In the early 1980s, soap opera spoilers were not the major cottage industry that they are today. The magazines might offer whispers, and savvy soap fans picked up on subtle hints the show itself put out but, in the end, you had to watch to find out if you were right.
That’s why, in 1981, during soaps’ most-watched episode ever, General Hospital’s (GH) wedding of Luke and Laura, viewers had their suspicions that Laura’s maybe he is/maybe he isn’t ex-husband, Scotty (Kin Shriner) would show up, but they couldn’t be certain.
(Neither could then Headwriter Thom Racina, who said the iconic shot of Scotty catching Laura’s wedding bouquet was a “trick I pulled out of my writer’s hat at the last minute.”)
Nowadays, the actor’s return date would have been announced weeks in advance–and in the case of Days of Our Lives (DOOL), months. And there’d be photos.
Do casting spoilers add or detract from fans’ enjoyment? Over 3,000 of you gave us an exclusive sneak peek!
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I’m loving it, shout 75% of you! Hearing that someone like DAYS’ Allison Sweeney (Sami) or Chandler Massey (Will) is returning to the show gets you pumped up and makes you motivated to tune in again.
Even if the return of Steve Burton to GH is confusing — is two Jasons one Jason too many? — you still prefer to be mentally prepared for the havoc to come.
On the other hand, 24% like their surprises. Kimberlin Brown (Sheila) returning to The Bold and the Beautiful (BB) packed a bigger wallop without advance confirmation (though, of course, the rumor mill was running wild, just like in the good old days), as did Alice (Tamara Clatterbuck) popping up on The Young and the Restless (YR).
And you really hate it when departures are announced months in advance. You spend weeks on the edge of your seats either waiting for the character to die, or you refuse to get invested in their story, since you know their days are numbered.
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