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« General Hospital Week in Review | Main | Our Column in the 12/11 Issue of SOD »

December 02, 2007

Why I Am Not A Network Executive

In my rare moments of self-awareness, I sometimes come to terms with the fact that I'm just not cut out to hold certain jobs. I could never, for example, be an aerobics instructor, because I am not capable of perpetual cheerfulness (also, I trip a lot). I could never work at a hedge fund, because the term "hedge fund" in and of itself makes me want to take a nap. I could never work at 30 Rock because I'd just follow Tina Fey around all, "But ohmigod, you're, like, the coolest ever! How did you get to be so cool! You're awesome! Call me! Let's have coffee and be best friends forever!" and get escorted out by security.

And I could never, ever be a network executive because I have no mental deficiencies.

I don't know about you, but when I hear the name "SOAPNet", I don't often think "made for tv movies starring C. Thomas Howell", but that's exactly what is playing on SOAPNet tonight. Double you tee eff?

Apparently, the SOAP OPERA NETWORK has acquired the rights to several motion pictures and made for tv movies that will be broadcast on Sunday nights. Included in Frons's big coup:

  • Deception (You guys, they PAID for rights to an ANDIE MCDOWELL movie)
  • Full Frontal
  • Kiss of Fire (...)
  • Tangled (Rachael Leigh Cook AND Estella Warren. It's Stars That Weren't on parade)
  • A Pyromaniac's Love Story (Ugh, Billy Baldwin. We really hate him on Dirty Sexy Money; he may even be the worst thing about it. Yes, even worse than Samaire Armstrong, though I don't think quite as bad as Sheryl Lee's evil character who took Gustave Brian Jr. away to Brazil and made me cry for an embarrassingly long time because of it!)
  • The aforementioned Dangerous Indiscretion
  • Deadly Sins
  • Double Cross
  • Betrayed by Love
  • Blindfold: Acts of Obsession (this, at least, has somewhat of a soap connection, what with Shannen Doherty and Kristian Alfonso. On the other hand, it has Judd Nelson's scary facial hair and is, you know, not a soap)
  • Keys

In case you were wondering what the hell was up with this terrible decision, Mr. Frons explains it thusly:

“SOAPnet is making strides to expand its ‘soapy’ programming and movies are the next logical step.  We recognize that movies can be just as soapy as daytime drama...our viewers love the drama, fantasy and anticipation ripe in traditional soaps and we are stretching their equity to incorporate reality, primetime, daytime and now movies, into our lineup."

Yes, Frons, the next logical step is airing movies from 15 years ago starring Alyssa Milano and Kelly Preston, not, you know, using this money to get the rights to Santa Barbara or put Another World back on or, you know, air Ryan's Hope during an hour when people are actually, I don't know, AWAKE.

I don't think that word means what he thinks it means...

Seriously, and I know we ask this question quite often, but...how does Brian Frons still have a job? Is it because he's a master of inventing words to make his lame ideas sound impressive? Is it because he dares to dream big enough to hope for a world where we all watch soaps on our cell phones? Is it because Disney-ABC has not yet been able to negotiate a deal with the Bronx Zoo to hire Babboon #3 to come run ABC Daytime?


Mallory and I were bitching about this -- assuming for the sake of argument that ABC isn't trying to kill the genre, if they just did good promotion, don't you think more people would watch some of the old soaps instead of edited versions of shitty movies, making more sense from a purely economical standpoint? Especially if they made it digestible, so you didn't have to commit to, say, Another World's entire run. (Although AW is fab and is far preferable to this movie nonsense, as Mal noted.) What about re-airing Days' Cruise of Deception? Or the original Luke and Laura arc on GH, or their return in the early 90s? Stone's illness and death? If they wanted to spend a little money they could edit old stuff so that, for instance, you only got scenes of the couple/story you decided to highlight for that month or whatever. I just don't get how they're running this network. I, too, lack the mental deficiencies necessary for such comprehension.

I would cheerfully shell out hundreds of dollars for dvds of Santa Barbara; I would pay per view episodes of Santa Barbara; I would stop resenting the cost of Soapnet on my cable bill every month if they would only add Santa Barbara. I might even forgive them for the egregious sins of re-cancelling Another World, and running Ryan's Hope once a night during the infomercials.

I've heard that the music rights are what is preventing SB from being picked up. (If that's true, everyone, lobby your congressmen to clear up fuzzy copyright law. )But frankly, I suspect it's just that Lifetime Movies are cheaper, and will kill off Soapnet faster, making way for ABC to unload it. I suspect they've found they don't like running a cable network, and are looking to get out.

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