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searose

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Reply with quote  #1 

I have to put this in Scoops rather than General AMC Discussion because of one of the comments made by Agnes Nixon, about how the show ends.  If you want to skip that one comment and my reaction to it, I have highlighted both in black font, LOL.

 

Yesterday's Arts+Entertainment section of Chicago Tribune carried an interview of Agnes Nixon.  It covers at least 3/4 of the front page, with a giant picture of hers and of Susan Lucci, and half of page 2.  I wonder if 90% of Chicago Tribune readers even know who Agnes is.  But in any case, I am only posting here the Q/A that directly pertain to AMC, one of which specifically about the transition to web:

 

Tribune's own comments preceding Q/A say:

 

"And this week, with two guest appearances beginning Wednesday as hospital board member Agnes Eckhardt on All My Children, the 83-year-old soap opera maven will be sending the groundbreaking soap that she created off on a new, slightly diminished voyage

 

Its last network episode will air Sept. 23, and then it, along with the other ABC show Nixon created, One Life To Live, will begin a new life in several months on the Internet.  The reasons are as cold as the ratings numbers: Last TV season, with some 10 million women age 18-49 watching TV during AMC's noon-1 pm Central time slot, only 16 percent tuned in to network soaps............"

 

"But in a wide-ranging telephone conversation, Nixon, born in Chicago, raised in Nashville, TENN., and a graduate of Northwestern University, was able to keep a gracious perspective on the audience's changing tastes, opting not for bitterness but resignation."

 

"She recalled some of the best advice her mentor (Irna Phillips) gave her - "If you are going to take the money, respect what you are taking it for"..........."

 

Q:  You were there almost for the start of television soap operas with Ms Phillips, and now it appears that at least the era of network soap operas is coming to an end.  What are your feelings on this?

 

A:  Well, I don't think they are coming to an end.  I think they are moving over to the Internet and cable, which I think will be a boon for the viewer because they can watch it at any time.

 

Q:  But that era of broad popularity, is that sort of, you know, bittersweet to see the audience shrinking like that?

 

A:  Well, in a way, perhaps, but, listen, I'm a realist.  I have been through some things in my life that weren't grand or joyous at the time.  I think of how people felt when the horseless carriage came in, when the movies weren't silent and Rudolph Valentino had a squeaky voice.  We have to adapt to whatever the new thing is in the world, and certainly that's the Internet.  I won't feel disappointed as long as there are people who feel about the shows, AMC and OLTL, as they always have.  That is to say, they relate to it, and it teaches them something.  We were rather known for doing social issues.

 

Q:  Will you be with the show as it moves over to the Internet?

 

A:  Yes, I will be the creative consultant.  Sometimes there are writers who don't want my help, but for the most part I have the big ideas.  We're going to have a hiatus, you know, for three months.  And the head of Prospect Park (the production company taking over the shows) said, "We've got to have a big cliffhanger for that three months."  And so I came up with one which I can't tell you.  But they loved it.

 

Q:  Well, I suppose chat shows are the thing now  What do you think has happened in the culture that keeps a broader audience from supporting the soap opera format?

 

A:  The bigger audience isn't there for one reason.  It's been eaten away.  There used to be three shops in town.  And now with the cable, it's very understandable, and there's some very good things.  I mean, one of my family's dearest friends is Larry David, the creator of "Seinfeld".  It's just more people, more things to watch, more choices.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I do give a lot of credit to Ms Nixon, she was the force behind the show being so good back in the day, and I wonder if the show had continued being just as good if she had stayed on full time.  So I guess some of you are wondering why I have highlighted some of the quotes in red, a tell-tell sign that I am pissed, LOL?

 

I understand that someone in AN's position has to be gracious in the interview, and should not point fingers or name names.  But I sure as hell can.  Simply put, I blame TFIIC at AMC/ABC.

 

Let's face it, you can blame the "ratings" all you want.  But when another soap maintains its ratings high enough to remain on air, why couldn't AMC?   It is because TFIIC at AMC have not cared for "audience" and what they WANT TO SEE or rather, what they DON'T WANT TO SEE in a very long time.   OKaye, so I am not sending a monthly check to ABC, therefore, they are not taking money from ME per se, but the sponsors and advertisers?  They are there because I pay for their products/services, therefore, ABC/AMC owe me/us for the money they are taking, and for a long time, they haven't delivered.  It is easy to blame things on cable networks or other choices, but let's face it, AMC hasn't really been delivering stories that we "relate to".  Just look at last seven years for example:  Many of us have stayed on because we relate to one Zach Slater and his story, ONLY BECAUSE OF THE MAGNIFICENT ACTOR WHO BRINGS US TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS, TEARS AND JOYS OF ZACH SLATER!  ABC/AMC/TFIIC get zero credit from me for that, except for whoever decided to cast Mr. Kaye as Zach Slater.  As far as the stories we can relate to?  AMC goes out of its way to give us outrageous, incredulous, bordering on sci-fi, some outright barf-worthy stories that insult our intelligence on an almost daily basis.  Blame the Internet, blame other networks, but if TFIIC knew how to please the audience, this day of transitioning to Internet would not have come so soon.

 

And about the transition?  I am pissed as hell that we will be given a cliffhanger!  I was hoping that all major s/l will be resolved.  Even though I am only vested in one that involves Zach Slater, the rest of the viewers deserve better for the decades of loyalty they have shown.  TFIIC want the cliffhanger, because they are assuming that ALL viewers will migrate to the web version of the show.  I am guessing the majority won't, and this won't be fair to them.  I hope to God that I get to see Zach Slater have his happily-ever-after as the show ends.  The selfish part of me wants to imagine him that way for years to come since peace and happiness have eluded him for as long as we have known him 


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Kathy

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Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks for posting this, searose!

I'll never understand why TPTB were so deaf to viewers' wishes. Agnes Nixon is very gracious, but her tact is so frustrating to me because someone in her position should be telling it like it is! The audience wasn't "eaten" away -- TPTB were not innocent bystanders as this statement implies, helplessly watching as their ratings eroded -- their audience was actively thrown away. That's what you call it when it's your fault that viewers don't stick around, and IMO it was all TPTB's fault. The arrogant, audience (CUSTOMER)-dismissive Frons trashed AMC and OLTL, and why he still has a job I do not know.

They do know how to please an audience -- they just don't want to. They want to do it their way, fuck the audience. I just don't get that counterproductive attitude, but it seems to be endemic to management at a certain level. That arrogance, that lack of vision, that attitude that "they'll like what we say they'll like."

And now I see it with PP is screwing with the audience with this cliffhanger nonsense. A whole lot can happen in three months, including this whole premise going down the tubes (I can't help but be pessimistic about it). So yeah, with everything still so uncertain, let's make the audience wait three months, if not forever, for the resolution of the cliffhanger?! Hello! This is not the summer of 1980 anymore. I do hope PP can make it work, but I'm just so used to being screwed over that I just expect more of same.

One more comment about the interview... Rudolph Valentine actually died before making a talkie. I think she meant John Gilbert. But people just wanted good stories then, and they want them now, stories with recognizably human people and a real emotional payoff. That is timeless and independent on what kind of media is used to deliver it. People used to line up to get the latest installment of Dickens' new novel when it would be serialized because he knew how to create vivid, unique, consistent characters that readers cared about and he knew how to use them to illustrate the pain, pleasure and folly of being human, he didn't totally distort and throw his characters into bizarre, repetitive plots for cheap shock value. That's why his books are still being read!

Oh well, off my soapbox, I've been singing this same song for years, sigh.






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toasty2

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Reply with quote  #3 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy
But people just wanted good stories then, and they want them now, stories with recognizably human people and a real emotional payoff. That is timeless and independent on what kind of media is used to deliver it. People used to line up to get the latest installment of Dickens' new novel when it would be serialized because he knew how to create vivid, unique, consistent characters that readers cared about and he knew how to use them to illustrate the pain, pleasure and folly of being human, he didn't totally distort and throw his characters into bizarre, repetitive plots for cheap shock value. That's why his books are still being read!

Oh well, off my soapbox, I've been singing this same song for years, sigh.






Well said Kathy.  I myself still LOVE some old classic movies that still make me feel so much even with no big sex scenes.   Good writing will do that every time.


Thanks Searose for posting that interview.   I think a lot of fans are going to be pissed.

Kelly

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Reply with quote  #4 

Very well said by all...I am freakin' tired of having my intelligence mocked and insulted and that is what has happened to daytime TV on ABC. I watched soaps with my mother when I was only 5 yrs old and loved them for what they gave me..a sense of family overcoming struggles and human interaction that made you feel for each and every character. Now it is garbage and I didn't miss AMC at all when I stopped watching. If and when TK leaves again or doesn't hook up with PP I will stop watching. There is no sense to it all and it makes me angry and sad and I don't need that in my life. Agnes Nixon is not telling it like it is...it is the quality that caused these shows to go away. Frons needs to be shown the door and I hope he is. I am watching the old movies..no one is dragging me into this "new world" of foolishness. Good luck PP but I too don't have any faith it will work..not with the same theories of writing. Where is the writing talent?

Mary

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Reply with quote  #5 

Thank you for posting this Searose. I do agree with you all but i will miss AMC when it ends.Yes i get Mad and frustrated like you all w/storylines i hate&not using actors that should have storylines and all But I am sorry but i truly will miss watching it on TV,It's been on for 40 years and hard to let go.YES TK is the BEST,i still watched when he was gone& if he leaves again i still will watch as i loved the show way before he was on and will most likely watch online now but it won't be the same of course without TK and watching on our TV screens.


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Reply with quote  #6 

Where is the writing talent in deed Kelly.   They keep rescycling writers instead of letting new ones get a chance at writing.  I know many wanted Ameila Beal to take over but they didn't give it to her and she went to Y&R.   Lorraine Broderick learned under AN so why aren't new writers being groomed.  Very sad

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