(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) — Here is a comparison of the last five cancelled soap operas.
|Total Viewers||Households||Women 18-49 Rating||Women 18-49 Viewers||Final Episode – Total Viewers|
|One Life To LiveJanuary 9-13, 2012||3,120,000 (+407,000)||OLTL 2.3/7 (+.3)||OLTL 1.2/7 (+.2)||OLTL 784,000 (+148,000)||3,848,000|
|All My ChildrenSeptember 19-23, 2011||2,990,000 (+499,000)||2.3/7 (+.4)||1.1/7 (+.3)||689,000 (+157,000)||3,475,000|
|As The World TurnsSeptember 13-17, 2010||2,593,000 (+18,000)||1.9/7 (same)||0.9/6 (same)||610,000 (-10,000)||2,846,000|
|Guiding LightSeptember 14-18, 2009||2,602,000 (+512,000)||1.9/6 (+.4)||1.0/6 (+.3)||637,000 (+152,000)||2,975,000|
|PassionsSeptember 3-7, 2007||1,645,000 (-22,000)||1.3/4 (same)||1.0/6 (same)||629,000 (-29,000)||1,681,000|
Note #1: Comparisons are to the shows penultimate week.
Note #2: Passions’ numbers are for the final NBC broadcast, not DirectTV.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” is forced to recast the character of Cole Thornhart, who is serving a prison sentence for murdering Eli Clarke (Matt Walton) with Broadway star Van Hughes only one day after Brandon Buddy returned to the role.
According to reports, Buddy became unable to continue with the show after taping only one episode, leaving the show’s producers in limbo as they scrambled to find a replacement, claiming it was too late to rewrite the scenes, since the show wraps production on its ABC run next Friday.
“OLTL” is said to have re-shot all of Buddy’s scenes with Van Hughes, who first taped with Kristen Alderson, who plays Cole’s ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, Starr Manning, on Tuesday of this week. No word on the number of episodes the actor will appear in.
This is not Van Hughes’ first time in Llanview. In September 2010, he briefly appeared as preppy art student Simon Ulrich in scenes with Gigi Morasco (Farah Fath) and Cristian Vega (David Fumero). He also had a recurring role on “As the World Turns” as Gil Penn from 2006-07. His first airdate is unknown.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Even though nearly a dozen “One Life to Live” cast members have already signed on to remain with the show when it moves to online production with Prospect Park in the coming months, at least one actress won’t be sticking around to make the transition. Terri Conn (Aubrey/Christine) tells Soap Opera Weekly that “I’m not going to stay.”
In an interview with the actress in the latest edition of the magazine Conn, who joined the cast of “OLTL” in 2010, admits to basing her decision on her age (she is 36), saying “I’ve made the very hard decision because I’m not getting any younger and if I’m going to do it I’ve got to do it now to see if there is anything else out there for me that might have longer longevity. I don’t have any plans to move [to L.A.]; I would prefer to be in New York. The types of shows that are here I’m really excited about.”
Prior to joining “One Life,” Conn played Katie Peretti on “As the World Turns” from 1998-2010. After more than a decade in daytime, she admits her desire for a career change. “That’s the thing about being in a contract on daytime. It’s such an amazing job but there are all these other opportunities that you can’t necessarily do. They will try to get you out, but you are under a contract with them and that’s your first priority. I’ve been tied to a contract for 13-14 years, so I’m excited to get out and try the other stuff.”
Meanwhile, when asked by a fan about whether or not he would be staying with the show, Conn’s husband and “OLTL” co-star Austin Peck (Rick) tweeted earlier this week that “[I] don’t know yet.” Peck joined “One Life to Live” in the recurring role of porn director turned music producer Rick Powers in March of this year. The couple were married on July 1.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — With the cancellations of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” back in April it was unclear at the time as to where their replacement shows “The Chew” and “The Revolution” would film their daily episodes. Now with “Chew” filming in New York and soon “The Revolution” set to begin filming in New York as well, Soap Opera Network has learned that ABC Daytime is shifting much of its operations to New York City including talent management and media relations.
Along with the behind the scenes shift to New York, look for Katie Couric‘s new syndicated talk show to be filmed there as well. As previously reported, Couric’s new show will replace “General Hospital” in the 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PM CT/PT timeslot as ABC is set to hand over the hour back to its affiliates beginning in September 2012 in hopes that their affiliates will choose to pick up what the company deems to be a more profit sharing program.
With just three hours left available to program effective September 2012, “General Hospital,” which will be the last remaining regularly scheduled daytime soap still airing on ABC and the last daytime series (scripted or otherwise) produced by ABC filming in Los Angeles, will be fighting for its survival in the coming months as it goes head-to-head with “The Chew” and “The Revolution” when it comes to the almighty dollar (ie. which show brings in enough income relative to cost). Upon announcing the timeslot shift for “GH” back in June, Jori Petersen, Vice President, Publicity, ABC Daytime/SOAPnet stated via a company press release that “The announcement does not mean the inevitable cancellation of ‘General Hospital.’ Rather it means that in September 2012, we will program our daytime block with our three strongest shows. We’ll have options for the daytime daypart just like we do each year with prime-time. We believe in all of our shows and the ones that our viewers want will be the ones that continue. There are many options that could happen … only time will tell. We are simply giving ourselves options for the future, which is a smart way to do business. The best way to ensure a favorite show stays on the air is to watch it.”
New York’s last remaining regularly scheduled daytime soap opera, “One Life to Live,” is set to film its final episode on the afternoon of Friday, November 18 and air its series finale in January 2012. “All My Children,” “As The World Turns,” “Guiding Light,” “Another World,” “The City” and “Loving” were the last regularly scheduled daytime soaps to film in New York City. In the case of “AMC,” the soap moved to Los Angeles in January 2010 in a cost saving move after nearly 40 years on television. The soap was later canceled along with “One Life to Live” in April 2011, four months after celebrating its 41st anniversary.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — October 8, 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of Soap Opera Network, an online magazine celebrating the world of soaps past, present and future.
Soap Opera Network began as an online message board on the then popular ezBoard (now called Yuki) platform by two individuals that wanted to start a more industry based discussion forum for fans of the soap opera genre with the idea that not only could one discuss the comings, the goings or the general news of the day, but have the opportunity to learn more about the names, the faces and the minds of the people that help make daily dramatic serials happen year in and year out. At launch, soap operas “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” were on the schedules of television networks ABC, CBS and NBC.
In November 2002, Soap Opera Network left ezBoard and became its own .com service.
Thanks to elaborate databases such as a ratings archive (how soaps rated over the years), episode count archive (who appeared in episodes of a soap opera each and every month and year), its end credit archive (who wrote, directed or produced each episode), including a listing of episode writers and directors along with profile pieces on more than 80% of the writers, producers and directors, Soap Opera Network has cornered the market on information surrounding the inner workings of the soap opera format.
Over the course of its ten years, Soap Opera Network has interviewed a number of daytime’s biggest stars and behind the scenes personnel including Susan Lucci, Erika Slezak, Melody Thomas Scott, Maurice Benard, Steve Burton, Sarah Brown, Hillary B. Smith, Robert S. Woods, Ilene Kristen, Ken Corday, Cameron Mathison, Cady McClain, Eden Riegel, Judith Light, Bradley P. Bell, Brian Frons, Maria Arena Bell, Sherri Shepherd, Daniel Goddard, Greg Meng, Marlene McPherson, Darrell Ray Thomas, Nancy Curlee, Melissa Archer, Kristen Alderson, Julie Pinson, Ron Carlivati, Frank Valentini, Linda Dano and many more.
Current Soap Opera Network staff is as follows:
Xavier Toups, Co-Founder
Errol Lewis, Editor in Chief; General Hospital Editor; Days of our Lives Editor
Angela Rosa, Managing Editor; All My Children Editor
Scotty Gore, Managing Editor; One Life to Live Editor
Venus Stone-Cutter, The Young and the Restless Editor
Gehrig Burnett Jr., The Bold and the Beautiful Editor
Nelson Branco, best known as the writer of the popular Suds Report column for website TV Guide Canada and for his contributions to magazine Hello! Canada is back! This time he’s Uncensored.
With Soap Opera: Uncensored, fans of Branco will notice the same writing style from his Suds Report, which includes an interview, translated comments on daytime moves, a breakdown of what’s happening on each soap and his uber-popular Blind Items.
For just $1.99 per issue, readers will receive 60 pages of news, notes and even an interview from “Venice: The Series” star Crystal Chappell where she explains why her online web soap is recasting roles played by Gina Tognoni (ex-Kelly Cramer, “One Life to Live”) and Wes Ramsey (ex-Sam Spencer, “Guiding Light”).
Snippet from Chappell Interview…
Despite winning an Emmy for Venice, Chappell still has to deal with the cruel realities of show business. But hey, what’s a soap without cast changes? My boyfriend Eric Martsolf has joined the Sapphic web serial as a recast. The ‘DAYS’ hunk will be replacing Wes Ramsey, who is currently in New York City shooting ‘The Playboy Club.’ “Eric’s wonderful in this,” compliments Chappell. “Eric’s always been supportive of the show. I had to shoot this character with or without Wes, so I sent the script to Eric, and luckily he agreed to do it. It was so much fun to see actors I love and respect in different parts. And you can talk to Eric about this — but this was a part he was born to play!” Also, don’t expect Gina Tognoni back as Sami. “She can’t do it,” sighs Chappell. “So I have to recast the role. I have someone in mind, but I can’t say who.”
Soap Opera: Uncernsored:
Inside the Issue
If that wasn’t enough to get you interested, here are this weeks blind items from Soap Opera: Uncensored (as written by Nelson Branco):
—Which boring character is headed back to his old stomping grounds?
—Which super villainess is returning to her old show with a new-ish face?
—Expect some major firings very soon!
—Which despised star is cleaning up his or her a-hole act? But co-stars are dubious.
–Which soap actress in major trouble physically, mentally, and professionally?
—–Which new actor is as “gay as a handbag,” says one co-star, but the acting novice thinks he’s fooling people into thinking he’s straight?
To order your copy of the first edition of Soap Opera: Uncensored, click here.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Here is a comparison of the last four cancelled soap operas.
|Total Viewers||Households||Women 18-49 Rating||Women 18-49 Viewers||Final Episode|
|All My Children
September 19-23, 2011
|2,990,000 (+499,000)||2.3/7 (+.4)||1.1/7 (+.3)||689,000 (+157,000)||3,475,000|
|As The World Turns
September 13-17, 2010
|2,593,000 (+18,000)||1.9/7 (same)||0.9/6 (same)||610,000 (-10,000)||2,846,000|
September 14-18, 2009
|2,602,000 (+512,000)||1.9/6 (+.4)||1.0/6 (+.3)||637,000 (+152,000)||2,975,000|
September 3-7, 2007
|1,645,000 (-22,000)||1.3/4 (same)||1.0/6 (same)||629,000 (-29,000)||1,681,000|
Note #1: Comparisons are to the shows penultimate week.
Note #2: Passions’ numbers are for the final NBC broadcast, not DirectTV.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Even though viewers have yet to learn the identity of Kim’s (Amanda Setton) comatose friend, look for her doctor to make his first appearance at the Kentucky hospital next month as her conditions takes a sudden change. And it is a face that some soap fans may remember.
Kurt McKinney, best known for his roles as Matt on “Guiding Light,” Ellis on “As the World Turns,” and Ned on “General Hospital,” will make his “One Life to Live” debut in what is believed to be the recurring role of Dr. Fascinella on Friday, October 14. While the show is keeping mum on the details surrounding his debut, we can tell you that the show released an audition script for the role recently. That script, however, was a recycled version of the one released earlier this year for the role of Dr. Pryor, who told Bo (Robert S. Woods) and Nora (Hillary B. Smith) that Matthew (Eddie Alderson) had suffered severe brain trauma, as the show worked to keep the true identity of Kim’s friend a secret.
McKinney isn’t the first employee of the unnamed Anchorage, Kentucky hospital to be cast. Adriane Lenox first aired as Nurse Judy, whom Rex (John-Paul Lavoisier) recently pumped for information, on Monday, September 19. The show also just released a casting call for a receptionist who will be tied to the storyline as well. And on Monday, October 17, Paul Hickert will play “Kentucky Cop #2.”
In a interesting twist, McKinney himself is a Kentucky native, as is Farah Fath (Gigi), who is rumored to be tied to the storyline as well.
In other news…
Want to get a sneak peek at which sets and clothing will be used will be used in some upcoming scenes and episodes? If so, then check out these behind-the-scenes pictures of Jerry verDorn (Clint) giving two lucky fans a tour of the studios back in August.