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All My Children

Former ABC exec, writer Sara Saedi, on what ABC did & didn't do to save their soaps!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

In a very interesting post at TheBlowOff.com, Sara Saedi, the writer of the very the clever, What-If crossover series that aired on ABC.com and SOAPnet.com, and formerly a creative executive at ABC Daytime, offered her thoughts on the last several history making days in the world of soaps, which saw the demise of All My Children and One Life to Live as handed down by ABC Daytime President, Brian Frons.

In her new blog, Saedi elaborates at all the things she says ABC tried for their soaps, and then looked at what the network was up against, or, did not do to save their soaps.  Here are some excerpts!

Saedi commented in her blog post, “I believe the network and specifically Brian Frons (President of ABC Daytime) have gotten a bum rap these last few days. In the time I was at ABC, we tried EVERYTHING to save the soaps and increase the ratings. We brought back legacy characters, we brought in younger characters in hopes of raising our teen and 18-34 demo, we cut costs, we executed high concept action driven storylines, we executed high romance emotionally driven storylines, we started a cable network so women could watch their soaps at night, we produced webisodes, we used CGI to raise production value, we did endless research to figure out what was working for viewers and what wasn’t, we went back to focusing on social issues, we went HD, we traveled all around the country so soap stars could meet their fans.We hired Latino actors to attract the telenovella viewers, we went more salacious in our narratives, we went more true to life in our narratives, we went multi-platform, we did shorter close ended story arcs, we sat in rooms for hours with writers and talked in great depth about every single character on each show and what their objectives were, we took risks, we played it safe, we sold an All My Children perfume in Wal-Mart, we published books “written by” our fictional characters, we killed off beloved characters, we brought back beloved characters from the dead, we even brought a movie star on General Hospital…and the ratings still didn’t go up.”

“Now, here are the things us execs did not do to save the soaps when I worked there: we didn’t dispose of computers and additional TV sets in people’s homes to get families back to one TV per household. (Teens and kids don’t watch soaps with their moms anymore, because they don’t have to— they have their own TVs in their rooms or computers to keep them company.) We also didn’t try to get women out of the work force and back into their homes to watch TV during the day. We didn’t confiscate every single DVR in every single house and destroy it. We didn’t put an end to cable TV and the 200+ channels soaps compete with, we didn’t hold Telemundo and Univision hostage and forbid them from airing telenovellas, we didn’t outlaw Reality TV or primetime shows that ripped off our format, and we didn’t create a time machine to take us back to the heyday of soaps in the 1980s. It’s been thirty years since the heyday, which means a lot of time for viewer fatigue. I love Modern Family, but if someone asked me if I wanted to watch it everyday for the next thirty years, I’d probably pass. It wasn’t the network that killed the soaps. It was the progression of time, technology, and competition.”

What do you think of Saedi’s remarks and commentary? Let us know!

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Stephanie
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Stephanie

I actually agree with everything that she said.

Oliver
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Oliver

Me too!

It seems like the writers who had been there for too long and had heads that were too big, just wouldn’t let the younger generation offer ideas that would suit a new generation of soap fans.

Vicki
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Vicki

WOW! That last paragraph was very condescending and insulting! I don’t believe anything this woman says. She sounds like a Frons apologist, and I don’t believe they’ve tried everything. I also believe that Frons had no passion for soaps and he seemed to have micro-managed them way too much. Frons seems like a jerk and I think he is solely responsible for wrecking these beloved soaps.

Bren
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Bren

Agreed. Extremely condescending. Yes, we now live in a world of technology and what we liked in the 80’s isn’t necessarily what we like now. Except- a lot of those fans from the 80’s and earlier, still watch soaps. We may have to DVR them- so, unless you’re footing my rent, car payment, food, and insurance, that’s not going to change- but the viewers are there. The problem is that with this technological progression no one thought about updating the Nielson ratings, or creating a new system that actually counts ALL viewers. And exactly who did you poll that said… Read more »

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

I agree with you Bren 100%

Maureen
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Maureen

Condescending is right. But that is nothing new. That is the attitude soap fans and the soap casts have been getting for years under the Frons regime. I didn’t see her mention about how they really listened to fans because they could have spared themselves all the smoke and mirrors and done things of more substance had they listened to their soap fans. I didn’t see any mention of them leaving the creative side the hell alone so they could write character-driven stories since they know when it comes to stories that audiences identify more with characters than they do… Read more »

david
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david

Well obviously something worked or OLTL wouldn’t have moved up to third in the ratings or be the only soap to have gained viewers compared to last year. The performances have been incredible; the storylines strong. She is probably afraid to say anything against Frons, out of fear for her own financial self-interest, like everyone else who works in television.

Isn’t the real explanation more about money and corporate/shareholder interests? Disney/ABC chooses to produce reality programming over soaps, because even if there are fewer viewers, their revenue will increase by a wider margin.

Brooke
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Brooke

I wonder how much ABC and Brian Frons paid her to write that blog?

No matter. We can play ABC’s games. We are going to hit them where it hurts, in THEIR pocketbooks with OUR pocketbooks.

Fans have already banded together to let ABC’s sponsor know we will be boycotting The Chew and The Revolution AND the products of any business that sponsors those shows. We are going to freeze them out.

Every major General Hospital fan site is actively involved too.

Megan
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Megan

I don’t believe that Brian Frons has gotten a bum wrap in the last few days. He’s had a black eye on him for a while now. But the network has refused to do anything about it despite the fact that fans are rallying for change. Frons favors certain actors over others, and centers stories heavily around them. When fans are forced to watch the same characters every day over and over, and sometimes with little to no progress being made for months at a time, fans get bored. Stories can be expedited, but at what cost? Good writing. Plot… Read more »

Kristin
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Kristin

Oh I love your post! Love it! They didn’t do enough to help their soaps. One only has to look at the treatment GH gets as compared to OLTL. The network promoted Vanessa Marcil returning day in & day out to point of nausea. At the SAME time VMG was returning a true daytime Diva was making her return on OLTL Kim Zimmer. Where was Kim’s promotions? Yeah…. not so much there. ABC lies, they lie & it makes me ill!

Pam
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Pam

You have great ideas. I especially like the on-air product placement. That would really help advertisers in this age of DVR as long as it is done subtly so as not to interfere in the story. It could actually be quite interesting if done right. You should work for ABC. Then maybe they would have used some of your ideas and we would still have our shows.

nan
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nan

What they didn`t do is listen to the fans!!!Yes they brought in movies stars (she s talking about Franco)that we didn `t care about!!They brought in newbies (younger) that we didn`t care about! They started story s than left them hanging.They started loves and dropped them.They killed off key familes ,and long time actors that we came to love with no regard for the fans.They spent money on these new people and high priced actors that brought NOTHING to the storys.the block taping at GH is the worse thing they have done.GH stopped using people we cared about yes so… Read more »

Anne
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Anne

Umm excuse me what legacy characters did GH bring back? Brenda was the only one I can think of and she got shoved in a stupid contrived side story with Dante. Is this woman for real? OLTL and AMC did do some of those things but GH NONE of them. In fact they violated EVERY single one of the “How to write a good soap and not piss your audience off” rules..EVERY one of them. They sacked GV and brought back JJ and then completely whitewashed all of LL2 history withouth JJ. WHY? Because he can’t act or handle the… Read more »

Jamie
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Jamie

I’m not sure I read that right, but did you just imply that Jonathan Jackson can’t act???

jbj
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jbj

OK, I was not happy with GV being canned (or the implication that he was JJ’s placeholder or a bad actor), but JJ is without a doubt a talented actor and they have held up quite a bit of the GV-era LL2 story.

SP
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SP

I was with you until you said that JJ cannot act.

Tricia
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Tricia

Really they did everything, they didn’t listen to any of the fans on their own message boards. So you brought a movie star to a soap. James Franco was horrible and was USING GH for his own agenda. A LOT of GH fans complained about this taking away from their core characters. We asked for more respect for the history of GH, they killed AJ, Justice, Lila, Alan, and Emily. Almost all members of a legacy family. Its mob central all the time, even though the fans have been complaining about the Sonny and Jason show for years now. The… Read more »

ethel
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ethel

i think she is just a spokes person for frons……………………

Christina
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Christina

What do I think? I think that when I was a child (I was born in ’85) and felt soaps were a punishment because I DID have my own TV (as did my brother); and we had video games (original Nintendo was the bomb); and we did have a computer (granted it only had 2 games that I can remember); and we had a swingset in the backyard; and we had what we called a gameroom (board games, stuffed animals, movies, toys, a pool table, etc were mostly kept in that one room); and my mother did work (she and… Read more »

liasonbff
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liasonbff

Warning: LONG! I can only speak of what, in my opinion, tptb did to GH (though I think we can infer that OLTL & AMC weren’t treated better) because that’s my soap. 1)They brought in legacy characters and wrote them OUT of character so that these characters we had once loved were unrecognizable. 2)They brought in young characters that we had NO CONNECTION to because we did NOT see them grow up like we did our favorites (Robin, Elizabeth, Jason, Lucky). 3)They executed THEIR VERSION of high action storylines, but the truth is GH had more action in the ’80s… Read more »

SP
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SP

Eloquently said, laisonbff! I agree 100%

Jen Bryan
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Jen Bryan

No they didn’t listen to the fans. Frons did what he wanted to bottom line. What needs to happen is to look at better ways to view their ratings. I’ve read that 1 Neilson family represents 35,000 viewers… However, I’ve never met one of those families. I’m 32 years old and I’ve never once met a family that was a Neilson family. In this day and age I would work with cable and satellite companies to have viewer data pulled directly from DVRs and cable boxes. I would totally support Directv doing that in my home they have that info… Read more »

Jason
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Jason

Loved what she said there, and i also agree. Maybe if Frons reads this, he would see that people want our soaps then cheap uninteresting shows.

Jen Snelling
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Jen Snelling

Maybe they did all those things while she was at ABC but they gave up on many of those efforts without giving them much time. Airing legacy characters in the past several months has sure helped OLTL and, according to ABC, GH too. They cut costs and OLTL has stayed within their budget. They started a cable network for soaps but never really gave it a good chance to take off and run. Fans love the webisodes but there is much more to good marketing than that (and don’t get me started on things like the “Cramer girl reunion.”) Hiring… Read more »

Rosie Peat
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Rosie Peat

I have to agree with most of the other comments here that this is a load of crap. I’m not saying that ABC and other networks don’t believe that they tried to save soaps, but they sure didn’t listen to fans, which seems beyond obvious. Ultimately it’s ratings that make or break most shows and if writers, producers, and network/channel executives create a show fans want to watch, they will. Yes, viewing habits are changing, but it’s not the fault of fans that Nielsen and internal ratings research haven’t kept pace with changing viewer habits or technology. If television manufacturers,… Read more »

Rosie Peat
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Rosie Peat

Besides, and not to sound too snarky, but Saedi lost credibility for me when I read she was behind what-if webisodes, before I even got to blog excerpts. Some may have enjoyed those, but I couldn’t even make it through the first one and didn’t watch a single one after that even on youtube.

SuZ
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SuZ

They may have tried a lot of things but they did none of them well. James Franco is a great actor and GH managed to make him look stupid. They didn’t give real thought to whether the writers themselves were the issue. ABC has had a fatalist attitude for years about soaps, reluctant to change the core of soap writers who were tired and creatively bankrupt for fear of rocking the boat and failing to recognize the same tired writers were the crux of the problem. They expected soaps to fail and planned accordingly. Now they are surprised by people… Read more »

Kimberly
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Kimberly

I agree with what she is saying in the final paragraph. However, what also needs to change with time and technology is that prehistoric system they call Nielsen. These networks put all their money on a system that no longer can accomodate the growing technology in television viewing. Why does watching on a computer not count? You can’t even forward through the commercials on most sites. Why does DVR not count? Even if you are forwarding through the ads you still see them on your screen. Redesign the ads to show the product for longer so that if a consumer… Read more »

eiwcakeff
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eiwcakeff

I agree with Vicki she didn’t want to burn any bridges in her industry. All her stated things they did were done in a totally half-a**ed way. No one wants CGI, bringing back former members of the cast only works if you give them a proper s/l–stunt casting how dumb was that experiment on GH. All that was needed was a decent s/l that used the talents of the ppl already on canvas. OLTL was and is doing a great job doing that exact thing. GH was doing the complete opposite and AMC just seems to have lost it’s way… Read more »

Nanci akemon
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Nanci akemon

I guess 5 million viewers do not matter to them! Boycott ABC & their sponsors!

Claudia
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Claudia

You seriously wonder!……..

NUSA
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NUSA

I hope it’s 5 million and rising………..maybe some VIP’s with money to burn will start their own network or buy one taking on the 2 Soaps.

Cakelover20
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Cakelover20

WRITE GREAT STORIES – VIEWERS WILL COME!!!!! Look at OLTL, they proved it. Their storylines have been rocking lately and have been praised for it, accordingly. Their ratings have increased in recent months. The thing about soap viewers is that we really are not high maintenance viewers. We don’t need movie stars like James Franco. We do not need plot points. We don’t need fancy sets or HD. We don’t need younger actors to be shoved down our throats. All we need is for our favorite characters to be on our screens and the ability to understand and follow the… Read more »

Cakelover20
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Cakelover20

“How Not To Wreck A Show” by Douglas Marlard. * Watch the show. * Learn the history of the show. You would be surprised at the ideas that you can get from the back story of your characters. * Read the fan mail. The very characters that are not thrilling to you may be the audience’s favorites. * Be objective. When I came in to ATWT, the first thing I said was, what is pleasing the audience? You have to put your own personal likes and dislikes aside and develop the characters that the audience wants to see. * Talk… Read more »

Melly
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Melly

Sorry, but all the stuff they she said the did, they botched. Bringing back legacy characters is the #1 botch, IMO. They brought back AE as Tina and it was AWFUL, they didn’t use her properly. Same can be said for all Cramers, the Gannons, and probably many others I can’t think of off the top of my head. I was thrilled that RJ and Hank were coming back, but they were back for one or two day, and RJ never saw Rachel or Hank, what!? They can’t just bring these fans favorites back for a few days and expect… Read more »

imasoapfan
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imasoapfan

The second paragraph offends me. Obviously, we can’t go back in time, but there are realistic things that the execs could have done, and Sara Saedi should be able to list at least some things she would have done differently to better promote the ABC soaps.

For example, she could have mentioned the lack of primetime advertising for soaps. Soap viewers watch dozens of ads for primetime programming each day, but there are no ads for soaps during primetime.

NUSA
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NUSA

Talk about a cold piece of PR propaganda……; no feeling. Programming out mind want work. So, the VIP’s have tried everything…..; at least make it real. The rating boxes break up your equipment and other methods used for ratings should have gone out with the age of the dinosaur. Isn’t this the 21st century, or am I mistaken? Oh, and another thing, were the sick and and the disabled market even given a chance to be counted for viewing or even listening to the SOAPS everyday for those who could not see? What we need is subscriber Internet TV for… Read more »

gordo
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gordo

Soaps aren’t as tight as they used to be, really the narrative isn’t consistently as good. The actors are phenomenal, but I think they needed some new creative teams, or to shake them up or give them more time to write. I watch GH the most or used to, and there are HUGE holes in it, the whole cast isn’t being used effectively, the stories are more repetitive than they need to be, I know thats a part of soaps but they go above and beyond. They have horrible timing issues – stories moving too fast (bus crash, jakes death)… Read more »

kim
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kim

There are more people that watch soaps than is being counted and they know that. The truth is they are looking for cheaper shows to put on thier networks, its all about the money to heck with the fact that people watched this with thier mother and the shows go from one generation to another. Advetisers have sold thier products with the loyalty of the daytime soap viewership now they should band together and follow hoover and say this is history you just don’t throw something historic out because its harder you fight and make it stronger after all this… Read more »

Erika
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Erika

The writing is a huge problem and the fans have been writing to TPTB for YEARS and have gotten no where. Now, if they had just looked at fan mail, emails and listened to comments left on comment lines, perhaps things would be different..

I believe they survey themselves and that’s all they care about.

I will never watch ABC again once all the soaps are gone.

Dale
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Dale

Well, we cannot argue that the numbers for supporting daytime soaps have diminished significantly over the past few years. Even in recent attempts to save the soaps, where are the numbers? A few thousand voices will not be enough to change all the advertisers or even a significant number of them to make a real impact on ABC. While I respect the fervor and rage about the cancellation of AMC and OLTL, ABC is not going to reverse its decisions. Sponsors are not going to pull out in droves. GH will be next soap to die and very, very soon.… Read more »

Brooke
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Brooke

That you, Saedi?

Brian Greene
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Brian Greene

Sara Saedi is full of b***s***! She’s kissing Brian Frons’s a** big time!

slim
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slim

Get with the times people – soaps are dead and I assure you, like any industry, feedback is always evaluated considered and implemented. This is cyclical and not new news: most game shows died, video killed the radio star, reality tv killed the video star, itunes killed the music stores, amazon will soon kill bookstores. Yes, you should absolutely mourn the loss, but don’t shoot the messenger.

Brooke
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Brooke

Bull!

Tonia
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Tonia

I think this is just excuses. I watched soaps since I was a child with my grandmother and mother. I’ve stopped watching soaps consistently not because I was busy working on getting a degree, working full time or raising children. I stopped because of the poor writing plot line wise and character wise. I stopped because of the couples they continually put together were lacking. I stopped because the female characters were constantly being portrayed as mindless objects just there as props for the male characters. I stopped because only a few actors were used over and over again day… Read more »

FeFe
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FeFe

I agree with what is said here. ABC did NOT do enough to keep these shows on. It is more cost effective for them to put on talk shows and reality shows. JUST BE TRUTHFUL! Quit kissing up to Frons and trying to make him feel good lady. OLTL had a million characters and they had a hard time writing for them. Hell, the writer was not good at all. Why not scale back the casts of these shows and get head writers who are talented and bring back the formula that made us fall in love. Yes, it’s true… Read more »

Torrey
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Torrey

Why doesn’t she talk about how ABC allowed Charles Pratt Jr., to literally write AMC into the ground for about two years, only to replace him with two more hacks that continued to write the show further in the ground. Let’s talk about killing off characters like Dixie & Stuart….two of your most beloved characters on the show….only to spend endless amounts of time propping up two characters that the fans don’t relate to and aren’t really that fond of. Let’s talk about how there has been a complete loss of what AMC used to be about….love, friendships, family, social… Read more »

Loretta Jamar
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Loretta Jamar

I think there is a lot of truth to this, but instead of cutting the shows; they should have stepped out just a little more to find out who the fans are and how they feel; cut wardrobe, cut HD, don’t bring in the big time actors, just tell the story. I don’t know all the numbers, so I don’t know HOW bad the situation is, but there must have been a way to move the time slot and bring in some top notch research groups and creative groups to save the show. I still think the towel was thrown… Read more »

Rosie Peat
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Rosie Peat

I agree to a point. There’s definitely truth to the fact that there’s more competition for all shows and that viewing habits have changed and Nielsen’s haven’t kept pace, which has directly affected ratings for all shows. However, the statements about how Disney basically did everything they could and what more could we possibly want from them are complete and total bunk. They did exactly what you said in terms of official message boards, setting up Facebook pages and soliciting feedback there, the Insider’s Access focus group, and other focus groups as well. The problem is that they ignored the… Read more »

Gimme
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Gimme

She is full of crap. And looking for future employment when this all ends. Period end of story.

Rosie Peat
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Rosie Peat

ding, ding, ding, exactly

slim
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slim

you’re obviously not paying any attention. the writer is a former EX-ABC exec. if you would take the time to read the full blog you’d actually see she left the network for many of the same reasons fans have been frustrated. expert from blog: The main reason I quit my job is I felt I had little impact as an executive. It was incredibly difficult to get the writers to make significant changes to story. And incredibly frustrating when the negative feedback from fans merely echoed our own concerns about storylines. A huge part of being a good network exec… Read more »

Brooke
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Brooke

That you again, Saedi? You are so transparent.

Gimme
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Gimme

I did read the entire article. And I am well aware of the concept… not burning bridges, are you?. I think it goes with out saying she is ensuring her future employment by supporting what Frons spews that they have done. Personally, all the things she listed “they” did…. was lame & proves how out of touch TPTB are with the fans. We didnt ask for that endless list of STUFF. We begged for continuity, character driven stories, relying on history, stop block taping. That is nothing & wouldnt have cost the shows one extra dime… not even a penny.… Read more »

Liz
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Liz

Warning – this is LONG. I have not aired my grievances yet so I am letting them out here. I have never once written to ABC daytime – the one instance where I saw it do good was the rehiring of Rebecca Herbst (my favorite soap actress of all time) but I was shocked and am not completely convinced it was not a publicity stunt (without her knowledge – tasteless and tactless either way). I am a rather pessimistic person, so while I am enraged by this news (even though I have never really watched OLTL or AMC) I just… Read more »

Terry G.
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Terry G.

Several things occurs to me as I read this and the comments… 1) she has some valid points but misses many –Soaps are a traditional generational effort. My nieces watch because I watch they are 13 and 15. I watched because my mom did and she because of her mom. That is still the case for many households I know- didn’t track the numbers well in my mind. 2) there seems to have been a huge misstep in the whole Latina telenovella argument…people watched those because they were dramatic television not a glorification of a few distinct characters. ABC consistently… Read more »

Bry
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Bry

This thread is deliciously insane. Kudos to the soap fans here for spending their free time understanding the economic underpinnings of such a challenging format. If every soap fan watched daytime TV every day for three hours it still would not amass enough eyeballs and time to make it a worthwhile venture in such a fractionalized world of media choice (and choices in general…careers, fitness, family… who has the time?). The societal constructs of today just don’t jive with a TV concept from yesteryear…and too few people out there interested in the format to continue producing it. Creatively, you could… Read more »

Liz
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Liz

Thank you for belittling the fans’ passion for this genre and our intelligence at the same time – and for insinuating that we don’t have lives. I didn’t tune out because I was distracted by other media or because I work a demanding full time job and don’t sit at home all day. I tuned out because I was sick of sh*tty writing, decimation of history, disrespect of legacy characters and actors that I had grown to love, and too much time and energy focused on the same characters and repetitive, recycled story lines. I can be on my computer… Read more »

Terri W.
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Terri W.

Agreed!!! You are absolutely right, Liz!

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

Well put, Liz!

Dale
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Dale

I co-sign your posting. Very well said. The crazies are coming out in droves. They are even starting to bash Oprah Winfrey who graciously declined her assistance in propping these shows on her network. Now they are acting like spoiled rotten children calling for her demise? Ridiculous. Let’s get on with living our lives and spending time with our families. The era for episodic daily drama is over. Our own daily lives are dramatic enough. Don’t need to see poorly written crap every day. Hoover pulled out…Yippee do rah. But let’s see how long the 5,500 fans that are blowing… Read more »

Brooke
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Brooke

Bry….why are you even posting here? Go away.

Brooke
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Brooke

Dale, you too.

Terri W.
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Terri W.

If ABC brought back “legacy characters”, it was only for the Sweeps periods to boost ratings. They would dangle these characters (that the fans had been clamoring for, but on a LONG term basis) in front of viewers and then the characters would be gone once the Sweeps period was over. That left MANY fans feeling USED. There has been NO better soap lately than OLTL! The writing, directing and performances have been brilliant, incorporating the history of the show and core, veteran actors alongside the newer, younger actors. The differences in the ratings between OLTL and GH, in my… Read more »

Cher
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Cher

There was a protest against Brian Frons back in Oct. 2007, people wanted him fired then from ABC to save our soaps and Anne Sweeney was President then. Since Frons was behind the cancellation of the Soap *Search For Tomorrow* from CBS and NBC, he was probably hired at ABC to get all their soaps cancelled! Nothing was done to save the soaps, its all money money money, they don’t care about the viewers! http://falloffrons.blogspot.com/

Maureen
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Maureen

Wow alot of people on here in denial about what is really going on here. Why is it every time someone says an ounce of truth regarding the dim outlook for soaps, people automatically call that person a crony for the “bigwigs”? If one looks at the ratings for television in general, the ratings went down across the board. That is because of a cultural revolution. Its not just the fact that people have multiple ways to watch a show now, but now cable channels are making their own shows rather than just airing syndicated shows of the past and… Read more »

Dale
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Dale

Co-sign. Great post. I love it when rational and intelligent people comment.

Godspeed.

Terri W.
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Terri W.

Watching and loving the soaps does not make someone an IR-rational or UN-intelligent being anymore than someone NOT loving and watching soaps is automatically a level-headed genius. That’s the ridiculous stigma soap fans have had to endure for so long and we’re sick and tired of it. If you have not been a soap fan, then you would not KNOW that—FOR YEARS—we have been desperately attempting to get the soaps (and their networks) to tweak their formula—improve the writing to make it more realistic in order to bring it in line with today’s sensibilities. I’ve often commented on soap message… Read more »

Maureen
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Maureen

I never said that so take a chill pill. Getting offended over every little remark whether real or imagined, isn’t helping the situation.

Brooke
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Brooke

Well said,Terri. I co-sign YOUR post!

Terri W.
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Terri W.

@Maureen: No, thank you, I don’t believe I will take a “chill pill”. (Really? A “chill pill”??) I’m not offended, I’m simply fed up. You have every right to voice your opinion and guess what—so do I. You might want to consider, just for a second, that not ALL soap fans are “in denial”, nor are we out of touch with reality. Many of us have more knowledge of the TV industry and just how it operates than you realize. You want to make it appear that soap fans just want to lay the blame on everyone else while they… Read more »

Maureen
Guest
Maureen

Brook and Terry, if you want to save your soaps, stop blaming those who disagree with you. Keep on pushing away pragmatic realist thinkers who actually give sound advice as to how you can try and save your soaps. You guys do realize that ABC and other networks can’t afford to keep these airing these soaps as they are, right? If you want to save them, rather than force a network to go into bankruptcy to keep yourself happy for a few more months, why not actually propose realistic changes that these channels could make. But in order to do… Read more »

Barelia Sanders
Guest
Barelia Sanders

Terry, so far you nor most of the people on here have not said anything other than blaming Frons and ABC. So for all intents and purposes, there is alot of denial going on. Instead of fighting me over this, why not use that energy to really find out why soaps are dying rather than blaming people for it and vilifying people. Maureen is spot on in every way possible. Every rational person on this board is being ignored in favor of the preferred “its all ABC’s fault”. Come on, the blame game is old. But you just keep on… Read more »

Barelia Sanders
Guest
Barelia Sanders

I agree with you Maureen. I used to love General Hospital but fell out of favor with it a few years ago. I have definitely noticed that alot of soap fans are doing nothing but yelling but saying nothing productive. Those who blame Frons and company are just trying to take the easy way out. Those people do not care to save our soaps they just want to punish someone. Boycotting ABC will not work. Soap viewership is only a fraction of ABC viewership altogether. Besides, I have noticed that the soap fans most upset by all this are the… Read more »

Terri W.
Guest
Terri W.

If you actually read what I wrote, I wasn’t blaming those who disagree, I was stating that all the blame should not be leveled at the fans who HAVE tried to get through to the powers that be. The gist of my post was that there is PLENTY of blame to go around on BOTH sides. I watch both daytime and primetime shows. When I’m working, I DVR the daytime shows during their original airing. I know many people (in the coveted demographic, no less–woo hoo) who are not home to watch the daytime soaps and view them on SoapNet… Read more »

Lexi
Guest
Lexi

After reading that article and seeing that they were only worried about the 18 to 34 year old demographics, I say I don’t want to watch NBC. What am I, dead because I am 54? I spend my money the same as the 18 to 34 year olds. If it wasn’t for us baby boomers growing up watching the soaps, NBC wouldn’t be where they are today. But then again, didn’t Comcast purchase the NBC network? If so that speaks volumes. Comcast doesn’t know which way they are going. I really don’t think we need another talk show or game… Read more »

Terri W.
Guest
Terri W.

Another antiquated formula, Lexi, The “coveted demographics” of advertising, put in place in another day and age. 50 today is not the 50 of yesteryear. You don’t suddenly stop trying new things simply because you have a 50th birthday anymore than someone younger automatically spends like crazy on anything new. In fact, in this economy, I know more older people with plenty of disposable income than friends my age and younger. Money spends the same, no matter what age you happen to be.

Terri W.
Guest
Terri W.

And just for the record, if soaps are simply to be written off as a “dying breed”, someone had better tell that to TNT. Their new version of Dallas, debuting this fall I believe, is very highly anticipated by fans of the old series and many younger people who have watched the old series and fallen in love with it. I would love to see it become wildly successful.

Barelia Sanders
Guest
Barelia Sanders

Soaps aren’t a dying breed. Its daytime soaps that are a dying breed. How do I know? The fact that soaps are getting canceled but are not being replaced by another soap. Primetime dramas aka soaps are thriving well.

Terri W.
Guest
Terri W.

Well, there you go. You offered a solution for the daytime soaps.

Connie
Guest
Connie

I think that her comments are ridiculous!!! I take offense to her snide remarks of the “things we did not do”….to ludicrous t0 repeat!!! Why in the world do they think that another talk show/self-help/reality show is needed ? I take offense to these comments that the “suits” make.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

How does Sara Saedi know that children don’t watch the soaps with their mothers? She and Frons did not ask the public what they watch or like/not like!!! They all have their stupid heard up their asses!!!!!! Fire all of them!!!!!!!!

Bry
Guest
Bry

you’re crazy

jbj
Guest
jbj

I don’t get why they have to cancel SoapNet, too. If they have a plan in place for another Disney kids channel, can’t they do like TVland or The N and have SoapNet at night? Then they can move all three ABC soaps to SoapNet and finish the night with classic episodes. They will increase their live viewership and keep the regular viewers happy. They can’t even use Passions as an excuse not to try it, because the established shows wouldn’t be alone (or the lowest rated soaps on TV). Moreover, if it were a Disney teen network during the… Read more »

Leona
Guest
Leona

When and where are the save the soap rallies? I have been waiting for breaking news of million soap fan marches in the streets. Did I miss it?

Oh, perhaps it’s because the numbers are not there. Or maybe because we have high unemployment and middle and lower class Americans are trying to maintain their livelihood rather than worry about a non-essential service like soap opera salvation. Towns are being blown away by tornadoes and violent storms. Food and gas prices are soaring. That’s the daytime drama most Americans are living.

Bry
Guest
Bry

amen sister.

Terri W.
Guest
Terri W.

There are a number of rallies going on. Go to Facebook “Save AMC and OLTL”. Thousands have been flooding the offices of ABC and their advertisers with letters, e-mails, phone calls, etc, Word has it that ABC is feeling the heat, but Disney has yet to feel it, so now attention has turned to Disney. Hoover has pulled its ads from ABC and has launched its OWN campaign. E-Mail: SaveOurSoaps@hoover.com Last I heard, L’Oreal and Hershey are also considering pulling advertising from ABC. Catherine Hickland (ex-Lindsay on OLTL) staged a protest with fans outside Disneyland. Whether or not any of… Read more »

leah
Guest
leah

I say that when AMC was moved to California and oLTL was left alone to die-it came to life and started to climb in the ratings. Frons two babies that he paid all the attention to started to fall in the ratings… He was either to hands on or he worked his ass off to sabotage those shows so he could have reason to cancel.. why dont we fire frons and Sweeney then see how the soaps do after a year. I bet they take number one. Frons does not like soaps… and he has proved that with the soaps… Read more »

All My Children

All My Children Alum Ben Jörgensen Reportedly Dead At 51

According to his former All My Children castmate, Brian Gaskill. there is sad news in the soap world today.  Ben Jörgensen who played Kevin on All My Children and Chris on As the World Turns passed away on Tuesday at the age of 51, apparently via suicide, although unconfirmed as to his cause of death.

Gaskill, who played Bobby Warner while in Pine Valley shared via his Instagram:  “Sad news to report. Ben Jörgensen who played Kevin Sheffield on All My Children has past away at 51 years old.  My understanding is it was suicide.  I have heard he suffered from Bipolar disorder but as I have not spoke to him in years I do not know all the details. I just want to remember the good times we had on the set of All My Children 24 years ago. He was a good guy and had the courage to play a gay teenager on tv back when it was nowhere near as common to have representation as it is today. He was part of an award winning storyline…but mostly we just had some good times back then…my condolences go out to his friends and family. Please everybody hang in there and reach out for help if you need it. ”

Since the time of Brian’s posting, friends, colleagues and fans have been posting tributes and condolences on the actor’s Facebook page.  You can view that here.

 

In this heartbreaking photo below from Steven Bergman, during his time on As the World Turns, Ben is pictured with the late Nathaniel Marston, as well as Jaime Nicole Dudney and Terri Conn.

Photo: StevenBergman

On All My Children, Ben was part of the important social issue storyline brought into the ABC legacy soap opera by the iconic Agnes Nixon, who was always trying to move the needle forward in daytime, as the character of Kevin was a gay high school student facing bullying, ridicule and discrimination for his sexuality.

Share your thoughts on the passing of Ben via the comment section below.    

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Sad news to report. Ben Jorgensen who played Kevin Sheffield on All My Children has past away at 51 years old. My understanding is it was suicide. I have heard he suffered from Bipolar disorder but as I have not spoke to him in years I do not know all the details. I just want to remember the good times we had on the set of All My Children 24 years ago. He was a good guy and had the courage to play a gay teenager on tv back when it was nowhere near as common to have representation as it is today. He was part of an award winning storyline…but mostly we just had some good times back then…my condolences go out to his friends and family. Please everybody hang in there and reach out for help if you need it. #Actor #Filmmaker #BenJorgensen #BenMonk #Life#Death#AllMyChildren #Suicide #sad #rest

A post shared by Brian Gaskill (@briangaskill) on

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All My Children

Hallmark Channel’s ‘Home & Family’ Returns to Production For Ninth Season; Premiere Date Revealed

Another daytime show is heading back to production amid the coronavirus pandemic.  Now comes word that Hallmark Channel’s flagship morning lifestyle series, Home & Family has returned to production at its Universal Studios set for its ninth season.

All My Children favorite Cameron Mathison (Ex-Ryan Lavery) and Debbie Matenopoulos will return as co-hosts .

Look for the new season to kick-off on Monday, September 14th at 10am EST.

In a statement, Home & Family executive producer, Tracy Verna Soiseth shared: “We are thrilled to be returning to our home for the new season. Home & Family is a daily destination of comfort television, and we are very happy to be returning with two hours of daily interviews, cooking segments, DIY crafts and our hugely popular animal adoptions.”

For the past several months. a daily series featuring the cast called At Home with Our Family has run across the show’s social media platforms during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Deadline,premiere-week guests are to include: Jenna Bush Hager, Danica McKellar, celebrity chefs Jet Tila, Carla Hall, Buddy Valastro, Curtis Stone, Rashad Jennings and Dennis Quaid.

So, glad to know Home & Family is also back in production? Comment below.

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All My Children

Michael B. Jordan Pays Tribute To Chadwick Boseman: “Since Nearly The Beginning Of My Career, Starting with All My Children When I was 16 Years Old You Paved The Way For Me”

Following the news of the tragic death of now motion picture icon, Chadwick Boseman late Friday, tributes and sentiments have poured in from celebrities, politicians and fans from all across the world.

Chadwick Boseman passed away late last week at the age of 43 from colon cancer – a battle he kept silent about for the last four years of life.

Photo: JPI

No one could be more intertwined with Boseman’s career than that of his fellow Black Panther star, Michael B. Jordan.  For Jordan took over the role of Reggie Porter on All My Children from Boseman after the late actor lasted one week, following standing up to, and addressing concerns, of racial stereotypes in the way that the part was written.  Reggie was introduced to Pine Valley as a gang member in 2003.  As previously reported it was Boseman who helped the soap opera improve the role that Jordan took over with some recommendations.

Now Michael B. Jordan has written a heartfelt remembrance of Chadwick that he shared on his Instagram, and what he has meant to his life, including how he showed him how to be better, to honor purpose and create legacy.

Read below Michael’s post:

“I’ve been trying to find the words, but nothing comes close to how I feel. I’ve been reflecting on every moment, every conversation, every laugh, every disagreement, every hug…everything.

I wish we had more time.

One of the last times we spoke, you said we were forever linked , and now the truth of that means more to me than ever. Since nearly the beginning of my career, starting with All My Children when I was 16 years old you paved the way for me. You showed me how to be better, honor purpose, and create legacy. And whether you’ve known it or not…I’ve been watching, learning and constantly motivated by your greatness.

I wish we had more time.

Everything you’ve given the world … the legends and heroes that you’ve shown us we are … will live on forever. But the thing that hurts the most is that I now understand how much of a legend and hero YOU are. Through it all, you never lost sight of what you loved most. You cared about your family , your friends, your craft, your spirit. You cared about the kids, the community, our culture and humanity. You cared about me. You are my big brother, but I never fully got a chance to tell you, or to truly give you your flowers while you were here.

I wish we had more time.

I’m more aware now than ever that time is short with people we love and admire. I’m gonna miss your honesty, your generosity, your sense of humor, and incredible gifts. I’ll miss the gift of sharing space with you in scenes. I’m dedicating the rest of my days to live the way you did. With grace, courage, and no regrets. “Is this your king!?” Yes . he . is!  Rest In Power Brother.”

What do you think of Michael’s tribute to Chadwick and how they have been interconnected dating back to 2003 and All My Children? Comment below.

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