Divide and conquer?

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Divide and conquer?
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The week of June 7, 2004
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Imagine a CSI: Springfield; Frank and Jeffrey take Lizzie and the gang to the docks to investigate the explosion that supposedly killed Eden August. They collect evidence, photograph the crime scene, and try to piece together the evidence.

It's the summer season - and certainly a big one for GL. This is the time when many viewers (like yours truly) go on vacation and might forget to set their VCR's (or Tivos). Which means that they could get away from watching the show altogether. But, it is also the time when students are home for the summer (and many of us take time off just to spend at home, too) so we could conceivable gain viewers, too. So what will the casual GL viewer have to make them want to tune in this summer?

I really see that there are two very distinct set of viewers to be gained (and lost) this summer. The first group is new viewers, usually younger ones, or recent retirees who are home in the afternoon. In fact I started watching GL after school when I was just a 9-year old tomboy. The second set, and maybe the more difficult set to snare, is the former GL viewer. One who has either lost interest with the show, disliked the many changes in direction the show has gone through, or just didn't have time to devotedly watch GL anymore. Hopefully with a "new" writer that is someone who has worked for the show for so long, we can gain some of these viewers back!! But what is in store for them to watch this summer?

We have an exciting tale of young people, vying for a job in corporate America. They'll compete in teams, and alone, to see which one is the best fit for a job with the corporate tycoon - and entrée to the world of big business. That sounds vaguely familiar to me - let me just think about it a minute. Wait a minute - that sounds very much like the popular reality show "The Apprentice" with Donald Trump. Does this mean we should refer to Alan Spaulding as "The Alan" like people call the real estate magnet "The Donald"? Will he say "You're Fired" at the end of each show? Will the top two winners get great jobs with big business and the villain of the show get a guest gig on a soap - like Omarosa did on NBC's Passions last week? Come to think of it, isn't "The Apprentice" an NBC show as well? Can't GL at least copy an idea of one of CBS' great shows?

I can see it now - Frank and Jeffrey O'Neil take Lizzie and the gang to the docks to investigate the explosion that supposedly killed Eden August. They collect evidence, photograph the crime scene, and try to piece together the evidence. They can call it CSI: Springfield Or Rick can decide that medicine isn't his calling after all - he's a funny guy. He can have his own sitcom about his family and call it Everybody Loves Rick! Just how did GL get this story over on CBS president Les Moonves who has a hate/hate relationship with "The Donald"?

I'm not saying it's a bad story - even if I can see it taking way too much air time (like they did with that silly Romeo and Juliet storyline). There are certainly enough real issues these days with teenagers that could appeal to viewers of all ages. Even Joey's inability to pay for college is a very real plot device that hopefully GL will keep up with. But somehow the ultra rich Lizzie dangling a college education in front of a guy to get his attention doesn't make me think she'll get the guy in the end. Even though it does make her a chip off the old Spaulding block. That is one strange family!

And now we might finally see how the whole drug storyline is going to wind up. Of course Alan will be in the thick of things. While he is a rich and powerful man, he is also a man with a criminal record who has shown an inclination to "bend" the law to get whatever (or whoever - Annie comes to mind) he wants. This will no doubt leave his relationship with Gus in tatters. Since Eden is now in the Witness Protection Program, that leaves only Harley with real ties to him. Maybe GL will take this opportunity to finally allow this pair to walk down the aisle!! Only time will tell.

One thing that I don't really see much of - and boy do I miss it - is romance!! Soaps were all about romance at one point. "Love in the afternoon" was a catchphrase that many of us are very familiar with. But GL hasn't done much in the way of a romantic storyline in quite a while - and I think we need to see some happy couples in Springfield!! Some people equate happy couples with boring couples, but I'd like to see more happiness to offset some of the really meaty subjects like drugs and explosions that we've come to see recently. So, come on, GL - give a girl a little summer romance!!!

So as we all drift in and out of watching GL this summer, I hope that the show continues to provide us with great stories about the characters we have come to think of as family. The show's long history and rich heritage will hopefully keep our viewership up and possible get some of our viewers we have lost recently to tune in once again. As always, I encourage you to share your thoughts with me and/or CBS (their email is GL@cbs.com). I am a little slow at getting back to people - especially until after the 4th of July - I am in the process of moving my Mom down near me - but I do try to answer any of your questions about the show.

Keep the Light Shining and Have a Great Week!

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