With bidding set to expire on <strong>Thursday, October 23</strong> at 3:02 PM EDT, Disney/ABC Television Group is auctioning off a nonspeaking walk-on-role on ABC's "General Hospital," which benefits the GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) Respect Awards Auction. Additional ABC related auctions benefitting GLSEN include a walk-on-role on "Modern Family," a chance to meet "The View's" <strong>Whoopi Goldberg</strong> and 4 tickets to a taping of the talk show, and 4 tickets to the season finale of "Dancing with the Stars" on <strong>Tuesday, November 25</strong>.
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.
Just days before its upfront presentation to Madison Avenue on Tuesday, May 14, the Disney/ABC Television Group has announced that viewers of ABC programming in New York City and Philadelphia (via their WABC and WPVI affiliates) will be able to watch ABC's Live 24/7 linear broadcast network programming online for the first time ever through the new WATCH ABC application. Viewers can access WATCH ABC online at ABC.com or by downloading the WATCH ABC app on their iOS or Kindle Fire devices. The WATCH ABC app will be available on Samsung Galaxy devices this summer.
While CBS has the most nominations amongst all television networks, the Disney/ABC Television Group is the most honored programming group with nominations for the ABC Television Network, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Syndicated programming, and more. The television arm of The Walt Disney Company highlights their nominations below:
May sweeps are a month away, but it looks like the upcoming onscreen drama won't be able to hold a candle to the real-life drama brewing between Prospect Park's "One Life to Live" and ABC's "General Hospital."
Despite Michael Easton's announcement early this morning, where he stated that after February 8th he would be exiting "General Hospital," along with Roger Howarth and Kristen Alderson, due to "some ongoing legal this and that," an ABC spokesperson tells Soap Opera Network that all three will remain an essential part of the "GH" canvas for the foreseeable future.
As previously reported, Michael Easton along with Kristen Alderson and Roger Howarth are currently at the center of a legal dispute between Prospect Park and Disney/ABC Domestic Television, part of the Disney/ABC Telvision Group, over who has the right to use the characters of John McBain (Easton), Starr Manning (Alderson) and Todd Manning (Howarth)). In one corner you have Prospect Park and "One Life to Live" and in the other you have ABC and "General Hospital." Unfortunately for the fans, no one is "winning." According to one of the affected actors, after Friday, February 8, they "cannot be at 'General Hospital'" any longer.
ABC Family, the millennial-skewing network, has greenlit two new drama pilots, “The Fosters” (working title), from executive producer Jennifer Lopez, and “Socio,” from executive producer Gavin Polone. Summer to date, ABC Family’s current crop of original series have made ABC Family cable TV’s #1 network in Prime in Women 18-34, and the #2 cable TV network in Females 12-34 and Female Teens.
Capitalizing on ratings momentum, advertising demand and increased revenue potential for entertainment programming in the 11:35 p.m. time slot, ABC today announced a strategic shift in its late-night strategy to better position the network for increased ratings and financial performance over the long term. On Tuesday, January 8, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the only late-night broadcast talk show to increase in Total Viewers this past season, will move to 11:35 p.m., putting the show in head-to-head competition with “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Show with David Letterman.” Proven late-night performer “Nightline” will shift to 12:35 a.m., allowing viewers to begin and end their broadcast day with news. The moves are timed to take advantage of the built-in promotional platforms provided by ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and ESPN’s Bowl Championship Series, which culminates with the National Championship Game on Monday, January 7. In addition, “Nightline” will expand its programming commitments with a move into primetime, Friday nights at 9:00 p.m. beginning March 1. Given its success and growth, the ABC News series “What Would You Do?” will also find a new home on the schedule.
On Saturday, July 23, 2011, "General Hospital" held its annual fan club weekend event at the Sportmen's Lodge Event Center. Incidentally, in the year that followed many were left wondering if the 2012 event would ever come to be amidst all the drama and rumors surrounding the cancellation, reincarnation (through the Disney/ABC Television Group/Prospect Park Productions deal that wasn't) and ultimate demise of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" and the possible effect it would have on "GH" itself. On July 21, 2012, "GH" did indeed holds its annual fan event - again at the Sportsmen's Lodge Event Center - with a renewed focus and much hope for the future.
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.
On Thursday, March 15, 2012, the Disney/ABC Television Stations Group released a press release (see below) informing stations across the country of its plans to launch the long anticipated talk show "Katie," hosted by news personality Katie Couric, on Monday, September 10. What wasn't stated was "General Hospital," which currently occupies the planned 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PT/CT timeslot for Couric's talk show, is likely to air its final episode in that timeslot on Friday, September 7. As we all know ABC is scheduled to turn over the timeslot to its affiliates, which will allow them to air various programming across their stations, including the option of airing "Katie."
It was Tuesday, October 4 when Soap Opera Network first reported on the current status of union discussions between the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and Prospect Park following word back in July that Prospect Park would be launching "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" on the web. Now more than a month later, and with news that "AMC" is being delayed for various reasons, an AFTRA rep tells Soap Opera Network that they are "still in discussions with [Prospect Park]." This at some point could place a damper on the company's plan of launching "One Life" online in January if a deal isn't reached in the next several weeks.
Beginning in September 2012, ABC affiliate WFTV in Orlando, Florida will begin airing a new daily syndicated talk show from comedian and radio host Steve Harvey reports the Orlando Sentinel. The affiliate plans to launch the program in the soon to be vacated 3:00 PM timeslot, which will be ceded to affiliates nationally by the ABC Television Network at that time. Does this mean to ultimate demise of "General Hospital," which currently occupies the timeslot? Before you say yes, let's take a moment to think rationally.
On Saturday, October 1, the National Board of Directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) met for the final time in 2011, as previously reported. One of the topics of discussion was Prospect Park and its transitioning of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" to the web in January 2012. While exact details of the meeting are still unknown in that respect, a representative speaks to Soap Opera Network exclusively on where things stand at this time between the actors union and Prospect Park.
As reported back in June, the Disney/ABC Television Group has hired Katie Couric to host a new daily syndicated talk show that is expected to air on virtually all ABC affiliated stations, including the eight owned and operated stations that have already signed off on the deal. The show currently titled "Katie" will debut in September 2012 during the 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT time slot currently occupied by ABC's "General Hospital," which will be forced to relocate to an as yet to be determined timeslot on the network.
Just weeks before the Prospect Park deal to pick up the production and distribution rights of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" from the Disney/ABC Television group was announced, ABC revealed that they had decided to move "One Life" head writer Ron Carlivati to "General Hospital" as a script writer once production wrapped on the soap in November. Is that still the case two months later?
Details are slowly trickling in from Prospect Park, the new production company that will be handling production and distribution of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" once both series complete their runs on ABC.