LOS ANGELES — The daytime soap opera Bold and the Beautiful has a sizzling summer plot line that has hooked America and the News 8 newsroom. This is an ambitious Zevely Zone because it entails traveling from San Diego to Los Angeles.
Let's catch you up to speed. The producers of Bold and Beautiful sent me clips of the show so I could get briefed on Hope's missing baby, Beth, who everyone is talking and worried about. "It broke your heart when you lost Beth," said the B & the B character, Brooke, to Hope who is in tears in the clip.
The Bold and the Beautiful has become a real soap opera in our newsroom. "That's Liam and that's Hope. She is the one who lost her baby," said Lou Weiner pointing to his TV set. Lou produces the 5 pm newscast for News 8. "She's leaving her husband for some guy," Kurt Boyd chimed in. Kurt produces the 6:30 pm newscast and he is clearly more cynical about a missing baby.
One desk over, reporter and fill-in anchor, Shannon Handy, comes in handy as a referee. "I sit here almost every day listening to these two go back and forth," said Shannon. Every day without fail, Kurt asks Lou, "Louis, do you think she'll get her baby back today?" "I say, no Kurt I don't think she'll ever get her baby back," said Lou.
They're talking about Hope's baby who has been missing for months. "It's on my television, so of course I watch it because it's on," said Lou. I asked him, "You're hooked?" He responded "Perhaps." Lou seems desperate for answers, so I traveled to CBS Television City in Los Angeles. I'm actually on the iconic set of Bold and the Beautiful and I am getting ready for some baby drama. I'm actually holding a magazine and the headline reads, "BABY DRAMA!!"
"It's the number one question I get. When is Hope going to get her baby back?" said Annika Noelle who plays Hope. Annika wants her character to get the baby back too and soon, "Yeah, I would like to have her back as this point, I am a little tired of crying," she said with a chuckle and a tear. Soap opera actors can do it all.
If you watch the show, you're well aware that Hope is getting tormented daily. I asked Annika, "Would it be okay if I looked around for the baby?" She responded with crocodile tears, "Please by all means. Could you bring my baby back?" It was both Bold and Beautiful for the show's producers to allow me to search the set. "Where is the baby?" I asked a man behind the scenes. He responded, "Well if I told you I would have to kill you, ha, ha, ha."
After searching room by room, I yelled out, "Clear!" I even rifled through on-set mail. "This letter is addressed to Brooke, this must be a clue," I announced. Katherine Kelly Lang plays Brooke. She is one the most famous actresses to ever grace daytime television. "I think the baby is going to be okay. I think I can say that ha, ha, ha," said Lang on her way to the set. Lang was up late the night before shooting the show. She is now in early for another day and learning her lines on the fly. I am seriously impressed by her work load and talent. It makes the Zevely Zone look like kindergarten.
But in daytime drama, when a baby goes missing everyone's suspect. I have a job to do. I hold up a picture on the set, "That's Liam and he looks suspicious," I said for all to hear. Scott Clifton plays Liam and he is ready to be interrogated. This guy is seriously cool. He told me he already knows how this story ends and said, "I have this smug look on my face whenever somebody comes up to me and says, 'When are we going to find out about the baby' and I just say oh you just watch. You watch you'll see."
This plot line is working, even if back in San Diego, Kurt and Lou aren't. Kurt said, "I'll have my headphones on doing work and Lou will be like 'Oh Kurt they just killed somebody who knows the secret about the baby'." Lou remains hopeful for Hope, but Kurt has thrown the baby out with the bathwater. "I want to know if Hope will recognize her baby when she gets it back. Her baby is going to be in college or probably driving a car or maybe getting married by the time she realizes it's her kid," said Kurt.
I share Kurt's comment with the cast. "Hey Kurt, you leave my Lou alone," said Annika. "Kurt, you don't like babies? What is wrong with you?" said Clifton. The show's supervising producer, Ed Scott, says that little baby has led to big ratings, "Well they better keep watching they will see what happens. Soon it's happening soon. Be patient," said Scott.
Back in San Diego, Lou looks exhausted with my tongue and cheek routine but then said, "I am amazed at how the writers plan these things and juts drag them on forever."
"Lou relax. Patience. It's going to happen. It's fine. It's not fine," said Clifton. We gave the last word to Annika who delivers her best Hope line of the summer season, "Hey Lou, we are in this together, okay? We are going to get through this and it's going to be alright. I promise." Annika Noelle, by the way, is really nice as well. I have done many stories like these throughout my career and she is one of the most talented and funny actors I've ever met. I thank her profusely for playing along. We laughed. We cried. We still don't know where her baby is.
The Bold and the Beautiful airs on CBS 8 weekdays at 12:30. The show's producers told us to air this story immediately because they promise a big reveal is coming soon.