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Disney/ABC Television Chief Anne Sweeney To Leave Her Position To Become A Director!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Now this came as quite the shocker today, not necessarily because Anne Sweeney would be leaving her post at some point, but because of the reason that was cited!

Today, Variety learned that ABC Television Chief Anne Sweeney will be exiting her position come January to pursue her new career path as a director!  Some speculate the move allows for a graceful exit for the executive, who has been with Disney since 1996, rising through the ranks from running Disney Channel to TV chief in 2004.

According to Variety also, it’s understood within Disney that “Sweeney was not seen as a contender to replace Bob Iger as Disney CEO when his contract ends in 2016. With no more room to advance, Sweeney has clearly opted to take a left-turn career-wise.  In a lengthy statement, Sweeney asserted that Iger had offered her a long-term contract but she declined. There have been persistent rumors that the two have had chilly relations in recent years.”

Sweeney currently oversees all Disney TV (other than ESPN), so just how things will shake out with her departure will be interesting to follow.  She is currently co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, in charge of ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney Junior and ABC News.   And as soap fans know, Brian Frons reported to Anne Sweeney when he was in charge of ABC Daytime!

Here is Anne Sweeney’s statement:  “The past 18 years at Disney have been the highlight of my executive career. I’ve been a part of an amazing evolution in our business and our industry, and have achieved far more than I ever thought possible. But as wonderful as the experience has been, there has always been a nagging voice in the back of my head pushing me to step out of the comfort zone of the executive ranks and more directly into the creative arena that enticed me to TV in the first place. I finally listened to that voice and thought, ‘if not now, when?’ I know my decision to step back from all of this to learn the art of directing may seem surprising, but to me it’s a long realized dream. I am so thankful to Bob Iger for his leadership, guidance and his friendship over the years, and am grateful not only for his offer to remain with the company for many years to come, but his understanding and support of my decision to make this change. I’m excited to spend the remainder of this year positioning the TV Group for even greater success.”

So, what do you think about Anne leaving Disney/ABC to pursue a career in directing?  Weigh-in below!

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Laurel Twist
Laurel Twist

It’s always good to go pursue a dream! Good for her!

louisa
louisa

Not sure how I feel about this. She was in charge of Frons–but she also fired him.

I hope her replacement brings back OLTL and AMC and makes ABC the dominate soap channel once again!

su0000
su0000

Good riddance ,,

If Anne Sweeney and Brian Frons had left years ago we’d most likely still have AMC and OLTL, or at the least one of them..
It was Her and Frons who killed them ..

Helen
Helen

I also got my wish, thank god one life to live and all my children got cancelled. cbs soaps and general are the best soaps right now. days of our lives is great too.

Christine
Christine

I am in total agreement with you. Another beast bites the dust!

Christine
Christine

I am very sorry that AMC and OLTL were cancelled. They were my favorites but the others on CBS and NBC are good as well. I just wish they would bring the shows back with the original characters but I doubt that will ever happen. I have boycotted ABC programming since the cancellations with the exception of GH.

Tammy Kreiss
Tammy Kreiss

Ok The Witch & the Warlock gone, but wish it had been before they disregarded what their fans wanted.

DAVID
DAVID

Abc will cancel general hospital next year, I still don’t trust abc. They will replace gh, with a new talk show. Abc wants out of the soap business.

Beth CP
Beth CP

This woman was a wrecking ball to the soap genre and gave Frons the original order to axe GH, AMC, and OLTL. And we all know what has happened since then. I echo su0000 in saying “Good riddance”. When she exits out of her comfy, cozy executive office I hope the door smacks her in the a** on the way out.

JustSaying
JustSaying

What’s there to direct – reality tv?
“Creative arena” doesn’t exist anymore.

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

What a wonderful piece of news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! First that hateful scum BF and now her. I sincerely hope the local affiliates and stockholders keep raising hell about the loss of revenue until all the top brass of the alphabet network and the mouse company are gone. They have shown no respect for their loyal viewers and no respect for their employees. Why is she sticking around until January? She can go now. Good riddance!!!!!!!!!!

brian
brian

Bye Bye

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

Hope her exit is worse than Robins…Its her free choice to leave and direct…maybe she can come back 5 to 6 months a year when time permits…but i doubt she’s smart enough to find a cure for those two who are most likely truely sincerely dead: AMC and OLTL…lmao!!! (hope you get my joking here!!!)

Lisa Z.
Lisa Z.

Unfortunately, her departure is several years too late for OLTL and AMC fans. She championed their cancellation and welcomed the ultra-expensive Katie talk show! We all know how well that went. Maybe this is part of the fallout from that huge blunder – only insiders know the real reason for her departure.

Mary SF
Mary SF

It would be the height of irony if the only show willing to teach her the ropes about directing was a soap. LOL.

But seriously, as a woman in corporate America there is still a glass ceiling that many cannot crack. If a man had been in her position he would have been offered the CEO job in a heartbeat. I don’t blame her for leaving after an insult like that, if she wants to spin it as a chance to pursue her “dream” well I don’t begrudge her that, but in reality I bet her decision to move on was more about being passed over for promotion than a burning desire to direct.

Pat
Pat

I wish we were saying good bye to her and all of abc/disney and any other of there projects out there and there are many..

I still boycott the station for having no consideration for the viewers of 40+ yrs watching OLTL/AMC….
what do they have now that is not a soap and over 40 yr. going strong?
I do not wish her or them well.

janet
janet

Hey don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.. Sounds like sour grapes to me. But what do I know I watch soaps.

boes
boes

With any luck, the only directing she’ll be doing is telling Brian Frons what to do in their joint baked potato stand on the Santa Monica Pier.

KateA
KateA

Doesn’t matter. The destruction has been done. I will always boycott ABC.

Michael
Michael

Wish she left before she killed ago One Life and All My Kids. G’ riddance soap killer.

Jared
Jared

Bu-bye! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

mgb357
mgb357

could it be that abc is cleaning house so that they can start producing shows again that people are willing to watch?

hint – continuous stories that appeal to viewers!!!

or just repeat cancelled soaps – it would be a ratings boon!

Dina Vargia
Dina Vargia

No tears for her leaving. She was never a friend of the soap genre, and just like Frons, she did a lot of damage to ABC daytime, and then leaves. Even with these 2 gone, I doubt ABC will ever bring our soaps back. ABC daytime has never recovered it`s ratings after canceling OLTL & AMC.

All My Children

8 Years To The Day Of All My Children & One Life to Live Being Canceled; Still Considered By Many Worst Move For Daytime

It’s hard to believe that 8 years ago today on April 14th, 2011, the soap world, its fans, and the cast members, learned of the heartbreaking news that ABC, in one swift move, decimated its daytime line-up when they announced the cancellations of long running series, All My Children (which would end at its 41st year), and One Life to Live (which would ends its run in its 43rd year).

At the time, ABC announced it would move to more lifestyle/entertainment series to replace these dramas.  In its place came The Chew and The Revolution, neither show is still on the air today.  Executives at that time pointed to research saying that times are changing and that their decision was “guided by extensive research into what today’s daytime viewers want,” and blame, in part, “the changing viewing patterns of the audience” for the axing of AMC and OLTL

Then ABC Daytime President, Brian Frons had joked to Deadline about the big announcement that he: “Pre-entered the witness protection program prior to today’s events.”  He added that “The demise of the two venerable soaps was actually a year in the making.  A year ago, we started to look at our projections where the ratings for the soaps would go.  When those projections came in pretty discouraging, the network began to aggressively develop replacement shows, 15 of them.  Four of the 15 were picked up to pilot: The Chew and The Revolution and two others, a talk show and a dating show. Originally, the idea was to cancel only one daytime drama.  The way the ratings developed and the pilots turned out, the ratings developed negatively and pilots developed positively, so we decided to make a bigger shift.”  Of note is that when it went off the air, One Life to Live was in third place among its competitors in the ratings.

The press release that came with the cancellations stated: “To honor the core, passionate audience and their rich history both shows will conclude in a manner that respects their legacies and the longstanding hopes of many of their viewers.”

Following the cancellations daytime reeled. The mainstream was sure it meant the endings of the soaps, period.  However, four shows illustrated that is not true at all.  For Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless all remain, and still whether they are up or down in their numbers/ratings, they remain relevant and important to the enduring daytime viewing audience.

Sadly, as with any shows, the end of ABC’s AMC and OLTL meant loss of jobs for so many working in front of the camera and behind the scenes. One Life was the last soap opera in production in New York at the time.  AMC was already being shot in LA to cut costs to save it.

Still in 2019, if you venture on to social media, especially Twitter, you see fans constantly missing its stars and the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, wanting this wrong rectified.  Although Prospect Park tried to revive the show with their online versions, eventually after legal battles that went on for a few years, ABC now retains the right to these properties,

The good news is that many favorites from AMC and OLTL have found success and been hired on other soap operas, bringing their followings with them, whether it be on-screen, or in the writing, producing, directing or crew departments.

So, do you think the loss of AMC and OLTL consolidated daytime and made the remaining shows stronger so they would not be touched or canceled?  Do you think ABC should try to mount a resurrected AMC and OLTL or an amalgamation of the two?  Do you remember where you were when you learned the two soaps were cancelled? Was this the worst misstep of all-time for daytime? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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All My Children

George R. R. Martin’s “Leak” Of New Hulu Series WILD CARDS Featuring Eden Riegel, Thorsten Kaye. and Greg Rikkart

April Fool’s Day started off with a bang today when Eden Riegel (Ex-Bianca, AMC) posted a photo of herself with Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Greg Rikaart (Ex-Leo, DAYS)  in a very intriguing image.  See above pic!  As it turns out, it’s said to be from behind the scenes from some leaked footage of the upcoming Hulu series, Wild Cards.

The premise of Wild Cards is based on the sci-fi anthology series edited by George R. R, Martin, best known for writing the “Song of Ice and Fire” novels, on which HBO’s Game of Thrones is based.  Riegel’s husband, Andrew Miller is the showrunner attached to the upcoming series.

On Martin’s website he teases the set-up of the “leaked” video clip:  “This was not supposed to go public.. Everybody (Well, everybody that has been paying attention knows that we are developing two Wild Cards as a series for Hulu  Andrew Miller has taken the reins as showrunner, a writing staff has been hired, and they have been hard at work for months.  What was NOT supposed to be known is how far they’ve come.  Not only have some scripts been finished, but the first show has gone into production and has been shooting.  That was supposed to be a deep dark secret, however.   We wanted to surprise the world. It’s hard to keep secrets in Hollyweird, however.  And now it appears that some of the rough footage has been leaked by person or persons unknown”

Meanwhile, Riegel sent out a series of tweets: “Hooo boy…cat’s out of the bag! Fans, please don’t judge our show based on these leaked videos!! The effects are going to knock your socks off. And my costars, and , are doing the best work of their lives!”  That was followed by, T”hank you for the chance to work with you on your first foray into soaps! I am humbled and honored. We won’t let you down.” And then, “I’m probably not allowed to share this with all the NDAs I signed, but damnit I’m just so proud of the team!  think we are breaking new ground for soaps. So proud to work with you!”

Now below, check out the Wild Cards “leaked footage” and let us know if you think of the …. um … drama! Comment below.  And one more thing … Happy April Fool’s!

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All My Children

WATCH: All My Children Reunion On Strahan & Sara

On Monday’s episode of ABC’s Strahan & Sara, the show welcomed several stars of the beloved All My Children for a reunion, of sorts. Joining hosts Michael Strahan and Sara Haines were Susan Lucci (Erica), Walt Willey (Jack), Cady McClain (Dixie), Jacob Young (JR) and Jill Larson (Opal).

While it was wonderful to see the stars from Pine Valley again, it was also a painful reminder that this network, ABC, canceled the show, and had put in its place – The Chew, and now Strahan & Sara – since canning the series.   In fact, as you will see on the clips below, many of the crew who work on this talk show were once the crew for All My Children.

During the segment, Susan Lucci was tested to see if she remembered all of Erica Kane’s wedded names.  Later, Walt Willey and Susan re-created the final scene of the ABC version of All My Children between Erica and Jack, where Jack walks out on her.  However, this time, they have Jack changing his mind and coming back to Erica and sealing their relationship with a kiss – a moment of closure that never happened (since the show moved to online via Prospect Park).

In addition, Cady McClain and Jacob Young re-created the infamous Dixie “dying from eating poison pancakes” scene, as JR watches his mother die, only this time she lives.

It’s always great to see these veteran performers, but Strahan & Sara is trying to capture the soap viewers to put eyeballs on their show by bringing in talent from the show that sadly and wrongly went off the air.

Watch the clips below from the All My Children reunion below.  Then, let us know what you thought of it via the comment section below.

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