Brian Frons Says ABC Did a Good Job 'Nuturing Soaps' For 40 years But Can't Find a Solution to Their Decline, So He Axed Them Dumbest exec in television?
"The not-altogether-surprising intense protest sparked by ABC's announced axing of it's long-running soaps All My Children and One Life to Live demonstrated to ABC Daytime president Brian Frons that "we actually did a good job (promoting and nurturing them) for all of these last 40 years," he told Deadline privately during a TCA lunch designed to promote one of the soaps' daytime successors, the food show The Chew. "I think we've spent 40-plus years trying to keep the soap-opera audience happy. So in an odd way, (the outcry) is actually good. It's just sad that we don't have a solution." However, a deal with producer Prospect Park has been cemented to relaunch both soaps during first-quarter 2012, and there's been talk of enlisting a second production partner in cable television as well. But that remains uncertain.
Frons said that after the Prospect Park deal fell into place, All My Children's producers were forced to scramble to make the series ending more open-ended rather than final, since the series would now be continuing on after all. (All My Children is scheduled to leave ABC on Sept. 23; One Life to Live in January.) He added that the cancellations became necessary due to diminishing returns at the network. "We were at that point where we had to sit and look at what we were doing, and see if there were different opportunities for us in terms of serving a bigger audience. We looked at what was happening on cable -- in the food space, the lifestyle space, the talk space, the reality space -- and we just saw a very large audience and an opportunity."
Well, well..let's hope that the Ratings Game looks at Daytime "CHEW" somehow differently than it did when soaps were on because if you use Nielson, it's going to be about the same result. He just doesn't get it. OLTL has had ZERO promotion during the last few years and their ratings have zoomed up to the top of the heap. Maybe if Frons had fought for more fair-balanced RATINGS counting we'd not be in this mess. Maybe if he would have payed attention to the WRITING of the shows, it would have helped. Not to mention not moving them to SoapNet, which would have been an awesome next-step for the scripted stories.