SPECIAL REPORT: ABC to Make "Major Decisions" About Daytime Lineup in Coming Weeks




Don’t shoot the blogger. Remember all those talk shows ABC started developing last year? There were the two from ABC Media Productions (one a Will & Grace-esque talker with Tori Spelling and Jeff Lewis, the other a cooking show with Danny Boome) and one, a “male Viewfrom Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie. I’m hearing, in the coming weeks, ABC will be deciding if one or more of these projects will land on The Mouse House’s daytime lineup come fall of 2011.

“They have to make a decision by the end of the First Quarter of 2011 in order to get one or more of the shows on the air by fall,” says a source. “Affiliates are getting antsy with Oprah leaving the airwaves with no clear cut successor. The decisions ABC will be making will have ripple effects throughout the ABC Daytime lineup and yes, the soaps will be affected."

As to what exactly all this means for ABC Daytime’s three soap operas, that isn’t so easy to decipher.

“It’s no secret the soaps aren’t as profitable as they once were,” says one industry insider, “and two of the ABC soaps have been over budget in recent years.”

In the fall of 2009, ABC Daytime decided to uproot All My Children and move them to Los Angeles in a cost-cutting effort, however sources tell me the 41-year-old sudser has continued to run over budget since relocating in January of 2010.

“Julie [Hanan Caruthers, All My Children’s executive producer] just can’t seem to bring it in under budget,” says a source.
 
Reportedly, whereas most of the soaps left on the air have gone to a production model of getting scenes in one take, AMC allegedly still does several takes for each scene and boasts other financial risk factors that concern the powers that be. Meanwhile, ABC’s most popular soap opera, General Hospital has also run into budget woes of late.

GH, which premiered in 1963, reportedly saw its budget slashed significantly recently, resulting in the firing of actress Rebecca Herbst, a move that has since been rescinded. However, sources say more cast cuts are forth coming.

General Hospital isn’t in any immediate danger,” says a setsider. “It has the strongest brand by far.”

That leaves All My Children and One Life to Live—the latter being the only ABC soap to reportedly come in under budget consistently— for ABC to determine the futures of, and while reps have maintained the shows produced by ABC Media Productions won’t necessarily end up on the ABC channel, numerous sources have confirmed to me that the programs were in fact specifically developed for The Mouse House’s daypart. 

Keep checking back with Daytime Confidential as this story develops.


Comments

Member since:
13 September 2010
Last activity:
18 weeks 3 days

It's time that mob stories and heart removals and putting them back in two days later, and all the over the top stuff goes away and simple heart felt stories with alot of meaningful dialog becomes the staple for soaps.[/quote]
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marknspromo- I COMPLETELY agree! As a LONG TIME soap fan, I don't tune into the shows for the plot points. Yes, I love a good cliffhanger, car accident, explosion WHATEVER like the next person. BUT the MAIN reason that I watch the soaps is for the characters and the dialogue. I have grown to LOVE these characters and want to see what happens in their lives. BUT my main viewing is for the dialogue. I am not one of those leave the tv on while I half listen, just read the recaps, just wanna know the main plot changes fan. I am the fan that has to hear EVERY word of EVERY scene in EVERY episode and will rewind and listen again just to hear the dialogue. Just to hear those well written words that have deep meaning and hit the characters in the heart. Sadly, we don't get that alot these days because the soaps are so busy going for the shock factor that plots are driven along at too fast paces and too much going on so they can hurry and get to the next big stunt. Its sad because when soaps were IT and when households WERE tuning in is like you said, when the stories were heartfelt. THAT's when we grew to love the characters and CARED what happened. Now we just see the what happened without seeing the how it happened or how it affects them.

Member since:
14 December 2008
Last activity:
20 weeks 3 days

You make some great points about soaps in other medimums, marknsprmo.

Member since:
22 October 2010
Last activity:
6 days 11 hours

I just paid attention to this article, even tho its been around for a few days. Oh Lord, I do not want to see cancellation. I WILL REPEAT THIS AS MUCH AS I CAN DAILY IF THE ARTICLE WARRENTS - PLEASE PUT YOUR TV'S ON AND SUPPORT ABC SOAPS. LETS HELP BRING UP RATINGS.

Purple Crayon's picture
Member since:
17 November 2008
Last activity:
1 year 43 weeks

Dueler312 wrote:
If they think the talk shows are going to be better then the soaps, they better think again.

The nets don't care if they're better as long as they're cheaper. Cheaper = more profits.

Entertainment is a business and the bottomline is what they're worried about, not quality.

bluelittlegirl's picture
Member since:
25 February 2011
Last activity:
2 years 4 weeks

As others have mentioned, Frons and the rest of the behind the scenes people at ABC Daytime are responsible for the decline of their shows. When soaps are good, they can be among the best television has to offer. Sadly, when they are not good, they are beyond awful.

In the case of OLTL, horrible writing, hiring and utilizing far too many mediocre or poor actors, nonsensical and random editing, as well as contrived or recycled story lines (that were not worth watching the first time they were aired) have contributed to some of the current difficulties.

Also, OLTL has Florencia Lozano and Trevor St. John, two of the best actors, by far, in any genre or medium, yet they choose to use actors from ATWT and other 'headliners' in a canvas already far too large to sustain, many of whom can barely inject animation into their expressions or demonstrate they have an understanding of the material, let alone turn in a performance that is interesting or emotionally affecting.

If the objective of Frons and others in ABC Daytime is to be completely unsuccessful in business and to run their shows into the ground (not to mention the impact on working actors and other productions in New York), they are certainly achieving that end.

1964nickel's picture
Member since:
27 February 2011
Last activity:
2 years 40 weeks

It's bad enough having to worry about losing longtime favorites. And to add insult to injury, they consider a show with Tori Spelling. Come on guys, Daddy Aaron is dead now, we can forget about her no-talent a**.

Haven't watched the entire ABC lineup since my high school years. But remember them all. Can't imagine AMC without Susan Lucci and can't imagine OLTL without Erika or Robin. Not even going to think about what might happen to GH.

1964nickel's picture
Member since:
27 February 2011
Last activity:
2 years 40 weeks

It's bad enough having to deal with cuts to old-time favorites. And to add insult to injury, Tori Spelling might come back? WTH. Y'all do know Daddy Aaron is gone now, right? NO need to use little miss no-talent. And who do we lose? Erica or Tad on AMC? Vicki and Dorian on OLTL? Don't even want to think about what will happen to GH.

Member since:
1 March 2011
Last activity:
3 years 7 weeks

jlafferty23 wrote:
You know who they need to fire?

BRIAN FRONS!

This man does not care about this genre. The fact that he is allowed to dictate story behind the scenes is a joke.

I could not have said it better!

Dueler312's picture
Member since:
14 January 2009
Last activity:
8 weeks 4 days

If General Hospital the strongest, THey are delusional, but even so, No one is wanting anymore talk shows. We rather keep the soaps and have the stories that keeps us coming back to them instead of one hour talk shows.