Megan McTavish

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Megan McTavish
Born (1949-04-30) April 30, 1949 (age 65)
Pembroke, New Hampshire, U.S.

Megan McTavish (born April 30, 1949 in Pembroke, New Hampshire) is an American television actress and soap opera writer. McTavish is best known for several head writing stints on All My Children.

Early career[edit]

Before becoming a writer, McTavish was a Chicago-based stage actress. She played Penelope in the National Radio Theater's Peabody Award-winning radio dramatization of Homer's Odyssey (1980). On television, McTavish broke into the soap opera industry as an actress; she played Lola Fontaine on Guiding Light from 1983 to 1984.

Writing[edit]

McTavish began her writing career as a staff writer on the Procter and Gamble Productions' Texas. (The show was notable for allowing actors to contribute as writers; its final head writer, Pam Long, had been portraying the front-burner role of Ashley). She also worked as a staff writer for the company's Guiding Light.

McTavish was head writer of several shows. She was at Guiding Light from 1995 to 1996, at One Life to Live from 1999 to 2001, and at General Hospital from 2001 to 2002.

However, she is best known for three separate stints at All My Children. McTavish was mentored by All My Children creator Agnes Nixon and her 1992 ascension to head writer was reported in the press as a change of the guard. McTavish wrote for AMC until 1995, and returned for two additional stints, from 1997 to 1999 and from 2003 to 2007.

Accomplishments and criticisms[edit]

McTavish's first stint on All My Children was her most critically and commercially successful. McTavish updated some of the existing characters and introduced new ones. She wrote several sweeping umbrella stories over the years, most notably a story where Pine Valley is hit by a tornado, and a baby-swap story involving two of the show's young ingenues, Bianca Montgomery and Babe Carey. In addition, she created several popular characters, including Ryan Lavery and Kendall Hart,[1] who were still cornerstones of the show until its series end.

McTavish was criticized for plot-driven stories during her tenure at All My Children.[2] The 2003 Bianca rape storyline incited controversy when viewers and critics debated the storyline as an attempt by the writers to avoid onscreen physical intimacy between characters Bianca and Lena Kundera, as well as Bianca seemingly being punished for being a lesbian.[3] She was criticized for rewriting history, such as the reversal of the landmark story where central character Erica Kane undergoes daytime's first abortion; McTavish rewrote the story to reveal that rather than having had an abortion, Erica's fetus was stolen and implanted into another woman's uterus, resulting with character Josh Madden.[4] McTavish also rewrote history and the timeline of Erica's past to introduce character Kendall in the early 1990s, though this proved to be a popular story.[1] Her decision to kill off character Dixie Cooney Martin in 2007 was criticized and cited as the "worst of 2007" by TV Guide.[2][5]

Writing credits[edit]

All My Children

  • Head Writer: 1992 - 1995, December 1997 - February 1999, July 1, 2003 - February, 2007
  • Breakdown Writer: 1987 - 1992

General Hospital

  • Head Writer: April 2001 - June 12, 2002

Guiding Light

  • Head Writer: 1995 - 1996
  • Breakdown Writer: 1985 - 1986
  • Script Writer: 1984 - 1985
  • Actress; Lola Fontaine: 1983 - 1984

One Life to Live

Awards and nominations[edit]

Daytime Emmy Award

  • Win, 2003, Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team, for General Hospital
  • Nomination, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 2004, Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team, for All My Children

Writers Guild of America Awards

  • Win, 1999, 2004, and 2006, Daytime Serials, for All My Children

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kathleen Tracy (2003). The Girl's Got Bite: The Original Unauthorized Guide to Buffy's World .... St. Martin's Press. p. 384. ISBN 0-312-31258-X. 
  2. ^ a b Branco, Nelson. "The plot to save ‘All My Children’: New headwriters Barbara Esensten and James Harmon Brown dish on recasting Babe, Dixie’s death, and creating a diverse canvas". TV Guide. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  3. ^ Warn, Sarah (June 2003). "The Debate Over Bianca's Rape on All My Children". AfterEllen.com. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  4. ^ R. Coleridge, Daniel (2007-02-28). "Soaps News: All My Children Head Writer Fired!". TV Guide. 
  5. ^ Logan, Michael. "Michael Logan's Worst of 2007". TV Guide. Archived from the original on 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Agnes Nixon
Head Writer of All My Children
1992 - 1995
Succeeded by
Agnes Nixon;
Lorraine Broderick
Preceded by
Douglas Anderson
Head Writer of Guiding Light
1995 - 1996
Succeeded by
Michael Conforti
Victor Miller
Preceded by
Lorraine Broderick
Head Writer of All My Children
December 1997 - June 1999
Succeeded by
Agnes Nixon
Preceded by
Jill Farren Phelps (De facto)
Head Writer of One Life to Live
February 1999 - January 2001
Succeeded by
Lorraine Broderick
Christopher Whitesell
Preceded by
Elizabeth Korte
Michele Val Jean
Head Writer of General Hospital
2001 - 2002
Succeeded by
Robert Guza, Jr.
Charles Pratt, Jr.
Preceded by
Gordon Rayfield
Anna Theresa Cascio
Head Writer of All My Children
July 2003 - April 26, 2007
Succeeded by
James Harmon Brown and Barbara Esensten