Y&R's got direction; ATWT the write stuff

Posted Friday, May 18, 2001 11:57:31 PM
2001 Daytime Emmys: Y&R's got direction; ATWT the write stuff


In four of the past five years the Outstanding Directing Team honors have gone to The Young and the Restless. In fact, the show has won eight Emmys in the past 15 years.

In addition to a relatively standard fare of nominees, including All My Children, As The World Turns and General Hospital, there was a newcomer to the category. NBC's Passions earned its very first nomination in the Directing category this year after having earned zero nominations last year, the show's first year of Emmy eligibility.

Having won the Director's Guild award earlier in the year, All My Children was considered to have an outside chance at winning the category.

Y&R, however, continued its dominance in the category.

Y&R Director
Mike Denney
Briefly backstage, the directors discussed the new high-definition format that will be used to broadcast the show beginning in late June. None of the directors could foresee a problem making the transition to the new format since the show has been using the technology needed for this format for quite some time.

Prior to the directing team's arrival in the press area, The Price is Right host Bob Barker spoke to the media about the man who had given him his start in daytime television: Ralph Edwards, this year's Lifetime Achievement winner. Barker spoke proudly of The Price is Right's status as the number two ranked program in all of daytime television (behind top-ranked The Young and the Restless) and hinted that without his show's lead in, The Young and the Restless might not be doing so well in the ratings.

"Without us they'd be the old and lethargic," Barker sassed.

Eleven people composed this year's winning Y&R directing team. Just in case you're wondering how eleven people go about deciding who will get the keep the Emmy statue... wonder no more. In the Daytime Emmys, each member of a winning team wins his or her own Emmy.


The buzz going into the Outstanding Writing Team category again swirled around All My Children. The show's delicate handling of a young woman's "coming out" drew praise from groups such as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

As The World Turns, however, also had a lot of buzz because of a rejuvenated writing led by an industry newcomer. It was, perhaps, that infusion of new blood that gave ATWT its first win the Writing category since 1991. Prior to that, As The World Turns had won only once before, back in 1987.

Much of As The World Turns' success this past year has been attributed to the addition of Hogan Sheffer, the show's new head writer. Initially, Sheffer's addition to the crew drew some raised eyebrows. A former Dreamworks SKG employee, Sheffer admittedly had never seen a single soap opera episode. Now, some insiders are speculating that other shows might also begin pulling from outside the soap industry to fill vacancies in writing and production staffs.

During his acceptance speech, Sheffer confessed that he'd bet Martha Byrne (Lily) $200 that All My Children would win the category. "So, I've lost $200 - but this is better," Sheffer chirped.

ATWT Head Writer
Hogan Sheffer
Sheffer humbly declined to allow the media to brand him as As The World Turns' savior, saying that the statements that he alone resurrected the 45-year-old soap were "short-sighted."

Sheffer feels that ATWT's rich history makes his job much easier. "There's 45 years of history and motivation. Why would you ignore it? It helps us deconstruct characters and relationships and build them back up - or destroy them permanently."

One of the questions asked by most Internet soap fans is whether or not "The Powers That Be" read message boards and newsgroups to see what the fans are saying. When asked this question, Sheffer hedged a bit. Sheffer said that had checked out some of the Internet message boards near the beginning of his tenure with As The World Turns. Sheffer says he didn't like the tone of what he'd read. Soap Opera Central was not among the list of sites that Sheffer criticized as being mean spirited. The writer did, however, state that CBS and Procter and Gamble, the company that produces As The World Turns as well as Guiding Light, do scan the Internet for their programs' executives and send him printouts on a regular basis.

As Sheffer was leaving the room, he was asked how long he plans to remain as As The World Turns' head writer. Sheffer wittily responded, "I don't know. I guess until they fire me!"


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