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« This...Is An Interesting Analysis | Main | Trying Optimism On For Size »

August 07, 2009

The One Where ABC Stands For "Awful, Brutal, Crazy"

I present the following without commentary, because I belive that this (freaking insane) news item says more about the (completely inept) people who (poorly) run ABC Daytime and their (terrible) decision to move the (already floundering) show to Los Angeles, a move that will (give them the opportunity to dump the undesirable people from their cast while making it look like it wasn't their choice to do so) give All My Children more space (in which to assault viewers with its wretchedness), than I could possibly say:

ABC Daytime has given the cast and crew of the network's daytime drama series All My Children" one week to decide whether they will uproot their lives and families to Los Angeles, CA when the show moves production in January, says Thorsten Kaye (Zach Slater) in an exclusive interview with New York Daily Newsreporter Carolyn Hinsey.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I'm not the kind of dad who wants to be 3,000 miles away from my kids. And it's not exactly the best time to sell real estate," he says. Kaye is married to "One Life to Live's" Susan Haskell (Marty Saybrooke). They have two daughters, McKenna and Marlowe.

"I think the move shows that ABC has a lot of belief in 'AMC' and wants to keep it going,"Kaye says.

Okay, I lied, I do have this piece of somewhat unintelligible commentary: One week! OMG! WTF?! How can they ask people to uproot their entire lives and move across the country with a mere seven days to think it over? SEVEN DAYS! Do you know how long it takes me to decide what pair of shoes to buy, and from where? MORE THAN SEVEN DAYS. And shoes, as Cher Horowitz says, only go on my feet and the choice of shoe has no bearing on the rest of my life or my family's life.

Or, in a word:


They are hoping that most of the cast won't come, aren't they? And this way they can have their veteran (and awesome character free) All My Children and be able to spin it as, "Well, [insert actor here] had the choice to come, but declined. Too bad, so sad" and then they will probably lure back the former cast members now based in LA, and then we will have an AMC without well loved, long-time characters, replaced by the likes of Greenlee, Bianca, Reese and (perish the thought!) Alexa Havins, and then I will be forced to pour bleach in my eyes and blind myself and live life as a tragic blind blogger, and then when people ask how I became blind, I'll be forced to admit that All My Children triggered a breakdown, and they will judge and shun me, and I will die of shame. Enjoy living with that on your conscience, Brian Frons!

*Thanks to Beth R., my special news correspondent, for the link!


You are much welcome Mallory....I saw that and immediately thought of you.

And because I love you so much...the same source is saying Alexa Havins will not come back. There are rumors that Rebecca Budig and Eden Reagel will though. However its the soap press so take it with grains of salt.

Appalling. Appalling. Appalling.

(And with all due respect, Thorsten, how on EARTH is this a move that makes you say the brass really believes in AMC???? Sounds more like, "Uh, let's move and basically start a whole new show with all new writers and actors and directors and crew, except for a handful of people we always wanted to see with a better tan anyway.")

They don't have to move in a week. They have to make the decision whether they will or won't within the week. This really isn't some evil Nazi move that only ABC Daytime and the trolls that run it could come up with.

But I'm speaking as a girl whose family moved every two years (on average) up until she was 16. My father did NOT work for the military but for a major corporation and he wasn't given months to consider a move... though he was allowed months to MAKE it... with his family, that ultimately included a wife, four children and pets.

Hell, we moved once when my baby sister was three weeks old.

I understand the concern for AMC in this but I think this move is an indication that they want to keep AMC around and NOT get rid of it, as opposed to just cancelling it outright. As I understand it, it bleeds money and the move is supposed to help with that.

What it comes down to is that the actors at AMC are going to have to make a decision fairly quickly as to whether they want to move in order to keep working or stay and hope they find something else. It's a decision a lot of people have to make in their lives.

Oh, you and your rational thinking, Dandesun:) It's such a good counterpoint to my hysteria. I know that a lot of people have to make this choice (for jobs far less cushy than soap acting), but something still seems off about the way that ABC has handled the whole thing. Although, of course, it IS possible that I am viewing the whole situation with my "Brian Frons is evil" blinders on.

Your blinders are fine, Mallory. While a lot of people have to make choices like this outside of entertainment, they are generally given more than a WEEK to make it. My dad too moved quite a bit for the job, but when it was his choice and it was a major move, they gave him more than a week to make the decision. I think ABC's motives aren't entirely evil -- I think they want to save what they THINK AMC should be (not what we want it to be)...but I think there are some evil objectives being met while they're doing this not-entirely-evil thing. And giving people a week to decide is just evil too, IMO.

Giving folks a week to decide when only the week before TIIC themselves were claiming that it was only a rumor that AMC was moving to California IS just plain nasty,mean spirited and disrespectful to the people integral to the show. I'd have a hard time taking them up on their offer just because I wouldn't trust them one whit.

My first thought was that I want to ask TK precisely how this move shows that ABC respects the show? I'm so not following that "logic."

I'm down to hoping every actor who plays a character I hate goes to L.A. and every actor who plays a character I love refuses so that I can just be done with AMC once and for all.

I agree with Dandesun completely. Frons is trying to save AMC with this move. I don't know how there can be any doubt of this. AMC fans should be thrilled. The costs saved by moving to LA may buy the soap another year or two. OLTL is the soap that appears to be in the most jeopardy now.

I also do not see one week to make the decision to move as unreasonable. TPTB have to have make plans to write out the characters. They only have a 4 month window which is only so much time to wrap up stories and write out characters of the actors refuse to make the move. Also, the one week deadline forces the actors to focus on what they want to do with their careers. I am sure that most of them are going to make the move exceptions possibly are Susan Lucci and David Canary.

I wonder if ABC ever considered moving "All My Children" to Canada instead of L.A.? I'm fairly certain that it's cheaper to film in Canada than in L.A., and Canada has pretty much become "Hollywood North."

Granted, TIIC are probably hoping that a move to Los Angeles will entice L.A.-based actors to return to the show. Ah, yes. AMC will surely be saved by Babe-Is-Love and The REAL Greenlee! (Of course, it'd be more logical for AMC to develop awesome storylines and consistent character motivations to save the show, but let's not kid ourselves: This IS Pratt we're talking about....)

While Dandesun makes good points, as always, I'd offer the counterpoint that I'm guessing your dad knew that frequent moves would be part of the job when he signed up. One of the tradeoffs that soap actors supposedly make is stability and an ability to raise a family in one place. People who don't need that (Josh Duhamel, for example) have more leeway to go off and try for major stardom, and they often do. The core actors who become vets typically do value that. Moving across the country was not what they signed up for. I'm not saying that it's completely unreasonable for the network to move AMC -- just that I think the terms under which the cast thought they were working have been dramatically altered.

No, the frequent moves were not necessarily a heads up part of the job. It just became that way. Now, granted, I do agree that denying the rumors of the AMC move and then going 'Hey! We're moving!' was shitty.

When we were transferred to Mobil's headquarters in NYC back in '80 we were told that headquarters were moving to northern Virginia soon so we rented a house for 11 months as opposed to buying one. That's fair.

At the same time, I wonder if the denials were there to keep a full fledged panic from happening... you never know how people are going to react to this sort of thing. Also, I wonder how the rumor mill was going behind the scenes there. How many of the actors had a whiff of things beforehand?

Robin Strasser's recent hotline suggested that the rumor mill was working overtime in regards to them, too. When she called Valentini to say she wanted to stay she asked if the rumors she was hearing were true and he told her it wasn't going to be official until a few more hours.

Of course, that's Robin Strasser... no one can tell me bitch doesn't know what's going on. I really do wonder just HOW surprised the actors really are at all of this.

"I'm not saying that it's completely unreasonable for the network to move AMC -- just that I think the terms under which the cast thought they were working have been dramatically altered."

You are completely correct, but I find it very hard to be outraged on behalf of AMC's contract actors. Yes, they are being inconvenienced, but they are being asked to move to LA where every ambitious actor wants to live because there is barely any work in NY. Yes, the actors with families will have some challenges, but they still have their jobs, unlike the crew and other behind the scene workers and recurring actors who are now unemployed.

All around this country people are being laid off, factories are being closed, and there are no jobs to be found. The cast of AMC should thank their lucky stars that the show wasn't canceled because the word from Daytime Confidential that broke the story was that it was cancellation for at least one of these soaps or move.

As for ABC denying the initial rumors about the move, here I don't blame them again. Frons wanted to break the news directly to the cast and crew which I found to be a surprisingly classy thing to do. I really think that it is time to give Frons a break. I appreciate that he used creativity and took a huge risk with this move to buy AMC a couple more years.

I'd be less angry about forcing AMC actors to make this life altering decision in a week if the excuses Frons and Co. had given for moving AMC to LA had not been such blatant nonsense (I work in corporate real estate in Manhattan, trust me when I say the last thing this city needs is yet more offices). This seems to me like an excuse so that when AMC goes down in flames, Brian Frons can wring his hands (like the P&G execs did with GL) and insist that they did everything they could when the truth remains that they only fiddled with the superficial things instead of what really needs to be changed (most glaringly the writing).
Also, there is work for actors in NY, just not the type there is in LA. The actors on the NY soaps are more theater actors (the theater acting style, IMO, fits better with soaps than film/tv guest spots) and there are still ads in the papers for Broadway and off Broadway productions.

"Conscience" and "Brian Frons" in the same sentence, Mallory? Surely you jest?

It's the beginning of the end for all ABC soaps. If ABC was TRULY interesting in saving their soaps, they would hire new people behind the scenes to make the shows BETTER. I don't see that happening. Rest in peace, ABC soaps.

Perfect and fitting use of a Beastie Boys .gif. Well played.

Izzy, I have been dying to use that .gif and felt this was the best opportunity I'd get!

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