Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ABC scraps One Life to Live sweeps storyline

From Variety:

Last week's Virginia Tech mass shooting tragedy has forced ABC to scrap a major May sweeps storyline arc on its daytime sudser "One Life to Live."

The serial had taped a series of episodes that dealt with a high school hostage situation and its impact on the community. Now, the Alphabet is reworking 17 segs of "One Life to Live" due to sensitivity surrounding the issue.

"Out of respect to those affected by this devastating tragedy, especially the families, I felt that it was important to remove this storyline from our show," said exec producer Frank Valentini.

ABC is quickly reworking the story arc, which had been scheduled to air next month.

The "One Life to Live" switch is the latest move by a network to alter or pull programming that may be deemed insensitive in light of the Virginia Tech killings. Fox last week yanked an episode of "Bones" that dealt with human remains found on a college campus.

My take: If this story is so offensive, why did anyone at ABC or OLTL think it was a good idea in the first place? Instead of going for shock value for sweeps, why not try to tell consistently good stories throughout the year that climax during sweeps? Relying on sweeps stunts, especially violent ones that are reminiscent of Colombine, was a bad idea from the start.

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