Tune In For 'Who Shot The Daytime Soap?' Tonight on TVGN






What exactly brought about the near-destruction of the daytime television soap opera? Associated Television International hopes to answer that question and more with their new documentary Who Shot The Daytime Soap? airing tonight at 8 pm EST on TVGN.

Several of daytime's biggest stars and pundits weighed in on what led to the cancellations of so many of our beloved sudsers back-to-back-to-back. I was afforded a sneak peek of the labor of love and think soap fans will be fascinated by what the insiders had to say. Be sure to tune in for Who Shot The Daytime Soap? tonight on TVGN.


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Member since:
16 October 2008
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2 days 9 hours

My DVR will record this and the O'Reilly Factor right after Y&R! It looks good.

lfad's picture
Member since:
17 March 2010
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A combination of bad writing, viewers' changing lifestyles, viewers becoming more sophisticated, viewers' tastes changing and network interference? I don't know, I better tune in.

Thanks for the reminder, TVGN is not on my radar. My tv guide says it's on right now, must be an early preview.

Member since:
23 February 2009
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1 day 15 hours

I can't believe they have Max Ehrich and Michael Muhney as commentators in the documentary lol! I can just see myself rolling my eyes when they come on my screen

Member since:
26 July 2011
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I'm see if there some clips on youtube later, because AT&T U-Verse doesn't carry this channel, but it does look good though.

Member since:
23 February 2009
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Here is a link to a promo & an interview with the producer of this docu

http://www.tvguide.com/News/Preview-TVGN-Soaps555-5555.aspx

Member since:
28 January 2009
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5 hours 26 min

Network interference pushing their agendas and big sponsors like P&G wanting out of the soap game had a major part in it. Recycling failed EP's and HW's was also an issue. Too much emphasis on focus groups who are typically the loud minority voice. Some say soaps took too long to change with the times but I think a bigger issue was they strayed too far from the formula that made them so popular to begin with. Just look at how GH strayed from the winning formula of family, community, the hospital, adventure to shove mobsters down our throats every day. Even with changing lifestyles people would've tuned their VCRs or DVRs to watch quality programming.

SoapArmageddon's picture
Member since:
22 January 2011
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54 min 31 sec

The networks, the networks, and the networks killed those shows.

Member since:
14 April 2011
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Max Ehrich is on it? Really? I don't like him at all as Fen.

I wonder if this is going to be network b.s. like it was when AMC and OLTL got cancelled or are they really going to tell the truth?

brettyboy's picture
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28 July 2012
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4 hours 36 min

Just watched the preview, looks really interesting!

Member since:
28 July 2010
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Reasons: A fragmentation of the television universe (more channels), fewer people watching at home during the day, poor writing, and more sophisticated audiences.

soapjunkie88's picture
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3 July 2008
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The documentary felt more like an overview of the last 60 years of soap operas. They didn't spend much time on the actual topic of this documentary in my opinion.

But it was nicely done.

There are many reasons that some of these shows have been canceled. Some shows suffered from bad writing, an overpaid cast, low ratings and/or not enough support from the network.
In the end there were multiple reasons for all of the canceled shows not to be around anymore.

I'm happy that the bloodbath seems to be over. The four soaps still around are doing very good these days.
Who knows maybe some day there will be another new Daytime soap that isn't as expensive as the current models, where you don't have to send out huge paychecks to actors and/or find a new or different way of storytelling.

THEBEST's picture
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12 February 2008
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I have AT&T U-Verse, so TVGN isn't available on it. Judging from SoapJunkie88's comments, I didn't miss much. AMC & OLTL's cancellations were due to Brian Frons' constant interference and molding all 3 ABC soaps in his warped vision. Each show had 4 characters that became overexposed & unlikable. Actresses weren't valued as much as the actors. Even the opening credits for all the shows look exactly the same.

ATWT, GL, & AW became the victims of time slot changes and P&G not caring about them anymore. CBS & NBC did what they could, but it wasn't enough in the end.

Passions had a good premise, but Riley turned it into a joke its last 5yrs on the air.

RealityCheck 33's picture
Member since:
13 February 2010
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2 hours 35 min

sanka9 wrote:
I can't believe they have Max Ehrich and Michael Muhney as commentators in the documentary lol! I can just see myself rolling my eyes when they come on my screen

They weren't commentators, they were interviewed and I thought they had very valid comments to add to the show. Perhaps you should watch it before you comment about it. Knowledge helps a lot.

soapfan14's picture
Member since:
27 November 2007
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17 weeks 3 days

http://youtu.be/88tMl2cVgUI link to part one if the rest arent in the related list just search the users channel for them

Member since:
2 April 2009
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1 week 4 days

I enjoyed the special and still can't believe AMC/OLTL were cancelled via television screen JFC at least show up in person.

Many people blame more sophisticated audiences/more channels but I disagree, I do think there aren't as many people home during the day but when it all boils down to it, network interference and bad decisions killed a few of the soap operas, pushing of certain agendas certainly didn't help.

It all falls back onto the network brass though, keep hiring the same untalented writers, keep letting higher ups dictate story then yes you are going to have viewer erosion. I mean really WHO actually loved Rylee? (Greenlee/Ryan AMC)?

thecourt99's picture
Member since:
30 April 2009
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2 hours 13 min

I saw this on YouTube, but I will be honest, I was disappointed. There wasn't much focus on the decline of soaps. Most of it was celebrating soaps.

I was looking for an honest dialouge about viewer trends, rating trends, demos, working mother statistics, additional channels, etc. What I also wanted to see, but I don't think I ever will see, is some honest truths about the networks and ownership involved. Even the writers and directors of the next generation. But again, I don't think I will ever see that.

Ryan-Scott's picture
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4 May 2009
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19 hours 43 min

I really enjoyed it. You could tell the people who made it did their homework. I love that Irna Phillips, Agnes Nixon, Bill Bell, and Gloria Monty were given their due. I especially loved all of the candid pics of Gloria Monty at work.
I held back tears when I saw Wendy Riche. I also held back tears when Susan Lucci was discussing how she coped with AMC going off the air.

What the show lacked was its premise - why are the shows getting cancelled?
They discussed OJ but that was about it.
If one person had mentioned the recycled behind the scenes failures that go from show to show we would have had a BINGO.

Member since:
16 June 2010
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3 days 4 hours

A market adjustment was made which is why the last four might be around for awhile. Same with 24 hr news stations. Same amt watch all the time which is why news station's rating grow during a crisis. More people tune in to keep track of a current story. CNN benefits the most. MSNBC/FOX known as opinion stations. It is what it is. It is predictable.

Not sure what will happen when boomers retire. Maybe soaps disappeared too quickly. Then maybe not.

Member since:
16 June 2010
Last activity:
3 days 4 hours

A market adjustment was made which is why the last four might be around for awhile. Same with 24 hr news stations. Same amt watch all the time which is why news station's rating grow during a crisis. More people tune in to keep track of a current story. CNN benefits the most. MSNBC/FOX known as opinion stations. It is what it is. It is predictable.

Not sure what will happen when boomers retire. Maybe soaps disappeared too quickly. Then maybe not.

Member since:
16 June 2010
Last activity:
3 days 4 hours

A market adjustment was made which is why the last four might be around for awhile. Same with 24 hr news stations. Same amt watch all the time which is why news station's rating grow during a crisis. More people tune in to keep track of a current story. CNN benefits the most. MSNBC/FOX known as opinion stations. It is what it is. It is predictable.

Not sure what will happen when boomers retire. Maybe soaps disappeared too quickly. Then maybe not.

Member since:
16 June 2010
Last activity:
3 days 4 hours

A market adjustment was made which is why the last four might be around for awhile. Same with 24 hr news stations. Same amt watch all the time which is why news station's rating grow during a crisis. More people tune in to keep track of a current story. CNN benefits the most. MSNBC/FOX known as opinion stations. It is what it is. It is predictable.

Not sure what will happen when boomers retire. Maybe soaps disappeared too quickly. Then maybe not.

Member since:
16 June 2010
Last activity:
3 days 4 hours

A market adjustment was made which is why the last four might be around for awhile. Same with 24 hr news stations. Same amt watch all the time which is why news station's rating grow during a crisis. More people tune in to keep track of a current story. CNN benefits the most. MSNBC/FOX known as opinion stations. It is what it is. It is predictable.

Not sure what will happen when boomers retire. Maybe soaps disappeared too quickly. Then maybe not.

Member since:
3 September 2009
Last activity:
4 weeks 4 hours

I was watching this with my husband and as I was explaining more to him, I found myself getting very emotional. I love soaps. I have rememberances back to 1970 of GH, AMC, The Doctor, ATWT and Days. Days being my most favorite emotionally.

I was part of the demonstration a couple of years ago across from Lincoln Center when ABC was having their start up meetings and I booed that horrible man, Brian Scott Frons as he walked past us as loudly as I could. He said people didn't want entertainment, they wanted to be educated. Oh, how I wish I could make a voodoo doll of him and poke it all the time.

I think this show should have been a 2 hour or at least a 90 minute program. in my opinion, they hardly scratched the surface. I want to know how come the 18-49 market is so important? I am 54. I watch my shows and spend money. People are living longer. Why don't we count? I think the ratings system is antiquated. People DVR and watch on line now. Many women work. Yes, I do and I remember getting my first VCR just to tape my shows. That was the only reason I got it.

There is too much drama and turmoil behind the scenes. They need to get their act together. That's alot of the problem. There is too much of a revolving door with producers and writers, budget cuts, etc. And its true that daytime helped finance primetime. How many times do you see daytime commercials in primetime? None. Primetime is always heavily promoted during daytime, though. Those pop ups at the bottom of the screen drive me crazy. Maybe if daytime got that kind of exposure it would help.

People love drama. Always have and always will. I have to say although I love Days, I was never a fan of the period when they did all that devil and possession stuff and the mass killing they did of all those characters. I kept up with it via Soap Opera Digest but didn't watch. But I have to say that now that the stories are back to family, I am loving it and I remain spoil free so I can enjoy it to its fullest. I still can't watch during the day but I do on Soapnet and that should be counted for ratings too.

And, I think that's another thing that ruined soaps -- we are in a spoiler age. Everyone knows what is going to happen and when and so why bother watching?

Member since:
14 April 2011
Last activity:
3 days 6 hours

I still say that if the daytime soaps were pushed as much as all this reality tv/talk show nonsense, the soaps would be ok.

I'd like to ask Frons "How are the soap replacements doing?" Katie, pretty much gone. Good Afternoon America, gone. The Revolution, gone.

Member since:
14 April 2011
Last activity:
3 days 6 hours

I still say that if the daytime soaps were pushed as much as all this reality tv/talk show nonsense, the soaps would be ok.

I'd like to ask Frons "How are the soap replacements doing?" Katie, pretty much gone. Good Afternoon America, gone. The Revolution, gone.