Every summer during the Television Critics Association bi-annual press tour, CBS, The CW and Showtime throw a huge party attended by the stars of all three networks (all owned by CBS Corp.). But the soaps were never a part of the fun until this year when numerous stars of “The Young and the Restless,” as well as the few “The Bold and the Beautiful” actors who were in Los Angeles during the show’s production hiatus, mingled with the stars of “NCIS” and “Masters of Sex.”
It’s no coincidence that Angelica McDaniel, Senior Vice President of CBS Daytime, was also present. Since taking over the job in February 2012, she has been on a mission to increase the visibility of the daytime line-up. McDaniel spoke to me about why “The Bold and the Beautiful” has been firing on all cylinders and why Y&R fans will be gasping in shock this fall.
This is the first time I’ve seen soap actors at the CBS Stars party at TCA. Are you responsible for that?
As [CBS President] Les Moonves said at the TCAs [during the Executive Session], we support daytime. We’re really proud to have two soaps on the air. We would have had a lot more B&B representation, but they’re on hiatus. Everyone’s all over the world. We have Heather Tom and Lawrence St. Victor here, which I’m really thrilled about, but we’re bringing sexy back to daytime. We’re the only network with a head of daytime and we are invested. It’s a profitable day-part. I’m really proud and excited about our shows.
For a long time B&B was a show chronicling a single love triangle. Ridge/Taylor/Brooke lasted decades, then after Ridge left the show, it was the Steffy/Liam/Hope show. Now it seems like the canvas has expanded and there are a lot more major storylines.
What [executive producer] Brad [Bell] has done so perfectly is the cliché of turning lemons into lemonade. We had some major characters exit the show, legacy characters, and people thought, “The sky is falling. How could you ever do the show without them?” and he was able to turn that into an advantage. And he brought on some new characters, Lawrence and Karla [Mosley] are phenomenal and now we have a new love interest perhaps for Hope and a new son. The great thing about bringing on Rena Sofer is she’s an older character. It’s not just about young characters. We’re telling those multi-generational stories with really sexy story, with sexy actors, and it’s really exciting. They’re doing great cliffhangers, great business stories, romance, just kind of everything is happening, so I’m really proud of where ‘Bold’ is right now. They’re in a great position.
Any thoughts of selling the Spencer sword necklace online? Apparently, if you own one you’re a millionaire.
[Everyone] will get a sword necklace after this.
Y&R is frankly a little polarizing right now. Some people really like the twist that Sharon altered Summer’s paternity test other people find it very out of character. They’re questioning where is it coming from, does the new regime understand the show. What would your response to that be?
I would say what I always say which is there’s more to the story. On any given day, there’s viewers who are going to say, “I hate that. Why did you do that?” but then there’s other viewers who are going to say, “I love that! I’m so glad you did that.” So you just have to remember that everything that happens in the show has intent and you may not see it play out tomorrow or even for a month, but there’s always a reason. And one day, hopefully, the naysayers will have that a-ha moment where they say, “Oh, okay. This finally makes sense” or “I can get on board now.” But I just think keep watching, keep supporting these shows, and know that we want to keep them on for another 40 years. We’re invested. There’s a rich history for 40 years. Every single story of the past 40 years you probably didn’t love every story either. It all comes full circle, shows that do tell story five days a week, 365 days a year.
Can you give me a couple teasers for each of the shows?
Let’s start with ‘Bold.’ ‘Bold’ is going to be great. What you’re really going to find is that Bill (Don Diamont) has his son Liam (Scott Clifton) and he’s going to now have Wyatt (Darin Brooks) in his life, and he finds himself and his personality and his beliefs more strongly mirrored in his new son. So that’s going to create some really interesting dynamics because Liam is not his father’s son. He’s not the kind of man that Bill is. Then, of course, that business story. We’re just going to have to see. Is Katie (Heather Tom) a great business person who can hold that corporation up on her own two shoulders? Or is she going to fall [down] on that? On Y&R, I’m really, really excited about some things that are going to happen in the fall. I’m really proud of Y&R for how they handled the passing of Jeanne [Cooper], her memorial. Now we have to pay tribute to Kay. So that’s really going to set off a chain of events that affects business, it affects relationships, it affects family. So there’s going to be a lot happening there. Then we have the exit of Phyllis, what’s going to happen there… August and September and October, there’s going to be some shocking moments… Literally your mouth will be open. You’re going to say, “I can’t believe they just did that.”
Are we ever going to get my fantasy scenario where Katie on B&B hooks up with Karen then asks Bill, “So, how do you like it when your spouse sleeps with your sister? Can you forgive and forget?”
That would be revenge, swapping sisters.