Wednesday, December 9, 2009

NEWS: End of ATWT, Still Shopping GL, More TV for P&G

L.A. Times: AS THE WORLD TURNS canceled
Lynn Leahey, editorial director of Soap Opera Digest, said the move does not come as a surprise for daytime industry observers. "Still, it's a punch in the gut for fans," she said. "This is a show they've been holding near and dear for decades."

Also, in a cost-cutting move, ABC is planning to move ALL MY CHILDREN from New York to California at the end of the year, according to sources at the show. The decision will save an estimated $10 million annually for the company, which both owns and produces the show, according to sources.

CBS New York: AS THE WORLD TURNS Cancellation A Sign Of Times
"That reminds me of my childhood. I watched it with my mom when I was a little, little girl and it was like the first soap opera I ever watched with her, so that's really what it brings to my mind," said Montvale, N.J. resident Nancy Bamberger.

"People are already starting Web soaps, that's just in its infancy. We're gonna see where it goes," said Leahey. "It has to be turned into a business model. I do think there's huge potential there. I think if we can deliver the content where people are instead of expecting them to sit in front of their TVs, there's hope."

NY Post: WORLD Coming to an end
"It's been really somber," said Terri Colombino, an 11-year veteran of the soap, describing the mood on the set. "I can't say I was super surprised. There have been rumors for a long time, but to actually hear the news is just a punch in the gut . . .

"Everyone kept saying, 'I thought we had at least one more year.' "

"It's money. It's always money," Colombino said. "If they can put a talk show or game show or reality show in that time slot, even if they get half the ratings, it benefits their bottom line."

Between cast and crew, an estimated 200 local workers will be out of a job when ATWT finishes its run and pulls out of JC Studios in Midwood, where it's been based for more than a decade.

"I'm auditioning all the time," Colombino said. "I'd like to stay here. I love New York. But maybe this is God telling me, 'OK, it's time.' "

Eileen Fulton predicted that everybody will land on their feet. "We're all very good at what we do, and we'll all be working again," she said.

TV Week: An ATWT Timeline
Chuck Ross looks at some key milestones during the soap's run.

ATWT: The end of an era, still exploring options for GL too
"This is definitely the end of an era," says Jeannie Tharrington, P&G spokeswoman. "We've been at this since 1933."

That was the year MA PERKINS, sponsored by Oxydol, debuted on WLW-AM. In four months, MA PERKINS was broadcast nationwide by NBC - and promoting P&G's products - on the first of the company's 20 daytime dramas.

"We didn't anticipate (the cancellation), but we were prepared if it happened," Tharrington says.

The company and producing partner TeleNext Media Inc. will attempt to keep the show in production, as well as revive GUIDING LIGHT, she says. CBS gave P&G nine months' notice this time, compared to only five months for GUIDING LIGHT

"We have a little more time, so we're more hopeful. We're still exploring options for GUIDING LIGHT too," she says.

P&G May Increase TV Production
In primetime, P&G is down to one show - the 36th annual "People's Choice Awards" Jan. 6 - after producing CIRCUS OF THE STARS, TV movies, beauty pageants and ice skating shows in the 1980s and '90s. The company may do more TV next year.

"We do have some things planned for next year, but I can't talk about them yet," she says.


  1. Its good to see P&G still has plans to stay in TV production. May get to see them try soaps again in a new way, shape or form. Seems like the major shift here (besides lower daytime ratings) is that the net didn't own a piece of ATWT or GL. I think the business model for P&G in future has to be a partnership or revenue share with Network.

    Also, the major nets are definitely moving toward daytime TV being 'filler' programming. I still believe a shift to a niche cable station and a decrease in the amount of content produced would be appealing yet unfortunately dependent on the stability of the economy.

  2. D.J.,

    CBS doesn't own a piece of Y&R or B&B. ABC is the only network to own its soaps.

    It's surprising to see very little vitriol directed at Christopher Goutman versus the contempt shown towards Ellen Wheeler.

    Goutman has been a mixed bag for ATWT. He had his glory days under Hogan Sheffer and David K. seems like he would be a good longterm head writer.

    I wish we could trust P&G to actually try to shop ATWT to other networks like Lifetime, WE, SoapNet, etc.

  3. I love it that P&G volunteered they are still looking into reviving GL as well! I am keeping my fingers crossed that both ATWT and GL can continue on in a new format.

    The Wheeler-bashing was over the top and undeserved, so I'm glad that is not being repeated here with Goutman, but it does seem to be a bit of a double standard.