ATWT FANS, REJOICE!

CLASSICS ARE HEADED YOUR WAY

When September 10, 2010 came around, it was the end of As The World Turns…it also marked the end of an era as Procter and Gamble ended producing soaps for television.

I remember saying last year on my Facebook page that the soap world is going down because networks and Nielsen don’t recognize online viewing.  P&G (under its new name TeleNext Media) got a channel on YouTube and uploaded episodes from World Turns, Guiding Light, and Another World.

Last Sunday, I was at a Rite-Aid looking at an issue of Soap Opera Digest and on the inside cover was an ad with a headline “Own The World”.  Ir was an ad for 20 classic episodes of As The World Turns.  Ecstatic?  You bet.  Although the show won’t be in production, it’s actually a good step since Media Home Entertainment began releasing episodes of the original Dark Shadows years ago.

But unlike the original DS, soaps fell victim to the network practice of wiping to cut costs.  Most of the soaps P&G produced ended up having their shows wiped clean.  It wasn’t until 1979 when they actually started saving their soaps.   And the only episodes they have a full run of is the short-lived Texas.

And since they decided to go online with classic episodes, it was only a matter of time before they decided to put some of them on video…it won’t stop there.  A new website, ClassicSoaps.com, is offering the 4-DVD set of 20 episodes of As The World Turns working with Broadway Video (Saturday Night Live) and are slated to go online with episodes of ATWT, GL, The Edge of Night, Search for Tomorrow, Another World and Texas in 2012.  And depending how well the World Turns DVD set does, Guiding Light will most likely be the next set offered up later in the year.

Advertisements

SONY SHUTS DOWN ARISTA, JIVE AND J

FOCUS TO BE SENT TO REVIVE THE RCA BRAND

In a move that can be described as leaving many scratching their heads, Sony Music had announced that they are shuttering the Arista, Jive and J labels and shifting artists to the RCA label.

So now acts like Usher, Britney Spears, Pink, Foo Fighters, previous “American Idol” stars like Jennifer Hudson and more will all be officially RCA artists. This, after months of blood-letting on a staff  level while dropping acts like “AI’s” Lee DeWyze and Britain’s “X Factor” contestant Diana Vickers.  Many artists are expected to become casualties as the shift continues.

The reasoning: to resuscitate the RCA label.

RCA Records’ COO Tom Corson told The Hollywood Reporter, “The path we’ve taken is to refresh RCA, so we’re going to retire those brands.  There may be a reason down the line to bring them back, but it’s a clean slate here.”

RCA is Sony’s second oldest label (Columbia is much older) and I can understand that they want to add new life to the label, but aren’t labels supposed to sign acts that will make them money?  Even when Clive Davis was over at Columbia early in his career, he took Columbia into the age of rock’n’roll literally kicking and screaming.

In 1974, Davis bought out Bell and changed it to Arista, naming it after a prestigious private school in N.Y.  Over the years, they had big signings that included Whitney Houston, Brooks and Dunn, Kenny G, Barry Manilow, and P!nk.   In 2004, he founded J Records after an age cap by BMG (Arista’s former owners/Sony’s former merge partners)  forced him to leave Arista.  When Sony bought out BMG’s stake, Davis was brought on board to head the J Records Group.

The red-headed stepchild in all this is Jive.  Founded by Peter Weiss, it was first handled by Arista and then by RCA and then BMG where it was handled as an independent label.  In its 28-year history, though uneven, Jive was the quirkiest of the three, releasing everything from hip-hop to hard rock.  They had A Tribe Called Quest, Too $hort,  Billy Ocean, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Brittney Spears, Backstreet Boys, R. Kelly and *NSync to name a few.

The reasoning to shutter the labels still make no sense.  I can understand that, if they aren’t producing any hits, then there might be a reason to shutter.  But THE NAME?  Very few labels (past and present) can work it by name alone (Solar, Sub Pop, Motown, Windham Hill), but adding these names to the RCA roster could only dilute the label instead of focusing on its strengths.

Remember when Seagram’s purchased PolyGram and merged it with Universal and formed the Universal Music Group?  Five years later, MCA disappeared and with the exception of its Nashville division, the artists were shifted to Geffen, A&M was part of the Interscope/A&M/Geffen group, but then A&M is only there but in name only-soon after everyone was divided between Geffen and Interscope.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.