One of the all-time magicians of the daytime genre, Paul Rauch discussed the plight of the soaps and the end of his beloved One Life to Live with TV Guide Canada in a new feature from Nelson Branco. Rauch, who recently left The Young and the Restless as co-executive producer is widely known for his tremendous producing skills as head honcho at Another World, Guiding Light, and of course, One Life to Live.
During the TVG interview, Rauch gave his thoughts on how his protege Frank Valentini (EP, OLTL) is handling the news of the series ending. In addition, Rauch reveals his thoughts as the daytime landscape is all but washed away, and where many wrong turns were made within the industry over the last few decades. Here are a few excerpts!
Rauch on how Valentini handled the news of the cancellation of OLTL: “He was devastated. I think he particularly believed ABC would keep the show on the air because One Life was doing such a good job [creatively and staying under budget]. He thought business as usual would continue. He was knocked out by the news. Frank will do a terrific job from now until the end of the show. No doubt about it. And my guess? I think their numbers will improve.”
Rauch on if he thinks that now that two soaps have been canceled, if those viewers will in turn start to watch the four remaining soaps: “I don’t know. People are so engrained in their own habits, so I don’t see that necessarily. I like sports, but if I don’t have football or baseball on, I’m not going to turn to hockey and basketball because I don’t like hockey and basketball. I’m not sure if that’s the benchmark or not, but I don’t know if viewers will turn to another story. I think fans might be angry – and not watch any soaps [because why invest]?”
Rauch on the way Oprah Winfrey delivered her message to soap fans that her OWN network, would not pick up AMC and OLTL: “She took the air as the decider when she said we’ll never do it. Unfortunately, she didn’t say, ‘My network can’t support an expensive model like soap operas.’ Essentially, she said, ‘soaps are done.’ I think it was a gratuitous point of view. The question posed by fans was: would your network be interested in [absorbing] AMC and One Life? What she should have said was: ‘We’re a branded network and we can’t afford a quarter to a million dollars a week to produce a show, but we can produce other shows for much less.’ That’s what her statement should’ve been instead of, ‘soaps are dead.’”