News - Soap Buzz

51 July 24th, 2013 DAYS Deidre Hall On Soaps: “The Two ABC Shows, AMC & OLTL Were Canceled By a Man Who Was Not Very Knowledgeable About What He Was Doing!”

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Why do soap fans love Days of our Lives Deidre Hall (Marlena)  so much? One of the main reasons is because she has always been a champion of the genre, and its enduring art form, and respects and understands its legions and millions of loyal fans!

In an interview promoting her appearance this weekend at She: Art Expo For Women in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Deidre talks about the state of the industry including its future, where she related her thoughts about former ABC Daytime Chief, Brian Frons who canceled two iconic shows.

Deidre shared,  “The two ABC shows, All My Children and One Life to Live, were canceled by a man who was not very knowledgeable about what he was doing. He thought it would be cheaper to do a game show or reality show.  It isn’t about budgets. Women have been watching these shows for so many generations they are invested. They’ve shared them with their grandparents and grandchildren. It’s their touchstone, it’s their family.

The reason we are their family is because we’ve been there for viewers almost 50 years. We were there when they came home from school and Grandma was in the kitchen with our show on, when they went off to college and had something in common with their roommates watching the show.   We are there when people go into rest homes, on holidays when nobody comes to the table. We know our audience really loves us. We’re family. The ABC executive, who is now gone, didn’t get that.  We’re never going off the air. There will always be a wonderful place for soap operas.”

When asked what she thought about the soaps now being online, (AMC and OLTL) Deidre’s sentiments were, “I don’t know if you can ask your audiences to go to the smaller screen. They are used to having you right there in their house. We don’t ask you to pay for it (the daily show); online needs the audience to pay a dollar (soaps on iTunes are 99 cents per episode download). It’s a different way to do business.”

So what do you think about Deidre Hall’s comments about what soaps mean to people? The mistake made by ABC canceling All My Children and One Life to Live  in favor of cheaper forms of programming, that to this day, that decision has caused such a ripple effect in so many ways?  And the way fans are trying to get use to the new format of the revival of those two series AMC and OLTL online? Comment below!

Tags: , , , , ,

  1. robert says:

    Love her. That is why Deidre is one of my favorites.

    Reply

  2. Mo says:

    I think she’s right that there will always be a place for soaps-just hope TPTB know that too. There are lots of primetime shows I have watched for a season or two, then stopped watching, but I have been watching soaps for decades. So I have definitely stuck with them. I do think being on everyday helps, because when a season ends I may not pick it up again or even week to week for some shows.

    Reply

  3. Johnny says:

    She is 100% right on with her comments, that’s for sure. ABC-TV made the biggest blunder in television History by canceling both AMC and OLTL.
    Personally, I’m not crazy about the on-line inceptions, but it’s better than nothing. AMC on-line feels more like a spinoff than a continuation, but I keep watching and am trying to hope for improvements.
    Diedre Hall is also correct that asking people to pay to watch on-line is different from the days of coming home after school and your show was on in the Living Room. The whole ambience has changed, and part of the “charm” of a daily soap was that it was on daily at the same time, making it a daily serial. You followed faithfully and didn’t have to worry about missing an episode because another “character” would probably fill you in on another day. It’s just not the same anymore, and of course, times have changed, and our viewing habits have become modified as well.
    That being said, I am happy to see OLTL and AMC have extended life on the Internet, and I am hoping to see some writing improvements.

    Reply

    mari r.r.em replied

    not a hundred percent right hulu is free

    Reply

    Johnny replied

    Well, I was just generalizing. Yes, HULU is free, but I pay for Hulu PLUS, so that I can watch the shows on my (through my) tv set, it’s not the same to me watching it on the computer although at times I watch clips that way.

  4. su0000 says:

    Many people prefer on the go ”smaller” screens, iPads and phones..
    Most all TV are now also internet TV’s and that brings all on the internet, including the soaps, on the big tv screen..
    Also, internet devices as Roko bring the soaps to your tv, as do Play Stations etc..
    For the people who do not know how to put the internet soaps on their tv, they need to inform themselves.. Watching internet soaps on a TV is just a click away.
    The ones that can’t, the worlds media moves on into the internet 21st century and some will be left behind; life is not always fair..

    So- Deidre Hall , needs to update her life and inform herself that even though soaps are on the internet , the future, they are available on tv, and still many prefer to watch on their iPads and PC’s ..

    Reply

    Lisa replied

    Completely agree. We watch AMC through Hulu Plus on our living room TV and Y&R via traditional broadcast. There is little difference between the two experiences — except for the bonus that I can watch AMC when I travel domestically (maybe internationally, too, one of these days!). Progress is good.

    Reply

    jayson replied

    Even if you watch the soaps on regular hulu, you can spend $15.00 for an HDMI cord to hook your laptop/computer to your tv screen. I do that whenever I watch anything on hulu. Beats paying $100.00/month on cable.. that’s for sure.

    Reply

  5. Linn K says:

    This is absolutely true. I didn’t watch AMC or OLTL, but I was just watching the SOD Awards from 1999 last night, on footage I had transfered from VHS to DVD… and it made me sad to see that there used to be so many soaps and now there are only these few left. And to see that those soaps aren’t the same either, because they’ve all caved to hiring cheaper actors who don’t feel right, instead of giving us the soap we all loved and had to watch.

    I watch DAYS and GH, and while GH is certainly trotting out its vets… DAYS is unrecognizable with John & Marlena on, in character and together or at least the rooting couple, without Bo and Hope, Jack and Jennifer… It just makes me sad, because like she said… it is about family to us as viewers. Deidre’s always understood that, I think. It’s why she was the one who started the fan events. She got that we think of them as a part of our lives, and that in giving something back, whether that is an event or respect from TPTB, you have our support.

    Reply

  6. gloria says:

    I love her & agree with her. While I am glad to be able to see the soaps online nothing can ever replace having them on my big beautiful flatscreen tv in my den or being able to watch tv in bed!

    Reply

    CTwildheart replied

    If your television has the correct ports…you can connect your pc to it with an HDMI cord and watch it on the big flatscreen.

    Reply

  7. Scott (ATWT Fan) says:

    I’m happy about the cancellations. Because now we have more cutting edge serials online. Though, OLTL could be better than it is right now. But I love the state that both series are in and feel safer knowing Prospect is in control!

    Reply

    rosanna replied

    prospect park only owns the lease the do not own the show, and feeling comfortable with them is a joke, they have no clue either about what they are doing at all!!

    Reply

    Margie replied

    Loving Prospect Park and their vision. OLTL has a tighter cast focusing on fan favorites, no useless filler. The stories are getting better and better on both shows. Thrilled!

    Scott replied

    HA Prospect Park has done a phenominal job,and if they stop production tomorrow,I would still say it.
    They did something awesome they brought AMC and OLTL back from the dead in great soap opera fashion.The roadblocks were put up and these under dogs did it any way.Are things 100 % no,but it’s way better than some of it was under the old regime(poison pancakes anyone).This is a work in progress and with a few cast additions(when they can coordinate),it will only get better.
    I watch them more now than I did then.

  8. Karen Loraine says:

    She is SO very right! My theory is that as a little boy he felt deprived of his momma’s attention because of soaps, so as soon as he had the power he took revenge. lol I’m sorta joking, but he for certain had no knowledge of the power of soaps. Ratings go up and down. To come in and take two daytime shows that had made it through everything that was thrown at them, and each lasted 40 something years; was ludicrous. He could have taken them to 30 minute shows for awhile if he wanted an hour slot to try out even MORE talk/news/gossip shows. We live in reality everyday. Soaps are our way of escaping our reality, and feeling connected to those characters. General Hospital has lasted 50 years. If he touches that one after the huge mess he made with OLTL, and AMC, someone needs to take his power away!

    Reply

  9. Rick says:

    She’s awesome! I agree with her statements about ABC’s blunder, but disagree about her assessment about going online. I prefer the mobility of watching my shows online or on my phone. I even watch GH and Days online. (And many men have been watching these shows as well…even though most probably won’t admit it)

    Reply

  10. Diane says:

    It is True, as proved by the resurgence of oltl and amc,they are our connection, and bf didnt know what he was doing when he canceled them.

    Reply

  11. Norene says:

    She’s right. Older viewers will not watch in big numbers on computers, mainly because they don’t own computers. I watch my mom’s favorite. I would never give it up, especially for shows that feature foods I would never eat.

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    PP needs to focus on the future of the soaps..
    The new/now generation who will be the ones to keep the soaps thriving are internet bound..
    Daytime tv is struggling to keep going..
    The world runs on computers and most every household that have children of any age have/need a computer for their children’s education, school class rooms are internet ready..
    Every collage student owns a computer..
    Most All younger working class own a computer..

    I feel bad for the older who are left behind because computers are not of the world they know, live in..
    But- there is a great number of elderly who do have computers..

    And there is no need to watch by computer, that is a preference for many..
    There are internet tv’s and many devices that bring the internet on to the tv screen.

    The younger need to help the older get the internet on their tv’s .. So, many ways to do that..
    And it is inevitable some will be left behind, and that sad ..

    My mother is 82 and uses her laptop every day, she surfs the net..
    She also watches the internet soaps on her tv because I bought her a Roku, and she loves it.. :)

    I wish all had access!!!!!

    Reply

    rosanna replied

    PP is a joke, ill say it again this company will not be around in the near future, everyone blames ABC for the AMC and OLTL cancellation of the shows, I do not know many 80 plus year old women who use a computer, most older ladies I know watch the tv, the quality on a computer is NOT the same, its like watching the best movie on a phone…does NOT even compare!!!

    CTwildheart replied

    I know many older folk who would be insulted by that thinking.

    Reply

    Joliefan forever replied

    CT don’t bother this chick is nothing but a troll!!

  12. maddiehayes says:

    I agree, there is something comforting about watching a show that’s been around for 50 yrs., we watched it with our Grandmas, we watched it with our moms, we discussed it with our friends at school, like they were real people! And some of the actors are still on the show, and we know their histories, we were young when they were young. We’ve grown up together. I love the character development you get with a soap, like no other genre. Can’t have long, drawn-out conversations in a movie, you’ve got 2 hrs. to tell the story! Soaps have all the time in the world to build up characters and make you care. I love soap actors more than any other “stars” because they are just more accessible to their fans and I feel like I “know” them. As for on-line, I don’t mind watching a soap that way, I just wish I could fast-forward through some things, LOL

    Reply

  13. rosanna says:

    ABC made the mistake of hiring Brian Frons and then he was let go, soap fans need to realize that mistakes happen and they learn from it, ABC is not the bad guy, they thought they hired someone with intelligence and they were wrong!!! Many companies hire people who are not competent and then just let them go after.

    Reply

    CTwildheart replied

    It was more than just Frons….and he got his orders from somewhere above…

    Reply

    rosanna replied

    Still he was the one who pulled the trigger if he did not want to do it he could have said no and quit, as he got fired anyway!

  14. ricardo says:

    deidre hall i love you so much. what a nice lady and terrific actress. deidre is straight to the point. i agree with her comments. brian frons is an idiot. cancelling both shows was a huge mistake. i hope abc chokes on it. abc will never admit there mistake in cancelling both soaps. thank you prospect park for bringing all my children and one life to live back. like stefano dimera says bravo. lol.

    Reply

  15. lisa says:

    abc made the right decision, by cancelling one life to live and amc. i want to see more reality shows and game shows on abc. gh will be cancelled early next year. i know that, for a fact. gh is not a good soap anymore. poor writing and awful storylines. time for gh to go. deidre hall needs to mind her own business. she works for nbc. who the hell cares about deidre. she is a diva and wants attention. go away deidre. we dont want your opinions at all deidre. i only watch cbs soaps. dont watch days anymore. deidre your days are numbered on days of our lives. i hope you get fired again. when you got fired a few years ago. days was much better. now it sucks again with you.

    Reply

    Mark It Right replied

    How do you know it sucks if you don’t watch it? (Btw, it doesn’t suck and is the best it has been in a long time.) I am not the biggest Deidre fan, but you have issues.

    Reply

    Scott replied

    As if anyone cares about what this “lisa” thinks.
    Don’t you dare start on Electra Woman or suffer the consequences.lol
    btw lisa seems to repeat herself quite a bit doesn’t he?

    Reply

  16. Cher says:

    Love what she said! However, you can watch these shows on your computer free of charge on Hulu. I happened to purchase Hulu Plus so I can watch it on my TV.

    ABC may have problems going forward. If there are a lot of women out there like me, I don’t plan on watching any new ABC shows daytime or nighttime. I say new because I want to keep support the shows I already watched. Castle being one of them with Nathan Fillion (ex-Joey-OLTL). The others are also soap like shows. Grey’s, Scandal. General Hospital is a given! No DWTS, or comedy shows. When these are canceled, then no more ABC for me.

    What? I hold a grudge! :D

    I hope that ABC is regretting the decision, and that CBS and NBC are taking notes!

    Reply

    Chris replied

    Enough, please. Quit acting like ABC is the only network to cancel daytime soaps. Geez, be grateful the shows were revived and brought back elsewhere. In case you forgot, CBS (in tandem with P&G) pulled the plug on two of the longest running programs in TV and broadcasting history in the prior two years. Those soaps are now gone, probably forever. No grudge against CBS for that? And NBC has axed 5 or 6 soaps within the last 30 years. It’s not just ABC, folks.

    Reply

    Cher replied

    I happened to watch the 2 shows that ABC canceled. If I want to choose to not watch ABC, that’s my right.

    I am grateful the shows are back. I make sure to watch every week. That does not mean that I have to support a network that thought nothing of bringing in someone to over see daytime, then let him run the shows into the ground. They gave no thought to their long time employees, and even less thought of the people who have watched the soaps for 40 or more years.

    ABC didn’t even try to save the soaps. They raced to replace them with garbage that has now been canceled.

    CTwildheart replied

    Chris, first – yes there is some anger at CBS and NBC for their cancellations. The big difference is that those networks had to do it ‘in tandem’ as you said, with the owners of the shows (P&G). abc/d owned their own shows, so it was completely their decision and all grudges are against only them.
    BUT, it wasn’t just the cancellation of these two shows at the same time. It was also the way they tried to justify their decision. When they said most people didn’t want scripted programming anymore – that was a lie. When they said most people wanted more reality – that was a lie. When they said most people want informational shows – that was a lie. When they said not enough people watched – that was a lie. Okay, maybe they were just misinformed and used a LOT of bad and incorrect data – but they were wrong on every count. They basically told a large segment of their audience what they wanted to see and believed they could ‘train’ us to watch what they put on.
    I watch only GH on abc/d now – and if that goes…

    jayson replied

    I have noticed ABC primetime ratings have dipped quite a bit in the last two years. Granted, part of that could be that the primetime shows quality has gone down.. but maybe a small part could be a boycott of all things ABC.

    Reply

  17. RODOLFO ROBLEDO says:

    I FULLY AGREE WITH DEIDRE HALL. SOAPS ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE, THEY ARE HERE TO STAY. I’VE BEEN WATCHING THEM FOR OVER 45 YEARS.

    Reply

    Chris replied

    Folks, please try to understand already- Daytime soaps are NOT charities. Networks don’t/won’t keep them on the air out of the goodness of their hearts. They’re not dedicated to preserving the genre. TV is a bottom-line business, and the soaps have to make $$$ (or at least break even) for their networks/producers in order to stay on the air. As long as they can do that, they should be ok. But if ratings keep slipping (especially among the key 18-49 female demo that pays the bills, thus resulting in less ad revenue coming in), networks will have no choice but to consider cheaper alternatives.

    Please don’t be naive. I sure am not. Yes, it would be very unfortunate if/when it comes to that, but that’s just the way things work. Almost nothing lasts forever. I hope things turn around, but if GH keeps going and staying downhill, don’t think for a minute that ABC won’t begin to look at other options. Same with NBC if DOOL starts to go sharply down again. At this point, though, I think that DOOL is safe through at least 2015-16 to mark its 50th anniversary, which would be good. That’s JMO.

    Also, I think that for AMC and OLTL to have any hope of a long second life, PP must have some kind of successful regular TV deal in place to defray the costs. Only Internet ad revenue won’t be enough to keep the shows going, IMO. Obviously, I don’t know all the financial details and I’d like to think differently, but the low ratings on OWN can’t be a good sign for the future of the shows and airing on TV. Again, JMO

    Reply

  18. Chris says:

    She’s just as delusional and naive as many soap fans. The truth is that daytime soaps are business properties, not nostalgic photo albums. Yes, it’s very sad to see any soap that’s been on for 40-50 years or more be cancelled and I feel deeply for longtime viewers of those shows. But if a show is no longer earning (or capable of earning) enough ad revenue for its network and/or production company to offset the high production costs involved (a major factor, like it or not) these shows are going to be in jeopardy of getting the axe. That’s just the way it is. You’re wrong Deidre, it IS and WILL ALWAYS BE about budgets. I wouldn’t feel too comfortable about GH’s future right now.

    I’m not defending Brian Frons, who obviously had major input into that decision in 2011. But to be fair, he was not the highest level executive at ABC/Disney who made the final call to cancel both AMC and OLTL. Frons did not have THAT much power. He had to get it through Anne Sweeney, Bob Iger, and others I believe. Frons was simply the face of the cancellation decision and soap fans needed some villain to release their wrath on. (btw, I’m not related to Mr. Frons nor do I have any connection to ABC, ESPN, or any other Disney network/property. I’m writing this as a totally impartial observer of all of this.) Also, did Frons have anything to do with CBS/P&G pulling the plug on GL and ATWT? How come there’s no criticism of those entities? (No relation there either.)

    And Deidre, I’d be very careful saying something authoritative like “We’re never going off the air”, which leaves you with zero wiggle room. Almost every show or genre comes to an end at some point in time, whether it’s next year or 5, 10, 20+ years from now. I sincerely hope those words don’t come back to haunt her.

    Reply

  19. Mary SF says:

    Real soaps as opposed to continuing dramas were never just about a television show– true daytime dramas were an experience based in connection. Connection between the viewer and the characters on screen. Connection between actors and their fans. Connection between those who gathered together to watch at the same time, whether it was neighbors watching on 12 inch B&W t.v., or young women watching on college dorm lounges sets or snuggled up in your pj’s on the sofa with your pet cat while sick.

    When these shows go on line or are offered on cable at any time of day, or whatever new format is out there– to me they are longer soaps in the classic sense. They are just product– to be consumed by the masses usually in isolation, looking at their screen tiny or large– just another television show.

    Yes continuing dramas will always exist, but real soaps, true soaps, the soaps DH is talking about, will never be the same because this generation has no idea about connecting to anything but to a IPhone– what passes for connection nowadays is laughable– even now, me writing to a bunch of strangers my thoughts will never replace sharing these same thoughts face to face to my friends.

    So, I understand what DH is talking about, but in this day and age, between the screen replacing people in our lives, and suits taking over control of soaps– the golden age of the true daytime drama is coming to an end– the genre of continuing dramas will go on but not the experience of watching a soap, daily, during the day, one show at time. And If you missed it– you missed it– you had to watch everyday if you wanted to see the big twist or a lover’s first kiss. That kind of soap watching is over. The family feeling DH was talking about is slowly being replaced by sensation seeking trend following culture that has the attention span of a fruit fly—-so I am glad I got a chance to experience real soap watching at its best and finest—-

    Reply

    Marie replied

    You are absolutely right. I also believe that is why these Soaps are struggling today. The writers are having a hard time truly connecting with the audience. The Imagination of storytelling is no longer there. Getting a good storyline for a show has become a joke because a lot of these networks are hiring these young writers who for once were probably not a reader as kid to understand what it means to have the imagination of bringing a character to live. I’ve stopped watching. The storyline are a bore and the so call young actors can’t act except dress for the part. I find myself looking for old classic “SOAPS” like DOOL on YouTube because believe me, the writers knew what they were doing back then and the actors OMG knew how to bring those characters to live and make us believe.

    Reply

  20. RLeternal says:

    I love Deidre Hall and her character Marlena. Just like on DOOL she is a supporting mom and grand-mom; she is very supportive of the Soap genre.

    Reply

    Alec replied

    Marlena is now a great-granny for starters.

    second- I agree with Deidre Hall – except – she needs to be more accepting of other platforms. I can watch my DAYS on Android or iPhone…and perhaps one day – someone may come calling for her to have her own talk show or series like Mr. Kevin Spacey has his on Nteflix….

    Third – Soaps are NO WHERE near extinction – look at the hubba ratings of OWN’s “The Haves and The Have Nots” – that is CLASSIC soap writing at its best. ALL the soaps are UP in ratings across the board from last year. Just the ebb and flow of the industry. Brian Frons was hasty for canceling but ABC should be ashamed for letting that travesty happen. I happened to see OLTL and AMC on OWN this week and I like what I see!

    Reply

  21. Sue Kent says:

    She really gets it! Days was there when I got home from school, when my boys were babies and I was a stay at home mom, when I was sick, and now when I am retired! In fact, Days has been more reliable than my husband was! I do miss some of the other soaps…. Guiding Light’s Reba & Shane, for instance! Days needs their super couple back! Where’s John? Where’s Bo?

    Reply

  22. 4everdays says:

    I love Deidre Hall and hope to see her receive her star on the Hollywood Walk
    Of Fame next year!!! Does Melody Thomas Scott have a star? I hope she MTS
    does’nt roll her eyes at Deidre’s good fortune! People need to learn to be nice
    like Deidre. DH is a small part of a great show. Days is great with and without
    her, but I will always support her. Some people sound like they support the
    soaps according to their favorite network. I support my soap because it is
    exciting day after day. Deidre was asked a question and she answered. She
    could have rambled on about DOOL, but did’nt. She has class and clearly
    supports the soaps in general. She did us all a favor by speaking!!! I will do
    you all a favor by saying. Do’nt be a YawneR when you can stay wide awake
    for DAYS.

    Reply

  23. Cat says:

    Deidre obviously doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Instead of trying to support the online soaps, she’s dissing them. She’s saying their audience has to pay for the shows online, which is not true. She obviously doesn’t even know they’re being shown on OWN now, on TV not just online. She obviously feels threatened by web soaps, but she needn’t worry — there’s room enough for everybody. Deidre, do your homework before you speak!

    Reply

  24. Natalie says:

    She is spot on. Only a lot more polite than I am. Brian Frons is the man who referred to an entire fan base as “soap terrorists” not dedicated or loyal and diehard but “soap terrorists”. He had zero respect for the genre the actors, writers and audience. THANK GOD he’s gone

    Reply

  25. CTwildheart says:

    Love most of what she said. I do hope someone has since informed her of the free option to watch these shows AND that there are a number of ways to watch them on a television versus a computer.

    Reply

  26. Rapids says:

    All 3 networks have cancelled soaps as audiences and revenue dwindled. The Chew has been successful and the network gave an hour back to the local affiliates. I say ABC is happy with their decisions. Cannot bring myself to watch online soaps, when something is over it is over. The only thing I miss on All My Children is Tadd Martin and MEK. Deidre Hall is protecting her turf, naturally she does not support online programming as the salaries are so much less.

    Reply

  27. Christy says:

    she obviously knows this business better than a lot of executives!

    Reply

  28. Tiffany says:

    i have to agrre with Deidre. i have been watching Days since the early 2000′s with my grandma and i have always been a fan of Days and of Deidre and Drake. u go Deidre tell it like it is. :)

    Reply

Leave a comment