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Our Own Revolution and the End of OLTL!

A Personal Commentary of ABC's Decision to Replace the Soaps!


Our Own Revolution and the End of OLTL!

"The Revolution" co-host, Ty Pennington

Copyright, 2012
The second-rated network, ABC, had a disappointing start to their new show, The Revolution. This of course, comes as no surprise to the millions of soap fans around the country. In fact, most fans are a bit baffled on why ABC/Disney executives seem to be the only ones who thought this would turn out any other way.

According to a recent ABC Press release, “The Revolution is [suppose to be] a daily boost [for viewers].”

Come on ABC? Did you honestly think that with all the other ridiculous reality shows on the air, viewers would turn specifically to you for help?

I hate to personally pick on the hosts of “The Revolution,” but I think we really need to explore further how these “so-called" experts plan on giving viewers their “daily boost.”

First up, you have the charming 47-year old, former model and self-proclaimed “Jack of all Trades, Master of None,” Ty Pennington, who just recently caused quite a stir with this remark on how this new show is suppose to help people, "A lot of people are on the hamster wheel of life, and they want to get off."

I don’t know about you, but it sure sounds to me like he just called us all hamsters. And by the way, this is also coming from a man who was arrested in 2007 for driving under the influence of alcohol. Pennington has also openly admitted his diagnosis of ADHD.

“I know what's it's like to grow up with ADHD. I would strip down naked, and swing from the blinds in my classroom as a child,” reported Pennington.

During another recent interview about the new show, Pennington also said, “It’s not every day you get to talk about breasts. That’s a subject I don’t mind talking about!”

Okay, so this is someone the viewers are actually going to feel comfortable with and turn to for help? Okay, so granted Pennington has obviously dealt with his own set of problems, so perhaps he can use his experiences to relate. But personally, I cannot help to feel a bit bothered by some of his recent comments. Sorry Ty!

Then we have Dr. Jennifer Ashton, who just happened to have her second book, Your Body Beautiful: Clockstopping Secrets to Staying Healthy, Strong and Sexy in Your 30s, 40s and Beyond," released one week prior to the show launch date.

“'The book is going to come out a week before the show launches, and it's going to be the same message,” Ashton reported.

Okay, so if it is the same message, then why watch the show? Just a thought! Also, this sounds to me like this is really about helping out her own pocketbook, but perhaps I am wrong.

Next up we have another co-host, Tim Gunn, who according to biography.com was “a shy and unhappy boy, who preferred playing with Legos and assembling his sister's Barbie toys to sports, which greatly displeased his father. Gunn [also] changed schools frequently as a result of debilitating social anxiety issues.”

Chicago Sun Times’ TV Critic, Lori Rackl, had this to say about Monday’s debut of the show, “Style guru Tim Gunn (Project Runway) gave one woman a “Timtervention” by swapping her mom’s jeans for a miniskirt. He then shared one of the fashion world’s biggest secrets: High heels make legs look longer. Thanks, Officer Obvious. Maybe on Tuesday we’ll learn that hats are worn on the head.”

Another Revolution co-host and therapist, Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry, recently appeared on Good Morning America, and discussed her own view about the prospective new viewers when she tried to explain that it is our own “personalities [that] could indeed be making [us] fat.”

Really? I thought it was from all the Big Macs and bon-bons we soap viewers supposedly consumed all those years on the couch while watching the soaps. Nice to know I can now officially blame my “baby fat” on my personality.

Finally we have one of the executive producers from the show, J.D. Roth, who when asked if this show and others suggest that people are more needy this days, his answer reply was, “No — well, maybe yes.”

Okay, so admittedly my sarcasm might be a bit extreme, but these are the people who tell us that we are so “needy” in our everyday lives. So I think it is just as important to know about them since they think they know all about us. Do you agree?

Plus, here’s the real kicker! There are millions of folks out there who don’t actually need help. I know, shockingly enough! But in reality, millions of people do know how to watch their weight, they work out, they function in society, they know how to dress and how to talk, they have healthy relationships with their spouses, they know how to budget their money, and even more surprising, they don’t need a reality show to tell them how to live their lives.

What ABC/Disney is really missing about this change in their daytime programming is that they took something away from viewers that simply cannot be replaced with another reality show, especially with a show that particularly lays insults on soap fans. Perhaps that was not the intentions of ABC, however most soap fans will disagree and put most of the blame on the former daytime president, Brian Frons. According to one of the leading experts in the field of daytime drama, Michael Fairman, “Frons…totally decimated the ABC Daytime line-up and the soap genre itself.”

And he is certainly not alone is this view of the former ABC employee, nor the decisions by the ABC network.

Here is what some of the fans had to say:
“I will not watch ABC….how dare they think they will shove these "informational" shows down our throats. They are a joke. I will not watch them.”

Another fan writes, “Shame on ABC for not listening to their viewers...”

“I am absolutely disgusted with ABC for cancelling OLTL and replacing it with stupid reality shows. I will never watch either of those two shows, they are an insult to the intelligence of the viewing public,” states another fan.

Add to this there are literally thousands of comments all across the internet that speak volumes of what the viewers think of this change at ABC. One only needs to hit the news sites covering anything on the soaps and take a look at the comments left. It is very interesting to note how many comments put side by side express the same message.

Unfortunately, I believe soap fans are going to have an ongoing and uphill battle for quite some time. The Revolution was given a 200-episode contract agreement, so if you really want to make an impact on ABC, be ready to hold your ground for quite some time. Plus, we have of course, Katie Couric’s new show coming up in September to ABC. So where will this leave their last remaining soap, General Hospital? Well according to TV Guide, one scenario being discussed by ABC is moving GH to primetime programming as a short-run summer series. I guess one can only imagine what else ABC has up its sleeve next!
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