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« I Know I Owe You Guys a Days Post | Main | Our Column in the 4/8 Issue of Soap Opera Digest »

April 02, 2008


A few years ago, I was embroiled in a one-sided feud with Horatio Sanz. Like all Saturday Night Live viewers, I was offended by the fact that he continued to have a job despite breaking character in every sketch and never making me laugh, ever. The feud consisted mainly of me saying to others, "Can you believe this shmuck still has a job after breaking character in every sketch and never making me laugh, ever?" It was a non-violent battle that I eventually won after eight long years. Luckily, my commitment to complaining is never hampered by fatigue, illness or a short attention span.

It's becoming more and more apparent that I need to protest Brian Frons just...existing, except that I am running out of ways to describe my disgust with the fact that he continues to be employed. I don't think a combination of words in the English language could properly convey my angst, except, like, "He's...just...ugh...!!!...worst...???...ugh...hate", but that's not an actual sentence.

I really thought that someone, at some point, would realize that, since all of the ABC Daytime shows have bled viewers since he took over, he's not even competent at his job, let alone good at it. No dice. I thought that the SNM Fiasco would make some take notice and say, "Um, isn't this the channel for soap operas?" But, again, nothing. And now, more dumbassedness.

In addition to bolstering daytime with such ad deals, the company is broadening its plan for Soapnet, moving it from being a home for soap opera reruns to one for original content, as well as more acquired primetime soaps and movie dramas. The network has bought a packet of small to midsize movies to add to its Sunday night movie franchise: Romy and Michelle: In the Beginning; I Do, They Don't; Face on the Milk Carton; Relative Chaos; and I Want to Marry Ryan Banks.

Soapnet is also moving forward with Relative Madness, six hour-long specials this summer on the most over-the-top TV and celebrity families, with commentary from talent including comedian Joy Behar, dancer Chris Judd, and mother/daughter socialites Lisa and Britney Gastineau.

There is so much wrong embedded in those 124 words.

(1)Brian Frons PAID MONEY for the chance to broadcast:

Seriously, why not just buy the rights to "The Multi Cultural Megashow", the epic musical my elementary school did when I was in fifth grade? Sure, it had lyrics like "Here is a story, a story it is, and the drums are talking, that is how it is" and a song called "A Yup A Dup", but it's clearly higher quality than any of the aforementioned movies.

(2) You know what has nothing to do with soap operas? Television programming about celebrity families. Why are they ripping off the E! ripoffs of VH1 celebrity shows?

(3) Life has reached a new low when you're describing Joy Behar, J. Lo's second ex-husband and the Gastineau Girls as "talent"

(4) Isn't this channel supposed to be about soap operas? Isn't that what the SOAP in SOAPNet is?

Let's sit back and let Frons explain why this isn't a massive mistake:

“We wanted to recognize the fact that we live in a soap nation—primetime soaps, daytime soaps, Britney Spears soaps,” says Frons. Soapnet currently programs 40 hours of original programming a week, and Frons says he would like to double that number over the next two years.

“America has been getting their soap fix in a lot of different ways other than or in addition to the daily soaps, and so we're reflecting that on the channel, all with a soapy filter—otherwise it's just another women's network.”

Oh...okay, I think I get it now. As a nation, we watch a few primetime soaps that get middling ratings, we have been tuning out from daytime soaps in droves in the past few years and the shows that Frons himself oversees have been hemorraghing viewers and we are morbidly fascinated by the breakdown of a mentally ill popstar. Ergo, ipso facto, we want to watch crappy made-for-tv movies and d-list celebrities and celebrity hangers on talking about other celebrities.

SOAPNet is also going to broadcast a Canadian primetime soap about hockey player's wives or something. Frons explains:

"When we talk to the viewers about what kind of women they really like on shows, we get two answers: One is the very strong, powerful woman who is either a mother or businesswoman who has made her mark in the world, and the other is the one who has this great, hot guy and lives an amazing life," he said

I am pretty sure my brain just collapsed on itself. The fact that this man has a high powered, influential job has sent me spiralling into a depression. I am going to go eat some Ben & Jerry's and cry myself to sleep now.


Actually, Frons probably didn't even pay for those "movies" because they were all ABC Family original movies (which I'm not ashamed to say I secretly love). Corporate synergy at it's finest!

Let me count just five ways to revive GH:
(1) Fire the sainted three: Frons, Guza and Phelps
(2) Let Sonny, Carly, Jason go off and have their own soap where
they can mob and kill and have explosions to their hearts
content and...
(3) Give us back our stories, vets, traditions, elevation of women
(4) No more one dimensional characters but characters with depth
and respect for history. No plots or characters that start then
sputter out. No introduction of a dozen newbies at once.
(5) How can this be done: bring Genie Francis back and have her
wake up from a 6 year nightmare thus Alan, Emily, Tony Jones,
Ned, Lois, Brenda, Lucy, Doc, etc. are on canvas.

I am so tired of cable channels abandonning their roots and going to reality shows and stupid celebrity related specials. I remember when A &E and TLC used to be decent channels. Now they are all reality. Why does VH1 even pretend that it still cares about music? And if MTV in 1981 could see MTV in 2008, it would cry. Even the History Channel seems to be moving towards reality based programing - I am not sure why shows about the present are on the History Channel. Now it looks like SoapNet is going to have more crappy reality shows and stupid celebrity shows. I would not be surprised if they start cutting out the 8 and 9 o'clock rereuns to start showing their crappy movies and specials. So much for watching Soapnet. I guess there's always Youtube.

I don't usually hate people I've never met but Brian Frons is definitely worthy of breaking that rule for! Is it really necessary to piss all over a television genre that you also claim to be trying to save?

I don't mind if they play primetime soaps along with the daytime but the OC and One Tree Hill do not count!! Especially since one is still on the air and the other one only went off the air 2 years ago. and the whole SNM thing is just...grrr!

Is he for real?! NO, REALLY, IS HE FOR FUCKING REAL?! I just....crackhead....hate...motherfucker....
die.....castrate....angry mob...wha-...grrrrrrr!!!! So, if you're a strong successful business woman you can't be a mother and if you are EITHER of those things, you must not have a hot guy or an amazing life, b/c, if you DID, you would spend all your time concentrating on him, just like your freakin' hero Carly, instead of on pesky things like children (who are, after all, only tools to catch a man with and then are to be dropped, immediately upon birth, on the nearest employable childcare provider who is not on the sex offender registry) or careers?! Mallory, please know that I adore you and Becca and you are my soap-opera-bitchiness sheroes, but are you sure that you didn't just make all this up to incite us readers to form an angry mob to go after Frons and mow him down like the rabid, evil dog he is?


Just checking. Off to make torches and coordinate flight plans.

no no no no no ... just no
Why do media outlets keep trying to foist "celebrity" reality shows on the viewing public? I refuse to believe that anyone is watching these things except for the poor interns employed by the Soup. If you have to Google who the hell these people are, then are by definition NOT celebrities.

To equate the mess of crap that is "celebrity gossip" type news / shows with soapiness is a true slap at the craft of soap opera and a glaring sign (as if we needed proof) that Frons does NOT know or understand anything about the nature of soaps or soap viewers.

True quality soap opera - sorely lacking these days - is not about tabloid expliotation and lives of absurd excess. At its heart it's about the long term story arc - the development of characters that viewers come to know and love, core families who have a history and connections that make their interaction and stories believable / relatable. Would we care about Sami on Days and her off and on love affair Lucas if we hadn't seen them as gawky teenagers going to the prom, living through teen unrequited love angst and unplanned pregnancy and seen them laugh and love and fight like real people?
Soap viewers want traditional soap stories told with characters we care about with genuine, heartfelt dialogue and appropriate pacing.
Need to fill additional hours? Why not ... re air Another World!?!?! Hello!?!?!??! Santa Barbara? Ryan's Hope? An hour a night of "classic" episodes?
I think any soap viewer could easily sift though the random ideas Frons is planning and easily say which are going to work and which aren't.
It makes you just want to gently beat your head against a wall.....

Those executive suits are just plain dumb.

I agree with Amy. Give me some "Santa Barbara!" Some "Ryan's Hope!" Or dare I say it, some "Edge Of Night!"


I too agree with Amy! I would love to see Santa Barbara! That's where I first saw Nancy Grahn... and she was great with Lane Davies as Mason. He was on GH for awhile as Zander's dad but they weren't on together for long. Also, that is where Robin Wright first started prior to her starring roles in the Princess Bride and Forrest Gump!

Also, what original programming does SOAPNET have. I think the last original programming they had were the reality shows Fashionista Diaries and I WANT TO BE A SOAP STAR.

I used to enjoy their SOAP TALK show but they said they canceled it due to declining viewership. Also, they only have repeats of their half hour show SOAPOGRAPHY and ONE DAY WITH...(I think that's the title). The bulk of their day is made of repeats of past and current soaps.

Lastly, since I as well some other people have mentioned the abundance of reality TV, I just want to mention how much I hate these shows. There is so-called reality TV with supposedly your average man or woman in staged circumstances: ie. Big Brother, Wife Swap etc. Then you have your list of mostly has been performers trying to earn some money by putting their "so-called life" on TV for everyone to watch! Who cares?! I don't! When I was 12 yes, I liked Scott Baio. Now, who cares if he wasn't married at 45 or is becoming a father at 46. If he screwed up his life, why should we care?

That is all I am going to say on that subject, since I don't want to get on a soapbox and bore everyone. Therefore I will end by saying I too agree that SOAPNET is no longer what it started out as.

But I wanted to keep on watching Melrose Place.
Ooh, and why can't they acquire the rights to play reruns of Hollyoaks?!?

It is a soap opera!

Frons obviously loves old Buffy Characters. Anya, Cordelia AND Xander?

I have to cop to the fact that I watched that Ryan Banks movie... twice. But ONLY because I have a ridiculous crush on Bradley Cooper. Because, otherwise, it's the worst. movie. ever. The reunification of Brandon Walsh and Susan Keats never needed to happen.

Also, there's a baby picture of me in which my uncle swears I look just like Terry Bradshaw.

All that being said, anyone who has to steal crappy Lifetime and ABC Family original movies in order to create a line up needs some serious career counseling. This man is not capable of running a dishwasher, much less a network.

Instead of all these reruns of primetime shows and stupid Sunday night movies, how about showing some old episodes of our favorite shows. I would love to see some of the famous soap opera weddings, the nurses ball and some classic episodes like BJ's death. How Frons still has his job when he has destroyed abc daytime is beyond me.

You know I think the real problem is that a WOMAN needs to have Frons' job!! What a total ass! In corporate America, he wouldn't
have his job for 5 more minutes & would probably be prosecuted as well for the total hatchet job he's done on AMC & other soaps & now destroying the original mission of Soapnet & trying to make it into something HE wants & telling all of us women who love soaps & keep him going, to FUCK OFF! I am like you, I don't understand why he still has a job & why he is allowed to do his dirty work, other than he has something on someone higher up somewhere. That's the only plausible explanation!

Reality Shows do not belong on a Soap Opera Channel. Didn't the ratings for the Fashionista Diaries prove anything? I wish they would bring back Soap Talk, Soapagraphy and One Day. I would prefer programs about the soap actors rather than a reality show.

Here's the address to write and say how we feel about the current program changes:

3800 West Alameda
Burbank CA 91505


I would not mind movies on SoapNOT IF the movies were actually 'soapy' movies. Turner Classic movies airs movies which were not only award-winning movies - but the forerunners of soaps on radio and in the early days of TV - such as Stella Dallas, Magnificent Obsession, Emergency Hospital, the Interns and even 'Young Doctors in Love.' There are a number of movies which featured soap royalty in the cast. I could handle movies like that and even understand why someone might regard them as 'soapy.'

But, in Frons's first go-round with the Sunday Night Movies, the commentator kept wink-winking at the fact that the airing was abbreviated SnM. That was NOT an accident - ALL of the movies which Frons chose for his first go-round focused on women being trussed up and menaced in some way. Frons has a REAL obsession for viewing scenes of people being trussed up and tortured - witness the recent days on end during which GH's Sam was trussed up and tortured by supposed Text Message Killer Diego and the not so recent days on end during which GH's Jax was trussed up and tortured by supposedly brother-Jerry's-old-girlfriend-Irina.

If Frons believes that Frons's obsession with bondage flicks might cause someone to mistake SoapNOT for 'just another women's network' - Frons is just advertising the fact that, like everything else, Frons has never actually watched any of the movies on some of the 'women's; networks. In fact, most of the channels which cater to women's interests - especially those which air movies - have movies that actually DO interest women! Like, for instance, a Perry Mason movie which featured Genie Francis in the title role.

In the meantime, people are now calling the network SoapNOT and DOPEnet.

Time for Frons to realize that the SOMEONE has summed SoapNOT up ina netshell!

Sincerely, Deborah

Frons/Guza/Phelps=trash. How those 3 keep their jobs I don't know. They must have some serious dirt in order to keep their jobs. At this point I'd take Hogan Sheffer to see if he could change the train wreck that is GH.

Can we stop the bleeding Krimee man...

Enough is enough and its why I YouTube for the actors/stories I really want to see. Otherwise why waste time on the mob show.

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