Susan Lucci claims ABC executive’s ‘greed’ sabotaged ‘All My Children’
WITH BILL ZWECKER September 5, 2011 8:24PM
Susan Lucci writes in a new edition of her memoir that “very bad decisions” by ABC Daytime boss Brian Frons were to blame for the demise of her soap opera, which concludes its ABC run Sept. 23. | David Becker~Getty Images
Updated: November 5, 2011 2:48PM
Susan Lucci has taken aim at the ABC honchos who axed her “All My Children” show, penning a sharply worded epilogue for the new paperback edition of her All My Life: A Memoir.
The veteran star, whose Erica Kane character has become a daytime icon, specifically attacked ABC Daytime boss Brian Frons, claiming his “very bad decisions [would] destroy the production of our show.” That included pushing aside the soap’s creator Agnes Nixon in 2008 and hiring a new head writer who provided “sub-par writing” for the show, which ends a four-decade ABC run on Sept. 23.
Lucci writes that “greed” was responsible for the network’s decision to replace “AMC” with “The Chew,” a food show that might be cheaper to produce. “If Brian Frons could show his bosses that he could save the network 40 percent … he could keep his job even if the rest of us lost ours,” she writes.
† Lucci has yet to ink a deal to continue as Erica Kane in a proposed online version of “All My Children,” or be part of a version being pitched to several cable networks.
In response to the Lucci book’s new epilogue, an ABC representative said, “We have all the respect in the world for Susan, and are sorry she felt the need to write this epilogue to an otherwise incredible career.”
PRESSING ISSUE: The entanglement of British politicians and the Rupert Murdoch media empire reached a new level with the revelation (by Murdoch’s wife in an upcoming Vogue magazine interview) that ex-British prime minister Tony Blair’s relationship with the Murdochs was far closer than previously known.
Wendi Murdoch reveals Blair — along with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman — is a godparent to the Murdoch’s two young daughters, baptized in a ceremony organized by Jordan’s Queen Rania at the River Jordan site believed to be where John the Baptist baptized Christ.
† The March 2010 event was widely publicized with photos of Kidman and Jackman — but little mention of Blair’s presence and involvement. The issue: While he was prime minister, Blair worked hard to quash the investigation into the now-exposed phone hacking scandal by Murdoch’s News of the World operatives.
FINALLY OVER: Those close to “Blow Out” reality TV hairdressing star Jonathan Antin are amazed his five-year marriage to wife Sescie lasted as long as it did.
“Jonathan is as much of a dictator at home as he is at work,” said a longtime Antin associate Monday.
The couple are the parents of two daughters, ages 5 and 4, and friends believe the divorce will be quickly resolved, due to an airtight prenuptial agreement penned before the couple wed.
GETTING HELP: After his latest DUI arrest, there’s word “That’s So Raven” actor Orlando Brown will take the usual Hollywood approach and check himself into rehab to avoid hard jail time, if he can help it.
TV TALK: Looks like Jonathan Frazen’s bestselling The Corrections may become an HBO mini-series starring Anthony Hopkins, produced by Scott Rudin and directed by Noah Baumbach, who also will co-write the teleplay with Franzen.
LIFE IN SPOTLIGHT: While newlywed Kris Humphries is said to be over-the-moon about his bride Kim Kardashian — as well he should be this early on! — I have heard he’s beginning to realize how the couple’s “fishbowl” existence is truly 24/7.
A friend of the NBA free agent recalls overhearing Humphries’ new wife firmly telling him they have to live at this fast pace now — or before you know it the fame game can end, “and you can turn into a Paris Hilton.”
Hmmm. That was a not-so-subtle dig at Kardashian’s ex-pal, who recently seems to be sliding into the has-been category.
SEEN ON THE SCENE: Mr. “Extreme Makeover” himself, Ty Pennington, was seen supping on the patio at Hugo’s Frog Bar, but no word on whether he planned to knock down any walls. …. Goo Goo Dolls frontman John Rzeznik and WLS-Channel 7’s Ryan Chiaverini have been among recent visitors to District Bar. … Labor Day weekend sightings at Hub 51 included “Saturday Night Live” alumni Tim Meadows and Colin Quinn — chatting up Quinn’s current run in his “Long Story Short” stand-up show at Water Tower Place’s Broadway Theater — plus the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen, Savier Paul, James McDonald and Jason Jaramillo, and the Bears’ QB, Caleb Haney. ... Fans loved seeing Rosie O’Donnell getting her sushi fix at RA Sushi on the Gold Coast.
Bill Zwecker reports regularly on WFLD-Channel 32.