It’s been less than 24 hours since Disney-ABC dropped the bombshell….the dreaded news that this year’s Super Soap Weekend – Nov. 15 and 16 – will be the last for the super popular event held annually at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.
Yeah, you heard me right.
Disney-ABC is doing away with THE most popular event in the history of the free world.
Okay, maybe I’m being a tad bit dramatic, but, hey, we’re talking about soap fans here and they live for drama.
A press release issued Tuesday by Disney/ABC delivered the blow to millions of soap fans, while trying to put a positive spin on it.
In the press release, Brian Frons, president of Daytime Disney/ABC Television Group, announces a 2009 Soap Nation Tour in lieu of Super Soap because “Our fans have told us that they want us in their neighborhoods so we are traveling our daytime talent to better serve them.”
Ummmm. I’m not sure what fans Mr. Frons has talked to, but it’s certainly not any of the tens of thousands who attend the event each year.
“The 2009 tour will be a collection of coast-to-coast fan-based events that will ignite our ‘Soap Nation,’” Frons said.
The release cites a “Rock the Soap” cruise out of Los Angeles; the annual Broadway Cares event in NYC and the CMA’s music festival.
Here’s the thing.
The soap cruise is pretty expensive for the general soap fan and doesn’t appeal to a broad audience, particularly if you don’t like cruises.
The Broadway Cares event is a one-night musical event featuring soap stars, but it’s not at all interactive in terms of meeting the stars one-on-one.
And regarding the CMA music festival, that only appeals to a niche group of country music/soap fans.
I tell ya, soap fans are not happy about this and are not taking the news sitting down.
Reactions have been fast and furious and fans are mobilizing to try and save future SSW’s.
There’s already an online petition addressed to Frons and the ABC Teleivision Group with 220-plus names the last time I looked and the list was growing by the minute. It’s called the “Please Don’t Scrub Super Soap Weekend” petition.
Click here to read and/or sign the petition.
“Uprise and Uproar” were the words used by Jo Ann, host of Stardish Radio, about the reaction of soap fans to the disturbing news.
Jo Ann hosted her Tuesday show about SSW and I participated in the discussion. You can listen below.

Jo Ann on Stardish, which is part of BlogTalkRadio, has interviewed many soap stars and other celebrities and all of her back interviews can be heard on the Stardish website.
And I haven’t even gotten started on my feelings on the attending stars for this year’s event.
I’ll have to save that for another day.
The full list of 2008 attending soap stars was also released on SoapNet.com Tuesday and that sort of got lost in the shuffle, considering the future demise of the event.

Who doesn’t love Michael E. Knight as Tad Martin on All My Children and Natalia Livingston as Emily (before her demise) on General Hospital?
Arguably, Tad and Emily are two of the most beloved characters in the soap world.
At least in my opinion.
And I guess my opinion counts right now because I’m the one writing this blog.
If you haven’t listened to Jo Ann’s soap star interviews on Stardish Radio , Monday, Sept. 1 (Labor Day) at 10 p.m. EST would be a good time to start.
That’s when Jo Ann will interview Knight.
And I can promise you, because I’ve met him and seen him in action at Super Soap Weekend, he is a lot of fun. So I expect it will be a good interview to catch.
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Tad and Kathy on AMC
Go to the website at www.stardishradio.com and it will give you directions on how to listen in and even ask some questions. It’s called BlogTalk radio, which is an interesting concept.
You also can go into the archives and listen to her past interviews and she has a pretty impressive list of interviews to date, which include
Jo Ann has gotten a lot of soap stars, including David Fumero (Christian, OLTL), Kamar de los Reyes (Antonio, OLTL), Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, GH), Antonio Sabato, Jr. (Jagger, GH and GH Nightshift, season 2) and the list goes on and on.
So boot up your computers Monday night and listen to Jo Ann talk to Michael E. Knight.
Regarding Natalia, I know that many Emily fans (including me) have been missing her big time since she was killed off of GH back in November, although, luckily, we did see her as Nikolas’ hallucination for six months after her death.
And many Natalia fans have been wondering what she has been doing since her 5-years with GH ended.
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Wonder no more.
There is a really good interview up on the Natalia Livingston website. Go there and click on updates. The latest update is an interview conducted by Jennifer, who runs Natalia’s site at www.natalia-livingston.com.
The entire interview is interesting.
But there was one portion that was particularly fascinating to me about the possibility of her return to GH.
I’m not going to spoil it for you.
Go to the Natalia board and listen for yourself.
And then let me know what you think.