All My Children star Susan Lucci has some blistering parting words for ABC Daytime president Brian Frons as her soap ends its 41-year run on ABC this month. In a freshly written epilogue to the upcoming paperback edition of her memoir “All My Life” obtained by the New York Post, she blames the show’s cancellation squarely on “some very bad decisions by” Frons. Among them, according to Lucci, the 2008 hiring of Chuck Pratt as head writer, which led to “subpar” writing on the show (he was let go a year later), the 2009 relocation of the show from New York to Los Angeles, and the pushing out of AMC creator Agnes Nixon. “I watched Brian Frons’ decisions destroy the production of our show and the lives of people on both sides of the country,” she wrote, adding that he has “that fatal combination of ignorance and arrogance.” As for the soap’s cancellation to be replaced by a cheaper unscripted show, “an iconic show was losing out to greed,” Lucci wrote. “I cannot fathom any network executive choosing to alienate millions of loyal viewers in these economic times.” Frons recently told Deadline that the protests over the cancellation of All My Children and fellow ABC soap One Life to Live demonstrate that “we actually did a good job for all of these last 40 years. I think we’ve spent 40-plus years trying to keep the soap-opera audience happy. So in an odd way, (the outcry) is actually good. It’s just sad that we don’t have a solution.”
Lucci herself has yet to commit to continue on All My Children, which company Prospect Park plans to produce for online and possibly cable TV distribution. Lucci was approached a couple of weeks ago with a financial offer identical to her current salary on ABC but has not accepted yet, and I hear she has been pushing for a raise. As for her comments on Frons, “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,” ABC said in a statement.