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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.”

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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
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
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
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
su0000

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

Timmm
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
clh

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

Ryan
Ryan

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

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Happy to see my ABC boycott is paying off 😉

Ricardo
Ricardo

Yes me too, Karma is a bitch ABC.

Llanviewer717
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
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
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
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
clh

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

Melissa
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
Llanviewer717

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

MBmomof3
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
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
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
Bonnie

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

kmayne
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
vinman

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

Carpetmom
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
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
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
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 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
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 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
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 “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
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 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?

Jane
Jane

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

robert
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
Alan

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

Timmm
Timmm

Welcome back to GH JJ?

MBmomof3
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 primetime TV.

Days Of Our Lives

Sean Blakemore and Gilles Marini To Appear in Season Five of THE BAY

Two more stars very familiar to daytime audiences have been added to the continual growing cast of the digital drama series, The Bay. 

Now comes word that Daytime Emmy-winner, Sean Blakemore (Ex-Shawn Butler, General Hospital) who can currently be seen in the motion picture Ad Astra with Brad Pitt is coming to Bay City.  Sean will take on the role of Tony Foster, a character who makes a visit in an effort to “save the day”.

In addition to that casting announcement, former Days of our Lives star, Gilles Marini (Ex-Ted Laurent) will also be showing up.  Marini is also known for his work on Sex and the City, Devious Maids and Brothers & Sisters. 

Look for Gilles to take on the role of Judge Nazar Zekarain, a character who will also crossover to The Bay’s s spinoff series yA –  a drama focusing on Bay City’s elite and often troubled teens.

The Bay’s creator. Gregori J Martin expressed his excitement on the casting news sharing: “Sean and Gilles are absolute pros! Such a true honor to work with both gentlemen and have them a part of The Bay family!”

Currently, the first half of season 4 of the series is available via Amazon’s Prime Video, with the second half of season to be released later this fall.  No release date has been confirmed at this time.

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So, what do you think of Sean and Gilles coming to The Bay? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Maurice Benard Memoir Available Now For Pre-Order

One of the most highly-anticipated autobiography’s, Maurice Benard’s (Sonny Corinthos, GH) Nothing General About It, is set for release on April 7th of 2020.  But now according to the book publisher, HarperCollins, you can pre-order your copy of the riveting real-life story of Benard now by heading on over to Amazon  to make your purchase.

According to the log lines and publisher notes: “In Nothing General About It, Maurice looks back to his youth in a small town and his tenuous relationship with his father. He describes how his bipolar disorder began to surface in childhood, how he struggled to understand the jolting mood swings he experienced, and how a doctor finally saved his life. For years Maurice was relentless in his goal to be a successful actor. But even after he “made it,” he still grappled with terrifying lows, breakdowns, and setbacks, all while trying desperately to maintain his relationship with his wife, who endured his violent, unpredictable episodes. Maurice holds nothing back as he bravely talks about what it was like to be medicated and institutionalized, and of how he learned to manage his manic episodes while on the set of GH. 

HarperCollins

Nothing General About It is also an incredible love story about an enduring marriage that demonstrates what those vows—for better, for worse, in sickness and in health—truly mean. Maurice also pays tribute to the community that has been there for him through thick and thin, and ruminates on the importance of both inherited and created family.”

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Look for Nothing General About It to feature a 16-page insert featuring nearly 50 photographs.

So, will you be pre-ordering Maurice’s memoir? Excited to read what he shared? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

RATINGS: Days of our Lives Has Strong Week

The ratings are out for the week of September 2nd through the 6th and it was NBC’s Days of our Lives that was the only daytime drama series to gain in total viewers and households.

That week featured the debut of One Life to Live icon, Robin Strasser in her debut on DAYS as Vivian Alamain replacing Louise Sorel.

DAYS topped General Hospital for the week moving into third place adding +82,000 total viewers, while GH hit a new low losing – 143,000 viewers, as well, the CBS Daytime series of The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful also lost total viewers … -189,000 and -120,000 for the ratings period.

In addition, DAYS was up +.04 in households week-to-week.   However. the show year-to-year that has continued in recent weeks to lose viewers is The Young and the Restless who from this time last year lost -453,000 viewers.

In the key demos: Y&R remained at #1 in 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54 in total viewers, but in the ratings share it tied with B&B in the 18-34 category.  Over the past few weeks, B&B has also been in the top demo slots trading off with Y&R.

With the fall season upon us and summer coming to a close, perhaps many soap viewers will be checking back in to see what is happening in the towns of Genoa City, Port Charles, Los Angeles, and Salem.

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But of course, story and content is king, so here’s hoping viewers will be into what the shows are serving up in the months to come.  And if you love the genre, it’s important to remember in the words of Robin Strasser to “Support the Four”.

Check out the entire ratings picture via SON here.

(Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

Total Viewers
1. Y&R 3,616,000 (-120,000/-453,000)
2. B&B 3,196,000 (-189,000/-87,000)
3. DAYS 2,123,000 (+82,000/-30,000)
4. GH 2,023,000 (-143,000/-297,000)

So, what soap opera do you think is delivering the best drama right now? Which soap opera is delivering the worst? What changes would you like to see made that you think would help your favorite soap gain more viewers? Comment below.

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Y&&’s Eileen Davidson and her husband Vincent Van Patten chat with Michael Fairman about their new film “7 Days to Vegas”, her time on Y&R, DAYS, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and their relationship. Leave A Comment

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