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) — A few weeks ago an insider informed us that a 1.7 is the lowest acceptable point a daytime program can reach in households before television networks begin to worry about the future of the program on their daytime schedules (ten years ago it was a 2.7). After four days on the air, “The Chew” has hit that benchmark.
According to Marc Berman of TV Media Insights, “The Chew” had a 1.7/6 household rating/share point for its Thursday, September 29 telecast – the show’s fourth episode on the air. “The Chew” is down 14% in households and one share point from what “All My Children” had pulled during the same point last year (September 2010) and is down a whopping 36 percent and three share points from its local ABC affiliate lead-in averages (predominantly “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”), which averaged together was a 2
“Chew’s” Four Day Performance is as follows:
Monday 9/26 – Lead-in: 2.9/ 9, The Chew: 2.1/ 7
Tuesday 9/27 – Lead-in: 2.8/ 9, The Chew: 1.8/ 6
Wednesday 9/28 – Lead-in: 2.7/ 9, The Chew: 1.8/ 6
Thursday 9/29 – Lead-in: 2.6/ 8, The Chew: 1.7/ 6
What’s interesting to note is that “Chew’s” rapid fall is a direct result of the lead-in programming from the ABC affiliated stations across the country more so than the program itself, at least based on numbers alone. Could it be that viewers that tuned into the ABC lineup before the start of “All My Children” were also viewers of ABC’s local programming, but with “AMC” no longer on the air the viewers are just not tuning in? We won’t know the answer to that question based on just one week of ratings data, but if we see this trend continuing during the all important November sweeps period, ABC may have some big problems on their hands.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Each week Entertainment Weekly puts together “The Bullseye,” a gathering of images in which “pop culture news that was right on target” for the week comes together leading to the “events that missed the mark.” For its October 7, 2011 issue, the magazine placed a “Bullseye” on “The Chew’s” Mario Batali.
The caption read “You are no Susan Lucci.”
In addition to the “Chew” piece, the star of primetime soap “Pan Am,” Christina Ricci, received the largest notice from the magazine with the caption “No full-body scans, free food: Finally, flying is fun again.”
“The Bullseye” appears on the last page of every issue of Weekly.
“The Chew” has experienced a ratings downward trend since debuting on Monday, September 26. “All My Children” aired its series finale on Friday, September 23 with some of its highest ratings in more than four years.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “All My Children’s” television run comes to an end, “The Chew” debuts in its place, and “One Life to Live” asks fans to sample Ford’s wiener.
Despite not having regularly watched “AMC” since childhood, I made it a point to watch the show’s final episode on ABC last Friday. And, while I was out of touch with most of the recent storyline (like how or why Dr. David Hayward kept many of Pine Valley’s supposedly deceased people alive for several years), overall I enjoyed watching that episode. And it made me hope and wish that when “OLTL” airs its final episode on the network in January that it would get similar treatment.
However, that optimism came to a screeching halt when I watched the first episode of “One Life” the following Monday on a post-”All My Children” ABC Network. What a major disappointment to see episode begin with Ford in a hot dog food asking bystanders in Angel Square to “sample his wiener.” At first it made me wonder if the writers were trying to be clever by throwing the scene in right after the first episode of “The Chew,” an infamous new show all about food, had just aired. But I seriously don’t believe they are smart enough to do something like that, especially considering that its not the first (or probably the last) time Ford has been seen in that very same hotdog costume.
I suppose those scenes involving a meat packing Ford (ha!) and troubled Buchanan twit Jessica were more likely to appease the pair’s dozen or so fans. Yes, nothing says love like an heiress flirting with the guy who raped her when she was suffering from a mental illness, while he is dressed up as a giant wiener. And what a nice follow-up by showing a carefree Jessica then jumping rope with three middle school-aged girls. Just warms your heart doesn’t it? I know it does mine. When I watched those scenes all I could think of saying was “well bless her heart.”
But I suppose it can’t compete with the classics like Todd leaving Téa naked out in the cold, and her hitting him in the back of the head with a shovel. Or Victor Jr. (back when he still thought he was Todd) falling in love and sleeping with an amnesiac Marty Saybrooke, the same woman Todd raped years back. Love is many splendored thing, I suppose.
I find refreshing to see just how far “One Life to Live” has come over the years. In 1968, the show was filled with controversial stories such as interracial couples and drug abuse, prominently featured poor and middle class families, and characters representing different ethnic groups and religious backgrounds. Now, forty-three later, we have a man prancing around town in a hotdog outfit, a guy helping his brother’s ex-girlfriend find her long-lost mother by making a porn flick with her, three shirtless brothers frequently hanging out in a sauna, a paranoid idiot receiving notes and “visits” from his dead girlfriend, and a little boy holding a grown woman hostage against a motel room door armed with only a Spiderman costume and a can of silly string. You’ve certainly come a long way Llanview! Stay classy!
However not everything is negative on the show right now. There is still some good on “One Life to Live.” Cord and Tina are a site for sore eyes and so is doggie David Vickers. I think he is much cuter and smarter than his namesake. Todd (yes the same one I mentioned above) cracks me up. Roger Howarth does rather well with comedic material in my opinion, and the majority of his scenes always put a smile on my face and leave me chuckling a little. And I always enjoy it when Natalie knocks Princess Jessica down a few pegs. I mean it’s not as if she doesn’t deserve it every now and again.
Moving on, no one guessed (either correctly or incorrectly) the answers to the trivia questions from last time. So I’m going to give you a second chance to place your answers. In case you missed the clues, here there are again: 1. Kassie DePaiva (Blair) appeared on what game show before joining “OLTL” and who was the daytime celebrity (and future co-star) was she paired up with? 2. What two wars did the late Phil Carey (Asa) serve in? 3. What is John-Paul Lavoisier‘s (Rex) real last name? I’ll have the answers in the October 15 edition of My View of Llanview.
Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. Someone is threatened. One family member extends an olive branch to another. An unlikely couple grows closer. And one man comes up with a new scheme to get what he wants.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone! Stay safe and enjoy the beautiful fall weather.
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Although ABC did not expect “The Chew” to outperform “All My Children” every day nor did they expect it to beat it in the long-run, after all the ultimate goal is to save money by producing a cheaper show, the network should still be a little worried about “Chew’s” performance after three days of ratings data have been released.
According to Nielsen Media Research via TV Media Insights, after three days on the air “The Chew” is averaging a 1.9/6 household rating/share point (the site noted 2.0/6, but it is actually 1.9/6). During the same period a year ago, “All My Children” had a 2.1/7 household rating/share point.
Although not much can be said about a lead-in, especially when broadcast network programming doesn’t typically live or die by the local programming airing on their affiliated stations prior to the start of a broadcast lineup, Marc Berman, TV Media Insight‘s Editor in Chief, noted the following about “The Chew’s” first three days:
Monday 9/26 – Lead-in: 3.0/10, The Chew: 2.1/ 7
Tuesday 9/27 – Lead-in: 2.9/10, The Chew: 1.9/ 6
Wednesday 9/28 – Lead-in: 2.8/ 9, The Chew: 1.8/ 6
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — One day on the air and “The Chew” is already beating “All My Children’s” most recent performance in Total Viewers and the key sales demographic of Women 18-49. The new food and lifestyle talk show also beat the soaps season to date performance for the 2010-2011 television season that concluded on Friday, September 16.
Per ABC via TVbytheNumbers.com, “The Chew” averaged 2.5 million viewers and 590,000 Women 18-49 viewers compared to “All My Children’s” average of 2.491 (averaged to 2.5 million for technicality purposes) and 532,000 Women 18-49 viewers during the week of September 12-16, 2011. It should be noted however that “AMC’s’ Monday, September 12 episode actually beat “Chew” in total viewers (2,640,000 vs 2,500,000). Ratings data for “All My Children’s” final week on television (September 19-23, 2011) won’t be released until as early as Thursday, but the 41-year old soap is expected to top “Chew’s” current performance in both viewers and demos.
For the 2010-2011 television season, “The Chew” beat “All My Children’s” average in Total Viewers (2.5 million vs. 2.4 million) and Women 18-49 (590,000/0.9 rating vs. 541,000/0.8 rating).
Also per ABC, “The Chew’s” premiere episode also exceeded the performance of the series debut of the networks flagship daytime program “The View,” which debuted in August 1997 with 1.9 million viewers, and CBS’ “The Talk,” which launched with 2.2 million viewers in October 2010. The network noted “Chew” also beat “Talk’s” premiere episode in Women 18-34 (167,000 vs. 158,000), Women 18-49 (590,000 vs. 568,000) and Women 25-54 (732,000 vs. 672,000), despite neither show airing against one another in the major markets.
“The Chew” is co-hosted by Mario Batali, Michael Symon and Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “All My Children’s” replacement show “The Chew” debuts today, just three days after “AMC” aired its final episode on ABC, and I can’t help myself in wishing it would just go away. No, it isn’t the show or what it is all about. In a perfect world I’d care to watch it from time to time, after all we all have to cook good and healthy meals don’t we? But it is the way the network went about handling “The Chew” which included non-stop advertising during “AMC’s” final weeks on television along with non-stop advertising on soap opera centered websites including Soap Opera Network that I find myself saying “what a way to spit on your audience.”
Of course daytime has changed according to ABC’s own research and their viewers were really tired of watching soap operas so it makes sense to promote your new shows to your audience, but the only audience you had were watching soaps, so who is going to watch “The Chew” if not soap fans? “The Chew” is being promoted everywhere you look. On TV, on billboards, in magazines and if I recall correctly (or IIRC) and not mistaken, it’s also being promoted in movie theaters with pre-show clippings. Where was this type of advertising for daytime soap operas?
Do I wish the show failure? If I were being honest with myself I’d say yes just so ABC can be proven wrong in their presumptions, but I don’t think it will bomb. No matter if it lands itself below “All My Children” in every ratings category from here on out, it will still be a success for ABC because the network is spending 30-40% less than they did on “AMC.” Ratings no longer matter, it’s all about the bottom dollar and just like Jeff Zucker, who has joined the network as it gets ready to launch a Katie Couric hosted daytime talk show next year, said when he ran NBC “we’re managing for margin, not for ratings. So it’s the expense of our shows, the consistency of our shows being on the schedule. It’s not determined by the size of the ratings, because the size of the ratings of a show we cannot afford is not going to do us any good anymore.” Right or wrong, that’s just the new reality.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” may be ending their four decades’ long run on ABC in September and January respectively, however it won’t be the end of the road for either of the long-running, iconic daytime drama series. In a shocking development, upstart television, film, and music company Prospect Park Studios has purchased the rights from the network, who states that “the multi-year, multi-platform deal enables the soaps to continue beyond their finale dates on ABC.”
The news comes less that 24 hours after the New York Post first broke the news on their website reporting that ABC had sold the online rights to its recently cancelled shows “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to the studios, and that “Prospect Park is said to be finalizing its current round of funding for its Hulu-style venture in the next month to 45 days. Other unnamed financial backers are involved.” The article was initally met with much skepticism from soap fans and well as from other media outlets who were claiming the Post article contained numerous factual inaccuracies.
In a joint press release this afternoon by ABC and Prospect Park, which was founded in 2009 by Jeffrey Kwatinetz and former Disney Studios chief Rich Frank, “We are privileged to continue the legacy of two of the greatest programs to air on daytime television, and are committed to delivering the storylines, characters and quality that audiences have come to love for over 40 years. ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ are television icons, and we are looking forward to providing anytime, anywhere viewing to their loyal community of millions. Technology changes the way the public can and will view television shows. Now that there are so many devices available in addition to television sets, viewers are taking advantage of watching shows where ever they are and on any number of devices. The driving force in making the switch and attracting new audiences is to have outstanding programs that people want to watch,” the statement continued. “We believe that by continuing to produce the shows in their current hour format and with the same quality, viewers will follow the show to our new, online network.” Prospect Park is perhaps best known for producing “Royal Pains” for the USA Network and “Wilfred” for FX.
As part of the deal, which was brokered by the Disney/ABC Domestic Television Group, “Prospect Park will produce and deliver the two long-running programs to consumers via online formats and additional emerging platforms including internet enabled television sets. Under the terms of the arrangement, the programs will continue to be delivered with the same quality and in the same format and length. Additional details of the new productions and tune-in will be forthcoming from Prospect Park.” However, while the statement notes that both shows will continue to exist in their present hour-long formats, it is vague as to the frequency in which new episodes will air.
“From the time the shift in the daytime strategy was announced, our hope was to find a new home for these treasured shows. We are thrilled to license them to Prospect Park so the stories of life in Pine Valley and Llanview can continue to be told for the passionate and loyal fans that enjoy watching each day,” comments Janice Marinelli, President, Disney/ABC Domestic Television.
President of the Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group Brian Frons, who announced the cancellation of “Children” and “One Life” back on April 15 in favor of the less-expensive, unscripted programming such as “The Chew” and “The Revolution,” said in the statement that “‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ are iconic pieces of television history that captivated millions of fans since their beginning over 40 years ago. Each of the shows have made an indelible mark on our culture’s history and informed our consciousness in their own way. We are so glad Prospect Park has assumed the mantel for these shows and that they will continue for the fans.”
The sentiments were furthered echoed by “AMC” and “OLTL” creator Agnes Nixon, who has been tirelessly searching for new venues for both shows in recent months, saying “I’m just so happy that ABC found a home where the legacies of ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life To Live’ can continue. I’m excited for their future with Prospect Park. It takes a lot of living to make a soap opera a serial, and the wonderful teams on both shows have done just that. Together, we are a big family that keeps going, and I’m looking forward to working alongside these wonderful people as we ensure that the shows will continue with all the love and excitement we’ve always had. I also am so happy for our loyal fans, whom we love so much, and who have been so supportive over the last 40 plus years.”
“All My Children” will air its final episode on ABC on Friday, September 23, 2011 while “One Life to Live” will last air on the network on Friday, January 20, 2012.
Soap Opera Network will continue to follow this story and bring you further details as they develop.
After news broke today that ABC would be bumping “General Hospital” from its long time 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT timeslot beginning in September 2012 in favor of a new Katie Couric talk show, the network was forced to calm the nerves of fans who are still reeling from the cancellations of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” Unfortunately, the network is just delaying the inevitable to placate fans from believing that their favorite soap could be next.
“As you’ll note, we went out of our way to state that we continue to support the show,” Disney-ABC Television spokesman Kevin Brockman told CNN. “We have a long time between now and fall of 2012, so fans should be encouraged to continue watching and supporting.”
Brockman’s statement was echoed by Jori Petersen, Vice President, Publicity, ABC Daytime/SOAPnet. “The announcement does not mean the inevitable cancellation of ‘General Hospital,’” said Petersen. “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 with 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.”
If you read the statements clearly, no where does it state that “General Hospital” is indeed safe. Petersen’s “we will program our daytime block with our three strongest shows” means that if “The Revolution” and “The Chew” are successful and “General Hospital” is canceled, they will join “The View” as the “three strongest shows” on ABC Daytime. Let’s reminds ourselves that ABC is giving back the fourth hour of its daytime schedule to affiliates beginning in September 2012 with the understanding that while Couric’s show will air in syndication (ie. not just ABC affiliated stations), it will air solely in the 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT timeslot as Oprah Winfrey did in the 4:00 PM ET/3:00 PM PT over the course of her 25-years hosting “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” This will be the deal breaker the Disney/ABC Television Group will make with affiliates looking for programming to air beginning in fall 2012.
Will “General Hospital” indeed be canceled? No one is saying that either, but unless “The Chew” or “The Revolution” flat out bomb and the network loses money, odds are “GH” will end in September 2012 to make room for Katie Couric.
Side Note: While we understand that Oprah’s show did not air at 4:00 PM ET/3:00 PM PT in all parts of the country, the majority of stations airing her show were contracted to air the program during those hours.
As we all know, four weeks ago Brian Frons, President, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group, visited the set of ABC’s “All My Children” to announce the cancellation of the 41-year-old soap live and in person to cast members while also canceling “AMC’s” sister soap “One Life to Live,” whose cast members learned via video feed of the 42-year-old daytime dramas fate. According to Frons, with “The Chew” and “The Revolution” the network will be saving between 30-40% a week on programming costs. It’s easy to see why as Soap Opera Network has your exclusive first look at the new programming that falls under the networks “It’s a Brand New Day” promotional campaign. Materials for the campaign will be sent out to advertisers and press outlets beginning next week as the network presents its 2011-2012 daytime and primetime schedule to Madison Avenue’s elite buyers at the Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center in New York City on Tuesday, May 17. Soap fans are scheduled to protest outside the event from 2:00 – 6:00 PM.