMC. Maybe you are uses to soaps where everything is explicit. Where like the mailman from the film Don’t Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood jumps out of the bushes and yells “PLOT!”

    What do you consider plot?

    On the other hand you did not give any reason why there would not be a long term play-out of AMC. With Agnes’s creative hands working with both shows in some form or fashion we have something going on there.

    Now if it ain’t your cup of tea then it ain’t your cup of tea.

    When it comes to acting all these soaps have some actors that most soap fans have accepted more or less. Yet the newbies on AMC are more adapt then Kristian Alfonso, Molly Burnett, Christal Kahlil, Drake Hogestyn, Jacqueline Macinnes Wooda, Nadia Bjorlin, Melody Thomas Scott, Lindsey Morgan, Ronn Moss and Caitlin Van Zandt to name a few at their beginning. Some one the actors on this list never learned how to act and still suck! So I don’t see what you are talking about.

    Come on now! Come on!

  9. Avatar of david46208
    david46208

    @mfarris70: I’m perplexed by your lack of understanding how Prospect Park is redefining the soap industry with these two properties? This company took 2 soaps that were considered dead in genre that the media said was dying out. “Soaps on a rope” they pegged it. They took two canceled ABC soaps and brought them to web. Doing what no one thought they could do, get people to tune and even pay for episodes on the web, that air four days a week. So the baddest people in show business right now are setting the tone and paving the way for the future of daytime. And AMC especially has the strongest opening for a daytime serial moving to the web. So if you are perplexed I don’t know what to tell you!

    But i’m perplexed that you are on a soap site and all you can do is talk about the genre like you are a visitor hoping for its downfall.

    Agnes take the script!

  10. Avatar of DanRyb
    DanRyb

    I couldn’t agree more with david46208 about AMC (I don’t watch OLTL nor have I ever). But I’m more into AMC than I have been in the past few years. Partly because I’m just so happy it’s back and party because what they’ve done with the show thus far I think has been REALLY good.

    There’s been plenty of interviews between cast and crew members stating AMC is going “back to its roots” and becoming much more character-driven rather than plot-driven and it’s already showing.

    Oh and mfarris70, yes, if you had a VCR or DVR you could watch at your leisure but I feel as though online has taken it even a step further than that. Even with VCR/DVR, you could only watch after it aired on TV. With it airing online, you literally can watch whenever you like. Episodes are posted in the early morning hours before most people wake up. So they are there whenever you want whether it’s morning, noon, or night. I actually wake up a bit earlier before work and watch AMC before getting ready to go. I no longer have to wait until 1pm for it to come on TV, when I’d be at work, and not be able to watch until I get home from work. Hope that makes sense. Basically my point is yes, you could watch at your leisure before, but it’s gone an extra step now.

  11. Avatar of david46208
    david46208

    @pferrando: Here is the breakdown

    Kristian Alfonso – Very limited acting range at best. The one crying scene when Zack died does not makeup for what did before and after it.

    Molly Burnett – She improved but it took her 2 years to start to get it.

    Christal Kahlil – Is she playing an adult or teenager? She can be recast at anytime and I won’t cry. But I do like Tyler and Lily if only for me wanting to see lily get some chocolate.

    Drake Hogestyn – Sucks! He ain’t never learned how to act. Despite all the method acting classes he has taken, he still is cringe-worthy.

    Jacqueline Macinnes Woods – She is alright. But I would still recast Steffi in a hot minute with Heidi Mueller (ex-Kay, Passions)

    Nadia Bjorlin – All she does is blink with those fake eyelash and say “oh…” She went from actress to hair model over the years.

    Melody Thomas Scott – She just became worthy of being called an actress in 2008. She is okay as long as she stays in her lane.

    Lindsey Morgan – Big suck! I wouldn’t cast her in a hemorrhoid commercial.

    Ronn Moss – In all those years with Susan Flannery as your co-star he never picked up an ounce of acting skills from her. He is the king of sucking!

    Caitlin Van Zandt – Even Kim Zimmer couldn’t hide her feeling of contempt when she shared scenes with this one during the handi-cam days of Guiding Light.

  12. Avatar of nysam
    nysam

    @mfarris70….very astute obeservations about AMC & OLTL. Well said. The sad thing to me is that the production teams aren’t “new”. 80% of the behind the scenes crew worked on these shows and in the industry for years. If this is what they think a younger generation wants they are mistaken. I see these shows making the same mistakes as they did on ABC that ultimately resulted in cancellation.

  13. Avatar of thecourt99
    thecourt99

    I am just going to throw this out there. Is it possible, just possible…that soaps are stronger than before because the soap fans united around the remaining soaps. Maybe cancelling OLTL and AMC was a trigger for everything.

    I don’t think ABC will be embarrassed, and I don’t think they will regret anything. If OLTL and AMC were still on the air, as they were before, I think all 3 ABC soaps would have been gone by now. I want to emphasize the “as they were before”. Brian Frons in charge and all…

    I also think that once all 3 ABC soaps were gone, DAYS would be next. I don’t know who would be the last standing of the Bell soaps.

  14. Avatar of
    nt40windows

    I agree, at the rate the new shows are going, I don’t think ABC is going to be embarrassed over anything to be quite honest.

    The other thing is, I don’t know one person who watches Y&R or B&B. I know they are supposed to be the top two, but I’ve never met anyone who watches them. I used to periodically watch both Bell soaps when Sheila was on, but haven’t done that in years.

  15. Avatar of fmat55
    fmat55

    [quote=mfarris70]While I would love for ABC to eat crow over canceling AMC and OLTL, the quality for long-term success is just not there yet.[/quote]

    How do you know this?

  16. Avatar of mfarris70
    mfarris70

    [quote=nysam]If this is what they think a younger generation wants they are mistaken. I see these shows making the same mistakes as they did on ABC that ultimately resulted in cancellation.[/quote]

    Thank you! I’m not the only one who sees it. Casting looks over talent, a very thin plotline. This is standard “bad soap” production and there’s nothing new about it.

  17. Avatar of mfarris70
    mfarris70

    Make no mistake, I really want AMC and OLTL to succeed but I’m disappointed in the shows that are being produced. That doesn’t mean I want them to fail or that I’m not a real fan. I know good soap when I see it and neither of these are. Prospect Park has been hyping out these shows for quite some time and I don’t think the product lives up to the hype. I’m hoping that they work the kinks out and start producing great shows but I’m not going to drink the Kool-Aid and say that these shows are “revolutionary” when they’re not.

    As for ABC being embarrassed, I don’t think they will be until either of the shows matches the ratings and ad dollars that they did on broadcast television. Until then, ABC is making a nice profit on both shows by letting Prospect Park do the heavy lifting. As Jamey says, if it don’t make dollars it don’t make sense.

  18. Avatar of hey mon
    hey mon

    David —

    Ease up on Kristin, and yes, none of us will forget the crying scene when Zack died.

    The old, tired attack on Christine Khalil is just that, old and tired. You right about

    Drake, he is a joke on-screen.

    MTS – C’mon she is playing a ‘soap diva’, which in a way, is what she is, since her hubby was a producer for so long. But she should have won an Emmy for Best Drunk for 2011.

    Ron Moss – He was/is a joke.

  19. Avatar of MadDogLane
    MadDogLane

    mfarris all I can say is WOW to your comment, you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried.

    AMC and OLTL look better quality wise and story wise. Both shows have basically ruined network soaps for me

  20. Avatar of ANGELWENDY15
    ANGELWENDY15

    I love reading all your comments! So true is a lot of ways. I have always liked Peter Bergman since his days as Cliff on AMC (I remember when Cliff and Nina were THE couple of the show and their wedding!). I am so glad he went on to success on Y &R, and he’s another one who never seems to age. He seems very supported of soaps and I think either he or Doug D will win the Emmy .

  21. Avatar of harlee490
    harlee490

    @david46208….OK most would have agree on..but a couple I don’t agree

    Jacqueline Macinnes Woods – in the beginning I did have problem but she as many others was green but she’s improved by leaps & bounds(way to young to be having plastic surgery, whole another story). I like Steffy.

    CK – what to do, she’s not horrible but again falls in-between good and not great but she’s Lily and not going nowhere…get use to it.

    Melody Thomas Scott – NOW we have a PROBLEM Houston…she’s Y&R’s Erica and there’s nothing wrong with MTS. She’s has had some great acting scenes over her 34 years so I’m not sure what the problem have with her and watched her tear up some story lines and she’s beloved favorite, I totally think you’re off base with MTS, personally.

    My question: I don’t understand after being on DC for a few years now why do you always want to recast long term characters on other shows fitting your likes…this has been a constant about you. You can’t recast a whole show to your liking because that would drive fans away? When MAB was there I remember clearly because this was one the reasons I went back watching Y&R (not because the quality) but a very harsh statement you made about Y&R and saying “they should just cancel this show…” I even posted and asked you if you meant to completely get rid of Y&R and you said “YES” because the reasons you gave went on & on…NOW (which I’m very happy) you did a complete 360 degree turn with Y&R supporting the show but if we had your wish back then Y&R would be dead. As much as I love Y&R I do realize there were problems then and some (not as many) minor problems now, it’s called loyalty. My heart & soul will be always with CBS daytime.

    PS…as happening now with too many recasts from ABC, I don’t want nobody in recast from Passions.

  22. Avatar of bishbay
    bishbay

    I liked some of the actors on Passions! I would love it if the dude who played Julian had an arc on one of the extant soaps. Uh…Lindsay Hartley’s taken care of…how about Vincent as a new member of the Hubbards clique? Uh, okay, I’m a little stumped about who else is worthwhile from that cast. McKenzie Westmore wasn’t terrible once Sheridan went really evil.

  23. Avatar of david46208
    david46208

    @Harlee490: Jacqueline Macinnes Woods – in the beginning I did have problem but she as many others was green but she’s improved by leaps & bounds(way to young to be having plastic surgery, whole another story). I like Steffy.

    CK – what to do, she’s not horrible but again falls in-between good and not great but she’s Lily and not going nowhere…get use to it.

    Melody Thomas Scott – NOW we have a PROBLEM Houston…she’s Y&R’s Erica and there’s nothing wrong with MTS. She’s has had some great acting scenes over her 34 years so I’m not sure what the problem have with her and watched her tear up some story lines and she’s beloved favorite, I totally think you’re off base with MTS, personally.

    ——
    Recasting characters has not been a problem within this industry. As you and I know it. One thing Bill Bell was good at was having a new actor in the role within 6 weeks of its original actor being determined to not work out. MTS was a recast, Billy was a recast within 6 weeks, which is how we got David Tom. They recast Sharon as well. There were several recast of Ashley when Eileen Davidson left the show. Bill Bell didn’t play into actors egos either. He didn’t waste no time recasting Jill and Jack. But he also knew where there were cases where a recast would not do.

    When it comes to the Winters/Barber as well as The Hubbard’s on AMC the actors were often involved in the casting process of black characters. Bell and Nixon often deferred to the actors to get the best ones for the roles. That did eventually change when their hands were no longer fully steering the car.

    So when I suggests a recast I’m looking at the limited acting rage of some the actors on a soap which hinders storyline potential. Because a writer is only as good as the actor who takes the dialogue, lifts it off the page and turns it into gold.

    I also take acting seriously. So if I can get cast like that of Guiding Light in the 80′s/early 90′s or of Another World in the 80′s, One Life To Live of the 70′s/early 80′s, All My Children of the 80′s/early 90′s and GH of the 90′s. Why not go for it? Why not move to put together the best property you can?

    And with the exception of Shemar Moore’s first 2 years on the show and the fact that MTS was still feeling her way through the scenes at that time (actors perspective, much harder on folk and technique then the average bear) the show had a stellar cast.

    So part of the reason daytime has been looked down upon is many people in the industry themselves often didn’t take the genre serious enough to cast actors like you would a primetime drama or a film.
    ———-
    My question: I don’t understand after being on DC for a few years now why do you always want to recast long term characters on other shows fitting your likes…this has been a constant about you. You can’t recast a whole show to your liking because that would drive fans away?
    ———–
    Answered above mostly. But just to add I can look at an actor from another soap and see what you could do with a role if they were in it. For instance Shannon Kane would bring “life” to the character of Lily. I don’t think anyone can argue that she would not rock the role. So pushing for the best and nothing less is what I am going for. So it is not to my likes. It is just based on acting ability and what they can bring to the role that an actor already in it cannot do. That’s a lot of care for the industry.

    In primetime you can film the pilot and be replaced if the series is actually picked up. They don’t hold no bones about get rid of you.
    ————

    When MAB was there I remember clearly because this was one the reasons I went back watching Y&R (not because the quality) but a very harsh statement you made about Y&R and saying “they should just cancel this show…” I even posted and asked you if you meant to completely get rid of Y&R and you said “YES” because the reasons you gave went on & on…NOW (which I’m very happy) you did a complete 360 degree turn with Y&R supporting the show but if we had your wish back then Y&R would be dead. As much as I love Y&R I do realize there were problems then and some (not as many) minor problems now, it’s called loyalty. My heart & soul will be always with CBS daytime.
    ————-
    I knew when it was time for Passions to go. At some point (last few years) the show was just terrible. And there were not going to be any changes as JER had full control over his property.

    The same went for Y&R at the time. We had a regime that had pretty much dismantled the show to the point (and it didn’t look like they were going anywhere) that it was not worth staying on the air if they were still there. The only hope was for Maria and company to be fired and replaced. The sharp decline in ratings reflected that too. Thankfully we got that change.

    On the other-hand, I’ve never been a ride-or-die soap fan. My soaps habits (which have carried me across all 3 networks over the years) has been based on if I were represented or not on screen coupled with if the writing was up to snuff). If there were no Winters family or something close to it I would not have kept up with Y&R. If there were no Grants I would not have watched GL for those 6 years that I did. If there were Hubbards Fryes and later Keefers I would not have given 2 cents about AMC. I watched GH religiously during the Ward years and left when they left. I watched OLTL during the Gannon years and left when they became background fillers. Would not have watched Passions if it were not for the Russell’s and it was what kept me there as the show started to go downhill. I would not have watched Days if it were not for the beefing up of Lexie and Abe. And I became a religious fan as the baby-switch storyline heated up. The moment Jessica and Marshall ended and after that dreadful Doc Reese storyline ATWT I tuned it out. No more reason to watch.

    So basically once I watched Generations and saw what could be done with African American characters on the screen, I made it point to only support the soaps that fully realized my existence.

  24. Avatar of david46208
    david46208

    @Brandon21224: Susan Lucci, Melody Thomas Scott (based on pre-2008 acting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G77wS5Xw3wM), Ronn Moss, Charity Ramer, Denise Vasi, CK, Ron Moss, Nadia Bjorlin, Kristian Alfonso, Brenda Dickson (yeah I like her bad delivery but she was not good just a ratings grabber), Caitlin Van Zandt , Thom Bierdz and 1/3 of the cast of Passions.

  25. Avatar of Ferrari517
    Ferrari517

    Brian Frons was a fumbling idiot and a piss poor excuse for a Disney Executive. Brian didn’t have what it takes to creatively and operationally keep a daytime drama alive. His solution to his failing leadership was cancel and put a talk show in the time slot.

  26. Avatar of david46208
  27. Avatar of pferrando
    pferrando

    While Melody may not rank on your list above, I’d question your choice of her as well.

    By 2008 she’d been on the show 30 years. What did you consider her breakthrough moment or storyline?

    Debbie struggled her way through Y and R…so she’s an interesting choice as well on your best list.

  28. Avatar of david46208
    david46208

    pferrando: Debbie was for her work on AMC and the other 5 soap operas she has been on. But Melody’s breakthrough was that storyline where she chased after Victor all the way to Europe when his wife Sabrina Costelana died. That was the moment she actually became something of an actress. It was like something about that storyline just clicked and from then on she was actually an actress.

  29. Avatar of alstonboy4315
    alstonboy4315

    David46208–

    You also missed Elizabeth Hubbard, Marj Dusay, Cynthia Watros, Robin Strasser, Florencia Lozano, Julie Pinson, Beth Chamberlin and Kelly Menighan Hensley. And about a dozen others, but your list is still solid.

  30. Avatar of pferrando
    pferrando

    Robin Strasser?

    Lots of omissions though…

    But really I think it’s all about the material or writing they are given.

    I gotta go back and point to Debbie on Y and R.

  31. Avatar of ChrisGa
    ChrisGa

    [quote=hey mon]David, Beverlee McKinsey is not on your list. The ultimate over-sight.[/quote]

    Yep. For my money, best actress to ever grace a daytime drama. Go to YouTube and pull up some old BM/Michael Zaslow scenes from Guiding Light and you’ll see what I mean. The woman was beyond brilliant.

  32. Avatar of harlee490
    harlee490

    [quote=ChrisGa][quote=hey mon]David, Beverlee McKinsey is not on your list. The ultimate over-sight.[/quote] Yep. For my money, best actress to ever grace a daytime drama. Go to YouTube and pull up some old BM/Michael Zaslow scenes from Guiding Light and you’ll see what I mean. The woman was beyond brilliant.[/quote]

    I completely agree on Beverlee she is hands down the best actress to grace us in daytime. Anyone in a scene with her was gold, she could play ANYTHING, from bitch, heartfelt drama, a touching parent to comedy. Check it out!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihn-d2XDUts Alexandra Spaulding

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u18rOglR_JY Alex vs Blake “Every inch of you is for sale”

  33. Avatar of Ryan-Scott
    Ryan-Scott

    If had to pick my top actress in daytime EVER it would also be Beverlee McKinsey.
    Rounding out my list in alphabetical order are Susan Flannery, Elizabeth Hubbard, and Erika Slezak.

    But in my opinion this queen crowns Beverlee the queen for sure! :beer:

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