Earlier this week, On-Air On-Soaps caught up with the executive producer and head writer of The Bold and the Beautiful during the series 6000th episode milestone celebration. Bell, who along with his creative team have won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series for two years running, look to be one of the odds-on favorites for a nomination going into this year’s competition with their new storytelling process of blurring the lines of reality drama, as they have successfully done with the homeless story and the lung cancer storyline.
Bell gave us his thoughts on the changes made to the new and exciting opening title sequence – fashion runway theme- debuting to audiences on February 21st, where his story focus is going to be as we move out of winter and into the beginning of Spring, and his success with socially relevant topics in the new B&B way of storytelling on soaps. Here’s our “quickie” chat with Brad!
So what did you think of the new opening? Is everything you had set out for it to be? And, how did the whole concept come about?
BRAD: I love it and we are going to be tweaking it before we air it. It is high-def and computer generated. We were working with CBS Digital and saw their Dancing with the Stars opening, and I got sick of looking at the current one, which I like, but it has been six and half years! And with this renewal from CBS, we really wanted to celebrate and say, “We are not on our way out. We are reinventing ourselves.” We take the audience’s time as very valuable and very seriously. So instead of looking at the same thing everyday that is mind-numbing, we thought, why not make it a little more interesting!
Are we going to continue to see B&B blur the lines of reality and daytime drama…as you have done with the homeless storyline and now with the lung cancer story? Will a new social issue be presented on the series every quarter of the year?
BRAD: I would not say we would do a social issue every quarter, but it is something we are going to continue doing, which is this style of keeping our characters in character and bringing in real people. It’s like a hybrid of reality and real daytime drama. That is our technique, and we are going to continue it subtly. We understand our primary purpose is to entertain, but if we can sneak in a little information and education on important topics that seem to fit organically within the show, we are going to do it.
The 6000th episode that aired this week… are you very, very proud of it?
BRAD: I am very proud of it, and this is why we made it the 6000th episode. We knew it being the 6000th episode would bring a spotlight to it. It is saying we are a different production company and an evolving production company, and we are proud of it and proud of who we are. It’s very exciting!
What can fans of B&B look forward to as we move into spring?
BRAD: I am very excited about the Spencer family right now. I think Amber with her n’er-do-well mother, Tawny, are bringing that life and energy and humor and plot that comes with these characters. I am excited about seeing her interact with Liam. I think they are going to be a dynamic duo as the plot unravels. Also, we have Jacqui MacInnes Wood back and she is going to have her eyes on Bill Spencer. So Heather Tom’s “Katie” is going to have a rival! I feel very confident handing Heather the ball, because she delivers. It’s cool, because the Spencer family is now part of the fabric of the show. Don Diamont has done such a great job and they will all be something to watch in the coming months.
Will you continue to tell Stephanie’s lung cancer story?
BRAD: We have to continue to tell the lung cancer story with Stephanie, because Kathryn Joosten calls me and pesters me all the time! (Laughs) She is an amazing advocate for awareness for lung cancer. We are committed to Stephanie’s cancer, and doing as honest and a real a portrayal as we can.
For more coverage and interviews from B&B’s 6000th episode celebration, check out On-Air On-Soaps setside report and photo gallery here. And, interviews with Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) here, and Jack Wagner (Nick) here.