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Oakdale Confidential:
An As The World Turns Novel

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


By now, the Internet is more than overrun with stories of how fan opinion, fake trailers and enthusiasm affected the movie Snakes on a Plane to the point where film-makers actually went back and shot extra scenes based on what fans said they wanted to see.

Of course, fan involvement has long been a staple of soaps. Actors as diverse as John Stamos (Blackie; GH) and Trent Dawson (Henry; ATWT), who started out as day-players, ended up with contracts due to fan enthusiasm.

Trent told me back in April, "I started working what was supposed to be a couple of days, then I heard a couple of weeks, then it turned into six and a half years. When I was recurring, I would know up to three weeks in advance so, for five years, I assumed every three weeks I was gone. That had it's minuses in terms of your mental stability. It's nice to have a little security on that end now. I went on contract almost exactly a year ago."

And then there are the soap couples that are so popular that their fans love them right off the screen. DOOL's Patch and Kayla were one such example. When actor Stephen Nichols chose to leave the show, fans were so vocally adamanat against his on-screen wife being paired with anyone else, that eventually it left actress Mary Beth Evans stuck in a very lonely corner, and she left, as well.

Over on OLTL, fans want Viki and Clint together. So all of poor Viki's other spouses -- Sloane, Ben -- are doomed to death.

GL's Danny and Michelle tried other people, but the fans insisted on a Santos reunion. So they wed four times, and now live happily ever after -- off-camera.

The question is, should fans be allowed to dictate story for soaps, movies, etc... And, if they do, is it really a win for them in the end?


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