Drama! Betrayal! Rivals! It’s like a soap opera storyline. Fitting, considering the drama went down after ABC’s The Story of Soaps special. It was supposed to be a tribute to the daytime dramas, present and past.
However, in the final minutes, the special veered off course with a comment by Bravo host Andy Cohen. He basically said reality television replaces soap operas for viewers. And fans did not agree. Even a few soap stars disagreed with Andy’s assessment.
ABC Pays Tribute to Soaps With The Story of Soaps Special
The first soap opera was These Are My Children, debuting in 1949. While the show didn’t last long, it paved the way for other daytime staples such as All My Children, General Hospital and Days of Our Lives.
In soaps’ heyday, there were twenty daytime dramas spanning all of the networks. In 2020, soap fans are down to just four dramas on three networks. Among the four remaining is ABC’s GH. DOOL is still kicking on NBC, despite yearly cancellation rumors.
Many famous movie and television stars got their start in soaps. Including Meg Ryan, Demi Moore, Marisa Tomei and Laurence Fishburne. Full House star John Stamos got his start playing Blackie Parrish.
Andy Cohen Angers Soap Fans With His Comments
Bravo host Andy Cohen and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne helped pay tribute to soaps. However, Andy’s comments landed him in hot water with fans. According to People, he dubbed soaps as unnecessary. He said,
“I think that the Housewives have replaced soap operas because truth is stranger than fiction. Soaps became kind of unnecessary because you could do it with real people, and they’re writing the drama themselves.”
He notes that All My Children star and soap icon Susan Lucci probably doesn’t agree with him. Neither did the fans.
Soap Digest Writer and Fans Call Andy Cohen Out For His Comments During The Story of Soaps
Soap Opera Digest writer Carolyn Hinsey took Andy to task for his comments. She writes that reality TV can “NEVER!” replace soap operas.
Well #TheStoryofSoaps gave us a solid 90 minutes before taking a wrong turn with Andy Cohen bragging, "The Housewives have replaced soap operas." Never! Good stories need heroes and Reality TV has none. But kudos @ABC for the fantastic walk down memory lane 🥂— Carolyn Hinsey (@CarolynHinsey) May 20, 2020
General Hospital actors Wally Kurth (Ned) and Laura Wright (Carly) agreed with her.
Many fans took to social media to express their displeasure, as well.
Nope. Reality TV has never at ANY point been a reliable alternative to soaps. Stop. #TheStoryofSoaps— Serial Drama (@SerialDrama) May 20, 2020
Bravo Host Defends Himself, Assures Fans He’s a ‘Soap Fan’
Andy responded to the criticism by assuring fans that he went into the interview as a soap fan. He reveals that the producers asked him specifically about reality TV and he was simply answering the questions asked.
I went to the interview as a soap fan prepped to talk soaps, and they asked about reality tv and I answered their questions. Sue me!— Andy Cohen (@Andy) May 20, 2020
Despite Andy’s comments, many fans enjoyed the walk down memory lane. In fact, the ratings were so high, some fans are hopeful the networks may be open to bringing back their beloved soap operas.
A former soap opera publicist, Alan Locher, hosts cast reunions from some of the cancelled soaps. Check out his YouTube page here.
General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC. Days of Our Lives airs on NBC. The Young and The Restless and The Bold and The Beautiful air on CBS.