Tuesday, March 6, 2007

MyNetwork-who? "Big 4" Broadcaster FOX Poised to Re-Join the Traditional Soap Game (with AMERICAN IDOL's Fuller on-board)

MyNetworkTV's recently announced intentions to abandon their attempts at daily "telenovela"-style programming, combined with the cancellation of NBC's PASSIONS have left many fans of the traditional soap-format concerned for the future. However, a series of recent industry moves (including news of an NBC-backed relaunch of PASSIONS on an alternate platform and the announcement of cable GENERAL HOSPITAL spin-off, NIGHT SHIFT, on SoapNet) may indicate that the aches being felt by the venerable genre as of late, have merely been growing pains...

In a new piece by Variety's Michael Schneider, the publication's web site reports that, years after their last stab at daytime soap programming, FOX is looking to return to the traditional soap business, ordering a 1/2 hour pilot thematically similar to the very popular, long-running British soap EASTENDERS.

The full text of Michael Schneider's Variety piece:

"FOX is getting into the half-hour soap opera business, pacting with 'American Idol' producer 19 Entertainment to adapt the popular U.K. genre for auds across the pond.

Net has ordered a pilot from 19 Entertainment that revolves around a blue collar family. Sudser comes from 19 Entertainment's Simon Fuller, as well as the shingle's head of drama, Mal Young.

Young joined 19 Entertainment at the end of 2004; before that, he served as controller of continuing drama series at the BBC, overseeing production on shows including long-running half-hour drama EASTENDERS. He also co-created another entry, DOCTORS. As head of drama at Pearson, Young also created Channel 5's FAMILY AFFAIRS.

If ordered to series, the Fuller/Young sudser could potentially air several times a week on Fox.

Fuller and Young will serve as co-creators and exec producers of the Fox pilot, which is currently untitled. CAA packaged the project."

With the already in-the-works adaptation of the British nighttime soap (and national guilty pleasure) FOOTBALLER'S WIVES (to be retitled FOOTBALL WIVES, with the titular "football" converted from soccer to American NFL-style football), may a clue to the future of American soaps lie across the pond?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Brits do soaps right, and no soap is done better there week in and out than EASTENDERS. This could be promising.

All copyrights retained by original authors. Original Soappipe and Soappipe|Opinion content copyright (2007, or current year) by Benjamin Bryant, all rights reserved.

Use of original Soappipe material either by reprint or linking permitted, as long as "Soappipe," "Soappipe|Opinion," or "Ben Bryant" is credited.