Co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney/ABC Television Group, Anne Sweeney is stepping down from her duties. Sweeney will vacate her post in 2015, and is going to pursue a job as a television director. In a released statement Sweeney said:
The past 18 years at Disney have been the highlight of my executive career. I’ve been a part of an amazing evolution in our business and our industry, and have achieved far more than I ever thought possible. But as wonderful as the experience has been, there has always been a nagging voice in the back of my head pushing me to step out of the comfort zone of the executive ranks and more directly into the creative arena that enticed me to TV in the first place. I finally listened to that voice and thought, ‘if not now, when?’ I know my decision to step back from all of this to learn the art of Directing may seem surprising, but to me it’s a long realized dream. I am so thankful to Bob Iger for his leadership, guidance and his friendship over the years, and am grateful not only for his offer to remain with the Company for many years to come, but his understanding and support of my decision to make this change. I’m excited to spend the remainder of this year positioning the TV Group for even greater success. READ MORE
Still waiting for someone at Prospect Park to confirm they aren't bringing back All My Children? Sorry, we'll have to take the word of cast and crew members on social media, because PP was too busy amending their lawsuit against Disney-ABC on Wednesday to clue in their loyal audience.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, PP now wants more than $95 million from Disney-ABC, whom they allege schemed to create a "mega-soap" behind the backs of the peeps who licensed One Life to Live and All My Children. So the same company that wanted out of soaps so badly they cancelled two at the same time—with initial plans of gutting General Hospital shortly thereafter—all of the sudden wanted a "mega-soap" on the dial? READ MORE
Somebody better call up Sheryl Crow. She needs to get to work on a new tune for pal Katie Couric. Only this time, nothing upbeat and peppy. I supsect The Perky One is singing the blues after this report from Fox News.
According to FOX411’s Pop Tarts blog, Disney-ABC is doing everything they can to find a replacement for Katie, the mega-expensive, syndicated talk show they launched for Couric last fall. From the report:
“While all television is going through a difficult time and programming is having a hard time finding its niche, Katie’s new talk show does not live up its expectations,” a source closely connected to the ABC show told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “Whatever constraints Katie experienced anchoring ‘Evening News’ [it is] certainly taking its toll, and her return to daytime has backfired.”
Others in the industry are even less kind.
“It’s an unmitigated disaster,” one seasoned studio executive said. “One of the biggest failures ever in syndication. Terrible ratings, no growth, shouldn’t be on the air. Where did it miss the mark? Let’s start with her, she is dreadfully boring. The show offers nothing new to the audience, nothing to say.” READ MORE
Don't expect things to be going well for publishing tycoon Viki Lord (Erika Slezak) when One Life to Live returns on April 29. TV Guide Magazine's Michael Logan spoke with the soap's co-head writer Thom Racina, who dished The Banner, Llanview's beloved newspaper, has hit rough waters.
What's going to happen to the sacred institution, and how does OLTL newcomer and High School Musical alum Corbin Bleu (Jeffrey King) fit into things? According to Racina:
Jeffrey comes to town and develops a very close relationship with Viki," Racina says. "He'll become her star reporter in a story that will also heavily involve Dorian Lord [Robin Strasser]."