It’s been five weeks since AMC and OLTL debuted on the Internet, and we’ve all learned a lot of lessons.

I learned how to watch a TV show on Hulu. You learned how to download a podcast. And Prospect Park learned that they bit off more than they could chew when they tried to mount two soap operas in a new studio in six weeks.

“When we first arrived, the building was almost bare,” wrote Jill Larson (Opal, AMC) on her Facebook page. “PA’s were running around buying hangers for the costume dept, toilet paper for the johns, we had NOTHING. They had to buy pens, chairs to sit on, everything.”

PP also rushed into hiring their head writers, as evidenced by the fact that both teams have already been let go. AMC replaced Marlene McPherson and Elizabeth Snyder with Chip Hayes and Lisa Connor. Susie Bedsow Horgan departed OLTL before the show started airing, leaving Thom Racina as sole head writer. Jessica Klein and Marin Gazzaniga have now taken over at OLTL.

Obviously PP wasn’t happy with the direction of the shows, so this is a good move. The recent announcement that AMC and OLTL will cut back from posting four episodes a week online to two gives the new writers time to refocus the shows on stories that fans want to see. (No more raping women!)

However, this move could cause complications with the actors, who are contractually free to pursue other jobs during their time off. AMC will now be dark until August 12. OLTL will pick up filming in mid-September. Both new teams are rewriting major story, as well as changing course with a budding AMC couple due to an actress’s real-life pregnancy. And look for another big name to return…

“This is a start-up,” explains AMC supervising producer Sonia Blangiardo. (Blangiardo is also the creator and Executive Producer of Tainted Dreams, filming this summer in New York.)  “We got feedback that 62% of our viewers are new, and we made changes. According to data collected from Hulu and iTunes, four hours a week is too much programming for new viewers. So we said, ‘If they’re only watching two hours, let’s give them two hours.’ We’re reinventing the wheel here; merging different genres. It’s all new.”

“Considering that many of our favorite nighttime shows are one hour per week with only 13 episodes per season, our one hour each week at 110 or more for the year is an embarrassment of riches,” wrote Vincent Irizarry (David) of AMC on his website.

Good point.

In my opinion, PP should position AMC and OLTL more like nighttime shows instead of as traditional five-day-a-week daytime soap operas. Why not have a season for each show? That way, they could give us a season cliffhanger, like Dallas and Mad Men.

They should also release better, more complete teasers to the soap world to pique fans interest and make them want to watch every episode. (Eg: “You won’t believe what David does to Dorian tomorrow on OLTL. Hint: It involves a parrot and a feather boa.” Who wouldn’t watch that?!)

And they really need to figure out a way to put positive PR out there about these shows. Press releases about singers don’t get traction. Put the actors, writers, producers on the phone with every possible media outlet and let them tell the story of each show. Because it’s a good one.

A year ago, AMC and OLTL were deader than Billy Clyde Tuggle. (Oh, wait – he’s not dead!) Yes PP should have taken more time to reboot them, but they’re here and they’re alive. Enjoy the one hour of each soap being offered per week, and wait for the next phase of this wheel to be reinvented.

Because honestly, there seems to be only one downside to cutting back to an hour a week: “The kids are going to summer school,” previews Blangiardo with a laugh, “which will now air in October.”



39 Responses to TAINTED DREAMS: More Changes at AMC & OLTL

  • Pingback: ANOTHER ‘AMC’ Star Pregnant! | Soap Opera Network

  • Gail says:

    I only watch AMC and think it’s a very good show. Not too thrilled with the language and some of the raciness. Hoping they’ll cut that down. I enjoy seeing the former cast members who are on and look forward to many others joining them.

  • Richard Hammer says:

    I hope the new writing team at OLTL will pay more attention to continuity. OLTL ended its ABC run with Victor tied to a bed at the mercy of Allison Perkins.
    The next time we saw Victor he had a tattoo on his arm and was sneaking around Shelter. Does anyone know how or why Allison captured Victor? How did he escape? Is Allison Perkins connected to the tattoo in some way? Or are we supposed to pretend that Alison never existed…which is what new writing regimes often love to do?

    • Mark De Palma says:

      I was also very disappointed that not only was Allison Perkins not shown onscreen, but she was not even mentioned by Victor when asked where he was all of this time! I was really looking forward to not only finding out HOW Allison captured Victor but also HOW he escaped captivity after a year.So it looks like we will just have to pretend that she never had anything to do with his kidnapping and the tattoo guys had him all of this time.

      • Mark De Palma says:

        However, I am really impressed with everything else about the new OLTL! I love the new opening theme song, love watching all of my favorites dancing and love how they continued Todd & Tea’s storylines from GH. Long live OLTL on TOLN!

  • Andrea says:

    I want these shows to bring in new viewers while retaining long time fans. I will support PP in making these shows a success. This is a learning curve for everyone and I think PP, the cast, and crew need our positive support. Not most of the negativity and gloom and doom predictions I see on social media.

  • Paula says:

    I am so very happy that All My Children is back. I am not sure why they lumped viewers of AMC and OLTL together. I have never watched OLTL and didn’t really plan on it. Since AMC is only on twice a week I end up waiting to watch. Why watch Wed. episode on Wed. when I have until Sunday to watch. When it was on 4 times it kept me wanting to see more and I made time so that I didn’t fall far behind. Now I almost forget to watch. But I am not complaining because I love love love All My Children and I will take what I can get. Now if only they would bring Jake and Tad back.

  • Daisy Day says:

    I LOVE the idea of a season with a cliffhanger. In fact, all soaps should do one or two seasons a year. Much more suited for today’s busier lifestyles. I have too much going on in my life to have to sit and watch 4 days a week. I am so thankful for FF, it saves me so much time. I’m always a one or two weeks behind GH and B&B. Y&R I usually stockpile and watch on rainy days when I’m stuck in the house. I’ve watched AMC for many years and I’ve missed it. Happy to have it back!

  • Ellen Dix Wycuff says:

    I am just Happy that once again I can watch AMC! I try and watch the day they come out but sometimes I get behind

  • Kim says:

    Just happy they are back. I’m hoping PP will do everything they can to keep the shows alive.

  • jane says:

    I am soooo grateful AMC is back! I have watched for 39 years,and am so happy that PP got the shows back.. Please count all viewership as some people watch daily, some watch them all over the weekend. But I watch every single one,always.

  • Mary says:

    I was disappointed when they cut back to 2 shows per week, but 2 is better than none. I am a returning OLTL viewer and had no problem keeping up. But I want both shows to be successful, and if that is what it takes, for now, so be it. I was enjoying OLTL as it was, so am a bit concerned with a change in writers already. I just hope they keep the characters that are on now.

  • Matthew says:

    You’re reading my mind, as usual, Carolyn! The “season” idea is a great one and would probably convince more actors to come back on a limited basis if they didn’t have to work all year.

  • Frankie Hoornaert says:

    I love having my soaps back! Of course I would rather have them 4-5 days a week, but I’m happy with what I am getting because I missed them so much! Only concern I have is with the language coming from the teens. I’m not a prude, but I just don’t think they are portraying good role models for our teens. Other than that, I am tickled pink!!!!! 🙂

  • Pam says:

    i watch both AMC then OLTL like always except i dont get to see them for a hour anymore… i also am watching reruns of OLTL and it was better then it is now…i cant cry now… i saw the other day when ECHO was living with VICKY and she was taking care of CHARLIE while Natalie and Jessica was having their batcheorette party and Dorian was there and they were arguing and dorian told Echo how she was getting in the middle of Vickie and Charlies marriage and Vickie got in Echos face and threw hwr out in the street…i was like now why cant OLTL be this good now days…

  • primetime blabber says:

    I will continue to support both soaps, not just one or the other…..I watch them the day they are posted, and don’t get why some are behind, how can you be behind on 2 hour’s a week, I guess I will never get that……can’t wait to see down the road who returns to the soaps, I hear favs are coming to both soaps….I’m loving both AMC and OLTL….and will forever…..I wonder what the new writers have in store…..hopefully Cassandra will finally be home on AMC and Victor and Tea can be back to being a family on OLTL…..

  • Frodgers01 says:

    I watch both AMC/OLTL when they first air on hulu. Glad the shows are back. I do not like the two days a week, but I understand the direction these shows are moving to. I think they are going to be more successful than they ever have been.

  • Mary Amos says:

    Not happy with the reduction.There soaps not a series.Afraid more veterans will leave and we will be left with characters that had nothing to do with the original.Don’t believe PP’s story we are not veiwing right.For those who want to binge watching,what is the problem?They did say anytime.They are gonna get paid no matter what.I feel PP is in money trouble and just not telling us the truth…

  • Carol says:

    It’s great that these shows have so may new viewers. What I’m not thrilled about is PP’s decision to cater to them as opposed to the established viewers that were the impetus for returing the shows to air. Soap viewers are used to having 5 shows a week. How many articles have discussed viewer loyalty being tied into the fact that viewers invited these characters into their homes 5 times a week? What kind of loyalty will these new viewers develop watching twice a week?

    It is my custom to record whatever soap I’m watching and then watch several episodes (often full week) at once. I have done that for years. Watching a 4-day week of OLTL or AMC requires the same amount of time as watching a movie. Why is that considered to be too much for new viewers? Or any viewer for that matter?

    I do hope the writers use the summer to develop stories for all of the characters. And if it isn’t asking too much, could they be stories the viewers want to see (as opposed to devoting way too much time to dayplayers involved in a May/December tryst). That is what will keep your fans coming back for more.

  • clyde says:

    I love both of these shows, but I’m a bigger fan of One Life To Live than All My Children because I’ve been watching One Life To Live since I was 3 and All My Children since I was 7. I’m so happy they’re back because these shows were the reason I even watch TV although they’re not on TV anymore.

  • Cathy says:

    I feel that the four day lag time will kill these shows eventually. Nature of the storytelling will have to be drastically altered to sustain this schedule. My coworker who is new to OLTL watched every day at the start, but has lost interest with only2 days per week. She says she literally forgets to watch on Tuesdays & she can’t ever remember what happened of consequence on the Thursday ep. 50 minutes of programming per week is not enough to sustain storyline at the pace it’s currently being told.

  • Paula says:

    I am glad they reduced the number of shows. I am a new viewer to both shows and I was having a very difficult time keeping up. The writers seemed to assume that everyone watching knew who all of these characters were, how they were related and their past histories. I have done a lot of googling over the last few weeks to try and understand a few things. I wish they had started a little slower and given us newbies an introduction. For instance, I thought Dixie was JR’s wife at first because of the ages of the actors. It was a surprise when I realized they were mother and son.

  • I Want Them to be a Success says:

    Because both of these shows share the space and crew – they are a package deal. For those who only watch one show, we need you to watch the other show also. (at least let it run on Hulu while you do something else) If they both are not successful, they both go down.

  • Nancy Wilson says:

    I would settle for 3 episodes per, they could alternate M – Th and have a traditional Friday cliff-hanger for both!!

  • Mindy S. says:

    At first I was angry that AMC & OLTL went from 4 days a week to 2 days a week. I could keep up with the pace with no problem. Now, I’m just glad they are still on! I’ve been a fan of both shows for over 30 years and even if they still keep the 2 day a week format, I’ll still watch. It is going to be weird not being able to watch new shows during hte summer, but if both shows are going to survive, us long time loyal viewers will wait with anticipation!!

    • Troy Turner says:

      That’s not true-you’ll still be able to watch new shows during the summer-but due to the taping decrease, they just won’t be taping anything new until late summer.

  • DAG says:

    I liked watching everyday, but 2 days is definitely better than none, but I wish we had an hour of OLTL (the only 1 I watch) on each of those days.

  • Dani says:

    I am actually LOVING AMC and do not watch OLTL anymore. I am hooked on AMC and feel the writing (even though they’ve been fired) is better along with the cast, recasts and overall acting. Angie and Jesse are solid. Angie knocked it out of the ballpark in the scene where she found about her daughter being kidnapped. They’re believable, real and I’m so happy they’re back.

    As for the amount of episodes, I watch all at once (I have more time since I don’t watch OLTL and that was favorite for years). I can take it as a night-time soap but am spoiled as having had 5 hrs a week on national TV.

    • wendy horn says:

      I agree, other than oltl, giving it time, but am is pretty awesome from the start in my opinion.

    • wendy horn says:

      I sure hope more long time viewers tune in. These soaps mean enough to me that I pay to be able to watch at my complete convenience. There are some issues with the direction and feel at times, but I am sure that is fixable. I wish season breaks were shorter or non existent, hopefully that is something they will work out too. Just want them to continue, will watch whatever they play!

  • Renee Loyd says:

    I’m a little concerned with the idea of AMC going black and with OLTL not resuming filming until Sept. that people will lose interest and stop watching if they have nothing new to watch each day. If new people, especially young people have come on board and joined in it’s very easy to look elsewhere for entertainment and forget about what they were watching last week. I hope that isn’t the case. I love both of these wonderful soaps and though I miss seeing 4 episodes a week of each one of them I am just happy to have whatever I can get… for now.

  • kayah says:

    Now that the fervor of the 2 day a week schedule has died down for the most part I think it was a good decision. OLTL felt much more choppy than AMC. If it means the quality vastly improves, for both shows, because of the writing changes I’m all for it. Twice a week is fine for me but I would have liked the 4 days to continue certainly. It’s easier for me to watch the shows in a block on the weekend anyhow. An hour for OLTL and I’ll keep up with AMC better this way honestly!
    Enough with raping women and victimizing them, its the 21st Century and you’re telling me you can’t write something different by now? That is what loses my interest really, retread storylines~

  • Beth says:

    I’m ok with them reducing the shows to two per week because I would think they’ll go back to four per week if things improve and I truly hope things will improve. I’m also good with them letting the head writers go and hiring new ones to write better story and go further in depth with it. What pleases me the most is that there are major story rewrites going on. AMC especially needs that. I am also happy that there’s a major return coming up because AMC needs more recognizable faces. OLTL has more veteran actors on the show than AMC has and AMC has suffered from the absence IMO. I do agree with whoever said that appealing to the majority of viewers who happen to be new may not be the wisest step, but I’m hoping that they will write both shows with a strong desire to keep and get back those who grew up watching AMC and OLTL on ABC who are either watching now or who would love to, if only the stories were better, less vulgar and with less cursing. I’m going to stay hopeful here and take heart that they’re making the moves they have to in order to keep the two shows around and that they’ll find the right mix of veterans and newer characters to interact more often, in better, less eye-rolling or groan-inducing stories.

  • sara says:

    Love having my soaps back.

  • Claudine Gandolfi says:

    I’m genuinely concerned here. I do believe PP should have taken a little more time to get these shows off the ground because I want them to CONTINUE to air. The recent news about the crew’s labor union disputes (added on top of the cut back to 2 days a week, HW changes, and FX Canada dropping the shows) scare me that this show won’t make it – and I want it to. I only watch AMC, and as a soap viewer my preference is 4 shows a week. In a perfect world I would want 5 hour long shows a week, like we had before. But I will watch whatever they produce. Hearing that they cut back because of “new viewers” being unable to keep up hurts me. Once again it sounds like the audience they have isn’t as important as the one they want (just like ABC). I know that each viewer is very much needed in order for them to make enough to continue. I’m actually surprised that 62% of the audience is new but that’s great. I am also thrilled each time I see that AMC is #1 on Hulu or iTunes. It seems like the shows CAN be a big hit and run a long time. I just hope things can be fixed so that will happen. Hopefully, in the future it will be more profitable to produce more than 2 shows a week. Also, the MORE episode on Friday needs to improve. It just doesn’t get my attention as I watch the shows and don’t need a recap… maybe more behind the scenes stuff?

  • Donna says:

    I liked it being on 4 days a week, but 2 days are better than nothing. I only watch OLTL and I like that I can see my old faves and are getting used to the new ones also.

  • Kim Golding says:

    I want more shows per week because these initial story lines and young actors do not hold my interest. I zoom through the 2 shows per week we have, and realize it took me about 15 minutes to watch what I cared about. And if you want me to care about anything new, I need more time with those characters… not fast food soap content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *