Since news of the cancellation of All My Children and One Life to Live, Brian Frons, President, Daytime, Disney ABC/Television Group, has been making the rounds to various media outlets to explain why the network made the decision to axe two if its three soaps.
"It's like any other genre on TV, the strongest will survive," Frons told the website The Wrap. "Right now we're down to the last few that are still strong and viable and economically sound."
Frons insists that the decision was not made lightly, though fans are understandably and rightfully dubious about the claims, considering a series of major public relations blunders and a report by TVGuide that claimed Frons was "cavalier" about bring AMC and OLTL to an end.
"It's very sad for me," Frons told Entertainment Weekly. "I came here because I wanted to work on the ABC soaps. I worked in CBS and NBC daytime and I always envied the quality and people who ABC had. I never imagined when I came in August of 2002 that I'd be the guy to take two of the shows off."
Frons also doused fans' hopes that the network would reconsider its decision, effectively saying that ABC will move forward with its new "lifestyle programming," even though they will presumably have lower ratings than the soaps they are replacing.
"We really spent a lot of time learning from our success with The View, talking to viewers about what they're looking for and we have tremendous respect for the passion of our serial fans. But we're at a point with [All My Children and One Life to Live], as much as they've done for the network, and as much as we appreciate them -- their time here has come to an end. And we're going to spend our efforts trying to make a success out of the two new shows, The Chew and The Revolution, which are in genres that, as we talk to viewers, they want more of."
In the network's press release, ABC said what fans want is "informative, authentic and fun shows that are relatable, offer a wide variety of opinions and focus on ‘real life’ takeaways."
As for fan reaction, Frons quipped that he "pre-entered the witness protection program prior to" announcing AMC and OLTL's demise.
"We didn't expect anybody who has been a passionate viewer for a long period of time to be happy about this, and so we are hoping the head writers will be able to craft emotionally satisfying goodbyes," Frons added. "It's not as good as having them continue. But we are having them turn the lights out the best we can."