Monday, March 5, 2007

ABC & SoapNet Excite, Dissapoint Fans at Florida University (99% of whom were likely Demo viewers...)

ABC-Daytime drew largely-mixed (though some angry) reviews during one of their largest and most hyped promotional projects with sister network SoapNet, Rock the Quad, a contest win that had promised a visit by five ABC-Daytime stars and a series of promotional events, icluding the attendance of classes by the stars, with University of Florida freshman Meg Pabst. Pabst beat out several hundred other entrants--also students--in a contest challenging them to prove their love for their favorite ABC soap to SoapNet.

When the big day came for Pabst, a passionate GENERAL HOSPITAL fan, and the 500 "frenzied" ABC-Daytime fans in estimated to be in attendance, the actors arrived nearly 2 hours late, and included GH actors such as Bradford Anderson ("Damien Spinelli") and new recast Kiko Ellsworth ("Stan Johnson"), both supporting-of-supporting actors with problematic screentime (Anderson has been known to play nearly all 5 days a week despite tepid, sometimes hostile, fan reaction to his quirky character, while Ellsworth--and immensely popular soap star from his previous gig as former GH DA "Dara Jenson's" cousin "Jamal" on the now defunct GH spin-off PORT CHARLES--had not yet had any screen time to speak of and thus has not yet had a chance to become a fan favorite or not for GH fans).

According to an Independent Florida Alligator newspaper of the event, about 500 fans shivered in a cold wind Friday while they waited for the event, hosted by former-Bachelor Bob Guiney (stock photo from an unidentified fan event, right), but were kept entertained by ABC/SoapNet's advance team:

"While waiting for the event to begin, some students munched on hamburgers, hotdogs and cookies that were provided by ABC. Others received free makeovers and were sent to a photographer for headshots. Some of the more serious fans crowded the stage, afraid of losing their spots, which would put them within arm's reach of the celebrities.

Though Pabst remained positive the whole time, the paper noted the annoyance of her friends "that ABC representatives didn't fulfill a string of promises, [after]Pabst had spent dozens of hours filling out a questionnaire, throwing a General Hospital party and creating a scrapbook in order to win the contest."

ABC representative Mitch Messinger admitted to the Alligator that the stars did not tour campus or attend classes with Pabst as had promised, noting that the stars toured the school without Pabst.

Neither Messinger nor Brian Frons, President of ABC-Daytime, nor SoapNet GM Deborah Blackwell, have yet to respond to inquiries from Soappipe.


Lindy Merritt-Jacques said...

This is typical ABC PA crap, and I'm amazed at how when they get it right that it is SO right, and when they screw it up, they really take the cake. The rain doesn't sound like it could have been avoided, so I'm not faulting ABC for that. BUT they promised the "Ultimate GH fan" (in THE key demo, no less) some GH stars and they sent Kiko Ellsworth? Had he even aired ONCE in the blink-or-you'll-miss-it part of Stan. I sure hope her "ultimate" fandom of GH included it's long-gone spin off, PC, because that's the only way she or others there would have known about Ellsworth. Ben, any word back yet from ABC or SoapNet?

Anonymous said...

I agree, the true crime here wasn't being late (that happens) it was sending a guy who hadn't aired yet (or maybe had aired once or twice at maximum) and one who is of questionable popularity (I know many more people who hate Spinelli than like him, though he seems to have grown on the soap press), and, as the other 3 didn't even merit a mention in the source article, I'm not thinking they were named Benard, Burton, Monaco, Christopher, etc. Anybody know who the other three were?

Anonymous said...

How sad this event seems :( Almost everyone I know (online soap community) adore Spinelli but I can people would have been dispaointed if they where promised 5 stars and only sent two recurring ones, one of which had only been on the screen once.

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