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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.

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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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”

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

Susan Lucci Joins the Cast of Jonah Hill’s Movie ‘Outcome’

Look who will be part of the ensemble cast in motion picture and film star Jonah Hill’s new film project! That’s right, none other than Susan Lucci (ex-Erica, All My Children).

According to Deadline, the daytime television icon joins other notables including Laverne Cox and David Spade who have been added to the cast of Outcome. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Matt Bomer (ex-Ben, Guiding Light) and Cameron Diaz.

In Outcome, which is written by, and will be directed by Hill, the dark comedy centers around Reef (played by Reeves), a damaged Hollywood star who must dive into the dark depths of his past to confront his demons and make amends after he is extorted with a mysterious video clip from his past.

Photo: JPI

Soap fans know that following her iconic run as All My Children’s Erica Kane, Susan went on to be featured in Lifetime’s Devious Maids in the role of Genevieve Delatour.  Since her Pine Valley days ended (when AMC was canceled in 2012), Susan has appeared in numerous shows and made numerous appearances.  n December of 2023, Lucci was awarded the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Photo: JPI

Outcome will debut on Apple and is an Apple Studios production. The film marks the latest collaboration for Hill and Apple Original Films, who are also developing a Grateful Dead biopic with Martin Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions, to be directed by Scorsese, with Hill starring in it and as one of the producers of the project, as well.

So, intrigued to see what kind of role Susan plays in Jonah Hill’s new film ‘Outcome’? Comment below.

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All My Children

Jacob Young Shares Production Pic of Cast of His New Film Featuring Joan Collins and Nadia Bjorlin

Last month, during a livestream conversation on the Michael Fairman Channel, while promoting Jason Cook’s film, Four for Fun, and featuring soap notables Jacob Young (ex-AJ, AMC, ex-Lucky, GH, ex-Rick, B&B) and Brytni Sarpy (Y&R), Young revealed some intel on his upcoming movie project.

Jacob shared that he was set to direct, produce and star in a Agatha Christie-like murder mystery feature film, Murder Between Friends shooting in Prague.

The actor/director expressed, “I’m flying at the end of the March to Prague to direct, produce and star in a film with Joan Collins (ex-Dynasty). Nadia Bjorlin (ex-Chloe, Days of our Lives) is in it, and Toby Alexander Smith from Eastenders (ex-Gray Atkins). Plus, a couple of my Broadway friends and a very well known Czech actress (Hana Vagnerova). It’s very ‘Knives Out’ without having a hundred million dollars to shoot it, but still will be a lovely film nonetheless.”

Photos: JPI

Young is currently shooting the film’s principal photography abroad through April 17th.

Over the weekend, Jacob took to his Instagram to share a photo with the cast of the film where pictured is former Dynasty star, Joan Collins (ex-Alexis) and former Days of our Lives star, Nadia Bjorlin (ex-Chloe). In addition, former All My Children star, Trent Garrett (ex-Asher) is seen in director-mode kneeling.

Trent and Jacob are both co-directors of Murder Between Friends Joan Collins shared the pic on her Instagram citing, “This was the #secret I posted about several weeks ago!”

So, looking forward to seeing Jacob’s film when it is released with Joan, Nadia, and company? Let us know in the comment section.

 

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A post shared by Jacob Young (@jacob_w_young)

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All My Children

Barbara Rush, ‘All My Children’ and ‘Peyton Place’ Actress, Dies at 97

Veteran Hollywood actress Barbara Rush, known to soap opera fans for her recurring roles on All My Children as Nola Orsini, and on Peyton Place where she played Marsha Russell, died at 97 on Sunday, March 31st.

Her passing was confirmed by Rush’s daughter, Fox News Channel senior correspondent Claudia Cowan. In a statement, Claudia shared, “My wonderful mother passed away peacefully at 5:28 this evening. I was with her this morning and know she was waiting for me to return home safely to transition. It’s fitting she chose to leave on Easter as it was one of her favorite holidays and now, of course, Easter will have a deeper significance for me and my family.”

Barbara had an extensive career in films and television that included roles in: It Came From Outer Space, The Goldbergs, 7th Heaven,  The Young Philadelphians, Robin and the 7 Hoods, The Young Lions, Batman (TV series ), The Bionic Woman, Fantasy Island, Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote and so many others.

Photo: NBC

From 1968 to 1969, she starred in 75 episodes on Peyton Place.  In 1980, Rush also appeared in NBC’s primetime soap opera, Flamingo Road taking on the role of Eudora Weldon, who’s adoptive daughter was played by Morgan Fairchild.

Then, in 1992, she was cast as All My Children’s Nola Orsini. In the storyline, Tad (Michael E. Knight) had amnesia and washed ashore from a river and wides up in California. He gets a job at Orsini Vineyards, where the owner, Nola Orsini (Rush), says that he is the spitting image of her missing son, Ted Orsini, who was kidnapped as a child, and insists Tad is him. She takes him in, trains him to run the vineyards, and makes him her heir, completely convinced he is her lost son, and the story unspooled from there.

Rush is survived by her two children the aforementioned Claudia Cowan, and  Christopher Hunter.

Share your condolences for and remembrances of Barbara Rush via the comment section below.

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