Good Afternoon America FLATLINES; Summer Talk Show Off One Life to Live’s W18-49 Demos by 70 PERCENT!

Sorry, ABC News division. Your plot to permanently snatch up an hour of ABC's daypart from Time Square Studios is seeming less likely to come to fruition with each passing ratings cycle. Good Afternoon America—the GMA spinoff ABC News rushed into production when they saw the first signs of weakness in The Revolution—is failing dismally, reports TV Media Insights.

Only 1.36 million total viewers tuned in for GAA the week of July 30. The limited-run series was off One Life to Live's numbers among the coveted women 18-49 demo by a devastating 70 percent. Things weren't much better for The Chew. While the foodie fest nearly tied CBS Daytime's The Talk in total viewers (1.89 million vs. 1.86 million), The Chew was off All My Children's W18-49 digits by 41 percent.  Network daytime talk show leader The View was watched by 2.58 million the week in question.

Let's face it, Brian Frons' plan to cut two long-running daytime soaps from The Mouse House dial, back-to-back, has blow up in ABC's face. The rhetoric that because these replacement vehicles are "40 percent cheaper to produce" and therefore more profitable, just doesn't ring true when they're doing such bad business among the very demo Madison Avenue covets most. If the soap slayers' logic was in fact sound, The Revolution would still be in production.

With the rights to All My Children and One Life to Live reverting back to Disney hands in January, I hope Vicki Dummer seriously considers rebooting those classic dramas as 30-minute, streamlined sudsers, with a heavily-monetized digital component. It's high time for ABC Daytime to stop Chewin' cud, and giving us bad Afternoons, and get back to producing a quality lineup! 

Photo credit: ABC 




34 Responses

  1. Profile photo of soapjunkie88

    I’m telling you, ABC could start produce a new soap opera – maybe a OLTL spin-off with some characters – and they would get a bigger audience than with this Good Afternoon America crap. Canceling two soap operas at once was the biggest mistake ABC ever made.

  2. Profile photo of pjc722

    Of course it is off by that much because for one thing there is ABSOLUTELY no promotion going on for the program like there is for KATIE.

    And, it’s a replacement show until GH takes it place. And that will be the news worthy story if GH can’t regain what they lost there. Time will tell but it will be tricky for GH so fingers crossed.

  3. Profile photo of Restless Fan
    Restless Fan

    It’s good news for all 4 remaining soaps. I’m sure CBS and NBC are paying close attention to what is happening at ABC right now. CBS soaps are clearly in the best shape ratings wise. If the new team at Y&R can bring the shows ratings up that would be most excellent news indeed.

  4. Profile photo of SwanQueen59

    I said this to some friends earlier. Oh to be able to have a “Superman” type “gift” that would allow one to slip into the corporate offices at ABC D, an invisible “fly on the wall”, listening and watching Anne Sweeney perhaps, sweatin’ in her three piece power suit and pearls. Second thoughts my dear? ;) This story is a thing of beauty, I say… 0:)

  5. Profile photo of Danny Ricci
    Danny Ricci

    I am so giddy that Good Afternoon America is failing. I am increasingly thinking that ABC is going to bring back AMC & OLTL in January. I just have one problem.

    Let’s say hypothetically (because this hasn’t happened yet), ABC cancels Good Afternoon America, The Chew, & Katie, and decides to bring back AMC & OLTL. What do Carlivati & Valentini do? On the one hand, they signed a contract for a specified length of time to write and produce GH. On the other hand, OLTL was the soap that they love.

    IF they go back to OLTL, that could be a devastating blow to GH. Bob Guza, anyone? The only good news is that JFP is now on Y&R, so she’s locked in. But I’m concerned nonetheless.

    Anyone who knows something about contract law care to weigh in here? Could Cartini go back to OLTL w/o General Hospital filing a lawsuit?

  6. Profile photo of Clifford

    Oh how the tide has turned in the fact that it’s now “ABC Daytime viewers” are taking pleasure in ABC’s TIIC’s pain versus vice versa this time last year.

    How’d that work out for ya ABC?


  7. Profile photo of brettyboy

    This is great news, but guys let’s be realistic, AMC and OLTL aint coming back; the best we can hope for is long term continuation of GH. I do however enjoy every article I read that reports poor ratings for anything ABC puts out except GH; I hate the mouse house now.

  8. Profile photo of keanna

    All I can say is that’s what ABC gets, it’s the second show in a row in that timeslot that has flop. ABC has NO ONE to blame but themselves. I would love for them to bring back AMC and OLTL, but it’s not happening.

  9. Profile photo of piqueroi

    Hopefully Anne Sweeney will be found walking the streets accompanied by Brian Frons begging for financial aid. The two of them have destroyed all but one hour of viewable ABC/D daytime programming. If the network were smart the mistake of canceling the soaps would be admitted and not only would GH stay but OLTL and AMC would be rebooted AND PROMOTED! Hearing that THE CHEW as well as GAA are ratings losers makes all of us who enjoyed soap operas hope ABC/D realizes its egregious decision to stop production of OLTL and AMC.

  10. Profile photo of dewlove

    Hi All…..Danny, there are many comments I want to make in reply to your post.

    There is absolutely no way AMC and OLTL are coming back to ABC Daytime in January. The sets, cast, crew, studio, etc for both shows would have to be signed before they can even begin taping.

    Regardless of how horrible the talk replacements are doing, ABC has decided that three soaps are too expensive to produce. There is perhaps .08% chance that they would bring back OLTL at some point next year or decide to do some sort of AMC-OLTL-GH hybrid (12 week cycles?), but I highly doubt it.

    The “success” of OLTL’s numbers last year MAY revive interest in Prospect Park giving it a go online again. If ABC wanted to invest in that and try to make money on the soaps without losing time on the day part, it might give them some success.

    The Chew is doing well enough in the ratings, considering their shoestring budget compared to a soap, so they aren’t going to be canceled anytime soon. Katie, though airing on many ABC stations, is a syndicated show and will air on many non-ABC affiliates throughout the nation. For instance, Katie is airing on the NBC affiliate here in Columbus, Ohio and the ABC affiliate is giving the 3:00 pm slot to Ricki Lake. So, Katie is going to be judged on how well it does across the board. While ABC (which is producing the show) is requesting that Katie be aired at 3:00 pm, it may air on some channels (at least eventually) in the middle of the night, in the morning, or even in the 2:00 pm slot against GH. My point is, we can’t compare “Katie’s” success to GH in the 3:00 pm timeslot since Katie is airing on different channels at possibly different times. I think on her name alone, and with the “all-in” mentality of ABC, she will get through at least one full season (and at least a retooled second season), so she’s not going anywhere anytime soon and she’s certainly not going off the air before she even airs. It’s simply wishful thinking to believe that her disappearance, and The Chew’s cancellation, would lead to a return of AMC and OLTL.

    “General Hospital” couldn’t file a lawsuit if your scenario of Cartini returning to an ABC aired OLTL did come true. GH is owned by ABC as is One Life to Live. The only contract issue would be if Prospect Park got the green light to continue OLTL online. Cartini was released from their Prospect Park contracts when their plans fell through and were allowed to sign their GH contracts. ABC would either have to do the same, allow them to do both shows, or keep them from moving to PP/OLTL.

    I personally think the best thing for the ABC soaps, INCLUDING GH, would be to have ABC support Prospect Park more in bringing the shows online. Produce them in 12 or 16 week cycles, cut back on the cast (but keep the vets!), and promote the hell out of them on the ABC talk shows. The cycles can give producers, writing team, and cast plenty of time to prepare for taping and to craft the best shows as possible. Meanwhile, ABC could create a niche broadcasting arm that they could make alot of money on. If redo’ing the soaps ends up successful, they can partner with Prospect Park to have them carry pilots that ABC is considering (or passed on) and old series produced by ABC Studios. They could also create reunions or remakes of classic Touchstone/ABC Studios shows like Home Improvement, Blossom, Boy Meets World, GCB, Moonlighting, My So Called Life, The Golden Girls (a remake seems sacreligious but if Lifetime’s remake of Steel Magnolias does well, ABC could consider), and any other show in their library. It might be an good idea where ABC can capitalize on a built-in audience,just like with the soaps.

  11. Profile photo of The_Moustache

    i’m curious, weren’t people starting to watch OLTL BECAUSE it was cancelled and people wanted to watch the final months??

    what are Good Afternoon America’s numbers compared to OLTL’s from 5-10 years ago???

  12. Profile photo of Danny Ricci
    Danny Ricci

    Okay. Thanks for the reply dewlove. Obviously I was on a bit of a excitement high there. I don’t actually believe they’d come back immediately. I do think however, at some point in the somewhat distant future, they could feasibly return. Two other things I’d like to say:

    1. 12 week cycles of each show on ABC would be wonderful. I’d watch it, as I’m sure many others would.

    2. I do not think any form of going back to PP would be good. I just feel like we’ve been down that road, and it won’t work. If they couldn’t get it done before, why would things be different now?

  13. Profile photo of Clifford

    So GAA pulled in 1.36 million viewers for the week off July 30, 2012.

    These are ratings stats I found off of from the week of January 5, 2008 (4 and half years ago)

    1. Y&R 3.8
    2. B&B 2.7
    3. Days 2.1
    4. GH 2.1
    5. ATWT 2.0
    6. AMC 2.0
    7. OLTL 2.0
    8. GL 1.5

    I think these numbers were still “high” for OLTL then versus the 1.36 GAA is pulling. If the viewers aren’t there then the sponsors are concerned where they are spending their advertising dollars. More expensive to produce or not, without viewers everybody loses and ABC is losing out big time. The “lies” that were told at the time of AMC and OLTL cancellation is that the public demands “different” viewing programs, they want to be informed, not entertained…. um, where exactly is that audience because ABC sure hasn’t found them. Hence the backpedaling of possibly canceling GH and now promoting moving it to its new time slot. It’s always true in all business, someone at the top with power makes big decisions (let’s fire all these people and we’ll “save” money) and then they take their big bonus for the cleanup and head out the door as the fallout from their poor decisions begins. How would my grandmother put it, oh yes, “Tisk, Tisk, Tisk….shame on you.”

  14. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    1. Y&R 3.8
    2. B&B 2.7
    3. Days 2.1
    4. GH 2.1
    5. ATWT 2.0
    6. AMC 2.0
    7. OLTL 2.0
    8. GL 1.5
    These were the household demo points, not an abbreviation of how many total viewers were watching. Y&R was watched by well over 5 million total viewers back then. 1.36 million is 1,360,000, GAA’s household demo isn’t 1.36.

  15. Profile photo of The_Moustache

    [quote=Clifford]How sad is it that 4.5 years there were 8 soaps airing … and now there are only 4. :~[/quote]

    and by this time next year, more than likely only 3 or 2 will remain.


  16. Profile photo of GHvetfan

    I think it would be too expensive to restart either OLTL or AMC. They broke down the sets and the crews have hopefully found new jobs. It might work if they brought more characters from those shows to GH and expanded that show to 2 hours.

  17. Profile photo of Mets82

    I’ll stand by this. I think Frons and Sweeney a lot of other executives have been brainwashed into thinking reality tv is the way to go. Look at the promotion for The Chew, The Revolution compared to OLTL and AMC? But you know whats happening? Its biting them in the ass because The Revolution and GAA are failing.
    I do have a question. How come The Talk isnt affected? I mean if there drawing the same ratings as The Chew, is The Talk in good shape? Because if The Chew is trouble, then I would think The Talk is too.

  18. Profile photo of Chelley62

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens to The Talk when GH switches to 2 pm. Currently The Talk runs at 2 pm in the Ft Myers, FL area. I’ll be happily turning the channel from CBS to ABC at 2PM come Sept 10.

  19. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    [quote=ER Writer]Its the One Life Curse, the time slot is haunted :)[/quote]

    I hope not, since GH moves there in a month. :-/

    The hosts are just horrible. Lara Spencer was nothing to me but a Barbie-doll from one of those Entertainment Tonight ripoff shows, where she never said anything of substance and just had generic intros for other people’s pieces (“I’m Lara Spencer and here’s tonight’s spotlight story that you HAVE to see”). Really, Lara? That’s the extent of your contribution? Those intros could have been recorded 20 years ago in some Stepford Wife host factory.

    Josh Elliott was absolutely unknown to me until GAA started, and he immediately started talking about his daughter, Serena, as though we were all supposed to know who she is? For the first week or so, I thought he was living with Serena Williams. :-| It also annoys the hell out of me that he introduces their little YouTube segment by saying they, “scoured the intra-webs”. Okay, “intra-webs” might be funny for one day, but to say it every single day (especially when a lot of people are aware that there is actually something called the “intranet”, which has nothing to do with YouTube videos) was hoary and hokey after one day! They both seem way too smug and unlikable to hook an audience.

    I think anyone who was worried that this show would be anything more than the summer replacement show that ABC said it would be, you have nothing to worry about.

  20. Profile photo of ABCJunky73

    I have and still continue to boycott ABC!! From their daytime talk show garbage to their prime-time line-up!!! I’ve tried to watch GH (which I’ve stated before that I don’t watch because of the mob BS), but even with Todd, Starr and John on there, it’s not the same!! Words can’t explain how much I miss OLTL. I’ve been watching retro OLTL shows on You Tube just to get my fix.

    Also, I’ve wondered what would be going on right now if OLTL wouldn’t have been cancelled. What would Clint and Vicki’s wedding have been like? Would Kim or Echo try to stop it for some weird reason. Would Rex, Gigi and Shane be there What would it have been like to see Mathew and Destiny raise little Drew while juggling collage, and Bo and Nora being grandparents, what would that have been like? I would have like to see Bree, Ryder and Liam grow up. Would Jessica finally find happiness and love. I would have loved to see Natalie’s reaction to John telling her that he kissed Sam on GH. What would Roxy be doing right now? And most of all, how would Victor Jr escape and Todd reaction that he really didn’t kill his twin!! All this goes threw my head. Also on AMC, who did Jr really shoot? Was it Erica, Bianca, someone else or did he commit suicide!! I want to know!!

    Anne Sweeney should be fired and Brian Frons should be held responsible for destroying ABC Daytime. Not only did they cancel two beloved soap operas, but destroyed a network! We as loyal ABC daytime viewers have clearly spoken by boycotting ABC’s daytime trash! And the only one to blame is Sweeney and Frons!! The only way to salvage ABC daytime is to get rid of Sweeney and every executive at ABC, start fresh, get people in there that really do care not just what Nielsen viewers want, but what all viewers want to see! they need to reboot daytime TV. I agree that they should do a AMC & OLTL spin-off, two 30 minute shows, streamline them on the web and for God sakes, the frickin’ Nielsen Ratings should be redone to include online viewing!! If they do this, they just might notice that viewers are watching ABC again! Or if anything, ABC should give the rights to AMC and OLTL back to Agnes Nixon so she can shop them to networks not owned by ABC!!

    Thank you for letting me get on my soapbox and vent!!!

  21. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    Friday’s GAA was like a parody of itself. First, Lara Spencer’s EXCLUSIVE phone interview with Alf (yes, ALF!) started Alf asking Lara how their ratings are! Mmmph! Priceless! She went glassy-eyed and said they were okay and looked off camera.

    Later, when they were discussing the week’s news with two guests, they led off with Elton John calling Madonna names, and guest David Allan Grier said, “THIS is NEWS???”, and immediately started firing off other more newsworthy stories (primarily, the Olympics). The crowd cheered. Even Lara and Josh had to clap (they couldn’t be the only ones NOT clapping). The director wisely went to a wide shot, so you couldn’t see the hosts faces go red.

    If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was watching Fernwood 2Night. :-D

  22. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    Not to come to her defence or anything, but why should Anne Sweeney be fired? It’s not as though ABC would ever let her bring back AMC or OLTL. It seems to me she’s doing what she can. And sure, The Revolution and GAA are disasters, but the history of daytime is strewn with disasters (soaps included).

  23. Profile photo of thecourt99

    All the talk about the time slot is making me wonder. When GH moves to the OLTL slot, the ratings will be compared to OLTL a year ago, correct? So does that mean when GH and OLTL are compared side by side that GH will start out the gate with a ratings decline when compared to the previous year? Which may potentially mean that GH will remain in a precarious situation? Along those lines, the new show will be compared to GH old rating, so they have a better chance of comparative success?

  24. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    The new show (Katie, in most markets) won’t be compared the same way to GH in the 3pm timeslot, because as of September 10th, that current network slot will become a local affiliate timeslot. It would be like comparing apples and oranges. For instance, when Port Charles ended in 2003, ABC turned that half-hour over to the affiliates to program as they wish. The ratings of the new syndicated or expanded news shows were not compared to the network show that aired the year before. It was as though the affiliates hit a ‘reset button’ on that timeslot.

    GH will be compared to GAA and The Revolution in that 2pm timeslot, though, because it will be network show versus network show. Hopefully, GH will prove to be a solid performing versus the sorry numbers that GAA has rightfully earned.

  25. Profile photo of thecourt99

    Why wouldn’t GH be compared to OLTL? Is the standard comparison week over week and year over year for the time slot? So the YOY comparison would be against OLTL until we come to the point where OLTL ends, at which point YOY will be against the Revolution. I understand the change for the 3pm time slot, but not the 2pm.

  26. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    There’s no reason to not compare GH to OLTL, except that OLTL has been off more than a year. Most of the time, ratings are compared year over year at the most. I’m sure people who want to will make the comparisons from soap to soap.

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