« Adaptation Across Media--EW's take Main Luke Snyder's Blog »

February 6, 2006

What is Oakdale Confidential?

As the World Turns is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary--What can one of the longest-running shows on television do to celebrate its rich history? There is always a struggle between ratings and "doing the right thing" when it comes to anniversary shows like this...Long-time fans want to see a lot of old clips celebrating ATWT's history, while TV executives are worried about retaining newer viewers and not losing ratings on an overblown tribute to the past.

So far, ATWT head writer Jean Passanante has made it clear she wants to do more than one stand-alone episode, and two such episodes are planned--one that will be a parody or fantasy celebration of the show, while the other will include a lot of old clips, etc. There will likely be some storylines running during the spring that also feature the veteran actors a little more than usual as well.

Most interesting of all, though, is plans for Oakdale Confidential, a novel that is planned for release the week of ATWT's 50th anniversary. Apparently, the novel is going to be worked into the narrative of the show in some way.

Fans are already trying to figure out what the book might be. One of the characters on ATWT, Emily Stewart, run a tabloid-style magazine. Could the book be a novel released by her giving the dirt on all of the residents of Oakdale? Or could the character Emma Snyder, who long-term fans remember dabbling in fiction writing several years ago, release a book of some sort? Or could it be a character not even on the current canvas writing a tell-all about some of the more prominent residents of the town?

Whatever the case--this is another step in the right direction, if done well. How can a novel become a piece of transmedia? If done well, the television plot will in some way hinge on the contents of the book, so that the television show promotes the book but also requires viewers to read the book to understand the full implications of the impact the book has on the residents of Oakdale.

The show has been very tight-lipped about what Oakdale Confidential is, and Amazon's page on the book has next to no information about the contents...Which makes all of the fans all the more determined to find out what's going on. There's great potential here for an interesting experiment in transmedia storytelling.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference What is Oakdale Confidential?:

» Luke Snyder's Blog from Convergence Culture Consortium (C3@MIT)
The soap opera As the World Turns has begun a new story arc over the past several weeks. The son of one of the prominent longtime couples on the show, Holden and Lily Snyder, is gay, and he doesn't want... [Read More]

Tracked on February 6, 2006 11:57 AM


The latest on Oakdale Confidential is that it will be a murder mystery involving three of the characters on the show. I am waiting, though, to see how the plot of the book will be woven into the fabric of the daily storytelling on As the World Turns. The book certainly wasn't what I or anyone in the fan community was expecting, but I'm interested in seeing what it actually ends up becoming and whether fans buy it as part of the narrative universe. Will it be viewed as another part of the story that they have to have or an ancillary product that can be completely ignored?

Posted by: Sam Ford | February 16, 2006 2:13 PM
Post a Comment
(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Add to Technorati Favorites