ABC Uses False Advertising for AMC

ABC has run promos for All My Children (AMC) that are obviously false.  I initially thought I wouldn’t  post this on  blogs other than the one at Soap Central because it  involves a show with fewer viewers than live in  the 33rd most populous state, Arkansas.  However,  I realized that  a network that will lie in promos for one show  will likely lie in promos about other shows.

ABC  claimed that the program would  reveal the “real killer” of the character Stuart Chandler in the May 15 episode.  Judging from the shows that have appeared thus far this month,  AMC is not going to reveal the real killer.

Instead the head writer of AMC Charles “Chucky” Pratt Jr. has decided to name someone who could not possibly have committed the crime as presented in May.  He has in effect  rewritten the scene so that three characters who were pointing guns at the victim before the shooting just disappeared.

Viewers probably shouldn’t have been surprised  at this blatant disception.  AMC had promoted the May 15  episode as having a major character being killed.  Instead, the victim was a character who had been appearing only infrequently.

David Canary convincingly played both the major character Adam Chandler and his physically identical twin brother Stuart.  They were opposites in terms of personality.  Adam is a ruthless control freak who is usually seen wearing a coat and tie. Stuart was the “nicest guy in town” who was usually more casually dressed.

The writers initially made it appear that Adam had been killed,  but  the characters subsequently discovered that Stuart was the victim. Deception within a show is a acceptable dramatic device, but deception to get people to watch is a form of fraud.  Producers of a commercial product who used similar advertising might face criminal prosecution.

In the murder scene three people [one (Kendall Slater) outside and two (Zach Slater and David Hayward) inside] are shown pointing guns at the  man they  believe to be Adam Chandler but actually is his twin brother Stuart wearing his suit coat.   The inside lights have been turned off  by another character as part of another story line. Exterior lights appear to still be on and there is occasional lightning.

The camera doesn’t show the actually shooting, but a hole in a glass terrace door indicates the shot came from outside.  The murder weapon  is the revolver  held outside by Kendall, the mother of Zach’s child and occasionally his wife.

In the next episode,  Zach fires the murder weapon within the vicinity of a police officer and then surrenders when he realizes he cannot get away with the revolver.  Zach then confesses to the murder to the police chief      Zach owns the local casino with an occasional implication he could be a possible  “relative” of Tony Soprano. Police chief Jessie Hubbard subsequently reveals that fingerprints of both  Kendall and Zach are on the murder weapon.

Zach and Kendall wanted to kill Adam because they falsely believed that a faulty heart valve made by Adam’s company had caused the death of their infant son. They didn’t know a doctor had  revived the son after they have left for the Chandler mansion.

After the shooting  Kendall  is shown  fleeing the murder scene with long time friend and occasional lover Ryan  Lavery.   When they arrive at the hospital to check on Kendall’s son,  Kendall remarks to Ryan “I need to remember why we did this.[kill the man they believed to be Adam].”  Ryan replies, “you didn’t kill Adam, Zach did.”

Ryan’s  statement may indicate a conspiracy in which Zach has decided to take the fall for the crime to protect the mother of his child.   Both statements indicate knowledge of the crime that they could only have gained by  at least witnessing  it.

Sometime later Kendall confesses to the murder just before the DA plans to prosecute her.  Kendall and Zach subsequently remarried so they could not be compelled to testify against each other.

The recent portrayal of the murder has Adam Chandler standing outside where Kendall was and pointing the gun inside.  The writers want us to believe he shoots his twin under the delusion he is shooting himself.

There has been a suggestion that he was shooting at his reflection in the glass terrace door which would have made it impossible for him to have hit his brother who was off to the side and  out of that line of fire.   The limited lighting inside, from a fireplace, makes it unlikely he would have thought his brother was himself, although someone expecting to see Adam in the room might have falsely assumed the white “mane” of hair meant the man was Adam.

Considering that at least five people were looking for Adam at the time, it is virtually impossible for him to have been in that location without being seen.  If he had pointed the gun toward the inside, the two armed men inside would have seen him easily  and opened up on him knowing that they could have claimed to have fired in self defense.

If he had committed the crime how would Kendall and Ryan have known about it and how would Zach have obtained the murder weapon?  If Adam killed Stuart why weren’t his  fingerprints on the gun along with Zach’s and Kendall’s?

AMC has become an Alice in Wonderland type world  presided over by its own Mad Hatter, head writer  “Chucky” Pratt.    The writers  are apparently incapable of coming up with a new story line to replace the murder one, so they are artificially perpetuating the Stuart murder story line by changing what happened and deliberately lying by claiming they are now identifying the real killer.

Those of us who remember the murder episode know that the writers are lying about the possibility  of Adam Chandler being the “real killer”.  Unfortunately. those who didn’t see it or have forgotten what happened in the murder episode may be deceived by these claims  and watch the farce the program has become.  We cannot be sure that  AMC  won’t come back in another month or two and claim someone else is  the “real killer”

Incidentally. I am continuing to watch the program as an historian who is interested in the decline of network television.  If I had been a fan of the show I would have given up on it long ago due in part to the highly repetitive dialogue of some characters.

In the long run successful advertising depends upon the  credibility of the advertiser.  ABC as an advertiser no longer has any credibility.

A network that lies about what will happen on one show will lie about other shows.  It probably isn’t illegal for television networks to falsely advertise programs.  The only recourse for viewers is to ignore promos by networks that have been known to lie.

I wouldn’t watch any ABC program based on an ad on the network. For that matter, I wouldn’t attend, rent or buy a new Disney movie based on advertising because I don’t believe I can trust ABC Disney to tell the truth.

I wonder how  many people realize  that the “new” series “V” is actually a remake of an 80’s series of the same name. The new series may, or may not, be consistent with that series.

Broadcasters receive licenses based on serving the public interest.  A network that lies to attract viewers is not acting in the public interest. The FCC should consider revoking ABC’s license allowing it to own individual television stations.

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