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‘General Hospital’ To Continue Next Season, Keeping Daytime’s Soap Quartet Intact

By | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 6:37pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

General_HospitalJust a short two years ago, General Hospital was staring down the barrel of cancellation as ABC took away its longtime 3 PM slot for the pricey new Katie Couric talk show. Now Katie is facing a demise, set to end its rocky two-season run in May, while General Hospital has been thriving. ABC does not officially renew its soaps, but I have learned that, not surprisingly, General Hospital will continue next season. That follows the announcements by CBS and NBC over the past week that they have renewed The Young And The Restless and The Bold & The Beautiful (CBS) and Days Of Our Lives (NBC). This means that the entire lineup of daytime dramas will remain intact as the genre experiences a resurgence. Consider this: All four soaps are in positive territory year-to-year. Leader The Young & The Restless (5.2 million viewers season to date, 1.5 in Women 18-49) is up 9% in total viewers and 7% in the female demo as it marks its 25th season as the most watched daytime drama. The Bold & The Beautiful (3.9 million, 1.1) is up 14% in viewers and even in W19-49. General Hospital (3.3 million, 1.4) is up 8% and 17%, respectively, as it closes in on Y&R in the demo, and Days Of Our Lives (2.4, 1.1) is up 10% in both categories. Days  is delivering its best season in W18-49 in 3 years and biggest season in total viewers in 4 years. General Hospital is pacing for its best season in 7 years in total viewers and is on track to post  a 3-year high in W18-49. During the most recent week of available data, the Jan. 7 episode of GH ranked as the series’ most-watched telecast in over 6 years.

Related: ‘General Hospital’ Overtakes ‘The Young And The Restless’ For First Time In More Than Six Years

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CBS’ ‘The Young And The Restless’ To Celebrate Jeanne Cooper With Tribute Show

By | Friday May 10, 2013 @ 1:19pm PDT

Jeanne Cooper Tribute Young And the RestlessCBS said today that The Young And The Restless will air a tribute to the top-rated soap‘s longtime star Jeanne Cooper, who died this week at 84. Family, friends and castmates will gather on the Y&R set to film a celebration of the Emmy-winning actress who played Katherine Chancellor for nearly four decades. The hour will feature people on-set and personal memories of Cooper — the mother of actor Corbin Bernsen — along with Y&R clips and interviews from the series’ recent 40th anniversary special. The tribute airs May 28 at 12:30 PM ET/11 AM PT.

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‘Carrie’ & ‘Disney Moms’ Among Rejected Ideas For SOAPNet: An Insider’s Perspective On Net’s Evolution & ABC Soaps’ Demise

By | Tuesday April 19, 2011 @ 12:13am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Less than a week after the cancellations of ABC’s daytime dramas All My Children and One Life To Live emotions are still raw, with the frustration of soap fans and people who worked on the two shows often focused on ABC Daytime president Brian Frons and his business strategy lieutenant Kate Nelson. The demise of the sudsers is part of a larger strategy by Disney to get out of the soap business that also claimed cable channel SOAPNet, set to be rebranded as Disney Jr. early next year. But before the Disney Channel team’s concept was chosen by Disney/ABC TV Group president Anne Sweeney, there were several other ideas for the channel that came out of the ABC Daytime division. Here is an insider’s perspective on the events that led to the cancellation of AMC and OLTL, as well as on some of the consequences, by a person who has worked at the company:

I have worked at ABC Daytime for several years and have experienced a lot of the ups and downs especially since Brian Frons and Kate Nelson took over. With the announcement of the cancellation of All My Children and One Life to Life, I feel that they completely failed all of the people that worked for them.

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FRONS SPEAKS: ABC Daytime Chief Explains Why ‘AMC’ & ‘OLTL’ Were Axed; Says ‘GH’ Is “Safe For Time Being”

Nellie Andreeva

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ABC DAYTIME SHAKEUP: Network Cancels BOTH ‘All My Children’ & ‘One Life To Live,’ Replaces Them With Lifestyle Series

EXCLUSIVE: ABC’s daytime president Brian Frons is the most hated man among soap fans today after the announcement that the network is canceling both All My Children and One Life To Live. He even quipped that he “pre-entered the witness protection program prior to today’s events.” The demise of the two venerable soaps was actually a year in the making, Frons tells me. “A year ago, we started to look at our projections where the ratings for the soaps would go,” he said. When those projections came in pretty discouraging, the network began to aggressively develop replacement shows, 15 of them. Four of the 15 were picked up to pilot: The Chew, The Revolution and two others, a talk show and a dating show. Originally, the idea was to cancel only one daytime drama, Frons said. But “the way the ratings developed and the pilots turned out, the ratings developed negatively and pilots developed positively, so we decided to make a bigger shift.”

The call to go ahead with canceling a daytime soap was made a couple of weeks ago, while the final decision to axe both AMC and OLTL was made within the past week, Frons said. He confirmed that there was a brief discussion about a year ago to combine the two soaps into one, bringing together some of the best characters from each series. “It was one of my craziest ideas,” Frons said. Other crazy ideas he had for the soaps’ slots? “I looked at (Bravo executive/talk show host) Andy Cohen and thought maybe I should have talk show.”

While ABC also developed more traditional daytime fare like talk and game shows, genres CBS recently used to replace its soaps The Guiding Light and As the World Turns, the network ultimately opted for more non-traditional fare with The Chew and The Revolution, both hybrid unscripted/talk shows. That was by design, said Frons, noting that he was following advice by his former boss at NBC Brandon Tartikoff not to go for shows others already have on.

“I wanted to do shows that were unusual for daytime,” Frons said. “What’s happening now is people are looking for information to make their lives better, they’re obsessed about what they eat and they’re obsessed with weight,” Frons said about going with The Chew and The Revolution, whose titles were chosen to complement ABC’s daytime talk show The View, with which they are designed to run in a “block of talk and information that you can build your day around,” Frons said. It probably doesn’t hurt that the new shows are also much cheaper to produce than the two soaps they are replacing, even after AMC was moved from New York to Los Angeles in 2009 to cut costs. Frons declined to discuss the size of the orders to The Chew and The Revolution but noted that “daytime shows take awhile” to take hold, indicating that ABC will give both series time to establish themselves.

As for the only remaining ABC daytime drama, General Hospital, it is safe “for the time being,” Frons said, adding, “We feel very positive about its place on the schedule.” Read More »

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DGA Statement On Cancellation of ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life To Live’

By | Thursday April 14, 2011 @ 3:36pm PDT

“This is a very sad and frustrating day for daytime dramatic television and our members who work on these productions. DGA members are employed on daytime serials as directors, associate directors, stage managers and production associates. The cancellation of these two long-running shows will affect dozens of our members, most of whom have worked on these shows for decades. With the cancellation of ‘One Life to Live,’ there aren’t any more daytime dramas left in New York – once the home of this beloved programming.

“Many have long predicted the demise of daytime dramas, and although there have been signs for some time that this area faced particular challenges, today’s announcement is no less of a blow. We will be reaching out to our affected members and to ABC to make sure that our members are treated fairly throughout this process.” 

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WGA East Statement On Cancellation Of ‘All My Children,’ One Life To Live’

“The WGAE is deeply disappointed by ABC’s announcement that both All My Children and One Life to Live will cease production. These groundbreaking shows have provided entertainment and enlightenment to millions of viewers, and have provided good employment to dozens of talented, dedicated writers. We urge the company to reconsider.”

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AFTRA Statement On Cancellation of ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life To Live’

Today’s announcement that two long-running AFTRA programs have been cancelled and will cease production in September (‘All My Children’) and January 2012 (‘One Life to Live’) represents a devastating loss for thousands of AFTRA members, union crew members and production staff in Los Angeles and New York. The AFTRA actors –- past and present –- of these two ground-breaking serial dramas have entertained generations of viewers around the globe for more than 40 years with stellar performances and dedication to their craft.

“AFTRA representatives are communicating with affected members in both cities to ensure they are fully informed of their rights and benefits under the AFTRA Network Television Code. Additionally, AFTRA is in contact with ABC representatives to oversee as smooth a transition as possible for these performers.

“It is no secret that serial dramas, once a prolific source of employment and benefits for television actors, have been challenged by the new economics of television. It is, therefore, critically important that AFTRA members stand united to strengthen existing contracts and to organize new increased work opportunities in new and evolving media industries.”

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