The Bold and the Beautiful’s head honcho, Brad Bell, spoke with On-Air On-Soaps previewing the fall storylines he has planned to kick B&B into high gear over the next couple months. From Stephanie’s cancer storyline, to Adam Gregory’s Thomas 2.0, to the decision to give Bill Spencer Jr. a son, Brad shares with us his thought-process. However the question on the minds of many long time viewers of the soap and new ones seems to be, what can be done to ensure that some of the cast gets more airtime. Brad has a revealing answer to that as well. Below is our “quickie” interview!
Fans always make comments and write to me, and it is indeed true, that it seems there is not enough airtime for all these characters you have on a half hour show. The complexity seems to come when you keep going back to the core original characters, while actresses such as Sarah Brown (Aggie) are put on the back-burner. How can we see more of everyone on the canvas? Is there any plan set in motion to fix this, although it must be daunting?
BRAD: “Those people writing to you are 100% right. There are too many characters and it is a juggling act right now. I do feel it is something we need to work on, and a character or two may end up dying this fall, or into next year. We may have to make some hard decisions and drop people from contracts, but just when you have somebody waiting in the wing, who is a great actor, there is a plot twist and you need them. So you can’t just get rid of them. This is a difficult time in soaps, but here at B&B we are also building the foundation for the next generation that is going to be a part of the show for years to come. That is how I am justifying our large cast right now. It’s trying to find who can carry the show forward along with our main core characters. I think we are getting a young group together now, that are just wonderful.”
Stephanie’s cancer storyline was a shocker that no one was expecting, and that is a great subject one to tackle. Is this story going to play out over the next few months? We suspect this storyline could contain your Emmy shows for this year’s competition.
BRAD: “We are investing a lot of time, effort, and location shoots going into this very special story arc featuring Susan Flannery (Stephanie) and Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) in a story that should be very touching and moving. This was a story I have wanted to tell for maybe five to eight years. It has been in the back of my mind, and I talked myself out of it many, many times. It has to do with the issue of homelessness in Los Angeles. And, now I am telling this, and it is interwoven into this story of Stephanie’s cancer. The two stories collide in a very unique and inspirational way. This will play out in the end of October really, and into November.”
And, you have a new Thomas in Adam Gregory? What can we expect… a total bad-boy?
BRAD: “Yes, we have a new Thomas and we are going to turn the show upside down with this new character. He is going to be very much like his father, Ridge, a little naughty, very sexual, a rule-breaker, and yet a hero so we are trying to do that balancing act. And we have some fashion shows coming up for November and some twists. Amber gets in the came and does what she does best, causing some trouble. And there may even be possibly a wedding coming up.”
Why the decision to give Bill Spencer Jr. a son and have Liam as the “chosen one”?
BRAD: “I knew I wanted to round out Bill Spencer Jr’s family. I knew once we secured Don Diamont (Bill), that we want to build around him since he is a force. Don nailed the character of Bill Spencer. I think of it as “Dr. Evil” and his son, Scotty! And in doing so they are polar opposites and would provide the show with humor, which I think is so important, and we created this family with Heather Tom (Katie), Scott Clifton (Liam) and Don Diamont. The thought of that was very alluring to me. They are three great talents.”
Your mother, Lee Bell ,just won another award and recognition for her legendary career from IATSE. Lee tells me she is still on the set every day. Does she ever call you, or come up to you and give you advice on the characters or what to do with a storyline?
BRAD: “She is very involved and here everyday. She watches the shows before I watch the shows and calls me with comments. She will be like, “Shouldn’t there be more romance in these shows?” And I go, “Yeah, you’re right.” Her comments are very broad and very wise. And still at my mom’s age she will say to me, “Get Ridge’s shirt off!” (Laughs) She likes the influx of young talent on our show, and knows it’s key to what we do and that grabbing a young demo is key.”