News - Soap Buzz

20 November 30th, 2011 AMC’s Cady McClain Sounds Off On Prospect Park’s “Blame Game” & Disappointing Decision!

Courtesy/ABC

Daytime Emmy winner, Cady McClain (Dixie, AMC) took to her Facebook page again to give her thoughts on the disappointing turn of events just before Thanksgiving that had Prospect Park deciding to stop their efforts to bring One Life to Live and All My Children to the web, which for many soap fans was watching their two beloved shows die a double death! McClain addressed the companies blame game on the unions and the actors, and their lack of understanding of the soap genre and of consideration for the  fans!  Here are just a few riveting excerpts, but make sure to read the entire post!

McClain wrote:  “Many of these important issues were being put on the chopping block in a rather concerning way. In fact, one of the guys at PP was heard to have said, “I thought we were buying Judge Judy.” Now nothing against Judge Judy, I love that show, but clearly it is a very inexpensive show to produce. It’s one set, two contract players and a rotating cast of real people. No stunts, no 18 hour days, no dialogue to write or memorize, one set… C’mon. Really? Soaps=Judge Judy??”

McClain then went on to say later in the post: “I get that it was a sales pitch, a hustle to try and raise the rest of the funds, but that’s a gamble. Gambling with the future of a 40 year old show and it’s historic 40 year value to an entire country is pretty cocky. I am in shock they did not have it in them to call Agnes Nixon directly and admit they were not going to continue. That is another arrow pointing very clearly in the direction that PP as it stands is not a class act.

As you can see, there are much bigger issues at hand than the unions demanding “too much,” a claim which is patently untrue. The truth is, PP was not able to get their financing and they are trying to save face by sending blame elsewhere. Remember a few weeks ago when it was all the actors fault? I’m sort of shocked to discover they were able to come in and have as much control over the ending of the show when they weren’t 100% solvent and ready to produce, but that is a sign of how willing both the shows were to “make things work.”

It appears to me now that AMC and OLTL were used as bait to lure investors through the power of their incredible fan base. I think it is foolish of PP to turn around and say, “Oh now we realize that it’s mostly people over 40 who aren’t on the internet and don’t spend that much money.” NOW you think that’s the case? What did you think when you put all that money down to buy the licensing? What kind of operation is this? Oh, I get it. Now it’s the FANS fault.

There is a reason that soaps are going the way of the dinosaur, but it doesn’t have to do with the fans not caring, the actors not wanting to work, the unions not participating or the productions not trying to accommodate tighter budget constraints. It has to do with a business model that insists on showing higher and higher profits for the shareholders, while compensating the execs with outrageous bonuses.

There are some who wonder if PP buying the licensing rights was all intended to quell the negative publicity that was created by ABC canceling the two shows in the first place. Was PP played as much as we were all played? Is there a “chess master” behind this whole thing or has this all been a sad case of a deal gone horribly wrong?

It seems to me that some businessmen wanted to come in and make a profit off a business without making the time to really learn about it. What ever happened to due diligence? Didn’t the guys who invested in Facebook do their homework? I think they did. Why didn’t PP?  All that said, I’m really sorry for you guys, the incredible, loyal fans of the soaps, who put in so many years only to be whipsawed at the end. Your attention and support is worth more and you should’ve been treated better.”

So what do you think of Cady’s sentiments?  Let us know!

Tags: , , ,

  1. Torrey says:

    I totally agree with what Cady had to say. And I still believe that this whole PP deal was a ploy by ABC to get the heat off of them….remember, advertisers were threatening to pull their ads from ABC daytime, plus not to mention the outcry from all of the fans that wanted Brian Frons’ head on a stick. Now, about a month away from OLTL being taken off of ABC, PP makes this lame announcement that they have decided not to go forward with OLTL or AMC….something smells incredibly fishy to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if money exchanged hands from ABC to PP, just so they could take the heat off of the network and just make PP the fall guy. I mean, think about it, ABC is a well known major network, that could suffer hugely from this decision….they have to think about all of the other programs that they still have on the network….and what would it hurt PP to take the heat for a month or so? So, I think this was planned out for some time. Otherwise, PP would have made more of an effort to reach out to the actors and the fans…everything has been so hush-hush….that leads me to one conclusion. PP was put in place to take the blood off of ABC’s hands.

    Reply

  2. Brian says:

    Can’t disagree with anything she has said… but sadly, at the end of the day, we are still without our beloved shows.

    Reply

  3. Robert in Jersey City says:

    I don’t think PP was a sham to take the heat off ABC, because like Cady wrote, it’s all about profits to benefit a select few and ABC/Frons are all about profits and couldn’t care less about the soap audience’s reaction or feeling. Why create PP if they don’t care?

    I think PP did try. The NY Times summed it up perfectly. It was everyone that kabashed this. ABC, Unions, PP, Funding Sources. It was just too much too soon. Something will pop up sometime online. Hollywood seriously pushed back on this. They don’t want to lose anymore audience than they already have. Taking on two icons is a HUGE undertaking and I think PP underestimated that and ultimately couldn’t bank roll it.

    Sad thing is; Soaps have always mirrored current society from racism to women’s rights to abortion to gay couples. Here’s the ultimate mirror. Greed has killed our economy. Now it killed our soaps. ABC is cancelling anything that costs money. It’s all kids on TV now. Low pay, more profits, etc. It’s about benefiting the 1%, Frons is probably 2%, but you get my point.

    It’s tragic the blow to the NYC economy by the move of AMC last year and the end of OLTL this year. ABC doesn’t care about it’s customers, banks no longer care about it’s customers, Teachers don’t matter, Token Booth clerks are gone.

    For the last time, I’ll say it again, ABC soaps are mirroring the world, in the most punishing way, for a lot of people.

    Reply

    Torrey replied

    I see your point on that, but if PP really wanted to move forward with this, they could do like so many have suggested. Maybe to begin with offer OLTL & AMC on a weekly basis, put actors on a recurring status, or even cut back on some of the cast….I know there were several characters on AMC that I would have been just fine not seeing on a regular basis….they could also do like B&B and offer up 30 minute versions of AMC & OLTL….there were so many options that they could have went with. They would be pioneers for this genre, so who’s to say that they couldn’t have rearranged AMC & OLTL so that it fit into their financials. Plus, the fact that so many actors have gone on record saying that they hadn’t even heard from PP. How can you negotiate contracts when you don’t even contact the talent? Just seems a bit odd to me…

    Reply

    Todd replied

    I totally agree with Robert. Today’s world has become all about the american dollar. Plain and simple. Customer service has gone down the tubes…and the attitude of doing the *most* with the very least is everywhere…our workplace, where positions have been eliminated and more responsibilty placed on others; hiring freezes; wage freezes, etc. Look at the trend of local TV stations who have eliminated their helicopters by joining forces with rival stations and SHARING one chopper. Or, cameramen losing their positions because of the new trend of the reporter being responsible not only for interviewing BUT for shooting their own story as well. Unfortunately in the cases of AMC/OLTL–regard and loyalty for 40+ year viewers was thrown to the curb. As another poster illustrated–there were other options ABC could’ve considered including reducing each show to 30 minutes, thus, reducing production costs. Another option could’ve included the 30 minute reduction in addition to bringing back episodes from the 70′s/80′s and airing “classic” episodes as well. I think the thing that bothers me the most, being a viewer of OLTL since day one, is the viewer is now the one being cheated. Had we known this outcome from the start the writers could’ve at least rewarded their loyal fans with clean endings to stories we’ve followed for so many years…

    Reply

  4. Blake says:

    You said it Cady! This is horrible for us soap fans. Poor AMC and OLTL believed they would continue online when their shows went off and the endings won’t be as good as they should have been.
    And what chickens to blame it on others and to announce it the day before Thanksgiving so that it’s lost in the news shuffle. And to not talk to the actors and Agnes Nixon about it, horrible. Can’t wait for karma to get ABC, Frons, Sweeney and PP back.

    Reply

  5. Rob says:

    I agree there are ways to finance a show with a much smaller budget. They had a chance to revolutionize the genre. Who says you need to have an episode a day? I would be happy if OLTL were on weekly! Smaller casts and story arcs that utilize certain actors for a period of time. I still say PP had the best of intentions but it becanme clear if they were to produce these shows online as they are produced for broadcast TV that the costs would be unmanageable.

    Reply

  6. Perla says:

    She’s so right on what she wrote, I think behind this all there was some dirty work taking place under the table between PP and ABC ( just a thaughts). To bad that they never played open card with the actors etc it’s very disrespectful to Agnes Nixon and to everybody. Whish all this didn’t have to go this way.

    Reply

  7. oltlmania says:

    If I was agnes nixon I would sue abc! Disney Corp. would not just sign away business to someone. They must have a due dliigeance process.
    I guess corporate governance is not important for BOD of Disney!

    Reply

  8. david says:

    McClain’s statement is the most insightful account I have read compared to anything published in The NYT, WSJ, or trade publications. If you want to understand what happened and why, follow the link above and read every word. Thank you, Michael, for bringing it to our attention.

    Reply

  9. david says:

    Also consider reading the brief summaries of Prospect Park, Richard H. Frank, and Jeff Kwatinetz on Wikipedia. Ask yourself about the probability of a retired grandfather who runs a small family winery and sits on the boards of a couple of insignificant ventures to pull this off. Would you invest with him or a more reputable company with a track record?

    McClain nailed it: Frank and Kwatinetz were trolling for investors, hoping to make money, without any understanding or effect on their part. The whole thing sounds like a scam from the beginning. PP never had the technical ability to follow through. It’s no wonder no investors could be found. It wasn’t that OLTL is not a good investment, but that PP was incompetent to manage it.

    Reply

  10. Nancy says:

    Hats off to Cady! She hit the nail on the head with everything she said. First of all, PP should NOT have opened their big mouths without doing their homework. They now look like the fools who shouted they were there to help us. They did not know what was involved in making this move. They should have made sure they had the financial backing first. Is ABC behind it all? Maybe! It sure calmed down the fans who waited patiently for news. Meanwhile, time passes, and maybe we will lose interest. All these hard working fans who busted butts to make things happen. Yes, we all calmed down for just a bit. It’s very sad that people could do something like this to other people. Business? I sure as heck wouldn’t run a business like that. It pretty much gave ABC a very bad name and plenty of hate mail. We aren’t giving up ABC!

    Reply

  11. Heather says:

    I don’t know if PP is a ABC scam. But they sure should had give it a second thought before engaging themselves in a mission as complex as saving two cancelled programs. Because of them, All My Children and One Life to Live will never get real endings like As the World Turns and Guiding Light did.

    Reply

  12. Susan says:

    What has happened to AMC, OLTL, and will soon to GH is tragically just a symptom of the disease (GREED) that is destroying the entire world economy. It is also, regretably, a sad reflection of the times we are living in. The blessed buck rules everything, and morality and ethics are cast aside. Forget that these three destination shows were followed and loved by millions of fans daily. No, to Disney/ABC that is not enough to keep them on the air. There were numerous ways they could have made them more profitable if ABC’s parent company Disney really WANTED to keep them going into the future. My point is, I think from the minute Disney bought ABC they wanted OUT of the soap business completely, and they hired Brian Frons to make that happen any way he chose to do so. They gave him total freedom to meddle with the soaps, and he did exactly that particularly with AMC and GH. Bit by bit his so called ‘help’ drove both shows off a cliff, and then when the fans turned away in droves because they did not recognize their shows anymore, he had the unmitigated gall to blame them for their soaps demise. He knew exactly what he was doing from his first day on the job and what the end result would be. When all three soaps are finally off of ABC, Anne Sweeney will probably promote Brian for finally accomplishing his mission/objective. Then again, maybe she will boot him out the door, because she won’t be needing him to do Disney’s dirty work anymore. After all, isn’t that the way in the corporate world these days? Those who least deserve it many times keep on moving up that corporate ladder, or you get dumped when your services are no longer needed. I believe Disney is at the bottom of all this. Brian Frons is just their lacky.

    As far as PP goes, I also believe Disney/ABC knew from the beginning that PP stood a slim to none chance of tranferring these soaps to the internet. If by some miracle they pulled it off, Disney/ABC still would get royalties from the deal. And if PP could not make it work, at least all the hype about the potential of them trying to do this would deflect/calm down all the hate directed at ABC and the ‘mouse house’. In their eyes, it was a win win situation for Disney/ABC. All they had to do was sit back, watch, and wait to see if PP actually was able to make this happen. When PP announced last week their inability to move forward with this venture, the blame game instantly shifted to them, once again deflecting any negativity away from Disney/ABC. If this whole situation weren’t so pathetic, it would be laughable. They think soap fans are too dumb to figure this all out? Think again.

    The truth is that this entire situation is really a lose lose for everyone. When this is all said and done, ABC soap fans will have lost their second home forever, Disney/ABC will have replaced three landmark quality shows with incipid forgetable drivel, and for what? So those at the top can have a few more dollars to line their already padded pockets? When is enough enough? What will Disney/ABC really have gained from all of this, aside from money? The forever wrath and mistrust of millions of fans who once called their networks home. Now that’s really something to be proud of, isn’t it? The truly sad thing here is that if and when Disney/ABC ever wakes up to the damage they have caused themselves, it will be too late to undo what they have done. Fans, casts, and crews will have moved on to other networks/jobs. At this point, NO ONE believes anything that comes out of the mouths of any of the Disney/ABC execs, because all they have done for the better part of a decade is repeatedly lie to their fans and their employees. What a shoddy way to run a business. Walt Disney must be turning over in his grave right about now.

    Reply

  13. Ann says:

    Cady made a nice sum-up of the workings of the unions and then offered her own ideas, nothing new..
    all the suggestions for Prospect park to cut this and do that and change this or that, could not be done according to the contract PP needed to keep AMC and OLTL the same as when on network tv, and there was not the money to do that.
    ABC still ownes the soaps and wanted them to be preserved, and remain as they were.. all the suggestions people wanting to save the soaps by changing things to keep them going, you have to talk to ABC Disney about changing them.. PP had to produce them the same as was.

    Reply

  14. Susan says:

    Oh, and as far as what I think about Cady’s opinion about all of this, I respect her for having the guts to come forward and speak the truth about what she knows about this whole situation. She clearly cares about the fans and her coworkers who have been shamefully jerked around over and over again by Disney/ABC. I enjoy reading her blog, facebook, and twitter postings. She is always upfront, insightful, and interested in what the fans think. IMHO, Disney/ABC was extremely lucky she was willing to return for the finale of AMC, given what TPTB did to her Dixie with the whole poison pancake fiasco. It was wonderful to have her back on the show together again with Michael E. Knight’s Tad, even if it was only for a few brief months. She is a class act all the way.

    Reply

  15. Iakovos says:

    Cady McClain has always been a favorite of mine and I appreciate her comments. This whole cancellation experience is disappointment squared for audiences and fans, and a lesson in how-not-to-business for all of us. I am resolved that I cannot visit Pine Valley and Llanview again, as Oakdale and Springfield have gone the way of Brigadoon, too, lost in the mist. It is such a shame. But thanks to Miss McClain for providing some light on the matter that is meaningful and understandable.

    Reply

  16. wendy says:

    Well said, Cady. I still can’t accept that someone/some station isn’t going to pick up AMC. It was so great having Dixie come back to the show. I was so looking forward to seeing the future of Tad and Dixie, as well as that of everyone else. I have been watching AMC for over 30 years. It was something I looked forward to and could depend on. They were my friends and I felt a big loss when the show was canceled. I taped the last week of the show and am still unable to delete it. I am still in mourning and am waiting for someone to bring back to life AMC. It’s been done on the show, let it be done for the show. I miss you guys!

    Reply

    1loveabcsoaps replied

    Hey Wendy: I like your concept: “It’s been done on the show, let it be done for the show.” Classy!

    Reply

    Reply

  17. mary says:

    I so wish i couls win the biggest latgest jackpot lotto id give it all to my soaps this is the crock i ahve been a fan sence i was just 10 years old i went to school and would call home just to see what was going on with amce and be 5 min late with oltl and im so disapointed that me 22 years of wasting on the show and have it riped was hopeing to know if randy and frankie was going to add another hubbe rin the fam and now jan around the cornner and oltl going off whats going to happen with star and all who and are we going to know what the sex of taya baby is and all wtf im so mad

    Reply

Leave a comment