Erika Slezak on AMC and OLTL Getting Axed: “ABC Has Let So Many People Down By Cancelling These Two Shows”


Erika Slezak never shies away from voicing her opinions on the state of daytime and One Life To Live. In an interview with Smashing Interviews Magazine, the legendary actress discusses her take on why Prospect Park's deal to resurrect All My Children and OLTL collapsed. She also shares how she feels about The Chew and The Revolution.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What is your opinion about how Prospect Park has handled things so far?

Erika Slezak: I think they had all good intentions. I think they really wanted this to work. But, and how do I phrase this, they’re Hollywood people. In Hollywood, things are done quite differently. You get your actors, your script, director and producer together, and then you get the money. In daytime, you have to have all the money up front (laughs). I think that was their difficulty.

They really did not have any idea of the scope of the work that is required to put a daytime show on. But, I think that their intentions were wonderful, and I was so excited when they said they wanted to do this because I thought, “This would be wonderful to open up a whole new medium for original programming.” It has worked for so many people and has been entertainment for so many people.

When I started on One Life to Live, we had four channels – ABC, NBC, CBS, and Channel 13, and then FOX came along. All of a sudden, cable came along, and now the choices are so enormous that to add the Internet to that makes it even better. So, I think their intentions were really good, and I’m very sorry it didn’t work because the loss of jobs is just horrendous.

I’m not too pleased with ABC. ABC has let so many people down by cancelling these two shows. It’s all about money. I understand that. But, how much money are they going to make with The Chew and The Revolution? I don’t know if anybody is watching The Chew. The problem is they’re all trying to be television personalities. They scream and laugh and they talk over each other, and it makes it impossible to watch. I’ve said this to one of their producers. I asked, “Can’t they just speak one at a time?” He said, “No, no, no, they can’t do that. They have to show enthusiasm.” But, you can’t understand them and you can’t hear them.

The reason that ABC … when I spoke to Brian Frons, he said, “People don’t want entertainment anymore. They want information.” I disagree with that. I think there’s plenty of information out there to be gotten. If you want it, you can find it anywhere, but entertainment is something different, and there are people who have spent their lives sitting down for an hour in the middle of the afternoon when the babies were little or when they’ve just had lunch, and they’ve watched entertainment. They don’t want to watch a cooking show.

Sister Slezak, keep on testifying the gospel! To find out Slezak's thoughts on if the shows will ever return and what's going on with PP now, click here.

36 Responses

  1. Avatar of keanna
    keanna

    This is why I love, Erika!!! As always well-said and right on!!!

    She’s right these execs say people don’t want to be entertain anymore really, look at all the sporting events that get high ratings, shows like NCIS, that still get high ratings. These people are so misguided. All these networks on cable and satelite nowadays, if you want either or you can find it. If I want recipes, exercise, and guidance, there are networks that I turn to for that, I don’t need it to watch on daytime. These soaps were around for years for a reason, and she’s right, when she said that she doubts ABC will make with the Chew and Revolution. To add, like Ryan-Scott said, people want to escape from the bad stuff happening and soaps were always an escape, but people don’t want depressing stuff, look at GH’s ratings. We want good, light, and sometimes over the top, storytelling.

  2. Avatar of SwanQueen59
    SwanQueen59

    Wonderful read. Honest and well said. She’s a daytime jewel and I wil miss
    her. I’d love to see her catch on with another soap (maybe not Y&R
    though. ;) They’ve got enough!)… 0:)

  3. Avatar of The_Moustache
    The_Moustache

    love her!

    but why is she suddenly speaking out about her outrage now?

    she should have been this vocal for the past 10 years of the show when it yo-yo’d around in quality.

  4. Avatar of Jon
    Jon

    I hate the screaming and talking over each other too. That’s why I only watch The View when there’s a guest I’m interested in. I’ve never seen The Chew or The Talk. I couldn’t care less about The Revolution. It’s NOT all about me…That promotion line makes me wanna hurl!

  5. Avatar of liason4real
    liason4real

    Thanks for the ES article.

    I thought Catherine Hickland stated that there was some kind of a gag order that kept the AMC and OLTL crews from speaking out against ABC and PP?

  6. Avatar of giogio
    giogio

    Thank you Erika for saying this. I was very surprised that we didnt hear more from any of the other actors. She said it straight. Love her for it. We are in pain here. And they are also. Its nice that she spoke cause it consoles not only the fans but the actors themselvess.

  7. Avatar of mannym716
    mannym716

    Slezak could read a phonebook, I would sit and watch/listen.

    The_Moustache those were not the words of an outraged woman, per say, they’re the words a true professional. And as a professional in the entertainment industry you are often bound by contract, which may include what you may or may not be able to say. She, like many other unfortunately unemployed actors need their paychecks and you don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you.

    Slezak’s has offered up the best summation of this fiasco.

    I can’t believe there are only 9 days left.

  8. Avatar of soapfan616
    soapfan616

    A classy woman. In an age when people get famous for having porn tapes and 15 minute publicity marriages, it’s nice to know we still have some entertainers who know the value of being entertained, and the quiet dignity that comes from being a class act.

    The Chew spews vomit so no one will need a revolution for a diet. We just need a maid to help clean up the mess on ABC daytime.

  9. Avatar of blake3b
    blake3b

    Totally agree with EVERYTHING she said! There are cooking shows and weight loss shows on so many different channels, and it’s so true that at lunch time you want to escape and not watch a show you can watch anywhere else. There are not any soaps anywhere else especially during the daytime.

    I’m curious of what The Chew’s ratings will be now that the holidays are done. The ratings have to suck the rest of the 9 months of the year. I seriously hope that their ratings and the Revolutions ratings tank so bad and anything else that replaces the soaps that were cancelled, GL and ATWT included!

  10. Avatar of giogio
    giogio

    An after thought. If Frons has said people want information, speaking for myself, does that mean from the minute I wake up in the morning till the minute I go to bed, all I am hungry for is information??? Thats why we have the internet and a million cable channels. Its bull. Who wants to hear people BS all day. Not me. I dont even want to hear my family half the time. I loved getting lost in soaps, loved, loved, loved it!! And he cant tell me and probably everyone else on these boards different.

  11. Avatar of SoapyBitch
    SoapyBitch

    I have been missing ratings, rants, and raves these past few weeks. I too want to know how The Chew is doing with some analysis in context to soaps. I keep seeing headlines that note The Chew’s largest ratings to date every other week and I have to roll my eyes. Is that in the age group fetuses – 16 months? I really wanted it to flame out completely and that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  12. Avatar of OldGHFan
    OldGHFan

    Always classy. I love how both her and Susan Lucci finally spoke up about ABC and Frons. I’m sad for ABC Daytime and hope Slezak finds a show that values entertainment.

  13. Avatar of Ryan-Scott
    Ryan-Scott

    Preach it Erika! Such a professional! (And I LOVE her dad’s appearance on Batman!)
    We WANT to be entertained and forget about the problems of the world. People can turn on the news or General Hospital to get depressed. We want romance. We want characters. We want good story.
    I, for one, am not interested in cake recipes, exercise, and everything those 2 shows offer. They are just copy cats. No innovation here especially with the internet which can find a lot of the info these shows are pushing.

    As for PP, I appreciate the effort but I say what Cady McClain said. PP SHOULD NEVER have had the power to dictate that the shows end with cliffhangers when it was never a done deal. Never. “What a shit” as my friend Angela says.

    My heart breaks for the casts and crews who are out of jobs now. I know from personal experience unemployment not by your own choice is not fun to say the least. They are all in my thoughts.

  14. Avatar of goyankees
    goyankees

    Reason 9,752 why Fronz is a flaming asshole. America “wants Information, not Entertainment”??

    Then, Fronz, you FLAMING, FLAMING, FLAMING ASSHOLE, Explain Why Idol, DWTS ,The Bachelor, Two and a Half Men, and ABC’S NEWEST ‘INFORMATION’ BLOCKBUSTER “Revenge” are the top shows on TV????

    FLAMING. ASSHOLE!!!!

    And yes. We’re smart enough to realize REVENGE is a prime-time SOAP. (That entertains. Hardly informs me…..but I love it)

    Boycott these rip off shows. Seriously.

  15. Avatar of giogio
    giogio

    Frons dosent care what we or anyone else has to say about him cause he dropped his bomb and is now gone. But where ever he is, he knows people dont like him. I dont care how much money you have, or how successful you are, if you are disliked, you have nothing. I couldnt imagine how it must feel to be starting your day, knowing you are responsible for the demise of 2 40 plus years iconic soap operas. If it wasnt his doing totally, he would have said so. Instead he was smug, arrogant and full of himself explaining why he thought it was necessary to do this. What goes around comes around.

  16. Avatar of Coffee_Junkie
    Coffee_Junkie

    She should just go to Y&R. Apparently all you have to do to get a contract there these days is call them up and say, “I wanna job.”

    All my Young and Restless Children gets deleted off my DVR this week. Thanks MAB, for completely turning off this THIRTY year viewer in record time.

  17. Avatar of
    matealestlmo

    [quote=liason4real]I thought Catherine Hickland stated that there was some kind of a gag order that kept the AMC and OLTL crews from speaking out against ABC and PP?[/quote]

    I think that may have been before they were done taping their final episodes. That may be what she’s referring to.

  18. Avatar of
    matealestlmo

    [quote=blake3b]I’m curious of what The Chew’s ratings will be now that the holidays are done. The ratings have to suck the rest of the 9 months of the year. I seriously hope that their ratings and the Revolutions ratings tank so bad and anything else that replaces the soaps that were cancelled, GL and ATWT included![/quote]

    Unfortunately, the show that replaced GL will now be doing a cross-over between “Lets Make a Deal” and B&B. What the frick was Brad Bell thinking?! He just slapped daytime fans in the face by doing this cross-over promotion between both of these shows. I for one will not watch the episode where Wayne Brady makes an appearance on B&B. Last June, I had a war of words with Wayne Brady on twitter and put that man on the defensive. He shot himself in the foot big time when he hosted the Emmy’s last year with his opening remarks. What an ass!

  19. Avatar of blake3b
    blake3b

    [quote=matealestlmo][quote=blake3b]I’m curious of what The Chew’s ratings will be now that the holidays are done. The ratings have to suck the rest of the 9 months of the year. I seriously hope that their ratings and the Revolutions ratings tank so bad and anything else that replaces the soaps that were cancelled, GL and ATWT included![/quote]

    Unfortunately, the show that replaced GL will now be doing a cross-over between “Lets Make a Deal” and B&B. What the frick was Brad Bell thinking?! He just slapped daytime fans in the face by doing this cross-over promotion between both of these shows. I for one will not watch the episode where Wayne Brady makes an appearance on B&B. Last June, I had a war of words with Wayne Brady on twitter and put that man on the defensive. He shot himself in the foot big time when he hosted the Emmy’s last year with his opening remarks. What an ass![/quote]

    I saw that B&B was doing that and I’m shocked! And i’m glad you had that Twitter war with Wayne, he does come across as a jerk. Doesn’t he know he’s a joke anyway? People have made fun of him for a year.

  20. Avatar of marybee50
    marybee50

    Ms. Slezak is so classy.She is so right about all the people who have been affected by this.The people who lost jobs,and the fans who were so wrongly dismissed.However,I work in retail with a breakroom TV,and it is mostly on the food network or the game show channel.I do not understand this.There are a mixture of ages and this is what they watch.I don’t stay there,for I don’t care for these things.I’m afraid that maybe this is what is popular now.Somethihg you don’t have to invest in.I saw recently where some of the night time soaps,i.e. Revenge,have lost some of their ratings.

    Anyway,Jan 13th will be the last time I have to watch ABC.GH is already dead to me,so Y&R,B&B,and Days will be my daytime shows.My heart breaks after every OLTL,knowing how much I will miss the show and everyone connected with it.

  21. Avatar of Katiebug9624
    Katiebug9624

    I’m a foodie and I’ll admit to loving Diners Drive ins and Dives, Chopped, or cupcake wars but honestly those shows aren’t really “informational” they are technically entertainment. Chopped and cupcake wars are kind of a game show you don’t learn how to cook the dishes they make the chefs compete against each other, and with DD&D well I’ll never go to all those places but I like food so I enjoy seeing the different kinds of places Guy goes to.

    And that shows that Frons is an idiot. He can’t tell the difference between entertainment and information. Not everyone wants to watch talk shows anymore because thats basically all these new shows are.

    I’d also lastly like to comment that Erika never got enough credit from ABC as I was growing up you heard a lot about Susan Lucci and Luke & Laura but in my 12 year old mind, Erika Slezak or “Vicki Buchanan” was “IT” there was no topping that woman and its a crime against acting that she isn’t going to be seen on the air anymore.

  22. Avatar of DrChuckTyler
    DrChuckTyler

    Why do the hosts of The Chew have to show enthusiasm and be loud when talking to each other? It sounds like they’re doing their best to TRY to entertain us. I don’t know why. According to Brian Frons the viewers don’t want entertainment, only information.

  23. Avatar of Llanview76
    Llanview76

    [quote=Katiebug9624]I’d also lastly like to comment that Erika never got enough credit from ABC as I was growing up you heard a lot about Susan Lucci and Luke & Laura but in my 12 year old mind, Erika Slezak or “Vicki Buchanan” was “IT” there was no topping that woman and its a crime against acting that she isn’t going to be seen on the air anymore.[/quote]

    Very true Katiebug, but I do have to say this that the mainstream media has a way of just ruining things…and I like to think of Erika as an independent talent, otherwise humorist David Sedaris would have never had this awesomely sincere testimony of her work:
    ” I then took to wheeling in a big colortelevision so that we might spend an hour watching One Life to Live. This was back when Victoria Buchanan passed out at her twentieth high-school reunion and came to remembering that rather than graduating with the rest of her class, she had instead hitchhiked to New York City, where she’ d coupled with a hippie and given birth to a long-lost daughter. It sounds far fetched, but like a roast forsaken in the oven or a rescheduled dental appointment, childbirth is one of those minor details that tends to slip the minds of most soap opera characters. It’s a personality trait you’ve just got to accept.On General Hospital or GuidingLight a similar story might come off as trite or even laughable. This, though, was One Life to Live, and no one could suddenly recall the birth of a child quite like Erika Slezak.”

  24. Avatar of Llanview76
    Llanview76

    Also…people tend to recall all the infamous things Erica Kane and Luke and Laura Spencer did but not HOW they did them like with Slezak. Like for instance people will mention Erica Kane then comment on how many times the character has been married; with Luke and Laura…first thing that comes to mind is their many adventures leading up to their wedding but nothing too further; but first thing that comes to mind with Victoria Lord, are her alters and how well as an actress Slezak took you into that character’s world and her struggles…you always hear about how talented she is for pulling that off.

  25. Avatar of blake3b
    blake3b

    I too will stop watching ABC for good after OLTL is off next week. Actually OLTL is the only thing on ABC that I do watch. I believe I will start watching Days from now on, and maybe Y&R and B&B if they get better again.

  26. Avatar of Llanview76
    Llanview76

    Blake…I have been considering the soaps that are left…I would even consider GENERAL HOSPITAL because I believe Frank and Ron can do something fun with it and I keep hoping they will write Dr. Monica and Nurse Bobbie back on then I would watch in a heart beat…but I don’t know, people have a lot of disdain for that show, and I don’t blame them given the way the previous production team treated the vets and flooded the canvas with all these characters, mostly mafia. I honestly believe Frank and Ron could restore it a little of the legay back in this once popular soap.

  27. Avatar of goyankees
    goyankees

    I wouldn’t consider GH one bit. All it will leave you with is it’s ending countdown a year from today. ABC doesn’t deserve your Neilson Ratings. (I’m in the current Minority. Always love my Y&R….there’s your route!)

  28. Avatar of nroeder68@gmail.com
    nroeder68@gmail.com

    :(( I have just read this and not only am I crying, now I can’t even look forward to seeing AMC and OLTL on-line? Oh, come on now…get real, no one has the sense God gave them to pick these 2 shows up and run? Money maker, money maker…….hello? I am disabled from 6 back surgeries and am on high powered meds. and can figure this one out….come on now ppl with $$$$$!? GET IT TOGETHER! I am 43 and have been watching these shows my whole life…they r like my extended family. I am stuck at home, kid is in school, and these soaps take me out of my own suffering and help me. PLEASE FIGURE IT OUT!

    Nikki |( |(

  29. Avatar of Llanview76
    Llanview76

    [quote=goyankees]Y&R….there’s your route!)[/quote]

    I considered the Abbots and the Newmans of Genoa City, because I actually live in Wisconsin so I find it amusing Y&R portrays our state and it’s people in such a “glamorous” way. However, I am really shocked that Kay Alden isn’t head writing that show. I mean, wasn’t she Bell’s protegé, plus she went to UW-Madison!

  30. Avatar of Katiebug9624
    Katiebug9624

    Llanview76 you are so right! The mainstream press just never gave Erika her due either. I always thought of Erika as a Broadway performer and in hollywood they rarely get respect. But its very true what you said about remembering the things she has done like with her alters or when she was locked in the secret room those moments stick out in our minds were as with certain other actors/characters we remember the things they did but not exactly how.

    I think this is a problem with NY vs Hollywood. Just yesterday I found out Taylor Swift was cast in a movie version of Les Mis over Broadway performers basically people are saying “she has star power” but all I kept thinking was “she’s going to ruin that part” I guess we all have our likes/dislikes.

  31. Avatar of goyankees
    goyankees

    I agree, a new head writer would be nice….. I just love my Genoa City Peeps (minus a certain few)…. and I KNOW People are tired of the AMC cast off’s coming to town (I have no qualms. I especially am thrilled to see MCE!)

    But…. Wouldn’t Erika Slezak make a FABULOUS addition…. as the mother (cuz we’re hearing so much her lately) of…. PHYLISS!? Truth be told, THAT is a dream.

  32. Avatar of aveRex
    aveRex

    As soaps are continuing to dwindle, I don’t plan to watch GH. I’ve not watched that show in years, and I’m just not interested in going back to that, especially since it will most surely be cancelled soon. After One Life, I’m down to just Y&R and Bold & the Beautiful. I do not and will not watch anything else on network daytime TV. Outside of the soaps, it is CNBC that gets my viewer support.

  33. Avatar of Angie Lucy
    Angie Lucy

    Goyankees, Phyllis doesn’t deserve a mother as powerhouse as Erika Slezak. Since we’re playing make believe, let her be John Abbott’s sister, one who’s been in Europe this whole time but now wants to reunite with the family and the matriarch they need. Heck, maybe Jack, Ashley and Tracy have visited her over the years off-screen, so no introductions really need to be made other than to Billy. She could also be a frenemy of Katherine’s. Alas, ES would just drown on Y&R with all of the other big name stunts.

  34. Avatar of Dariclone
    Dariclone

    I absolutly adore Erika Sleazak! Thank you so much for posting this interview. I agree with everything she said one hundred percent!
    By thw way, I agree with everything gigogo said in post number 11.

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