I would like to thank you for consenting to this interview and i have to say I am very excited about
this new concept of soaps/
Nanci – Thank you very much for taking the time to interview me regarding “Proper Manors.” Please feel free to follow up with any clarification questions. We appreciate your support!
NYSE: First can you tell me how Proper Manors came about?How long have you been thinking about
PD: “Proper Manors” came about as the result of me watching soap operas every day after school beginning around the age of ten years old. I grew up with four older sisters and they watched soaps. It all began with “General Hospital” in the Luke & Laura days and stories like The Ice Princess/Casadines were having a major impact on me. As a result, I always had a fictionalized version of every day real life that I explained to my wonderful stepmother. Around age 12 she suggested I start writing..so I did. the project was originally called “Southern Manors.” I kept revisiting the characters and the story lines over the last 20 years while I was working in the entertainment industry. I had a creative explosion with the project last summer while living in Utah and realized it was time to make it happen. I then moved to New Hampshire late last August and auditioned for a web series called “Round the Square” on www.shortstream.tv
I ended up booking the job and pitched the creators/producers on the soap, which originally was going to only be online. Since then, it has gained momentum and really has taken on a life of its own. The move to MyTV was a huge development.
NYSE: What will Proper Manors be about? What is the premise?
PD: The project is loosely based on my own life growing up in the small town of Plant City, FL as the son of a mysteriously successful Italian businessman and a well to do Southern stepmother who ruled with a loving yet iron fist. That same town was full of scandals and secrets. I relied on a best friend to help me navigate safely through my teen years into adulthood. “Proper Manors” is a fictionalized version of that life and the alternate reality I often created to survive and understand my role in the world. It is, in the end, a love note to all I have ever known and all the people who have touched my life.
NYSE: I have read that you are interested in signing victoria Rowell.Is this true?
PD: All I can at this point is that we are in talks. Victoria is a tremendously talented writer, producer, actor, activist and humanitarian. We are focused on creating a true “Proper Manors” family and when Victoria and I met we agreed that we shared a common vision. Victoria has many offers on the table.
NYSE: what other soap stars are you thinking of asking to join Proper Manors?
PD: Matthew Borlenghi is in as Gianni Sorrento. We also met with Larry Brygmann, Martha Byrne and would love Kim Zimmer. None of this is official. We are developing a role for Larry with hopes we can create a perfect deal. Martha is focusing on Gotham, her web soap, at the moment. We had great meetings! On a personal note I am a huge fan of Colleen Zenk Pinter, Elizabeth Hubbard and Trent Dawson. Would be thrilled to have some 1980’s prime time soap stars make guest appearances.
NYSE: Can you tell me your vision for this new venture?
PD: The intention is to have a new five day a week series that will fill the void for CBS viewers who are mourning the death of Guiding Light and As the World Turns. MyTV is being very supportive. Other networks have expressed interest so anything seems possible at the moment. Slow steady managed growth is key along with soap stars making a commitment to the show on par with the other talent.
NYSE: Have you always been a soap fan and what are your favorite soaps and characters if so?
PD: I began watching soap operas at the age of 10. My first soap was “General Hospital.” Soon after that I discovered “The Young & the Restless,” and “As the World Turns.” Later in my teen years I started splitting my time between GH & Guiding Light, finally settling into GL as an older teen. My favorite soap is ATWT. I grew up with Lily, Dusty, Holden, Andy, and Paul. When I launched my career as an Actor my goal was to one day join ATWT.
I am a huge fan of the strong older matriarch. I loved Alexandra Spaulding (GL). Lucinda Walsh (ATWT) and Katherine Chancellor (Y&R) are like mothers to me. I love everything they do! Obviously I have a soft spot for most of the veterans on ATWT. I remember the day Dru arrived on Y&R and loved watching her ascent in Genoa City. Bill Bell is a true role model for me and Y&R seems to be getting strong again.
When it comes to the males, it’s all about Y&R — I can’t deny Christian LeBlanc is mesmerizing. Doug Davidson can still make me cry as a grown man. Michael Muhney is a guilty pleasure and bringing back Thom Bierdz was a real treat. From ATWT, the characters of Dr. John Dixon, Bob Hughes and James Stenbeck seemed, for me, to showcase the good and bad in every man so I took a lot with me as a soap fan watching how those characters developed.
I just love soaps!
NYSE: Will you explain how this venture will be different from a Web series?
PD: We are on broadcast TV in the New England market which is approximately 3 million homes including all the other providers (Comcast, FIOS, Dish, Direct TV, etc.) We are in talks with other markets about expanding further into the country. We will slowly expand into other markets.
NYSE:What do you think the future holds for daytime television soaps?
PD: I believe Y&R and B&B will be the last two standing. I see soaps moving to smaller cable channels with much smaller budgets. It is imperative that the entire industry as well as writers, producers, actors, directors and most importantly, fans, work together on supporting new ventures. Salaries are going to have to be slashed initially to keep the genre alive. It is imperative that sponsors and advertisers recognize that their support now, more than ever, is vital. I do think fans will become more supportive of the brands and companies that support daytime.
NYSE: Do you think the internet is the future for soaps?
PD: The internet is the future for almost everything we do in the industry but at the end of the day people want to watch TV on their sofas at home and be a part of a soap community/family. DVR has brought viewers back to television in droves. Being able to watch what we want when we want is part of the lifestyle that many of us prefer. I often catch up at night or on weekends with my soaps. I do believe the future of soaps is in the hands of the soap fans.
NYSE: One more question, what would you do to keep soaps on television ?
PD: As described above — make the whole process much leaner. Implement more product placement. Lower salaries to rebuild the industry. Recognize the fans and allow them to have feedback. Most importantly – Actors must have feedback and be allowed to participate in the shows and be treated with respect.
NYSE: Thank you so much for your time and for giving us a new soap to look forward to.
PD:It’s been my pleasure.
“Welcome to Proper! You’ve been warned..”