UPDATE: On-Air On-Soaps has now confirmed that 50 plus fans were mobilized and attended the scheduled soap protest at ABC’s Upfront Presentation of their fall new line-up to elite advertisers this afternoon at Lincoln Center in New York City. Mainstream coverage of their efforts appeared today at The Wrap, EW.com and the Hollywood Reporter. Daytime Emmy nominee and the former star of As the World Turns, Colleen Zenk joined the soap opera protesters. In addition, so did One Life to Live’s, Ilene Kristen and renowned soap journalist, Mimi Torchin.
According to EW.com, “Armed with signs (“Screw The Chew” and “Save our soaps,” among them), a bullhorn, and an arsenal of quippy chants, the hardcore soap fans stood outside for the length of the two-hour presentation, hoping to bring attention to their cause. “We’re trying to make a point to the advertisers that we’re not going to be watching the new shows, and we want our soaps to stay on the air,” protestor Susan Hoffman of New York. “No one wants to watch The Chew. That’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. What we’re trying to say is that us, as soap viewers, are not going to watch a cooking show or a weight loss show in the afternoon. That’s not something we’re going to DVR and watch in the evening.”
Shawn Brady, a former CBS News producer who just moved from Los Angeles to New York, helped organize the protest by forming the group Soap Fans United with people he met on Twitter. Brady spoke with The Wrap. “If we don’t save these two, General Hospital may be next. An art form is being killed.”
Hollywood Reporter noted, “The demonstration was organized by SoapFansUnited.com. In a leaflet, the organization urged advertisers to “consider carefully whether ABC/Disney’s strategy will increase your company’s revenue or create consumer loyalty toward your products. Your consumers see ABC/Disney’s move to new daytime programming for what it is — glorified infomercials appropriate for late-night basic cable channels, not for a major broadcast network.” An organizer with a bullhorn led the faithful in chants: “We want soaps. We want soaps. No more reality. No more talk” and “Don’t flush our soaps away.”
So, what are your thoughts on today’s turn out and this groups dedication to their fight to keep soaps alive?