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L.A. Times looks at decision to end OLTL & AMC & the reasons behind it!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

The Los Angeles Times has an analysis on Thursday’s earthquake through the soap industry which sent ABC Daytime’s One Life to Live and All My Children packing!

Times reporter, Meg Jones weighed in on the subject as well as interviewing ABC Daytime’s head honcho, Brian Frons, and a host of others on: soaps diminishing audience, interest from advertisers from losing their target young demographic, and the cost of putting on the soaps five days a week, and more.  Here are some key excerpts below!

L.A. Times, “Once a dominant source of escapism for tens of millions of women, the genre is losing ground to scores of cable TV networks, the Internet and social media. The move also comes just as two icons of the daytime screen, Oprah Winfrey and Regis Philbin, are getting ready to exit the stage after decades on the air, underscoring the biggest shakeup in daytime in a generation.  All the networks are grappling with what to do with a swath of the TV day that used to be a reliable and lucrative profit center but in recent years has faced increased financial pressure. A little more than a year ago, Walt Disney Co.-owned ABC moved production of  All My Children to Los Angeles from New York to take advantage of lower production costs. But ratings for All My Children plummeted this season, more than 25%, forcing ABC’s hand.

“You can’t cut costs enough to make up for those losses,” said Brian Frons, president of daytime programming for the Disney ABC Television Group. “There comes a point when you can no longer justify the expense. Soap operas are an expensive way to program a network and unless you have General Hospital- or Young and the Restless-sized ratings, it’s really not a business,”

As problematic as attracting fewer viewers, the audience for soap operas has become increasingly gray, which does not portend well for growth. “ABC feels that the soap operas weren’t bringing in as many younger viewers as they have been in the past,” said Jackie Kulesza, a senior vice president at advertising buying agency Starcom. “And for their ratings to grow they are going to need younger viewers coming to the channel. Advertisers like soap operas — they have a very loyal audience. But there are more ways for advertisers to get involved with a show like The Chew than All My Children. ABC is able to monetize those advertiser integrations; that way they can get more revenue than just from the 30-second commercial spots in the show.”

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Casie
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Casie

GH Sized ratings?? WTH—OLTL beat them last week. They are at 1.9 a lot of weeks. Not that GH shouldn’t be saved, but to blame “ratings” when they are keeping a show that has the SAME ratings as the others? ;rolleyes:

Tammy H.
Guest
Tammy H.

Younger viewers? How many “younger” viewers are going to want to watch cooking and self-help shows? They can color it anyway they want to, but the truth is they just don’t care about good, creative writing. They have no respect for loyal fans! Their “show me the money now” attitudes and people’s desire for mindless, trashy reality shows is killing scripted television!

Selina McGrath Varich
Guest
Selina McGrath Varich

BESIDES, THE YOUNGER VIEWERS MENTIONED, ARE IN SCHOOL WHEN THESE TWO SHOWS ARE ON!! HAS ANYONE CONSIDERED THAT THAT MAY BE THE REASON FOR THE DROP IN YOUNGER VIEWER DEMOGRAPHICS? MY GRANDCHILDREN GET OUT OF SCHOOL @ 2:45 PM AND BY THEN WE ARE INTO GH. THEY LOVE TO WATCH THAT DAY’S SHOW OF AMC AND OLTL ON SOAPNET OR HAVE THIER MOM RECORD IT FOR THEM. I HAVE WATCHED THESE 2 SOAPS FOR 40+ YEARS SINCE I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. BELIEVE ME, THIS IS THE WORST BUNCH OF CRAP I HAVE EXPERIENCED IN A LONG TIME IN RELATION… Read more »

Tammy H
Guest
Tammy H

Exactly, Selina! The younger viewers are not even home during those hours! I watched when I was in school too, and always had to program the VCR ( VCR- just aged myself lol) I agree with you, these excuses are all bull!

Jen
Guest
Jen

OLTL is almost the freakin same when it comes to the ratings. That is such B.S.

DaisyADay
Guest
DaisyADay

I am an avid GH fan. The GH fans that I know that watch regularly are much younger than those that watch AMC and OLTL. Their demographics are most likely younger, therefore, making it more desirable for sponsors.
I VCR AMC, DOOL, BB and YR which I stockpile for weeks sometimes. But, GH I watch within 24 hours. GH is my only “must watch the same day soap” –

lisa d wadford
Guest
lisa d wadford

REALLY??? OLTO has been kickin Ass!! Word is GH is NEXT!

Tammy H
Guest
Tammy H

I’m sorry it is still bull! Sure, I like GH too, but here GH comes on at 3. The High School kids might make it home in time to catch some of it and Middle School kids might catch the tail end, depending on where they live. My point is that most younger viewers still have to DVR GH. As far as ratings go, OLTL just beat out GH. It’s all lies! GH fans shouldn’t diss the other soaps because they could be next.

sharon
Guest
sharon

I watch GH and in fact for many years GH was my favorite soap. With the exception of Robin, Patrick, Matt, Maxie and Matt…I don’t have much use for the show anymore. It has changed too much. It’s mob central and no longer deserves to have the show title, “General HOSPITAL” nor the association to the amazing show it used to be. I will be incredibly sad to see GH go even though I think it’s one of the worst written soaps on daytime right now. It will truly be the end of era when ABC cancels it. And let’s… Read more »

MEG
Guest
MEG

JUST SHAKEN MY HEAD T,HE YOUNG ARE NOT GOING TO BE WATCHING THE CHEW!

sharon
Guest
sharon

exactly! sounds like a bunch of BS to me…they don’t care what the younger audience is watching any more than the older audience. all they care about is the bottom line…and making as much money as they can to line their pockets. and plus, they say younger people aren’t watching TV anyway. so why are they killing soaps because they claim younger people want to watch reality TV? LOL their arguments don’t even make sense!

sondra
Guest
sondra

The Chew & Puke. We are boycotting ABC and sponsors ineffort to save Soaps. Let’s see if DWTS ratings fall Monday. We have all said we won’t watch, let’s see what happens.

el rizzo
Guest
el rizzo

i will only watch my soaps bye bye the view!!!

Kristin
Guest
Kristin

Umm…. A GH sized rating…. seriously? SERIOUSLY???? The more that man keeps talking the more he keeps digging himself into an even deeper hole. Wow! These people just refuse to admit the truth. They refuse to even give any kind of acknowlegement to OLTL at all! I’m SO mad… no I’m beyond mad. OLTL pulls the same kind of ratings GH does. In fact OL beat GH last week, & they beat them again in Feb. I remember that cause it was after the wedding reveal of the twins & I was HOPING they’d beat GH. So, that’s twice this… Read more »

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

I am so sick and tired of hearing and reading the BS these corrupt jerks keep spewing. It’s got nothing to do with ratings and younger viewers. They’ve made it crystal clear that they don’t give a damn about their viewers. They obviously want out of the soap business and continue to hide behind their excuses. They don’t want to hear from the fans (their own audience). They just want to push their own agenda. They make me sick, they said they will not change their minds no matter what, and I don’t want to hear another word from their… Read more »

lisa
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lisa

Very well put Elizabeth ..WELL DONE ,WELL DONE !!!

sharon
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sharon

ABC can say whatever they want, but it’s all spin. If they were really worried about ratings, they would have made changes to improve the quality of the shows. They would have listened to soap fans when they practically begged for changes. Instead, they ignored soap fans and did whatever they wanted. In fact, it seemed as if ABC did the exact opposite most often of what fans were looking for. We wanted more love in the afternoon and character-driven stories that we can invest in emotionally and more focus on the core characters and veterans. Yet we got plot… Read more »

lisa
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lisa

Brava !! Sharon I couldn’t agree more !!

Marji
Guest
Marji

What a line of crap. Younger people get hooked on the soaps through their parents and grandparents. They learn about the characters in the same way they always have. These comments are nothing more than spin. To say advertisers like the soap viewers and then remove soaps makes no sense. To say they can gain advertising dollars differently with these garbage shows is also a line. No one will be watching. Plus, product placement can be used on soaps as well. Let’s see all that coffee that they drink be in Starbuck’s cups. Well it will not matter, we soap… Read more »

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

They did not do a particularly good job making this asinine decision in the first place, and they have done an even worse job of trying to spin it. It is blatantly obvious that they did not care about the cast, crew, or viewers of their soaps. They cost money to make, and they just don’t want to deal with it. This decision lacks planning and foresight. They needed to focus on improving the product and improving the marketing. The backlash of this is going to cost them far more then continuing to air the shows ever could. No way… Read more »

CINDY
Guest
CINDY

BS THE RATING S WERE HIGHER AND THEY HAVE ALWAYS JUMPED AROUND ACCORDING TO THE SEASON.YOU ARE JUST HURTING ABC WE ARE NOT GOING TO STAND FOR THIS NOR WATCH ANYTHING YOU HAVE ON

liasonbff
Guest
liasonbff

The following is long, and I apologize for that. In my opinion, the excuses Frons and Kulesza gave are complete BS, and it’s obvious ABC just wanted out of soaps. **FIRST** soaps can EASILY integrate products IN the shows. The problem is when the soaps try to turn the product placement into an actual ad during the show like GH did with Alexis/Diane and Cambell’s. No one wants an ad DURING the show, but you can still easily have product placement. For example, GH’s Sonny LIKES to cook. SHOW him IN the kitchen with the products visible. He doesn’t need… Read more »

wicca_lovely
Guest
wicca_lovely

My ENTIRE FAMILY will boycott anything and everything to do with The Chew (Gordon Elliot, Mario Batali, Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall, Michael Symon, and Daphne Oz), The Revolution (Tim Gunn, Kimberley Locke, and Harley Pasternak), their sponsors and ABC in general! The only ABC shows I will watch are All My Children, One Life To Life, and General Hospital! I have watched these shows for 20 out of the 24 years of my life! The earliest storyline I remember aired when I was 4 years old! The characters on the soaps are like my family and I feel like Brian… Read more »

Joann
Guest
Joann

Well, The only other show I watch on ABC is Modern Family. NOW..I don’t watch ABC at all. Well make that my Whole Family. ABC, you you need to correct your errors. I guess it won’t be long before ABC is phased out too. It has been on the air for too long. And obviously having money issues. AMC will be picked up else where.

david
Guest
david

Reality television lowers production costs and maximizes profits. The number of viewers or their ages becomes irrelevant. Honesty is incompatible with public relations. If Disney/ABC can increase revenue by changing programming, shareholders are satisfied. If profits increase, alienating a large proportion of viewers is irrelevant. Money and the bottom line are all that matter. This is business. This is the reality of capitalism in the United States of America. The only recourse is for enough consumers to boycott any and all business operations associated with Disney/ABC that revenue declines and the responsible executives are fired. Go to the corporate Disney… Read more »

nan
Guest
nan

I think its funny how everything that man touches fails.How does he keep his job is beyond me.GH is and has been just awful! The same story for weeks on end no use of vets,the same 4 or 6 people over and over and over.Frons just loves the mob and bombs and killing children.OLTL use s the whole staff has at least 2 or 3 story s going at one time and IS UNDER BUDGET without block taping like GH.Another fashion and food show OMG!!This was a very poor decision on the part of disney and ABC.Older viewers are the… Read more »

Darcy
Guest
Darcy

HUH? Does this idiot even know how a new generation begins to watch soap opera? Audience is not responding to this medium the way they use to “across the board not just daytime dramas prime time as well” OMG for decades an older audience is instrumental and the old people he disdains and mocks..and refuses to give story to on General Hospital (unless its a man….They have killed off all the core families and/or backburnered the vets and he chooses brands the show who gets air and diminishes their popularity with bad storytelling. Don’t drink his kool-aid. He’s on record… Read more »

lynn malone
Guest
lynn malone

I will NOT watch ABC’s replacement shows.Infact,when these soaps are gone,I too, will bw done with ABC.I think it’s terrible to put more reality shows on the air. T hey are horrible and people are getting sick of them. I have watched these two soaps for years and will miss them. It’s nice to have love in the afternoon—not a stupid reality show.

Tricia
Guest
Tricia

I have been a HUGE fan of ABC over the years, I have been watching GH since I was a teenager (Hint: Heather was GOING crazy when I first started watching) remember running home from school to watch Luke and Laura get married, even though I wanted Scotty to win the girl. What GH consists of today and the last 10+ years is NOTHING compared to what it was. Guza couldn’t shine ANY of his predecessors shoes. His constant plagerism of “The Godfather” is sickening. The pairing of Jill Farren Phelps and Brian Frons who have a history of killing… Read more »

Carol
Guest
Carol

Why do networks value 18-49 when it is the baby boomers that have all the money? It doesn’t matter if networks can find different ways for advertisers to be involved in the new shows if two million loyal soap viewers stop watching altogether. I love Tim Gunn, but I won’t watch any show that replaces OLTL or AMC, just as I have never watched the shows that replaced Guiding Light or As The World Turns. Advertise away – I won’t see it.

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

Brian Frons is a liar. OLTL has been beating their competition The Talk in the ratings department and has been the only soap showing growth and he wants to cancel it. It also beat the show he is keeping GH. The problem with daytime has been Brian Frons who needs to lose his job not the hard working cast and crew. The more he tries to justify the worse he looks.

Suzette
Guest
Suzette

This is BS I have been watching One Life to Live for twenty plus years. Mind you I am in the 20 to 25 age range. My mother use to record this shows for me; so I could watch after school. I still request my Great Aunt who looks forward to One Life to Live everyday to record because I am in college now. The people at ABC are just making up every reason in the world for this dumb decision. Just because you put a few people in a room and ask if it appeals to teens or young… Read more »

ethel
Guest
ethel

when amc & oltl goes the only other abc show i will watch is gh – i will never watch anything else on abc……………

Jim
Guest
Jim

How they can claim they tried everything when they kept force-feeding an unpopular couple like Ryan/Greenlee on AMC is beyond me.

Doe
Guest
Doe

Well, after reading every one’s comments, I can agree with you100%. However, there was always a core audience with college kids who would go to the Rathskellar in the union or whatever on breaks to see the soap. Some would even schedule their classes specifically for their shows. But with all the new electronics and IPads, phones, etc, they can now find anything to amuse them. They want everything to be quick because their attention span is limited. Nevertheless, ABC should have made their shows half hour ones , just like Bold and Beautiful. They are sucsessful. And Young and… Read more »

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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