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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
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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
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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
Guest
felicia

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

david
Guest
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
Guest
lew

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

Marji
Guest
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… Read more »

Susan
Guest
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
Guest
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

Kelly Ripa Talks On Her New Memoir ‘Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories’

Talk show host and All My Children alum, Kelly Ripa (ex-Hayley) is opening up about her life and times in her highly-anticipated memoir available now, Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories.

Ripa chatted exclusively with PEOPLE who got some of intel and dish on what’s included in the book.

Kelly told PEOPLE, when she landed the gig as the new co-host of Live with Regis and Kelly, with the late Regis Philbin back in 2001, she felt like she was “getting shot out of a cannon.”  Ripa was also appearing on All My Children at the same time.

She tells the story of when her agent called with the offer, Ripa was told: “They want you to know who your boss is. It was very ominous, and it did not feel good.”  Her agent also said the show didn’t want her, “bringing an entourage.” She brought two people. “I came with hair and makeup,” Kelly says. “It was not an unusual thing for people on a television show to show up with.”

She added that Regis greeted her with executive producer, Michael Gelman, saying: “Uh-oh, Gelman, it’s got an entourage.” It?!  Kelly expressed that she “felt horrible.  He was probably trying to be funny, but at the same time it felt like a pile-on.”

As for Philbin’s attitude at the time, Kelly shared, “I understand that probably he didn’t want a co-host, but the network wanted me to be the co-host and I didn’t think I should pass up that opportunity. I don’t think it was fair to him. But it was also not fair to me.”

Photo: JPI

The actress-talk show host-producer also talked on her marriage to Mark Consuelos (ex-Mateo), whom she met while both were on All My Children, sharing that they were, “too young to get married! On paper it should not have worked and when it didn’t work, we really worked at it. We fought for our marriage when it would have been easier to quit and throw in the towel.”

According to the book publisher, HarperCollins:  “In ‘Live Wire’, her first book, Kelly shows what really makes her tick. Whether recounting how she and Mark (Consuelos) really met, the level of chauvinism she experienced on set, how Jersey Pride follows her wherever she goes, and many, many moments of utter mortification (whence she proves that you cannot, in fact, die of embarrassment) Kelly always tells it like it is. Ms. Ripa takes no prisoners.”

So, will you be ordering your copy of Kelly’s memoir? Let us know in the comment section below.

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All My Children

Eva LaRue’s Stalker Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison

In a harrowing situation spanning 12 years, a man who threatened former All My Children, Santa Barbara, and Y&R favorite, Eva LaRue (ex-Maria, ex- Margot, ex-Celeste) and her daughter, Kaya was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

James David Rogers, 58, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt for over a decade of threatening letters and phone calls about torture, rape and death to LaRue and her daughter.

Rogers had pleaded guilty in April to two counts of mailing threatening communications, one count of threats by interstate communications and two counts of stalking.  According to court documents, all of this began in March 2007 until Rogers eventually was arrested in November 2019.  At the beginning of his stalking spree, LaRue’s daughter, Kaya was only five-years-old.

According to Deadline, Eva gave a “tearful victim impact statement, telling the judge in L.A. federal court that she has undergone therapy since the harassment began in order to deal with feelings of fear and paranoia.”  She added, “We didn’t know if he would show up on our doorstep. We will think about him for a lifetime. The fear is with me forever.”

Photo: JPI

The judge has ordered Rogers to self surrender on October 12th to begin his sentence at a federal prison in Ohio.

Eva won a Daytime Emmy back in 2020 for her guest star turn on The Young and the Restless, and is best-known to primetime viewers for her role in CSI: Miami.

Share your thoughts on Eva and Kaya’s heartbreaking real-life experience via the comment section below.

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All My Children

Soap Vet, Broadway Star and Artistic Director, Robert Lupone Passes Away at 76

Bob Lupone, the brother of Broadway Icon, Patti Lupone, and who is best-known to soap opera fans as con artist Zach Grayson on All My Children (1984-1985) has died at the age of 76.

The actor, and artistic director of Off-Broadway’s acclaimed MCC Theatre for over 40 years, passed away Saturday, due to complications from his three year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Photo: MCC Theatre

Ironically, Bob was best known on Broadway as Zach in A Chorus Line which landed him a Tony Award nomination in 1976, and he also received a Daytime Emmy nomination for his other role of Zach on All My Children in 1985.  The murder of Zach Grayson was quite the murder mystery and trial; bringing in many suspects to the story.

In addition to All My Children, throughout his soap career, Lupone held roles on: Search for Tomorrow as Tom Bergman, Ryan’s Hope as Chester Wallace, Another World as Neal Cory, Loving as Leonard Brill/Charley Nichols, and Guiding Light as Leo Flynn.  He also appeared in primetime TV roles including: The Sopranos, Sex and the City, and several roles in the Law and Order franchise.

Lupone made his feature film debut in the 1973 musical adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar playing the Apostle James, and two years later got the Broadway role of his lifetime playing Zach in A Chorus Line after convincing creator and director Michael Bennett to let him play the part after the original actor departed the show.

A decade later, LuPone would co-found the Off-Broadway theatre company, MCC Theater, with Bernard Telsey and William Cantler.  MCC was founded as an artists collective designed to offer peer based classes and playwright development and has launched several successful shows that went on to great success.

LuPone is survived by his wife, Virginia; his son, Orlando; sister, Patti; and brother, William.

Below, take a look at the suspects in the Zach Grayson murder case on All My Children, followed by the 1976 performance by Robert and the cast of A Chorus Line on The Tony Awards, and last, a scene as AMC’s Zach around the 6 minute mark in the video.

Now, share your condolences to the Lupone family on Bob’s passing, and your remembrances in the comment section.

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