CRASH Diet: The Revolution Averaging One HALF of One Life to Live’s Audience From This Time a Year Ago!


How many television executives does it take to obliterate a daypart? In this case, the answer would be two — former ABC Daytime Chief Brian Frons, who micromanged the Mouse House daytime soaps into the ratings basement with his sexist, ageist agenda (firing actresses over 40; putting stripper poles on sets), and practice of employing incompetent friends (Chuck Pratt, Julie Hanan Caruthers); and his ex-boss Anne Sweeney, who made the rash decision to get rid of said soaps all in one fell swoop (GH would already be toast if it was up to her, according to my sources), instead of bringing in a more savvy, capable executive to try and salvage entertainment vehicles that have made ABC hundred of millions of dollars (if not billions) over the decades.

What's sad is, no one in the mainstream entertainment media is covering this story, save for Marc Berman of TV Media Insights. According to Berman's latest report, The Revolution, the slung together, weight loss/makeover hour that replaced One Life to Live amid a lengthy ratings surge for that sudser, was watched by only 1.44 million people the week of Jan. 30. That's half the audience OLTL averaged in the same timeslot one year ago with 2.85 million viewers.  
The Revolution has also lost about 50 percent of the numbers OLTL was getting among several key demos, such as women 25-54, W18-49 and W18-34, and is trailing timeslot competitor The Talk, which averaged 2.31 million viewers on CBS the week in question.

The Revolution's lead-in, The Chew, is also averaging less numbers than the soap it replaced, All My Children. However, at 2.23 million viewers, The Chew isn't quite the complete ratings disaster The Revolution is. You get what you pay for!

Photo of Tim Gunn by PR Photos

19 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Marland Fan
    Marland Fan

    OK, so The Revolution brings in half the audience of OLTL. But what about revenue? Remember, that’s all anyone cares about. With The Revolution being cheaper to produce, how does the profit it makes compare to OLTL? Anyone care to report THOSE numbers?

  2. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    @Cyberologist The fact that Disney’s cable channels are doing well has absolutely nothing to do with the daypart of ABC failing. If cable channels doing well meant a conglomerate need not worry about their broadcast network, then we wouldn’t see so many reports about the trouble NBC is in. Comcast-NBC Universal’s cable channels are doing much better than Disney’s. USA is the number one cable network, but that doesn’t keep the industry from being panicked over what’s going on at NBC.

    @MarlandFan The rhetoric ABC spouted ad nauseum to justify their soap cancellations has made even soap fans become apologists for their bad business. Yes, revenue is what they care about, but if your program is coming in at 50 percent lower in key demos, then that means your asking price for commercial airtime has been cut in half.

    ABC being able to produce these shows at 30-40 percent cheaper, but then having to shell out millions to promote them with pricey primetime advertisement spots and full page magazine ads, and then only being able to charge half of what they were making on OLTL, does not make for good business. ABC’s PR flacks touted that whole “cheaper to produce, easier to turn a profit” rhetoric, and much too many people, soap fans included, took it for gospel.

  3. Profile photo of pumpkin

    It is not just the day part of abc. They are known for producing dramas in great numbers and just running them half season or two seasons, short period of times. In panic mode they keep changing lineup and are losing viewers in droves. Disney/ABC need to split. It is like a merger who has two sides with different priorities. Disney promotes certain actors and spend good deal of time trying to figure out how to promote their disney parks, etc and the broadcast division just wants to stay afloat.

    Remember V among other fiascos. Hawaii 5-0 is very light in writing, etc. So how long will that be around. The old show had better detail/writing. This new show is fluff. Same with V. It is too bad another network did not have the rights just to run miniseries. It would have worked. ABC screwed with it. Shut out originals/bad decisions. I get scared at abc tackling anything. Top regime do not know what they are doing.

    OLTL going before GH is classic misstep. OLTL was classic soap and should have been last standing with Days/Y&R/B&B. I wonder what idiot backed that decision. Here is one more thing I think.The viewers of OLTL would have watched Katie Couric. I just don’t see the viewers of GH watching Katie Couric. I observed the overall board conversations and it seem GH fans will not stay for Katie. It is just my opinion.

  4. Profile photo of MsAgentProvocateur1

    Having done a ‘stint’ in TV behind the scenes…these numbers are like “Whoa!” I don’t care what ABC/Disney’s cable numbers are, the fact that it’s network has a show that has such shockingly low numbers has gotta have some people behind the scenes in panic mode– I don’t care what is being said in press releases and in public. If this were any other medium than broadcast television…but since it is, YIKES.

  5. Profile photo of Desertrose

    Good points, Jamey. How much longer will sponsors even bother to pay the reduced rates when no one is seeing them? Better to put those ads where they would get more eyeballs.(As in NOT on ABC daytime.)

    As to the line “Daytime soaps are a dying genre”…I call BS and always have. IF they are dying it’s only because they are being systematically killed. Good storytelling is timeless and will ALWAYS draw people in.

  6. Profile photo of robertson171

    Excellent article !!! This is GREAT news to me. ABC/Disney made a HUGE mistake to their daytime lineup !! Hello Hello Hello !!! ABC/Disney can you hear US NOW !!! We will not be watching your replacement shows !!! Did you hear ME this TIME ??

  7. Profile photo of Cyberologist

    thanks Jaimey I realize that ABC network & their Cable & their Movies & their Theme Parks are some of the separate entities under the Disney mega corporate umbrella was just saying….LoL

    but I didn’t know USA is the #1 cable network..

  8. Profile photo of Islandof1

    Last ratings report, B&B was up about 150,000 viewers!!! Guess they did not buy what ABC is selling. ABC should be eating a lot of crow, feathers and all – over their OLTL replacement.

  9. Profile photo of was512

    Re: Revenue

    I would be shocked if ABC promised advertisors a viewership of 1.44MM.

    If, in fact, they promised a much higher rating and viewership level, ABC has bigger revenue problem on their hands for the short-term. When a show doesn’t reach its promised rating, the network has to give make-good (i.e., free) advertisements to its advertising base to make-up for the viewership shortfall.

  10. Profile photo of GHfan-4now

    “how to style your dog” RIVETING TELEVISION!


    I guess my dog would be left out in the cold, cause he doesn’t like to be “styled”. Hell, he hardly likes to be brushed and bathed!

  11. Profile photo of mafelix86

    As to the line “Daytime soaps are a dying genre”…I call BS and always have. IF they are dying it’s only because they are being systematically killed. Good storytelling is timeless and will ALWAYS draw people in.

    I agree with that 1000% Desertrose!!! Don’t blame OJ, don’t blame hundreds of options on TV, don’t blame reality TV, don’t blame people not watching TV during the day for the declining ratings(although those were factors).

    Blame the headwriters, blame the EP’s, blame those in charge who have a contempt for the genre and purposely destroyed the genre. And also blame the fact that those in charge (EP’s, headwriters, etc) constantly ignore the fans, the very people who watch the soaps.

    It comes down to this: If you don’t give the fans what they want, they will leave. If you give the fans what they DON’T want, they will leave even faster!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Profile photo of esther

    I will never watch The Chew or The Revolution out of pure spite but they really don’t market The Revolution well. I show them dress people, people exercise, they’re sad I think? It’s all over the place. Is there a time lapse? Are they dressed all ugly while they’re exercising? How many months ago did they start beating these people into submission? I’ll never know or care because I refuse to watch Tye Pennington yell at me ever again. I’m sad Tim Gunn is on but I’ll live.

  13. Profile photo of soapster

    I would like for once for someone to show me some figures involved with the soap industry. All this taking about ratings means nada if we do not know the facts about the money. How much ad revenue was the soaps bringing in? Do we even have any idea the budget for the chew/revolution and is there a separate promotion budget allocated for each show.

    I believe I read someone that the shows are partnered/sponsered by certain corporations so that is an added bonus over advertising.

    Also it is not sad that mainstream media is covering this story because there really isn’t a story to cover as far as they are concerned tv shows get cancelled all the time. It’s not secret that the tv industry as a whole is taking a hit in the ratings department but the question is can a cheaper to produce and receiving half the audience of the show it replaced still be considered a success, I find that answer to be determined by which factors the networks are focused on.

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