Kirstie Alley Thinks OWN Should Pick Up Cancelled Soaps

Will The Mighty O save our shows? Not likely, however plenty of fans have been hitting up Oprah to put cancelled soaps All My Children and One Life to LIve on her OWN channe.l Now Dancing With The Stars' Kirstie Alley chimed in. The actress took to Twitter to put in her two cents.

Maybe OWN could take on the soaps u love so much.. they need that kind of programming.


I agree OWN could use some scripted shows and Oprah's a big ABC soap fan, however budgetary constraints for the upstart network make the acquisitions likely impossible.

35 Responses

  1. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    I agree. Oprah needs to step up to the plate and take these soaps, even though the OWN network has, for the most part, already said no. Especially since Lady O fancies herself such a big AMC fan. If anyone can successfully make this happen, it would be her. She’s already broken every other GLASS CEILING out there!!

    If the proper changes are made, AMC and OLTL could become TRULY profitable again!!

    Things look VERY bleak for these shows, but for once, I am choosing NOT to be my normal pessimistic self and to hope for the best.

  2. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    God, I wish these idiot celebrities would shut up! They are only feeding into the denial most fans have about soaps. Oprah can’t afford to finance two money-losing soaps! Oprah did one edition of her show about soaps in the past–what–decade??? And now everyone’s talking about her LOVE for soaps. She loves Maya Angelou, too, but she’s not giving her a show (Angelou had to go to the Hallmark Channel to sell a show). Oprah is a very astute business woman and she’s not going to finance something that isn’t going to potentially make money. If you saw her recent shows with Iyanla Vanzant, you got a sense of how business-minded Oprah is. None of her shows on OWN are on there for sentiment alone.

  3. Profile photo of from NC
    from NC

    I agree TVGORD, Oprah is first and foremost a savy business womem, and I also agree that the chances of her picking up these two shows and GH when it goes off in the coming year, is slim to none. (Although I did post in support of her doing just that on her network site….could not hurt to try) With that said though, I must add that she does need to put something on that has mass appeal as no offense to Oprah but a reality tv show about the Judds is not exactly a ratings getter…in my mind.

    There must be someone out there who recognizes the potential for profits (if done right) of carrying shows that have such a large and loyal fan base. I guess we will see…stranger things have happened.

  4. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    from NC, I have to admit, I’m scratching my head about that Judds show, too!

    I guess I’ll back off with my attempts at reality checks, because you’re right. It doesn’t hurt to try. I don’t have the stomach for it, though, especially after witnessing the poor ATWT and GL fans going through this same situation in the past couple of years. :-(

  5. Profile photo of bama1295

    TV Gord: You are misinformed at best. OLTL does turn a profit and always comes in under budget. As far as ratings, this year it has been coming in as the No. 3 soap. I cannot say the same for AMC, but it is clearly Oprah’s favorite. Oprah did a soap-centric episode within the last two weeks (that was this decade since you are numerically challenged or are experiencing short term memory loss). A smart business woman knows the intrinsic value of GOODWILL. The goodwill generated by OWN taking on these two soaps will generate revenue in the form of new viewers to her network. The soap audience is the most loyal group out there and OWN should grab it up while they can.

  6. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    bama, I’ve read that OLTL came in under budget this past year (as opposed to your optimistic “always”), but only bloggers and posters have drawn the conclusion that it’s turning a profit. I don’t think it is. It’s not just about the bottom line today, though. It’s also about the future forecasts, and the number crunchers have drawn the conclusion that soaps are not going to suddenly turn around. They are a money-losing proposition.

    Even if it were true that OLTL was “turning a profit”, that means nothing when The Revolution will likely have a similar viewership (just as The Talk and Let’s Make A Deal have on CBS), but can be made at a fraction of the production cost. That will net the network much more money!

    That Oprah show you are talking about was actually a rerun from February, but that’s the one I was talking about. How many other shows about soaps has she done in the past decade? THAT was my point.

    If you think network executives and shareholders are sitting around the executive suites speculating on GOODWILL, it makes me wonder which of us is misinformed. ;-)

    Yes, soap fans are loyal. But we are also a very small audience these days. Too small to keep our shows on the air. I don’t like that fact, but I can’t ignore it. Game show fans are loyal, as well (just check out’s message boards sometime), but soap fans are all-too-quick to dismiss their loyalty to their shows. It’s about perspective. Just because you love your soaps and have friends who do, too, doesn’t mean there are enough of us to save the genre. (I’d be interested to know how many members are registered here at DC. We delude ourselves into thinking there are multitudes, but I bet there aren’t more than a few hundred!)

  7. Profile photo of Y2Jin99

    TV Gord one episode about a soap (what decade)?
    It hasn’t even been 6 months since she did a soap episode and had on a ton of stars including Lucci, Tony Geary, All of Erica Kane’s husbands. Angie and Jesse from AMC Jeanne Cooper Michael E Knight.
    And she can’t afford? She is practically the richest woman in the US.

  8. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    That’s what I’m talking about, Y2Jin99. She did that one show in February (and it was repeated last week), but other than that, what has she done in the past decade that is soap-related? I watch her everyday, and I don’t recall another show like that one.

    And Oprah is practically the richest woman in the U.S. because she is a good businesswoman. She isn’t going to put money into something that doesn’t have the potential to be profitable. If soaps were profitable, they wouldn’t be disappearing. As I’ve said before, the businesspeople who run the networks don’t care what goes on between the commercials. If enough people were watching soaps, they wouldn’t be dying. The simple fact is they are not.

  9. Profile photo of from NC
    from NC

    [quote=bama1295]TV Gord: You are misinformed at best. OLTL does turn a profit and always comes in under budget. As far as ratings, this year it has been coming in as the No. 3 soap. I cannot say the same for AMC, but it is clearly Oprah’s favorite. Oprah did a soap-centric episode within the last two weeks (that was this decade since you are numerically challenged or are experiencing short term memory loss). A smart business woman knows the intrinsic value of GOODWILL. The goodwill generated by OWN taking on these two soaps will generate revenue in the form of new viewers to her network. The soap audience is the most loyal group out there and OWN should grab it up while they can.[/quote]


    Not that Gord needs me to fight any battles for him/ her but he is right about Oprah. I’m sorry but the network has already come out and pretty much stated they will not pick up the either show(go to GH board on ABC site…it is posted there) What you have to understand is it would make no sense for Oprah to pick up these shows financially as they will be VERY expensive to buy from ABC (article where Fron;s says they will “entertain offers,” implies as much. Furthermore, the production costs of soaps is much higher than other types of shows as we know and regardless of whether they come in under budget, the return of profit is much less than with shows which are cheaper to produce to begin with.
    I do agree that Oprah is savy enough to see the benifit that an act of goos will would bring to her network but she is not the only one in a position of power as Discover is partners in her network and their is a board and shareholders just like at ABC.

    I think the best shot with Oprah is that she foregoes picking these shows up but produces a new soap or several new soaps and utilizes the actors from the old soaps. She is savy enough not to have paid for the old soaps and at the same time bring something to the table that she knows has a ready made fan base. Win Win

  10. Profile photo of Miry

    I think that if someone (hello Frank Valentini) tried to market the soaps to OWN in a way that would MAKE them profitable I think that she might consider it (as well as that goodwill you were talking about, b/c yes, Oprah DOES know the value of it, watch her Master Class & you will see).

    What I am saying is that these shows need to do it like they do it in the UK. Maybe steal somebody from across the pond to show them how its done. These shows need to be pared down to 30 mins (like they were when they started & like B&B is now) and they need to come on 4 days a week. That would cut their budget substantially, and on the weekend they could do an omnibus (where they show the 4 episodes of the week in a row) so that they could fill in a 4-hour timeslot with a show they already own & can get more ratings from there as well. Coronation St, Emmerdale, Eastenders, HollyOaks, etc. all do this and they are huge hits & get millions upon millions of viewers EVERY night (HO comes on at like 6:30/7, so early evening, and on Fridays Emmerdale comes on twice– so its an 1hr of show with a 30 min break in between).
    Also, get someone who does these webseries that look AMAZING like Buppies, Anacosta, Venice, etc. & see how they are able to produce such lovely looking shows for so little budget. I am sure that THEY are able to work with that same fraction of a budget that these talk shows/games shows are able to do.

    The heart of the matter is that ppl have to WANT these shows to succeed & to do what it necessary to make that happen. The truth of the matter is that they, unfortunately, do not.

  11. Profile photo of Llanview76

    @ TV GORD, regarding “what has she done in the past decade that is soap-related?”

    Her long tortured love story with Stedman while fighting claims with an alleged romance with her “best friend” Gail…her personal confessions involving child abuse and a long lost sister all the while trying to uphold the ultimate American dream…and don’t forget the allegations surrounding her school in Africa. She probably doesn’t need any soap stars to flatter her program when she has “one life” that practically imitates a daytime drama.

  12. Profile photo of appleridge

    When Oprah Made The deal For OWN she did not put up any of her own money. She learned a lesson from when she did Oxygen and it didnt fare well. So OWN is Operating at the same budget as the rest of the Discovery networks which means is they have like no budget. Thats why you see easy to produce shows on there. A soap takes at least 52 million a year to produce but whatever it costs to buy the brand. So A Gross guestamite is that both shows will cost a network around 250 Million to aquire and produce. That right there is why these shows will not continue.

  13. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    Thanks, appleridge. I have been comforted by your comments over the weekend. I feel a little less alone. :-)

    Llanview76, you gave it a good ol’ college try, but what you’re describing is not a soap. It’s more like reality TV. (Personally, I loathe reality TV.)

    In fact, I’m not too fond of reality, in general. ;-)

  14. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    BTW, where did you get the idea Oprah’s “romance” with Stedman is “tortured”??? It’s one of the more stable relationships in showbiz! You really need to stop considering those crappy tabloids and gossip sites as gospel!

  15. Profile photo of emblazoned

    @ TV Gord: Btw, just wanted to say I don’t understand all the confusion/arguments about your comment of Oprah’s one soap show in the past decade. You were completely on point. Just because she had ONE show about soaps does not mean this woman is going put her or her brand at risk financially.

    I love OLTL and AMC leaps and bounds more than Oprah, but even if I had the money to keep the shows going, no way would I risk losing millions in the long run!

  16. Profile photo of aveRex

    Oprah’s network will not likely pick up these shows mostly because the premise of her network is to air programs that are primarily family oriented. Soaps are salacious and controversial and that goes against the branding of what OWN has set as its guide. OWN does air adult-style therapy-like programs in the evening that seems to be explicit in nature, but those shows air in the late evening. So I’m guessing that is why Oprah would decline moving AMC and OLTL to her channel. That aside, I’m sure if she did pick them up, they’d be the ratings leader for her network by far. Viewers would really rally around the shows and they’d get solid ratings. But it would not be enough to garner a profit when weighed with the costs of producing the shows. Despite OLTL coming in under budget, it doesn’t mean they were a profitable show.

    I posted on DaytimeRoyalty what a friend who works at Disney in Corporate Finance told me just days before the official announcement was released, and it all came to pass. He indicated that two shows would not survive because the loss of SoapNet took away the impressions that helped to keep them on-air. With SoapNet, each episode had 5 impressions (1 ABC Daytime + 4 SoapNet airings) which helped because they could sell commercials for each and not have any incremental costs. So revenue was stronger. Without SoapNet, the shows would air just once and they do not make enough ad revenue on the single airing. He said this was likely the reason CBS dumped the two P&G produced shows first, because they didn’t have an immediate redistribution channel (i.e. didn’t air on SoapNet) and while they may have aired in other countries, that required additional costs because the shows had to be re-dubbed with the local langauge or sub-titiles, etc. Bold & The Beautiful is unique because of its half-hour format. It can be syndicated fairly easy. But if you look at what we have, the remaining shows currently air on SoapNet except for B&B. What will happen when SoapNet goes away and Y&R / DAYS / GH will be left to stand on their own single network airing? Well I would bet these shows will likely not survive for many more years unless some drastic change happens.

  17. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    OWN is not tanking. All cable channels start off slow, and Oprah has anticipated that. She’s got something like a five-year plan, so they are in a building phase. I would think that was propaganda if it hadn’t been true for every other cable channel out there. No one gets great ratings out of the gate. If she wanted to pick up two soaps, that would probably require a bigger budget than everything else on OWN combined!

  18. Profile photo of craigcp

    If Oprah network is tanking, she ought to take another look at soaps, as I said the ratings aren’t bad for cable, and when ATWT & GL when they were canceled, again don’t get your hopes up, we were fed the same lies.

  19. Profile photo of Y2Jin99

    OWN is already a network? LOL I have no idea where it is then. lol I thought it was a new upcoming network that she would be involved with once she finished on ABC in May. LOL Does Comcast in Central NJ have OWN? If it does its news to me.

    What about web soaps? I see alot of famous daytime alumni doing those.
    How much do they get paid to do that?

    What sucks is they probably only do 1 ep a week if that.

    Forget it guys.

    We are screwed.

  20. Profile photo of Llanview76

    Y2Jin99 you bring up a great point, “what about web soaps”…personally I enjoy EMPIRE because I think they do some fun things and it’s fun to see Tina Sloan-McPherson go from playing a sainted nurse on GUIDING LIGHT to playing a real viper. Creators of websoaps have total control over their story and characters and each seem to have a unique style. I have watched VENICE too, it’s pretty good. If you have yet to watch one just keep in mind you have to stretch your credulity beyond the production values you have been used to with the network shows. Overall it’s still soap oera and it’s still satisfying.

  21. Profile photo of glowery

    While Oprah may be one of the richest women in a America, her assets are a drop in the bucket when compared to the money one of the “Big 3″ networks has to spend on progamming. No way, no how could a smaller network take on the cost of these shows.

    For soaps to survive, there would have to be a major overhaul on how they are produced. Hour long shows would have to go. Cast bloated shows would have to go. Filming in exotic locations for some story lines would have to go. The salaries of the cast would have to be slashed, and the list goes on an on. What you would have would in no way resemble what soaps are today.

    Guiding Light did everything possible to cut down on expenses when they moved to New Jersey to film the show. All of their sets were actually just one house with several revamped entrances. They cut down on the number of camera’s they used and many of the scenes were shot outside so as not to have as much expense in all the fancy lighting. That show did everything possible it could, and it is still gone.

    We are going to have to face the facts the years of any soaps are numbered and those are single digit numbers.

    What I don’t understand is the rating system and the age of the target market. If they are basing the audiences of newer shows on the same age audience, that audience is still working, they will still be recording shows if they want to watch them, and the rating numbers will still be low because those sets are not tuned in during their time slots.

    So it has to boil down just to the cost of production. You know the Mario Batalies of this world are not going to be paid the same salary as the Susan Luccis of this world. His wardrobe can be purchased at Wal-Mart.

    It is no longer about what an audience wants to see, it is all about what they want to force on us, no matter how bad or how cheap. It makes you wonder how long some of the networks themselves can survive when they are dishing up all of cr*p they have been serving of late.

  22. Profile photo of Dariclone

    I don’t think Opral will pick up our shows, but I’m glad Kirstie is speaking out. At least it will bring more attention to the perils soap opers are facing.

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