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. Courtney says

    I have grown up watching soap opera’s for over the last 17 years every single day! To say that there is not a market is ridiulous! Since ABC canceled All My Children I made the decision not to support their primetime drama’s no longer. For the first time in years, ABC gad a few prime time shows worth interest. For the longest time I only watched Desperate Housewives on ABC for the longest time in prime time. I have not watched any ABC programming (other than General Hospital) since the cancelation of One Life to Life either. Never again will ABC have my support.

  2. Sueq says

    So Frons is leaving this month, funny how he can destroy what people actually like to watch and then run out the door and leave everyone to handle his left overs and deal with others. If you cant handle crap dont deal crap and leave others to cleanup you mistakes. He mad a mistake in cancelling OLTL and AMC. He knows it that is why he is running out the door.

  3. Melody says

    I think that most of the television corporate world sat back and waited for ABC/Disney to prove their decision makers as, I don’t want to say idiots, so to be politically correct poor decision makers. NBC bumped Dr. Phil to a 2pm time slot and Judge Judy to 3pm time slot, so in this game of chess NBC is coming out on top because they will most likely get the viewers that ABC lost to shows that already have great standing such as Judge Judy. Will General Hospital survive, probably not, if ABC was going to acknowledge and fix the huge mistake they made they would have done it already. ABC and Disney are obviously not listening to the viewing audience, customer, consumer, and they don’t apparently care about how much they stand to lose over time from loss of advertising, ratings, and faith/loyalty. Hoover, a standup company has already pulled their advertising because of the cancellations; I hope others follow in their footsteps. It does not take an Einstein to realize that a truly smart corporation would let Fron’s and company sauté in their mistake, take accountability and fix it. I don’t watch reality tv or baby bimbo dating shows, never have, never will, most of them teach our children how to be all the things we tried to teach them not to be and look embarrassing doing it. ABC/Disney if you don’t want these expensive worthless soap operas, give them to NBC, they will know what to do.

  4. Robert Lee says

    Brian Frons is full of it. Daytime viewers were not asking for shows to improve their lives as there were already a dozen or so different shows already on the air on various networks. Soap operas are those guilty pleasures daytime viewers love to enjoy. The current rating systems is broken and does not account for viewers who record, use DVR or the internet to view their programming. How else can you explain CBS having a strangle hold on viewers???

    The replacement shows will fail because this is not what we wanted, PERIOD! Bring back our soaps, cut the cast if need be or go back to a half hour format. Brian you failed and were the escape guy for ABC because someone had to fall on the sword and you were the guy. Try not to cancel any other beloved historic shows where ever you go.

  5. kelly says

    I think he was stupid. Those shows are not getting near the ratings but they are cheaper to make, blah. I am tired of people who don’t need to worry, worrying about making sure their pockets are big enough. How about the paycheck to paycheck people that shell out way to much in cable costs just to watch shows we love. I want to really hurt them where it counts. I am boycotting ABC except to watch GH so as that don’t go as well. If enough people spoke up and did something maybe just maybe we could get our shows back. If they lose enough money they will have to rethink.

  6. says

    What a stupid move, what a total moron. you could had let ABC and left our soaps alone. Are you kidding with what you think people want, I think were all sick of stupid reality shows, big loser, the chew, heck I like Martha Stewart better and you got rid of her too. Now I don’t even watch ABC, I hope everybody stops. I’m with you Sue, I do hope the air on another network, and I to hope they choke on it!

  7. sue says

    I have watched the Chew for all of one minute and turned the station. The people that they have on that show look like they all need a facelift and to have a really huge fat guy with a ponytail is so sexy. And let us not forget the tall toucan bird lady that looks like she just stepped out of the nest to eat some worms. And last but not least is the short bald headed guy that looks like that short guy in the austin powers movie. At least when you turned on All My Children and One Life to Live you could see sexy hard bodies hunks. Why doesn’t ABC and Disney just produce all talk shows all night and day. And as far as the soaps not continuing, ABC didn’t want to sell them to another network because all the fans of these two soaps would have went to the tv network that was showing them. ABC also knew that if they went to the intrenet that there would be no competion. I also think ABC Frons knew that they weren’t going to be able to put on the internet. I hope mr. Frons get what he deserves in the way he undermind all the one life to live writers and actors that have been on that show for 43 years. Thanks for nothing.
    It would be so funny if Prospect Park sold all my children and one life to live to another network and made them an evening shows. That would give abc a run for their money. I watch abc but i tape every show they have on. They say that when the shows are taped they can’t count them as being viewed. Put that in a sock and choke on it abc.

  8. Donna says

    The only thing I will be watching on ABC is General Hospital, after that, I will not turn my television on ABC. I am a devoted fan of all 3 soaps for many many years before that, and all the ones on ABC that were canceled, I think they should had put them back to a half an hour show like they were when they started. If anyone likes General Hospital, they need to keep watching it, so it doesn’t get canceled also.

  9. Kathy Thomas says

    ABC has lost me as a viewer. I will not be watching any lifestyle shows. I have been an OLTL fan for the entire era. I am stunned that such a poor decision was made. It was a total disregard for all the loyal fans who have made this show so popular. I guess I will have my afternoons free from now on.

  10. John says

    They could have cut costs by returning the shows to their original half hour format. The only way we can send a message to ABC is by tuning in to a rival network. But for all those who say they’ll never watch ABC again, they know realistically that ain’t gonna happen.

  11. says

    We the fans really need are shows we need oltl and amc and passions old port charles and loving and sunset beach and ryans hope to we need all of them to be on the air that’s in cludes dallas dynasty knotslanding we don’t need the chew or revoolution or gilmore grils or beverly hills 90210 or brothers and sisters or one true hill off fthe air for good we don’t need them on

    • says

      I Loved all those shows, now they only show stupid crap on tv. You know it cost me 184.00 a month and it’s junk and re-runs or nothing at all to watch anymore for a bunch of reality shows.

  12. Mary Simeone says

    I am so disgusted that ABC has cancelled OLTL and AMC. I have been a loyal fan of OLTL for over 40 years. It is currently rhe only television show that I watch on a daily basis. Once this show is off air I will never watch ABC daytime!!! They have had a faithful viewer for over 40 years. I have never watched The Chew!! I WILL NEVER watch The Revolution!!!!!!!! Bad decision on ABC cancelling these two shows!!!! Pure stupidity and greed!!!!! They obviously dont give a damn about their viewers!!!!!! OLTL you will be sorely missed!!

  13. Mary says

    I am also going to boycott ABC and all its advertisers. The Chew is nothing more than a joke – it won’t last a year! Will not watch The Revolution, or any other show that replaces OLTL.

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