Continues to tank. The fatty show is long gone and the Chew which replaced long running All My Children continues on life support, but without holding viewers on a consistent basis.
I remember 1970 and All My Children. I remember being at a baby sitters home in 1970 actually a child sitter. She was an older woman with a silver spoon collection in plaques on her walls. Honestly, yes they were real silver spoons some from the late 1800’s and probably worth a mint back then. It was about 12PM midday when I heard this song from the other room.
I instantly recognized it and asked the woman if she watched it and she said she was glued to it daily. Despite that the Nielsen Ratings can and have been proved to be at times a grossly inaccurate system, generations came and went and still watched this. There is a reason. When you listen to that theme song and then the stories, plots, subplots, juicy little details, it kept viewers interests. In a sense, the killing of this soap and One Life to Live by Executive Brian Frons not only illustrated how one guy can wreck something for millions to enjoy and something quite dear, but the art of how he went about it.
These soaps didn’t just drop like rocks in the ratings, it had to be carefully planned and orchestrated and that is how it was done. The stories while at times flat, with the older writers still worked quite well. What Frons and his buddies did was install new head writers to tank the stories and help bring the ratings down. It is a diabolical act and one that ignored a long and loved history by many fans. As people watched the shows go down, they watched somewhat less. Eventually as the ratings showed lower, it gave Brian the excuse he needed to help kill the soaps and install cheap crap. He did this to show his ABC bosses how he could save them some bucks and it did in the very short run.
In the mid run though, the damage and fallout were more than they expected. ABC lost viewers, in fact the tradeoff for the replacement shows was quite a hostile crowd that vowed to make sure ABC was not being viewed midday. Not only did they not watch, but went out of their way not to watch ABC and told others as well. Then as the midrun continued the fat show that replaced OLTL got canned. People didn’t need a weight loss cheap piece of crap to watch. It was a waste of their valuable time and electrical bill too, not to mention their TV set’s lifespan.
With ABC “The Chew” has sort of meandered along but continues very weak. In return where ABC once proudly boasted “ABC DAYTIME” that they had a lock on, they now had to scramble for what viewers they could get and it went downhill from there.
In the long run, while the AMC and OLTL casts and production have moved on to elsewhere, the viewers too. ABC loses and loses bigtime. Where they once had millions of steady viewers locked in daily, they no longer have that. What they have is cheap crap on the tubes and a non-loyal, non-locked viewership that is a revolving door. People might watch a few shows but that is about as good as it gets. Ratings remain low, advertisers can pay cheaper rates for that market spot and the magic and mantra that once boasted “ABC DAYTIME” most likely will never be a boon to that network again.
The sad thing here is all the magic that One Life To Live and All My Children brought to millions perhaps hundreds of millions during the decades they ran, all killed off by one man intent on shutting them down. It did not matter the damage that would occur, or that was propagated by this Encino Executive named Brian Frons, nor how he had others do the work necessary to kill the soaps. It didn’t matter that ABC in its shortsighted stance on business was killing institutions and disenfranchising viewers. Or that the stories were sabotaged over time to bring the soaps down. Bad business, you bet, will it ever come around again? No, not in my lifetime or probably yours.
I personally wanted to thank Misses Agnes Nixon for the decades of hard work. It really brought happiness to all of our lives, thank you Misses Nixon.