Looks like there are not only disgruntled fans all across soapdom, but disgruntled ABC/Disney employees who had to deal with the impending doom of All My Children and One Life to Live, and SOAPnet for quite some time and a murky business strategy! Deadline.com got an inside perspective from someone who has worked within the ABC/Disney company. In the item, it reveals the confusing and messy decision to change SOAPnet to the Disney Junior Channel and that there is no way the cable channel will be ready by January 2012 to launch the new kiddie platform! In fact, now it looks like SOAPnet will be on longer with two less soaps thanks to the cancellations of AMC and OLTL!
Here is what the insider stated! “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.A couple of years ago, they started a project to evolve SOAPNet into a new female network that was code named “Carrie.” Anne Sweeney had told them that they needed to evolve the network for the future, especially as more people had DVRs and just airing soaps at night was not enough. They pitched an idea to make the network hip and cool for women, basically the type of woman that Carrie was in Sex and the City. We thought that it was a go and then found out that the executives rejected their idea all together. Then they started again to pitch a product called DM – Disney Moms. The idea this time was a network that moms would want to watch and their families would watch with them, cooking shows, dancing shows basically everything that is found on other networks. It was part of that project that they started talking about combing All My Children and One Life to Live. They were putting together ideas of what would replace the one soap and were competing against an idea called Good Afternoon America. They failed to convince anyone that their idea was good, they had a pilot with Aisha Tyler that was awful.
At the same time, the Disney Channel team pitched Disney Junior, and when Anne compared DM and Disney Junior, she decided to shutdown SOAPNet and replace it with Disney Junior. They were furious and made some nasty comments about how the Disney Channel team went behind everyone’s back and stole their channel. Over the last 6 months, our entire team has been under the impression that SOAPNet was going to shut down in January 2012 and be replaced with Disney Junior. Over the last few weeks, I have heard comments that Disney Junior is now having problems getting the cable contracts done. So Disney Junior’s launch has been pushed from January to Spring 2012 and now SoapNet is not shutting down in January 2012. Both networks will be run at the same time it could be for several years, Disney Junior will only be in a few homes and a lot of money will be spent keeping both networks up.
So now we are shutting down AMC in September and OLTL in January, and SOAPNet is still going to be on the air, we are going to run a network on General Hospital and some acquired soaps, it is embarrassing to all of us who had cared so much about our work. We are not just angry that they are shutting down AMC and OLTL, but over the last 3-4 years we have been following a leader and his head of strategy who have not been able to do anything right.”
OK, so does anyone know what the game plan is over there?