News - Soap Buzz

8 April 19th, 2011 Insider Report indicates, SOAPnet not shutting down anytime soon? Kiddie Channel not ready!

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 DMDisney 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?

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  1. Susan says:

    ABC should have kept Soapnet going in the first place. There’s already too many kids channels on the satellite and cable networks. Soapnet is the only outlet we have other than the networks to watch current episodes of soaps. When Soapnet first started we used to be able to see old episodes of soap operas. I miss those days, Soapnet needs to stay, if networks are no longer filming soaps period,

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  2. david says:

    It’s very interesting to contrast this report with Michael’s “Brian Frons on the upshot of the decision to end SOAPnet!” from May 26, 2010:
    http://michaelfairmansoaps.com/news/brian-frons-on-the-upshot-of-the-decision-to-end-soapnet/2010/05/26/

    Frons was likely considering canceling AMC and OLTL back then when he decided to end SOAPnet. Could he be responsible for the submission of the OLTL musical, mentioned in the article above, which destroyed any chance for OLTL to win the Emmy for Best Daytime Drama in 2011, according to TV Guide?

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  3. felicia says:

    Why don’t they just air AMC and OLTL on Soapnet?

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  4. david says:

    Frons has been planning to cancel OLTL for years:
    http://tvguide.ca/Soaps/Nelson_Ratings/Articles/090928_soapgeist_NB

    Scroll down and note at the bottom of the page under “Top 3 Soap Moments To Watch” for: “2. Tuesday [Sept 29, 2009]: One Life welcomes Lionel Ritchie [sic] on the Ultra Violet stage. “Let’s go … and hunt down Brian Frons for even thinking of cancelling this brilliant show,” he sings to Llanview. Later, Ritchie asks, “Is this a gay bar?”

    I found video of Richie singing on the 9/29/09 episode of OLTL on YourTube but I couldn’t hear or find the quotes above. Can anyone find these somewhere?

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  5. lew says:

    ABC/Disney has kept the Frons for this long. PLEASE tell my why?

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  6. Marji says:

    They could have the best of both worlds. Have Disney Jr during the day and Soapnet at night. Soapnet could air first run episodes of the Soaps each night. That would make viewers happy, and keep revenue as the channel is not free.It is packaged by cable and satellite companies. They could also do some advertising during the shows as well as product placement. They need to make use of the channel anyway, viewers will support this and allows ABC to save face and still air the 2 shows that they want on ABC during the current time slots of AMC and OLTL. Everybody wins…………..Although I doubt the Chew and The Revolution will win regardless. Just not the kind of programming it appears many want in daytime. Including me. The soaps, I will take any day!!!!!!!!!

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  7. Susan says:

    Please keep the Soaps on!! Lots of people still watch them. That includes men. They are timeless. Working women still watch soaps. Anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong. I have had a full-time job for over thirty-five years and was in the AF Reserve and active duty. I still keep up with Y & R and B & B. They are the greatest!! Soapnet is great for catching up. Forget about Disney and buy your kids a bicycle!!

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  8. Julie says:

    I’m sick of abc messing with my soaps now the want soap net. Well this lady for one has stopped watching anything on abc since they took off AMC and OLTL . Why they thought another talk show could replace soaps is beyond me. Soap fans are the greatest I wonder if any network could say they have had any shows with years or in my case decades of viewers watching the same show . The executives running the programming need to wake up and get a life.

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