With TVGN experiencing a ratings boon—in significant part due to re-airings of CBS Daytime's The Young and the Restless—I can't help but wonder if both the cabler and suds lovers alike would benefit from additional soaps finding a nighttime home on the Lionsgate/CBS-owned channel. Below are five sudser I think TVGN should acquire.
No. 5: Guiding Light
Fans of the world's longest-running broadcast drama are still mourning the loss of Guiding Light. TVGN would generate a lot of good will—and possibly find the perfect companion for Y&R—by airing classic episodes of the Procter and Gamble sudser. I say start with the lush 1991 season, when glamorous monster Alexandra Spaulding (the late Beverlee McKinsey) was exacting revenge on trophy husband Roger Thorpe (the late Michael Zaslow) over his affair with oil heiress Melinda Sue Lewis (Kimberley Simms). Did I mention Mindy's father, Billy Lewis (Jordan Clarke), and Roger were mortal enemies and Alex's long-lost son Nick McHenry (Vincent Irizarry) was the love of Mindy's life? Soap opera perfection.
No. 4: Gossip Girl
The closest classic primetime suds lovers ever came to having an 80's-style pot boiler on The CW was Gossip Girl. The Upper East Side confection about a bunch of horny prep schoolers and the anonymous, HTML code-wielding stalker who tracked their every scandalous move was Dynasty: The High School Years. I don't know about anyone else, but I wasn't quite ready to say goodbye to S and B, Lonely Boy and Chuck Bass. Whaddya say, TVGN? Give us our Gossip Girl back, at least in re-runs. XOXO.
No. 3: Dynasty
Gossip Girl may have been Dynasty: The High School Years, but like the song says, ain't nothing like the real thing, baby! With all the talk of reboots of the late Aaron Spelling's camp classic about warring, shoulder pad-wearing Colorado oil barons, TVGN could get ahead of the curve by re-airing the entire run of the smash 80's hit. I only have two caveats, Joan Collins must be allowed to host a reunion special and a mud puddle must be present.
No. 2: Falcon Crest
While Dynasty and Dallas are forever being cited as perfect soap operatic examples of Reagan era greed and excess, there's one 80's staple that never quite gets its popular culture due. Yes PBS, I am still pissed that y'all left Falcon Crest off your Pioneers of Television special about primetime soaps!
Forget about Steinbeck, the person responsible for truly showing the world how much wrath grapes could inspire was Earl Hamner. Has there ever been a more ruthless televised senior citizen than vineyard diva Angela Channing (the late Jane Wyman)? Richard Channing could have given Tony Soprano pointers on how to handle Livia! Talk about a soap ripe for a revisitation.
No. 1: Knots Landing
I bet you were expecting Dallas to top this list? Nope. Sorry. I love me some Ewings and all their Texas-fried debauchery, but with every season of the original Dallas available on DVD and a successful reboot airing on TNT, it's time to share the love with the iconic soap's little sister. Actually, Knots Landing was conceived by David Jacobs and Michael Filerman first, so maybe Dallas is the kid sis?
No primetime soap has ever made a bigger impression on this blogger than Knots Landing. I told this story on a podcast once, but it bears repeating. An overdramatic high school friend called once during a Thursday night Knots airing. She said she might consider suicide if her mama kept her away from whatever pimply-faced boy she was in love with that week. Being the good friend I am, I listened, but held the phone away from my ear the entire hour—save for an occassional "Yeah", and/or "Uh huh" to let her know I was still listening—as I continued to watch the raunchy goings-on in the Seaview Circle cul-de-sac. Childhood friends come and go, but Karen, Val, Mac and the Abby Scale have been with me for life.