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Face Off and Ex-Passions, McKenzie Westmore speaks out on the decline of daytime soaps!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

One of On-Air On-Soaps favorite people in the business, McKenzie Westmore, chatted with Zap2it.com about the success of the Syfy channel’s Wednesday night special-effects-makeup competition Face Off.  The series hosted by Westmore has just been renewed for another season!  During her interview, the most emotionally charged moments occurred when Westmore discussed the decline of the daytime soap genre, since her time at Passions as the lead of the show, Sheridan Crane Lopez-Fitzgerald, and how heartbreaking it is for the fans to see the downfall of the once almighty form of afternoon entertainment.

McKenzie stated on the downward spiral of the soap world: “We started to see the decline, even on Passions, as budgets started to get cut and things dissipated. It started toward the end of when we were going off the air, and to see it as it continued was heartbreaking to me.  I even bounced over to All My Children for a little bit, when it was still based in New York. I went over and did about six months there, and it was so sad to me to see them just go down in flames. I started on a soap opera at 20 years old with a three-year contract, then over the course of time, it became nine years total. It was a blessing for me.”

Westmore added, “There are so many fans who love the genre, and they’re not getting the payoff they deserve. I wish there was a way to revive some of these shows, though I know the Internet isn’t the way. Passions was ahead of its time in some ways. There are times when I watch True Blood and it’s Passions, but with the cable backing so they can go a little farther.”

What do you think about McKenzie’s comments about fans not getting the payoff they deserve? Do you think Passions in some ways was ahead of its time? Post your thoughts!

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Sarah
Sarah

Mackenzie has hit the nail on the head. The fans are not getting what they want. Great interview Michael!

lew
lew

She is so correct.

barbara t
barbara t

didnt watch passions ,but I agree with everything she said ,and dont understand the reason the networks think the soaps are dead,in the daytime ,but they will thrive in prime time ,I dont watch that many shows in the evening,right now I have 3 that I watch,will watch american horror story in the fall and yes I will watch dallas this summer,I am looking forward to see jr ,bobby, sue ellen ,why abc canceled all my children and one life to live is a mystery to me and I know there are alot of different reasons behind there decision which in the long run will hurt abc ,abc use to be a class network and now with all there reality, talk and food shows. I want to get away from all of that not watch a few idiots tell me how to live my life ,and these idiots that are hosting the chew and the revolution cant and wont replace the cast of one life to live and all my children .

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

I loved Passions. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that storylines were often unresolved. I also think at the end of its run the storylines were sometimes just too icky for my taste. But it was a really fun show most of its run. It was so fun I read a really good book based on a “prequal” story of the main characters and enjoyed that very much too.

Mackenzie and the rest of the cast rocked. We also enjoy Face-Off, especially my 11-year-old son. Good thing SyFy isn’t owned by ABC/D 🙂

Mo
Mo

I agree Passions was ahead of its time and the same could be said for “Port Charles.” Personally, I’m not interested in vampires and all that, but a lot of people are.

Glad that “Face Off” has been renewed for a second season. Started watching it this season and I really enjoy it. Mckenzie does a great job as host.

moshane58
moshane58

So agree.The audience is there for television.CBS is having success with Y&R and abc was with there soaps to but chose to pissed off fans and dump them.Now aBC is ina ratings trouble.Faithful fans keep a network going.When you turn your back on them you loose millions.

Mitchell1660
Mitchell1660

Passions was ahead of its time. It’s the only soap to do a gay storyline about “down low” men and actually show very racy sex scenes that even shocked me! Passions is definitely missed!

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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