preload
Apr 14

Eric Braeden and the real John Jacob Astor

Daytime royalty, with 32 years of playing Victor Newman on “The Young and the Restless” so far, Eric Braeden doesn’t mince words when he talks about how it feels to be on one of the last soaps standing.  “Not very good, to be honest.  They’re replacing the soaps with bull#$@!, with crap.  It’s what happens when huge corporations take over, things are reduced to the lowest common denominator,” blasts the actor, who is being seen on the big screen now as the “Titanic’s” wealthiest passenger, John Jacob Astor.

“You cannot tell me that all of a sudden, people who have been used to the novelistic form of entertainment, soap operas, have suddenly lost interest,” he goes on.  “This form of serialized storytelling goes back to radio, to serialized novels.  Dickens was essentially a soap opera writer.  The desire to see, to be part of that has not died suddenly.  I think it has died in the minds of some executives.”

Braeden’s last contractual go-round, in 2009, was so difficult that for awhile, it appeared he might be ending his run with the show.  He finally wound up with his current three-year deal that runs into the fall.  His feelings about his future on “Y&R”?  “To be honest with you, I don’t know.  I don’t,” he says.  “It depends on how hostile an environment the negotiations are carried out in.  If it’s as adversarial as it was, I have no interest.”

And yet, his love of the work itself continues, he is quick to add.  “I love acting and the challenge of making something real…I think soap actors are the most disciplined lot of all.  Of course, all the way to work, I reflect on the idea that I am still one of the few people working.  I’m deeply grateful to be able to do that.”

SPEAKING OF SOAPS:  Daytime drama fans were heartened this week by ABC’s decision to renew the stalwart “General Hospital,” and give the heave-ho to one of the new alternative daytime shows, “The Revolution.”  And, while soaps have largely disappeared from daytime, they’re proliferating in prime time.  Several soap writers have migrated to ABC Family, grinding out serialized fare for the younger set.  TNT’s upcoming “Dallas” continuation is already causing big excitement months before its June 13 debut.  A network press mailing of the first seven episodes already has many viewers hooked.  Wait until you see that hot younger generation of Ewings!  And what could be soapier than the probable return of Judith Krantz’ “Scruples” as an ABC series starring beautiful people Claire Forlani, Chad Michael Murray and Boris Kodjoe?  Shooting this month, the “Scruples” pilot boasts a script from Bob Brush and Mel Harris, who are executive producing along with Tony Krantz (the elder of author Judith and the late Steve Krantz’ sons), Annette Savitch and Natalie Portman.

52 Responses to “Eric Braeden: ‘They’re Replacing the Soaps with Crap’”

  1. Carolyn Says:

    So good to hear one of the actors of a soap opera tell it like it is. I am delighted they are keeping General Hospital and letting that stupid show The Revolution go. I am very sorry they let two classic soaps go, All My Children, and One Lite to Live. I am so sick of all this reality tv.

  2. annette Says:

    Eric has hit the nail on the head. FIRST, why is it that everyone who comments about the replacement show literally calls them “crap”? With all the available adjectives this one is the one used by almost everyone. The reason is because these replacement shows such as the Chew are indeed crap. Crap is the most appropriate adjective. Down right CRAP. ABC has made horrible decisions to kill off it’s most popular soap– One Life to Live.
    NEXT, he points out the truth that viewers love of soaps have not died. ABC wants to make people believe that, but the facts dont lie. Even by the networks own beloved criteria, the Nielsen’s One Life to Live had double the viewers that it’s replacement and had millions of viewers.
    ABC just wanted to make more money–that’s the only reason they cancelled AMC and OLTC. Reality shows are CHEAPER to produce. They made tons of money with AMC and OLTL and millions of fans watched. But, it was not enough. Greed called and they wanted more money and produced cheaper products.
    Eric could not be more accurate. GOOD for him for speaking the truth and not buying the load of crap the networks are trying to peddle.
    Millions of former OLTL viewers are boycotting ABC primetime and only watching General Hospital. Maybe ABC will recognize what idiots they were to cancel AMC and OLTL when the rest of their shows tank. Just look at the ratings…. the boycott is effective.
    Fans agree with Eric. Fans are voting with their dials and tuning out networks that piss them off by taking off shows they love.
    GOOD FOR ERIC!!

  3. Claudia Kurzyna Says:

    Thank you Eric for speaking out! You have been part of the soap opera genre for a long time!

  4. Susan Montez Says:

    Thanks for a great article! I have started watching Y&R since AMC went off the air. It’s a really great show, I just haven’t been watching it for 40 years. There are so many soap fans out here, and I think the ratings show that the soaps have more staying power than anything else in the daytime. People are sick of talk and reality. They want stories.

  5. Babs Limbach Says:

    Thank you for being so honest! I agree with you whole-heartedly.

  6. Edna Barefoot Says:

    If soap operas are over, so the execs say, then why are they doing soaps on primetime? We could all be happy if they had left well enough alone. Frons came in to ABC/D and screwed soap fans completely. The networks could fix this by just putting soaps back where they belong. Hard to imagine Y&R Eeic Braden on it. Execs have no hearts. There pockets are too deep.

  7. Troy Turner Says:

    You tell em Eric-and while not a regular YR viewer, I hope it gets straightened out. Genoa City wouldn’t be the same without you around…

  8. Cindy Says:

    I have watched you for years on Y&R and doing a incredible job.Day time scripted shows I love and that tells me what networks I am loyal to.So CBS because of Y&R with B&B I watch evening news and 70 percent of prime time with CBS The same with NBC now ABC/Disney I only watch GH no ABC or Disney in my home.Thank you for this interview both Eric and the writer.

  9. Lisa E. Grant Says:

    No wonder they casted him in that role. Eric Braeden looks just like J.J. Astor.

  10. dallasmom Says:

    Eric Braden should be commended for his true statement. I agree that the soap genre has not died and viewers have suddenly lost interest. It’s people like Brian Frons and Anne Sweeney that have decided we fans don’t want soaps anymore. We will not be trained like dogs to watch their vision of daytime. I am a proud soap opera fan!

  11. ShannonB Says:

    Mr. Braeden’s assessment of the quality of replacement shows is spot on. They are totally “bull#$@!,…crap” and it seems everyone in the world knows it. There is a reason the Revulsion tanked…the Emperor was seen without his clothes. Soap fans have NOT gone away, again, just as Mr. Braeden states. We are here, we are not going away and we will not be happy until our shows are restored.

  12. melanie Says:

    Soap operas are dramas. Whether they are played 5 days a week for once a week. Even the series that play on the premiere channels like HBO and Showtime are essentially soap operas. There is a conflict, a climax and it is this anticiaption that makes people tune in again and again each week. it is just too bad that since ABC has upset so many of their viewers they have lost potential viewers for any new shows they are creating. I have seen some commercials for upcoming shows and will not watch them out of spite for them cancelling OLTL.

  13. Marji Says:

    I have enjoyed Eric Braeden’s portrayal of Victor Newman. A no nonsense sort of character. It is refreshing to know that Victor’s portrayor also calls it as he sees it.
    His comments are dead on. We have not lost interest in serialized drama. We crave it and want very much for it continue. Many of us have spent the last year fighting for the genre we love and we will continue to so until ALL the networks hear us and realize the viewers will BE heard. We do not want to be dictated to as to our viewing preferences. Just ask ABC, who recently cancelled a very short run on a replacement show for One Life to Live. The show was cancelled within 3 months. Reality is done, and we want serialized dramas.

    Marji

  14. robin Says:

    I agree, it is sad to see my beloved soaps get thrown away and replaced with mindless talk shows. I am retired and look for to my soaps. I will turn off my TV rather than watch anything else. All those years I worked thinking when I retire I will be able to watch my soaps during the day and prime time shows in the evening. Before I would come home and watch all the soaps I had recorded on my 2 tvs and thats all. Well, I don’t even watch primetime because of all the ‘reality’ shows (whose dumb idea was that?). I guess maybe I should get a part time job or go back to school, but if the TV breaks down and I have no more dramatic shows to watch I will not replace. And one more thing, I’m the one with the money, not my kids!

  15. Camille Gnolfo Says:

    I have loved Eric Braeden for several years. He is one of the finest actors
    we have been blessed with in the Soap Genre. His role in the Titanic proved to us he can do almost anything. I love the way he speaks his mind with such courage and conviction. It is true soaps are being replace with garbage and it is all about greed. They just keep cancelling fine scripted drama to bring in cheap reality shows so they can line their pockets. Fans of the Soap Genre are fed up We are the ones that keep their network ratings up and they just don’t care. For the last year the soap fans have had enough. Yes, ABC cancelled their reality show The Revolution, and yes we won that battle and it was a small victory. We will not stop with our Movement until we find a new home for the Soap Genre where they will be welcomed with open arms. We also won’t stop until Agnes Nixon retains her rights back to the Cancelled shows All My Children and One Life to Live which are being held hostage by the ABC Network. There was this line in the movie Network whcih all Soap Fans are screaming WE HAD ENOUGH AND WE WON’T TAKE IT ANYMORE
    I thank you for printing this article for you see the actors and the crew are in times where their whole life can change with a blink of an eye and all for Greed

  16. Christine Says:

    Many of us grew up with these people. Thay have become like family to us. The soap genre gives us many stories; some make us laugh, cry or keep us current on social issues. The soaps have such talented actors who can pull this off on a daily basis. The writers try their hardest to make these stories real.The directors and support staff have worked diligently to bring us a high level of entertainment. As a soap fan of nearly 50 years, I want to thank everyone of these people for the years of laughter, excitment, hope and understanding that they have brought to me. I will fight to the end to save this genre.

  17. christine mackie Says:

    I am on the same page as you Eric.I have watched Y& R since it first came on.All the other crap they put on TV to-day they keep.

  18. Rosemary Says:

    Refresing to read Eric Braedens’ honest comments. Kudos to him telling it like it is, about the state of affairs regarding the Y & R and all of the Soap Genre, vs the Tv Executives. Soap fans are very heartened by the great news Re: General Hospital remaining & being re-newed on ABC. But we know the remaining three soaps are not necessarily quaranteed their honored places on tv, so the Soap fans will still ber fighting toalso save them from extinction. We are behind the entire Soap Genre!

  19. Danielle Johnson Says:

    He is absolutely correct

  20. Lisa A Says:

    Thankyou Mr Braeden for speaking on behalf of soap fans. I agree 100% with you, it is absolutely the executives who have lost interest,not the fans. They are using US asan excuse to do what they want to do. Whatever. I’m so sick of all the games. Thank the Lord they renewed GH.

  21. Kymba Says:

    I just love this article!! So nice hearing a soap actor come out in regards to the cancellations of the soaps. my favorite part is when he says “The desire to see, to be part of that has not died suddenly. I think it has died in the minds of some executives.”” you hit the nail on the head!! We started fighting against this a year ago Sat. We want AMC and OLTL back and will not stop until it is! And because of that I feel, abc chose not to cancel GH, One of the smartest moves they have made in a few years, the other…cancelling the revolution WOOHOO!! that was bad!! If your reading this and want to help in the fight, please join us at
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-AMC-OLTL/196107477091969

  22. Kristi murphy Says:

    I really wish they would leave the soaps alone. I love them and I agree with Eric Braden. They will never be successful with these cooking shows and the stupid revolution. Leave my soaps alone

  23. Justin Says:

    So true! These days big companies are more concerned about their wallets than they are about the fans of these iconic shows.

  24. Kristen Howe Says:

    I agree with Eric Braeden. We don’t want REALITY SHOWS! We want scripted TV, daytime or night-time. Good riddance to the Revolution. What goes around, ABCD, comes around. And the Chew will get the heave-ho next, if we had anything to do about it.

  25. Marj Says:

    Now if they can make some of these nighttime soaps daily!

  26. Jill Says:

    I agree with Eric. When AMC&OLTL were canceled, Brian Frons said the audience wanted reality tv. How did that man know what we wanted? Had he knew and listened, he would have realized that the audience wanted their soaps back and safe. Anne Sweeney is just as bad. They claim to know what their audience wants, but the truth is they don’t. They don’t care what we want. They are just worried about money. We want all of our soaps back and after. I think we should protect them all not matter what network they are on.

  27. Jeanene Says:

    Mr. Braeden’s comments are spot on. I rarely watch network television anymore because cable has such great programming. ABC really laid an egg when they cancelled the soaps for the afternoon yakfest we currently have. There is no balance at all in the programming and it is shameful. NBC is no better with its afternoon of one judge show after another. What an insult to viewers.

  28. JoAnn Says:

    The reason I love watching the ABC Soaps was for the continued family drama told each day. I have been a loyal viewer of the ABC Soaps for over 30 years and always looked forward to seeing how each story would play out. When I worked I still made sure I DVR each of the shows for later viewing. I never missed a AMC, OLTL and GH, but on the other hand I would never consider taping a talk/food show. What ABC/Disney failed to do was when considering their daytime programming is what is the price of their loyal viewers. It has been proven cheaper programming does not mean better programming. What we ABC viewers want is original scripted Soaps.

  29. JoAnn Says:

    The reason I love watching the ABC Soaps was for the continued family drama told each day. I have been a loyal viewer of the ABC Soaps for over 30 years and always looked forward to seeing how each story would play out. When I worked I still made sure I DVR each of the shows for later viewing. I never missed a AMC, OLTL and GH, but on the other hand I would never consider taping a talk/food show. What ABC/Disney failed to do was when considering their daytime programming is what is the price of their loyal viewers. It has been proven cheaper programming does not mean better programming. What we ABC viewers want is original scripted Soaps.

  30. Kim Anderzak Says:

    It’s time for the SOAP ACTORS, DIRECTORS, PRODUCERS, WRITERS, and CREW to be allowed to speak out on their own behalf! BRAVO! to Eric Braeden for telling it like it REALLY is! It makes NO sense, whatsoever, to say that Daytime Soaps are dying and no one is interested in them. THAT statement, in and of itself, is CRAP! If there is no hope for the networks to bring back the cancelled soaps, it would be MY wish for there to be a “MEGASOAP”, whether it be on Daytime, Primetime, or the Internet, which would intertwine the characters and storylines together giving fans from ALL 3 ABC Soaps SOMETHING to look forward to…a couple days/nights a week, 1 or 1-1/2 hours long…cutting production costs, as well as, actors’ salaries since they would be on less often, but still have quality storylines! GH is “safe” for now, but what about a year from now? SOMEthing is better than NOthing!!! It’s DEFINITELY better than “CRAP”!!!!

  31. Persephone D. Miles Says:

    Thank you Mr. Braeden, just like his character Victor Newman, the man is telling it like it is!! Daytime soaps are being replaced by crap like The Chew and The Revolution, thank God ABC finally came to their senses and cancelled the horrible Revolution and renewed GH! They learned the hard way that their audience are NOT dogs who can be trained to watch mindless drivel like that no matter what Brian Frons thinks!

    ABC, you should really bring AMC & OLTL back as well, it’s not to late to do the right thing.

  32. Cassie Hicks Says:

    I’m so glad that Mr. Braeden is telling it like it is when it comes to soaps. He’s just as insightful as we are at this moment.:)

  33. Carol C Says:

    I wish more actors/actresses would speak up like Mr. Braeden did. So many movie stars have gotten their start on soap operas. This genre is not dead and soap fans will not accept the garbage that is replacing our shows. All we ask is that we receive a fair share of the pie. Talk/reality/game shows are a dime a dozen and there is a place for them but there is also a place for soap operas. We are just asking to be represented. Advertisers need to remember that we are consumers also.

  34. Rachel Says:

    Thank you sir! I wholeheartedly agree with you.

  35. Angie uptain Says:

    Totally agree with his assessment. ABC is all about the money with no thought of loyal viewers. To have loyal viewers for 40+ years should have been appreciated. You can’t train us to watch crappy cheap shows. We want escapism of soaps especially in theses hard times who needs more reality. There are too many other choices of channels we can watch. Someone will realize what ABC should have that they had something unique with soaps & Soapnet. Loyalty is a valuable comodity why do businesses say customer is always right because without them there is no business. So wakeup ABC or find yourself not just out of soap business but out of business period. We want OLTL & AMC back & Soapnet if not ABC maybe someone will have the vision to keep them alive.

  36. MistyV76 Says:

    Very well said Mr. Braeden, there is really nothing more that can be said. He said it perfectly. The viewers and desire for soaps have not died off, we are still here with just as much desire now as we ever had, indeed now more than ever. Corporate greed is going to take ABC down. Loyal soap viewers will not support such a network. One that does not value each and every viewer no matter what their ages may be and one that only wants more, more, more. Garbage reality shows are dying off and no one wants to watch a well-off celebrity have their problems when all we really want to do is escape from our own. Don’t buy into it ABC, or you will be taken out with the trash too.

  37. Linda Says:

    Television is in the business of entertainment. ABC should realize that they cannot decide for the viewers what we want to watch, not in the days of 500 channels available to us. Certainly they saved money by cancelling AMC and OLTL but at what cost? They have alienated millions of viewers. They cost hundreds of people to lose their jobs (cast and crews). Oh sure they saved some money but their reputation is shot to sh*t and they have pissed off so many people that even just saying the letters ABC still makes my tongue curl.

    Shame on you. Listen to the people that pay your salaries. No, I’m not talking about the advertisers. I’m talking about the viewers!

  38. Robynne Says:

    I am glad for Mr. Braeden’s honest remarks. I hope he does not have negative consequences because of speaking out, others have been under gag orders.

    The viewers have not lost interested in drama, serialized or not. And there is only so much reality, food shows and self-help I can stomach. When I want to find them, I know where to look.

    http://www.savethesoapgenre.com/

  39. Red River Says:

    ABC has made a huge mistake and virtually destroyed their Daytime platform that was a strength for the network. Now they have a big failure “The Revolution” and chaos in their scheduling. Frons has certainly left his mark on ABC, and not a good one. CBS should heed Eric Braeden’s words and renew his contract as soon as possible to avoid a mess on Y&R.

  40. Red River Says:

    ABC has made a huge mistake and virtually destroyed their Daytime platform that was a strength for the network. Now they have a big failure “The Revolution” and chaos in their scheduling. Frons has certainly left his mark on ABC, and not a good one. CBS should heed Eric Braeden’s words and renew his contract as soon as possible to avoid a mess on Y&R.

  41. Soap News: GH casts new Kristina, Is Eric Brady headed back to DAYS? Plus Soap Memes and more | Dose Says:

    […] Meanwhile, Eric Braden (Victor, Y&R) has spoken out on the soap replacements, “They’re replacing the soaps with […]

  42. kymash Says:

    Well Eric Braeden if you decide not to renew your contract I for one will be very happy. I have watched the Y&R since the beginning and the show was the best before Victor Newman came along and it will still be the best after you are gone…so why not let Victor Newman ride off into the sunset. In my opionion the character adds very little to the Y&R….the writers have made you into a vicious bully and the whole world is trying to stop bullying. I know it is the writers that have given your character but you really are not a very good actor. This is all just my opinion.

  43. Kitty Says:

    I have been a fan from the beginning. Victor is my husband’s favorite..I really love Mrs C, she is AWESOME…Keep Y & R on forever..

  44. Trapper Says:

    I always appreciate Mr. Braeden telling it like it is. He never minces words and he’s always upfront with what he believes.

    It’s true that daytime is becoming a vast wasteland of throw away programming. Why? Because it’s cheap to make, and the suits think that daytime viewers are sheep that will watch any crap they throw out there. I would think that we proved that not to be the case with The Revolution. The fact is that we’re intelligent adults that know what we want to watch. And we want to watch serialized, scripted drama. We know how to cook. We know how to dress ourselves. We DON’T need yet another show that talks down to us. We want an escape in our day, not a lecture. And if we don’t get it from one network, then we’ll watch another. and we’ll take the dollars that we spend buying advertised products with us.

  45. Jolene Beth Morgan Says:

    Mr. Eric Braeden is absolutely correct. when corporations begin to run an art form, everybody loses. To me soap operas are like live theater. We are able to see great acting up close and personal. Not all fans, myself included can always afford to see a live Broadway production. However each time that I watch Mr, Braeden do a scene, it is every bit as wonderful, and as exciting as watching any great actor performing on Broadway or any theater in the world, Hopefully we will all have many more years to watch Mr. Braeden, the many other talented actors that are still working hard on the remaining Soaps. To be able to see an actor of Mr. Braeden’s stature on T.V. is a remarkable joy.

  46. Jolene Beth Morgan Says:

    Mr. Eric Braeden is absolutely correct. when corporations begin to run an art form, everybody loses. To me soap operas are like live theater. We are able to see great acting up close and personal. Not all fans, myself included can always afford to see a live Broadway production. However each time that I watch Mr, Braeden do a scene, it is every bit as wonderful, and as exciting as watching any great actor performing on Broadway or any theater in the world, Hopefully we will all have many more years to watch Mr. Braeden, and the many other talented actors that are still working hard on the remaining Soaps. As a fan of soaps, i feel blessed to see such quality of acting,day after day.

  47. Eva Says:

    Eric, you do a great job. The show would not be the same without you.
    Folks that don’t work or are retired look forward to watching the Young and the Restless. It is a very good shou.

  48. Kris Says:

    Dont go Eric you are one of the best on daytime soaps and Young n Restless will not survive without you.!!!!!! please stay and negotiate a contract, we love you.

  49. brian hamilton Says:

    Good for you Eric for telling it like it is. It’s time all soap fans unite and boycott these ridiculous crap shows the networks are trying to force feed us! We’ve appreciated your good work over the years.

  50. gloria Schall Says:

    I agree that all the Daytime T>V> shows should be returned to the many people of all ages who lived every day to see them.. People need jobs and the TV networks can afford to put these people back to work. The young people running the agencies should realize what a mistake they have made to cancel all these shows. i know that many of us tried to voice our opinions at that time but never received an answer to our outcrys. There is still time to remedy this .

  51. laura Says:

    I have been watching the young and the restless since 1984,Please keep the series going!!!

  52. laura Says:

    Thank you for 30 yrs of a heck of a story!!

Leave a Reply