verDorn (Alberto Reyes/

“In life, it definitely matters when you don’t give up.”

As the executive producer of “One Life To Live” Jennifer Pepperman is on the front lines of the evolution of Daytime drama and what that means behind the scenes. After working on “Guiding Light,” Pepperman made the move to Llanview in 1998, but only stayed a few years before working on “As The World Turns” for a decade. She returned to “OLTL” for its final years on ABC and has been with the revival of the show from the beginning. She took the time to speak with about the transition, the swearing, a returning core character and an upcoming performance not to be missed. Congratulations on the 45th anniversary of the show.

Pepperman: It is very exciting, and we are very excited we are appearing on OWN then. It is a really amazing thing. When we were canceled by ABC everyone thought that was the end, and here we are back with a second lease on life and a second chance. It’s due largely to the fans who just wouldn’t quit and wouldn’t give up wanting the shows back. It’s a beautiful thing. Did you think you would get to see this anniversary after the cancellation?

Pepperman: You know, after the cancellation the first time I knew that the show was a good show, and I knew that I loved these characters so much. Prospect Park was really trying to bring the shows back and I was hopeful. And they were brought back not only because of the fans, but because of the totally amazing Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank who continued their quest and made it happen. They did not give up. And in life, it definitely matters when you don’t give up. I wasn’t really thinking of it in terms of the anniversary when we were going off the air but I was hoping that it would all come together and that we would continue. And we did. Any storylines you never thought you would be able to work on but now you would love to see develop?

Pepperman: That’s a good question. I definitely believe that good story is character driven, and our writing team really tries to let who these characters are dictate the type of stories that we want to tell. We do have two stories but I am not at liberty to talk about the stuff we are writing now. We do have one story that was just written, a long-term story document, but you’ll have to call me back in a couple of weeks because I would love to tell you about it. It’s a story that involves one of our core characters who has been on the show for a long time and it is something that in soap history has never been done. It’s a story that has never been told.

But in terms of getting the show back on its feet, we wanted to reintroduce the fans to these beloved characters that they know and love. We wanted to tell character driven story, but we also wanted to move plot quicker than plot moved back in the old days on ABC. With the new format and being online, we wanted to really be able to push plot while developing character. And if you can do those two things together I think you’ll be largely successful. And we want the audience to connect with the characters and connect with the stories through the characters. Any classic characters coming back who we can look out for?

Pepperman: We are in talks to bring back a very popular classic character and I’m not at liberty to say yet who it is. But the fans will be very excited by it. Because we are a half-hour show I want to make sure all of the characters on the canvas have story.