American Business and Daytime Dramas - Donald G Boudreau

American Business and Daytime Dramas

By Donald G Boudreau

  • Release Date: 2012-06-22
  • Genre: Business & Personal Finance


On Thursday, April 14, 2011, ABC/Disney Television unleashed a nationwide firestorm in concurrently announcing that it was cancelling two of Daytime television’s longstanding prized soap operas created by the legendary writer, Agnes Nixon, “One Life to Live” and “All My Children.” Nationwide, fans immediately began protesting against these cancellations and emphatically made it clear that they did not want, and would not support by watching, the ABC/Disney network’s two proposed replacement reality television shows that focused on food and lifestyle/weight reduction, named “The Revolution” and “The Chew.” ABC/Disney’s decision in cancelling these two soap opera thus became a catalyst in spawning a nationwide “Save Our Soaps” movement as hundreds of thousands of fans began flocking to the social media, creating hundreds of Facebook pages, online communities nationwide, actively protesting these decisions by ABC/Disney, with the responsible senior executives of these companies directly, with corporate sponsors, and with local ABC television affiliate stations nationwide. And all along in the process, these soap opera fans were raising serious issues, including among other things, the television networks overall devaluing of scripted programming in favor of cheaper, reality television shows; ageism – given that these soap operas largely tended to attract viewers with median ages emanating from the so-called Baby Boomer generation; people began discussing on Facebook month after succeeding month, issues of sexism - given the national television networks obsessive focus on youthful female demographics, to the exclusion of so many other equally if not more so valuable television viewers; and moreover, the many shortcomings of an antiquated and reactionary Nielsen ratings system that admittedly fails in capturing the total viewing audiences of these shows, as the counting methodologies had been eclipsed by the dynamic sophistication of the viewing technologies that had evolved using the time-delayed multiple platforms of DVRs and TiVo, etc. along with people watching their television programs on the Internet, or on the former SOAPNet channel. This story has many colorful characters, too, ranging from “All My Children’s” Susan Lucci to “One Life to Live’s” Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser, and Ilene Kristen, to the women of “The View”, celebrity chef and talk show co-host Mario Batali and celebrity cook and talk show host Rachael Ray, Oprah Winfrey, Katie Couric, and many others. In the end, this is author Dr. Donald Boudreau’s crie de coeur as a twenty year fan of “One Life to Live” as he memorializes many of the voices belonging to the seemingly voiceless deserving of being heard and listened to, many millions upon millions of fans of these shows nationwide, some of whom are homebound and gravely ill depending daily for entertainment and sustenance on “their stories”, and who are all steadfastly refusing to be silenced by The Disney Company and the American Broadcasting Company in this very much modern David and Goliath story. It is also a contemporary American protest story, involving major American businesses and their loyal, longtime customers, that resonates to the present date, as fans remain committed to seeing “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” soon restored by ABC/Disney, or another network or cable channel with a view to their continuing on - for new generations -- with this much beloved and internationally renowned, classical American storytelling tradition.