All My Children’s Michael E. Knight: “Brian Frons Wanted to Get Rid of Me Probably Since ’05, ’06”

All My Children alum Michael E. Knight told the truth and shamed the devils, aka Brian Frons and Julie Hanan Caruthers, in a new interview with Soap Opera Digest (on newsstands now). The actor, who played the infamous Tad Martin on and off for almost 30 years, and is now appearing in the play The Cost of the Erection, admitted he felt AMC hadn't been properly managed for years.

 "I felt personally that our show had been mismanaged pretty severely for the last few years. You could just feel that the show was in the wrong hands. Agnes [Nixon, creator] had been pushed to the side and we had sort of lost her identity."

Knight goes on to say ABC should have realized a long time ago Frons shouldn't have been helming their daypart.

"The ratings kept going down and down and down, even though we were cutting drastically, and you'd think that any logical person would go, 'Maybe we have the wrong person there.' And ABC didn't."

Knight also didn't mince words about Hanan Caruthers. On what Tad became under the showrunner's disastrous tenure, he said:

"Under Julie [Hanan Caruthers, AMC's last executive producer], nothing was going on. I was sort of there for comic relief for about the last eight years on the show. You gotta know, Brian Frons wanted to get rid of me probably since '05, '06. I can't lay all the blame at his feet; my character had done everything there was to do on a soap and I had sort of gotten to the point where he was wallpapering over old wallpaper."

For more from Knight, pick up the Feb. 28, 2012 issue of Soap Opera Digest!

17 Responses

  1. Profile photo of SoapyBitch

    How depressing to work in that sort of toxic environment. The only saving grace of the failed attempt for AMC to go online is that thank the lord above that Julie Hannan Carruthers didn’t continue on. I had no faith whatsoever.

    I wonder if there were battles for Michael to dye his hair. I recall reading in in one of the soap mags that Jason Thompson (at that point) still wasn’t told by Jill Farren Phelps to dye, but I noticed that last year he started.

  2. Profile photo of The_Moustache

    since we’re talking about dyeing hair.

    was there ever a reason given for why Ronn Moss (Ridge on Bold & Beautiful) was full of grey on friday and then was jet black on monday? you know what i’m talking about.

    i didn’t mind the grey, it actually suited Ronn and the character of Ridge. i wonder if Brad suggested going back to black was better for the demos??

  3. Profile photo of sweetiepie

    Ron Moss looks rediculous with Jet Black hair when it is painfully obvious that he is at the appropriate age for grey hair. The same goes for Sonny on GH, ever so often you will see the grey in his temples and I wish they would let me go grey. It hasn’t hurt Eric Braedens portrayal of Victor Newman. Victor would be a douche no matter what. Somehow if you are old enough to have grown children, you are old enough for grey hair.

    Back to MEK, I had’nt watched AMC for years but occasionally I would turn it on just to see some of the familiar faces like Jessie and Angie. I did Notice the last time I flipped through the channels that Tad had gone grey, and it was refreshing to see him look age appropriate. Although it is sad that they had run out of storlines for him and reduced him to as he implies “comic relief”.

  4. Profile photo of jphelps

    You know I hate Frons but MEK was no longer Tad the cad.This was not just an issue with AMC but all the ABC soaps.GH worst of all but somehow they always get a free pass for how their vets were treated.

    I actually enjoyed Tad in his last year more than I had in years. His ‘romance’ with Cara a breath of fresh air. It’s a shame that AMC like most of the abc soaps struggled to keep aging characters viable while not relying on tired cliches or killing them off.

  5. Profile photo of Cyberologist

    How many people who were involved under the terror that was Brian Frons have said how horrible he was to ABC soaps its no secret that he disrespected the vets (there was a very short list of those under his protection); I’ve read terrible things about this man almost as soon as he took charge and the proof is in the pudding.

    I can’t see how writers can run out of story then it seems they are burnt out & need to be replaced their job is to provide storylines for the show that includes “all” characters that were hired. I can think of story for Tad Martin I wonder why they couldn’t.

    Just as I knew early on that Frons “vision” of toxicity was ruining the shows but (IMO) it was his blatent “favoritism” that sunk these shows he was hellbent on “my way”. He wouldn’t listen to what fans wanted & I’m not talking about these silly couples I’m speaking writing/storywise (how stories were executed).

    IA ABC didn’t see it but he did what the Mouse House wanted him to do. He alienated many viewers from these shows they weren’t coming back.

  6. Profile photo of MsAgentProvocateur1

    Unfortunately the daytime trades are littered with similar stories of disrespected veterans and it is a great shame. I agree with Cyberologist–any writer who values their craft and wishes for a true challenge would relish the opportunity to write a great story for such a proven talent. The Cara storyline is a perfect example, Michael played the role with a lot of humor & grace and he made it believable that a much younger woman could actually by degrees begin to fall in love with him. When you have a talented actor and use age/long history as an excuse as to why you can’t write a compelling storyline for a character– well, that’s just a bogus cop-out!

    This reminds me of Martha Byrne and ATWT. She has never discussed the specifics but from what she’s mentioned since the show’s cancellation, one gets the idea that she may have felt continually disrespected and finally decided to walk. Even when the actress who replaced her, suggested that Martha reprise her role for the series finale, Byrne nixed the suggestion.

    I don’t know why the execs behind Daytime Drama have such a history of disrespecting their veterans but it is a legacy that has obviously come back to bite a great many of our beloved shows.

  7. Profile photo of katy kennicott
    katy kennicott

    We all knew that AMC was being flushed down the toilet since Frons took over. Michael is a good actor and a nice guy. What a shame ABCD, Frons, and JHC ruined his character.

    I have always thought that Michael would make a good replacement for Regis Philbin. He’s smart, quick witted, funny, New York savvy and would be a good sport about the stunts they pull on LIVE w/Kelly. It’s true that the soaps are not making a comeback and this would be a way to showcase Michael’s incredible talents.

  8. Profile photo of The 7th Doctor
    The 7th Doctor

    At least 6 or 7 years ago (maybe longer) I sent an email to Soap Opera Digest hoping that, somehow, it might be seen by Agnes Nixon about what a HORRIBLE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Julie Hanan Caruthers was.

    It went something like this…

    “Dear Agnes

    Have you checked The Children? Under the watch of “foster parent” Julie Hanan Caruthers, your ‘kids’ have been suffering dearly…

    Suffering outlandish and repulsive story lines that disregard established history and insult viewers intelligence. Then there’s her treatment of fan faves such as “Dixie” (killed off, off screen for joining the cast of As The World Turns, only to be resurrected and, within months, killed off AGAIN in a ridiculous serial-killer story line) and Julia Barr (dropped to recurring, and then dropped from the canvas without a word or a flashback!).

    Dear Agnes, if you won’t come to the aid of your ‘Kids’ yourself, won’t you put in a call to Child Protective Services? An investigation is DUE!”

    Yes, soap killer, Brian Frons was apparently contracted by ABC to destroy the soaps, so most of the blame falls on him, but even so, One Life (Executive Produced by Frank Valentini) managed to bounce back from the HORROR of (then) head writer Dena Higley to craft some brilliant story lines and introduce some interesting new characters and give the vets equal opportunity to shine. JHC just let AMC languish until the bitter end. She must have known that Lorraine Broderick could spin CRAP into GOLD! Why wait until the final curtain to bring her back to the show? So she could try and undo 11+ years worth of damage?

  9. Profile photo of MsAgentProvocateur1

    [quote=appleridge]Martha byrne didn’t nix a return to ATWT in 2010. Noelle was cool returning the role to MB & she open to it but Chris Goutman said NO[/quote]

    Oh, okay. Goutman is a fool anyway. I guess from that impression from a an interview I read with Martha. She was pretty mum on the specifics though. At the time she didn’t appear to have much interest…perhaps because of Goutman. He didn’t appear to have been regarded much by most of the actors, the vets anyway. MB gave the impression that she had moved on…at the time of the interview she hadn’t watched the finale. I wonder if she ever did. I had stopped watching so I only watched finale on YT like last year.

    I agree w/ the poster who mentioned that MEK would be a great co-host to Kelly. He’s so witty and humorous.

  10. Profile photo of RealityCheck 33
    RealityCheck 33

    Chris Goutman is a douche bag that destroyed ATWT. He treated Scott Bryce like crap, just like Martha Byrne. Anyone who does that is an A-1 asshole in my book. Look what MAB did to Maura West on Y&R. MAB is a total bitch. Fuck her.

  11. Profile photo of Miry

    I also agree, I think that his fans (soap fans) should campaign to get him on there! They are all alumni of AMC, maybe Kelly would be open to it!!
    (though personally, I think she is having too much fun with her revolving door of celeb guests… & we all know who she would prefer to have as her co-host, her hubby).

  12. Profile photo of ldylkng

    To Katyk, I just emailed Livewithkelly, and made the suggestion! Maybe if enough of us did, it might happen. I love your idea!! Hopefully they were on great terms.

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