Sorry soap fans, there’s no help coming from Oprah Winfrey. The daytime host and mogul has announced that she and her cable channel aren’t going to be able to save All My Children and One Life to Live from being cancelled.
From her offices, Winfrey taped a video message to fans who’ve been asking her to rescue the two ABC soaps for her cable channel, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. She said:
“I would like to say, ‘Thank you’ to everybody who has been responding, bombarding our message board really, with your requests for me, for OWN, to take on the soaps. I understand. Being a fan of All My Children growing up, watching The Young and the Restless and other soaps, knowing what it feels like to have a show that you love go off the air. I understand. I understand the loyalty. I understand the sense of disappointment. I felt this way when Mary Tyler Moore went off the air, I must say.”
“And, I appreciate that you all think I could save the soaps, but here is the bone marrow truth: The soaps have been an institution in broadcast history and television because they have had the support of the audience. When I first started doing my show, All My Children and General Hospital were getting double digit ratings. As the years have passed, those double digits have become single digits and [lower] single digits until now, many soaps are not getting even a full digit number because there just are not enough people who are at home in the daytime to watch them and because of that they are going off the air.”
“Believe me, if there was if there was a dime left to be made from them on broadcast television it would still be happening.”
“And so, because all good things come to an end, all things have their time, as do the soaps, as does The Oprah Winfrey Show, I will not be taking on the responsibility of trying to revive an institution that for all intent and all purpose indicates that that time has come for it to be over. So, thank you for believing that I could save them, but I really can’t.”
What do you think? Do you think there’s still a place for soap operas on television or do you agree with Winfrey that their time is over?