OLTL Axes Headwriter!

Well, it’s a step in the right direction, anyway. ONE LIFE TO LIVE announced yesterday that headwriter Dena Higley was being let go, with former co-headwriter Ron Carlivati taking her spot as the top scribe. And while we’re going to try and hope that this means major — and very necessary — changes will hit the screen in the months to come, color us skeptical. Why? Because ABC’s big problem still remains: Brian Frons, head of ABC’s daytime division, has proven himself to be something of a disaster. Under his watch, all three of ABC’s sudsers have turned into dark tales filled with unrelatable characters, violent stunts which have replaced character-driven storylines, and a general lack of knowledge. Why, for example, did the network put Kay Alden and Jack Smith — former headwriters for long-time #1 drama THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS — under contract only to eventually let them go? (Alden, it has been announced, will now become a co-headwriter with THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL’s head honcho, Brad Bell.) Why can the horrific Megan McTavish from ALL MY CHILDREN… only to replace her with the equally dreadul Barbara Esensten and James Harmon Brown, who have written for LOVING, PORT CHARLES, THE CITY… notice a pattern here? All those shows have been cancelled! And it was during their stint at GUIDING LIGHT that Josh cloned (yes, that’s right, cloned) Reva!

But as we said, we’re trying to look at this as a positive change. So with that in mind, we’d like to offer OLTL’s new scribe a little advice. Perhaps he, unlike Frons or Higley, will at least attempt to listen to what fans actually want to see on screen. So here we go:

1) It seems simple enough, but put the characters we love back on the front burner in storylines we care about. The show fought to keep Hillary Smith on contract, only to see her alter ego, Nora, vanish. If there’s one thing long-time fans want, it’s a return to the wonderfully fun and romantic days of Bo and Nora. Both characters are on the canvas… whatcha waiting for?

2) Cut the dead weight. Yes, Paige, we’re talking to you. And Tate.

3) Stop the violence! We still don’t know who killed Spencer, and now there’s some racist group running around setting fires and blowing things up? Enough already.

4) Bring back the romance. Are we the only ones who remember when the slogan for ABC’s soaps was Love In The Afternoon?

5) Stop wasting your talented cast. For God’s sake, why isn’t Ilene Kristen’s Roxy being used? Every single time she’s on screen, we’re amused and happy. Move heaven and earth to get Tuc Watkins (David) back full-time. Give Erika Slezak — who had a very public feud in which she claimed Higley refused to write for Viki — a real storyline!

6) Let Blair and Todd move on. Yes, yes, they were once this show’s supercouple. But that was before she accused him of rape and he fell for Evangeline and Blair slept with Cristian and they broke up a thousand times. Maybe if the show kept them apart, let them find new loves, we might eventually be ready to see them work their way back together. But as of now, they’ve inflicted far too much damage upon one another — and us. We could all use a break.

7) Get Renee Elise Goldsberry back. Evangeline and Todd were a true supercouple in the making. Settle whatever disputes may have arose in contract negotiations and get Evangeline back on the canvas… NOW!

For now, Carlivati has his work cut out for him. But based on the shows currently airing, he can hardly do worse. So while keeping our fingers crossed that Frons is the next person to go, we’ll anxiously await the new scribe’s changes, which probably won’t take effect until early fall.

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  • I couldn’t agree more with your article! OLTL, was once my favorite soap, even beating out Genearl Hospital! But for the past 4 years, I’ve tuned in, maybe once or twice a week, sometimes none. This show has become way too dark, the violence is ridiculous. I remember when we had Paul Crammer murder mystery, while around the same time we had the crazy Music Box Killer. Now here we go again with the violence with having two dark stories going on at once with the racist group and the Spenser murder STILL going on. It’s insane at how dark this show is.

    Every character and couple is tortured on this show. Higley had a way of dragging her couples through the mud so much, you get to the point that you simply do not care. At one point, I did want Blaire and Todd together, but those two have been tortured so much, I don’t care for them. Evangeline and Todd were defintly a supercouple in the making, but it took Higley SO long to even attempt to put them together, that it Renee Goldsberry’s contract was almost up and now she’s gone. If these two hadn’t taken so long to get together, perhaps it wouldn’t have come to that.

    Jessica and Nash are great – two years ago with Tess. But these two have been dragging on for the past two years, she married Antionio and when she finally decides that Nash is the one she truely loves, out of nowhere, she gets cancer. Huh? Why can’t one couple be happy on this show? Have these character build up other storylines and such. But its the same thing, over and over again…I’m sick of it.

  • EM

    I couldn’t agree with you more either. I am a long time GH fan and I used to watch OLTL as my warm-up for GH. I cannot and will never understand why Bo and Nora are not on the front burner and together. The show is a mere shadow of its former self much like GH. I am so sick of the Todd and Blaire show much like I am sick of the Sonny and Jason show. I am not trying to be crazy but, where are my steamy romance scenes? Nothing beats Bo and Nora on OLTL and nothing beats any scene on GH with Robert Scorpio. I’d kill to see him live through another earthquake. Why do we have to beg to see good over evil? Frons blows… my 5 year old niece could write a better storyline. I have started to question whether Soap Opera’s are following the teenage trend in society that gangs, drugs, and major violence is cool. Is Frons merely reflecting that? Does this make him a mere adolescent? When I watch GH and OLTL I feel like I’m watching an episode of 90210. Except, the episode was written poorly. Listen, I am all for 90210 but it was a teen show I watched in college and played drinking games with. I knew what I was watching when I did it and I took it for what it was worth. GH and OLTL are supposed to be “Love in the Afternoon” shows about adults…maturely written. Where the hell are all the adults? Where the hell is all the maturity? Seriously… can someone just throw us vet lovers a bone? Can I just get good beating evil? Maybe all of this would solve Daytime TV’s problems.