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December 22, 2014

Brian Frons

ABC Daytime President Brian Frons Exiting Network

by Chris Harnick, posted Dec 2nd 2011 3:40PM
Brian Frons Leaving ABC DaytimeBrian Frons is leaving his post as president of ABC Daytime.

Frons will be replaced by Vicki Dummer, currently the senior vice president of current series and specials.

Frons, who became a reviled figure to many viewers after canceling 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live,' will exit when his contract ends in January. His departure comes as ABC restructures under the new division Times Square Studios. Times Square will handle all daytime and syndicated productions.

"While my decision to try something new was not arrived at easily, nine years is a long time in television terms," Frons said in a statement. "I'm proud of the performance of ABC Daytime over that time, and of all of the accomplishments that our team achieved along the way. I'm especially pleased by the early results for 'The Chew' and excited for the launch of 'The Revolution,' which will be one more positive step in transforming ABC Daytime for our viewers. I'll miss my colleagues and the wonderful talent that makes our shows, but know they are in very capable hands with Vicki going forward."

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Susan Lucci Rejects 'All My Children' Online Offer: Report

by Chris Harnick, posted Sep 6th 2011 4:45PM
Susan LucciSusan Lucci is reportedly done with 'All My Children.' The only original cast member on the long-running soap has turned down an offer to move online with the series in 2012, according to Deadline.

The Deadline report says Prospect Park offered Lucci a very similar salary to what ABC was paying her, but the actress asked for more money, fewer hours and the ability to do a primetime series.

'One Life to Live' stars Erika Slezak, Michael Easton, Ted King and Kassie DePaiva will remain with the show when it heads online in 2012.

Deadline reports Prospect Park may focus its resources on 'One Life to Live,' which had higher Nielsen ratings than 'All My Children,' and push 'All My Children' to the back since Lucci will not continue with the soap opera. Both shows are scheduled to debut online in early 2012.

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Susan Lucci Explains Why She Added Scathing Chapter to Memoir

by Chris Harnick, posted Sep 6th 2011 1:30PM
Susan LucciSusan Lucci has added a juicy new chapter to her memoir, slamming ABC daytime executive Brian Frons for canceling 'All My Children.' "I watched Brian Frons' decisions destroy the production of our show and the lives of people on both sides of the country," she wrote.

But why did the Emmy-winning actress do it? Her publisher, HarperCollins, asked her to.

"The book had gone to print well before the cancellation and they felt my story wasn't complete without my response to the show going off the air," Lucci told TV Guide Magazine. "They wanted my honest and raw reaction to it. At first I didn't know what to say or even think. I was so upset and angry and stunned that my eyeballs were spinning in my head. But I sat down with my co-writer, Laura Morton, and we talked it through. And it is indeed raw. Very raw."

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All My Children hires two new head writers

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 21st 2010 6:02PM
all_my_children_logo_bookIt's been weeks since All My Children dropped head writer Charles Pratt Jr. Today, the ABC soap which has just celebrated its 40th anniversary on the air, made a decision about the future story lines for the show. David Kreizman and Donna Swajeski are the new co-head writers of All My Children. The duo have worked together in the past; in 2007 they were winners of the Writers Guild Award for heading up the Guiding Light writing staff.

ABC Daytime prez Brian Frons, was effusive in praising the writers, saying, "David and Donna are the perfect team to bring new ideas to All My Children while remaining true to its core by telling stories with a focus on the integrity of the show's history, its characters and families on the canvas." It helps that Donna actually began her soap writing career at AMC, working directly with the show's creator, Agnes Nixon.

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It's time to start worrying about One Life to Live

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 6th 2010 2:02PM
one_life_to_live_logoIn 2009, the television industry closed shop on Guiding Light. In 2010, CBS will pull the plug on As the World Turns. Is it time to start worrying about One Life to Live, too? I'm afraid so. Over the holidays, One Life to Live posted horrible Nielsen numbers, the lowest ever in fact.

There are other reasons to be concerned about One Life to Live. All My Children was the New York soap opera that ABC decided to move to Hollywood. It was also the show that was transitioned to HD. One Life was not only left behind in New York -- in AMC's old studio space -- but the plans for it to begin broadcasting in high-def was delayed. ...It doesn't take a Rhodes scholar to see that One Life to Live is vulnerable and the network is not doing much to alter that impression.

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TV Squad Soap Report: SOAPnet's boom and a Mad Men memory

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 1st 2008 8:41AM
logo tv soapDid you see Mad Men recently? As part of Harry's creating a TV division at the Sterling Cooper ad agency, he was made responsible for screening scripts of TV fare so that the content pleased/satisfied/supported the advertisers' desires. Interestingly, it was Joan -- the office manager/head secretary -- who was given the scripts to read and her main focus of As the World Turns.

She became completely engrossed in the 1962 Oakdale story in which a character came to from a coma with a new personality. Her enthusiasm for the soap story convinced the advertisers to back As the World Turns rather than Love of Life, another CBS soap at the time.

Mad Men was historically accurate about As the World Turns. It was the top-rated soap opera for 20 years -- 1958-1978 -- and in 1962 (the year in which Mad Men is currently set), ATWT had increased its share from 47.7 to 53.7 in just a year. It was the soap on the rise and over half all TVs on in daytime were watching this CBS soap.

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New (old) headwriters for All My Children & Y&R

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 2nd 2008 8:02AM
AMC/YRThe headwriter carousel is spinning in the world of soaps and two shows have tapped new scribes for their shows. Only they're not new, really, only new to these shows. See, in soaps, everything old is new again when it comes to headwriters. The names are usually the same, just the soaps are different.

First, All My Children has brought in the super-experienced Charles Pratt, Jr. to take over the script duties. He being June 23, but with the lead time for soaps, his stories won't begin unfolding for about six weeks. Still, ABC daytime prez Brian Frons, was singing Chuck's praises in the announcement, saying, "Charles Pratt, Jr. is a master storyteller. His talents in writing today's biggest primetime hits in conjunction with his vast experience with daytime dramas will undoubtedly elevate All My Children stories in new and exciting directions."

Pratt does have extensive experience, including Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, Melrose Place, Santa Barbara, and back in 2002, General Hospital. The guy can spin a yarn and joining All My Children he'll have lots of great characters to explore. He's also coming in just as two major stars have been added to the All My Children cast, Guiding Light transplants Beth Ehlers and Ricky Paull Goldin.

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SOAPnet books another season of Night Shift

by Allison Waldman, posted May 28th 2008 8:24AM
nightshiftWhen something's a success, a follow up is inevitable. Therefore, the news that SoapNet is launching a second season of General Hospital: Night Shift, commencing Tuesday, July 22, is no big surprise. The surprise will be who is going to be involved in the daytime soap spinoff that airs once a week on SoapNet at 11 o'clock. Last season, actors for General Hospital, including Kimberly McCullough, Jason Thompson and Steve Burton did double-duty. And they weren't alone. Some new characters appeared on Night Shift, but the draw was definitely the daytime stars.

SoapNet ordered 13 new episodes of Night Shift and this year the show will be produced in high def. Production begins next month, and unlike last year's edition, the show will be filmed on new stages dedicated solely to Night Shift instead of sharing space with General Hospital.

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SoapNet mixes drama with hockey in new series

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 2nd 2008 10:23AM
soapnetThe success of last summer's General Hospital: Night Shift was the harbinger of things to come. And now they have. SoapNet announced a new 10-episode drama series called MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives.

It makes sense that SoapNet would take another stab at creating its own dramas. Last year's Night Shift, the channel's first attempt at that kind of original programming, proved more popular than the reruns of daytime soaps it had been running at 11 o'clock at night. But the difference between this new offering -- about the ladies in the lives of professional hockey players...hockey and soap? -- is that Night Shift was based on General Hospital and used popular stars from the daytime show for the spin-off. If Steve Burton (Jason), Kimberly McCullough (Robin) and Jason Thompson (Patrick) were not in Nightshift, would SoapNet viewers have tuned in?

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General Hospital celebrates 45th anniversary

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 22nd 2008 11:32AM
GH logoHas it really been 45 years since General Hospital started broadcasting? Four decades + five years of medical machinations, legendary love stories, action and intrigue. Yes, yes, it's true, on April 1, ABC's General Hospital will celebrate 45 years on the air. Current executive producer, Jill Farren Phelps, will cut the cake and members of the cast will blow out the candles, but we're the ones that probably should be smiling. Memories of the great years gone by are inevitable with any show that's run as long as GH. But there's something special about this ABC soap.

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