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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.

“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.

Breaking News

Cynthia Watros Replaces Michelle Stafford As GH’s Nina Reeves

Another big name is headed to the cast of General Hospital on the heels of the upcoming departure of Michelle Stafford.  Daytime Emmy winner, Cynthia Watros had been cast as the the new Nina Reeves.  Fans of Guiding Light remember her star turn as Annie Dutton, and she was last see on on daytime in the role of Kelly Andrews on The Young and the Restless (2013-2014).

As previously reported, Daytime Emmy winner, Michelle Stafford is headed back to her old stomping grounds of The Young and the Restless to play her signature soap role of Phyllis Summer.  She will replace her own recast, Daytime Emmy winner, Gina Tognoni.  Both actresses are said to be finishing taping their current runs on their respective shows in May. Watros will begin her GH run in Port Charles in June,

GH’s EP Frank Valentini tweeted on today’s casting news: “It’s a bittersweet day. I love @TheRealStafford and wish her all the best. I’m also really excited about @watroswatros joining the #GH family and continuing Nina’s legacy.”

PEOPLE.com broke the casting change.  Stafford has been with GH since 2014.  As for Watros, she opted to leave her role on Y&R to join the cast of MTV’s Finding Carter.  She is also known for her run on the hit ABC drama, Lost and other notable primetime series and films.

Michelle Stafford’s on-screen GH love interest, James Patrick Stuart, tweeted on the news: “Cynthia Watros … Big fan.”

So, what do you think of the casting of Cynthia Watros as the new Nina Reeves? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

Short Film ‘She & Her’ Starring GH’s Carolyn Hennesy Has Premiere Screening With Support Of Daytime Community

A very topical short film in the post-Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement made its debut recently.  The film, She & Her directed by General Hospital production associate Nate Hapke, and written and co-produced by Y&R script and story coordinator, Rosie Grace, explores the complicated friendship between three women as they attempt to find their voice and tell their own stories in Hollywood.

The short stars the one and only Carolyn Hennesy (Diane Miller, GH) in the role of Poppy Sinclaire, a jaded ex-actress whose past comes back to haunt her when a young up and comer encourages her to publicly share her story of Hollywood abuse.

Hennesy’s co-stars include: Gwen Hillier who now is in front of the camera after working as a casting associate at GH.  Gwen has appeared on Transparent and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and the other part of this trio is Mackenzie Breeden.

During its world premiere of She & Her (March 30th at the Harmony Gold Theatre in Hollywood) The Young and the Restless’ Brytni Sarpy (Elena) and Kate Linder (Esther) were on hand to lend their support; as was former GH star, Chloe Lanier (Ex-Nelle).  (Hapke is pictured below flanked by Lanier and Sarpy).

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Following the film’s screening, the cast and crew took to the stage for a Q&A.  The cast was engaged through a lively discussion about the making of  the film, and the ways in which the filmmakers tackled topics such as  sexual assault, without exploiting the sensitive issue..

Following this LA premiere, She & Her will be embarking on its festival run, screening at venues all over the world.

Screenings will be announced on the official She & Her Facebook and  Twitter pages.

The film is the work of P 1 2 3 Productions and Soza Productions.

It’s always refreshing to see those behind the scenes of the soaps, and those in front of the camera, coming together for an artistic project.

So, are you intrigued to see Carolyn and her co-stars in She & Her? Check out the trailer, and let us know via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

GH’s Rebeeca Herbst and Cassandra James ‘Day of Silence’ Challenge In Support Of LGBTQ Students

On Tuesday, General Hospital via their social media accounts posted an important video  message and challenge to their viewers and colleagues featuring Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth) and Cassandra James (Terry)  This coming Friday, April 12th is the day when the initiative  “Day of Silence” will take place for many LBTYQ students in their classrooms.

The annual day spearheaded by GLSEN is a student-led national event to spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment.  During it, students take a day-long vow of silence to symbolically represent the silencing of LGBTQ students

In story on GH, the character of Elizabeth’s longtime friend, Terry, is transgender, and is played by trans actress, James.  In addition, GH has been shedding light on the bullying of  a young boy through the storyline involving Elizabeth’s young son, Aiden, who is experiencing trouble from his fellow students at school.

GH expresses these important facts and their challenge in the video: “Nearly 80% of LGBTQ students experience verbal harassment in school. This silent video is in support of youth & all those organizing the on 4/12 in their schools – we challenge you to make a video & tag 3 more friends!”

GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) is the leading national education organization working to create safe schools for ALL students.

For more on the “Day of Silence” check it out here.  

Watch the video of Herbt and James below.  Then let us know, will you be standing with them on April 12th and LGBTQ Students who have been harrassed or bullied? Will you make a video and be part of the challenge? Comment below.

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