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ABC News Boss Ben Sherwood Named Anne Sweeney's Successor As ABC Television Group President!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

That didn’t take long! After the much bantered about upcoming departure of ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney, her successor has been named!

ABC News chief, Ben Sherwood will now take over the position of co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group on February 1, 2015, a day after  Sweeney’s exit.

According to Deadline.com, “Sherwood’s appointment comes after a short search, with the news wiz considered an early frontrunner as Disney again looked within ranks for the next top executive hire.  Sherwood will begin the transition as Co-President, Disney/ABC Television Group alongside Sweeney immediately, while also continuing to oversee ABC News until a successor is named.

“Ben is one of those unique executives who combine rich creative experience with great business acumen,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said. “He’s also focused, strategic, and competitive, as evidenced by the success of GMA, the Yahoo deal that delivered ABC News online dominance, and his vision behind our new cable and digital joint venture, Fusion. These reasons, and many others, make Ben the ideal candidate to oversee the future of the Disney/ABC Television Group.”

It is Sherwood’s accomplishments as head of the ABC News division that propelled him to the reins of Disney’s entire non-sports TV portfolio. Among them is leading Good Morning America to No. 1, brokering a successful online partnership with Yahoo to and launching Fusion, a joint venture news and lifestyle network with Univision.

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“Over the years, he has moved from success-to-success, and helped create a more vibrant, collaborative and powerful news division that embraces innovation and risk-taking,” Anne Sweeney said. “Ben’s now set to bring those same attributes to bear for the larger group, and I could not be more thrilled. This announcement simply highlights the fact that our talent and succession planning process works.”

So, what are your thoughts on the hiring of Ben Sherwood?  Will he be a friend to the soaps?  Let us know your thoughts!

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boes
boes

I think it’s irrelevant for soap fans anymore WHO they put in charge. Sweeney and Frons did the dirty work and cleared away the soaps. All that’s left for this guy to do is to put the nail in GH’s coffin – or not.
Guaranteed, whatever he does, it won’t matter a rats behind whether the viewers are happy or not.

Rose Anne
Rose Anne

This is extremely bad news for soap fans. He supposedly wanted the flop that was Good Afternoon America to replace GH.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

He’s probably more interested in news programs than soaps…

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

Probably Interested in their dumb solution to put on more talk & cooking shows.. Which would be a disaster…

Dan
Dan

The only thing I care about is that he doesn’t touch GH. Getting rid of AMC and OLTL was a huge mistake by ABC, and getting rid of their last remaining and most popular soap would be an even bigger one.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Arrrrrgh!!!! Dan…I LOVE GH! But as a viewer of ABC’s OLTL I have to correct you…it was higher in the ratings than GH…GH was NOT the most popular before “the fall.” Don’t get me wrong…I watched GH back then too…loved them both. But OLTL was not cancelled due to poor ratings or lack of popularity.

aria
aria

Here we go again, ok rebecca( I’m rolling my eyes), oltl was accidently incorrectly, wrongfully and mistakenly picked to get cancelled be evil abc and it should of been AMC and GH . happy now? Feel validated? oltl was better(i’m giggling) then GH, it holds the record as the soap with most emmy wins(oh wait thats GH) and record for the most watched episode in daytme history.(oh wait that was GH again), furthermore Time magazine, TV guide listed as the most popular soap of all time( damn is that GH again?) oh and don’t forget it was abc top soap for its entire run on abc,(lol, i sound convincing) so to conclude, OLTL is the best soap ever Cancelled. ooh that sounds good, see? oltl is the best show no longer on the air.

udhoop
udhoop

oltl was higher in the ratings when it left the air due to people watching its final days. it was not higher at the time it was announced they were canceling it. Arrrrrgh….I get so tired of hearing this from oltl fans. Get it straight!

jonboy
jonboy

Relishing in your own sarcasm? If it makes you feel better, I suppose.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Aria…aside from the fact that you’re apparently obnoxious…and you can roll your eyes, lol and giggle with the best of them…I reiterate…

OLTL was not canceled due to a lack of popularity.

At a point close to when it was canceled, OLTL numbers went up slightly (from 2.5 million to 2.6 million). And it was the only soap not to dip in the key demo.

“Two years ago, there were fears that “General Hospital” would be cancelled, like their sister shows “One Life To Live,” and “All My Children.” At that time, the ratings for “General Hospital” was not as high as they are now. In fact, they were lower than “One Life To Live’s” ratings.

Oh, and please shove your snarky arse somewhere else.

aria
aria

rebecca rebecca rebecca, ok, in oltl entire history, they only beat GH in the ratings for an entire season 3 times, 2 of those were in the 70’s and the last time was their final season(2011-2012) so base on that if your an executive at abc and your told we are getting rid of 2 of our 3 soaps and you got to take into account everything from history, to revenue,& prestige (i.e emmy wins) do you really think oltl was their most valuable real estate among their soaps? yes, they were having a creative and ratings upsurge but that happened after abc had already decided on the two soaps they would axed. So by the time Abc decided to cancel Oltl, it didn’t have anything prior to its last season to make abc choose it over GH, and thats the simple fact, its not me making up stats, i’m not exaggerating all those prior years that GH was ABC top soap in the ratings, or was winning emmy as best show, some years even winning 3 years in a row. or for making history for the most single watch episode in daytime history( for luke and lauras wedding) So, hate and blame abc for cancelling OLTL but can all you OLTL fans stop with the GH bashing to pump up OLTL into something that it never was when you put them up to comparison, because believe me, their stats will never add up.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Aria…I truly believe you have a reading comprehension thing going on. Where oh where did I “bash” GH? If you had actually read my “pleasant” first response…I said I had watched BOTH shows…LOVED both shows…and wouldn’t want EITHER one to be cancelled. I would have been equally disappointed if GH had been canceled instead of OLTL. I simply stated that OLTL was still popular, still had decent ratings…and at the time of the fall…was higher than GH.

READ…don’t just gloss over someone’s words. And don’t ATTACK with that smug attitude that you gave me. Learn to discuss/debate…

Aria
Aria

Point taken I can concede that I misread what you said, sorry for offending you, not my intention.

joliefan88
joliefan88

Bravo Rebecca! Your posts were pleasent and absolutely correct. Some people need to grow up

rebecca1
rebecca1

Aria…you need to reread your posts to me and then decide whether it was your “not your intention to offend me.” Because if that was NOT your intention…I can only imagine how offensive you could be if you put your mind to it.

With that said, thank you for the apology. Accepted.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Joliefan88…thanks! 😉

Aria
Aria

I don’t want to directly offend you Rebecca. I was trying to pre empt any attack from OLTL fans towards GH , and yes I was high on sarcasm that day but that’s me n I can take any attack back I just don’t want u thinking it was personal because no one should be attacked personally. I felt justified from a GH fan vs a OLTL fan, although u clearly stated u were a fan of both shows. So will I irritate someone else with the GH vs OLTL ? I surely hope so but it won’t be no personal attack, it’s just not what I’m into. I’m not interested in fighting with anyone about personal taste, if u love OLTL n think it’s the best show ever or dool, y&r or b& b then that’s not something to start a debate or war over but if someone talks shit bout my fave show ( not u Rebecca) then I will feel the need to shower them with my sarcasm, I just over jump the gun with u so sorry again but to ant OLTL fans who wants to throw GH under the bus just to make OLTL look good well be ready cause here I come.

Mary SF
Mary SF

It sounds like this guy has never watched a soap in in his life, so I doubt he will do much for the genre on that network except be the guy who finally kills their last daytime drama.

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

They always put these crappy talk shows & cooking shows which are so forgettable! They have no drama, emotion what so ever and its NOT entertainment..

Marco
Marco

I don’t trust him or abc. He will try, to cancel general hospital. Abc want out of the soap business.

rebecca1
rebecca1

never heard of him…but I’m wary as to what his approach will be to soaps. if he’s that much of a businessman…and is good at turning a profit…he may not want to keep GH on for the long run if it’s not lucrative. risky…

jp
jp

Is he bringing back OLTL to the daytime line on ABC? Otherwise, I could care less who takes over the position.

Kevin
Kevin

But it’s ABC … who cares?!?!?

Maria
Maria

Oh kevin, you are being a smart ass. yes we all care, about gh, we love the soap. If it gets cancelled? I’m done with abc.

Charday
Charday

Hope the ratings stay good!

Ghlover
Ghlover

Could CBS just please buy GH????

Rapids
Rapids

Some of us need to get a grip on reality, soaps are not a priority,. The lack of interest from TV executives is not a vendetta, soaps don’t make much money anymore to justify the production cost. General hospital is on borrowed time and if it is still around two years from now I will be surprised. Regardless of who is running the show.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Rapids…very well said and unfortunately correct. But, this is a soap fan site…so of course the comments voice concern that this guy will bring GH down. Michael asked for reaction to this guy’s hiring…that’s what he got.

dg
dg

People need to face the facts Disney never cared and doesnt care about soaps now. Their bottom line is profits and moving toward the future. Eventually GH will get the ax too. Disney isnt going to shell out any new money to keep it going. It’s only a matter of time.

joliefan88
joliefan88

Disney has nothing to do it with weather or not GH stays on. ABC says what shows they keep and what ones they don’t

dg
dg

You are so misinformed. Disney is ABC’s parent company. They bankroll whatever the network does. They decide where their money goes.

Nancy
Nancy

I do not think that he will replace GH. If he wants to watch ABC get worse than it is then good luck. He will have to find out the hard way. Why do you think Sweeney is leaving? Tanked network. I do not see GH as a threat to try more crap. Obviously he will try GAA again. That is laughable.

dg
dg

Disney doesnt care much for ABC anyway. There bread and butter is not this lousy little TV network. Their bread and butter is the theme parks and movies and tons of other entertainment companies that they have acquired and continue to acquire. Disney is a multi billion dollar conglomerate. Im really surprised they havent sold ABC off by now.

Barbara Weaver
Barbara Weaver

Ben Sherwood, I would like to watch general hospital on the abc app. I’m a big fan of abc. When they interrupted it a special new report. I will miss it. I sometimes watch gh on my ipad. I know that they have on demand show. Can you help me with abc app. Thanks

Aria
Aria

Hey Barbara I too was hoping for the abc apt , it’s so complicated now, u can’t watch same day episode or u have to have permission from your cable provider . It’s a big o mess. I don’t know how bad it is where you’re from with the network or local station interrupting your show for stupid little late breaking news but if you miss one episode then I recommend iTunes it’s easy and the best way to catch up on episode it costs just a few bucks is not bad if you don’t get interrupted all the time.

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

He would like to shove down our throats more talk & cooking shows .. That would really piss me off.. I have been a soap fan for many years and this what I like to watch in the afternoon. Anything else other then the soaps I would NEVER watch. This would be the final straw that broke the camels back…And there are talk shows that were suppose to be cancelled and they are still on. (example: Katie)… Those kind of shows are very forgettable. They can’t compare to our stories in any way.

Edna Barefoot
Edna Barefoot

I have read all the comments Michael & those that want to trash OLTL & want OLTL fans to shut up need to think what would they do if their soap, GH, was cancelled. Fans of OLTL are helping GH stay on. We decided to watch GH even after out beloved soap was cancelled in order to help GH’s ratings. GH would be gone had it not been for OLTL & AMC fans agreeing to watch GH to keep it on TV. I love GH but OLTL was my favorite, as everyone that knows me knows that. I will continue to hope for OLTL to come back even though I believe it is gone because my idol Erika Slezak,aka Viki Lord, made the statement that she didn’t believe OLTL would be back. ABC cares nothing about viewers or OLTL would still be on.

Tony Evans
Tony Evans

It matters not to me who is working over at ABC-TV as far as the Execs go. The damage has been done, it seems doubtful that One Life to Live nor ALL MY CHILDREN could resurface at this point. If the powers at the helm were smart, they would combine the cast members available from each show and make one new soap – All My Children Have One life to live – (kidding about the Title) – utilizing the seasoned talents of Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser, Jill Larsen and others ~ but alas, that will probably not happen.

Jennifer
Jennifer

Time to move on Tony. Erika Slezak will land on another soap. Maybe she can be, the new Caroline Brady on days of our lives. Peggy Mckay needs to retire now.

dg
dg

If Erika Slezak wanted to work in other venues I sure she could have found another job somewhere else by now. Ive seen former One Life stars pop up all over TV not just in the 4 soaps.
I see former soap stars all over entertainment in film and wherever.

dg
dg

People need to give up on AMC and OLTL they are toast. Time to move on like the actors have. In the words of Frozen. Let it Go, lol.

Days Of Our Lives

Sean Blakemore and Gilles Marini To Appear in Season Five of THE BAY

Two more stars very familiar to daytime audiences have been added to the continual growing cast of the digital drama series, The Bay. 

Now comes word that Daytime Emmy-winner, Sean Blakemore (Ex-Shawn Butler, General Hospital) who can currently be seen in the motion picture Ad Astra with Brad Pitt is coming to Bay City.  Sean will take on the role of Tony Foster, a character who makes a visit in an effort to “save the day”.

In addition to that casting announcement, former Days of our Lives star, Gilles Marini (Ex-Ted Laurent) will also be showing up.  Marini is also known for his work on Sex and the City, Devious Maids and Brothers & Sisters. 

Look for Gilles to take on the role of Judge Nazar Zekarain, a character who will also crossover to The Bay’s s spinoff series yA –  a drama focusing on Bay City’s elite and often troubled teens.

The Bay’s creator. Gregori J Martin expressed his excitement on the casting news sharing: “Sean and Gilles are absolute pros! Such a true honor to work with both gentlemen and have them a part of The Bay family!”

Currently, the first half of season 4 of the series is available via Amazon’s Prime Video, with the second half of season to be released later this fall.  No release date has been confirmed at this time.

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So, what do you think of Sean and Gilles coming to The Bay? Comment below.

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GH’s Maurice Benard Memoir Available Now For Pre-Order

One of the most highly-anticipated autobiography’s, Maurice Benard’s (Sonny Corinthos, GH) Nothing General About It, is set for release on April 7th of 2020.  But now according to the book publisher, HarperCollins, you can pre-order your copy of the riveting real-life story of Benard now by heading on over to Amazon  to make your purchase.

According to the log lines and publisher notes: “In Nothing General About It, Maurice looks back to his youth in a small town and his tenuous relationship with his father. He describes how his bipolar disorder began to surface in childhood, how he struggled to understand the jolting mood swings he experienced, and how a doctor finally saved his life. For years Maurice was relentless in his goal to be a successful actor. But even after he “made it,” he still grappled with terrifying lows, breakdowns, and setbacks, all while trying desperately to maintain his relationship with his wife, who endured his violent, unpredictable episodes. Maurice holds nothing back as he bravely talks about what it was like to be medicated and institutionalized, and of how he learned to manage his manic episodes while on the set of GH. 

HarperCollins

Nothing General About It is also an incredible love story about an enduring marriage that demonstrates what those vows—for better, for worse, in sickness and in health—truly mean. Maurice also pays tribute to the community that has been there for him through thick and thin, and ruminates on the importance of both inherited and created family.”

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Look for Nothing General About It to feature a 16-page insert featuring nearly 50 photographs.

So, will you be pre-ordering Maurice’s memoir? Excited to read what he shared? Comment below.

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GH Head Writers: Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor Reveal More Details On Michael E. Knight’s New Soap Role

When daytime favorite Michael E. Knight debuts on General Hospital on September 30th, he will not be coming to Port Charles as his former All My Children alter-ego Tad Martin; but instead will be playing a different character.

EW.com has first look photo of Knight in his new role and spoke directly to General Hospital co-head writers, Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor for the scoop on the ever-popular Knight’s return to ABC.  On GH. Michael will indeed play a new role.

According to the scribes: “There are a number of people in Port Charles who are in trouble and his character will have an impact on how their stories are solved or further complicated.”

Both Van Etten and O’Connor shared: “As we were writing his character, we found out that oh, we have even more use for him! It’s helpful to know who the actors are in this situation. We have lots of ideas on how we can expand his character and cross-pollinate his character.”

As to how long Knight will be sticking around Port Charles, that was not offered-up, but what was is that Michael’s new character will mix it up with Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) with whom Knight worked with on All My Children when James played Will Cortlandt.

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Because ABC now has the rights back in their possession to use the characters from One Life to Live and All My Children, Van Etten expressed: “We have conversations when we have these actors come back about whether it’s more useful or not to resurrect their characters. “=We’ll continue to have these as the opportunity arises.”

So, what do you think Michael E. Knight’s role will be based on these tidbits from the GH scribe? Share your theories via the comment section below.

 

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Y&&’s Eileen Davidson and her husband Vincent Van Patten chat with Michael Fairman about their new film “7 Days to Vegas”, her time on Y&R, DAYS, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and their relationship. Leave A Comment

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