Soap Actors Dish on The Future of Soaps.

Soaps.com has been asking Daytime actors for their thoughts and feelings on what the future of soap operas holds. We’ve interviewed Y&R’s Amelia Heinle and had a dialogue with DOOL’s James Scott and have spoken with B&B’s Ashley Jones about the future of soaps.

With Passions and Guiding Light off the air and As the World Turns almost over, we wonder what that means for the future of soap operas.

Emmy Award Winning Actress, Talk-Show Host, Designer and Author, Linda Dano tells Soaps.com her thoughts about the future of soap operas:

Soaps.com: How long will soaps last on network TV?

Linda: I don’t have a good feeling about the future of soaps as we’ve known them. Even before I booked my first soap when I was still living in California as a temporary replacement on General Hospital, I loved them as a fan! Having watched more and more shows being canceled including my beloved “Another World,” I can’t see the remaining shows staying on the air the way we know them today. Optimistically, I’d say 10 years. It’s a very unique medium. Everyone who works on a soap will tell you that the cast and crew become family. Our extended family is the wonderful fans who are devoted, loving and loyal. I am proud to have worked in this medium that is so important to so many.

Soaps.com: If there is a better venue for the medium?

Linda: Producing a new show five times a week, every week, no repeats, no hiatus is very expensive. It’s no longer a financial model that works the way people consume entertainment today. Maybe we’re heading to a cut down version. Even three times a week is a huge commitment for the audience that has so many other entertainment choices. I remember when soaps were so important in the entertainment community that I, along with several of the most popular actors were invited to be honored at The White House. It was thrilling and said a lot about how these actors were viewed by the American people. I don’t know if fans will follow the shows to Cable or the Internet but both are possibilities.

Soaps.com: Why the number of soap operas continues to dwindle?

Every show and network has tried to figure this out. What I do know is that shows are in jeopardy because of the high costs of production. It takes a lot of people to produce quality shows. We’re also in jeopardy of having so many, many people out of work…not just actors but the highly skilled production, writing and support people who rely on these shows to support their families. In New York, once As the World Turns goes off the air, there will be only one show produced in this city (One Life to Live)…down from 5! These days our audience is split between all the other choices they have. Both men and women are working, taking care of families and not available to watch their shows regularly. I can assure you that it’s not for a lack of trying. Every executive I know is working on finding a solution. When “Another World” was canceled in June 1999, ABC wanted to retain the audience by having my character in a crossover storyline which was the first time a Daytime character had ever appeared on four shows on the same network. I do know that audience input is very very important. Please ask your readers to let the executives know how much they still love their shows.