Thursday, February 9, 2012

Can ABC Even Call This A Pyrrhic Victory?

I’ll admit it.  I miss One Life To Live.  The show was especially terrific in its last few months and General Hospital is still too dark for me to enjoy.  Is it any wonder that The Bold & The Beautiful had its best ratings in three years the week of January 23-27?  I may have to check it out. (Gorman, 2012)

In the meantime though, it seems like a good time to take a look at what’s happening over at ABC.  The Revolution, which replaced OLTL, dropped 1.53 million viewers the same week, down 9% from the previous week, which was also down versus the week before.  Compared to OLTL from the same week last year (long before the cancellations were announced) ABC has seen a 39% decline in total viewers (2.51 million to 1.53 million).    

The Chew, which replaced All My Children last September, is down 6% versus AMC for the same week last year (2.51 million to 2.34 million).  Ratings for Women 25-54 are down 23% and Women 18-49 are down 22%.  So much for sacrificing the Boomers to attract more Gen X. (Marrone, 2012)

Since both The Chew and The Revolution cost less than the soaps to produce, ABC’s profits are probably up and they are all patting themselves on the back.  Except of course Brian Frons who was fired (oops resigned) in December. (James, 2011)

But I have to wonder whether declining audiences can ever be a good thing for a network.  At this point, delivering larger audiences is one of the few things network television has going for it when compared to cable networks who deliver a more affluent and cohesive target with channels like HGTV and Food Network. 

And while a media maven friend of mine said he would just buy more spots on ABC to reach his impression goals, doing that would mean fewer people seeing the ad more often.  I think if I was the decision maker, I would move some of the money I had planned to give to ABC to cable stations instead.  That way I would increase my reach instead of going overboard on frequency – which many advertisers already do.   I guess we will have to wait and see if that’s what happens.

In the meantime, I’ll bet ABC is sorry that they didn’t just cut casts and shrink the shows back to a half hour to lower production costs.  It might have been a win win solution.

In case you missed them, here are the two previous blogs I wrote about this topic.
Should ABC axe Brian Frons and keep One Life to Live?
Note the 40% breakeven threshold.

One life to Live…will live again!
Sadly, the Prospect Park deal fell through in December.

Gorman, B. (2012, February 2).  Soap Opera Ratings: ‘The Bold And The Beautiful’ Hits Multi-Year Highs.  Retrieved February 8, 2012, from

Marrone, D. (2012, February 2).  Ratings for The Chew and The Revolution on ABC – Week of January 23.  Retrieved February 8, 2012, from

James, M.  (2011, December 2).  More soap opera drama: Brian Frons out at ABC.  Retrieved February 8, 2012, from

1 comment:

  1. I realize that that most people probably have not eliminated ABC from their TV dial like myself, but I am sure there are many others who not only do not watch their replacement shows...they no longer watch anything on ABC.