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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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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!

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..

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.

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

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.

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

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

Happy to see my ABC boycott is paying off 😉

Yes me too, Karma is a bitch ABC.

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.

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.

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.

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..

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

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

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

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

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

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..

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

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

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

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

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!

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?

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!

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!

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!

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?

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

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

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

Welcome back to GH JJ?

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

Arianne Zucker Reflects Back on the ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape with Donald Trump, and Speaks to Her Exit from Days of our Lives

It’s been eight years, but somehow seems like ages ago, that Arianne Zucker was thrust into the mainstream public limelight, unfortunately not for her work as Nicole on Days of our Lives, but for the Access Hollywood taped that surfaced when former president Donald Trump  and current Republican nominee, visited the set of the (then) NBC soap opera, and met Zucker.

The tape captured a hot mic moment between Trump and then ‘Access’ host Billy Bush inside of their bus which featured lewd remarks about Zucker between the two men.

Speaking on the moment, Zucker opened about it on Rachel Uchitel’s Miss Understood podcast, where the video version of the interview is now on Uchitel’s You Tube Channel. Back in 2005, Arianne was the scene partner with Trump in his Apprentice/Days of our Lives crossover appearance, because her character of Nicole was at the time a gold-digger.

Photo: JPI

Zucker shared of her on set experience with Trump from 2005, “I had a great experience. He was lovely, and I had no idea anything behind the scenes was happening. So, it never affected me.” Next in October 2016, Arianne says she it got a call from her manager at the time when the Access Hollywood tapes came to light and that is when she first heard about the situation.

The actress and life coach reflected back, “Everybody has spoken poorly about somebody in their lifetime. I don’t care who you are, everybody has, it’s just people get caught on camera doing it. Unfortunately, that happens all the time. And if you’ve ever gone to a fraternity party, these things happen. So (when she later read the taped comments) I’m going, ‘sounds like something my fraternity guys I know would say.’ But I just didn’t see it in the way that people were seeing it.’”

Expressing why she never made an official comment when the press were asking for one, Arianne revealed, “I didn’t make a comment though, because I was in fear of losing my job. So I didn’t say anything.”  She added, “I felt attacked by the media because I knew all they wanted. I mean, the biggest thing was to get Trump off the ballot. I was like, that is not my job.”

Later, Arianne explained she felt she received no protection from the situation. “I got no apology from my place of employment. I really got no apology from NBC. I felt I had no protection. ”

Photo: JPI

DAYS fans are counting down and not happily that about six weeks from now, on July 29th, when Zucker makes her on-screen exit from Days of our Lives. After being fired for standing up to Corday Productions for on set sexual harassment and discrimination charges, the actress formally filed a lawsuit she has brought against her former employer which includes charges of wrongful termination.

Zucker said on her upcoming departure from DAYS, “I will not say how I leave the show. I do respect that we don’t want to share that. We want the fans to be excited and enticed.” However, Arianne confirmed that the character of Nicole is not ‘killed-off”.

So, what do you think of Arianne’s comments reflecting back on the Access Hollywood tapes media frenzy with Donald Trump, and her upcoming exit from DAYS? Weigh-in. But first, check out Ari on Rachel’s podcast below.

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News

Matthew Atkinson Returns to The Bold and the Beautiful and Previews a Major Change in Thomas’ Life that “Shocks” Everyone

This Friday, June 21st, marks the first on-screen appearance of Matthew Atkinson (Thomas Forrester) on The Bold and the Beautiful since March of this year. In story, Thomas packed up and headed to Paris with his son, Douglas in tow, after Hope (Annika Noelle) turned down his marriage proposal for the second time.

Viewers have waited anxiously for his come back pondering, that when Thomas returns, would he go right back to pursuing Hope? What would be his demeanor after timeParis? Well, we are about to find out.

However, Hope now seems to be somewhat becoming obsessed with Finn (Tanner Novlan), Steffy’s (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) husband, and has developed feelings for him. Might Thomas’ return to Los Angeles have him finding Hope and Finn in a comprising situation?

Photo: JPI

Speaking with Soap Opera Digest on his imminent return, Atkinson shared on the Finn/Hope potential pairing, “From Thomas’ point of view, he knows nothing about it, and so maybe that helps my point of view.”

Teasing what to look for when Thomas returns to the canvas, Atkinson dropped, “Thomas has had one particular very large change in his life since he left town. And when he comes back, it is something that shocks everyone.” What would “shock” the family and everyone who knows him? Could it be that Thomas got engaged or married to another women, while he was in Europe?

Photo: JPI

Atkinson weighed-in on the fan response and support for those viewers missing him on-screen during his time away from the show, expressing, “I just never expected the response that I’ve gotten and we’ve gotten from the fans, especially (with) Thomas leaving. I can’t speak for all the fans, but there’s a wealth of people that are either really, really upset that Thomas is gone for a period or really sad. (They) reach out and they’re like, ‘Hey, when are you back? When are you back? When are you back?’ That just speaks to their care for this character.'”

So, what do you think will be the shocking change in Thomas’ life that is revealed when he returns to Los Angeles? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Dan Feuerriegel on EJ Keeping Eric From His Child, “He’s in the Deep End … There’s No Coming Back for Him Now”

On Days of our Lives, Nicole (Arianne Zucker) has been reunited with her biological son, baby Jude. Her husband, EJ (Dan Feuerriegel), is now keeping a major secret, and in order to keep it from coming out he had to get Sloan (Jessica Serfaty) out of Salem, and keep both Melinda Trask (Tina Huang) and Leo Stark (Greg Rikaart) quiet and at bay.

However, as in any good soap opera, time is running out for EJ. What will happen when Nicole and Eric (Greg Vaughan) find out that EJ is not the little one’s biological father, but Eric is? And, what will happen when they realize EJ knew the truth and hid it from them?

This is just one item in a laundry list of skullduggery committed by EJ since he has been in Salem. With Arianne Zucker set to exit on-screen on July 29th, it looks like we are heading into the home stretch of the baby switch storyline.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Dan Feuerriegel to get his take on the situation and what it has been like working with Greg and Ari in the story.

Dan shared on EJ’s despicable decision to pretend he is Jude’s bio-dad, “I know I’m a terrible human being, but I love playing a terrible human being.” Feurriegel added, “Oh, he’s in the deep end. Like, there is no coming back for him now.”

The DAYS star also noted if EJ had done anything more nefarious to Sloan, his character might not ever be able to come back from that. “There’s only so much hatred EJ can get from the viewers that it probably would’ve been a bridge too far for me to just make her (Sloan) disappear,” clarified Dan.

Photo: JPI

As to his time working with Arianne Zucker as his on-screen wife, Dan had noting but praise for her. Feuerriegel expressed, “I loved working with her. She’s so good. She’s an amazing actress. She’s fantastic. Every scene that I did with her, I didn’t have to do anything because I just rode on the coattails of what she did. It was an absolute pleasure to work with her.”

Photo: JPI

Dan also had high marks for his on-screen nemesis, Greg Vaughan, “Greg is fantastic, like everybody in the storyline was amazing. Greg’s amazing … Ari’s amazing … Jessica was fantastic and that’s what made it work. I’m very grateful to have worked with every single one of them.”

Photo: JPI

On soap operas and especially on Days of our Lives, when someone exits, or ‘dies’ on-screen that doesn’t mean goodbye forever, and Dan knows this too. In regards to anyone who leaves Salem, the actor joked, “I’m not going to say the doors closed, because you never say never, especially in Hollywood or on a soap. I mean, I’ve come back and I was like two inches shorter and (with) a completely different face.”

So, how do you think Eric will find out that Jude is really his son, and that EJ has been lying to keep Nicole? Let us know in the comment section, but first Check out our conversation with Dan from the red carpet at the recent 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards below.

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