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Maria Ciaccia

Is ABC's Daytime Lineup in Trouble?

By October 10, 2013

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After pouring countless millions into Katie Couric's talk show, it appears to be facing cancellation in September of 2014, which is when the contract with the affiliates ends.

The show currently costs $35 million; originally it was $50 million, while Disney/ABC stated that soap operas were too expensive to produce. Around that time, Disney/ABC gave its CEO, Bob Iger, a $10 million raise, to $28 million.

The projected ratings for Couric were 2.5; it now hovers around 1.8, up from 1.7 in her first season."

As has been emphasized over and over on this site, the station owners are the key to keeping shows on the air. They are unhappy with Katie Couric and Disney/ABC is being pressured to make a decision.

One other point. Over and over, one hears, "It's business. It's all about money." I guess Couric is the exception to that, but I disagree with that statement. Networks are not primarily in the business of making money. Banks are in the business of making money, stores are in the business of making money, hot dog stands are in the business of making money.

Networks are in the business of entertainment. They are supposed to give the public the kind of entertainment it wants. They are not supposed to make unilateral decisions that because reality shows, talk shows, and game shows are cheaper to produce, that's what they should do, whether or not the public wants a glut of them.

Who knows this? The affiliates. They're the ones who suffer if everyone is watching The Steve Harvey Show and they were seduced into licensing Katie.

Businesses today very often fosters a culture of thinking of themselves first and the public second. I worked in an industry that dried up because budgets were cut in companies where executives were making millions upon millions of dollars and people were laid off and not replaced.

We only need to look at the example set by our government. Government employees are not being paid, but the Congressmen and Senators continue to draw their salaries. There was a time when politicians would hide something like that. Now they make no bones about it.

It's time for business and government to serve the public. And it is time that the networks started to think about their primary business, entertainment. Granted, they have tremendous competition today with cable and the Internet. But the answer isn't to eliminate programs and cut the rest to the bare bones.

When the public is unhappy, the moral here is to put pressure on the people who are the bread and butter of the networks, the affiliates and the cable companies.

Case in point: SOAPnet. There was a big announcement in 2011 that SOAPnet was going off the air and being replaced by Disney Junior.

Eventually, SOAPnet will be gone. For now, 60 million viewers still have it. Yes, some cable companies carry Disney Junior. Now Disney/ABC says that Disney Junior was always going to be a transition, not an immediate replacement. Right. That's why they announced SOAPnet was going off the air in 2012. Obviously they thought everyone was going to jump on Disney Junior.

As we saw with General Hospital, which was doomed, as you recall, it's just not over. The public will decide when it's over. Not the network.

Comments

October 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm
(1) Annette says:

I won’t cry over Katie, that’s for sure.

I had no idea it was in trouble, but I’ve only watched it when GH was on and I couldn’t imagine HOW she had a talk show in the first place. *shudder*.

I hope that the changes that come about benefit the daytime lineup the viewers want to see.. We’re the ones that tune in.

Thanks for such an insightful article, Maria.

October 10, 2013 at 2:49 pm
(2) Reta says:

SOAPS RULE! Nuff said

October 10, 2013 at 10:42 pm
(3) juan says:

Katie is a very nice person. I met her about 10 years ago. she is also very beautiful and talented. the soap era is over and if she is replaced let it be with something other than a soap opera. Too many people live in a soap opera fantasy world.

October 11, 2013 at 3:16 am
(4) Juan says:

Thanks, Juan, good to know you’re a fan and don’t take this stuff too seriously. I’m being sarcastic.

October 11, 2013 at 5:25 am
(5) juan says:

why is someone using my name to make a comment. at least I don’t fawn over someone like the guy who played Jason. you all were so heartbroken when he left. i’m not in love with any of the actors like some silly women are.

October 11, 2013 at 6:00 am
(6) Barb says:

juan AND Juan… great, now there are two of them. Instead of a website about soap operas this is becoming a soap opera… so, who is the real juan (or Juan…) and who is the clever imposter in a rubber mask?

Tune in Monday for the answer!

October 11, 2013 at 6:43 am
(7) juan says:

I loved that rubber mask episode. it was so mission impossible! anna is not anna. duke is not duke. gotta love it. poor Faison was terrified!

October 12, 2013 at 12:11 am
(8) Renee says:

Love General Hospital i think katie is great but think Ellen is better and enough. wnt the network to bring bck OLTL or AMC please

October 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm
(9) Karen BD says:

Katie is not the cutsie young anchor on the Today show. She is to childish, and when she tries to be a sincere interviewer, she fails miserably. She asks the audience “Did you like the show?” or “are you having a good time?” any attempt to praise her and give her what she used to have on Today. Matt Lauer is not there to fawn over her, and make her feel like Cutie Katie! I watch GH, and quickly change the channel. I have watched it, even though I don’t like her, but it is a huge snooze fest. Maybe her 15 minutes of fame are up.

October 14, 2013 at 6:51 pm
(10) Joyce says:

I for one has boycotted any new ABC shows since they stopped showing AMC and OLTL… Maybe many soap Watchers did that also is the ratings are not there. Too bad ABC

October 14, 2013 at 8:31 pm
(11) Maria says:

Bring back one life to live to replace katie

October 14, 2013 at 9:00 pm
(12) Elena says:

I watch it once in a while. I like Katie and her show. We get Katie on NBC, so there’s no problem. I think a talk show is just the venue for her.

October 14, 2013 at 9:00 pm
(13) Marvin says:

I can’t understand why the Oz and/or Couric are still airing. Really dislike both.
It makes an easier read if you just skip over the “Juan’s”
As for Geary’s interview, I was not pleased with what he had to say. I think, in view of the whole L&L storyline, they should have one last very funny adventure and are both killed, dying in each other’s arms. When of course they decide to retire from GH.
Still waiting to find out the parents of Ben.

October 14, 2013 at 9:34 pm
(14) juan says:

I appreciate that Marvin. lol. I get a kick out of keeping controversy going. It makes me grow even stronger. Keep on truckin.

October 15, 2013 at 11:54 am
(15) Carol says:

Katie isn’t on abc in Utah, she is on the nbc station. Last year we got Steve Harvey following GH but now we get Queen Latifa. It seems like everybody has a talk show and that is what is on all of the broadcast stations most of the day. I started watching DOOL on the nbc station following GH. I never used to watch it because it was on at the same time as GH. The local nbc station has now moved it to 1:05am so I don’t watch it anymore.

October 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm
(16) Maryann says:

Since the soap cancellations, I won’t watch any new ABC shows. And on a side note, I never could stand Katie. All that “cuteness” makes me gag.

October 15, 2013 at 8:49 pm
(17) Barb says:

I don’t watch other ABC afternoon fare, but I never did. From everything I am reading, I feel vindicated in saying people were writing off GH too soon. There was never a day that the studio executives were right all the time, and the gloom and doom was overdone. They’ll have to find a lot of successful shows to replace the disasters they have before they start thinking about cancelling GH again!

October 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm
(18) Joanne says:

I AM SO SICK OF ALL THE TALK SHOWS EACH MORNING!! ONE RIGHT AFTER ANOTHER ON ABC EWWWWW!! GOOD MORNING AMERICA IS EVEN GETTING SICK AND BORING. I AM FOR GETTING RID OF KATIE AND STEVE HARDY, I HAPPEN TO LOVE THE SOAPS AND LOVE GH, GETTING RID OF LUKE IS UNTHINKABLE, WHAT A GREAT ACTOR, GLAD HE VOICES HIS OPINIONS, WHICH YOU WRITERS AND PRODUCERS SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM, LOVE LUKE AND TRACY TOGETHER!! ENOUGH OF ROBIN IN THAT LAB THAT IS ALSO GETTING BORING.

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