The purpose of this column, the first one of the New Year, is to take a look at the year ahead and share some of the things that are on my wish list.
Before I can even think about going down the list, we need to (Beep! Beep!) back it up just a little bit. Here we are just a handful of days into 2009, and already there is stunning news regarding All My Children. If you believe what you read on the Internet, the show just narrowly escaped cancellation.
According to TV Guide Canada, All My Children came "thisclose" to being cancelled.
So I posted an article earlier in the week about the TVGuide report -- and I received a prompt phone call from an ABC Daytime spokesperson who strongly denied that AMC was ever in jeopardy. Apparently the story didn't really reach anyone of purpose until it appeared on Soap Central. That, in and of itself, is interesting.
I had heard rumblings a few months back that another show was poised to go off the air, but I always expected it to be a program on another network. Why is that? ABC owns all of its soap operas outright, so there is no need to split fees or revenue with another party. Because of that, ABC gets to keep all of the money its soaps generate. Then Days of our Lives got its renewal and I figured everyone was safe... at least for now.
Elsewhere, there is more than one published report about the future of Julie Hanan Carruthers as executive producer. Carruthers, of course, came to AMC after the cancellation of Port Charles. Why, you ask, would a show that was doing well hire someone who reigned over a soap that was cancelled? Well, I don't know that I have an answer for that. I will say that Port Charles was extremely entertaining even though it was taken off the air. I thought that the show's decision to adopt a telenovela storytelling format was ingenious. If you are unfamiliar with what Port Charles did, he's a briefing. The show told distinct storylines over the course of 13 weeks. Think of it as a book. A major story was developed and ultimately resolved during those 13-weeks - and then a new story started.
Again, ABC has stepped in to say that the reports are not true. This one was apparently so explosive, that Brian Frons issued a statement himself about the rumor. You can read his statement here.
Now, it's time to be candid -- and I've really never been anything but that. Somewhere along the line, All My Children stumbled. Hell, the show didn't just stumble - it fell flat on its face. For over 15 years, I never missed a single episode of All My Children. Then, for whatever reason, the show became unwatchable. Babies were unaborted and implanted in strangers, people were buried alive, characters no longer resembled the characters I knew.
Now, there's a new head writer in town and All My Children is suddenly enjoyable again. There are stories for just about everyone and I am tuning in every day again. I didn't need the spiffy computer-generated tornados to make me tune in, but I admit that they didn't hurt.
I feel badly for my involvement in furthering the spread of misinformation posted elsewhere. One would think, though, that these other reputable sites would not be making up news. There are plenty of sites out there that already do that. Something I think that these sites throw out as many stories as they can, hoping that one will eventually end up being true. Still, there is always danger in believing what others say and usually I know better. Dan Rather got into a heap of trouble over a report he made about President Bush's military service. Oprah Winfrey was duped when one of her chosen book club selections, A Million Little Pieces, turned out to be more fiction than fact. And just last month, an author was outed for having lied about his a so-called Holocaust love story, saying that he'd met his wife at a concentration camp. He didn't.
The goal of the Soap Central web site is to provide the most accurate information available and I hope that you'll continue to visit to get the latest news on the soaps.
And before I end the column, please accept my apologies for this column being later than usual. The beginning of the year is always such a busy time. The Dankies are just getting underway (and they always take up so much of my time) and I also decided to roll out a slightly redesigned look to the index pages of the site. It's not an excuse, but I did want you to know that I wasn't simply blowing off the column.