Lucci not leaving ABC’s ’All My Children’ quietly
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) — Erica Kane wouldn’t leave quietly if she felt she’d been wronged. Neither is Susan Lucci as “All My Children” nears its end on ABC.
Lucci has memorably portrayed Kane on the drama, which airs its last episode on ABC on Sept. 23, and it’s unclear whether she will be a part of an attempt to migrate the series online.
In a newly published epilogue to her memoir, Lucci sharply criticized her ABC bosses for axing “All My Children,” which has been on the air since 1970. She said the decision to cancel the show was motivated by greed and said the head of ABC’s daytime unit, Brian Frons, has “that fatal combination of ignorance and arrogance.”
Frons, in canceling “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” in April, said the soap operas were a victim of declining interest. He said trying to prop up shows in severe decline was like “trying to catch a falling knife.”
Lucci told her own story in the paperback edition of “All My Life,” a memoir published in hardcover earlier this year. The actress said Frons said, in telling her about the cancellation, that it would be 40 percent cheaper to make the cooking and weight-loss series that are replacing the two soap operas.
“If Brian Frons could show his bosses that he could save the network 40 percent in production costs, he could keep his job even if the rest of us lost ours,” she wrote.
She noted that several employees on “All My Children” had either lost their jobs or lost money when the show moved its production base from New York to California in recent years to save money. “I wonder, did Brian Frons take a pay cut, too?” Lucci wrote.
She criticized Frons for installing a new head writer on the show in 2008, and essentially pushing aside Agnes Nixon, the soap opera legend who created “All My Children.”
Lucci said that several times “I’d click the television to ABC and not realize I was watching ‘All My Children.’ If the show was unrecognizable to me, I can only imagine how our viewers felt.”
Frons was not available for comment, a spokeswoman said, and ABC declined to address Lucci’s specific comments.
“We have all the respect in the world for Susan and are sorry she felt the need to write this epilogue to an otherwise incredible career,” spokeswoman Jori Petersen said.
The future for Lucci and “All My Children” is uncertain. The media company Prospect Park in July signed a licensing deal to continue the two soap opera stories beyond their television lives either online or on other platforms. The company has announced deals with some of the “One Life to Live” actors, and is said to be negotiating with Lucci and other “All My Children” actors.
Prospect Park has no announcement on any “All My Children” participants, spokeswoman Melissa Zuckerman said Monday.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.
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