General Hospital being shut out of the major Daytime Emmy races this year caused veteran soap opera journalist Carolyn Hinsey to put on her investigative cap. Here's a snippet of what she unconvered during a conversation with the telecast's executive producer David Michaels:
Carolyn: What’s your reaction to GH being shut out of the big categories?
David: I’ve got to admit I was shocked. It’s so difficult to watch so many great GH episodes throughout the year, and then have them not nominated. But I am very happy for the Prospect Park group. All My Children was very good, as well. I don’t know why they weren’t nominated, either.
Carolyn: GH submitted the Nurses’ Ball, and I know I’m not supposed to repeat this but some judges told me it was too campy. One even said, “Richard Simmons lost them the nomination.” Can you comment on that?
David: I shouldn’t [laughs]! All I can say is that a lot of the people who voted in that category don’t watch soaps – and the ones that do don’t watch all the episodes. Any entertainment professional can vote in the lead program categories. If they follow the rules, they are supposed to judge purely by the episode(s) submitted – not by the shows they may have watched all year. I realize that’s a little bit like the jury being told to “disregard that statement” but those are the instructions.
I found Richard Simmons' antics at the Nurses' Ball (an event fans begged to see return for years) hysterical. However, I wouldn't have submitted anything involving him for Daytime Emmy consideration.
Don't even ask me how Prospect Park's knock-off version of One Life to Live managed to push GH out of the Oustanding Drama Series and Outstanding Directing categories. I might quibble about what GH submitted, but OLTL was a shell of itself online, whereas All My Children had its best season in a decade. Then again, it's all about the submissions. OLTL put up "Give Me Shelter", which was a decent episode.
In the writing category, GH submitted Robin (Kimberly McCullough) back from the dead, and at the church for Patrina's wedding. This was a great, sudsy moment (Mommy?!), but perhaps too sudsy?
The return from the dead is the most tried-and-true of soap tropes. Voters have seen it a million times.
Days of Our Lives had a sudsy-yet-powerful submission with the church house reveal of Kristen (Eileen Davidson) having raped Father Eric (Greg Vaughan). While DAYS can still boast a smidge of late James E. Reilly's camp from time to time—which I appreciate them for—the vileness of Kristen's acts weren't played for hijinks in 2013, like they were a decade and a half ago.
As much as I hated The Young and the Restless killing off Cordelia Abbott, I knew it would lead to a slew of nominations. Years ago, an insider told me Daytime Emmy voters detest anything too "soapy". They look for reels that are more akin to primetime and film. Love her or hate her, Jill Farren Phelps knows how to pick good reels.
So does Bradley Bell. We used to gripe here at Daytime Confidential that Bell only told one serious story a year, in order to have something for Daytime Emmy submission time. That wasn't the case last year. The Bold and the Beautiful was on fire all season, and Bell's Brooke vs. Katie-centric picks were a testament to that fact.
Of course, any soap blogger can play Monday morning quarterback, but I wish GH had selected submissions involving Sonny's (Maurice Benard) meltdown at Morgan (Bryan Craig) and Kiki's (Kristen Alderson) wedding party. Those scenes, featuring Morgan exploding on his father for always loving older brother Michael (Chad Duell) more, were some of the most well-acted, gritty, biblical sequences in soaps last year. Big, splashy, fun moments are a treat for fans, but apparently don't digest well among Daytime Emmy voters.