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Insider Report indicates, SOAPnet not shutting down anytime soon? Kiddie Channel not ready!

Looks like there are not only disgruntled fans all across soapdom, but disgruntled ABC/Disney employees who had to deal with the impending doom of All My Children and One Life to Live, and SOAPnet for quite some time and a murky business strategy! Deadline.com got an inside perspective from someone who has worked within the ABC/Disney company.  In the item, it reveals the confusing and messy decision to change SOAPnet to the Disney Junior Channel and that there is no way the cable channel will be ready by January 2012 to launch the new kiddie platform!  In fact, now it looks like SOAPnet will be on longer with two less soaps thanks to the cancellations of AMC and OLTL!

Here is what the insider stated! “I have worked at ABC Daytime for several years and have experienced a lot of the ups and downs especially since Brian Frons and Kate Nelson took over. With the announcement of the cancellation of All My Children and One Life to Life, I feel that they completely failed all of the people that worked for them.A couple of years ago, they started a project to evolve SOAPNet into a new female network that was code named “Carrie.” Anne Sweeney had told them that they needed to evolve the network for the future, especially as more people had DVRs and just airing soaps at night was not enough.  They pitched an idea to make the network hip and cool for women, basically the type of woman that Carrie was in Sex and the City. We thought that it was a go and then found out that the executives rejected their idea all together. Then they started again to pitch a product called DMDisney Moms. The idea this time was a network that moms would want to watch and their families would watch with them, cooking shows, dancing shows basically everything that is found on other networks. It was part of that project that they started talking about combing All My Children and One Life to Live. They were putting together ideas of what would replace the one soap and were competing against an idea called Good Afternoon America. They failed to convince anyone that their idea was good, they had a pilot with Aisha Tyler that was awful.

At the same time, the Disney Channel team pitched Disney Junior, and when Anne compared DM and Disney Junior, she decided to shutdown SOAPNet and replace it with Disney Junior. They were furious and made some nasty comments about how the Disney Channel team went behind everyone’s back and stole their channel. Over the last 6 months, our entire team has been under the impression that SOAPNet was going to shut down in January 2012 and be replaced with Disney Junior. Over the last few weeks, I have heard comments that Disney Junior is now having problems getting the cable contracts done. So Disney Junior’s launch has been pushed from January to Spring 2012 and now SoapNet is not shutting down in January 2012. Both networks will be run at the same time it could be for several years, Disney Junior will only be in a few homes and a lot of money will be spent keeping both networks up.

So now we are shutting down AMC in September and OLTL in January, and SOAPNet is still going to be on the air, we are going to run a network on General Hospital and some acquired soaps, it is embarrassing to all of us who had cared so much about our work. We are not just angry that they are shutting down AMC and OLTL, but over the last 3-4 years we have been following a leader and his head of strategy who have not been able to do anything right.”

OK, so does anyone know what the game plan is over there?

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Susan
Susan

ABC should have kept Soapnet going in the first place. There’s already too many kids channels on the satellite and cable networks. Soapnet is the only outlet we have other than the networks to watch current episodes of soaps. When Soapnet first started we used to be able to see old episodes of soap operas. I miss those days, Soapnet needs to stay, if networks are no longer filming soaps period,

david
david

It’s very interesting to contrast this report with Michael’s “Brian Frons on the upshot of the decision to end SOAPnet!” from May 26, 2010:
http://e98.637.mwp.accessdomain.com/news/brian-frons-on-the-upshot-of-the-decision-to-end-soapnet/2010/05/26/

Frons was likely considering canceling AMC and OLTL back then when he decided to end SOAPnet. Could he be responsible for the submission of the OLTL musical, mentioned in the article above, which destroyed any chance for OLTL to win the Emmy for Best Daytime Drama in 2011, according to TV Guide?

felicia
felicia

Why don’t they just air AMC and OLTL on Soapnet?

david
david

Frons has been planning to cancel OLTL for years:
http://tvguide.ca/Soaps/Nelson_Ratings/Articles/090928_soapgeist_NB

Scroll down and note at the bottom of the page under “Top 3 Soap Moments To Watch” for: “2. Tuesday [Sept 29, 2009]: One Life welcomes Lionel Ritchie [sic] on the Ultra Violet stage. “Let’s go … and hunt down Brian Frons for even thinking of cancelling this brilliant show,” he sings to Llanview. Later, Ritchie asks, “Is this a gay bar?”

I found video of Richie singing on the 9/29/09 episode of OLTL on YourTube but I couldn’t hear or find the quotes above. Can anyone find these somewhere?

lew
lew

ABC/Disney has kept the Frons for this long. PLEASE tell my why?

Marji
Marji

They could have the best of both worlds. Have Disney Jr during the day and Soapnet at night. Soapnet could air first run episodes of the Soaps each night. That would make viewers happy, and keep revenue as the channel is not free.It is packaged by cable and satellite companies. They could also do some advertising during the shows as well as product placement. They need to make use of the channel anyway, viewers will support this and allows ABC to save face and still air the 2 shows that they want on ABC during the current time slots of AMC and OLTL. Everybody wins…………..Although I doubt the Chew and The Revolution will win regardless. Just not the kind of programming it appears many want in daytime. Including me. The soaps, I will take any day!!!!!!!!!

Susan
Susan

Please keep the Soaps on!! Lots of people still watch them. That includes men. They are timeless. Working women still watch soaps. Anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong. I have had a full-time job for over thirty-five years and was in the AF Reserve and active duty. I still keep up with Y & R and B & B. They are the greatest!! Soapnet is great for catching up. Forget about Disney and buy your kids a bicycle!!

Julie
Julie

I’m sick of abc messing with my soaps now the want soap net. Well this lady for one has stopped watching anything on abc since they took off AMC and OLTL . Why they thought another talk show could replace soaps is beyond me. Soap fans are the greatest I wonder if any network could say they have had any shows with years or in my case decades of viewers watching the same show . The executives running the programming need to wake up and get a life.

All My Children

Justin Hartley, Judith Light, Finn Wittrock Score 24th Annual Critics’ Choice Award Nominations

This morning, nominations were announced in the fields of motion picture and television for the 24th annual Critics’ Choice Awards given out by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association.  The kudofest will be held on January 13th on the CW airing at 7PMET/PT.

Leading the pack in the TV field was the final season of The Americans and limited series Escape at Dannemora and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story with five nominations.

This Is Us as with the Golden Globes did not come up with a Drama Series nod, however at the Critics’ Choice Awards two if its stars:  Milo Ventimiglia and Justin Hartley were nominated.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

For Hartley, the former Y&R star received an nod in the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category,  While Ventimigilia, who plays Justin’s on-screen dad, is vying the Lead Actor Drama category.

Judith Light, the former two-time Daytime Emmy winner from One Life to Live, received a nomination in the Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television category for her performance in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

While yet, another former daytime, Finn Wittrock (Ex-All My Children) in the Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television category also for “Versace”.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

To view the complete list in all motion picture and TV categories click here.

Now, let us know if you are happy to hear that Justin, Judith, and Finn received nominations for their work? Comment below!

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All My Children

Former Executive Producer & Director of All My Children, Jorn Winther Dead Following Two-Vehicle Collision

Very sad news to report.  Renowned director, Jorn Winther, who served as executive producer and director at All My Children has died at the age of 88.

Winther was actually killed on November 9th when in an automobile accident in front of Palm Desert High School outside Palm Springs.

According to the Desert Sun, “Jorn was killed in a two-vehicle collision at Cook Street and Santa Fe Trail in Palm Desert. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said a vehicle was moving south on Cook Street when its driver suddenly entered the northbound lanes and collided with an oncoming vehicle,  Winther was pronounced dead shortly after noon Friday, according to the Riverside County Coroner’s office. His wife of 31 years, Claire Winther, confirmed that her husband drove the vehicle that entered oncoming traffic. Why he did so remains a mystery.”

The famous director was best known for for the landmark David Frost-Richard Nixon interviews in 1977,  The Sonny & Cher Hour, and was also known for producing rock performances for TV including: California Jam II, featuring performances by Aerosmith, Foreigner, Heart, Santana and more.

In the world of soaps, Jorn had been the EP and director for ABC”s All My Children for five and half years, and had been with the series from 1981 to 2005.  He also directed on: One Life to Live, Generations, Santa Barbara and Rituals.

Born in Denmark, Winther studied speech and drama at the University of Copenhagen and continued his education at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen, where his mother had danced as a prima ballerina. He also studied at the Stratford Shakespearean Theater in Ontario, Canada, and at Stanford.

Most recently, Winther directed and produced the independent film Do It or Die!, about the 1979 kidnapping of socialite Elaine Chaddick. It screened at the 2017 Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Winther’s daughter, Lisa has been a stage manager on the soaps most recently working at The Bold and the Beautiful.

Share your thoughts on the passing of Jorn Winther as we offer our thoughts, condolences, and prayers to his family, via the comment section below.

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All My Children

Kelly Ripa To Guest Star On CW’s Riverdale

Here’s a fun bit of casting news!  Live with Kelly and Ryan and former All My Children star, Kelly Ripa  (Ex-Hayley) is joining her real-life husband, Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo, AMC) on the hit CW soapy drama Riverdale.

Consuelos already plays the the role of Hiram Lodge, and now Ripa will plays his mistress, Mrs. Mulwray.

Kelly shared the inspired-casting choice on Instagram relating: “It’s a family affair …23 years of auditioning for a role i was born to play. Coming soon to the CW;s Riverdale.”’

The CW released a statement on the casting of Ripa, adding: “Kelly Ripa will guest star on Riverdale as Mrs. Mulwray. Confident and tough, she is Hiram Lodge’s alleged mistress. She’s a beautiful, icy, femme fatale who gets caught up in a conspiracy that’s much bigger than she initially realized.”

Film buffs take note!  Ripa’s character name is borrowed from Faye Dunaway’s Oscar-nominated role in Chinatown (1974), Evelyn Mulwray.   Those who saw Chinatown know that Evelyn was a femme fatale as well caught up in a conspiracy!

And there is more “All in the Consuleos Family” casting.  The couple’s son Michael is portraying the teen-aged version of Hiram on tonight’s all-new episode.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT

So, will you be checking out Kelly on Riverdale? Comment below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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