Watch "The Story of Soaps" on ABC and the ABC app

Watch "The Story of Soaps" on ABC and the ABC app

ABC and PEOPLE presented "The Story of Soaps," a two-hour prime-time 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 20 th 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 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.

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