SOAPnet: Wikis


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Soap Net
Launched January 20, 2000
Network Disney-ABC Television Group
Owned by The Walt Disney Company
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Slogan The New Way to Watch Soaps
Headquarters Newark, New Jersey, United States
Sister channel(s) ABC
ABC Family
Disney Channel
Disney XD
DirecTV Channel 262
Dish Network Channel 188
Available on most cable systems Check Local Listings for channels

SOAPnet (stylized from 2000 to 2002 as SoapNet) is an American cable television channel that has been broadcasting current and past soap operas and dramas since January 20, 2000. SOAPnet and ESPN Classic are the only two Disney-owned networks not yet available in high definition.[citation needed]


The history of SOAPnet


In the beginning, the channel aired only current ABC soap operas in the evening and early morning, so that people who worked during the day could watch at their convenience; programming was inclusive, as the channel is owned by ABC. SOAPnet has high cable coverage due to Disney's aggressive policy of pulling ABC affiliates and the popular ESPN channels from cable companies if they wouldn't agree to carry SOAPNet as well; this was the main reason for WABC (Channel 7) being pulled from Time Warner Cable in Manhattan for two days in May 2000.

When SOAPNet was announced, there were plans by Sony Pictures Entertainment to launch a competing channel and website called SoapCity, which would air all of the CBS soap operas and NBC's Days of our Lives, a Sony-owned/produced show. The plans for the cable channel were abandoned early in 2000 after Sony failed to acquire cable carriage, though the website component remained.

SOAPnet's inaugural lineup aired current soaps such as All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital, plus cancelled daytime and nighttime soaps such as Port Charles, Falcon Crest, Knots Landing, The Colbys, Hotel, Sisters, and Ryan's Hope.

As the years went on, SOAPnet tried its hand at original programming, such as Soap Center and Soap Talk, the latter of which has been nominated for many Daytime Emmy awards, most recently in 2006 for Best Talk Show Host(s). Soap Center, which debuted the same day in early 2000 as SOAPnet, was initially hosted by former soap stars Brooke Alexander and David Forsyth, but a year later, they were replaced by Peggy Bunker discussing East Coast soaps and Tanika Ray discussing West Coast soaps. By 2003, Peggy was let go; soon after, the show ceased filming original material. Other original series include 1 Day With, a half-hour of General Hospital star Wally Kurth interviewing soap actors; I Wanna Be a Soap Star, a recurring reality series which gives twelve young actors the opportunity to compete for a contract on a daytime soap; and Soapography, a 30-minute show profiling the lives and current shows of two different soap opera actors.

In 2002, SOAPnet began airing reruns of Dynasty, and by 2003, the channel added highly requested programming, such as reruns of Another World and Dallas, replacing Falcon Crest, The Colbys, Hotel and Sisters. In 2004, SOAPnet acquired same-day episodes of Days of our Lives, began airing reruns of Melrose Place that September, added Beverly Hills 90210 the following January, and offered same-day episodes of The Young and the Restless beginning on April 24, 2006.

Ryan's Hope, which had not been seen since its 1989 cancellation, was shown from its 1975 debut through the late 1981 episodes. At this time, many viewers who did not have SOAPnet at its inception petitioned for a rebroadcast of the show from the very beginning. In 2003, the channel aired the first episodes starting on St. Patrick's Day. The episodes being run currently are from 1977.

From time to time, the channel airs past episodes in thematic format, such as Daytime's Most Unforgettable Weddings, spotlighting the best episodes of popular couples on the ABC soaps. Other thematic blocks of episodes aired have included the "Sonnylicious!" marathon, showcasing the best of Maurice Benard in his role on General Hospital, and the "Tad the Cad" marathon, with classic episodes of All My Children from the 1980s, in which the character Tad Martin, played by Michael E. Knight, beds Liza Colby and then her mother, Marian, in quick succession. This is usually limited to the series they have rebroadcast rights to (ABC's lineup, Days, and Y&R). However in a lead-up to the 33rd Daytime Emmy Awards, the channel showed episodes of soaps that showcased performances that garnered award-nominating attention — including those from Guiding Light and As The World Turns— a first for the channel. On Labor Day (September 3) 2007, an O.C. marathon called "Summer Spice" was aired showing Summer's metamorphoses throughout the series.

Since the channel is a subsidiary of the Walt Disney company, special deals have been made to broadcast events from the annual ABC Super Soap Weekend, which is held every November at Walt Disney World, and in the summer at Disney's California Adventure. Lisa Rinna and Ty Treadway from Soap Talk have hosted question and answer sessions at the events, allowing fans to ask questions of their favorite soap stars.

2005 to Present

In January 2005, the channel began to air the Fox dramas Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place, and in the spring of that year aired repeats of short-lived nighttime soaps The Monroes and Skin. In 2004, SOAPnet reran a short-lived '80s soap called Paper Dolls, and in July 2005, it picked up the Fox primetime soap Pasadena, including nine episodes not aired during the show's initial run in the fall.

Some viewers complained about what they viewed as an overabundance of primetime programming, some of which (90210 and Melrose Place) had been out of original broadcast for only a few years and had been repeated on other networks. These fans also objected to the large amount of new episodes of the ABC lineup and Days, and have repeatedly requested rebroadcast of old daytime soaps such as Loving (which Disney/ABC have the rights to), The Edge of Night, Santa Barbara, and Search for Tomorrow.

On March 16, 2006, SOAPnet announced that it had finally acquired the rights to daytime ratings winner The Young and the Restless and began airing it in April — making it the first CBS network soap to air on the channel. Repeats of the current day's episode air at 7 p.m. ET.

On February 7, 2007, SOAPnet announced that it would be picking up the reruns of The O.C. and One Tree Hill. The syndication deal also gave SOAPnet the ability to pick up a fifth season of One Tree Hill at the time if The CW chose not to renew the show. [1] However, the show will begin its seventh season on the broadcast network in September 2009.

In November 2007, Deborah Blackwell left her position as general manager; ABC Daytime president Brian Frons has assumed her duties.

In August 2008, it was revealed that SOAPnet had lost the rights to air both Dallas and Melrose Place, and would discontinue airing the two shows in September.

In 2009, the channel will further expand their acquired programming; it began airing Greg Behrendt's Wake Up Call, a program which was originally set to air on ABC in the 2006-2007 season, but never found a place on their schedule. After airing the CBC series MVP (cancelled by the CBC due to low ratings) in 2008, SOAPnet also acquired the rights for the American broadcast beginning in February 2009 of the show Being Erica, which began in January on the CBC.

General Hospital: Night Shift

During the summer of 2007, SOAPnet aired a prime-time spin-off of General Hospital entitled General Hospital: Night Shift, which became its highest-rated program to date, pulling in 1 million viewers for the premiere episode. Viewership dwindled over the course of the 13 week series, putting a second season in jeopardy. The first season wrapped up on October 4, 2007. It was renewed for another season, naming a new Head Writer, Sri Rao, and a new Executive Producer, former Passions Executive Producer, Lisa de Cazotte.

Venture Into Films

As part of an ongoing strategic effort to increase SOAPnet's reach, target new viewers, and expand the genre, Brian Frons — President, Daytime, Disney-ABC Television Group — announced today the acquisition of 19 movies from Sony Pictures Television, expanding SOAPnet's Sunday Night Movie franchise, which airs on Sundays at 10PM ET/PT. The theatrical titles from Sony include Hitch, Fun with Dick and Jane, Something's Gotta Give, Sleepless in Seattle, My Best Friend's Wedding, Jerry Maguire, Groundhog Day, Roxanne, Fools Rush In, Postcards from the Edge, Only You, It Could Happen to You, Crazy in Alabama, Ice Castles, Loverboy, Cruel Intentions 2, Mixed Nuts, Nadine, and Lone Star State of Mind. [1]

Other films that SOAPnet has aired include Mommie Dearest, Moonstruck, Clue, The Ref, Heathers, The Truth About Cats and Dogs, The Object of My Affection, My Girl and My Girl 2, as well as television movies such as Romy and Michele: In the Beginning, Betrayed by Love, Just a Walk in the Park, Death of a Cheerleader and Satan's School for Girls.


Voiceover artists

  • Fred Stockton (2007-2008)
  • Shannon Storm (2008-present)
  • James Hall
  • Gary King

See also


External links

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