About two dozen protesting soap opera fans welcomed advertisers to ABC's presentation of its new season Tuesday, calling on the network to spare the canceled "One Life to Live" and "All My Children."
Holding signs with phrases like "Fire Frons" (referring to ABC Daytime president Brian Frons) and "Stop the Revolution" ("The Revolution" is one of two new lifestyle shows that will replace the soaps), the group stood across the street from Lincoln Plaza, site of the network's upfront presentation to advertisers and ad buyers.
Shawn Brady, a former CBS News producer who just moved from Los Angeles to New York, helped organize the protest by forming the group Soap Fans United with people he met on Twitter.
"If we don’t save these two, 'General Hospital' may be next," Brady told TheWrap. "An art form is being killed."
Joanne Bunch (yes, the protestors included a Brady and a Bunch, but they didn't know each other) traveled from Raleigh, N.C. to attend the event.
"I've been watching them for 35 years," said Bunch, an office manager. "It's not just the actual soaps, it's all the actors. They're like family, and they're losing their jobs,"
"They're good people," she added. "They come out and talk to you. They're not like big stars that you can't ever get close to. We're going to miss them."
ABC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the demonstrators. But Frons has previously told TheWrap that there's no chance either soap will be back. "It's like any other genre on TV, the strongest will survive," he said after the cancellations were announced last month. "Right now we're down to the last few that are still strong and viable and economically sound."
One advertiser has already gotten the fans' message: vacuum company Hoover announced last month that it would pull ads to protest the cancellations.