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Paul Lee Steps Down As ABC's Entertainment President: Channing Dungey Named As Successor!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

A report from the New York Times on Wednesday first broke the news that ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee, who found such hit series, as How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal has stepped down, or more than likely been forced out from the company after a power struggle with high-ranking executive.

That executive would be Ben Sherwood, the Chairman of the Disney/ABC Television Group. ABC has since confirmed the news. Lee had been the ABC Entertainment President for the last three years.  However, Ben Sherwood became Paul Lee’s boss early last year and has used ABC’s soft standing in the overall ratings race to make a case inside Disney for a management shake-up at the network.

Lee has been a supporter of the one daytime drama series left on the network, General Hospital.  Longtime ABC development executive Channing Dungey has assumed Lee’s role.  She now becomes the first African-American person to head programming at a major broadcast network. Dungey will now report directly to Sherwood.

Courtesy/ABC

In a statement from Sherwood on Dungey’s new position with ABC, he expressed: “Channing is a gifted leader and a proven magnet for top creative talent, with an impressive record of developing compelling, breakthrough programming that resonates with viewers. We thank Paul for his many accomplishments at ABC and his devotion to the ABC brand, and we wish him continued success in the future.”

ABC has been languishing in the ratings, which makes the case for their to be a change at the top.  Of the major networks, it’s  down the most, year-to-year, shedding 9 percent among adults 18-49 to an average 2.0 rating. It’s down 12 percent among total viewers, its average primetime audience down to 7.2 million viewers. In fact, just one night prior to the news of Lee’s exit, ABC ranked last on the broadcast networks — trailing even the CW and Fox with an anemic 0.8 rating in the key demo.

So, what do you think of the network shake-up at the top of ABC?  Do you think ABC made the right move in forcing Lee out? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Timmm
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Timmm

Lee supported GH. We dont know how this women feels about soaps. Until she makes a statement its hard to give an opinion. My feeling is she could give a rats azz about GH or she may just be the one to cut the fat and hire decent actors who belong on GH!

su0000
Guest
su0000

ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee seemed to like soaps..
His ABC primetime biggies were soaps;
Revenge, How to Get Away With Murder, Scandal etc etc..

His replacement ‘Channing ‘ by her photo is quite young..
Truth be told, younger people do not like soaps, and she most likely has never been a fan, no matter what she says..

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

Su…Paul Lee just turned fifty, Channing Dungey’s YOUNGER sister, an actress, is 45. So…she’s probably close to 50 give or take. Since she’s a woman, thougj I’m not sure if thaf will have a bearing, she may be able to tap into the dying embers of the soap genre…fingers crossed.

su0000
Guest
su0000

hi rebecca1..
wow! she looks so much younger than 50ish.. I sat her photo as early 30’s …

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

I think your right, she is not the typical demo to like or support soaps. BTW, I dont think young people dislike soaps, I think that one, there are not many on TV and they usually dont make the news and two, way too many other options for todays youth.

clh
Guest
clh

I’m guessing this puts the nail in the last ABC soap.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

ABC will now cancel GH, they want out of the soap business.

MBmomof3
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MBmomof3

Happy to see my ABC boycott is paying off 😉

Ricardo
Guest
Ricardo

Yes me too, Karma is a bitch ABC.

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

I’m very glad know that others are still avoiding programming on the alphabet network. From the numbers quoted in this article, a lot of others are avoiding their trash. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving company.

Rose
Guest
Rose

The first thing that came to my mind when I read this was Bette Davis in ‘All About Eve’…”fasten your safety belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” I would substitute “ride” for “night.”

Another thing is that it’s ironic Paul Lee got caught up in what I have to assume was very serious politics at ABC, not unlike ‘Scandal.’ I have to assume no dead bodies in this case though.

Robert
Guest
Robert

Brian Frons could be dead, or in hiding. If I find the sob, I will send Sheila Carter after him LOL. I will gladly help Sheila to tie him up, and torture him lmao.

su0000
Guest
su0000

You will need to go above Frons, he was doing what he was told to do and got a 3 million dollar bonus for doing so..

clh
Guest
clh

Disney is pushing to get rid of the soaps. He was just their hatchet man.

Melissa
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Melissa

Perhaps the new head loved OLTL‼️ Maybe we’ll get it back. MB mom of 3 I have been boycotting ABC as well. They don’t mess with my soaps

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

I hope you are right Melissa. How I crave our beloved One Life to Live.

MBmomof3
Guest
MBmomof3

I honestly don’t miss ABC. I do DVR and watch GH, but that’s it. I will always miss OLTL.

Judy Ann Severs Neuman
Guest
Judy Ann Severs Neuman

Not happy at all on this. Wish someone would take General Hospital to another channel like POP 273.

They ABC cancel all the soaps that were on 262 SoapNet which Disney now own. And at least I have them there to watch no more now.

We need someone the can help our soaps.

Thank for listening

su0000
Guest
su0000

hi Judy Ann..
POP is a rerun network, they do not produce soaps POP reruns them..
ABC has extension cable for years to place GH on, but that will never happen..
It is ABC daytime or not at all 🙁
ABC development executive Channing Dungey may well be very good for GH as Entertainment President…
In 3 months time, we will most likely know..

Bonnie
Guest
Bonnie

Well we still have Vicky and she is our Daytime Exec, and she supports GH

kmayne
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kmayne

Hopefully she too will support ABC’s lone soap. As far as prime time goes ABC needs to do something. they were lagging behind the CW on Tuesday nights. Hopefully she will leave GH alone and focus on prime time

vinman
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vinman

Bye….GH……most likely more talk trash…food non-sense….or KarTRASHian crap.

Carpetmom
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Carpetmom

More lifestyle and FOOD tv?! So tired of that. Calgon/ABC’s GH take me away from 50 ways to make Kale Salad!

Trophy Lady
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Trophy Lady

Congratulations to Ms. Dungey! I’m looking forward to her positive impact on ABC, including ABC Daytime. We have no reason to believe that she won’t support GH. Furthermore, as she is a black woman, I am hopeful that she oversees and insists that there are more fully fleshed out black actresses/characters added to the GH canvas! They are in DESPERATE NEED of QUALITY black women on General Hospital!

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

ENOUGH of the black talk! Did you see GH this past Friday? 3/4 of the show focused on Jordan, Valerie, Dr. Maddox , Curtis and T.J. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT?

Trophy Lady
Guest
Trophy Lady

Well, I don’t like your tone — so I’d appreciate you being a bit more polite, just for starters. But, since you asked what I want, I’m more than happy to tell you. If you’d have paid attention (which you seem to imply, yet you’re asking what I want — so that means you really didn’t pay attention), you’d know that I don’t agree with ALL of the black people on the GH canvas being involved with each other. THAT MAKES NO SENSE!!! There are more than enough white people in Port Chuck for the four black people to interact… Read more »

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

My TONE is vital in getting your attention and I got it! I simply pointed out how many blacks were on screen this past Friday. I mentioned nothing about couples and relationships! A lot of races STILL date and marry within their own race. BUT LISTEN, There is nothing wrong with interracial coupling. T.J. and Molly are cute and I really miss Shawn Butler and dug him and Alexis together. Lastly, PLEASE do not use the term “Racist” when replying to me! I love all people and hope for happiness! PS: “Gay Talk?” There are a lot of gay posters… Read more »

Trophy Lady
Guest
Trophy Lady

Sweetie, you make me chuckle. I think that’s what got the attention that you so desired — not your tone. But I do thank you for toning it down because you did appear a bit irate. “Be patient” — well, that’s the same thing that black people ROUTINELY heard throughout the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. Should they have listened, and remained “patient?” What time frame would you have given them for their “patience?” Again, you make me chuckle. Not sure if it’s truly ignorance on your part, or just something else altogether. And, as for your comment that… Read more »

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

I am not going to get into a debate over civil rights on a soap site. However, I do think it is healthy to talk to one another. NOTHING will ever get accomplished if society continues to yell at one another. Your original post mentioned race. It is STILL a hot button topic in 2016. Please listen, I am for love and happiness. I dont care about the color of skin. A happy couple is all that should matter. I dont care about the sex of a partner. People site the bible over this issue. Fine, its a matter of… Read more »

Jane
Guest
Jane

She’s going to try and prove herself ,probably got her list in motion.

robert
Guest
robert

was not surprised about this. ABC’s ratings have been bad. some of their primetime shows have been dismal. let’s hope she cares about soaps and get rid of Varni

Alan
Guest
Alan

I’m guessing this means NASHVILLE will finally get cancelled…

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Welcome back to GH JJ?

MBmomof3
Guest
MBmomof3

I really believe they need to focus on primetime. ABC Daytime may not be great, but it’s doing it’s thing. The last time they attempted an overhaul of their daytime programming they mucked it up royally. Primetime is where the large part of the money is made and spent. That said, I still won’t watch. ABC is dead to me with the exception of GH. I would hate to see this iconic show go, but if it did I would never have a reason to tune into ABC again. Again, I don’t miss it. CW is where its at for… Read more »

News

B&B’s Matthew Atkinson On Gaining Custody of Douglas: “Thomas Just Wants to Take His Rightful Place”

On The Bold and the Beautiful, Thomas (Matthew Atkinson) wants to be more of an active father to his son, Douglas (Django Ferri), who has been living with Hope (Annika Noelle) and Liam (Scott Clifton).

When confronted with this news, Hope is not too happy, because she could lose being mother to the little boy, who she has come to love as her own.

Photo: JPI

In the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest (on newsstands now), Atkinson shared on the story: “Thomas just wants to take his rightful place. He’s not saying they are no longer a family. It’s just the opposite.  He’s not prying Douglas away from Hope.  He knows Douglas has bonded with Hope, Liam and Beth, and he believes they can all make it work.”

The question is, will Thomas resort to extreme measures as he has in the past to get what he wants, or will he work this out with Hope and Liam?

Check out the latest promo for this week’s action on B&B below.

Now let us know, do you want Thomas to have more of a relationship with his son, Douglas? Should the boy live between all three ‘parents’? Should Douglas fight for solo custody? Comment below.

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Breaking News

AW and OLTL Alum, Robyn Griggs Dead at 49

In more heartbreaking soap news this weekend, Robyn Griggs had lost her battle with cancer.  The actress, best-known to daytime viewers as Stephanie on One Life to Live and Maggie on Another World, passed away at age 49.

The news came on Saturday via Griggs’ official Facebook posted, where in a statement it noted: “Hi everyone, With a heavy heart, I am saddened to announce Robyn’s passing. However, she is no longer suffering and would want us to remember that and the good memories. I will never forget how open she was to telling her story, and accepting of me helping her tell it. She wanted to help people and spread the word of her story to do it. I was honored to do so. RIP my friend, I love you and smile when I think of you.”

Photo: RGriggsFacebook

From 1991-1992, Griggs found her first soap success playing the part of One Life’s Stephanie Hobart.  Later, in 1993-1995, she played AW’s Maggie Cory.  Robyn was also a singer and signed a recording deal with RCA Records.

Robyn had been battling stage 4 Endocervical Adeno cancer.  Back on July 7th, Griggs had taken a turn for the worse, sharing on Facebook, “Unfortunately, I have 4 new tumors …2 new tumors on my liver, one on the abdominal muscle, and a large one on the right side lymph node.” On August 11th, her father shared Robyn was put into hospice care.

Share your remembrances and condolences for Robyn Griggs Riley and her loved ones in the comment section below.

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Breaking News

Anne Heche, ‘Another World’ Alum and TV and Film Star, Dead at 53

Following a catastrophic brain injury from crashing her car into a home last week and suffering severe burns, actress Anne Heche has been declared brain-dead at the age of 53.

In a statement from a rep for Heche’s friends and family, they expressed: “Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend.  Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.”

Heche is legally dead according to California law, although her heart is still beating she has not been taken off life support in order to allow for organ donations to take place and to find the right recipients.

 

Photo: AHInstagram

Anne’s eldest son, Homer 20, said in a statement to PEOPLE on his mom’s passing:  “My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom. After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness. Hopefully my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom. Over those six days, thousands of friends, family, and fans made their hearts known to me. I am grateful for their love, as I am for the support of my Dad, Coley, and my stepmom Alexi who continue to be my rock during this time. Rest In Peace Mom, I love you.”

The talented actress is best-known to soap opera fans for her Daytime Emmy-winning dual roles as twins, Vicky and Marley Hudson on Another World.  She had two sons, Homer with her ex Coley Laffoon and Atlas, 13, with actor James Tupper.

Throughout her career Heche appeared on TV shows and films includingL Men in Trees, If These Walls Could TalkDonnie BrascoI Know What You Did Last SummerSix Days, Seven Nights, and Gus Van Zant’s 1998 remake of Psycho. Back in 2020, Anne became a celebrity contestant on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

Heche’s stormy relationship with Ellen DeGeneres made headlines throughout her career, and today, DeGeneres shared: “This is a sad day. I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.”

Michael Fairman chatted with Anne back in 2020, in a memorable conversation for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel touching upon her career start on Another World, being a champion for the LGBTQ community, her relationship with DeGeneres, the ups and down in her career, and her demons and childhood past.

You can watch the conversation below.

Now, share your thoughts, condolences, and remembrances for Anne Heche via the comment section.

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GH’s Nicholas Alexander Chavez (Spencer) talks with Michael Fairman immediately following his Daytime Emmy win for Outstanding Younger Performer in Drama Series. Leave A Comment
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