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10 April 28th, 2011 Why was OLTL sacrificed in the daytime line-up when its ratings were up & at creative high?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Associated Television International’s, Jim Romanovich took to posting his latest thought-provoking blog at Baseline Intelligence.  In it, Romanovich brings to light and for discussion, why One Life to Live was also canceled along with All My Children when clearly the show was higher in the ratings, creatively successful, and under budget.  Was it perhaps that ABC was set to cancel it all along and not AMC, and then OLTL out performed AMC at every level thus causing the network a conundrum? Did ABC make OLTL a sacrificial lamb? Here are just a few excerpts from Jim, but we encourage you to read his entire post.

Romanovich: “So what’s with the urgency that both of these shows have to go… like yesterday?  ABC spent millions of dollars on bringing All My Children to Los Angeles in what appeared to be the biggest show of support for the soaps since we took over the Daytime Emmys. At the time, I truly believed ABC felt that way too.  I believed that this was the only way to save both this show and One Life To Live.  Maybe on the surface that’s what they had hoped. But it seems apparent to me that deep down they knew then that One Life was down to its last life.  This was just borrowed time until they could find the show to replace it.  Essentially ABC was telling Frank Valentini to make bricks without straw.  He made the Taj Mahal instead much to ABC’s shock.  By being the lone soap in NY without any real support system the network felt that if they left it alone, it would die on its own.  But it didn’t.  It rose in the ratings!  Creatively, it was by far the best storytelling soap around that utilized its whole canvas of talent equally.  The whole cast and crew brought their A game every single time and the viewers…noticed!  When I grow up, I want to be Frank Valentini because the man is simply amazing to me.”

“The following is my opinion of what I think must have occurred with the cancellation of both soaps as I can think of nothing else that makes sense. What the network was not prepared for was the diminishing ratings of All My Children. When ABC chose this show to be relocated to Los Angeles, they seemed to put great faith into its longevity while knowing that one of their soaps, the New York one, was going to be sacrificed eventually.  When One Life started pulling ahead of All My Children, ABC had a little bit of a conundrum.  How could they now seriously cancel One Life, which they were planning to do all along at some point, and spare All My Children?  They felt the backlash would have been so monumental that it would have been a PR disaster.  So they did something that they felt that would get some serious backlash, but one that was easier to explain.  Cancel them both and place two other shows quickly in those slots and say that this new direction adheres to the current daytime audience that prefers shows with some take away value.  This way, it doesn’t sound personal.  If they tanked One Life which is doing well and kept AMC which is not doing quite so well, then that comes across as personal to the fans in the network’s thinking.”

“With regards to the cancellations of One Life To Live and All My Children, the network acted too hastily and was nowhere near prepared for the onslaught of criticism that was to follow.  I had always believed that soaps on daytime television were living on borrowed time, but that didn’t mean the end of their time.  It meant that these shows were ready to be placed elsewhere.  I still think SoapNet could have been a success if Disney had planned on making it a success.  I’d say forget Disney Jr., which is redundant anyway, and keep SoapNet or at least re-brand it and make it the place to find your daytime soaps twice a day and other shows that have that same flavor and style that appeal to that demo. Everybody loves soaps.  Hell, the NBA finals are nothing more than soap opera! Build upon what Night Shift started and create other soaps.  The new re-branded SoapNet could continue on in new ways. I like what they did for the web with the What If… series and could see that kind of forward thinking evolve into television or maybe even break the fourth wall more often like One Life did with their Glee episodes or The Bold and Beautiful did with their homeless story. But this is all just wishful thinking as the audience is there and those with the power don’t see it.”

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  1. leah says:

    People grow up I said it before.. Frons was purposely sabotaging the soaps so they would fail… He thought He had harmed OLTL enough that it would fail all on its own.. but the show broke out running once frons left it for dead… When he quit meddling the soap took off… He Frons moved Amc to California so he could have it close to GH and work on killing them both at the same time.. He has really Fuck General Hospital up… and he did the same to all my children.. If you look at both shows and why they failed or are failing you can see that one hand has left its hand print the soaps were not to prosper… That is not the way Frons wants or wanted it.. He has his own idea for day time… I am so done with ABC and really done with Disney for letting him get away with this… I guess Mickey is quite the little Rat bastard.. And i hope people have enough sense to boycott Disney along with ABC. Because they didn’t care about the fans they cared about the dollars they could save by doing horrible reality t.v.

    kudos to my son who opened for snoop dog in ALLENTOWN PA.. they were Nik nemesis crew. any way I was going to try to get to snoop Dog and hand him a sign which said save our soaps… I couldn’t get past the bigger then NFL players (body guards) In any Event its not just the little people who love the soaps… if someone larger then life could just speak up and help-GOD how nice would that be….


  2. Torrey says:

    Amen and Amen…..


  3. lisa says:

    In the final analysis – it doesn’t really matter how you slice it and dice it…….
    Unless by some eleventh hour miracle – both shows will be gone within months.

    I personally would rather watch repeat episodes from the humble beginnings of both shows (though I do profess -I love OLTL more),than to watch the proposed shows that are going to air in AMC and OLTL’s time slot.
    And frankly I won’t be watching.

    Time will tell …..and I think ABC,Brian Frons,Disney et al – will rue the day they made their decision.

    I think they may -nay THEY HAVE committed network suicide.

    Tragic !!


    lisa replied

    Oops! Computer hiccuped !!


  4. CINDY says:



  5. Andrea says:

    Actually All My Children was doing poorly before the move and they thought it could be resurrected with more energy. One Life To Live has been placing higher for some time.

    The fact is that ABC/Disney barely did any advertising at all for OLTL and still it managed to climb higher and higher because of savvy writing dealing with social and civic issues and some of the best talent on daytime.

    It is further reported that it was Frons intention from the get-go to get these shows off the air which is further supported by the lack of advertising and marketing, or getting the actors on talk shows to promote the shows.

    If someone wanted to not only save them, but the bring ratings up and more money in, the fix would have been very easy and would required the least little bit of creativity and desire.


  6. Jan says:

    As I too am saddened , A show Called INSTANT STAR wasnt allowed for be finished fulling ITS potential yet a petition as well as fans of the CTV TV Series still remain in hope for it. Just a COMPLETION of a SEASON 5 (NOT ASKING FOR THE WORLD )


  7. Edgar says:

    I am sorry to hear about the dual cancellation of AMC and OLTL. However, I was a regular watcher of As The World Turns and not of these serials. I was really bothered by the cancellation of ATWT, a show which had a far longer history than either of these shows and still was viable. Frankly, it irks me that the cancellation of ATWT received little attention while the cancellation of AMC and OLT appears to leave viewers irate (cancelled by their v. Both the producers, writers, actors, and fans should have realized that the warnings they were getting when ATWT was cancelled.


  8. Todd says:

    I was a fan of Atwt turns also. It wasnt owned by cbs. It wasnt doing well ratings wise when cancelled. It was terrible that it had to go off when luke and reid were really gaining steam. Its cancellation didnt resonate because it wasnt 2 at once. This is a network getting out of the soap business. Oltl is the last ny soap and really signals the end of an era. I still will never watch the talk. Im am still mad.


  9. Miffy says:

    Folks, you are delusional. CBS cancelled two soaps, and they are still the number one network the last time I checked. And being the second highest rated show out of six low-rated shows is NOT an accomplishment. There is no huge “outcry”, either. There was a protest at ABC a few weeks ago, and a whopping 30 people showed up!

    Low-rated shows get cancelled all the time.


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