In a surprise move ABC cancelled All My Children AND One Life to Live, two of its remaining three daytime soap operas.
Speculation has been rife over recent months over which of ABC’s daytime drama would face the axe. But the cancellation of both All My Children AND One Life to Live has met with enough shock to make the move primetime news.
ABC cites changing viewer preferences as the reason for the double soap opera cancellation, which will take the number of daytime dramas on air from six, to only four. In their heyday, (the 70’s and 80’s) there was at one time 19 daytime soap operas on the daily line-up. Most of those have gone by the wayside. Some long ago, but many have seen cancellation over the past few years, as “reality show” which are cheaper to produce have also been a viewer hit. The most recent soap opera cancellation was only last year as CBS soap As the World Turns left the airwaves.
All My Children will wrap up its 41 year run in September of this year. Susan Lucci, who portrays popular Pine Valley diva, Erica Kane, is quoted as saying “it’s been a fantastic journey.” Kelly Ripa who got her start on All My Children as a teenager echoes what a lot of All My Children and One Life to Live fans are surely thinking. “It’s like losing a member of your family” she told Hollywood Reporter .
One Life to Live fans fare a little better, in that the Llanview residents will be seen on air until January 2012, when it ends its 43 year run.
General Hospital now remains the last soap standing on ABC and joins NBC, with only one soap, Days of Our Lives, on the air. CBS rounds out the soap opera line-up with their two soaps, The Young and the Restless, and The Bold and the Beautiful. The Bold and the Beautiful is daytime’s only half hour soap opera.
Fans of AMC and OLTL are naturally saddened, and some angered by this announcement. Viewers of the remaining four daytime dramas no doubt commiserate, but in an economic climate where reality and talk TV (which is slated to replace the two soap operas in the ABC daytime line-up) are cheaper to make and most importantly attract eyeballs may soon find their own soaps victims of the same trend.
Daytime fans can only hope that their favorite actors from cancelled soap operas All My Children and One Live to Live find homes on one of the remaining four soap operas, and boost their ratings. Otherwise the daytime soap opera which so many of us have enjoyed is sure to become just a page in broadcast television history.
So if you want to keep your favorite daytime soap opera around don’t forget to check into Salem, Genoa City, or Port Charles every now and again. Otherwise, you too may be grieving the loss of your favorite soap opera families.
NY Daily News
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