Monday, June 16, 2014


When I first was contracted to write "Oakdale Confidential," the "As the World Turns" tie-in for Pocket Books, it was scheduled to be released nine months after I turned in the final manuscript. (Nine months - see the tie-in to pregnancy?)

I remember talking to the editor, who was surprised that the show's writers had no idea at that time, almost a year in advance, what would be happening on the show when the book was officially released.

She wanted to know how they could write the story without knowing where it was going. I explained that they had a general idea of where they wanted to be a year from now, but, the problem with soaps, as opposed to books, movies, even prime-time series, is that they often couldn't anticipate curve-balls like actors quitting, being temporarily unavailable due to other projects or, the ever popular... actresses getting pregnant.

With a prime-time show, you can change your shooting schedule, like "Sex in the City" did when Sarah Jessica Parker was pregnant (it helped that she was also one of the producers). With a movie, you can push forward or push back the starting date. With science-fiction, you can really let your imagination go wild.

A soap, however, keeps on chugging, every day, every week, year after year (God willing). You're required to give your actresses a maternity leave, and you can write in anticipation of that. But, unless you write her pregnancy into the script, what are you supposed to do the rest of the time?

Click here for my list of 10 Ways Shows Deal with Actress Pregnancies, including one soap actress who ended up suing her employers as a result!

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