Forums Talk Shows & Game Shows Favorite head writer and Executive producer
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    Favorite Headwriter and Executive Producer? In this case you cannot list the “gods of daytime” Irna Phillips, William J. Bell, Douglas Marland, Gloria Monty or Agnes Nixon.

    So for me…

    Best Headwriter: It’s a tie between Sally Sussman Morina and Lorraine Broderick.

    Let’s start off with Sally. A veteran soap scribe she created both Generations on NBC and Spider Games for MTV (she executive produced both series as well), worked as an Associate Headwriter, Breakdown Writer and a Story Consultant for Y&R and Associate Head wrote and later Head wrote Days for several years and got her start on Another World as a Script Writer. Yet she is not my favorite in the EP category.

    The reason why I love her is that this is a woman who knows daytime. For Generations she wrote a 700 page story-bible and as a series that lasted less then 2 years it received several Emmy nominations:

    -Lead Actor for James Reynolds as Henry Marshall
    -Younger Actor and Supporting Actor for Kristoff St. John as Adam Marshall

    And acting nominations at that time was one way to know people take your own soap seriously.

    Her template for a fully integrated soap helped to give Bill Bell the bright idea to bring on the Winters/Barber clans on Y&R. By the way Y&R inherited both Kristoff and Tonya Lee Williams from Generations. And later Vivica A Fox came on for a spell!

    On Days she won the series Award’ s it hadn’t won in years due to her ability to write character-driven storyline and work with the actor’s strengths.

    She won the Writers Guild of America Award for Days in 1999 and got the series nominated for

    Best Writing: 1998 & 1999
    Eileen Davidson as Kristen Blake DiMera, Susan Banks Sister Mary Moira, Thomas, and Penelope. (Yes Reilly created all the extras roles accept for Penelope, but he left in 1997 and it was under Sally’s reign that the writing became award worthy.)
    Best Younger Actor for Jensen Ackles as Eric Brady
    Best Younger Actress Christie Clark as Carrie Brady Reed

    Might I add that on Y&R it was she who created the popular Phick Affair. Just sayin…;)

    Now on to the other one. Lorriane-f’ing-Broderick.

    All My Children: Head Writer, Co-Head Writer, Associate Head Writer, Script Writer / Breakdown Writer
    Another World: Associate Head Writer
    As the World Turns: Head Writer.
    Days of our Lives: Head Writer.
    Guiding Light:Co-Head-Writer & Associate Head Writer.
    One Life to Live: Associate Head Writer & Co-Head Writer.
    Port Charles: Associate Head Writer.

    Her list of Awards are as follow:

    AMC was always getting acting nominations and wins under her tenure as well as the other soaps she was on. So i will forgo that. But that show’s you the power behind a woman who knows how to write the magic on the screen that we see when she helms a soap. She’s been a hot commodity in the industry for decades and a character-driven storyline writing maven. Countless Emmy nominations and four wins for writing.

    During her short-term return as a transition writer she made even the blandest of characters including the Liza recast work!

    As for my favorite Executive Producer it is Ed Scott who during Scott’s tenure as executive producer of The Young & The Restless, the series received five Emmy Awards wins and 14 Emmy nominations for Outstanding Daytime Drama. The show also received under his tenure The People’s Choice Award, The TV Guide Reader’s Poll, and more NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Daytime Drama than any other American television series, primetime or daytime. So the man is excellent. And you see the wonders he has done for B&B.

    Anyways those are mines. What’s yours?

    Profile photo of harlee490harlee490
    963 Posts

    Pam Long, Jeff Ryder as head-writers on GL were awesome and for the best EP I would have to say Gail Kobe and Robert Calhoun for GL.

    ATWT’s EP Robert Calhoun and Lawrence Caso, writers duh…you have mention Doug and Hogan.

    Profile photo of alstonboy4315alstonboy4315
    853 Posts

    My favorite GL producer/head-writing combo was Barbara Esensten/James Harmon Brown and Paul Rauch from 97 to 00. I think that Guiding Light was almost PERFECT in 1997, with the magnificent Cynthia Watros, the underrated Wendy Moniz, that fine-assed Taye Diggs, Laura Wright joining the cast as the stripper with a heart of gold, Cassie Winslow, Hunt Block coming onboard as Ross’ vindictive brother, Ben, coupled with Josh and Reva’s reunion, the 60th anniversary episodes, which were a week’s worth of classically good storytelling and seeing other perenially undervalued actors shine, such as Toby Poser, who was never given her just desserts for her fabulous portrayal of Amanda Spaulding.

    The only thing I will never forgive them for during that period is their GROTESQUE treatment of Michael Zaslow, who should have been allowed to finish his acting career off on GL, instead of being booted unceremoniously, simply because they assumed that nobody wanted to see Roger Thorpe as a “wizened old man” (exact quote!). Recasting him with Dennis Parlato was a huge mistake. I always felt that Roger Thorpe should have passed away when Michael did. They never should have killed him off a decade later and brought back his HORRIBLE son, Sebastian, who tortured Holly and was a total disgrace.

    Keep in mind, I only started ACTIVELY watching GL as a teenager in the mid 90s, so I missed the other GLORY days of 92-93, when Lorraine Broderick and Jill Farren Phelps created magic on the show, as well as Douglas Marland’s reign of magic in the early 80s.



    Yes GL had those good old days back in the 80’s and early 90’s. I remember sitting on the floor with my gradma (who was sitting in her rocking chair) watching as a kid when Reva jumped into the pool. I asked my granny “what is a slut?” She told me to “hush my mouth!”

    Not to mention not only was Taye Diggs on the show during that time so was Angela Bassett who had a brief run and then we all know Nia Long was on there as Kat.

    Yet GL just had those stories that made you want to watch then and it was all character driven.

    I hated what they did to MZ. That was just not good at all. Not professional. GL was the prefect show to play a storyline out about Lou Gehrig’s disease.


    I actually liked Hogan’s run on ATWT. He breathed new life into the series. Some of his stories moved a little fast for me but overall I like it.

    -Barbara Ryan as the villain trying to run her children’s lives.
    -Dr. Decker trying to kill off all the old people (a certain poster on this site would have loved that ;)).
    -Marshall Travers affair with Jessica. Best since her relationship to Duncan.
    -Lily/Rose was just insanely good.
    -Carly slept with Mike and Cady McClain as Rosanna Cabot was a hoot. I liked her evil side.

    The show was just Drama!

    “This is what I told them to do this is soap opera!”

    Only few things I didn’t like:

    -Lucinda Walsh and Lisa Grimaldi didn’t get much play.
    -Turned Marshall into a rapist and then killed him off.
    -And that damn techno music that often played as background music.
    -Oh and my worst pet-peeve was how before commercial break they were in Wyoming and after we returned they were back in Oakdale. Meanwhile 2 other characters are continuing a heated confrontation. “How in God’s name is that possible?”

    Profile photo of harlee490harlee490
    963 Posts

    @Alston\David YES, in beginning of Paul’s tenure was good and Alston highlighted some of his best work along with Barbara & James was writing some damn good stuff at the time. Another highlight in that period was Abby and her hearing implant, Holly as nursery rhyme stalker, CW’s “Annie” was brilliant, creation of Cassie, Wendy was my Dinah she came on in ’95 as “hurricane Dinah”(I liked Gina too), Alston you are so right about Toby Poser I loved her version as Amanda and her and Alex always arguing about something and Alan rolling his eyes. Drew Jacobs guys!

    With Pam & Jeff, ’83 to ’87 as HWs and Gail as EP they created a lasting canvas w/creation of Lewis family, Beverlee M as Alex, India, aged the Phillip, Rick, created the Raines family, Kyle Sampson, Fletcher, Claire, story of Michelle being a OOPS baby between Claire & Ed.

    When Pam left for a short period before returning for another three years, Jeff was still HW, and kept a seamless transition, no big changes. Robert Calhoun as EP (his long time lover was the actor Farley Granger) he helped to create w/PL and look at the writers in late eighties and early nineties that she had on her staff Stephen Demorest, James E. Reilly, Nancy Curlee, James E. Reilly, and Lorraine Broderick they created the Speakes family, Grants, brought back Roger and Holly created Blake, Bridget Reardon, (Melissa Hayden), Mallet and Julie (loved her as a bitch).

    This is for you guys, check these out. Beverlee Wendy Lewis family This is home :(( Paul R. time as EP all GL’s divas

    Last one from your era

    I know this is novel, sorry can you tell I still miss my GL, I love the guy that does these videos, I sent him music and have chatted with him he just did one for July on Bauers BBQ!! Guys let me know which ones you like best…sorry for length. YIKES

    Profile photo of alstonboy4315alstonboy4315
    853 Posts


    Thanks for reminding me. I forgot that Tammy Blanchard joined GL in the late 90s. She was BRILLIANT. I saw star quality in her from day one. She didn’t get her due recognition on the show, but she did go on to win an Emmy for playing Judy Garland.

    Profile photo of Soap_StudSoap_Stud
    23 Posts

    I loved the era of Claire Labine and Wendy Riche on GH. Heart wrenching stories, love, romance, amazing performances, and a GREAT job of balancing the airtime of all the contract players on the soap.

    Equally impressive, IMO, was Donna Swajeski and Michael Laibson on the late, great AW, which was 1988 until around 92 or so.



    They both were great. They definitely balanced the screen time before it became Sonny and The Rest of Us.



    The Grants and Speaks family was around the time I became a faithful viewer for several years. I was transfixed on Gilly and David Grant. And I found my first actress whom I wanted to follow her career Amelia Marshall.

    Those were the days.

    I just found this classic scene with much of the cast. There HB Lewis, David, Gilly, Hamp, Kat, Bill Lewis Jr etc..

    the thoery of opposites
    Profile photo of alstonboy4315alstonboy4315
    853 Posts

    Nia Long, Sharon Leal, Kevin Mambo, Monti Sharp, Melissa Hayden, Tammy Blanchard, ….

    Guiding Light had one of the STRONGEST younger casts out there in the 90s.

    I have relived much of that time on YouTube, due to the fact that it was difficult for me to watch them live growing up. My grandma only watched ABC soaps and never let us “children” watch them, for fear that they might corrupt us. Well, I still ended up becoming corrupted, but it had nothing to do with soaps ;) ;) . And for some reason, the VCR never seemed to want to record them right. (shrugs!)

    The actor who played Hamp, Vince Williams, actually produced some of the music that aired on Guiding Light and Kevin Mambo, who is also a musician, was his protege. When he won one of his Emmys, he actually thanked him.

    Profile photo of akbad806akbad806
    243 Posts

    I liked John F. Smith’s Y&R! The way the show was written in those days captivated me. Kay Alden turned me off with Ashley’s cancer, the sperm debacle, confusing business squabbles, and dull ass Diego, so JFS refreshed Genoa City. He played up the Dru/Phyllis rivalry, introduced Kevin Fisher to the canvas, and gave us the first round of Daily :).

    Also, this writer wrote to CK’s strengths. I actually loved her portrayal as Lily back then, but now they have her as this long-suffering waif when she has grown past that. JFS would’ve still made Dru and Malcolm’s girl relatable instead of the mess she is today.

    Sharon Newman was another character who flourished in this regime. They toyed with her being a lesbian by the way she lurked in the strip club and drooled at the sight of Brittany, but realized their mistake and put her in the Newman/Jabot orbit. Even though she looked out of place, I liked Sharon working. It gave her purpose outside of her in-laws.

    In conclusion, John F. Smith gave me the most unforgettable moment of shock…Brittany’s electrocution by striper pole!!!!

    Only qualms I had during that era of Y&R were Bobby Marsino, a waste of a character once he was paired with Brittany, that uneventful Nikki mystery and the skeleton, and the Japanese orchid saga that draaaaaaaaaged. UGH!

    Profile photo of akbad806akbad806
    243 Posts

    Paul Rauch may have crucified Y&R with his bright lighting and plot driven madness, but he did a damn good job on OLTL. That was soap opera from 85 to 92. The background music, the sets, the stories, everything clicked during his regime.

    Tina Lord and Gabrielle Medina gave ABC’s stepchild a reason to watch, along with the tour de force of Erika Slezak’s Viki/Niki saga in 85/86. I remember missing cartoons to see crazy ass Viki!

    Other delicious stories were Faux Bo, Megan and Max’s romance, Fraternity Row, Argentina, Maria Roberts’s murder by skin contact poison, and Dorian’s stint in Statesville Prison.

    I would not forgive myself for not honoring Paul Rauch’s contribution to One Life To Live!!!

    Profile photo of harlee490harlee490
    963 Posts

    David thanks, I enjoyed the clip very much, those were the days, I use to love any Hamp and Billy scenes they were good together and came off as “buddies” forever, Vince was amazing musician, I always loved when he played. Alston right about having a stronger younger cast. GL always had a strong younger cast for decades, going back to Robin Mattison as Hope Bauer, she was teen, in the mid seventies, Grant A, Michael O’L, Judy E, Kristen T., Kassie DePalmer, Kevin Bacon, of the eighties to name a few. Point we are all making, Betty Rea the BEST casting director EVER for a soap, she knew talent P&G was lucky to find her and smart to keep her for 30 years and she helped all P&G’s soaps but mainly she stayed with GL.

    Profile photo of stoney07stoney07
    280 Posts

    John F. Smith for Y&R.

    I loved ALLLL of the stories during that time period. I actually even loved Bobby Marsino. He was a little “greasy” and “slimy” for me…but I always wanted him with Nikki for some reason. I loved the Brittany stripper storyline, and I liked that they played the beat with Nikki being involved in it.

    One of the best shockers, I agree, was when Brittany was electrocuted on that pole, and we just saw her eyes bulge out of her face, and she slowly slid down the pole before hitting the ground. IT was definitely one of the greatest modern moments of Y&R.

    I loved Kevin Fisher’s intro. I loved how he’d wreaked havoc on the town, and then on a Friday’s cliffhanger, Michael opens his apartment door, and Kevin’s standing there with a smile on his face saying “hello Big Brother”….THAT was out of left field, but it worked soooo well.

    I didn’t really like that whole thing with Nikki shooting somebody when she was a child or SOMETHING. I don’t even remember what that was all about. It was a skeleton in that rec center or SOMETHING. Lord, IDK…and I didn’t care then, and I don’t care NOW.

    I’m not sure if he handled Cassie’s death, but if I remember correctly, I think he did. While I don’t think it was a smart move to kill Cassie off, it provided sooo much drama, and it was written BEAUTIFULLY!!!! I loved every sad moment of it. Josh Morrow shined as an actor (imagine that), when he was singing that lullaby to Cassie as he held her hand. And when she flatlined, and that Y&R music came on…it was just captivating.

    As for Executive Producer….Y&R’s EP will always be Ed Scott (TO ME)….I think he GETS Y&R. He gets how it’s supposed to look. He gets how it’s supposed to sound…and he just overall GETS it.

    Paul Rauch didn’t “GET” Y&R AT ALLLLLL. I hated the show as a whole under his reign of EP. Not only was the storytelling horrible, but the background music, sets, lighting, everything was equally bad. So give me Ed Scott or David Shaughnessy :)

    And Heather Tom as Victoria Newman for the win!!!!!

    Profile photo of Anonymous
    2897 Posts

    Lisa de Cazotte and James E. Reilly.



    Profile photo of Ryan-ScottRyan-Scott
    156 Posts

    Wendy Riche

    Kay Alden

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