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ABC yanks programming out from under Cablevision prior to Oscars!

This in this morning from the Associated Press, ABC’s parent company switched off its signal to Cablevision’s 3.1 million customers in New York at midnight Saturday in a dispute over payments that escalated just hours before the start of the Academy Awards.  In dueling statements dispatched early Sunday, the two companies blamed each other for the stalemate in negotiations over fees. “Cablevision has once again betrayed its subscribers,” said Charissa Gilmore, a spokeswoman for the Walt Disney Co. and ABC Television Group, in a statement. “Cablevision pocketed almost $8 billion last year, and now customers aren’t getting what they pay for … again.” Cablevision Systems Corp. said the stall in negotiations should be blamed on Disney CEO Bob Iger. “It is now painfully clear to millions of New York area households that Disney CEO Bob Iger will hold his own ABC viewers hostage in order to extract $40 million in new fees from Cablevision,” said Charles Schueler, a Cablevision executive vice president, in a statement.The signal can still be pulled from the air for free with an antenna and a new TV or digital converter box.

Cablevision has argued that Disney is seeking an additional $40 million a year in new fees, even though the company pays more than $200 million a year to Disney. Disney counters by arguing that Cablevision charges customers $18 per month for basic broadcast signals but does not pass on any payment for ABC to Disney. The dispute is similar to a standoff at the end of last year between News Corp. and Time Warner Cable over how much Fox television station signals were worth. That tussle, which threatened the college football bowl season and new episodes of “The Simpsons,” was resolved without a signal interruption.

Cablevision also feuded with Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. in a January dispute that temporarily forced the Food Network and HGTV off the service. Neither side provided terms of an agreement that restored the channels after three weeks. “We can no longer sit back and allow Cablevision to use our shows for free while they continue to charge their customers for them,” WABC-TV president and general manager Rebecca Campbell said in a statement.

Schueler suggested that disgruntled viewers should blame Disney’s top executive if the station goes dark. “There is one man who is going to decide whether New York gets to see the Oscars, and that’s Disney President and CEO Bob Iger,” he said in a statement late Friday. “We call on Bob Iger to stop holding his own viewers hostage, end his threats to pull the plug on ABC at midnight and instead work with us to reach a fair agreement.”  WABC-TV is the most watched TV station in the country, said Disney, which is based in Burbank, Calif.    As previously reporter here the ABC programming block of ABC Daytime soaps are affected which includes, All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital and the ability for residents in New York, New Jersey and Conneticut to view their shows.

All My Children

All My Children Alum Cornelius Smith Jr. Joins the Cast of Apple TV+ Limited Series, ‘Five Days At Memorial’

Daytime fans remember him fondly as the son of Jesse (Darnell Williams) and Angie Hubbard (Debbi Morgan), Frankie, on All My Children.  And now, actor Cornelius Smith Jr., is set to join a major limited series based on the acclaimed nonfiction book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Sheri Fink, about the the first five days following Hurricane Katrina made landfall entitled Five Days at Memorial.

Written by John Ridley and Carlton Cruse, Smith will play a doctor, (something he is very familiar with playing since Frankie Hubbard was a doctor in Pine Valley!) named Dr. Bryant King, an internist and one of the few doctors of color at the hospital, who finds himself very much in the middle of the crisis.  He will headline the show alongside Vera Farmiga and Adepero Oduye.

Photo: JPI

The series will stream on Apple TV+, and no word yet as to when it will have its debut following its filming.

 

Since his time on All My Children, Smith has appeared on ABC’s Scandal, and had recurring roles on God Friended MeSelf Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker and Manhunt.

Deadline broke the casting news.

So, looking forward to seeing Cornelius back on our screens? Do you remember his work as Dr. Frankie Hubbard on All My Children? Comment below.

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All My Children

Tribute to Agnes Nixon Set Featuring: Susan Lucci, Erika Slezak, Debbi Morgan, Darnell Williams & Peter Bergman

Next week, circle Wednesday March 31st at 3 p.m. EST/12 p.m. PST for a very special celebration of the life and times of the legendary Agnes Nixon.

As soap fans know, Nixon was the creator of All My Children, Loving, One Life to Live, and as well wrote for several other soaps, and to honor her The Locher Room will be bringing you a special episode, hosted by former soap publicist, Alan Locher, featuring actors who were pivotal to those shows.

Look for Susan Lucci (Ex- Erica Kane, AMC), Erika Slezak (EX-Victoria Lord, OLTL), Peter Bergman (Ex-Cliff, AMC, now Jack, Y&R), Debbi Morgan (Ex Angie, AMC and Darnell Williams (Ex-Jesse, AMC) to all take part, along with Agnes’ son, Bob Nixon, plus it has been noted that viewers will also hear from the iconic Carol Burnett (Ex-Verla Grubbs, AMC) who was one of All My Children’s biggest fans.

You can watch the livestream here.

Throughout her storied career Agnes won five Writers’ Guild of America Awards, five Daytime Emmy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2010 and was inducted into Soap Opera Weekly’s Soap Opera Hall of Fame among other notable achievements.

So, will you be checking out this special tribute to the one and only Agnes Nixon? Comment below.

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All My Children

‘Home & Family’ Canceled; Upcoming 9th Season to Be Its Last

In a turn of events, following the recent announcement that a retooled Home & Family was returning to production and will be back on the air three days a week beginning in April, comes word on Tuesday that the series has been canceled.

The upcoming ninth season will now be its last.  The Hallmark Channel morning show features former All My Children star, Cameron Mathison (Ex-Ryan Lavery) along with Debbie Matenopolos as co-hosts.

In a statement, a Hallmark Channel spokesperson shared:  “The 9th and current season of Home & Family will be the series’ last. For nearly a decade, the show has anchored our daytime lineup, featuring countless hours of cooking, lifestyle, DIY, health, entertaining, and decorating segments,” the spokesperson said. “We want to thank the heart and soul of the show, our incredibly talented cast and crew – led by co-hosts Debbie Matenopoulos and Cameron Mathison – for their creativity, hard work, and dedication. Our audience can look forward to more of the topical segments they know and love when the show returns on Monday, April 5, with a new one-hour, three-day-a-week format.

The final episode will air in the late summer on Wednesday, August 4th.

So, sad that the lifestyle show, Home & Family will conclude after this season? Comment below.

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