ABC Daytime Presents Encore Episodes Wednesday, 1-19-11

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Michael E. Knight, Susan Lucci (c) ABCIn another treat for fans, ABC Daytime is airing encore episodes on Wednesday, January 19, 2011. There's even a theme to the programming -- "Daytime's Sexiest Men." Oh la la!

In the past, ABC aired encore episodes on holidays, but as of late last year, they have taken to airing them out of the blue just for fun, and maybe even for a little profit.

Airing a repeat means they don't have to write and produce a brand new episode, and that's a definite cost savings. Some reports indicate that the network told the Daytime division to cut 10% out of it's annual budget. Eliminating a few shows per soap per year is a way to do that. There are also reports that the Writer's Guild took exception to this, but I find that hard to believe. Daytime is the only medium where writers get to write about 260 episodes a year. Primetime drama they are lucky if they get a full season of 22 episodes.

I always used to say that daytime programming was amazing. It aired a new program five days a week, 52 weeks a year, with rarely a re-run and hardly a pre-emption. Airing an encore episode of a fun, fan favorite show from the past, not only makes good dollars and sense in this current economy where soap operas are dropping like flies, but it rekindles storylines from the past that could have an impact on the show's storyline in the future.

When I first launched a soap opera site, in 1999, there were 11 daytime dramas on the air. Now there are six. If ABC can save its entire lineup by running an encore show a few times a year, then I say more power to them! Are you with me?

Not to mention, you're about to catch a few of some very cool episodes. On All My Children you will see the Fan February episode from 2003 where fans wrote in their choices for scenes and stories and ABC produced what the fans wanted. On All My Children, fans wanted Tad to marry Erica and he does that in this encore presentation. But not before the cad in him beds just about every other femme in town.

On One Life to Live, the episode hails from 2006 and highlights four of Llanview's hottest guys -- Todd, John, Rex and Cristian. Todd and John must put their differences aside to save their lives and bring their plane to a safe landing after their pilot is shot and passes out. Cristian prepares for a boxing match. You've got to love that six pack. Rex flirts with Adrianna -- remember that love story?

Then, on General Hospital, in an episode that originally aired almost 16 tears ago back in 1996, Sonny plans to leave Lily (remember her?) for Brenda! Plus, Jason and Robin get passionate, but it turns out that Jason takes someone else to bed!

So, ABC soap fans, be sure to tune in for these trips down memory lane on Wednesday, January 19th. Set your DVRs and catch All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital on KABC TV in Los Angeles.