I happen to love the fact that as soaps disappear from network television the people behind the daytime magic are finding exciting new ways to keep industry workers in a job. While we all hoped that All My Children and One Life to Live would find great success in a rebooted online format only to have both fall apart fast, there are still some very bright spots for soap fans and one of them is Beacon Hill which debuted on March 5th.
The series focuses on the world of Boston politics and all of the complications that go hand-in-hand with that world. At the helm is Emmy-winning Executive Producer Crystal Chappell and Supervising Producer Hillary B. Smith. Both names should set off some serious bells and whistles with soap fans. Crystal has bounced around portraying strong female characters on Days of Our Lives, Guiding Light and The Bold and the Beautiful while Hillary spent a good chunk of her life gathering fans for her portrayal of Nora on One Life to Live. In other words, these ladies know exactly what they are doing in terms of building a great series. They know exactly what appeals to viewers and what it’ll take to suck viewers in. In the March 17th print edition of Soap Opera Digest Hillary talked about how exciting it is to see her friends and colleagues breathe life into brand new characters and how they really add little nuances that are amazing to watch.
Beacon Hill is a 12 episode series with each one running between 8-10 minutes. Perhaps they realized that soap fans weren’t investing in 30 minutes online with AMC and OLTL so in order to keep peoples’ attention shorter seems to be better. The show itself is built around Senator Preston’s (played by Ron Raines) stroke and what happens to his political seat and it features fan favorites such as Sarah Brown, Scott Bryce, Alicia Minshew, Louise Sorel and Ricky Paull Goldin.
What are your thoughts in tuning in for ten minute webisodes that are loaded with familiar faces? Do you think series’ such as Beacon Hill might find a great deal of success online? Does shorter seem better in terms of online programming? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!