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63 May 7th, 2013 PLANET 360 Topic: Brian Frons to Blame? Farah Fath States,”It Was Ludicrous For Him To Cancel OLTL!”

Courtesy/ABC

On the upcoming Friday, May 10th edition of Planet 360′s Soap Dish (which now airs on TVGN on Fridays, time vary) segment, the topic is … who is really to blame for the cancellation of All My Children and One Life to Live on ABC Daytime?  To almost 99.9% of the viewing public, the person to blame is former ABC Daytime Chief, Brian Frons!

Frons defining move to cancel AMC and OLTL are discussed and bantered about with the three Soap Dish guests, The Bay’s Lilly Melgar and Martha Madison, and former OLTL star, Farah Fath!

Farah who played Gigi Morasco and was brought to One Life to work with John-Paul Lavoisier as Rex Balsom’s love interest had the most revealing and interesting things to say in the segment when she related on Frons’ decision to ax the soaps,  “It was absolutely ludicrous for him to cancel One Life to Live. I am not going to speak for All My Children, I wasn’t on that show. But One Life to Live was under budget every single year.  In fact, so much so that the remaining One Life to Live budget was given to the over-budgeted All My Children. “

Courtesy/TVGN

Fath went on to say about Frons, “From my personal experience, I liked him. personally.  He made a home for me at ABC.  I didn’t like his professional decisions, obviously.  I think the network has stated since his departure that it was a mistake.  I think if the shows were on life support, he pulled the plug.”

Lilly Melgar was wondering if, “It wasn’t fair to pin this all one one person.”   Martha Madison recounted how Frons chose to go with lifestyle/makeover show, The Revolution which tanked, and The Chew,  in favor of continuing efforts to secure One Life to Live’s and All My Children’s future.

Watch the Planet 360 Soap Dish segment below!  Then let us know, do you think Brian Frons is the sole reason All My Children and One Life to Live were gone from network television?  Do you think the powers-that-be above him played enforcers and wanted the shows gone, and Frons was the instrument the network used to rid them of the two soap operas?  What do you think about Farah Fath’s comments on OLTL’s budget being used to help AMC?  Share your comments!

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  1. James says:

    The only person I dislike more than Brian Frons is Farah Fath.

    Reply

    MBmomof3 replied

    LOl.

    Reply

    Sheri replied

    I totally ABSOLUTELY agree!!!

    Reply

    Jen replied

    My thoughts exactly. I wish in this article it was mentioned how she and John-Paul Lavosier (Rex) sucked up to Fronz, lauding his talent and dedication, blah, blah, blah. Probably in the hopes of securing a role somewhere else on ABC daytime. Boy did that backfire bigtime. I’m glad they are not included in the re-boot. They cooked their own goose.

    Reply

  2. Robert in Jersey City says:

    If these shows weren’t viable, they wouldn’t be back. However, I think the use of these two iconic shows are being used as a teaching tool to an older age group about the internet and it’s power. Viki had a line “to think I was going to hold this story for the print edition”…that’s a powerful teaching line. So, as much as I dislike that they were cancelled and gone for a long time, I like what they are now. More than just scripted entertainment, there’s a lesson and a message that’s being presented in such a caring subtle way, coming from “people” we trust, that I think it’s actually become a good thing that there was a shake-up. The show was stale and now it’s got entertainment with a message.

    Fron’s should have just cut them both to 30 minutes and added The Chew. Past is past. Time for moving on. If the medium is the message, the medium is the internet, not the networks.

    Reply

    1love replied

    Hey Rob, from Jersey City.

    Can’t wait to meet you around town. Yes, what Fron’s did was not brilliant thinking and as you said, Past is the Past, but the man took a big risk and had balls galore to cancel two iconic shows like that (over so many years). Unfortunately, it was a risk that was a wrong one, costing him HIS JOB, and landing him a host of lifetime enemies. What he should have done was lose his ego (because there was ego power in his decision to do cancel those iconic shows) and I just want to AGREE with your point that Frons should have just cut both shows to 30 minutes, taking it back to the old format, and added the Chew.

    I do believe that these shows will find there way back on Television.

    Reply

    rebecca replied

    I think it’s being used as a teaching tool how NOT TO write a soap…truly…the online versions suck. People keep saying give them time…LOL…the writers are writers…this isn’t rocket science.

    I was very much in Prospect Park’s corner. I’ve read the comments section on this and other forums where people have said it’s a “new” One LIfe To Live” and that they didn’t promise to bring the old show back.

    Well, to me…the fans fought to bring the “old” show back…not just the name One LIfe To Live with a few familiar faces. The show is boring, it’s childish, it has the attention span of a flea, it lacks any emotion or connectivity, it reeks pretentiousness by trying to be so hip with its new usable curse words thrown in any opportunity as if that makes everything more authentic.

    Yeah…I know, I know…we all curse. Great. We all go to the bathroom too. That doesn’t make compelling stories!

    Perhaps Frons was to blame. Why didn’t ABC put the shows back on when they saw the initial outcry? BEFORE they dismantled all the sets? If Frons was solely to blame…why didn’t the rest of them fix it?

    So now the original fans are supposed to love this empty shallow of a soap gone by…with a small cast or originals who are barel in it…while we watch the newbies dance, curse and drink.

    I cannot see the logic. There is a huge established fan base of the original OLTL which is supposedly following (with great anticipation) then new show online. So PP brings it back and it’s NOTHING like the original…in the hopes that the older demographic will either fall off or stay…in the hope of a whole new younger audience.

    I think if I was not an original soap viewer, regardless of my age, that I’d be scrambling to watch OLTL when there’s so much online that’s really good! You can go to HULU and watch countless TV episodes that you missed on TV, watch movies, concerts…anything/everything. So, just because this is “original” programming doesn’t mean I’d watch it over the others. It needs to be good. It’s not…

    So is Frons responsible? Probably..initially. Was Farah right about the budget? Who knows…we’re not in their business loop. Obviously at the time of cancellation it was thought that there was more money to be gained with cheaper to produce TV. Canceling two at the same time…of long-loved shows was pure business…unfortunately, the human equation was taken out of that decision. Ripping beloved characters and fictional realities away from people who have gotten immersed in the escape of soaps was cold and brutal.

    Reply

    rebecca replied

    correction…I DON’T think I’d be scrambling to watch

    susan M. replied

    Not scrambling either! To watch anything else but OLTL! Frons is a TOAD!

    Diana replied

    Rebecca I agree with some of your comments & disagree with others. I am supporting both reboots & believe they will make it back to television airwaves. Soaps have always brought in younger viewers. Young people may catch a show when they are off from school or during the summertime, when all the soaps traditionally run youth oriented story lines. Serial dramas, daytime or nighttime have a proven hook to draw in viewers that has worked since the genre began. Nothing is going to change that. Yes, the old fans are the ones who rallied to keep these soaps going for a long long time & as new fans are picked up they will join the crusade. The online curse words have seemed a bit forced in some instances, especially on OLTL. I did get a laugh out of the aged AJ on AMC calling a bully an a_ _ hole!

  3. TomCat says:

    Grow up James. is it possible for you to participate in a grown up discussion without personal bias?

    Reply

    Marconious replied

    It’s not for me… I want to kick Brian Frons in the nuts

    Reply

  4. louisa says:

    Frons had a boss though, and she is still there. Anne Sweeney. He pulled the plug, but she approved it. Then she fired him when it failed. I like Farah!

    Reply

  5. Angela says:

    he has the blame but he didn’t make the decison to cancel them he didn’t have that kind of power cause he didn’t own the soaps. it was ABC and Sweeney’s decision.

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    He had some part in this.

    Reply

  6. Angela says:

    I didn’t word that right he doesn’t have the SOLE blame

    Reply

  7. Darlene Ford says:

    Abso-friggin-lutely!!! The Officious Troll.

    Reply

  8. Avidreader72 says:

    Hard to see both shows cancelled. Brain Frons pulled the plug and prior to that did next to nothing to promote OLTL. It was a shame. ABC should have been more prudent and cancelled the lowest rated soap with the biggest budget first to try out ONE new talk show. IMO ordering two new talk shows at once was a gamble, and silly. Anybody remember the Revolution? How long did it last?

    The good news is that the fans now have OLTL and AMC back. We have to do our part to support the show and make sure this new venture succeeds!

    Reply

    1love replied

    I don’t believe that he should have cancelled one show over the other. OLTL was definitely me beloved by the fans….. so had he kept OneLife over AMC, than what would of been said was, ” OneLife premiered/aired after AMC, why was OnelIfe saved over AMC. If AMC was saved, over OneLife, the Susan Lucci fonder and Agnes Nixon favorite show would in full circle and on the tongue’s of everyone. So I think that canceling them both was the best decision, oppose to one over the other. Now,…… what I believe he should have done was, cut both shows to 30 minutes (like the old format) and added the Chew (for that second hour).
    That would have been smart !

    He had allot of ego caught up in that decision to cancel both shows. He must of with two iconic shows like that.

    Reply

    Brian replied

    Avidreader72, you hit it home. Yes, now have to watch and support our shows we fought to get back. And those who nitpick over how “this is different” or “why was this actor changed” just let it go and get on with watching our stories.

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    I like watching OLTL even if it isn’t quite what it use to be… Still enjoy Erika Slesak!

  9. jimh says:

    It no longer matters to me…im so over it. Both shows are back and doing fine so far. Im not into them how i used to be…im still giving oltl more time to grow on me again but i lost interest in amc. Wished they had stayed on abc as 30 minute soaps…know a few people who miss them but dont have internet!

    Reply

    jimh replied

    I meant to say there are people young and old i dont know personally but ive met who are mentally or physically disabled who watched these iconic shows when they were on the networks who cant afford cable or internet but who still get the just the three networks and a few other channels.

    Reply

    kim replied

    maybe abc can cancel the chew and air edited repeats of amc and oltl…that would be a shock but i doubt they would!

    Reply

    Patrick replied

    tha’ts an idea…. say a network re-airs these soaps… and that network and PP can…. split the profit margin…off of commercials?

    saying if this is possible…. thereby PP making the most they can off of this endeavor…

    i so want that PP is successful.

  10. Rodd says:

    Blame doesn’t help in this situation. We don’t know what all went on behind the scenes. But I will say this, I would never trust Brian Frons to do anything, not support it. I do think he’s largely responsible, but feel there had to be others at an equal level or higher up in the network. Don’t trust anything ABC has to say and won’t for a long time to come. The network never promoted their shows and now that GH’s 50th anniversary week is over, I don’t see very much advertising for it. If ABC wants my trust, they’ll start treating the show with some respect and play some promos in primetime.

    So you see, I could blame Frons and a million other network people and it won’t make a bit of difference. OLTL and AMC are back in a different format and the fans have ultimately won. The egg is on Frons and ABC’s face.

    Reply

  11. MBmomof3 says:

    Brian Frons was responsible for cancelling AMC & OLTL. But, Anne Sweeney does not have clean hands either.

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    I agree!

    Reply

  12. su0000 says:

    There is one word to describe Frons.. Frons was an ”Idiot”…
    He was attempting to impress and be a hero and actually he was an ”Idiot”..

    (And there are variety of cuss words that would also describe Frons ;)

    Reply

  13. janet says:

    I also like Farah. I do not like Frons he is just like Phelps a soap killer.

    Reply

  14. Sue says:

    Yes I blame Frons do not watch ABC at all

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    Frons was only day time.. he nothing to with nighttime prime-time ..
    and ABC prime time has some really great soaps/series and they are on top of great TV.

    Reply

  15. Nadine says:

    Frons should have been gone YEARS ago, If indeed the sole decision was Anne Sweeney’s, then why not invite her to comment on this and lets see what she has to say. now THAT would be interesting, don’t you think?

    Reply

  16. Edna Barefoot says:

    I believe ABC/D now knows it was one of their worst decision ever to cancel OLTL & AMC. If OLTL’s money was used to keep AMC above head then that was great. Mr. Frons went in with ABC/D in control & cancelled our soaps because that was what ABC/D wanted. We have been very angry with all the execs at ABC/D & some remain angry & I am one of them. I will say OLTL & AMC are doing great & I for am delighted. Michael thank you for the article. You have kept us abreast for so long now you are one of our champions for Soap Operas.

    Reply

  17. Karen says:

    He’s a scumbag. Not only did he cancel the shows – he lied straight in the faces of the entire AMC cast and crew – he made Susan Lucci look and sound like an ass to thousands of fans. He burned a lot of bridges. No, he wasn’t alone – but he was the one who looked those people in the eyes and told them AMC was moving to the West Coast and would be fine. He was the one who assure La Lucci that the show was fine and not being cancelled amid rumors or the opposite and it was what? A few weeks tops before the death knoll rang out? He’s a scumbag and a liar. Caca may run downhill, but he proudly stood in it with waders and lied to thousands. Scumbag.

    Reply

  18. Derek says:

    Frons may not have made the decision to cancel but he is absolutely to blame for them being cancelled. He drove the shows into the ground. Especially AMC. Hiring writers that didn’t care about history, pushing Agnes Nixon out, not promoting the shows, the list goes on. He didn’t care about the shows or the fans. And he as much said so.

    Reply

  19. Lew S says:

    Ya know what, screw Frons and Disney/ABC! We have our shows back and we should be quite pleased about that.

    Reply

  20. terri says:

    i would love to see gig rex and (omg i forgot their son’s name – awkward!!) but i remember him – would love to see them back – oh yes and roxie

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    ROXIE most definetely!

    Reply

  21. David says:

    I was shocked to discover recently ( in Wikipedia) that Fronz was once a co writer of One Life to Live with Frank Valenti. It is amazing he would desire the cancellation of a show he had creatively worked on. I hope ABC regrets the mistake they made. I hope Oprah regrets not finding a place for the shows, announcing their time had past. I hope Prospect Park leads the way with the revivals of these shows…they are not just daytime, but anytime and anywhere.

    Reply

    MBmomof3 replied

    I may be wrong, but I believe it was during the writer’s strike.

    Reply

  22. Tania says:

    Anne Sweeney has soap suds on her hands! She was Brian’s boss. She wanted out of the soap business. For goodness sakes Frons worked in soaps since the 80s. Sweeney never did. She wanted them gone and when it came back to bite her in the butt she had Frons take the fall.

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    Anne who pulled the strings to her puppet Frons!

    Reply

    MBmomof3 replied

    I agree. But he was in charge of daytime, so they are both guilty in my book.

    Reply

  23. Randy says:

    While Frons may not have cancelled the shows on his own, he certainly meddled enough with the creative aspects of the shows during his tenure, causing them to get to the cancellation point. OLTL lucked out with Cartini toward it’s end, but AMC was completely destroyed by his decisions for writers and characters. At one point the only characters that had anything to do were Kendall, Zach, Greenlee & Ryan. The rest of the actors showed up to talk about what were going on with those 4. While I liked those characters and actors, who wants to see that for an hour, 5 days a week? It’s nice to see some balance on the internet versions of the shows.

    Reply

  24. Helen says:

    Unfortunately there’s more than enough blame to go around. Anne Sweeney upheld Frons decision and that tells me that the ok went up the chain! Glad Frons lost his job but I don’t think he was the only one who take their share of the blame!

    Reply

  25. Irene says:

    I like the two shows now. I like the pace, production and I like watching on huluplus when I want to. I keep up because it my habit. I am sure there will be times when I will the weekend marathon viewing. I do not watch the four shows on tv anymore. I was at point where I missed more than caught them so it was not too hard to let go. All my shows I watched for decades were gone awhile already. I don’t know what I will do if they also go on internet. Have to decide at that point. I just like clicking when I want to watch something. Some show have tightened the reigns so to speak now that watching on huluplus is so popular. All we can do is adjust as things go along. I think ABC Disney wanted out of soap business and the orders were sent down. Anne Sweeney included. All included. ABC Disney rather showcase their primetime soaps. I think the viewing habits have made judge shows, talk shows and game shows more viable during the day. It is what it is. This is better for oltl. What is saying When one door closes another opens.

    Reply

    rebecca replied

    you could have always watched your soaps online. Hulu always ran ABC’s ONE LIFE TO LIVE as well as all the other sopas…I’ve watched OLTL and General Hospital online for a few years now.

    Reply

  26. Llanviewer717 says:

    In my humble opinion, BF was the face of the cancellation decision. As much as I loathe him, I do not believe he acted in isolation. There were people above him. Anne Sweeney, President of ___ Television Group, and Robert Iger, CEO of the mouse company, are still employed. Their hands are covered with blood.

    Thank goodness for the vision and commitment of PP. I am loving the online versions of OLTL and AMC.

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    Goes to show the order of things in our world..
    When one door closes anther opens..
    Cancelling and having PP take them on, was a blessing..
    Both soaps are now the better from it ..

    Reply

  27. Patrick says:

    Farah Fath should go back to DAYS…

    she could be either T or Brians’ sister…..

    wishful thinking…

    Reply

  28. Troy Turner says:

    Not that it matters much because AMC/OLTL are back, but Frons was NOT let go because of the Revolution, he was let go because the original PP deal didn’t go through, IMO. Had it gone through in 2012, he would have been regarded as a hero-because everyone would have gotten what they wanted. I’m not defending him, because there’s no logical reason that The Chew should still be on the air-but, there were MANY other ways this could have been handled. I blame the shortsightedness of ABC more than I blame Frons-although his hands aren’t clean.

    One last thought-does anyone notice that Frons is persona non grata in the TV/entertainment industry these days?

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    When Frons left ABC he was given a 3 million dollar bonus..
    He is doing well..

    Reply

  29. heidi says:

    I am really tired of the BF discussions. He made a regrettablly unpopular business decision that will be out there for awhile and yet… the shows are back… be it in a very different way and they will be what they will be.

    Reply

  30. toscanti says:

    Brian Frons is an arrogant prick, almost as arrogant as Jill Farren Phelps. BF did not care about soaps and in reality should have cancelled GH instead of OLTL. I only say this if he were looking at it from a budgeting aspect. OLTL had been way under budget and the ratings were climbing steadily. I despise Brian Frons.

    Reply

  31. Rapids says:

    The network canceled the two shows because they want to get out of scripted daytime shows. Brian was the front man, the decision was approved at multiple levels above him. I kind of agree one life was cancelled a little prematurity but all my children had been hemorrhaging viewers for a long time and creatively it was out of gas. If the reboots succeed they are at a different universe from network tv, they are not on TV at all. Abc is batting fifty per cent plus as the chew does well rating wise at a fraction of the cost. The business side is more interesting to me than the shows. I decided not to watch the reboots but enjoy reading about them.

    Reply

  32. Lisa Z. says:

    BF was the hatchet man. There must have been a lot of people at the top of ABC that wanted to cancel the soaps. If I remember correctly, FF and her boyfriend, JPL were the first cast members to speak out about OLTL’s cancellation saying it was a great opportunity for everyone and how it will lead to new opportunities. Some of the other more intelligent cast members of OLTL stated how bad they felt for all of the job losses especially all of the people behind the scenes. I don’t know how many opportunities have surfaced for these two actors…I am enjoying the new OLTL very much, and I hope it is a success. I watch nothing on ABC daytime.

    Reply

    Peter-Nicholas Fragasso replied

    Me too, Lisa.

    Reply

  33. Peter-Nicholas Fragasso says:

    It was canceled due to the greed of ABC executives. It’s much less expensive to put on some dumb ass cooking show where you watch people eat for an hour than to pay good actors for fun entertainment.

    Reply

  34. JoAnn says:

    Only idiots watch programs like the chew. Lasting 30, 40, 50 years with dedicated fans says it all.

    Reply

  35. Samantha says:

    I completely agree….it was greed, pure and simple. TV execs are all about the money and how much they can cram into their own pockets. Reality/talk shows are cheap to make, and (in my opinion) utter garbage being shoved down our throats on EVERY channel. All I know is that, since the cancellation of AMC and OLTL, I have not watched any show on ABC, daytime or primetime. I’ve had it with the reality and talk show garbage being dished out by the major networks, so ABC can go to Hades along with the rest of the greedy networks.

    Reply

  36. Diana says:

    Robert Iger & Anne Sweeney remain at the helm of Disney/ABC. Frons headed ABC’s Daytime Division. Under the orders of the Big Mouse – Frons as the Big Cheese dismantled OLTL & AMC. The canceling of OLTL was the most vicious because its writers were producing the most well written program on daytime. The anihilation of AMC was well crafted under Frons orders. He put Chuck Pratt in as head hatchet…hmm writer & had him kill off beloved characters & leave the remaining stories to center around the endless whining of one particular character & her young children. The remaining vets & iconic characters were handed scripts of mindless drivel. Only until the final moments show, was the true heart of AMC resuscitated! Who profited from the AMC axe job – Chuckie Pratt. As the best hatchet man in the business he was installed as Executive Producer & Head Writer of the ABC Family’s The Lying Game. All the while production people behind & on screen were handed pink slips as the show was moved to LA with promises to the actors & others who made the move that their jobs were secure & things were going to be better than ever! Unbeknownst to those who made the move, the better than ever was the total destruction of a 40+ year old daytime institution! Then came the final sucker punch when the mouse announced that OLTL was also being canceled. As far as OLTL being produced under budget, all the info I have gathered is that Frank Valentini is a genius! That he consistently was able to deliver nothing but the best of the best & did so within guidelines or under budget. The mouse doesn’t like it’s daytime arm. Too much flab, so start squeezing out all that was good & turn it into a plastic surgery gone very very bad! Online may be the wave of the future but I don’t think it will ever replace traditional TV viewing. I believe online viewing only adds a timing convenience. However, the DVR is the medium that HAS changed TV viewing! The DVR is the best “anytime” viewing device available! Everything comes down to greed & who can profit most. There is no respect for loyal viewers or cast & crew of programs. Everyone gets that sponsors are needed because producing quality shows don’t come cheap but the greediness of the mouse is the worst out there. I support PP & TOLN but anxiously await PP coming to terms with a cable or other network to air OLTL & AMC on television in time slots opposite ABC’s daytime replacements. OLTL & AMC ratings will grind the replacements into the ground. Thanks to the deal PP made with FX Canada, the new episodes air there daily at Noon & 12:30 PM! May the ratings soar! FX United States, come on board. I for one will DVR daily & promise not to fast forward any commercials! But hey, writers & sponsors, take a look at a few Seinfeld episodes. They perfected the art of product placement. Everyday dialogue includes references to products, so writing it in to storylines either verbally or visually would be easy to do. Far better to see someone pouring out cereal from the iconic yellow box of Cheerios then a goofy O-eeios or whatever crazy name they may use. Long live OLTL & AMC!

    Reply

  37. Peter-Nicholas Fragasso says:

    Well stated, Joann, Samantha and Diana. We’ve got these greedy SOBs’ numbers.

    Reply

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