Battle of the Headwriters!

7 replies [Last post]
david46208's picture
Last seen: 4 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Jan 15 2009

Now let's look past the Olympics and share your thoughts on which soap's headwriter/headwriting team has the best chance writing the best of soap that will take us in to 2013.

The Contenders:

B&B - Bradley Bell/Kay Alden

Days - Gary Tomlin/Christopher Whitesell/Lorriane Brodrick

GH - Ron Carlivati

Y&R - Josh Griffith (maybe Hogan Sheffer too)

stoney07's picture
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: Aug 18 2009
I'd say if Brad Bell would

I'd say if Brad Bell would get past his fascination with Hope/Liam/Steffy, he and Kay Alden would have a verrrrry good chance.

I also like Lorraine Broderick though...but I'm not quite sure about the rest of her team....

Ron Carlivati just isn't my type of writer. Everyone else seems to love him, but I just...idk. I don't like his style..almost kind of a like a soap spoof.

Josh Griffith, last time he wrote for Y&R, I found it pretty boring. It was definitely waaay better than LML and anything MAB has done in the last few years, but I'd have to wait to see his actual storyline ideas...

IDK. Right now, my money would be on Alden and Bell if he would get his head out of his ass.

david46208's picture
Last seen: 4 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Jan 15 2009
For me I put my Irish Spring

For me I put my Irish Spring and Dove on Day's team featuring Gary Tomlin/Christopher Whitesell/ Lorraine Broderick. Here's why:

I see that Ron C. and Brad Bell/Kay Alden have benefited from the the fact that the Sony soaps have been mostly horribly written this year. Thus, when they get into a good grove at 50% stat it can be viewed as better than the rest. And in the case of Days, that was not hard to beat when it comes to writing. Yet this does not always translate to ratings.

When I look at the new team at Days:

Gary Tomblin has been good at getting the ratings up. He also understands the history and the flow of Days. That is something the show needs. He also seems to have an eye for character and how to use them. But Gary has a history too:

All My Children

- Producer (1995–1996)

Another World

- Actor: Morgon Simpson (1979)
- Associate Head Writer (1984)
- Co-Head Writer (July 1984-January 1985)
- Head Writer (January 1985)
- Director (1987–1991)

Days of our Lives

- Head Writer (with Michelle Poteet Lisanti; 1980–1981)
- Co-Executive Producer (hired by Ken Corday; September 17, 2008 – June 2011)
- Co-Headwriter (with Christopher Whitesell; hired by Ken Corday; April 2012-Present)

One Life to Live

- Director (1992–1995; 2001–2003)
- Executive Producer (January 2001 to February 2003)
- Script Writer (December 2007 - February 2008; May 555-5555)
- Head Writer (February 15, 2008 - May 1, 2008)


- Director (2000–2001; April 2003 - December 2007)[1]

Santa Barbara

- Script Writer (1987–1990)

Search for Tomorrow

- Actor: Bruce Carson (#3) (1973–1974)
- Head Writer (1983–1984; 1985–1986)

Sunset Beach

- Executive Producer (entire run, 1997–1999)
- Director (entire run, 1997–1999)


- Writer


- Creator

Christopher Whitesell has a long daytime history. Check it out:

Another World - Associate Head Writer: 1988–1991, 1995 – 1996

As the World Turns
- Breakdown Writer: 1987–1988 (hired by Douglas Marland), 2003–2006 (hired by Hogan Sheffer)
- Co-Head Writer: 2006–2008 (with Jean Passanante & Leah Laiman)

Days of our Lives

- Associate Head Writer: 2000–2001
- Co-Head Writer: October 2008 – June 13, 2011 (hired by Gary Tomlin)
- Co-Headwriter: Late Summer 2012-Present (with Gary Tomlin, (hired by Ken Corday

General Hospital

- Co-Head Writer: May – December 5, 1997
- Associate Head Writer: 1997

Guiding Light

- Breakdown Writer: 1984–1986

One Life to Live

- Co-Head Writer: 2001 – January 31, 2003
- Associate Head Writer: 1993–1995 (hired by Michael Malone)

Sunset Beach

- Co-Head Writer: January 1998 – December 31, 1999

The Young and the Restless

- Breakdown Writer: June 21, 2011 – June 2012

Awards and nominations

Daytime Emmy Awards


(2006; Best Writing; As The World Turns)
(1995 & 2002; Best Writing; One Life To Live)
(1989; Best Writing; Another World)
(1985; Best Writing; Guiding Light)


(2004–2005; Best Writing; As The World Turns)
(1994; Best Writing; One Life To Live)
(1986; Best Writing; Guiding Light)

Writers Guild of America Award


2005 season; As The World Turns
2001 season; Days of our Lives
1997 & 1998 season; General Hospital
1997 season; Another World
1994 season; One Life To Live
1984 & 1985 season; Guiding Light

With this history behind him and pure knowledge of the industry I can see him being a welcome return to Days. I've also never really heard anything bad about him as a writer, which ups the anti.

Lorraine Broderick is one of those writers gets this industry. She has studied and was trained under the hands of Queen Agnes Nixon. Thus, if you have to recycle writers from within the industry she is on the shortlist of writers who you can trust and believe in. What Lorraine does is to review the history of a soap an writer character driven storylines from that standpoint.

A testament to her abilities was her last two head writing stints at AMC. First during her 5 week tenure as the transition writer at AMC the soap improved 75% and she had lackluster actors and recast turning in good performances. She also knew the characters and could provide them with a sense of direction. The Second time was co-writing the steller last 2 months of AMC leading to it's ending. You could see that Lorraine understood what the fans wanted to see as their beloved daytime drama came to a close. And you cannot say that for how other soaps have ended since the turn of the century.

Also here is her record:

All My Children

- Head Writer: 1987–1989; July 1995 – December 1997; November 2009 – March 12, 2010; April 4, 2011 – September 23, 2011
- Co-Head Writer: 1986–1987; 1989
- Associate Head Writer: 1982–1986; 1989–1991; March 2010 – April 1, 2011
- Script Writer / Breakdown Writer: 1979–1982

Another World (hired by Peggy Sloane)

- Associate Head Writer: 1993–1995

As the World Turns (hired by Mary Alice Dwyer-Dobbin)

- Head Writer: March 1998 – August 1999

Days of our Lives (hired by Ken Corday)

- Head Writer: October 1999
- Breakdown Writer: July 2012 – present

Guiding Light

- Co-Head-Writer: 1991–1993 (hired by Jill Farren Phelps)
- Associate Head Writer: September 28, 2004 – January 4, 2005

One Life to Live

- Breakdown Writer: October 2011 – January 13, 2012
- Associate Head Writer: February 2003 – March 2004
- Co-Head Writer: January 2001 – January 2003

Port Charles

- Associate Head Writer: 2000–2001

Lorraine also won 4 Daytime Emmy's during her many tenures at AMC.

Now with a team like that. Whatever faults one might have the other can sure cancel them out. So I put Irish Spring and Dove on them over the rest. That is team for you. So we'll see.

david46208's picture
Last seen: 4 min 24 sec ago
Joined: Jan 15 2009
@stoney07: Ron is too James

@stoney07: Ron is too James E. Reilly'ish for me. Too over-the-top. Plus his work on GH, a lot of it has turned out to be repeat storylines from OLTL. Also, i'm not very happy with the influx of OLTL characters.

But it is mostly the cartoonish writing that really turns my stomach. When he gets away from that stuff he can be real decent writer.

On the other hand here are two pieces of Lorriane's work to view to see that she is the Best In The Business:

J.R. and Annie have it out and make love.

Angie learns her baby died.

soapjunkie88's picture
Last seen: 2 days 16 hours ago
Joined: Jul 3 2008
Ron Carlivati makes me very

Ron Carlivati makes me very happy these days. His storytelling is very unique. Yes, sometimes it's over the top. Without a doubt. But he understands it to suck you in, to create cliffhangers that want you see more.
RC can create umbrella storylines and for me is someone who writes very character-driven. He has a talent for writing strong women and to me he seems good in balancing the show next to using the vets. He uses everything he has. I think with him I don't have to do wishful storytelling, because these days he's taking care of it for me.
Him rewriting stuff that he has already written on OLTL is something that I don't like or want to see. I'm always for original stuff, mixed with a classic soapy formula. RC isn't always great but 4 out of 5 days a week, he does a good job.

Brad Bell is a talented writer. He can write good corporate storylines, love triangles, scandals and affairs. We all seen it in the past. But as of now ... Brad has gotten lazy. He's not original anymore. It kind of feels that he is watching old episodes of the Brooke/Ridge/Taylor triangle, adding a few changes and twists and turns it into the Hope/Liam/Steffy show. He has problems to balance his show, because there is no B or C story for most of the time. Brad uses his vets but for a year they only on-screen to comment on the younger characters. They have no real storyline anymore. He also has a talent in writing characters off without an explanation. That's not fair to any soap fan. He is talented but he suffered greatly in B&B's transition of change in 2005. And now it seems to get worst from year to year.

As for Josh Griffith, he was on Y&R when Maria Arena Bell started back in late 2007. He was the EP of the show and oversaw her storylines for about five months as co-head. When MAB came to the show, Josh was already there for more than a year.
I don't know how much involved he was in the mess that Lynn Marie Latham created, but the five months with Maria Arena Bell were the best Y&R had for a little more than three years back then. Seeing the stuff MAB pulled after Josh was fired for fixing her storylines, I think he could be a talent. Only time will tell.
I hope he can tell balanced storylines and can commit to use the important characters of this cast. We all know that Y&R has way too many characters now. So I hope Josh tells stories with the people the audience wants to see. And then ... in about six months I can say if he's a talent or just another wannabe who'll never live up to Douglas Marland, Agnes Nixon or William J. Bell.

I like Lorriane Brodrick. She has proven more than once that she is a good writer that can bring a well written soap opera into our homes. I just don't know about the rest of her DAYS colleagues. I don't even know if she'll act as co-head next to Tomlin and Whitesell.
Christopher Whitesell is somewhat of a black sheep. Either he worked with the wrong people or he just isn't that good of a writer IMO. He is one of the people that killed ATWT and already was on DAYS until last summer, together with Dena Higley. So I didn't like his last stint as co-head one bit.
I don't know much about Gary Tomlin as a writer. Only as a producer and as that I don't really know what he did for DAYS in the past. If he rewrote some scripts of Higley as it was rumored (you know the once that turned out to be little nice story bits) or is just another tool that's saying yes to everything Ken Corday wants.


Well I think that leaves me to say that Ron Carlivati is the best head writer in charge at the moment. He's a nice fit at GH and with the over the top stuff ... well GH has kind of a track record with it too. Everything the Cassadines ever did on that show was over the top and people loved it! Leaves me to say that I have rather funny crazy stuff on my screen than some dark depressed characters or mobsters that are shooting around without any sense.

Kathyg53's picture
Last seen: 1 year 30 weeks ago
Joined: Aug 14 2012
I like the fact that GH is

I like the fact that GH is getting away from the mobsters. It is called General H-O-S-P-I-T-A-L!!! We should see more hospital people. This jerry story right now is great!! I really don't mind the OLTL characteres except they seem to be getting top story over the vets. Breaking up Sam and Jason has got to be the worst!!! Ron Carlivati did this so he cou;d showcase his golden boy from OLTL,Michael Easton!!!! He knows that he and Kelly Monaco played opposite each other on another cancelled show. Okay,that's fine but why have Sam's baby be Jason's? Sam will sleep with john then realize her baby is her husbands and go back to him then she'll be no better than a slut!! Is that what Carlivati thinks of women?
I really don't like his style on GH. Garin wolf was much better

liason4real's picture
Last seen: 22 hours 55 min ago
Joined: May 10 2008
GH is slowly getting back to

GH is slowly getting back to being soapy drama.

Last seen: 1 day 4 hours ago
Joined: Feb 21 2012
Looking at the fact that the

Looking at the fact that the hospital is currently the center of all the drama on GH right now says a lot... you have one doctor whose a recovering drug addict, Olivia whose there recovering from an LSD trip, Josslyn and Alexis who are bed ridden thanks to Jerry, Dr. Ewen whose falling for nurse Elizabeth, while trying to hide that he is doing something really, really bad, Luke is there as well!!!! I'm loving all of the stories right now, and GH, in my opinion, is currently the most exciting soapy drama on the air!!!