I’m sure you heard me whine once or twice this past week about All My Children being canceled. The finale was on Friday & I had heard via soap spoiler websites that Agnes Nixon, the creator, was going to give fans the gift of wrapping up all the lose end story lines in the finale. I was stoked.
The show started off ok, they had managed to bring a few of my favorite killed off characters back from the dead over the last few weeks so it was nice watching them but about 40 minutes in to the finale I started to get a twinge of panic because nothing had really happened yet. 50 minutes in & I was really starting to freak out, this is the last episode of a show I’ve been watching since I was in utero & it was starting to look like the finale was going to be an even bigger let-down than LOST. Six minutes later my fear became a reality, the show slugged along the entire episode without answering a single question & then ended suddenly with a gunshot in a room that was filled with every single character.
I started doing some digging & it didn’t take long to find interview after interview of scorned AMC actors speaking out about how unhappy they were with the ending. Rebecca Budig (Greenlee) even went as far as to point out that there were several scenes filmed with Josh Duhamel that were meant for the final episode but would never see the light of day because of the rewritten finale.
Wait, rewrite? What??
More searching & I found my answer. As Agnes had promised, a finale was written giving AMC fans everything which they had hoped. Surprise guests, reignited past loves & most importantly answers. (Who was that secret patient under the suspicious white sheet anyway???) Many of the scenes had even been already filmed when a few business meetings behind closed doors led to a change of events. It appears that when ABC sold the show to Prospect Park, who planned on continuing the series via webisodes, it was contingent on AMC re-writing the finale to be a complete cliffhanger. It’s probably safe to assume that was with the hopes that fans would be so desperate to see what happens next they’d transition into watching the series online. I wonder if Prospect Park or ABC ever considered that viewers might not continue to watch if they were completely & utterly PISSED OFF.
It often seems that big businesses no longer think of their audience or clients as people but rather just another dollar sign in the budget.
Another great example of this is Netflix. The mega movie giant is expected to lose 1,000’s of subscribers, their stock is down significantly and they’ve had to lower their yearly expectations by millions after they raised rates by over 60% AND decided that now you would have to subscribe to two separate plans to watch DVD’s streaming online & receive them in the mail. This company had a huge following of dedicated fans & instead of just being grateful for their success & continuing to give their customers what they wanted they got greedy. They saw profit instead of people. It’s even stoked a new motto, “if it’s not broke, don’t netflix it.”
So where does that leave me? Yes, I can complain to you about being disrespected & treated as just another number & yes, I can vow to never watch “The Chew” which is taking AMC’s place on ABC. (I may or may not have a DIY Mario Batoli voodoo doll tutorial coming up, orange crocs & all) but what would probably make the biggest impact is if I can take a lesson away from it & apply it to my own life. As a blogger I need to remember that my readers are just that, people who are reading my website. Not “uniques”, not a stat, not even a notch on the “follower” scale. It’s an actual person who is willing to give a small amount of their day to read my blog. On top of that, even though big businesses don’t seem to know this, that person is most likely not a complete idiot. People know when they’re being bamboozled. They know when something is a sales pitch & not genuine. Perhaps giant companies like ABC will never have make that connection & that’s a shame. If nothing else, it was a reality check for me.
I’m curious, am I the only one who feels this way or have you been run over by the big guy?