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?

Canceled and renewed TV show

79 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Rebecca says

    To my dismay, I haven’t been a long time viewer- I wish I had known how great the soaps were. I just tuned in to OLTL about 5 years ago, while I was in high school. I needed something to get me through the horrific days in high school. I was shocked to find how wonderfully captivating and heartfelt soaps are. Not only did these characters and storylines get me through the day, but they became real to me. Oh, and believe me– I watch A LOT of Television, and I still believe OLTL is the best thing on TV right now. Brian Frons will always be a horrific human being for firing a thousands of talented hard working people, just so he can say he did something before he left office. I used to love many ABC shows, but the channel is never on at my house anymore (unless i’m watching OLTL or GH). I honestly believe that ABC will feel ramifications, for canceling these soaps, for years to come. With or without Brian Frons, I will never forget what ABC/Disney have done. I’m done with their networks and businesses once the soaps are gone. That includes sponsors who support them. There are plenty of companies out there who know the meaning of loyalty, and to those that don’t, they can forget my business or viewership.

  2. says

    I’m also another longtime fan of One Life To Live and I will only watch GH on ABC. If they cancel that too, I’m gone as an ABC viewer. If a husband gave his wife carnations for Valentines day and told her he did it because the were 40% cheaper, do you think she would be happy? It’s about the quality, not how cheap you can get something for. ABC’s cheap production values are starting to show in the form of weak ratings which will continue into prime time because a lot of daytime fans watch the evening shows. Goodbye ABC!!!

  3. says

    I was very disapointed when I heard my two favorite soap operas were ending.I have been watching them since 1975 . I think abc made a big mistake canceling them I will watch One life to live till it ends . I will no longer watch General Hospital or any other abc day time shows.I stopped watching the morning abc shows a while ago. Rachel Ray and the View sucks . I don’t think the Chew will make it, there’s to many cooking shows on now. Bring the soaps back!

  4. says

    When I first started watching OLTL, it was only 30 min. long. It went to 45 min. and then on to an hour. ABC could have cut the shows back to 30 min., reduced the casts to relevant players, and rehired the good writers to bring back the engaging storylines. ABC Primetime is filled with more suds than substance, as are most of the other networks’ evening shows. Declaring that daytime viewers are only worth the CHEAPEST shows they can produce is a slap in the face for anyone who watches daytime. Martha Stewart does gracious entertaining far better than the Chew. And quite honestly, I don’t want an effete snob telling me how to dress for -70-degree wind chills. He just wouldn’t have a clue. And if I wanted to watch either show’s format, I can tune them in on satellite. Cable is filled with exactly the same type of show. I don’t watch them there either. I want to see shows with a plot, actors, sets, and involving storylines. ABC is going the way of NBC–talk radio, with pictures.

  5. Anthony says

    ABC and Frons made a huge mistake with “the worst combination of arrogance and ignorance” to quote Susan Lucci. I WILL NOT WATCH ANY of ABC’s new shows daytime or prime time.
    It’s hard to say you were wrong and even harder to have to clean up after your mistakes but this is what ABC needs to do at this time!

  6. Judy says

    Taking the soaps of is a huge mistake. You could cut down on the number of days they air each, and put your joke of replacements on a couple of days. Frons UI don’t see anything for you to be proud of! You destroyed daytime!!!!

  7. barbie says

    I cannot believe that DISNEY sold out to get rid of ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE. I have watched these soaps ever since the 1980s. Don’t they know what the people, the viewers, want?
    It would surprise me if The Chew and The Revolution made it at least 6 months or 1 year. I give it that long before going bellyup.
    Please just bring back those soaps. At least put them on another channel.
    If not, then the least you can do is to make them all end “happily ever after”. You should make them end with happy endings, getting people back together forever and so on.

  8. Angie says

    I AM DISGUSTED! I have watched ABC soaps all my life. One Life to Live is my favorite show ever. I look forward to watching it every day. ABC has lost this viewer.

  9. Nancy says

    Frons: So glad you are leaving..I have said since the news broke that you were cancelling OLTL and AMC…shows that I looked forward to each and everyday for 41 yrs. You suck and I am glad you have stepped are a horrible person and your precious “THE CHEW” will not survive and you actually think that “THE REVOLUTION” is going to make it…hell no, it will be worst that the chew!

    Please some cable channel please pick up OLTL and AMC…you could do things in a cheaper way..maybe produce one show every other day in the same time slot, or even once a week for each of them. We deserve to have them continue, as we have been such loyal fans!!

  10. lynel says

    I think it is a joke, i refuse to watch the chew or the revolution, and if they ever take General hospital off, i will stop watching ABC all together.

  11. David says

    BAD DECISION TO ALIENATE MILLIONS OF FANS ! Why ABC would throw away a gold mine for a cheap show like The SPEW, just shows poor judgement and a bad business decision. ABC is LOSING a lot more than Daytime viewers. Daytime viewers are night time viewer and consumers of products they are trying to peddle. I no longer consume any products from ABC/DISNEY. Their decision to be follows like other networks by taking the cheap route just shows how tacky and greedy Frons and his morons really are. Bad business people. They should have hired some younger producers with more creativity to bring in revenue with the shows. They could have sold perfume, books, Music from performers coming on the show. Special tickets to shows of performers that come on the show. Just so many things they could have done to make money, but instead the LOSERS bailed and ALIENATED MILLIONS !

    I am disgusted with ABC. They have lost me as a viewer. NO ABC ON MY TV.

    • says

      I cannot believe this Man and the damage he has done to the daytime soaps in his tenure. All My Children has been a staple in Daytime with many emmy wins under it’s belt. All of the people who worked with the show and their families who have lost their careers all in the name of the almighty dollar!! It makes my stomach turn.
      Just when One Life To Live starts to get worth watching ABC shuts it down? I am extremely upset with the network and am not watching the General Hospital (Sonny Corrinthos Show) any more. This Man should have been fired when he tried to end All my Children the first time. CBS is going to soar with all the daytime viewers who love their soaps so much. Heck, they were able to start a whole Soap Net Network with just reruns for all of us without DVR’s Maybe Soapnet will take the wheel and begin to show the beginning days of AMC and OLTL in reruns and ABC will lose the daytime viewers all together. I hate talk shows. I watch my stories away

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