Rumors have been circulating for weeks that ABC was considering shaking up their daytime schedule by possibly cancelling one of their soap operas. All My Children, the lowest-rated soap on the network, appeared to be the most obvious target but many involved with the series claimed that the series was safe.
ABC shocked longtime soap opera fans today by cancelling both All My Children and One Life to Live. This move will leave General Hospital, the eldest of the three, as the only remaining soap opera on ABC.
All My Children began in January of 1970 as a half-hour serial and became an hour-long daily in 1977. Created by the legendary Agnes Nixon, All My Children was taped in New York until 2009 when it moved to Los Angeles. Many, including show veteran Susan Lucci, associated with the soap had to decide if it was worthwhile to uproot their lives and move west. There have been more than 10,600 episodes produced so far and now All My Children is set to say farewell in September.
One Life to Live debuted on ABC in July of 1968. It began as a half-hour show, moved to 45 minute episodes in 1976, and then hour installments in 1978. Also created by Nixon, One Life to Live continues to be produced in New York. There have been more than 11,000 episodes of the venerable program and will go off the air in January 2012.
ABC insists that both programs will wrap up their storylines in a manner that will respect their legacies.
In a statement, Brian Frons, President of Daytime for Disney ABC/Television Group, said, “All My Children and One Life to Live are iconic pieces of television that have made an indelible mark on our culture’s history. Each of the shows has touched millions and millions of viewers and informed the social consciousness. It has been a privilege to work with the extraordinary teams who brought the residents of Pine Valley and Llanview to life each day, and we thank the cast, crew, producers and most especially the fans for their commitment to the shows through their history.”
He also noted, “More than 40 years ago, Agnes Nixon created both the worlds of All My Children and One Life to Live, worlds that the rest of us have been privileged to live in… Her shows led the way forward, breaking a lot of rules along the way to defy expectations about what soaps can do and the issues they can cover. I am honored to have worked with her.”
The beloved soap operas will be replaced by cheaper lifestyle programs. The Chew will focus on the world of food and The Revolution is a show that will revolve around health and lifestyle transformations. General Hospital, which has been on the air since 1963, will continue as the last remaining soap opera on ABC.
What do you think? Will you be sad to see these soap operas go? How long have you been watching? Which will you miss most?
Image courtesy ABC.