Soap fans protest ABC's Upfront presentation: 'No one wants to watch The Chew. That's the dumbest idea I've ever heard.'

Across the street from the ABC Upfront presentation today at Lincoln Center, a group of about 30 protestors had a clear message for the network’s prospective advertisers: No soaps? No thanks.

Armed with signs (“Screw The Chew” and “Save our soaps,” among them), a bullhorn, and an arsenal of quippy chants, the hardcore soap fans stood outside for the length of the two-hour presentation, hoping to bring attention to their cause.

“We’re trying to make a point to the advertisers that we’re not going to be watching the new shows, and we want our soaps to stay on the air,” protestor Susan Hoffman of New York tells EW. “No one wants to watch The Chew. That’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. What we’re trying to say is that us, as soap viewers, are not going to watch a cooking show or a weight loss show in the afternoon. That’s not something we’re going to DVR and watch in the evening.” 

Hoffman, who says she has watched soaps for almost 40 years, continued: “I have a lot of friends who work on One Life to Live and for me it’s more than just about the show, it’s about the fact that my friends all lost their jobs, too.”

One man drove four hours from New Hampshire to attend the gathering. Others came from as far as California for the demonstration.

Read more:
ABC cancels ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live,’ replaces soaps with lifestyle shows
Hoover to ABC for canceling soaps: You suck!
Oprah Winfrey on why OWN can’t pick up canceled ABC soaps — VIDEO
Will a cable net rescue the canceled soaps? (Sound: crickets)

Comments (156 total) Add your comment
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  • Dee Jones

    I hope the fans succeed with their cause, but I don`t think it will work, because the suits don`t care about fans, all they care about is the all mighty dollar and ratings and neither is in good shape as far as soaps are concerned.

    • James Shahan

      It is probably true that the suits do not care about the soap fans. The problem is ABC has had an agenda in progress for 18 months to cancel these shows. Brian Frons the president of ABC daytime has micro-managed these soaps into the state they are in. He has ignored the fans requests for character driven stories instead of plot point explosions and bus crashes and mobsters. He clearly does not want the soaps to succeed. He has also insulted and disrespected the viewers of these shows with comments that underestimate the intelligence of the women and MEN taht enjoy these shows. Disney is no longer a quality entertainment company. It is a bottom line all about $$$$ corporation that is only concerned about the high paid executives that are running it.

    • Tabitha

      The Soap ratings were high. These soaps receive awards every year. And if their ratings were bad, they there wouldnt be so many people upset about it. This is all about cutting back to reduce spending and letting go people and putting on more reality shows. So sick of those shows. Enough already!

      • Ray

        The soaps win soap awards.

      • @ Ray

        and Daytime Emmy’s.

    • scyren

      Well if Nielson ratings are the only way to count, then I think it’s highly misrepresentative. They were not losing money on OLTL. They were under budget. They thought they could make more money on crappy reality tv and talk shows. So, they went for it. I will not be watching them.

    • NAM

      Brian Frons is probably laughing at this. He’s such an idiot he just doesn’t get it and he should have been fired a long time ago. He must have pictures of some higher up at Disney in bed with a goat or something.

      • Jmtvm

        Brian Frons did walk by us With a condescending smirk and wave not caring at all about the actors who will be out of work, crews, unions, etc. Not to mention taking shows away from LOYAL fans who have watched 10, 20, 30, 40+ years!

    • Heidi Rasmussen

      you are right. the suits don’t care about the viewers. but,they do care about money. why would a smart person yank shows that have been successful for years and have tons of FANS for shows that are just filler? The soaps are the only thing i find worth watching on abc, if they go so do i. i will boycot all things abc and disney.

  • scott

    If there were money to be made on soaps, then they would still be on the air. Face it people soaps are dying out…get over it

    • Dee Jones

      Sadly I would have to agree with you.

      • Jessica

        I would have to disagree. Look at the Young and the Restless- they make enough money to do location shoots in Paris, France. These reality shows may be cheaper, but if even less people tune in what’s the point? (The Talk on CBS has lower ratings than ATWT which it replaced.)

      • Roma

        Ratings don’t tell the whole story. Soaps have many actors, many of whom are high priced. A talk show, without sets, with just a few high priced people, is much cheaper to produce than a soap, so even with lower ratings, it can make more money for its owner.

      • NAM

        I have to disagree. BF wanted the soaps gone so he micro-managed them off the air. He got what he wanted because he’s an A@@@@…He’ll be gone when these shows fail. And they will.

    • Bob

      There is money to be made. They are just doing things in a short-sighted, capitalism is the only ism sort of way. So over capitalism.

      • Abby

        Well, as soon as television becomes a charity enterprise, I’m sure the soaps will come roaring back. But for now, shows have to pay for themselves.

      • NAM

        Well I doubt if THE CHEW is going to make any $$ for ABC…HAHAHAH..Seriously? The Chew?

      • kitty

        Abby – OLTL WAS making money. It was under budget and 3rd (even 2nd) highest rated soap. They just dream they can make more money off the stupid reality shows

    • SueN

      If they think the soaps ratings are low, wait until they see the ratings for these new shows.

    • Jim

      Actually there is because there are advertisers that continually invest in it. Dont believe everything you hear on tv. They alledgy made the statement that the soaps ratings were poor, when in fact ABCS ratings are poor. However the soaps is what carries that network.

      • kate middleton

        The problem with the soaps is that they are so expensive to produce. Even if they get decent ratings, the ad rates are lower during daytime, so it makes it harder for them to be profitable. They have SO many actors and writers, it really pushes the expenses up.
        I wish they would keep AMC and OLTL – I grew up watching them. But it’s more about finances than just ratings. These lame talk shows they’re making will probably suck, but they will be so much cheaper for ABC to produce.

      • Alice

        The soaps are definitely NOT what is carrying ABC! Are you delusional? The audience watching live in daytime, which is all that matters to advertisers, is a fraction of people who watch at night. And the expense to produce 5 shows a week is enormous! The soaps are a stone around ABCs neck, and they cut it loose. You can’t pay your employees on sentiment and fan comments. If soap fans really wanted to help, they should have watched live and bought from all the sponsors.

      • Vilma

        You can’t be serious if the soaps were carry the network they wouldn’t be cancelling them. May gosh are all soap fans delusional, the ratings suck and they are not making any money off of them what is so hard to understand.

      • Jmtvm

        Alice, they would have watched live if they were at work. Bosses frown upon watching soaps during work hours.

    • Sally

      I disagree. The way they determine the ratings doesn’t reflect the number of people who record the shows and watch later — unlike with primetime TV. Soapnet viewers don’t count either. So, I think if the number of viewers were actually recorded, it would show how viable the soaps actually are.

      • Arielle

        Nor does it count the people who watch on the internet OR the MANY TVs that have large numbers of viewers all watching a single set (ie: nursing homes, waiting rooms, office lunch rooms, student unions, etc.) that are tuned to these shows. Personally, I think the numbers are MUCH higher than the Nielson folks give credit for…IMHO, at least.

      • Vilma

        Where are you getting your information soaps ratings like every other show on tv incorbated dvr viewing. On why should soapnet be added to channel 7 ratings do primetime get to add the second viewings to their ratings no. At least be informed when you are fighting for something you should like an idiot

      • Jmtvm

        DVR is only counted if watched in 24 hours. Many fans watch in bulk on the weekends.

      • Courtney

        Vilma…it seems that you aren’t informed either.

        Daytime ratings incorporate DVR only if it is watched the same day. Primetime ratings incorporate DVR+4 days (or something like that). As a result, many daytime viewers aren’t counted….and FYI…primetime shows that have second viewings get counted in the rating, so it should only be fair that the first airing on Soapnet would count…but it doesn’t.

        The rating system is not equal between primetime and daytime, and that is a fact.

        Daytime shows are inherently more expensive, and considering the genre has existed so long, it would have made sense to try to change the format rather than cancellation….because people were still watching…many of whom won’t admit it.

      • Dawn

        Actually, that was the case. Those who run the Nielsen ratings are now looking into “same day” viewing on Soapnet along with same day viewing from dvr. Up until this blew up, they rated views like they’ve been doing for years, they haven’t been keeping up with today’s technology. Now, viewing on Soapnets “weekend catchup” doesn’t count. To include ratings, it has to be same day viewing. I had read about this somewhere..wish I could remember where. But anyway, ABC canceling these two shows is going to backfire on ABC. No one is counting those who work and either dvr or catch up later in the evening on SoapNet.

      • vilma

        Courtney please tell me where you are receiving your information because you are wrong on all counts it is the c3 ratings that advertisers care about and that is for all broadcast/cable shows. The ratings that we see published on websites are live + SD up till 3am. No seconding primetime shows that have second airings don’t get counted especially if it is on another network. It is only fair that soapnet viewings should count for soapnet network.

        The only fact is especially from your post is that soap fans are uninformed and in to making excuses to try and convince themselves that there is a much greater audience out there than what there is. The ratings system is the same for all televised programming be it daytime or primetime or cable.

        Please stop making stuff up to make your point.

    • Chris

      I agree. These women need to put less energy into this protest and more energy into getting dinner ready.

      • Sydney Angel

        YOU need to put more energy into thinking and then typing!

      • Arielle

        You need to get your own damn dinner, Chris…and if your woman (IF you even have one) doesn’t cut you off with that attitude, she’s a pathetic excuse for a female (but more likely you don’t have one, or are at least smart enough not to spout off like that in her earshot).

      • Felicity

        Not biting Chris…try again.

      • sadie soaper

        Are you for real? Get your own dinner.

    • Jmtvm

      Not true, they top execs just what to line their pockets with MORE money. Better in their pockets then in the actors or production teams.

    • Sally14

      Totally disagree ! The soaps weren’t cancelled because of ratings. However, if Nielsen counted those over 50, those who dvr and vcr and those online viewing – you would see the millions and millions that are watching. Those millions have knocked ABC’s ratings down all through sweeps month.

    • Mike

      I have a hard time envisioning the 2 replacements doing better both shows are done on other networks and done better….

  • Jefffro

    But The Chew sounds so……yummy! LOL!!!

    What is next? A show about having a healthy colon? Let’s call it “The Grunt”!!

  • Ben Dover

    Enough with the reality shows. Go soaps!

  • Ruth

    I’ve been watchng since I was 8 I’m 50 now. While other shows have come and gone soaps have been around a long time. I wont watch the chew or the revolution. I want my soaps.

    • Hanna

      You are not entitled to them. This isn’t a charity. If soaps earned their keep, they’d still be on.

      • ger

        Soap fans are the last people I’d expect to understand basic economics.

    • Vilma

      why do soap fans think they are entitled to have these show on forever. If they were any good more people would be watching, if they were making money they wouldn’t be getting cancel. Start watching something else or develop a new habit.

      • NAM

        Brian is that you?

      • Camille

        Vilma, I don’t undertand why you put down so many people that like the soaps. Please stop. That is all.

    • Primetime viewer

      It’s ok for you not to watch. I don’t think you are the target market of the new shows anyway.

  • Beauty

    I don’t even watch the soaps that got canceled but I sure won’t be watching these new crapfest shows ABC has planned.

    • dee dee1

      Totally agree. What a horrible name “The Chew”…count me out. Love the signs “ABC Chew on This”…give us back our soaps.

  • Cindy Clark

    I think how many people at protesters off,lot more after that count.Help save these shows a tradition being dismissed but night time soaps are in.Not right one bit! By the way housewife’s with children work hard.I own two real estate office and manage FHA homes.Not to mention mortgage servicing.Let us find out what you are passionate about and cancel that!No CBS was not to blame Proctor & Gamble was !Know what your talking about.Soaps got there name from the soap companies.Now cost-there is not that much difference when it comes to cost verses who is watching.If your not watching (every channel is going to have the same thing on CBS ABC NBC) I have Direct and can watch all the shows taking the place on another channel.The rating system dose not use Dish,Directv or antenna people.You can make up the cost by marketing and putting a sponsors product in the soap.If nothing else a premium channel can carry soaps.not what is in soaps.How to cope with bulling,addition and other everyday.

    • Vilma

      what are you rabbling on about and I would be a fool to be passionate about a tv show I save that type of passionate for more real, concrete meaningful things in life like my family or my job.

      Before you start sprouting all this misinformation use google to find out what is really happening the ratings include all statelite services and cable companies.

  • AN

    I’m a teacher. I DVR All My Children everyday and watch after my son goes to bed and I fold laundry. I will not be recording the Chew, that’s for darn sure!

  • Lori

    If I want to watch programs about healthy living, I can watch “The Doctors” or “Dr. Phil”. I can also catch the health related segments that talk shows and news programs do.


    • Emma

      Um…I think the problem is that too many viewers ARE leaving soaps alone. Hence their cancellation.

    • Vilma

      The problem is that too many viewers are leaving soaps alone.

  • Terri Shaw

    I for one have no desire for more talk/infomercial television. I watch tv for scripted programing and that is disappearing. There are enough food/ talk/ 24 hour news channels out there and if ABC is going to become another one of them I have no need for ABC. Why would I go for an imitation of what is already available. Yes Soaps are expensive but we would have been happy to except them as once a week programing anywhere in the line up. If ABC doesn’t care about its viewers it is time for its viewers to show ABC that they can not exist without us. Maybe everyone in the country should turn of their televisions for one night (the same night) and show all this big companies where they would be without consumers. This is about so much more than soap operas.

    • beks

      I think they should lower production cost and just tell “stories.” Go back to character driven storylines and lower budget production a la stage shows or indie flicks and count the DVR watchers in the ratings and they’ll see these shows are still viable.

      • Ellen

        DVR doesn’t help- people can fast forward though commercials- which is not what advertisers care about.

    • Vilma

      No it is about soap and soaps only there is plenty of scripted television airing during primetime and why would any network want to convert soaps to once a week airing that is called a primetime show. Why do soap fans think they don’t count DVR viewership or are your just that dense to understand the workings of the rating system

      • Amanda

        Vilma, why are you so desperate? Look at all of your responses! If you don’t care about the shows, it’s fine to comment, but to leave several negative comments is a sign of a truly pathetic person. I feel bad for you. Find a hobby that doesn’t involve being an a**. You’ll feel better.

      • vilma

        Why are you so desperate, my comments are realistic so of course they are going to be negative to those who have their heads in the sands. Don’t feel bad for me I actually have a life which is why cancelling of shows isn’t life altering to me like it is towards you.

        You on the other hand took time out of your day to insult me which is something that I didn’t do to anyone, if making comments that doesn’t support your way of thinking is being an ass then so be it. I actually have watched soaps on more than one occassion which is why I am posting and I can leave as many comments as I wish if they were positive you would be grinning like a fool but because I question the thinking of some I’m pathetic.

  • kate middleton

    I agree with them. If you’re going to cancel the soaps, at least have something good to replace them with. “The Chew”? No thanks.

    • Martha

      I think the title is lame. It cracks me up how executives think of these titles. It totally sounds Disney. They fail to estimate their baby boomer market which consists of 78 million people.

      • kate middleton

        Yeah, the title is the worst part. I don’t really see the appeal of a daily “talk” show about food. If you want food stuff, you can watch Food Network. Maybe it’ll be more like Rachael Ray’s talk show where there are some food elements, but it didn’t seem like that’s what they’re going for.

        Another terrible name: CBS’s “The Talk”. Can’t you come up with anything better than that??

  • Jessica

    I wish more people had shown up- 30 people doesn’t really help our argument.

    • JennaD

      did YOU show up?

    • Penney

      The reason more people didn’t show is mostly due to work commitments, or being out of town. Think of it as representing the masses, kind of like they do with the ratings! Each person at the protest represents thousands of actual viewers!

      Also, I think that we need to unite more. There are so many splinter groups that each one seems quite small, but if we all banded together it would be a stronger group.

      • Olivia

        See- I think this demonstrates why they won’t invest in soaps anymore. The viewers won’t even come to the PROTEST live.

      • Vilma

        Each person represents one person if this was so important then it should’ve have been played better, people are allowed to call in sick or take a day off. This is the best you got face it, what a joke.

      • Jmtvm

        Many people can’t afford to call in sick. This is American and sick and vacation days are a joke here. It’s all about the mighty dollar.

      • vilma

        Jmtvm, that is true but if something is that important to you then the sacrifice is worth it just look at the Wisc rally.

    • Tavia

      Not everyone lives in New York. We all participate and do our part. Whether it is emailing, mailing, calling, showing up. All avenues of protesting counts. Lets not be negative here. Thank you.

      • ger

        Ooh, emailing and calling. You must be exhausted.

  • Al

    I don’t care about the soaps but I would gladly protest if it helped stop “The Chew”.

    • Susan

      I care about the soaps because if they wont listen to their consumers, what makes us think they care about the quality of programing they put on tv. If I want a food show I can gladly watch the food channel. The chew sounds like vomit.

  • sock monkey

    Some day we’ll turn to our grandchildren and say “Once upon a time, there was scripted TV… that’s right, they actually paid people to tell stories, amazing, huh?”

  • Sue b.

    I am so sad they have cancelled the shows and will NOT be watching anything they substitute it with.I also Tape the shows and watch them later, and I agree with the person that I am sad the actors etc lost their jobs. Pretty bogus.

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