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Soaps In Depth is a series of magazines created in 1997 by Bauer Publications with its headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey to give American soap opera viewers more variety in their soap-related magazine purchases. Instead of buying a magazine like Soap Opera Digest, in which all soap operas are covered, Soaps In Depth gave the soap viewer and potential shopper individual choices from the "Big Three" networks: ABC Soaps In Depth, CBS Soaps In Depth, and NBC Soaps In Depth. Each magazine is devoted to only the shows on the network the edition covers and is published biweekly.
The NBC edition was discontinued after only two years in 1999 after NBC cancelled Another World and Sunset Beach, making it superfluous to cover only two programs, while the ABC and CBS editions continue to be sold.
CBS Soaps In Depth
First published in early 1997, this magazine focuses only on the CBS soaps The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless. Previously, Guiding Light and As The World Turns were covered as well, before their cancellation. Each issue also includes a special section for Days of Our Lives, brief news coverage, previews, and recaps for General Hospital and Days Of Our Lives. When the CBS edition debuted, each issue cost $2.99. Currently, the CBS edition costs $3.99 American and $4.50 Canadian.
ABC Soaps In Depth
First published in February 1997, this magazine focused on the ABC soaps at that time (All My Children, The City, General Hospital, and One Life to Live). A few months later, The City was cancelled, and coverage began on the new soap, Port Charles. PC was cancelled in 2003, and coverage continued on the other three soaps. The ABC edition also includes news coverage, previews, and recaps for the CBS soaps and Days of our Lives. Its initial start up cost was $2.99 an issue, with an occasional $1.00 issue. Beginning in 2003, each issue costs $3.99. After the cancellations of AMC and OLTL in 2011 and 2012, respectively, with GH being the only ABC daytime soap to still air to this day, the ABC edition now also includes brief sections for its NBC soap Days of Our Lives and the CBS soaps.
NBC Soaps In Depth
The NBC edition is now defunct. When it was first published, coverage focused on NBC Daytime's soap line-up, which was Another World, Days of Our Lives, and Sunset Beach. In 1999, NBC cancelled the long running AW, as well as Sunset Beach. Passions took over one time slot, but with this drastic move in NBC Daytime, the need for its own magazine was no longer there. NBC's last remaining serial, Days of our Lives, still holds brief news coverage, previews, and recaps in the ABC and CBS editions. It receives more coverage in the ABC edition, as ABC itself only has one soap opera remaining on the air (General Hospital).
Each issue consists of recurring columns which may touch on any of the respective network soaps:
- News - Updates on important news stories.
- Ins and Outs - Updates on cast changes.
- Set Your DVR - Previews for the coming two weeks.
- On the Town - Candid photos of stars at events, parties, award ceremonies, and actors/actresses who may be doing a Broadway show.
- In Depth Cover Story - Major plot development coming up on a particular show, with sporadic Cover Stories for each show.
- Hottest Stories - Upcoming plot developments in popular storylines.
- We Speak Out - The editors' opinions on storylines.
- Readers' Poll - Results of poll questions asked in a recent issue, as well as top couples, actors, and actresses.
- In Depth Answers - Fan questions answered.
- Primetime Soaps In Depth - Feature interviews about current Primetime shows.
- Gold Star - An award for a top performance by an actor.
- Standout Scene - Recap and acknowledgement of a particularly powerful scene.
- Star Talk - Question asked by the magazine for the actors and actresses.
- Storyline Recaps - Article explaining major storyline twists that occurred in the last two weeks.
- Soap Style - Brief articles about what an actress (and sometimes actor) wore to an event.
- In the Next Issue - Previews of articles in the upcoming issue.
Each issue contains a number of alternating columns which may not appear every week:
- Keeping Track - Catching up with an actor or actress who formerly appeared on a current soap.
- Old Friends - Catching up with an actor or actress who appeared on a now-defunct soap.
- Flashback - Soap actors and actresses reflecting on their former characters.
- Take This Job And Love It! - A Q&A with actors over their favorite aspects of their jobs.
- A Minute of Your Time Please - A quick-hit Q&A asking questions of an actor in 60 seconds.
- Studio In Depth - Fun candid photos at a Soaps In Depth photo shoot.
- Beauty Secrets - Fashion and beauty questions asked by the fans, as well as questions for the actors, asked by the magazine.
- Wedding Album - Photos and memories from popular soap weddings.
- Special features which look at storylines, characters or couples across the soaps, usually grouped together under a specific theme for the issue.
All three soaps in the CBS edition and ABC edition have their own special sections, mostly scoops from cast members, writers, or executive producers. These include:
- In Depth sections for each show - these include special features such as:
- Feature Interviews
- Behind the Scenes
- On the Road
There are also several special articles for each show. These include:
- Farewell sections for an actor or actress who may leave a show
- Daytime Emmy coverage from the awards ceremony
- End of Year Recaps/Milestones
- A special section may also appear whenever a soap or actor reaches a big anniversary.