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EXCLUSIVE: Former Soap Producer of canceled soap speaks out on state of genre, fans & industry reactions and life post-daytime!!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

On-Air On-Soaps received a call from a former soap opera producer of a canceled network soap who wanted to remain anonymous, but wanted to convey to us in an exclusive interview his thoughts after the heartbreaking decision of ABC to cancel both All My Children and One Life to Live at the same time. The producer offered his insider perspective on what ABC might have done differently to try to save the two soaps. In addition, he chats about what goes on behind the scenes of a canceled series, understanding life in the workplace after a career in soaps, and tries to make sense of the ‘blame game’ that he feels is currently running rampant through the genre at different levels.

You have been watching fans reactions and the reactions in the media and by former and current soap industry professionals. As a former soap producer, want do you want to instill to our readers?

PRODUCER: The minute the rumor mill started about AMC and OLTL, and ABC was doing their half-assed response, I knew that there was more validity to it then the normal cancellation rumors.  I did not however expect both shows to be gone. I admit I was a little shocked and obviously devastated for the daytime community and the fans. And a lot of my sympathy went to friends who I know and everyone who worked behind the scenes, because having been in their position, and trying to get work outside the genre, I know the difficulties it is to get jobs with a soap opera stigma attached to it. I have the opportunity to meet with some great people, and when I do have the opportunity to meet, I think they understand what my skill set is, but just as a random piece of paper,  I am just to them a soap opera producer. Just like that sort of second class citizen theory of soap actors, which has been out there for such a long time. It is a bit worse for the people behind the scenes, as they see you as the bastard step-children of scripted television.  Obviously, that transition is extraordinarily difficult as I am learning.

So seeing all the pushback and the anger, frustration, and people coming out of the woodwork providing commentary or thoughts on the cancellations of OLTL and AMC, what is going through your mind?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

PRODUCER: Well, the reason I contacted you was that I had read Sara Saedi’s blog post on your site. I was reading some of the comments on your site that fans had posted.  And, I was like, ‘You know, everyone wants to play a blame game at this point.’  And, I understand that.  I wanted to play a blame game with my show. But the thing is, these shows have been dwindling in 20 years in audience.  I can remember when I started at my show; it was shortly before a pick-up.  People were saying we would be closed down. One of our hair people said, “I have been working here for 25 years and every day since I have been here they are saying the show is going to be canceled.” So, I always kept that in my mind. But now, audiences have proven that reality television is a viable option and a cheaper options to all scripted audience, not even just soap operas. Now the networks have another option that has the ability to make money, and if it doesn’t, they haven’t put that much money in the bank, to feel like they have lost the money.  This is the time now for the fans of the remaining four shows, and I would like to think that there is some sort of reprieve if possible for AMC and OLTL, but I don’t believe that is true, unfortunately, but I would love to be wrong.   But there are now four shows left, and if fans want them to be around, they have to prove their worth that they are still a viable options. Every one needs to stop the negative press. It has bothered me for years.  I have spoken my mind about it before to everyone at my former show.  I had such frustration with the soap press about the constant criticism of the genre.

So you feel the press should be held accountable and are partly responsible for the dismantling of the soap genre?

PRODUCER: If I just read Sara’s blog and would have called it a night, that would have been that, but I contacted you because I have known you to be fair.  And, I think there is always a place for constructive criticism. You are in the mass media, so you are subject to it. However, it has bothered me that the soap magazines, which only existed because the soaps are on the air, would be so negative too. I can’t imagine the soap mags are going to want to keep their publications around to cover just four shows. They are going to have to evolve them into something different. The soap press and the unions are also part of the death of scripted television as a whole.  This is a dying industry. It is no longer what it was. And if you want to have a job and an acting gig, and I think a lot of actors have learned this, you can be expendable unless you are willing to take a pay cut. The more the soaps are lambasted for things that are out of their control by their own press, it is sad.  And you can expect them not to last, and then more fans tune-out! You know, I would tune-out if every time I picked up a magazine, I was reading, “Well this show sucks, because A to Z is wrong.”

It is also so ironic that the mainstream press picks up stories when the soaps are canceled but never during the tenure of their years on the air!

Courtesy/ABC

PRODUCER: Our soap could not get covered by anybody in the mainstream, but the minute we were canceled we were on the nightly news, and we were on the front page of the New York Times.  That is the thing; it is really up to the fans to keep the other four shows going. We all know that each of those has renewal pick-ups. But those contracts will mean nothing when they are up in two years, unless the fans are supporting them and behind them. And that was what really inspired me from Sara’s blog. Any network in television because they own the shows, had a vested interest in making those shows a success, and ABC tried. They put those actors on Dancing with the Stars, they did fan events, and they brought in movie stars, and that whole list of things that fans said they wanted and clamored for… they did them, and in the end it did not make a hill of a difference. At the end of the day it’s a business.  I am not defending Brian Frons, certainly, but I am sure they probably said to him if he wouldn’t cancel them, they would hire somebody else who would.  And his job could go away too, just like Barbara Bloom’s went away, because there will be no need for him. So you want to please your boss, but it was his job to make sure he did what they wanted him to do, if he wanted a job.  So, that played a role in it, too. Everyone mocks product placement, but if that is going to keep your show on the air, and you have to deal with a minute of ridiculousness, what’s worth it? It bothers me when I read the comments on your post on Sara’s blog saying it was all lip-service because it is not, because if anybody tried, I say it was ABC.

What do you think ABC could have done differently in the way they canceled both soaps at one time to make way for The Chew and The Revolution?

PRODUCER: I think they should have put only one of those new shows on and proven their worth. I understand because of the time blocks there are problems with that.  A lot of what I have read is a lot of the affiliates are going to take that Oprah hour and make it another hour of their local news.  So what I think is they should have put one of those shows on and put OLTL and AMC into half hours, and see how that did.  I have always thought that for soaps, because the way we live our lives now, an hour a day is just too much.   These are things that the audience doesn’t know, or the press doesn’t know, but if we aired repeats it’s expensive. Flashbacks for instance are expensive. If those actors are not on the show anymore you have to still pay them. If there is music and anything before the late 90’s at the earliest, the music is married to the tape. So unless you own these shows, it’s a costly endeavor. It’s the same thing with weddings and funerals on the soaps and to be a glorified extra.  I am part of two Unions and I am not criticizing them, but the rates for Union things are ridiculous, just the minimums. I don’t even mean the negotiated ones, just the minimums. Why are we doing these reality shows? Because you don’t need a Union camera person on location.  Look at Jersey Shore! Those people made nothing their first season and now they are making six-figure paychecks and are a proven commodity.  The audience is proving that this stuff is viable. I don’t want to blame them, but they are proving to the broadcasters that we can put on schlock TV, and you’ll come. If they had proven that fifteen years ago, our soap would have been gone then. Now you have to prove that the four soaps left on the air, are important enough for you to keep them. And that is by tuning in, getting your friends to tune in or whomever, writing a letter every week to the network, something. . I don’t think it’s about reinventing the genre. And I think the late 90’s and 2000’s were all about what we can do to reinvent the genre. I never understood when people would say, “How do we reinvent this?” I would go, “You don’t. You go back to why it was successful in the first place.”  These are jobs and livelihoods and families, we are talking about.  That is a hard loss and it will be hard for anyone who has been in the soap industry for any length of time, to be seen as viable in other mediums.

Do you think the genre has evolved itself enough to do certain things to save themselves?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

PRODUCER: One of the things that still frustrated me in this genre is the inability to evolve in terms of staff, and people and writers. For example: I think some of GH’s darkest hours were the Megan McTavish years, and I think some of GL’s were the Megan McTavish years, and I think some of AMC darkest hours were the Megan McTavish years. Then I read somewhere that Brian Frons was courting Megan McTavish to come back, and I thought, really?

What were the stages you went through, as a producer, when you were told your soap was canceled?

PRODUCER: First, there was the initial shock. Then when you come into work the next day, and we still had to get product out. So we did not change anything the first week or two. Nothing changed in terms of story or script. Meanwhile, the executive producer and the writers had to lock themselves in a room for a couple of day’s straight to map out the end of the show.  It was probably a month before you see it in the scripts, and before you see the foundations of things. The other thing was; that in our personal meetings we talked about who we wanted to come back before the end of the series, and things we wanted to accomplish before we finished.  I know each of us were asked to write down five characters we would like to see come back to the show before the end of its run. I did not get angry until the show was over. My anger came from a place of that we could have been better. We never should have let the show get to where it got in order to pull the plug, and there are a lot of politics behind that, and that was a hard thing for me.

Did your soap pull collectively together for the final months of the show?

PRODUCER: I am so happy that in the last six months of that show we came back together again, and it reminded me of the place I started working at years ago.  I have been told this was not the case of another recently canceled show.  We knew we can’t change this, but we are going to go out like a big family reunion. Having those memories to look back on is nice. Everybody came through and pulled their weight and rejoiced what we had accomplished instead of playing a blame game.

So, where do you think we all go from here to save what is left of the soap opera?

PRODUCER: I have no opinion of Brian Frons, one way or the other, as I have never met the man. At the same time, I do believe he hung in there behind these shows as long as he could. Look at Les Moonves comments after GL and ATWT were canceled, “The strong will survive.”   He pretty much wrote the death sentence for daytime back then, and Barbara Bloom, I don’t think she chose to go because the soaps kept her viable.  I am sure the same thing is true for Brian. It is a business and ultimately the whole world is built on capitalism. So when things prove that they are not going to make money, but they can make money with something extraordinarily cheaper, you would be silly not to explore it. Does it make it any less heartbreaking? No, it’s awful, nobody wants it to happen. When NBC is proving that repeats of the Real Housewives is working for them in the fourth hour of the day, and one of the most watercolor shows on television, they are proving that lower production costs makes sense. Everything is viral today, it is hard when you’ve been there and you know how hard these producers, writers, actors, and production staff work. AMC was shooting eight episodes in five days.  I have seen it. And everybody thinks that the soap actors can’t handle it. Whether it’s good or not, it’s a different story.  The soap actors are worth their salt. Fans need to actively be tuning in to save their shows, and not after the rumor mill has started, because it’s already a done deal.

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leah
Guest
leah

i couldn’t read all of the article so i may be speaking out of turn. How the heck is it media fault the soaps are cancelled? The media was not sitting behind the desk micro managing. I blame Frons. I blame Disney. I blame ABC. The final and best joke will be if NBC picks up one life to live and puts it on behind its major soap. It will be unstoppable… and i hope ABC folds… ABC went into a tizzy because they were losing Oprah… why then does stupid Frons add to the chaos by cancelling as the… Read more »

Lilly
Guest
Lilly

They only way that NBC could air One Life to Live is if ABC sells it to them, so why would ABC be mad about this. Check out Days of Our Lives ratings, they are plummeting,so how could it help One Life to Live, when their ratings are worse than One Life’s? After seeing how poorly Days of Our Lives is Doing, why would NBC waste money on another expensive soap?

leah
Guest
leah

oLTL is not an expensive soap u are thinking about AMC and GH. Not only that the actors can act really good and the writing is top notch.. this week OLTL is ranked 2 tide with B and beautiful… OLTL is also filmed in New York not California.. I am not clear why you called OLTL an expensive soap? They always come in under budget and has the smallest budget of the three abc soaps.. And not only that OLTL is not DOOL…. our actors can actually act and on top of that the writing is excellent. If Oltl were… Read more »

Leigh Schinaia
Guest
Leigh Schinaia

While I agree with this “producer:” that it is a business, and they do need to make money. I do not agree that he implied the fans let these soaps down. Perhaps if they knew they were in trouble people would have rallied before it was too late, but then no one knew! It is not up to fans to save a show, it’s up to us to support a show, and tell you what we want different. Guess what? the writers and producers don’t listen. Fans try to get their voices heard and are shot down like they don’t… Read more »

TJ Smith
Guest
TJ Smith

It is because Brian Frons and Anne Sweeney wanted them to fail, that is why they came out and said the soaps were in good standing, instead of coming out and saying “hey, we need help.” They are liars through and through and soap fans do not forget. Also, I am wondering why on earth, they are STILL using the Nielson rating system, we all know that more people watch than what is taken from the rating system. It’s time to step into the 21st century, people. There also needs to be some kind of agreement between the unions to… Read more »

Lilly
Guest
Lilly

I could only make it through the first five questions, because my eyes were about to roll out of my head. This ex producer is perfect example of why the attitude’s of those who work in soaps is the main reason for their downfall. He and others took for granted that people would watch whatever they produced, and wouldn’t expect them to produce quality in return for being loyal viewers. People watch soaps because they want to, and not because they have to. It is a commitment to watch a show five times a week, and people don’t expect to… Read more »

Leigh Schinaia
Guest
Leigh Schinaia

I could not agree with you more, this is why they are dieing. They refuse to adapt to today’s culture, and are frozen in time. They are in a bubble, and will not change stories to fit what fans want, or even the actors they need to step up their skills. If they cared they would know we tell them often that they need to change, but they never do. Therefore, they get cancelled. I am so tired of not being treated with respect as a woman, and as an intelligent person. Just because we watch soaps does not mean… Read more »

Brooke
Guest
Brooke

Very well said, Lilly. From your words, to the ears of those behind the remaining soaps.

Edgar
Guest
Edgar

I wholeheartedly agree. There likely are numerous factors that contributed to the cancellation of all of these shows in the past few years. In my opinion, a primary one is the horrific writing that is taking place. This producer doesn’t give that solid writing much importance. He encourages us to watch the remaining shows. This viewer has watched Y&R since the beginning and I continue to do so to do my part to keep it on the air. Frankly, viewing it these days is NOT an enjoyment but a chore given how lousy the writing is. I have some idea… Read more »

Dani
Guest
Dani

Sorry but I do not buy into the media playing a role in the cancellation of soaps. That is absolute bull. The soap press and fans who post comments on the web or through letters to the magazine voice their displeasure about certain storylines or pairings that just do not work. If they were so powerful than you would think that those storylines or pairings would change but they don’t. The powers that be at the networks and executives on the shows do not listen to the fans or soap press so that is bunk. Those two P&G shows were… Read more »

mike
Guest
mike

ABC and Frons made a mess of of this whole thing. Their lack of support of the shows the last few years led to a ratings downturn. Their holding on to a rating system that is no longer viable is a crimminal diservice to all shows and their fans. Their stupidity of cancelation of both shows at one time shows how out of touch they are. If they had canceled All My Children first, pointing to their steep decline, then waited a year for One Life to Live they would not have had as big a public relations nightmare that… Read more »

Leigh Schinaia
Guest
Leigh Schinaia

Also, they moved AMC from NY to LA and up rooted those actors and crew to make more money last year, and to have more space. And yet will not give them more time to get settled? If you put that much effort into making AMC move and go into HD, then at least have the decency to let them continue on for a few more years. ABC has blinders on and think GH should be there only soap, and screwed the rest of their soaps.

leah
Guest
leah

ps.. added thought. Dool is not major in the ratings… Y&R B&B are the majors. because of ratings…

mememe
Guest
mememe

Great article. I appreciate the person’s honesty. He/she kind of lost me with the union bashing — everyone’s mantra is bash the unions — ugh. In a way, I feel he/she is blaming the fans of the soap operas for their demise. But that is a wrong-headed assessment. I still watch a soap opera, the quality of the writing is uneven at best. I stick around because the actors on the soap are exceptional and their performances make silk out of a sow’s ear many times. You know what I’m thinking when I watch an episode? I’m thinking, “Gosh, I… Read more »

Lilly
Guest
Lilly

Amazing post.

Leigh Schinaia
Guest
Leigh Schinaia

“To me, it’s a matter of quality, period.”
Exactly, I felt the producer was blaming fans for the demise, which is probably why that soap died. If they put more effort into writing for fans, and as intelligent viewers, then they would have more fans! It’s about the quality, not quantity. We can tell you to stop shooting long hours, and treat the staff better. We can say what we want, but is there anyone to listen?

Jason
Guest
Jason

The only thing that is making sense is that these people are not wanting the soaps on anymore. The fans have said differently.

john
Guest
john

Interesting interview. I did agree with this person’s point about how the industry recycles the same people who do horribles jobs. Megan McTavish is one and the current AMC head writers and executive producer are others. New blood and new ideas are needed to stay viable.

Alison
Guest
Alison

I think, if anything, the soap press (SOD, SOW, SID) have been way too KIND to the soaps over the years. I can’t remember the last time I read a negative thing in them – except for the feather-light smack of a “thumbs down” for a storyline occassionally. There should have been real in-depth reportage about ATWT and GL cancellations instead of the “we’ll miss you!” detritus that littered their pages. I mean, the whole ending of ATWT sucked donkey balls and was a perfect example of why the show got cancelled – did anyone in the mainstream soap press… Read more »

Soaps
Guest
Soaps

So let me get this straight, it’s the media’s fault and the fans’ fault that these shows are being cancelled?? LOL! And why be anonymous??

Teri
Guest
Teri

My shows have been gone for a while now, I was a CBS baby and stayed that way for years. I read the article and really didn’t learn anything I didn’t know. I understand about the money, I understand about the unions I even understand the comments about the media (though I disagree to a certain extent ). What didn’t make sense to me were the comments about the fans. How are fans supposed to do anything when all that matters are a set of numbers based on a limited number of people who watch during a specific time of… Read more »

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

So much WORD! I couldn’t agree more, Teri! How can the fans be responsible for the ratings (even when we are consistently watching our shows, but not live) when the views don’t count anyway? I used to VCR record ATWT & GL in college, then I updated to TiVo, and now DVR (I currently DVR AMC and have been for 2 years), but since I don’t have a Nielsen box, I don’t matter. It didn’t matter at all that I’ve been recording daily for many years and honestly, even if I did have one now, I can’t always watch soaps… Read more »

FormerABCFan
Guest
FormerABCFan

I’m of the belief that the soap media was too kind. I didn’t see one interview asking Bob Guza why he made Ethan a Spencer instead of a Scorpio. Not one.

And the reason ABC Daytime is a mess is because Brian Frons wanted that way. Ratings kept falling and he kept the same producers and writers. Why not get some fresh blood and hire someone new? They didn’t and the soap audience dwindled. People don’t want to watch crap. They want to watch good storytelling. That’s the problem.

leah
Guest
leah

I agree with you.. the people who are not abc soap fans are a bit on the clueless side.. they don’t understand we have been watching this train wreck for a while and we have been reading and understand what is going on.

Frons wanted the soaps to fail.. If you watch the soaps you can see his hand in Amc in and GH.. and he has destroyed the soaps so he can Create something new. and all he has created was a mess…

Tricia
Guest
Tricia

Ok, so basically someone who doesn’t have the balls to come forward agrees with Sara Saedi who says they did everything, except take computers out of our homes so we wouldn’t be distracted. No surprise there. Sara’s and this cowards words are typical of the disrespect shown to soap fans. Brian Frons is the worst thing to happen to daytime, and I will forever believe that ABC hired him to purposely destroy the soaps. I said this two years ago, and I just see further proof that I am right. Just look at his history. Message boards for all three… Read more »

Just Saying'
Guest
Just Saying'

ITA not only were the message boards users ignored. I emailed Frons more than once about my dislike for the changes that were happening at GH. History was changing, the mob stories were taking over and being more graphic. core families being destroyed, charactors were becoming unrecognizable. I have never received one response from ABC nor Frons. No thanks for writing, no form letter. nothing! I felt like my thoughts and/feeling were not even important enough to acknowledge.

JR
Guest
JR

This seems to have the imprint of Killer Ellen Wheeler former EP of GL. Case in point, she alluded to only having 6 months to wrap…That is excatly what GL had after it was canceled in April of 09

J Samuels
Guest
J Samuels

I liked it, he was honest. I hated the tone of what Saedi said, but I can tell that this person is coming from an honest place. And I mostly agree with him. Not that I believe the press should “whitewash” soaps, they have a duty to be objective. But I do believe that always concentrating on the negative doesn’t do any one any good. GH made the New York Post, of course it was bcuz they were lambasting the Jake S/L (and rightfully so) but I hope we get that same coverage for Luke’s intervention which I’m going to… Read more »

Maureen
Guest
Maureen

First, the points I agree with…ABC and Frons would have been smart to reduce both AMC and OLTL to half hour shows and introduced one new generic chatter show. I also agree that a writer like Megan McTavish did no favors for the soaps she was the head writer on as her specialty was always making the soaps very dark with little to no humor or romance…and specifically rape stories. And that’s why Frons pointedly hired McTavish…the rape of Bianca in order to avoid having to show same sex intimacy between Bianca and Lena at that time. Second, I also… Read more »

Brooke
Guest
Brooke

I have no trust in anyone who refuses to put their name with their words. In fact, I am pretty sure this is Saara, again.

saaara
Guest
saaara

Seriously?

Brooke
Guest
Brooke

Dead serious, sweetie. By the way, just how much DID Frons pay you to write that drivel on your blog?

NoCBSWelfare4Writers
Guest
NoCBSWelfare4Writers

This former producer’s refrain “Keep watching to keep remaining 4 soaps in air” is nothing short of ridiculous when you take into account that it is the HW/EPs who are trafficking in muck, writing and producing crap that make viewers CRINGE!! Stop placing the blame/responsibility on Fans and accept the fact that HW/EPs and others who decide what will air are the ones killing soaps today! Remember, If it sucks they will run! People like MAB, Guza and those who conveniently forget that they are writing for the Fans and not themselves are directly responsible for Shows being cancelled and… Read more »

NoCBSWelfare4Writers
Guest
NoCBSWelfare4Writers

Oy, former EP! Picture this. A town hires a chef. At one restaurant there is a vast case of food poisoning to the point where the restaurant has to close for ladk of customers. CHEF applies to the restaurant across the street which KNOWS of the fate of the last but they hire him anyway because he has “CHEF” written on his hat. Keep in mind this is a family restaurant people have been going to for years taking their children and grandchildren who grew up loving this establishment. They love the wait staff and the ambiance. CHEF prepares a… Read more »

luregolden
Guest
luregolden

I am extremely, extremely happy that ATWT got axed in the Fall of 2010. If this annonymous producer is Chris Goutman of ATWT, then he has no one to blame but Jean Passanante and himself for the demise of ATWT. The Luke, Reid, and Noah ending on ATWT was the worst and most pathetic ending in the history of soaps. In fact the whole show was a total mess and had absolutely no backbone. Now that OLTL is cancelled, JP is out. She would have destroyed OLTL anyway with her stupid plots and writing. CG and JP should never find… Read more »

jbj
Guest
jbj

To piggyback on some of the Nielsens comments, because that is something that has become a problem across the board with regards to scripted TV becoming crushed as an artform, I think that the reliance on focus groups to guide story lines is another failure on the part of soap producers. The most loyal viewers are that because they appreciate the way actors can create chemistry and make the stories work on screen. The job of the soap producer is to see how well it’s going and shape the show so that everyone is performing at their best. Instead, the… Read more »

Janet
Guest
Janet

Bull Crap ratings have not drop , don’t care what anyone says everyone i know watched the soaps faithfully and whoevever idea it was to cancel them should be tarred and feathered ifi want to watch a show on cooking i will watch the food channel when AMC and OLTL is off the Only show i will be watching on ABC will be General Hospital and when it goes off the air I will no longer watch anything on ABC or anything they are affliated with , have done cancelled plans to go to disneyworld have no need to go… Read more »

vicki
Guest
vicki

I blame the ratings system. They have no clue how many people are really watching. Please give me a ratings box. I promise it will tell you that there are peopke watching scripted shows.

All My Children

Kelly Ripa & Ryan Seacrest Remember Regis Philbin on ‘Live’, while Kathie Lee Gifford Recalls Last Moments With Him On ‘Today’

On Monday, Regis Philbin, who passed away at 88-years-old over the weekend, was remembered on morning television where he spent most of his career, by his former co-hosts.  On Live with Kelly and Ryan, an emotional Ripa along with Seacrest honored the man they had come to know

Ryan shared: “It’s been a very difficult and emotional day for all of us at Live. Kelly, I know a tough weekend for you especially because you worked with our dear friend, a friend that passed away over the weekend, Regis Philbin. A legend on television. A best friend to so many of us who didn’t even know him, across the country.”

Ripa, co-hosted Live! with Philbin for 11 years, said mentioned that she and her husband Mark Consuelos were lucky to have their children surrounding them over the weekend when they learned of Philbin’s death.

Through her tears, Kelly expressed:  “As people get older, you always know that certain things are inevitable, and passing away is one of those things, but Regis is one of the people that we all believed, I think, would somehow figure out a way around the inevitable. It was not in the cards.”

Meanwhile over on NBC, Kathie Lee Gifford appeared on the Today Show remembering her enduring friendship and working relationship with Regis. Gifford co-hosted Live with Regis and Kathie Lee for many years.

Overcome with emotion, Kathie Lee recalled her final visit with Philbin and his wife Joy during a visit to the East Coast. Gifford now lives in Tennessee.

Gifford shared how she called The Philbins and said, “Can we get together, can we have some lunch?’ So they came over about two weeks ago,  We just had the best time.”’

However, Kathie Lee noted after they said their goodbyes:“I just thought to myself, ‘Lord’, is that the last time I’m going to see my friend?’ Cause he was failing, I could tell.  I was just so grateful the Lord gave me that final time.”  She also shared moments with her talk with Joy after Regis’ passing, where Joy said,”Kathie he hadn’t laughed in a long, long time.  I was so worried about him.  The day that we came to have lunch with you was the last time I heard him laugh.”

On their on-screen partnership, Kathie Lee said of her time with Regis: “We always respected each other’s opinions so highly. You know, in all the years we were together, we never had one cross word.”

Watch below the segments from Live with Kelly and Ryan and The Today Show with Kathie Lee below as they remember and honor Regis Philbin.

Share your thoughts on the their remembrances via the comment section below.

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All My Children

TV Icon Regis Philbin Dead At 88; Kathie Lee Gifford, Kelly Ripa and Susan Lucci Pay Tribute

Sad news to report on Saturday.  Legendary TV host and personality, Regis Philbin has passed away at the age of 88.  The Daytime Emmy-winning host, was famous for is morning shows including Live with Regis and Kathie Lee for 15 years, and its later incarnation Live with Regis and Kelly,  hosting Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. beauty pageants, his night club shows with former All My Children star, Susan Lucci, and so much more.

In a statement his family shared: “We are deeply saddened to share that our beloved Regis Philbin passed away last night of natural causes, one month shy of his 89th birthday,His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him — for his warmth, his legendary sense of humor, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about.. We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss.'”

TMZ is reporting late Saturday afternoon that they confirmed with the Medical Examiner that Regis died from heart disease. He was pronounced dead Saturday at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, CT

Philbin’s accolades included: Daytime Emmy Awards wins for Outstanding Talk Show Host for Live! in 2001 and 2011 as well as Outstanding Game Show Host for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.  Regis received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2008.  He was nominated for 37 Daytime Emmy Awards throughout his career.  In addition, according to Guinness World Records, Regis holds the world record for most hours on US television with more than 16,700 hours clocked.

Three women who worked so closely with Regis each took to Instagram this afternoon to share their grief and memories of their dear friend, and in some cases mentor:

Photo: TODAYShowNBC

Kathie Lee Gifford expressed on Philbin’s passing: “There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis. I simply adored him and every day with him was a gift. We spent 15 years together bantering and bickering and laughing ourselves silly—a tradition and a friendship we shared up to this very day. I smile knowing somewhere in Heaven, at this very moment, he’s making someone laugh. It brings me great comfort knowing that he had a personal relationship with his Lord that brought him great peace. I send all the love in my heart to Joy, to his children, to the rest of his family and to the innumerable people he touched over his legendary life. There has never been anyone like him. And there never will be.”

Photo: ABC

Kelly Ripa who took over from Gifford and co-hosted with Regis for many years shared along with Ryan Seacrest: “We are beyond saddened to learn about the loss of Regis Philbin. He was the ultimate class act, bringing his laughter and joy into our homes everyday on Live for more than 23 years. We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire everyday to fill his shoes on the show. We send our deepest love and condolences to his family and hope they can find some comfort in knowing he left the world a better place.”

Photo: NATAS

Susan Lucci, shared an emotional message: “Oh, Regis—I am so shocked and so incredibly sad to learn of your passing. Your warmth and charm and devilish sense of humor made the world fall in love with you—and all of us who had the privilege and joy to work with you adored you! Those five years we traveled the country appearing together on stage are full of some of my favorite memories. Helmut and I send our love and heartfelt sympathy to beautiful Joy and your entire family.  You were one of a kind, Rege—🎼There Will Never Ever Be Another You🎼 RIP, Regis—and thank you”

Philbin is survived by daughters J.J. Philbin and Joanna Philbin, whom he shared with his wife of 50 years, Joy Philbin. He was also father to daughter Amy Philbin, whom he shared with his first wife Catherine Faylen. Philbin and Faylen had another child, son Daniel Philbin, who passed away in 2014.

Share your thoughts and condolences on the passing of Regis Philbin in the comment section below.  

 

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There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis. I simply adored him and every day with him was a gift. We spent 15 years together bantering and bickering and laughing ourselves silly—a tradition and a friendship we shared up to this very day. I smile knowing somewhere in Heaven, at this very moment, he’s making someone laugh. It brings me great comfort knowing that he had a personal relationship with his Lord that brought him great peace. I send all the love in my heart to Joy, to his children, to the rest of his family and to the innumerable people he touched over his legendary life. There has never been anyone like him. And there never will be.

A post shared by Kathie Lee Gifford (@kathielgifford) on

 

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All My Children

‘Strahan, Sara and Keke’ Canceled by ABC; Show Aired In Timeslot That Once Housed ‘All My Children’

No matter a network tries to do, replacing All My Children, which ran for 41 years on ABC has remained as everyone that follows the world of daytime drama knows, problematic.  Now come word via Page Six that Strahan, Sara and Keke has been canceled.

The show hosted by Michael Strahan, Sara Haines and Keke Palmer if you recall, replaced the foodie show, The Chew which ran for seven seasons and was the first show to air in the timeslot that belonged for over four decades to All My Children. 

Back in March of this year, Strahan, Sara and Keke took a break to make way for ABC’s News  Pandemic: What You Need to Know, a daily coronavirus report anchored by Amy Robach, Dr. Jen Ashton and sometimes TJ Holmes.

However, because the show did well in that two-week experimental run it morphed into GMA 3: What You Need to Know.  The new version of the show also talked about hot topics in the current news cycle, as well.

ABC’s Catherine McKenzie began producing the “GMA3” show four months ago and the network officially announced her as Executive Producer of the program on Thursday.

While ABC has yet to officially announce Strahan, Sara and Keke is over, a spokesperson told Page Six: “We’re proud of our teams at ‘SSK’ and ‘GMA3’ and how quickly they transitioned to producing a daily show to give people the news and information they need during an unprecedented pandemic, and conversations continue about how the show will evolve in the months ahead.”

It appears that Strahan, Sara and Keke won’t be returning; the future as many of their staff have transitioned over to ‘GMA 3’ with producers from ABC News Live, (the streaming division), helmed by McKenzie.

As for the futures of Strahan, Haines and Palmer; Strahan will continues to host Good Morning America, and they are all actively under contract with the network.

So, what do you think of  ‘Strahan, Sara and Kek’e being replaced by ‘GMA 3: What You  Need to Know’?  How long do you think that show will last in the timeslot once taken up by residents of Pine Valley? Comment below.

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