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All My Children, One Life to Live: ABC Daytime Head Defends Cancellations

Brian Frons ABC DaytimeBrian Frons, the head of ABC daytime, is leaving the network. During his tenure, he played a key role in cancelling both All My Children and One Life to Live, ABC’s venerable soap operas.

Frons has been with the network as the head of daytime since 2002 and his contract ends in January. ABC has decided to merge its daytime and syndicated units into one division. Vicki Dummer, who oversees current series and specials for the network, will head the new Time Square Studio.

Of his leaving the network, Frons said that he’s pleased with what ABC daytime was able to accomplish under his tenure, including the launch of The Chew and the development of The Revolution, the two programs that are replacing the soaps.

The Chew is reportedly averaging half a million fewer viewers than All My Children but is cheaper to produce. The Revolution debuts January 16th, three days after One Life to Live signs off — on Friday the 13th.

Frons defended his decision to replace the soaps to EW and said, “People are really interested in multiple points of view, multiple voices. Daytime viewers are also saying that if they are going to give us an hour a day, we need to give them something that is going to improve their lives… All of daytime is learning to survive on smaller audience shares because there are so many choices. You can’t spend more money for less audience. That’s why you see people going toward programming forms that cost less to produce.”

What do you think? Is Frons correct about today’s audiences and economics? Could they have done something to save the soaps? Possibly cut the casts down to half a dozen performers?

 

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{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Ric December 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Brian Frons is a massive pimple on the butt of daytime television and should have been lacned long before this. If ABC had any real sense they would reverse the decision to cancel OLTL, but they won’t. I’ve been grieving over my “friends” eminent departure for months now. It’s so sad.

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Donnatella December 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm

The thing is as a long time viewer I feel that our voices were ignored. I could do without a cooking show when there is the Food Network. I can do without another talk show and frankly I feel that the cancellation of our soaps is being done to make a point. Some people feel that soaps are a waste and that we as females can find something better to do with our time rather than sit back and watch a soap opera. I don’t need anyone making my decisions for me or telling me what I should watch or what today’s current trends are. I want my soaps. So I intend to boycott each and every products that are currently sponsored by ABC broadcasting.

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soapfan December 6, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Like you I’m continuing to boycott ABC and its advertisers.

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angel December 6, 2011 at 1:45 pm

this guy does NOT know what people want, some people do not like change, especially when your taking away a life long joy as the soaps have been for me. There are a million talk shows and what 4 or 5 soaps left on the air. Seems to me the real value is having something no one else has. With half a million fewer viewers watching the chew you’d think the networks would realize that, but today all things come down to money so less production costs for a carbon copy talk show, apparently is more lucrative than having shows that are iconic and have a long successful history. The Chew and revolution are going to be short lived, because they are nothing special just a copy of the view and Rachael Ray, The biggest loser, and so on and so on. I now watch cbs soaps, I’d rather “chew ” broken glass than give abc one second of my attention.

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Suzanne Melton December 6, 2011 at 11:44 am

The last thing people want is more cooking shows and talk shows. There are too many of those on already. I have watched the Chew and it is very boring.I think what people want is a way to escape reality and the soaps is a great way to do that I think ABC could have done something to save the soaps. Spend less money on sets, cut down the cast, something. The soaps have been a mainstay on TV for over 40 years and I think it is a shame to get rid of them. I really wish there was something to do.

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Jewell December 6, 2011 at 10:47 am

Frons is a giant ASS. He didn’t leave on his own that is what they want us to think..
ABC did a poor job of handling the soaps, They knew all all along they were canceling before they made the AMC cast move out to L.A. If soaps are too expensive why spend all that money to move? Then cancel it? The rating system is outdated, to tell me The Chew is doing well As AMC is B.S. I bet nobody is recording The Chew. They could have made AMC and OLTL a half an hour, have the actors do their own hair and makeup, let the actors have the summer off and holidays like prime time shows, all that and they could still have the stupid Chew on.. Also not once did ABC say thank you to the fans for years of support for watching the soaps and supporting their network.. ABC can go to hell.

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soapfan December 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Well said!

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Dee Vincent December 6, 2011 at 10:20 am

After reading some of the comments, I went back and re-read the article in case I had missed something. I saw the title , “ABC Daytime Head Defends Cancellations” – I checked the article again. This is not a defense, this is another way of BF saying “Ha-ha, screw ya’all. I cancelled the soaps because I don’t like them and because I can do it. Now that that’s done, I can leave this position and see what else I don’t like. Hmm, lemme do primetime now …”

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Allison December 6, 2011 at 10:11 am

He’s full of shit, just trying to justify his actions. He/ ABC have done SO MUCH damage to daytime television and it’s a damn shame. I have absolutely no desire to watch the crap they are putting on in place of the soaps. AMF B. Frons!

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Tracie DEEEEE December 6, 2011 at 10:01 am

I wish FROZ would have resigned BEFORE he dismantled the soaps we love. With all the boycotting of ABC of millions of soap viewers, how are the statistics showing half a million less viewers? My Mom watched this on the original air date on Jan.5 1970, 17 days prior to my birth. It has been viewed by me since infancy. I take this VERY PERSONAL. And then selling the licensing to a company that backed out and is no longer producing the show…is even more devastating as now the faithful viewers didn’t lose the soap AMC once this year, but TWICE! This is not the way to do business. And for the record, I would gladly pay 5, 10, 15,20 bucks a month to keep AMC on air. This is so sad as we were never given the choice! There are so few soaps…there are too many cooking shows…on several networks. I give the Chew a whole 5 years before they put another show in it’s place. There is only so many cooking ideas you have!

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Tracie DEEEEE December 6, 2011 at 10:05 am

Correction….FRONS (not FROZ)…and yeah, I agree with what everyone else said before me!

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Barbara Herman December 6, 2011 at 9:40 am

Frons is a moron. Definitely out of touch. BRING BACK AMC and OLTL!!!!!! And don’t you DARE touch GH. ABC is the only network I keep my tv on. But during the time slots that AMC (and soon-to-be OLTL) is on my tv is OFF!!!!!! Can’t stand daytime talk and info shows. There are MILLIONS of viewers for these soaps. What a bonehead decision, and a certain way to kill a network.

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TL December 6, 2011 at 9:31 am

I’m not looking for a cooking show. I have the food network for that. Also, the soaps gave a multivoice format as they talked about all kinds of issues. From Domestic Violence, Rape, Alcohol Abuse, Child rearing, disabilities, etc. Talked about Cancer screenings, Aids, and other issues that impact society. So disgree Mr. Frons. You took no thought to the fans of soaps and put us all under the bus. Soaps were watched in barber shops, beauty shops, dr offices, courts, jobs during our lunch breaks, college campuses. And yet he didnt take the thought to interview soap fans to see what backgrounds they comprised of.

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Mary December 6, 2011 at 9:28 am

Once an idiot always an idiot perfectly describes Frons. He has NO IDEA what viewers want. He screwed over a lot of viewers who were loyal to ABC just to feed his own small ego. People work for a living and can’t always be in front of their soaps when it airs- that is why VCR’s, TIVO etc was invented so viewers could record their shows so they wouldn’t miss seeing them. The soaps had a major viewing fan base, but Frons & his fellow rats refused to believe that even after the major campaign to save the soaps from being cancelled. Frons never cared about daytime programming or the viewers and he was instrumental in destroying daytime television. Our Military troops often commented when they returned home from overseas, they unwound in front of their favourite soap cause it helped them escape the pain & turmoil of what they experienced on the front lines..wonder what they will unwind to now… GOOD RIDDANCE FRONS!! You will NOT be missed

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Elizabeth Murphy December 6, 2011 at 8:44 am

SHAME ON YOU!!! I feel you could have done something to keep your viewers happ
y !!!Really liked the one someone suggested that you could have combined the two
soaps to save money! We almost feel as if the soap stars are part of our family! Rushing to get home and make sure we dont miss any! We make our appointments around not missing our soaps!! We have grown up and watched our stars grow up over the years! Losing our shows that we have watched for 30 years is like losing our family members!!! You will never find a more loyal fan than a soap opera fan!!! You really screwed up Fron and I believe the ratings will show you that Absolutely HEARTBROKEN!!!!!!!!

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Robert in Jersey City December 6, 2011 at 8:16 am

Fuck him. He put 3000+ people out of work on both coasts. He could give a shit about 40year viewers. A shrinking audience of people that was a loyal money making commodity for ABC since 1969 that was basically told to drop dead now that we don’t need you anymore. Why bother defending his decision? Because he got the door on the way out? Good. Suffer with the rest of us. The very business your so good at shrinking just eliminated your position. When is India going to start handling HIS job?

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Karen December 6, 2011 at 7:59 am

What is most frustrating is the thousands of soap fans that WORK during the day to make money to by the advertisers products are completely disregarded by Fronshole and company. We DVR our programs, which includes commercials. Just because we watch the shows at OUR leisure doesn’t mean we aren’t watching! ABC has gone out of it’s way to disrespect millions of fans and I know somewhere Walt is hanging his head in shame. And Prospect Park? That was a Disney/ABC scam to shut the fans up. I hope Frons and all his greedy bloated cohorts rot in the slimiest bowels of hell.

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Xena December 6, 2011 at 7:49 am

The last thing television, let alone daytime television, needs are more talk shows with vacuous bobble-headed hosts doing what amounts to infomercials. TV is getting to be nothing but talk shows and “non-scripted” TV that is typically more scripted than the dramas they are replacing – just poorly scripted. I get that talk shows are cheaper to make than soaps but at what point do the loss of viewers and viewer dissatisfaction register with ABC?? And it’s not like ABC was losing money on soaps – once again this all comes down to corporate greed.

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