OLTL target of protests, boycott
Posted Monday, April 12, 1999 - 5:23:53 PM
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In the early days of soap operas, fans accepted the twists and turns of their favorite soaps---even if they did gripe about their dislikes with friends. With the advent of the Internet and outlets like soapcentral.com, soap fans have been given a more public venue to vent their frustrations.

Some fans of One Life to Live are organizing a boycott of the show to express their displeasure with the current state of the show. The boycott is schedule to take place during the May Sweeps period, a month where ratings are extremely important because the networks use these numbers to determine how much they can charge advertisers.

Would-be protestors claim that while other shows are receptive to fans' desires, One Life to Live executives seem to turn a deaf ear to viewers even as the show sees its ratings dip. Boycotters cite fellow ABC soap All My Children as an example of a show that listens to viewers. Several years back, the writers planned to write out the character of Janet Green (played by Robin Mattson). Viewers were so outraged by the planned dismissal that they flooded the network with thousands and thousands of letters. The writers quickly regrouped and Mattson remains on AMC to this day. Also on AMC, fans have stated their dislike for several new characters. Again the writers responded swiftly and dumped the actors.

Fans became enraged last year when Roger Howarth (Todd Manning) left the show. The show also failed to woo Andrea Evans (ex-Tina Lord) and John Loprieno (ex-Cord Roberts) back to the show. Ratings for the show are up in recent weeks, but OLTL still comes in in eighth place in the ratings on a regular basis.

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