ABC and People are presenting The Story of Soaps, a two-hour primetime television event highlighting the iconic impact of the soap opera. Featuring an incredible panel of experts and voices, The Story of Soaps airs Tuesday, May 19 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC.
The Story of Soaps explores how no genre of television has laid deeper roots into our cultural consciousness and serialized storytelling than the soap opera. In today’s shifting television landscape, The Story of Soaps traces how female creators migrated from radio to television to become the dominant force in daytime for more than three decades.
Today, that legacy is alive and well all over prime time and reality, and much of what propels modern television traces its roots back to those first sprawling, steamy storylines. The Story of Soaps takes an extensive look at this iconic, impactful genre and the cultural phenomenon its massive impact has had on the world at large.
The Story of Soaps brings together an impressive company of experts and familiar voices to help illustrate this remarkable story (listed alphabetically by first name):
Abigail De Kosnik, author
Agnes Nixon, creator of All My Children
Alec Baldwin, actor
Allan Sugarman, co-founder of Soap Opera Festivals Inc.
Andy Cohen, creator
Angela Shapiro-Mathes, executive
Brad Bell, executive director
Bryan Cranston, actor
Carol Burnett, actor
Chandra Wilson, actor
Chris Van Etten, writer
David Jacobs, creator
Deidre Hall, actor
Denise Richards, actor
Donna Mills, actor
Drake Hogestyn, actor
Eddie Mills, actor
Eileen Davidson, actor and reality star
Erika Jayne, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Erika Slezak, actor
Finola Hughes, actor
Genie Francis, actor
Greg Vaughan, actor
James H. Brown, writer
Jill Farren Phelps, executive producer
John Aniston, actor
John McCook, actor
John Stamos, actor
Jon Hamm, actor
Jonathan Murray, executive producer
Joyce Becker, co-founder of Soap Opera Festivals Inc.
Kate Coyne, editorial director, entertainment, People
Ken Olin, executive producer
Krista Smith, consultant
Laura Wright, actor
Lorraine Broderick, head writer
Marc Samuel, actor
Marc Cherry, creator
Mark Teschner, casting director
Mary Crosby, actor
Maurice Benard, actor
Melody Thomas Scott, actor
Shelly Altman, head writer
Susan Lucci, actor
Susan Sullivan, actor
Vivica A. Fox, actor
Yhane Smith, creator of Harlem Queen
The Story of Soaps marks the third time that ABC and People have partnered on a documentary event. In August 2017, they teamed up for The Story of Diana, a two-night prime-time event that commemorated the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s tragic passing at 36 years old and, in August 2018, for The Story of the Royals, a prime-time television event that documented the fascinating lives of the British royal family.
The Story of Diana drew a combined cumulative audience of 12.7 million Total Viewers over the course of its two-night event, and The Story of the Royals pulled in 10.1 million viewers over the course of two nights.
The Story of the Soaps is produced for ABC by the television production division of Meredith Corporation with executive producers Bruce Gersh, Bruce Robertson and Dan Wakeford; and by Maggievision Productions with executive producers Maura Mandt and Rebecca Gitlitz.