Thursday, April 21, 2011

FLASHBACK: Brian Frons Has Ideas for Daytime 1982


By Clarke Taylor
Los Angeles Times
June 5, 1982

NEW YORK -- The competition to capture the daytime television audience is tightening, says at least one network executive, who believes the way to capture it is by introducing "new trends" in daytime programming.

"With the intrusion of cable and the increasing strength of independent stations, the competition will continue to get tougher," said Brian Frons, director, Daytime Programs, CBS, at a Wednesday luncheon meeting of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the Copacabana. "And many of the changes you have seen on all the networks reflect a desire to deliver that daytime audience."

Why? Because, according to Frons, more than $1 billion in advertising revenue makes daytime programming "the No. 2 earner at CBS--ahead of sports, news and late-night."

"The new trends will not come from the networks, but from the independent, creative community," Frons told his appreciative audience consistently large of independent TV producers and writers.

He cited newer independent producing talents such as Bill Bell, who pumped new blood into daytime soap operas with THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS ("He gave us a woman who played with tarantulas, a character who wore a veil for six months and couples who broke into song at the drop of a hat.") He also mentioned 30-year veterans such as Goodson-Todman Productions, which next fall will produce for CBS a game show, CHILD'S PLAY, featuring youngsters from all over the country giving clues to adult players.

However, Frons stressed the importance of innovations in the daytime soaps, referring to guest appearances over the last year by "stars" like Elizabeth Taylor and Pearl Bailey, location shooting in exotic climes, and the introduction of younger characters: "Two-thirds of the characters on AS THE WORLD TURNS are under 30, and just three years ago two-thirds were over 45 years old."

Frons concluded his remarks by promising that CBS will "aggressively" go after a wider audience for soaps as well as other daytime programming--more teens, more working woman, and more men. "If anybody has a good new idea, we want to see it."

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