Prolific soap opera scribe Hogan Sheffer, known for his tenures at As the World Turns, Days of Our Lives, and The Young and the Restless has passed away at the age of 61, according to sources close to the writer.
When Procter & Gamble announced that the York, Pennsylvania native had been hired to spearhead the As the World Turns writing team in 2000 the decision was met with immediate derision. Although Sheffer had an excellent track record at his previous post — as Director of Screenplay Development for DreamWorks — the writer candidly admitted to having never watched a soap opera.
However, under the guidance of its new overseer, As the World Turns saw a rise in ratings and found itself rewarded with 10 Daytime Emmy statuettes including two for Outstanding Drama Series (2000 & 2002) and four for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (2000, 2001, 2003 & 2004).
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After completing a five-year stint with the CBS sudser, Sheffer departed for what was intended to be a “17-week sabbatical,” but, during his absence, P&G chose not to extend his contract.
Sheffer did return to the series in a lower staffer position but in 2006 he transitioned over to the NBC serial Days of Our Lives where he worked as head writer until 2008. Subsequently, he accepted the position of co-head writer at CBS’ The Young and the Restless and plotted that series with incumbent Maria Arena Bell until 2012.
During a 2009 interview with Michael Fairman on the eve of As the World Turns series finale, actress Martha Byrne said of Scheffer, “(he) did give our show new life.”
In the same interview, Byrne positioned that Sheffer and former As the World Turns writer Douglas Marland would have been best friends because both men were, “equally passionate about the genre”
Soap Hub sends our sincerest condolences to Sheffer’s family and friends during this difficult time.