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Douglas Marland

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    akh_cat
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    #1204652974

    My favorite soap writer in the history of daytime tv was 3 time Emmy winner Douglas Marland. This man was a freaking genius!!!! He knew how to write a show and incorporate big casts. His work is still highly regarded today. He wrote at Another World with mentor Harding Lemay (they won the 1975 Emmy for Best Writing). Then NBC moved him over to The Doctors where his work was critically acclaimed. Then he and Gloria Monty saved General Hospital from cancellation. Then he went to As The World Turns for 13 weeks in 1979. Then he went to Guiding Light and won the Emmys for Best Writing Team in 1981 and 1982. In 1983 he & Agnes Nixon created Loving and he was headwriter for two years. In 1985 he went back to As The World Turns and spent the next 7 and a half years there until his death in 1993. The NATAS gave him the Lifetime Achievement Daytime Emmy after his death. He was also awarded the Soap Opera Digest Awards for Best Storyline and The Editors Award along with then Executive Producer Laurence Caso prior to his passing.

    Who are some of your favorite Douglas Marland characters and what storylines grabbed your attention?

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    Frank2803
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    #1204655470

    Not really familiar with a lot of Marland’s work, but I know he was responsible for some of the most iconic storylines in soap history

    I wonder what he had in store for ATWT before his untimely death

     

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    akh_cat
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    #1204657016

    Not really familiar with a lot of Marland’s work, but I know he was responsible for some of the most iconic storylines in soap history I wonder what he had in store for ATWT before his untimely death

     

    I wondered that too. I believe Juliet Law Packer and Richard Backus probably followed his storyline bible.

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    FreemanGriffin
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    #1204657095

    Unfortunately I did not get to see his work on Another World and General Hospital, but I did get to see his work on The Doctors, Guiding Light, Loving, and As the World Turns. He is my all-time favorite headwriter. On several of his shows there was network interference with his work and he resigned in protest.

    On The Doctors he improved the show vastly during his two years. He didn’t create the Dancys but he did bring them to the fore. The show had been boring for about a year before he showed up and created some better storylines.

    On Guiding Light we got the amazing Nola, played by the late Lisa Brown. He created the role of Carrie for Jane Elliot, who was superb in the role, and it was her being fired that led to his leaving the show.

    The first two years of Loving were terrific but once again the network interfered, particularly with the incest storyline – because they wanted to claim that their primetime movie Something About Amelia was the first to explore the issue. He got Loving off to a great start. I happen to have loved that show throughout its run and felt it was never given enough credit for being a terrific show.

    Then came his masterpiece – his eight years writing As the World Turns. They were the glory years. Lily and Holden, Iva and Rod, Lucinda, Bob and Kim finding Sabrina, the stalker storyline with Douglas Cummings, murder mysteries that were interesting, the resurrection of James Stenbeck, turning Barbara into a villainess instead of a heroine, Margo’s deaf storyline, Jessica Griffin, Frannie and Sabrina, the Snyder clan – just so many great stories, the show was the best of the best during his time as headwriter.

    He also had great rules for soap writing that I wish were being followed in the here and now. We have lost all of our great soap writers. He was the best.

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    adamunc
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    #1204673508

    My favorites of his were the Carrie Todd Marler story (I love a good split personality yarn) and the redemption of Nola Reardon during his time at Guiding Light. Inside of a year, he took Nola from a manipulator and schemer (that the audience loved to hate) to the show’s heroine by having her receive a devastating comeuppance for her lies to Kelly and then change her ways after falling in love with Quint. Of course, her movie fantasies helped the audience see things from her side and Lisa Brown’s (RIP) vivacious performance sold it all.

    Interesting story — casting director Betty Rea was responsible for getting Brown in front of Marland. They were casting the role of Morgan and even though Brown was wrong for that, Rea sent Marland her reel because she was so magnetic. Marland recalled later that Rea told him, “Someone’s going to get this girl and I think it should be us.” So Nola was introduced a few months earlier than planned.

    Marland’s stories were so carefully constructed and interwoven, like a novel. And boy, could he do payoff! If I had one knock on him, it would be that the dialogue for his shows could be stilted and formal sometimes, but his stories were so compelling it was easy to excuse.

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    Frank2803
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    #1204675466

    Is it true that Marland created Luke and Laura?

    If so that alone puts him in another league all on his own.

     

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    akh_cat
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    #1204675635

    Is it true that Marland created Luke and Laura?

    If so that alone puts him in another league all on his own.

    He created Luke, but Laura was already there by the time Marland went to GH. Bridget and Jerome Dobson created Laura in 1974. Marland came to GH in 77.

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    soapfandc
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    #1204675786

    Interestingly, Doug Marland originally planned to kill off the character of Luke after 6 months (Laura and Scotty were supposed to be the end game couple) but Luke was very popular with audiences and Gloria Monty (the executive producer) and had amazing chemistry with Laura and the rest is history.

    Doug Marland wrote some great unexpected parentage storylines. Amanda on guiding light being Alan Spaulding’s daughter (and the great “murder” trial of Lucille Wexler) and then Lily Walsh /Snyder on ATWT being Iva’s daughter.

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