TVLine Items: Chuck Matriarch Returns for Finale, ABC Soaps Boss Scrubs Out and More!

Mama Bartowski is coming back!

Linda Hamilton is set to reprise her maternal role in Chuck‘s two-hour series finale, TV Guide Magazine reports. The NBC spy dramedy’s swan song airs Jan. 27.

Ready for more of today’s TV dish? Well…

• Brian Frons — aka the man responsible for axing both All My Children and One Life to Live — will vacate the role of ABC Daytime president at the end of January. (Too little, too late, no?) Replacing Frons will be Vicki Dummer, who is presently senior vice president of ABC’s Current Series and Specials division, which is being rechristened Times Square Studios and will fold in daytime programming.

• Not-great-but-kinda-good-news, Community fans: Beginning today, Hulu will be streaming every episode-to-date of the quirky NBC comedy. The catch: You have to be a Hulu Plus subscriber to have access. (If not, you can still catch up on Community‘s five most recent episodes.)

• Larry Miller (10 Things I Hate About You) will play the “bold” boss of Amanda Peete’s single, working mom on NBC’s midseason comedy Bent, reports.

• Roger Ebert has revealed via his blog that his film-critiquing TV series, At the Movies, will go on indefinite hiatus by year’s end, citing funding issues.

• Musician Sheryl Crow is set to play herself in an episode of ABC’s midseason comedy GCB, while Sandra Bernhard will also guest-star in a top secret role, per TV Guide Magazine.

• SOAPnet will celebrate “Chrismukkah-time in The OC” with four-hour marathon of episodes revolving around the Fox drama’s hallowed holiday, on Sunday, Dec. 25 starting at 3 pm/EST.

Which TVLine Items have you talking today?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Mika says:

    I think it’s absurd that people blame Frons for axing AMC and OLTL. Yes, he ultimately had to make the decision, but this is about making revenue. Aren’t the people who stopped watching and supporting the shows to blame? I doubt if these shows had the audience size they did in the 80’s that they would have been cancelled. Even Prospect Park could not make these shows work profitably. As a Disney stockholder, I think this was the right decision.

    • maggie says:

      Television ratings have been down for all shows, daytime and primetime, since the 80’s. There are more options, not only on what to view, but how to view. There probably as many people watching Soap Operas today as 30 years ago, but they just watch them in a different way. I watched AMC on Soapnet. Other people DVR the show, or watch online. If Frons was smart, he would have been looking for a way to benefit from alternate viewing, rather than just concentrating on the numbers for the one daytime viewing.

      What did Frins do to look for additional revenue? Did he sell downloads of episodes? Did he sell these soaps to foreign markets?

      Frons fired hundreds of people. While these people are struggling to pay their bills, and trying to find jobs to support their families, at least Disney stockholders will be able to say they became just a tiny bit richer thanks to Frons.

      • jonhllywd says:

        Here here, Maggie!
        It may seem pedantic to bring this up, but please consider how this relates to Occupy Wall Street and all of the other Occupy movements. How many people lost their jobs, their entire careers, their livelihoods due to Brian Frons? What was it for? For Disney stockholders to increase their dividends? If I was a Disney stockholder, I would hang my head in shame.
        The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer.

        • Mika says:

          There is no need for shame. The cancelled soaps were replaced by other shows that also employed many people. Perhaps even employed some that had been unemployed previously.

          • jonhllywd says:

            Mika – I understand that you are trying to protect your life, your money, your kid’s money. I get it. I also understand the concept of downsizing and tightening of the so-called budget belt. We all have to survive, right?
            However – just for a second – be honest with yourself. The cancellation of these shows was all about money. It is cheaper to produce two “talk” shows (maybe three now?) than it is to produce two (maybe three) soap operas. Why? Because the overhead is too expensive. Why? Because it employs too many people.
            For you to claim that The Chew employs more people than All My Children is not only disingenuous, it is a flat out lie.
            Mika, you are not helping your case by making false statements. I have the numbers. I dare you to challenge me. You will be embarrased.

        • maggie says:

          Hi jonhllywd!
          I agree that this relates to the Occupy movement. So many people have lost jobs due to companies trying to squeeze an extra dime for their stockholders. Loyalty to their employees, and their customers, means nothing to companies anymore. Mika is a perfect example of someone who doesn’t care about the impact of business decisions on the lives of people, as long as their stock value goes up.

          • MikaMikea says:


            No where in my post claimed the new shows employed more people than the soaps. Clearly you are reading your own meanings into it.

  2. Katie says:

    Mika, people blame Frons for the axing of both shows because he was always telling the writers what to write, continuously pushing couples that most fans did not like and he was instrumental in getting actors fired. He also hired his friends as writers (who had written for cancelled soap operas) basically he was a very bad boss and he deserves the criticism he receives.

    • Sandi says:

      I couldn’t agree more. As a lifelong fan of AMC, it was easy to see the quick demise of the storylines when Frons took over. Daytime soaps could have been saved if less greedy people had been in charge.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you, Katie – Brian Frons killed the ABC soaps. I think people would watch, just not his version.

      • Sarah says:

        Frons was so powerful and influential, he even managed to kill Guiding Light, As the World Turns, Santa Barbara, Texas, The Doctors, Edge of Night, and Another World. I guess soaps aren’t dying, it was all Fron’s poor decision making.

        • maggie says:

          Frons previously worked at both CBS and NBC. When he became the Vice President in charge of daytime for NBC, the first thing he did was cancel Search For Tomorrow.

        • Laney says:

          I don’t how you can’t blame Frons for canceling AMC and OLTL, since, he’s to blame for everything that forced that decision. He very definitely is responsible for things like putting Jill Farren Phelps in charge of OLTL and then GH. The only surprise, to me, is that GH will be the last to go — between Frons and Phelps, they’ve done everything possible storyline-wise to tear it down, forcing the Sonny Corinthos/mob stories down everyone’s throats, despite the ratings having gone up sharply during the writers’ strike, when stories centered more around the hospital, and now this inane “Franco” crap.

          And, come to think, Phelps has been exec producer on four soaps now that have gone on to cancellation, and one on the way… hmm… but I’m sure Frons isn’t responsible for handing the reins over to her, either.

  3. Lauri says:

    OLTL was consistently under budget and a money maker. Even before the announcement the ratings were on the rise. ABC/Frons could have hired better/more experienced daytime writers instead they set them up to fail. After OLTL is off I’ll never watch anything on ABC again, too little too late.

  4. Jesse says:

    Responding to Mica, thats good for you, but im pretty sure the casts, and crews of those shows disagree. As a fan i def do, and I def will not be watching ANYTHING on ABC once GH is gone. From daytime to primetime to late night ABC will not exist in my house and i know im not the only one who feels this way. Brian Frons destroyed ABC daytime, and the fans will destroy ABC.

  5. Cloudy Knight says:

    Even if every fan of every soap opera absolutely stopped watching ABC in all dayparts, the network would still turn a nice profit. The idea that the ratings of All My Children and One Life to Live suffered so dramatically because of bad writing is almost laughable. It’s a matter of costs vs revenue, and the costs were going up and ratings had been going down for decades. Sorry folks, but the daytime drama is a dying breed, overcome by the modern lifestyle.

  6. Dave says:

    I will start by saying I am not a soap watcher. I do not care for them but I will not say anything bad about them either. It’s just personal taste. What I am going to speak up about is the rediculousness of people stating they are never watching ABC again just becuase thier favorite soaps are cancelled. Ok so you blame the Frons guy fine but there are a lot more people involved not only with the network but with the different show on the network that are not Frons. Lets give worse case senario. Everyone stops watching ABC over the soaps being cancelled and thier hate for Frons. ABC tanks as a network and goes out of business. Ok you all should be proud then. I mean Frons no longer has a job. Oh wait you also just put thousands of other people employed at the network. Not to mention all the shows that are no over and all the actors and actresses that now have to find other work. All this because you were mad at one person. I know this senerio would never happen but that is basically what people are wishing for. Also your missing out on some good tv with Once upon a time on Sundays and Castle on Mondays, but to each thier own.

    • mes says:

      You’ll be just as mad as us if and when ABC begins to screw around with Castle and Once Upon a Time

    • mes says:

      And we’re not just mad at Frons we’re mad at his bosses and such too. They hired him to do what he had done on previous daytimes like NBC and that’s kill soaps and replace them with cheaper talk and cooking shows. He thinks that were that we’re dumb and will take whatever they spoon feed us. Why would I want to watch cooking and talk shows? There’s the Food Network and already plenty of talk shows. They do NOT respect their audience.

      Forget that the shows have so much history and acutally trying to save them by hiring better writers and showrunners. Also advertise them, when was the last time you saw AMC, OLTL, and GH advertisements during primetime and late night? It’s been years.

      Also the ratings system is totally out of date. DVRs, online viewing, and even SoapNet (which is owned by ABC) does not count. For cryin’ out loud the least they could have done was make sure it’s own channel would count in the ratings.

      Again you’ll learn when they mess with OUaT and Castle. And they will evenually. When the shows become too expensive they’ll cut corners by getting rid of beoloved casts members/charcters. Move them to crummy timeslots, hire poor writers, I could go on and on.

  7. TimWnTX says:

    I am glad that the ABC/Disney stock holders are sleeping well. I mean, it’s all about the bottom line isn’t it? Money. I hate ABC canceling the soaps but I am not boycotting ABC as a whole.

    • Jannis says:

      If you don’t think all business is about the bottom line, then you must work for free.

    • Miffy says:

      Of course it’s about money. With “The Chew”, ABC is now getting equivalent ratings to “All My Children” at a much less expensive cost.

      The soaps are dead. Given the cost structure and the diminishing audiences, it is no longer feasible to program scripted shows in the daytime hours. It’s only a matter of time before the remaining soaps are gone.

      They don’t make wagon wheels anymore either, despite the fact that it employed a lot of people. The product was no longer necessary.

      But that doesn’t stop the uneducated soap fans from venting their hatred on those who had to make those decisions, despite the fact that there aren’t enough soap fans any more.

      • Lois says:

        “uneducated soap fans”??? You are the one with the facts wrong.

        The ratings on The Chew are not equivalent to the ratings for AMC. The Chew gets lower ratings.

        Frons cancelled One Life To Live even though the ratings have gone up on the show.

        Since The Chew gets lower ratings than All My Children, I guess there isn’t a big audience for that kind of program. But it costs less to make, so they don’t care if it has less people interested in watching it.

      • Amber says:

        Miffy, to say soap fans are uneducated is pretty biased and unfair. I’m a soap fan and a college grad. What do you think college students are doing on afternoons they don’t have classes? Even educated people have their guilty pleasures. For some, it’s corny soaps, for others, it’s those stupid Twilight movies.

        And there’s nothing wrong with venting on comment boards. That is what they are here for, to give frustrated fans an outlet. And if you think what you just did wasn’t venting your hatred about something that bothers you, i.e., apparently uneducated soap fans, then you are just kidding yourself. Now go calm yourself with Prozac and ice cream and quit calling people names.

  8. Media Ho says:

    ABC has officially gone from Dumb(a$$) to Dummer!

    Also consider the magazines that are going to go out of business (ABC SiD in particular, but all the other ones are in danger) — and I know Mikey and Matt have roots in them thar hills. The economic impact of canceling AMC and OLTL extends far beyond cast and crew, and I have sympathy for everyone.

    As for me, I feel cheated. There’s no way that AMC fans will get “closure” with that lame cliffhanger of an ending, done as a courtesy for Prospect Park. The fans and everyone involved with the show(s) deserved more. As for Frons? Decorum prohibits me from listing what he deserves, but let me just say I’d like to go all Lisbeth Salander on his worthless butt. Or Janet From Another Planet. Whatever works!

  9. rachael says:

    Yay Chucks mom is coming back!!!!