(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — As previously reported, ABC soap opera “General Hospital” will lose its coveted 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PM CT/PT timeslot beginning in September 2012 when the network hands the hour back to its local affiliates. The move will leave ABC’s daytime lineup with just three hours left to program with “The View” already secured in the 11:00 AM ET/10:00 AM CT/PT slot. New talk shows “The Chew” and “The Revolution” will go head-to-head with “General Hospital” when it comes to the almighty dollar (ie. which show brings in enough income relative to cost) in a battle for the remaining two hours (1:00 PM ET/12:00 PM CT/PT; 2:00 PM ET/1:00 PM CT/PT). In place of “GH” beginning in September 2012 will be the new Disney/ABC Domestic Television syndicated series “Katie,” hosted by journalist Katie Couric, which was just cleared in over 60% of the country just six weeks after the sales period began.
Janice Marinelli, President, Disney/ABC Domestic Television announced via press release that “Katie” has been sold to a number of station broadcast groups including Allbritton Communications, Belo Corporation, Cox Media Group, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television, LIN Broadcasting, McGraw-Hill, Scripps Howard Broadcasting and Young Broadcasting. The talk show was most recently picked up by ABC affiliates WFAA Dallas, WCVB Boston, WSB Atlanta, WJLA Washington DC, WXYZ Detroit, KNXV Phoenix, and WFTS Tampa along with NBC affiliate KING Seattle, among others.
“To have garnered such exceptional clearances in this short period of time is attributable to the enduring strength of the Katie Couric brand and her wide-ranging appeal as one of the brightest, most talented and most dynamic personalities in the business,” commented Marinelli. “We are enormously pleased to partner with such a stellar group of stations across the country.”
Upon announcing the shows development back in June, Disney/ABC Domestic Television also announced that ABC’s Owned & Operated Stations Group encompassing New York’s WABC, Los Angeles’ KABC, Chicago’s WLS, Philadelphia’s WPVI, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose”s KGO, Houston’s KTRK, Durham/Raleigh/Fayetteville’s WTVD and Fresno’s KFSN would immediately begin carrying the show at launch.
(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) — “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.
Following months of speculation, the announcement has finally been made official today. ABC has announced plans to cancel two-thirds of their daytime soap line-up. According to reports, “All My Children” will last air in September, while “One Life to Live” will leave the air in January 2012. The move will leave “General Hospital” as the network’s only remaining daytime drama.
Reaction is slowly beginning to trickle in from the cast and crew of both soaps. David A. Gregory (Robert Ford, “OLTL”) posted on Facebook this afternoon that “Oh, guys, it’s with great difficulty I report that at a company meeting today, we were told the ‘OLTL’ will be taping their last episodes in November. Airing Jan. 2012. ‘AMC’ will finish taping in August. Thank you all so much for your support of not only Daytime TV, but the ABC soaps: especially ‘OLTL.’ And the Ford clan!! Love you guys. Frank [Valentini] has promised were goin’ out with a bang so get ready!”