Are we going to get another online soap?
After an incredible 27 years on General Hospital, it’s hard to remember a time when Nancy Lee Grahn wasn’t playing one of Port Charles’ most formidable lawyers, Alexis Davis. But before she found her home on ABC, the actress actually spent nine years over on NBC’s Santa Barbara playing another attorney, Julia Wainwright.
After serving as Marco Dane’s assistant for a period on One Life to Live, she joined the NBC soap opera, planning to stay for perhaps a year or two. Instead, Grahn stayed until the 1993 cancellation of the soap opera.
During a recent Facebook Live Q&A, she said, “Santa Barbara came to me, and it was such a beautiful experience. Therefore, I stayed longer than I had anticipated.
It’s obvious that she still has a particular place in her heart even now, some 30 years after it was canceled. It’s so unique, in fact, that she’s started making plans to bring it back. She said, “I checked on it because going to Hulu actually made sense. I have the scriptwriter, the producer, and a sizable cast of actors.
Why not, then? Another former NBC soap opera that is streaming well appears to be doing just fine. Days of Our Lives’ Peacock transfer has been underway for a few months and is progressing smoothly. Grahn simply shrugged when people enquired about her thoughts on that online incident. It found a place to live, she said. Peacock “keeps it running, keeps people working, keeps crew members working, keeps actors working.”
“Listen, you can act anywhere,” she added. “You can act in a barn, in a theatre, on streaming. These people are still working. So, yay! Go, Peacock!”
Could Santa Barbara succeed on Hulu in the same way? It doesn’t appear that Grahn is the only one who feels this way. She even listed some of the people she’s spoken to about it, including Leigh J. McCloskey, who played D.A. Ethan Asher, Joe Marinelli, who played cross-dressing mobster Bunny Tagliatti, and Louise Sorel, who played the delightfully vain Augusta Wainwright before moving over to Days of Our Lives to play the evil Vivian Alamain.
Santa Barbara doesn’t switch “networks” like Days of Our Lives does, though. Nearly 30 years have passed since this soap opera last aired. Grahn therefore had a modest starting point in mind. She said, “Since you have all of those original participants, I thought, ‘Oh, it seems like kind of a decent idea to just make 10 episodes and see where it goes.'”
She realized though that it needed to be more than just a fun activity in order to convince people to support the idea. She stated of her suggestion: “It made sense because it was actually so popular internationally.” It was a huge financial success for NBC abroad.
Unfortunately, her plan ran into a few snags. First off, Grahn noted, “Hulu is not international. And I don’t know that Disney+ is either. I’m limited to go to those places because 20th Century Fox has the rights to Santa Barbara. And they merged with Disney, so that’s where Santa Barbara is. If it’s not international, I don’t know that anyone is all that interested.”
But, she noted, she’s not done exploring it, and a Santa Barbara return is not dead in the water. We may just have to wait a bit longer to find out where it ends up. But hey, maybe we’ll get some good news by its 40th because that is coming up real fast!
- General Hospital: Should Portia and Curtis Ashford Reunite?
- General Hospital Spoiler For The Week Of June 5-9, 2023: Will Carly Sell Sonny To The Feds? Drew Contemplates Turning On Carly
- General Hospital: Sasha Gets KIDNAPPED, Selina and Gladys’ Dangerous Game For Money
- General Hospital: Tyler Christopher ARRESTED At An Airport
- General Hospital: Will Jordan Ashford Compete With Portia To Win Curtis Back?