Deborah Blackwell, the former general manager of Disney/ABC Cable Network Group’s SOAPnet from 2001-2007, has died at the age of 63, reports Deadline Hollywood. She died yesterday, January 31, after a seven-year battle with Pick’s disease, a rare neurodegenerative disorder. Blackwell was surrounded by family in Virginia at the time of her passing.
Fans love it when their show goes on location, but whatever happened to exterior shots – images of outdoor locations inserted before a scene takes place between characters – which were heavily utilized on “Passions,” the now defunct NBC and DirecTV daytime soap opera?
While SOAPnet’s “General Hospital: Night Shift” may have brought a modern exterior of the famed General Hospital in Port Charles to life via its opening credits, a variation of which was subsequently used by its parent series, “General Hospital,” CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful” has remained the only current soap opera consistently utilizing the exterior concept in between scenes, at least until now. The network recently began bringing life to the homes of Genoa City’s most prominent citizens in episodes of “The Young and the Restless.”
After nearly 14 years on the air, SOAPnet ended its broadcast run at the stroke of midnight with the final 2013 episode of ABC’s “General Hospital” (originally aired on Monday, December 30) taking it out in style.
During its final hour of broadcasting, viewers were treated to endless commercials promoting ABC and ABC Family programming, including “General Hospital,” “Revenge,” “The Chew,” “The Fosters,” “Switched at Birth,” “Pretty Little Liars,” and “Ravenswood.” For those veiwers looking to tune into the midnight broadcast of “Days of our Lives,” they were treated to a message from their cable and/or satellite provider that read, “Disney discontinued their SOAPnet broadcast. The SOAPnet channel is no longer available from any television provider.”
One thing we’ll soon find out is how much of an effect SOAPnet’s demise will have on “General Hospital,” if any at all. In a new promo touting the multi-platform availability of ABC’s sole remaining daytime soap opera, the network wants to make sure its viewers have every opportunity of catching up with the latest happenings in Port Charles.
In the promo, viewers are treated to the phrases “More Sizzle, More Secrets, More Twists, More Heart Stopping Action,” as they are subsequently informed that they can view “GH” weekdays at 2e/1c/p on ABC and anytime on ABC On Demand, which includes Watch ABC on ABC.com and mobile app on iOS and Android enabled devices.
In addition to the aforementioned platforms, you can also watch “GH” on Hulu.com, which proves that SOAPnet was no longer necessary in today’s world. The series is currently unavailable on Hulu Plus.
From re-runs of soap classics “Dallas,” “Dynasty,” “Another World,” “Port Charles,” and “Falcon Crest,” to the launches of original series “SoapCenter,” “Soap Talk” and “General Hospital: Night Shift,” SOAPnet was defined as the “new way to watch soaps” for much of its near 14-year run. With just 2 days left before SOAPnet is no more, we thought it would be a great opportunity to look back at the inaugural year of a network that gave diehard soap fans their own platform to shout with glee through the death of a network that outlived its purpose.
On Friday, November 8, Soap Opera Network reported that SOAPnet, now the old way to watch soaps, would cease operation on December 31, 2013 at 11:59:59 ET. In a piece by the Los Angeles Times, Ben Pyne, president of global distribution for Disney Media Networks, said, “SOAPnet had a great run.” He added, “It served an audience of super-soap fans. And when given the opportunity, all of our affiliates kept the channel up and running.” The affiliates Pyne refers are the cable and satellite operators including DirecTV and Cablevision, et al that have kept the cable network on their channel listings whether a new deal with Disney and the carriers was signed or not.
The ABC Cable Networks Group, a division of Disney/ABC Television Group, has informed cable and satellite operators across the United States that they will cease operating SOAPnet, the cable network devoted to airing same day episodes of “Days of our Lives” and “General Hospital” at night along with off-network airing rights to such shows as “Veronica Mars,” “Beverly Hills,90210,” “Gilmore Girls,” “One Tree Hill” and more. The network, which launched January 20, 2000, is expected to go dark effective on December 31, 2013 at 11:59:59 PM EST. Despite SOAPnet’s reported replacement, Disney Junior, already operating since 2012 on several providers across the country, the kids friendly network will officially replace the women’s network at 12:00:00 AM EST on January 1, 2014.
Earlier today SOAPnet posted a new promo featuring intriguing moments and mystery on “Days of our Lives” (‘Everyone’s Dark Side Will Be Exposed in the Light of DAYS’) and now the network has published the “General Hospital” equivalent.
Titled “Tides and Tensions Rise,” viewers are asked to “soak up the drama” on “GH” weekdays on ABC. Weeknights at 7:00 PM ET/PT and 9:00 PM ET/PT on the cable network. The promo features sex, lies and murder, which just happens to be a regular occurrence on the soap.
What would a summer on “General Hospital” be like if not for a triangle involving two women wanting a piece of Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard)? Have no fear, SOAPnet has released a promo covering the upcoming summer adventures of the mafioso, his two women (Olivia and Connie), his family (Michael and Morgan) and his business.
In addition to the SOAPnet promo highlighting “General Hospital” and “Days of our Lives” airtimes, the cable network has released a promo touting that “Everyone’s Dark Side Will Be Exposed in the Light of DAYS.”