|Launched||January 20, 2000|
|Network||Disney-ABC Television Group|
|Owned by||The Walt Disney Company|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Slogan||The New Way to Watch Soaps|
|Formerly called||SoapNet (2000–02)|
ABC News Now
Live Well Network
|Dish Network||Channel 253|
|Available on some cable systems||Check Local Listings for channels|
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 365|
Soapnet (stylized as SOAPnet) is an American cable television channel that broadcasts current and past soap operas and prime time dramas. The channel launched on January 20, 2000, and is owned by Disney-ABC Television Group, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The channel does not have a high definition simulcast.
Soapnet was discontinued on some cable and satellite providers beginning on March 22, 2012, with Disney Junior replacing it in its channel space. Soapnet continues, however, for providers who have not yet made carriage agreements for Disney Junior (e.g. Dish Network) and for those providers who have kept Soapnet in their lineup and have taken on Disney Junior as an additional channel (e.g. DirecTV, etc).
By the time Soapnet first aired on January 20, 2000, the channel aired only current ABC soap operas in the evening and early morning, so that people who worked during the day could watch at their convenience; programming was inclusive, as the channel is owned by ABC. Soapnet has high cable coverage due to Disney's aggressive policy of pulling ABC-owned broadcast stations and the popular ESPN channels from cable companies if they wouldn't agree to carry Soapnet as well; this was the main reason for WABC-TV being pulled from Time Warner Cable's New York City system for two days in May 2000, when it was originally controlled by Time Warner.
When Soapnet was announced, there were plans by Sony Pictures Entertainment to launch a competing channel and website called SoapCity, which would air all of the CBS soap operas and NBC's Days of our Lives, a Sony-owned/produced show. The plans for the cable channel were abandoned early in 2000 after Sony failed to acquire cable carriage, though the website component remained.
Soapnet's inaugural lineup aired current soaps such as All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital, plus canceled daytime and nighttime soaps such as Port Charles, Falcon Crest, Knots Landing, The Colbys, Hotel, Sisters and Ryan's Hope.
As the years went on, Soapnet tried its hand at original programming, such as Soap Center and Soap Talk, the latter of which has been nominated for many Daytime Emmy Awards, most recently in 2006 for Best Talk Show Host(s). Soap Center, which debuted the same day in early 2000 as Soapnet, was initially hosted by former soap stars Brooke Alexander and David Forsyth, but a year later, they were replaced by Peggy Bunker discussing East Coast soaps and Tanika Ray discussing West Coast soaps. By 2003, Peggy was let go; soon after, the show ceased filming original material.
Other original series include 1 Day With, a half-hour of General Hospital star Wally Kurth interviewing soap actors; I Wanna Be a Soap Star, a recurring reality series which gives twelve young actors the opportunity to compete for a contract on a daytime soap; and Soapography, a 30-minute show profiling the lives and current shows of two different soap opera actors.
In 2002, Soapnet began airing reruns of Dynasty, and by 2003, the channel added highly requested programming, such as reruns of Another World and Dallas, replacing Falcon Crest, The Colbys, Hotel and Sisters. In 2004, Soapnet acquired same-day episodes of Days of our Lives, began airing reruns of Melrose Place that September, added Beverly Hills, 90210 the following January, and offered same-day episodes of The Young and the Restless beginning on April 24, 2006.
Ryan's Hope, which had not been seen since its 1989 cancellation, was shown from its 1975 debut through the late 1981 episodes. At this time, many viewers who did not have Soapnet at its inception petitioned for a rebroadcast of the show from the very beginning. In 2003, the channel aired the first episodes starting on St. Patrick's Day.
From time to time, the channel airs past episodes in thematic format, such as Daytime's Most Unforgettable Weddings, spotlighting the best episodes of popular couples on the ABC soaps. Other thematic blocks of episodes aired have included the "Sonnylicious!" marathon, showcasing the best of Maurice Benard in his role on General Hospital, and the "Tad the Cad" marathon, with classic episodes of All My Children from the 1980s, in which the character Tad Martin, played by Michael E. Knight, beds Liza Colby and then her mother, Marian, in quick succession.
This is usually limited to the series to which they have rebroadcast rights (ABC's lineup, Days of our Lives, and The Young and the Restless). However in a lead-up to the 33rd Daytime Emmy Awards, the channel showed episodes of soaps that showcased performances that garnered award-nominating attention — including those from Guiding Light and As the World Turns— a first for the channel. On Labor Day (September 3) 2007, an O.C. marathon called "Summer Spice" was aired showing Summer's metamorphoses throughout the series.
Since the channel is a subsidiary of the Walt Disney company, special deals have been made to broadcast events from the annual ABC Super Soap Weekend, which is held every November at Walt Disney World, and in the summer at Disney California Adventure Park. Lisa Rinna and Ty Treadway from Soap Talk have hosted question and answer sessions at the events, allowing fans to ask questions of their favorite soap stars.
In January 2005, the channel began to air the Fox dramas Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place, and in the spring of that year aired repeats of short-lived nighttime soaps The Monroes and Skin. In 2004, Soapnet reran a short-lived '80s soap called Paper Dolls, and in July 2005, it picked up the Fox primetime soap Pasadena, including nine episodes not aired during the show's initial run in the fall. In February 2006, SOAPnet begin to air the Channel 4/E4 soap opera Hollyoaks.
Some viewers complained about what they viewed as an overabundance of primetime programming, some of which (90210 and Melrose Place) had been out of original broadcast for only a few years and had been repeated on other networks. These fans also objected to the large amount of new episodes of the ABC lineup and Days of our Lives, and have repeatedly requested rebroadcast of old daytime soaps such as Loving , The Edge of Night, Santa Barbara, and Search for Tomorrow.
On March 16, 2006, Soapnet announced that it had finally acquired the rights to daytime ratings winner The Young and the Restless and began airing it in April — making it the first CBS network soap to air on the channel. Repeats of the current day's episode air at 7:00 pm Eastern/6:00 pm Central.
On February 7, 2007, Soapnet announced that it would be picking up the reruns of The O.C. and One Tree Hill. The syndication deal also gave Soapnet the ability to pick up a fifth season of One Tree Hill at the time if The CW chose not to renew the show. The show has since been continued on into the 2011–12 season on The CW for a ninth and final season.
In November 2007, Deborah Blackwell left her position as general manager; ABC Daytime president Brian Frons assumed her duties. In August 2008, it was revealed that Soapnet had lost the rights to air both Dallas and Melrose Place, and would discontinue airing the two shows in September.
In 2009, the channel started further expanding their acquired programming; it began airing Greg Behrendt's Wake Up Call, a program which was originally set to air on ABC in the 2006–07 season, but never found a place on their schedule. After airing the CBC Television series MVP (canceled by the CBC due to low ratings) in 2008, Soapnet also acquired the rights for the American broadcast beginning in February 2009 of the show Being Erica, which began in January on the CBC. According to the latest figures from Nielsen Media Research, the network is in 75,259,000 homes as of December 2010, representing a distribution gain of 4 million homes since May 2009.
Disney-ABC announced in 2010 that Soapnet would be closed and replaced with Disney Junior, which was the rebranding for the Playhouse Disney block on Disney Channel. Reasons for the closure of Soapnet are due to the network's low ratings, the cancellation of many soap operas, video on demand catalogs both via cable providers and Internet television providers such as ABC's Hulu, and digital video recorders reducing the need for a linear network devoted to the format. On July 28, 2011, soap industry sources listed the closing date as moving from January to a more non-specific late spring 2012 date, then later in 2011 to February. The definite closing date of March 22, 2012 was announced by Disney-ABC on January 9, 2012, with some systems retaining Soapnet until contracts for Disney Junior are finalized. Even though both Cablevision and Verizon FiOS have launched Disney Junior, both providers are still carrying Soapnet and it is uncertain when those providers will drop the channel. RCN is also currently still carrying Soapnet.
It was announced on March 1, 2012 that ABC Family would take over the network's operations after the dismantling of the ABC Daytime corporate structure under Brian Frons, who had resigned in December 2011. The current soap line-up of same day re-broadcasts of General Hospital and acquired programming Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless would be retained, with repeat ABC Family programming being added to the schedule, along with repeat rights to Veronica Mars. The deal also announced that Soapnet would be continued to be carried as the transition takes full order. Soapnet discontinued the channel on some cable and satellite providers beginning on March 22, 2012, including Comcast. with Disney Junior replacing it in its channel space. Soapnet continues, however, for providers who have not yet made carriage agreements for Disney Junior, and for those providers who have kept Soapnet in their lineup and have taken on Disney Junior as an additional channel. It is unclear if/when Soapnet will entirely disappear. Even with the announcement that Soapnet would shut down, the network purchased and added a new show to its schedule, Veronica Mars, on March 1, 2012; less than a month from the date that Soapnet started to be dropped by some cable providers in favor of Disney Junior.
Soapnet continues to air on some cable / satellite providers beyond March 23, 2012. On January 15, 2013, AT&T U-verse came to terms with Disney on a new wide-ranging multiple year carriage agreement for all Disney, ESPN and ABC Networks, which includes the addition of Disney Junior.
As of 2012, the schedule appears to be fully automated, as SOAPnet currently airs only 11 shows for its final years.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2013)|
Repeats of current soap operas make up the majority of Soapnet's daily schedule, the channel usually airs three daily airings of the five network soaps it presently carries (the previous weekday's broadcasts airing weekday mornings from 6:00 am Eastern/5:00 am Central to 11:00 am Eastern/10:00 am Central, along with two same-day evening airings with one block from 6:00 pm Eastern/5:00 pm Central to 11:00 pm Eastern/10:00 pm Central and a repeat of the earlier block from 12:00 am ET to 5:00 am ET). On March 22, 2012it will repeat programs only (from 12:00 am Eastern/11:00 pm Central to 11:59 pm Eastern/10:59 pm Central).
Daily reruns of All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital aired on the channel in the same order in which they aired on ABC, with All My Children airing first, followed by One Life to Live and General Hospital. All My Children had the most airings on the channel airing four times each weekday, one in the morning and three at night. Rebroadcasts of each soap's episodes for the entire week aired each Saturday and Sunday during the late afternoon and nighttime hours; As of 2012, the network as aired the past week's episodes of Days of our Lives as the channel airs it in the Sunday primetime hours.
Due to it being owned by The Walt Disney Company, which also owns ABC, Soapnet cross-promoted All My Children and One Life to Live using the tagline "weekdays on ABC and weeknights on SOAPnet" when both shows were on the air on ABC. The same slogan continued to be used in the promos of General Hospital until the week of April 30, 2012The Young and the Restless and Days of our Lives airing on their respective daytime networks (CBS and NBC) are not included in the channel's promos, instead only advertising their airings on Soapnet.(inclusively). After an hiatus of three months, the "weekdays on ABC and weeknights on SOAPnet" slogan was revived on August 2012 , but only for the General Hospital promos on Soapnet (the slogan has not been brought back for the General Hospital promos on ABC). References to
The channel airs primetime drama series such as One Tree Hill, Gilmore Girls and Beverly Hills, 90210 each weekday during the late morning and afternoon hours, and between 6:00 am Eastern/5:00 am Central and 3:00 pm Eastern/2:00 pm Central on weekends with the weekend block being branded "Breakfast in Bed".
Original dramatic programming 
The network only aired one dramatic series commissioned exclusively for the network, a prime-time spin-off of General Hospital entitled General Hospital: Night Shift, which aired for two seasons from July 2007 to October 2008.
In late 2008, the network made a deal with Sony Pictures Television to air a package of recent films from their library and some archived content during weekend evenings, along with several 20th Century Fox films and some in ABC and ABC Family's telefilm archive appropriate for the network's viewership. The network discontinued airing films on April 30, 2011 as the network's operations began to wind down, with much of its film library migrating to LMN, which is partially owned by Disney through A+E Networks.
See also 
- Hoovers.com address and telephone number for Soapnet headquarters in Burbank, California at the Walt Disney Studios
- Schneider, Michael (January 9, 2012). "Disney Junior to replace Soapnet in March". TV Guide. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
- Villarreal, Yvonne. "Show Tracker: What You're Watching — Disney Junior 24/7 channel launches Friday." Los Angeles Times Blog 22 March 2012. Web. 19 April 2012.
- Entertainment ABC to return to Time Warner Cable CNN, May 3, 2000
- "O.C", "Tree" Head to Soapnet, Variety.com, February 7, 2007
- Preschool programs replace Soapnet, New York Times, May 27, 2010
- Soapnet will go dark to make way for Disney Junior, Entertainment Weekly, May 26, 2010
- Soapnet to stay on the air longer into the New Year!, Michael Fairman Soaps, July 28, 2011
- "Update on Soapnet". ABC Soaps In Depth. March 1, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
- Gerds, Warren. "Warren Gerds column: Network specials take on Titanic for anniversary." Green Bay Press Gazette 02 April 2012. Web. 19 April 2012.
- Farrell, Mike (January 15, 2013). "Disney Strikes U-Verse Carriage Deal". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
- "Breaking News - Soapnet Acquires a Package of 19 Movies from Sony Pictures Television, Inc. for its Sunday Night Movies Franchise". The Futon Critic. December 15, 2008.