I've spent a lot of time this morning reading through tweets of angry soap viewers, articles from soap sites and ABC trying to justify what it has done.
I still believe these soaps are making money. ABC just wants more money, they are just a bunch of greedy so and so's to put it politely. ABC knows it is going to lose the revenue from The Oprah Show and they are trying to make up for it anyway they can. In one article it was revealed ABC has been working on replacing these shows for over a year now. So this is not something that has just happened out of the blue because of ratings. It's just another ABC lie.
Talk shows are cheaper so the plan is to make up some of the money lost from The Oprah Show. Well boys and girls, I'm pretty sure your not going to make up for or duplicate Oprah. Oprah is one of a kind, you happened to have her for twenty five years, the time is over. My prediction, the replacement of soaps with Talk Shows is going to be a major fail, and then it will be too late to bring them back.
I have run businesses. I get the goal is to make money, but I cannot see this as anything other than a failure.
If you step back over the years a bit and look, the world has changed presenting TV networks with some new challenges. The economy changed and moms had to start working, we got cable TV and DVR's. I get it, but that is business, adjust to the changes.
I remember years ago when my son was young and I worked, I faithfully recorded my soaps on the VCR and would come home and watch them every night or sometimes got caught up on them on the weekend. As a working mom, I know when you get home from work there are usually other things to do besides watch soaps. You know cooking, cleaning and spending time with the kids. I get it.
The sad side of this, if I understand correctly, the ratings on TV shows back in the day were based on the Nielsen Ratings. These ratings were arrived at by putting little black boxes in peoples houses to monitor what they watched. I never did understand how that could be an accurate assessment of what people watched. And I was never counted as a viewer of any show because I did not have a little black box in my house. If I had to make a guess I would say the whole issue of working moms and two family incomes caused by the economy probably started some twenty years ago. This is not new. I'm not buying it as one of the reasons soaps are failing today and besides I don't believe they are failing.
Then comes ABC's cable excuse that there are hundreds of channels to choose from. Well, yes there are, so step up your game and make your show better if you want to win the viewers. I have gripped about this in previous posts. The writers need to be on their A game all the time not just during sweeps week. Repeating the same storyline across three different shows doesn't cut it. All three shows should have had their own individual storyline in my opinion. The writers should have looked at their work as if every week was sweep week. These wonderful wonderful actors where not always given the best of scripts. Cable has also probably been around for twenty years now, so again, lame excuse ABC. Now at least with the invention of cable boxes the networks should have had a more accurate view of who was watching what.
Then came the invention of the DVR. I believe this allowed many viewers to start viewing their soaps again. Now I can see the downside to the DVR as well for the TV networks. The FAST FORWARD button. Yea!!! We can now all fast forward past the commercials. Good for us, bad for the advertisers. I believe DVR's allowed for more viewers, but where the TV networks failed, not just ABC, but all the networks and I can't believe I'm even saying this, but the TV networks failed to force us to watch commercials. There are ways to do it. I'm not going to elaborate on them, because as a general rule I fast forward all commercials.
The other fail on the networks is in tallying the viewers on DVR's. It's my understanding that when they count viewers based on who watched the show, they only count the viewers that watched within the first twenty four hours. This is stupid if your watching your watching. Why not count the viewers in the first seven or fourteen days. All of the working mom viewers who watch their soaps on the weekend are again left out. I say seven to fourteen days because if a working woman watched her soaps on weekend and there are soccer games or something on the weekend, it may take longer than seven days to get the show watched, but I'm guessing even cutting off the count at seven days instead of 24 hours we would see a significant difference in numbers. Maybe give it ten days, why leave out the working mom. It's like the 1930's again and women don't count. Which is stupid because I think women are the majority viewers of soaps. Although I have run across many a man who watches soaps on their lunch hour, or who can hold a conversation about a soap while denying watching them. (ie closet soap watchers)
Then came the SoapNet channel. Great idea for people without a DVR. ABC claims to have advertised this channel to bring in viewers. This brings several questions to mind. Did the SoapNet viewers get counted in with the ABC viewers? What about the internet/online viewers? Where was all this advertising done? I've seen a couple of SoapNet ads during the soaps by accident (got side tracked and didn't fast forward). Why would you advertise a SoapNet channel to viewers of AMC (for example) to the people already watching it. That's not going to bring in new viewers, they are already watching the show.
Why not advertise SoapNet during Grey's Anatomy where you have ten million viewers attention and evidently seven million of these viewers don't watch the daytime soaps. That's your target audience for the advertisement of SoapNet or even the soaps for that matter. Gee let me think Grey's Anatomy, a drama, on going story line, scripted show, making money, sounds like a soap to me, only its at night and not called a soap. There are no differences in the shows. Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice and Desperate Housewives are all soaps in my book. Men and women alike watch. Men can admit watching at night because it's not called a soap. Why isn't advertising done for the soaps during these shows? How can ABC say with a straight face that people want reality shows when they have Grey's Anatomy and other shows with these kind of numbers? Again I say it's ABC just wanting more money for their pockets. Reality/Talk shows are cheaper.
ABC's response to Hoover pulling their ads is that it is counter productive to the soaps. Well Frons, did you expect to try and do this without backlash, are you really that naive? I guess you are. I don't know why you haven't been fired. As one person said on twitter your salary could contribute towards the soaps budgets. Oh! I like that idea. Frons, you are the daytime chief, you have not done your job effectively and are trying to blame it on the changing times. HUM Why is it the nighttime chief isn't having the same problem. His soaps: Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Desperate Housewives and others don't seem to be having a problem competing with the reality shows. Frons, you are just making up lame excuses for a job poorly done. I'm not buying it! If you were my employee, you would have been gone long ago.
And what kind of network executive allows all of the leaks that ABC has had regarding the soaps. Why aren't heads flying. I don't believe anything ABC says at this point. They are a lying pack of carnivores.
Someone should seriously look at whether Anne Sweeny should continue holding her position. After all she must have put her stamp of approval on all this.
I think what ABC did to Susan Lucci with her book is appalling. She was thrown to the wolves. She has went above and beyond for ABC for all these years. Making Disney appearances, writing the book, taking pay cuts, going on Dancing With The Stars, endless events over the years. This is how ABC rewards their long time dedicated employees? Calling to fire them on a video conference or worse yet letting them hear it in the tabloids.
Thousands of people are going to be out of work, all so ABC can put more cash in their pockets. I mean its not just the actors out of work. Its writers, set people, camera people, soap magazines, and make up people. I'm sure there are people I haven't even thought of or left out. It's all very sad. Just so ABC can make a little more money the easy way, without having to put a little hard work into it.
Some other comments and reads this morning on Twitter were that Rachel Ray and Martha Stewarts ratings are flaying and that more people watched Young & Restless than The View. Hum, Frons says talk shows are good. Women want life style shows. Not this woman, and clearly not others.
Well, I've just went through my DVR and taken a look at my ABC recordings. Out of 61 shows when the soaps and Oprah are gone, I will have 7 shows that I record on ABC. Three of the shows I have already considered not watching before all of this with the soaps started because they aren't that good, but nothing better is on. One, Body of Proof is new and I haven't made up my mind on yet. So basically I will have three solid shows that I watch on ABC. That's Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice and Castle.
As with all trends they fad away, I was already hearing people say they've quit watching reality shows long before all this with ABC happened. Reality shows are soon going to be a thing of the past, and who really watches more than one or two talk shows a day anyway. Not me! I mean one for the real news, one for entertainment news, after that they are pretty much all repeating each other. You can only take so much. There is a reason soaps have hung in there for forty years. It has to do with the stories, and being able to watch a new show everyday with hardly ever a rerun, not the trending thing of the moment.
After this fiasco, I can promise you I won't be adding any new ABC shows. I will put out the I'm sorry now to Shonda Rhimes. I won't be able to watch the new show coming out Damage Control. Thank your bosses or powers that be for that, cause you know I think you rock Shonda!
And to the powers that be at ABC who think people will get over this once a little time has passed. Remember the number of women in your soap audience. Then think about how long a female can hold a grudge.
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