How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of 'GH,' 'The View' and 'The Chew'; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of ‘GH,’ ‘The View’ and ‘The Chew’; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

 
Industry
(l.to.r) John P Iblis/JPI Studios; John Paschal/JPI Studios; Benjamin Cohen/NBC

(l.to.r) John P Iblis/JPI Studios; John Paschal/JPI Studios; Benjamin Cohen/NBC

The onscreen comings and goings in the soap opera industry are enough to make anyone’s head spin, and the behind the scenes business is just as action packed! In fact, three soap stars have recently made bold moves by switching agencies.

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Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

A week after word leaked that Ronn Moss (Ridge Forrester) opted not to renew his contract, CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful,” now in its 26th season, has worked overtime to not lose another member of its “core four” (the soaps four original cast members).

Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke Forrester), who revealed on her Twitter page that she was crying when she found out Moss would be leaving the soap, has released a statement (posted by Soap Opera Digest) that she has signed a new two year contract with the daytime drama series.

“I’m very happy to tell you that I have re-signed my contract with ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ for two more years,” said Lang. “Brad [Bell, Executive Producer/Head Writer] has come up with an exciting new storyline for Brooke that I think the fans are going to love.”

Lang, along with Moss, Susan Flannery (Stephanie Forrester) and John McCook (Eric Forrester) are the only four remaining original cast members of “B&B.” They’ve appeared on the soap ever since its launch on March 23, 1987.

With Moss departing, the “core four” now becomes the “core three.” The actors last airdate is scheduled for Friday, September 14.



Photo Credit: American Media, Inc.

America Media, Inc. (AMI) has purchased 37-year-old Soap Opera Digest from previous owner Source Interlink Media. As followers of Soap Opera Network knew, America Media licensed Digest from Source Interlink on April 14, 2011, wherein American Media would retain editorial, advertising, marketing and distribution control of the magazine and its sister publications Soap Opera Weekly and Pixie! (both now defunct), while ownership would remain with Source Interlink.

According to a press release issued today, the deal in acquiring Digest closed on July 20, 2012 with the ownership effective date listed as June 1, 2012. Soap Opera Network has also learned that as part of the deal another round of layoffs hit the magazine resulting in a number of long-time staffers and writers losing their jobs.

Soap Opera Digest is said to have a circulation of over 200,000 and a reach of over 4 million readers per week, making it a key asset to American Media. “Soap Opera Digest is a very important strategic acquisition for AMI as it fits perfectly in the Celebrity & Entertainment Group,” said David J. Pecker, Chairman, President and CEO of American Media, Inc.

Stephanie Sloane will remain the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief while David Jackson will remain Group Publisher of Soap Opera Digest. They both report directly to Pecker.



Apple, Inc.

On Wednesday, March 28, the Disney/ABC Television Group and Nielsen Media Research announced they would begin measuring behavior in consumers using proprietary metering technology.

The two companies stated the measure would be a “new and significant initiative that will substantially improve understanding of how people use iPads for video consumption and other activities.” According to data released by Apple, Inc., makers of the popular iPad product, there have been more than 55 million iPads sold to date and another 3 million sold since March 16, 2012 (launch date of “the new iPad” aka: iPad 3).

The study was commissioned by the Disney/ABC Television Group’s ABC Research department, in which they asked Nielsen to create a proprietary, opt-in metered iPad panel that would “aggregate and measure video consumption, app usage and other activity over the course of a year.” Nielsen will seek approximately 200 individuals/households to download their new metering application on their iPad in order for the companies to measure the reach, duration, frequency and page views of their overall iPad apps and web browsing.

“We have been actively studying consumer tablet usage through our own data for two years, and believe Nielsen’s proprietary technology has the potential to deliver unprecedented additional details about consumer viewing patterns,” said Peter Seymour, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Research for Disney Media Networks. “This study will help us — and ultimately the entire industry — to better understand our consumers, the complete tablet environment and the role our content plays on this fast growing and popular device.”

“With our unique metering capabilities, this work with ABC represents a significant step forward in understanding how consumers are using and bringing the iPad into their day-to-day [lives],” said Cheryl Idell, Executive Vice President, Nielsen Media Research. “The insight gleaned from this study, using these metering capabilities, is an example of how we meet our commitment to deliver cross platform understanding to the industry and provide broader understanding of consumers.”

Preliminary results of the study was provided by Charles Kennedy, ABC’s Senior Vice President, Research, at the Advertising Research Foundations re:Think conference held at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City.

According to sources, as indicated by Seymour above, ABC has been actively following the usage of its viewers who watch their ABC programming on their iPad’s via the popular ABC Player application. Soap Opera Network has also learned that viewing of ABC programs on the iPad, and in particular  on ABC.com, will play more of a role in the networks decision making when it comes to the renewal chances of its programming. For instance, “Happy Endings,” a popular comedy series airing after “Modern Family” on Wednesday nights, recently ended its second season with low viewership levels in total audience and key sales demographics. Although not confirmed by ABC at this time, TVLine.com reported that “Endings” is likely to be renewed for a third season. This would solely be based on its performance in online viewership as the series plays relatively strong on Hulu.com, ABC.com and the ABC Player on the iPad.



American Media, Inc.

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Although the likelihood was expected thanks to the loss of long-time soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” in 2011 and 2012, which were preceded by the departures of “Guiding Light” and “As The World Turns” in 2009 and 2010, news broke on Thursday, March 22 that after 22 years in publication Soap Opera Weekly would end its successful run as one of the premier soap opera magazines. The final decision to end the mag was just one of many blows the soap opera industry has felt in as many years. Soap Opera Network takes a by the numbers look at Weekly and how its readership levels helped lead to its ultimate demise.

On April 14, 2011 news of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live’s” cancellations created headlines in nearly every trade magazine, newspaper and informational entertainment website you could think of. What the world didn’t know at the time was that same day (morning in fact) American Media, Inc. had signed a licensing deal with Source Interlink, owner of both Weekly and sister mag Soap Opera Digest, in which American Media would control the editorial, advertising, marketing and distribution aspects of both magazines. As part of that deal a number of staffers were let go from both Digest and Weekly, while those who remained were either re-assigned or part of the recent layoffs now effecting the demise of Weekly itself.

According to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) data Soap Opera Network has received, Soap Opera Weekly magazine had an average total circulation of nearly 108,000 between subscriptions and single copy sales in the second half of 2011. Single copy sales exceeded subscriptions by just over 5,000 issues. The magazine lost upwards of 40,000 subscribers compared to the second half of 2010, when its total circulation was nearly 146,000 between subscriptions and single copy sales. In November of 2011, in our report announcing the launch of Reality Weekly, we noted that Soap Opera Weekly had recently ceased providing subscriptions:

Dated November 14, 2011:

Although I do not personally subscribe to either Digest or Weekly, it recently came to my attention that Soap Opera Weekly no longer provides subscriptions for soap fans wishing to receive their Weekly at home as it and numerous other magazines have done since their inceptions. This was later confirmed as the magazine no longer provides an online subscription via the Zinio magazine subscription and tablet application service. Digest and Soaps in Depth (both ABC and CBS editions) continue to provide subscriptions, however.

With the magazine no longer providing subscription based readership, sales figures fell to just over 50,000 single copy sales based on the data average of the 15 issues sold during the first half of 2012, according to the ABC. This showed axed subscribers did not opt into buying the magazine at their local supermarket or grocer. By comparison, in the first half of 2001, when there were 10 soaps still on the air (“All My Children,” “As The World Turns,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital,” “Guiding Light”, “One Life to Live,” “Passions,” “Port Charles” and “The Young and the Restless”), Weekly‘s total circulation was 372,000 on average between subscriptions (134,000) and single copy sales (238,000).

Soap Opera Weekly, which launched with its first issue dated November 21, 1989, with maven Mimi Torchin as its founding Editor in Chief, will present a final look into the world of soaps with its last issue dated April 10, 2012, according to an American Media spokesperson. Stephanie Sloane, in her role as the Editor in Chief of both Weekly and Digest, will close the books on the magazine.



(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — In a story we had been following since it was first reported last April that Soap Opera Weekly and Soap Opera Digest magazines would fall under the umbrella of American Media, publishers of such mags as Star and TV Guide, Soap Opera Network has learned that after 22 years Soap Opera Weekly (launched in November 1989) will be shuttered and its April 10, 2012 issue will be its last.

Weekly, which last fall discontinued its subscription base readership in place of a newsstand only publication, let go some of its remaining staff while retaining the remainder according to a representative. Stephanie Sloane, who took over both magazines last June as Editor in Chief, after the departure of Lynn Leahey, will continue in that capacity at Digest.

In December rumors of Weekly‘s ultimate demise began with the announcement of American Media’s newest publication Reality Weekly, which shipped its first issue in January of this year. At the time an American Media publicist confirmed that Reality Weekly had no impact on the future of Soap Opera Weekly. It is understood that despite today’s announcement of Soap Opera Weekly‘s end Reality Weekly will not replace Soap Opera Weekly on newsstands. “Reality Weekly has its own supermarket pockets and are not taking over Soap Opera Weekly‘s pockets,” confirmed the rep.



Disney/ABC Television Group

After a number of years being relegated to the 11:00 PM time slot (outside of the primetime hours of 8:00 to 11:00 PM), SOAPnet’s same day re-airings of NBC’s “Days of our Lives” are about to replace ABC’s canceled “All My Children” in the 8:00 PM ET/PT slot after the latter soap goes off the air on Friday, September 23.

SOAPnet, which has aired “AMC” in the time period since the networks inception in January 2000, also announced a restructuring of its full lineup that includes the removal of “Ryan’s Hope,” the addition of “Brothers & Sisters” and classic episodes of “All My Children,” “One Life to Live” and “General Hospital.”

According to Soap Opera Digest, the weekend preceding “All My Children’s” final week on television, SOAPnet will air ten “Best of AMC’” hours, which includes five hours on Saturday, September 17 (7:00 PM ET/PT to midnight) and five hours on Sunday, September 18 (7:00 PM ET/PT to midnight).

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Chris Haston/NBC

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Because we were working overtime trying to get the re-designed website up while also transferring servers, we didn’t get a chance to report on this. For those who may have missed out on it all, E! is debuting a new reality series that actually covers the behind the scenes lives of some of your favorite soap stars for a change and not those “Real Housewives” we’ve gotten bored with from network sibling Bravo.

“Dirty Soap,” debuting on Sunday, September 25 at 10:00 PM on E! stars Kelly Monaco (“General Hospital”), Nadia Bjorlin (“Days of Our Lives”), Kirsten Storms (“General Hospital”), Farah Fath (“One Life To Live”), John-Paul Lavoisier (referred to as “JP” in the reality series; “One Life To Live”), and Galen Gering (“Days of Our Lives”).

The series is being executive produced by former “All My Children” supercouple and real-life husband and wife duo Kelly Ripa (ex-Hayley Vaughan Santos; co-host “Live with Regis and Kelly”) and Mark Consuelos (ex-Mateo Santos).

 via Press Release

E! LATHERS UP WITH NEW FALL DOCU-SERIES “DIRTY SOAP” TAKING VIEWERS INSIDE THE REAL LIVES OF TODAY’S HOTTEST SOAP STARS

Executive Produced By Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos, Amber Mazzola and Albert Bianchini, the Eight-Episode, Hour-Long Series Debuts September 25 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT on E!

LOS ANGELES – July 28, 2011 – They’ve been killers, ghosts, homeless, prostitutes, prisoners and even murder victims – but it’s off the set of their famous soaps where the real drama begins. Featuring a drop-dead gorgeous ‘who’s who’ of daytime television – Kelly Monaco (General Hospital), Nadia Bjorlin (Days of Our Lives), Kirsten Storms (General Hospital), Farah Fath (One Life To Live), JP Lavoisier (One Life To Live), and Galen Gering (Days of Our Lives) – “Dirty Soap” is a titillating look at these stunning thespians as they navigate high-profile careers during pivotal moments in the industry and deal with their own real-life drama, which often rivals that of their daytime counterparts. Executive produced by Amber Mazzola of Machete Productions and Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and Albert Bianchini of Milojo Productions, the eight-episode, hour-long series, “Dirty Soap,” premieres September 25 at 10:00 PM ET/PT only on E!

The “soap bubble” is a small and intimate world and this cast of characters has played extremely significant roles in each others lives for years. They’ve been co-stars, best friends, worst enemies, boyfriends, girlfriends, and everything in between. Working together on set and spending time with each other in their down-time, they have formed substantial bonds and created a pseudo “soap family.” In the series we see them all begin a new chapter in their lives – some have left the soap world, some are doing film, some are focusing on family, and others are simply trying to determine what would be the best next move. Romantic relationships are tested when one person’s career rockets forward and the others is stuck at “go.” Jealousies arise as actors attempt to jump from one soap to another, and arch rivals must find a way to coexist in this sudsy microcosm without ripping each other to shreds. The softer side of these heartthrobs is also exposed as they interact with their families – one beauty meets her biological father for the very first time and another tearfully sends her brother off to the United States Army flight school. All the while their goals are clear – to grow their careers and to keep their hearts and heads above water in Tinseltown – where it’s so very easy to drown.

“The soap industry is at a defining moment and the time is ripe for a series that goes inside this iconic world and explores the unique bond that these actors share,” said Lisa Berger, President, Entertainment Programming, E! “No one knows the inner-workings of the soap community better than Kelly and Mark, and it is exciting for us to work with them, in addition to some of the reigning kings and queens of soap featured in the series.”

“We’re very excited to be behind this show for E!, and having met on the soaps we know all too well how much work and dedication it takes,” adds Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos.

Meet the Cast:

Kelly Monaco, a dazzling brunette beauty, is most famous for her starring role on the daytime drama “General Hospital” and being the first champion on “Dancing With The Stars.” In the mid-90’s, Kelly landed a recurring role on “Baywatch” and after numerous roles in film she eventually was cast as ‘Sam’ on “GH.” Kelly recently ended an eighteen year relationship with her high-school sweetheart and is cautiously getting ready to jump back into the dating pool in LA…but is she really ready to let go of her troubled past? One of Kelly’s best friends is Kirsten, who she met when Kirsten joined “General Hospital.”

Kirsten Storms has been acting since she was a young girl. A star on the Disney Channel, appearing in the hit movie franchise “Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century,” the bubbly blonde has been on set most of her life. Things really took off for Kirsten when in 1999 she landed the role of ‘Belle’ on “Days of Our Lives.” Kirsten is currently enjoying a successful run on “General Hospital.” Happy in her career, she is trying to figure out what happened between her and her former best friend and co-star Farah Fath – the duo hasn’t spoken in over three years. Will they be able to repair their old friendship? Kirsten is also working through some family issues; she has been on the outs with her immediate family for quite some time and just as she begins to make amends, her brother must leave to go to the United States Army flight school.

Farah Fath is a southern gal from Lexington, Kentucky, who was crowned “Miss Kentucky Preteen” in 1995. In 1999, Farah went to LA for her first audition and in less than a month she landed the role of ‘Mimi Lockhart’ (whose character was best friends with Storms’ ‘Belle’) on “Days of our Lives.” After 8 years on “Days” Farah moved to NYC and joined the cast of “One Life To Live.” Now, she is now bi-coastal and back in LA for a few months, looking for her next gig and preparing to live with her actor boyfriend, JP. Though she loves him, Farah needs some answers from JP – is this relationship serious or not? Once back in the sunshine state, the blonde beauty must face her “frienemy” Kirsten Storms, but luckily she has the help of her friend and former colleague, Nadia Bjorlin.

Nadia Bjorlin is a woman of many talents. Besides being breathtakingly beautiful, she is an accomplished opera singer with many accolades under her belt. Nadia didn’t have to wait long for her big break in acting when, just weeks after she secured an agent, she auditioned for the role of mysterious young opera singer ‘Chloe’ on “Days of Our Lives.” She nailed the audition, landed the role and moved out to Los Angeles. She has played ‘Chloe’ on and off since 1999 and has also had guest starring roles on “Two and a Half Men,” “CSI,” and many more. Now, Nadia is leaving “Days” to begin her career in film. Nadia has been living with her boyfriend, Brandon, for the past few years. They are both actors in transition mode – the big question is: what will happen if one of their careers takes off, and the other goes nowhere?

Galen Gering is currently a major character on “Days of Our Lives” playing Alison Sweeney’s love interest. He was raised by hippie parents in sunny southern California and in his late teens he moved to NYC and enjoyed a successful modeling career. Galen landed a role on “Passions” in 1999 and has been melting women’s hearts ever since. The soap star has been married for the past 11 years to his actress wife, Jenna, and the couple has two sons.

JP Lavoisier grew up in small town Pennsylvania and studied at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. His rugged good looks helped land him a role on “One Life To Live” in 2002 and he has been a soap stud ever since. For the last four years he has been dating Farah Fath, though he seems to have no plans to “put a ring on it” any time soon. In fact, he left his last girlfriend because she wanted more than he was able to give. What is going to happen with Farah when she clearly has marriage on the brain?

“Dirty Soap” premieres on September 25th at 10:00 PM, ET/PT on E!.



Lynn Leahey

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Thursday, May 12, Soap Opera Network broke news when we reported that layoffs occurred earlier this week at Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly after American Media, Inc. officially took over editorial, advertising, marketing and distribution control of both publications from Source Interlink Companies, which retains ownership of both titles. Now comes word that Lynn Leahey, Editorial Director of both magazines along with lesser known title Pixie, is stepping down. We’re told it was her decision.

According to TV Guide Canada‘s Nelson Branco via his Suds Report Twitterfeed, Leahey will step down effective Wednesday, June 1. Stephanie Sloane, who currently serves as Editor of Soap Opera Digest, has been named Leahey’s successor.

Per sources more than half of the 70+ people working at both publications prior to the Black Thursday (April 14) announcement were let go.



TV Guide Magazine

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — TV Guide.com and TV Guide Magazine appear to have reconciled as the two became one once again on Tuesday, June 1.

Best known to its soap readers as the place to catch the latest column from long-time soap columnist Michael Logan, TV Guide Magazine and its online counterpart, TV Guide.com, were separated in the fall of 2008 after Macrovision (then owner of the magazine, website and television network) sold the magazine portion to OpenGate Capital for a mere $1, according to a report by AdAge.com. The separation of the two resulted in the magazine portion launching its own distinctive website, which did not include the legendary guide listings found on TV Guide.com and the magazine itself. The sale of TV Guide Magazine also severed ties between it and the TV Guide Network, which was purchased along-side TV Guide.com in January 2009 by Lions Gate Television. It is unclear at this time as to how or why the magazine had returned into the fold of TV Guide branded material, but as a long-time consumer of the brand either online or in print, it feels like your long-lost brother has returned home after years of neither of you seeing each other and everything is once again right with the world.

Interestingly, Damian Holbrook, a Senior Writer for the magazine, confirmed the re-marriage on Twitter when he stated “it feels so good!” to a follower who noted the re-aligned entities. No further comments have been made by TV Guide Magazine or TV Guide.com staff on Twitter or Facebook, which houses many pages for both staffs. In fact, many of the TV Guide Magazine staff Twitter pages, including that of Senior Critic Matt Roush, continues to link to the old website for the magazine indicating that the change over seems to have been that much more recent than anyone may think.










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