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?