Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 4:00 PM ET by Angela Rosa
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — ABC Daytime looks to cut costs but at what cost?
On Tuesday, July 12, Daytime Confidential reported that they heard rumblings that ABC Daytime wants to cut their schedule by up to twenty episodes a year (that is approximately ten percent of current regular annual output) and that they’d do this by showing encore presentations of classic episodes of “All My Children,” “One Life to Live,” and “General Hospital” that relate to current storyline. Later, that day ABC Daytime put out a release announcing that coinciding with “GH” superstar Vanessa Marcil’s (Brenda, “GH”) August 11 return, the ABC network along with SOAPnet would air a block of encore Brenda related “GH” episodes on on August 10, 2010 from 1 PM EST to 3 PM EST effectively pre-empting “AMC” and OLTL.” Today, the ABC network along with SOAPnet effectively confirmed DC’s July 12 scoop. In a release, the network noted that the Brenda tribute is just the beginning of ABC Daytime going into the archives on network time. Adding, “fans have often expressed the desire to see their favorite episodes of our soaps… Throughout the year, ABC Daytime will occasionally encore episodes that will enhance current story and give fans the opportunity to see episodes they really loved and have wanted to see again.”
Although we don’t dismiss fan consideration, the probable cut of ten percent of annual output will decrease the amount of money the network has to spend on writers, actors and crew. With ABC Daytime more or less confirming the cost-effective move, we suspect the actors and writers guilds have agreed to or are in the process of agreeing to be flexible about pre-arranged guarantees. There are also rumors that each soap will be cutting down their yearly work schedule, this is a move currently practiced by NBC’s ‘Days of Our Lives” and previously previously practiced by ABC’s “Port Charles” to cut costs. The aforementioned move will of course help with that if this rumor is indeed true. Ratings (particularly the demographics advertisers look at when deciding to fund programs, Women 18-49) are drastically down for all soaps, as well as much of the television line-up, making these cost-effective moves appear to be absolutely necessary.
On a shallow note, Soap Opera Network, and we’re sure all soap fans alike, hopes ABC Daytime will show truly classic episodes of the ABC soap line-up. As fans of the network know, ABC Daytime currently shows weeks-to-months old episodes in the usual pre-scheduled four to five open encore episode slots a year.
SON will keep you updated as more information develops on this story.
“All My Children,” “One Life to Live,” and “General Hospital” airs Weekdays on ABC. Check local listings. “AMC,” “OLTL,” and “GH” also airs 24/7 online at ABC.com.