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USA Today – Daytime TV Takes Stock, retrenches in a changing world!

Brian Frons, Jason Thompson

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

The topic of course, that is on so many broadcasters, networks, production companies, actors and soap fans and pundits,  is the harsh reality of what is happening to the shrinking daytime genre.   With Oprah Winfrey bowing out after next season due to moving on with her next career move after 25 years of outstanding talk television, and Tyra Banks bailing on the talk format,  and ATWT and GL already cancelled by the end of 2009, Bill Keveneny of USA today had this to say  in his report out this week,  in regards to the latest dilemmas facing soaps.  Keveney had spoken with ABC head honcho Brian Frons and Soap Opera Digest’s Lynn Leahey.

“The cancellation of the lower-rated As the World Turns and Guiding Light does not mean the demise of the soap, says Lynn Leahey, editorial director of Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly. “There remains an avid following, if you tell the right story, people will follow it.  Networks are cutting costs on their own shows (As the World Turns and Guiding Light are not network-owned) to make them financially viable, meaning lower salaries for stars and fewer lavish shoots,” Leahey says.  ” ABC, for example, is moving production of All My Children  from New York to Los Angeles to save money. Lots of times you can’t see (the cuts) on the screen,” she says.

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Technology is bringing new competition and ways to reach women who aren’t at home, says Leahey. TV soap actresses Crystal Chappell and Martha Byrne have launched online soaps Venice and Gotham, respectively.

Networks and syndicators are embracing technology, too. All My Children, like General Hospital will be shot in high-definition, and greater use of CGI will allow “spectacular stunts,” ABC Daytime president Brian Frons says.

“Soaps aren’t all on the bubble.  In the end, the strong shows will remain, Frons says. “Some (soaps) have been on many years, so people feel the need to make sage-like statements about the future of the genre.  Nobody makes those statements when a sitcom or long-running drama dies. It’s the end of that program, and that’s the way we should look at it as well.”

So as we ring in a new decade and a new year in 2010, can soaps last another decade? The jury is out.  To read the entire USA piece, click here!

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mas
mas

Mr Frons is a “JOKE” he does not listen to the viewers “The Loyal Ones” and continues to act as if GH was in the top of the ratings, Wake Up Frons you and Mr Guza have destroyed the once top GH, it has become unbearable to watch, the mob s/l has gone it’s distance bringing James Franco has put another nail in the coffin. Unless Mr Frons is fired ABC will lose all their soaps, AMC & OLTL “ARE TRYING” to return, GH lost it’s way two years ago, braking up Sonny & Kate, Jason & Elizabeth and returning to the same old s/l’s as will be seen this week with yet another “BLOW UP” on the docks, yawn, yawn, the writers have no creativity, it’s like they are in a bubble globe and keep re-writing the same old plots, GH need’s to go back to it’s roots, family drama, romantic story’s, that don’t end in someone getting killed, they need to “QUIT” glamorizing the mob, Maurice Benard is starting to become a caracture, Anthony Geary has already become one, Steve Burton has become boring, staring blankly is not acting, the show women as limp, weak, boobs , when Kelly Monaco was on her own she became interesting the scenes with Nancy Graham were real, the character of Kate Howard was fun to grow with, then guess what here comes the female Sonny, Olivia who has become so unwatchable, her talent so not there, so the ratings continue to go down, down, down, something need’s to be done, Mr Frons, Mr Guza and the cardboard producer Ms Phelps need to be shown the door and quickly, before many worthy people lose their jobs, just ask the folks at Guiding Light & As The World Turns how that feels, then ask them why Young & the Restless, & Bold & the Beautiful get double the ratings????? Because they respect the viewers knowledge of “History”, when you try to change “History” you loose, right THPTB at GH, and if you contiue this you all will be “HISTORY”

Jen
Jen

I can’t help but think that Brian Frons is a bit out of touch with the ABC Daytime audience. I am not a network exec but I know for a fact that many long-time fans of soaps are unable to watch the episodes when they air because they are at work. Many have told me they will not watch daytime at all if it is full of game shows and talk shows. Again, I’m not a daytime exec but would sponsors rather advertise to long-time, loyal, faithful viewers or the people who leave the tv on while they’re in the other room?

All My Children

Cameron Mathison Reveals Cancer Diagnosis and Shares Heartfelt Message

One of our the best guys we know, Cameron Mathison (co-host, Home & Family and Ex-Ryan Lavery, All My Children), revealed over the last 24 hours that he has been diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma – kidney cancer, but treatment for him will be underway and the prognosis is good.

Cameron first shared the news on Monday’s Home & Family in a special announcement enlightening viewers on his health condition (watch video below) and later took to his Instagram and social media to share more details.   Of note: Mathison’s healthy lifestyle has indeed helped, and shown, that his cancer has not spread.

In addition, Mathison wrote: “About a month ago, I had an MRI for some gut issues I’ve been having, and during that MRI they fd a tumor on my right kidney. It’s consistent with Renal Cell Carcinoma … or kidney cancer. The good news is that it hasn’t spread to any other organs🙏🏼 They say my healthy lifestyle and diet has no doubt helped keep it from growing and spreading to other areas, as doctors think it’s been growing in me for minimum 10 years🙏🏼. I am extremely lucky that we found it early.” He thanked his doctor and his family, saying, “[wife] Vanessa, [kids] Lucas and Leila have been absolutely amazing with their love and support… as have my mom, dad, brother, and everyone at Home and Family, Hallmark, and ET❤️ My surgery is scheduled on September 12th, I was hoping to receive positive thoughts, prayers, or whatever you feel comfortable with, on 9/12 (my surgery is at 1pm PST) 🙏🏼.” He concluded, “Feeling very grateful and optimistic!”

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Send positive vibes Cameron’s way as he goes through his medical procedure this week, share your comments below.

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All My Children

8 Years To The Day Of All My Children & One Life to Live Being Canceled; Still Considered By Many Worst Move For Daytime

It’s hard to believe that 8 years ago today on April 14th, 2011, the soap world, its fans, and the cast members, learned of the heartbreaking news that ABC, in one swift move, decimated its daytime line-up when they announced the cancellations of long running series, All My Children (which would end at its 41st year), and One Life to Live (which would ends its run in its 43rd year).

At the time, ABC announced it would move to more lifestyle/entertainment series to replace these dramas.  In its place came The Chew and The Revolution, neither show is still on the air today.  Executives at that time pointed to research saying that times are changing and that their decision was “guided by extensive research into what today’s daytime viewers want,” and blame, in part, “the changing viewing patterns of the audience” for the axing of AMC and OLTL

Then ABC Daytime President, Brian Frons had joked to Deadline about the big announcement that he: “Pre-entered the witness protection program prior to today’s events.”  He added that “The demise of the two venerable soaps was actually a year in the making.  A year ago, we started to look at our projections where the ratings for the soaps would go.  When those projections came in pretty discouraging, the network began to aggressively develop replacement shows, 15 of them.  Four of the 15 were picked up to pilot: The Chew and The Revolution and two others, a talk show and a dating show. Originally, the idea was to cancel only one daytime drama.  The way the ratings developed and the pilots turned out, the ratings developed negatively and pilots developed positively, so we decided to make a bigger shift.”  Of note is that when it went off the air, One Life to Live was in third place among its competitors in the ratings.

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The press release that came with the cancellations stated: “To honor the core, passionate audience and their rich history both shows will conclude in a manner that respects their legacies and the longstanding hopes of many of their viewers.”

Following the cancellations daytime reeled. The mainstream was sure it meant the endings of the soaps, period.  However, four shows illustrated that is not true at all.  For Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless all remain, and still whether they are up or down in their numbers/ratings, they remain relevant and important to the enduring daytime viewing audience.

Sadly, as with any shows, the end of ABC’s AMC and OLTL meant loss of jobs for so many working in front of the camera and behind the scenes. One Life was the last soap opera in production in New York at the time.  AMC was already being shot in LA to cut costs to save it.

Still in 2019, if you venture on to social media, especially Twitter, you see fans constantly missing its stars and the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, wanting this wrong rectified.  Although Prospect Park tried to revive the show with their online versions, eventually after legal battles that went on for a few years, ABC now retains the right to these properties,

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The good news is that many favorites from AMC and OLTL have found success and been hired on other soap operas, bringing their followings with them, whether it be on-screen, or in the writing, producing, directing or crew departments.

So, do you think the loss of AMC and OLTL consolidated daytime and made the remaining shows stronger so they would not be touched or canceled?  Do you think ABC should try to mount a resurrected AMC and OLTL or an amalgamation of the two?  Do you remember where you were when you learned the two soaps were cancelled? Was this the worst misstep of all-time for daytime? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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All My Children

George R. R. Martin’s “Leak” Of New Hulu Series WILD CARDS Featuring Eden Riegel, Thorsten Kaye. and Greg Rikkart

April Fool’s Day started off with a bang today when Eden Riegel (Ex-Bianca, AMC) posted a photo of herself with Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Greg Rikaart (Ex-Leo, DAYS)  in a very intriguing image.  See above pic!  As it turns out, it’s said to be from behind the scenes from some leaked footage of the upcoming Hulu series, Wild Cards.

The premise of Wild Cards is based on the sci-fi anthology series edited by George R. R, Martin, best known for writing the “Song of Ice and Fire” novels, on which HBO’s Game of Thrones is based.  Riegel’s husband, Andrew Miller is the showrunner attached to the upcoming series.

On Martin’s website he teases the set-up of the “leaked” video clip:  “This was not supposed to go public.. Everybody (Well, everybody that has been paying attention knows that we are developing two Wild Cards as a series for Hulu  Andrew Miller has taken the reins as showrunner, a writing staff has been hired, and they have been hard at work for months.  What was NOT supposed to be known is how far they’ve come.  Not only have some scripts been finished, but the first show has gone into production and has been shooting.  That was supposed to be a deep dark secret, however.   We wanted to surprise the world. It’s hard to keep secrets in Hollyweird, however.  And now it appears that some of the rough footage has been leaked by person or persons unknown”

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Meanwhile, Riegel sent out a series of tweets: “Hooo boy…cat’s out of the bag! Fans, please don’t judge our show based on these leaked videos!! The effects are going to knock your socks off. And my costars, and , are doing the best work of their lives!”  That was followed by, T”hank you for the chance to work with you on your first foray into soaps! I am humbled and honored. We won’t let you down.” And then, “I’m probably not allowed to share this with all the NDAs I signed, but damnit I’m just so proud of the team!  think we are breaking new ground for soaps. So proud to work with you!”

Now below, check out the Wild Cards “leaked footage” and let us know if you think of the …. um … drama! Comment below.  And one more thing … Happy April Fool’s!

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