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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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0 Comments

  1. Timmm

    February 17, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    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

      February 17, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      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

        February 17, 2016 at 5:07 pm

        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

        February 17, 2016 at 5:24 pm

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

      • Timmm

        February 18, 2016 at 6:12 am

        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.

  2. clh

    February 17, 2016 at 1:10 pm

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

    • Ryan

      February 17, 2016 at 2:35 pm

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

  3. MBmomof3

    February 17, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Happy to see my ABC boycott is paying off 😉

    • Ricardo

      February 17, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      Yes me too, Karma is a bitch ABC.

    • Llanviewer717

      February 17, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      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.

  4. Rose

    February 17, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    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

      February 17, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      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

        February 17, 2016 at 3:46 pm

        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

        February 17, 2016 at 4:07 pm

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

  5. Melissa

    February 17, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    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

      February 17, 2016 at 10:40 pm

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

    • MBmomof3

      February 18, 2016 at 9:30 am

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

  6. Judy Ann Severs Neuman

    February 17, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    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

      February 17, 2016 at 9:23 pm

      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..

  7. Bonnie

    February 17, 2016 at 1:53 pm

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

  8. kmayne

    February 17, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    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

  9. vinman

    February 17, 2016 at 2:36 pm

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

    • Carpetmom

      February 18, 2016 at 12:31 pm

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

  10. Trophy Lady

    February 17, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    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

      February 18, 2016 at 9:38 am

      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

        February 18, 2016 at 8:05 pm

        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 with. Why in the HELL are they ALL tied to each other??? That is just dumb, and point blank — RACIST!

        And, furthermore, I just LOVE how you said, “ENOUGH of the black talk!” If I were talking about the gay storylines, would you have DARED to type, “ENOUGH with the GAY talk!” I’m willing to bet NOT. Somehow, people think they can FLAT OUT tell you to table the race relations talk, but the GAY talk — oh, everyone should be on board! How dare anyone say ANYTHING against the gays, but hey, we’re tired of hearing about the lack of blacks with a DECENT storyline on this show, so that should be disregarded. So, you want us to be pro-gays, but ANTI-BLACK INTERRACIAL ROMANCE right? Gimme a break, dude!

    • Timmm

      February 19, 2016 at 6:06 am

      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 here and they dont bitch about stories. If they did and I had an opinion I would voice it. One of my favorite characters is Lucas. He gets VERY little screen time and I also enjoy Brad. You here nothing about them. Be patient and quit being so angry. HUG SOMEONE TODAY!

      • Trophy Lady

        February 22, 2016 at 7:55 pm

        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 “a lot of races STILL date and marry within their own race” — well, both Ms. Dungey AND her sister, Merrin, have chosen to marry white men. Soooooooo, I’m going to intelligently surmise that Ms. Dungey is ALL FOR black women/white men interracial romance on screen — since, after all, it’s not as ethereal and complicated as you may believe.

        Here’s to hoping that she makes MANY positive changes on GH!

    • Timmm

      February 23, 2016 at 5:34 am

      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 the gay couple and their talk with Jesus. Its not our place to judge! I simply want better stories on my soaps, black, white, yellow or gay. Amen Trophy Lady?

  11. Jane

    February 17, 2016 at 6:37 pm

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

  12. robert

    February 17, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    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

  13. Alan

    February 17, 2016 at 8:42 pm

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

    • Timmm

      February 23, 2016 at 5:35 am

      Welcome back to GH JJ?

  14. MBmomof3

    February 19, 2016 at 10:28 am

    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 primetime TV.

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News

OLTL Alum Renee Elise Goldsberry On Performing Her Showstopper “Satisfied” In ‘Hamilton’ Premiering On Disney+ Today

We loved her as Evangeline Williamson on One Life to Live, and the Broadway world loved her in her Tony Award-winning role as Angelica Schuyler in the musical Hamilton, which today bows on the filmed version on Disney+.    Of course, we are talking about the fabulous Renee Elise Goldsberry who has talent abounds.

In Hamilton, Goldsberry performs a showstopper “Satisfied” as Angelica makes the ultimate sacrifice giving up the man she loves Hamilton played by Lin-Manuel Miranda) to her sister for her sister, Eliza’s (Phillipa Soo) happiness.

Now taking the version of this memorable moment in the theatre and bringing it to life on film also makes for an exciting performance and piece of creative work.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times out today, Renee talks about executing this number in the show just right: “There are things that are technically challenging about that number: on top of the words, there’s the movement and the fact that we’re doing the previous number in reverse the whole time. It was a lot of things to juggle, but that was never hard, that was all intellectual. Even the rap was relatively easy. The most challenging part to sing is that final toast.This is an extremely well-written song. Every word is crafted to analytically take this woman on an emotional, life-altering decision for these three lives. That decision was such a monumentally painful and beautiful thing to do that by the time I’d get to that moment in which she makes that decision, I was so devastated that it was hard to sing that toast. She’s conflicted because, clearly, she wants to stay around this guy, she recognizes his brilliance, but she gets that Eliza is the one. So I imagine this woman having to give this toast to this community, in spite of the pain she felt.I was always worried that somehow or another, I wouldn’t be able to live up to the brilliance of the end of that song because emotionally, I was just trying to manage it. It took me maybe until Broadway to feel OK about it.”

When asked how she felt about seeing “Satisfied” in the movie version of Hamilton available everywhere Friday on Disney+, Goldsberry added: :Seeing it from the audience’s point of view for the first time, I realized there was a whole ‘nother level of storytelling that was going on, separate from me. I mean, Howell Binkley’s lighting design!  And Andy Blankenbuehler’s brilliant choreography, which I could always only see in my peripheral vision. It’s a huge number with the entire company onstage just killing it and basically turning back time with their bodies, and I’m standing in the middle, talking out like a deer in the headlights to the audience about a burst of things that I have to grapple with immediately. I’m very grateful that he made my job much easier.”

Watch a clip of Renee’s performance in the film version of Hamilton below.

Now, let us know if you are planning to watch the highly-anticipated Hamilton over the fourth of July weekend via the comment section and if you are excited to see Renee in her award-winning winning in it?

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B&B’s Supervising Producer, Casey Kasprzyk Shares: “Just Finished Viewing Our First Produced Episode Since Starting Production Back Up!”

In a tweet late on Thursday, the supervising producer of The Bold and the Beautiful, Casey Kasprzyk, shared his enthusiasm at completing the first major hurdle for the soap going back into production during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Showing a viewing copy on disc of the first new episode produced for B&B in months, Casey said: “Just finished viewing our first produced episode since starting production back up! So proud of Team Bold & Beautiful. Great shows airing soon”

The disc had airshow number #8321 on it, and a question mark as to when it will make it to air.

The fact that The Bold and the Beautiful is the first daytime drama to get one new episode completed is a step forward amidst the spike in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County and the state of California.

Now soap fans will have to wait and see if General Hospital and The Young and the Restless begin their productions in the middle of July; as last projected by both series, or if there will be further delays due to the ongoing crisis for the safety of everyone involved at the shows.

So, excited to learn Casey’s news that there is a new episode of B&B on the horizon for viewers to see? Comment below.

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‘Strahan, Sara and Keke’ Canceled by ABC; Show Aired In Timeslot That Once Housed ‘All My Children’

No matter a network tries to do, replacing All My Children, which ran for 41 years on ABC has remained as everyone that follows the world of daytime drama knows, problematic.  Now come word via Page Six that Strahan, Sara and Keke has been canceled.

The show hosted by Michael Strahan, Sara Haines and Keke Palmer if you recall, replaced the foodie show, The Chew which ran for seven seasons and was the first show to air in the timeslot that belonged for over four decades to All My Children. 

Back in March of this year, Strahan, Sara and Keke took a break to make way for ABC’s News  Pandemic: What You Need to Know, a daily coronavirus report anchored by Amy Robach, Dr. Jen Ashton and sometimes TJ Holmes.

However, because the show did well in that two-week experimental run it morphed into GMA 3: What You Need to Know.  The new version of the show also talked about hot topics in the current news cycle, as well.

ABC’s Catherine McKenzie began producing the “GMA3” show four months ago and the network officially announced her as Executive Producer of the program on Thursday.

While ABC has yet to officially announce Strahan, Sara and Keke is over, a spokesperson told Page Six: “We’re proud of our teams at ‘SSK’ and ‘GMA3’ and how quickly they transitioned to producing a daily show to give people the news and information they need during an unprecedented pandemic, and conversations continue about how the show will evolve in the months ahead.”

It appears that Strahan, Sara and Keke won’t be returning; the future as many of their staff have transitioned over to ‘GMA 3’ with producers from ABC News Live, (the streaming division), helmed by McKenzie.

As for the futures of Strahan, Haines and Palmer; Strahan will continues to host Good Morning America, and they are all actively under contract with the network.

So, what do you think of  ‘Strahan, Sara and Kek’e being replaced by ‘GMA 3: What You  Need to Know’?  How long do you think that show will last in the timeslot once taken up by residents of Pine Valley? Comment below.

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