Monday, May 04, 2009
Daytime talent manager Michael Bruno reflects on the state of ABCs soaps
Although he is best known to fans as the Simon Cowell of SOAPnet's I WANNA BE A SOAP STAR, talent manager Michael Bruno is more familiar to industry insiders for his success working behind the scenes. What does the real-life starmaker have to say about your fa-
"I think Chuck [Pratt Jr.] has been very good for ALL MY CHILDREN," Bruno says of the veteran scribe, who became Pine Valley's head writer last year. "The show's pace is quicker.
It's not easy to tell a story about the war, but they've done that very honestly. Bobbie [Eakes, Krystal] has gotten the best material she's ever had. Melissa [Claire Egan] is a
revelation as Annie."
The manager applauds the creative team at ONE LIFE TO LIVE for knowing what they want. "Frank [Valentini, executive producer] and Ron [Carlivati, headwriter] have a tendency to cut their losses sooner than later with things that didn't work out like Vanessa," Bruno says. "There's a great sense of humor on OLTL and not just with Tuc Watkins' David but also with Trevor St. John (Todd). I like him."
Bruno doesn't sing the praises of every show, though. While he applauds GENERAL HOSPITAL for adding more "hospital" to its storylines, he concurs with viewers who want to see Genie Francis return as Laura on a more permanent basis. "She's very much the audience in terms of look, heart and in age," Bruno observes. "To have Laura back would center that show even more." The talent rep wouldn't instantly reunite soaps' most famous couple, however. "I'd have her back as a woman ready to restart her life. Both Genie and Laura have always been the voice of reason. They don't have that on the show right now."
Still, Bruno's aware that there are reasons that viewers aren't seeing more of their past favorites — reasons that they and even industry insiders may not even know. "When people say, 'It'd be great if Cady McClain (ex-Dixie, AMC), Renee Goldsberry (ex-Evangeline, OLTL), and Genie would all come back,' the reality is that there are factors that we don't know about that are preventing those returns from happening, at least for now," he teases.
— Michael Maloney