We're the victims : storylines viewers will never see because of the writers' strike

 Daytime TV, 1988

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Who was the biggest loser in this year's writers' strike ? We believe it was you - the viewers of daytime. From March 7 to August 8 of this year, the Writers Guild of America was on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the television networks. For five months, the soaps were written by unknown others (few still know their identities). Not only were the soaps affected by sometimes inconsistent dialogue and storylines that seemed forced but also there was an additional loss that has remained unbeknownst to the fans of daytime - until now.

Our research has revealed a number of major storylines that were killed or altered as a result of the prolonged strike. According to our sources, a number of storylines were in the planning stages and set to air this past summer when the labor action took place. Other storylines that were already airing were changed either because of the replacement writers' need to spice up their shows or because executives at a daytime drama chose to postpone major plans until the regular writers returned. What follows is a short list of those storylines with an accompanying explanation of what you missed.

Gone before their time

When Marj Dusay (ex-Pamela) joined Santa Barbara, it was thought to be another example of masterful casting by the 1988 Emmy Award Winner for Best Soap. Rumours said that the character of Pamela would shake things up like never before and be a major character on the show for years to come. In four months, Pamela was gone and Santa Barbara lost one of the finest actresses in daytime.

What happened ? Well, it turns out the replacement writers needed to push ahead a storyline so they essentially sacrificed the character of Pamela. We understand the regular writers were aghast to learn that "their" newly-created character was being killed off, but they were powerless to do anything. Perhaps, this is daytime's version of the power of the pen (or is that typewriter), but Santa Barbara, it may turn out, was hurt most by the strike because it lost what was to be a villainess extraordinaire. The strike also influenced the wedding dates of Keith and Gina. Santa Barbara held fast until the regular writers returned to give Gina and Keith (and its viewers) a wedding to remember.