Home Television Television Episode Blog ABC Cancels Both ALL MY CHILDREN & ONE LIFE TO LIVE
Written by USTownhall.com staff   
Thursday, 14 April 2011 20:06
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It's been rumored for quite some time that, in spite of persistent denials from ABC – even as late as last week – that their soap opera lineup was in jeopardy.  ABC airs three soaps daily, General Hospital (which began in 1963), One Life to Live (debuted in 1968), and All My Children (1970).  Ratings for all three soaps have been in the basement for years now with weekly ratings that barely reach 2.0.

Today, Thursday, April 14, 2011, ABC finally confirmed that they would be canceling both All My Children and One Life to Live within months.  Late last year, it was announced that the cable channel, SoapNet, which is owned by Disney and was devoted to airing same-day episodes of the ABC daytime soap lineup along with classic episodes of daytime and nighttime serials, would be abandoning that format and be completely changed to the new Disney Jr. channel, which will be aimed at pre-schoolers.  Soap fans tried not to fear the worst, but now it seems that this decision was simply a harbinger of things to come.

Soap opera ratings began a slow, but steady decline ever since the OJ Simpson trial pre-empted the serials on a regular basis back in the mid-1990s.  By the time the trial was over, many viewers had already made alternative viewing choices and simply did not come back.  Musical writing/production teams over the last fifteen years did not help matters as each team seemed to have been proven successively less popular with the remaining fans.

Soap operas are notoriously expensive to produce.  There can be as many as ten writers on staff along with two dozen actors under contract.  In early 2010, All My Children moved from its New York studio down the hall from the talk show The View to a larger studio in Los Angeles that would allow permanent sets to be built to save on crew costs.  In the smaller New York studio, crew members would have to come in each night after shooting and take down sets and put up the sets that would be used the next day.  However, even with this supposed cost savings, the LA production of All My Children was still reportedly running over budget.  One Life to Live has always been reported to be running under budget, but had been in perpetual danger the last few years as it often ranked last among the ABC soaps in the key demo of Women 18-49, which is what the advertisers pay for in daytime.  Although All My Children has ranked lower in that demo in recent weeks, it still wasn't enough to save One Life to Live.

According to the official ABC press release, reproduced below, All My Children will go off the air in September 2011 while One Life to Live will have until January 2012 to wrap up its storylines.  All My Children's timeslot will reportedly go to The Chew, a new cooking show, while One Life to Live will give way to The Revolution, a new lifestyle series featuring American Idol alum Kimberley Locke as one of the hosts.

Both serials were created by television legend Agnes Nixon.  We had the pleasure of conducting an in-person video interview with Ms. Nixon in October of 2009 where we spoke about her early career being mentored by the mother of the daytime serial Irna Phillips and how she came to create One Life to Live and All My Children for ABC.  You can watch the interview by clicking this link or by clicking on the thumbnail photo of Agnes Nixon at the bottom of this page.


Here is ABC's official press release regarding the cancellation of One Life to Live and All My Children.




Iconic Shows "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" Will Broadcast Their Final Episodes in September 2011 and January 2012, Respectively; Series Will Sunset in a Manner That Honors Viewers and the Shows' Creative Legacies

Guided by extensive research into what today's daytime viewers want and the changing viewing patterns of the audience, ABC is evolving the face of daytime television with the launch of two new shows, "The Chew," which will premiere in September 2011, and "The Revolution" (working title), which will premiere in January 2012. These new shows expand ABC Daytime's focus to include more programming that is informative and authentic and centers on transformation, food and lifestyle -- cornerstones of programming that resonates with daytime viewers as evidenced by the success of "The View."

As food has become the center of everyone's life, "The Chew" will focus on food from EVERY angle -- as a source of joy, health, family ritual, friendship, breaking news, dating, fitness, weight loss, travel adventures and life's moments. Produced by Gordon Elliot, the Emmy Award-winning executive producer of "Paula Deen's Home Cooking" and "Down Home with the Neelys," this new one-hour series combines entertaining takeaway with memorable personalities to create a live show where viewers get the dish on anything and everything related to the world of food and beyond. Whether it's new trends like food trucks and urban gardens or how pesticides in our food may affect our health, we can't stop talking about it. The hosts who will guide the hour include Mario Batali (Restaurateur, Food Network's "Iron Chef America" and author); entertaining expert Clinton Kelly (TLC's "What Not to Wear"); Carla Hall (Bravo's "Top Chef"); Michael Symon (Restaurateur and Food Network's "Iron Chef America"), and nutrition expert Daphne Oz, who simplifies often confusing information about food.

From Executive Producer JD Roth and 3 Ball Productions, producers of "The Biggest Loser," "Masterchef" and ABC's upcoming "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition," comes "The Revolution," a daily show about health and lifestyle transformations. The show is hosted by a team of experts and rotating guest contributors who help viewers transform all areas of their lives, from relationships to family, food, style, home design, finance and more. This dream team, led by fashion expert Tim Gunn, also includes celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak and American Idol alum Kimberley Locke. The show features a unique concept: each week one woman's five-month weight loss journey will unfold in just five days, with daily results and a final transformational reveal on Friday. "The Revolution" is a one-stop shop for better living.

"While we are excited about our new shows and the shift in our business, I can't help but recognize how bittersweet the change is," said Brian Frons, President, Daytime, Disney ABC/Television Group. "We are taking this bold step to expand our business because viewers are looking for different types of programming these days. They are telling us there is room for informative, authentic and fun shows that are relatable, offer a wide variety of opinions and focus on 'real life' takeaways. A perfect example of this is 'The View,' and that factored into our decision. 'The Chew' and 'The Revolution' are in the same vein and will be great additions to the lineup, with 'The View' serving as an ideal foundation from which to launch these programs. They will also provide enormous opportunity for the creation of ancillary businesses and growth."

"General Hospital," the second-most popular show in daytime, is not impacted by this announcement and will remain on the air.

To honor the core, passionate audience and their rich history with our soaps, "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" will conclude each series in a manner that respects their legacies and the longstanding hopes of many of their viewers.

"'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' are iconic pieces of television that have made an indelible mark on our culture's history," reflected Frons. "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."

None of this could have been possible without the extraordinary Agnes Nixon. "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," said Frons. "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."

"All My Children" has revolved around the lives of the residents of fictional Pine Valley, a town which closely resembles the Philadelphia Main Line. "All My Children" took home the 1998 Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, the third time the show received this top honor, having also garnered the award in 1994 and 1992. "All My Children" has received more than 30 Emmy Awards and consistently distinguishes itself in the field of daytime drama. The show has historically been committed to and is often the first to tackle social issues, focusing on such topics as AIDS, abortion, cochlear implants, teenage alcoholism, racial bias, acquaintance rape, spousal abuse, homosexuality, Reyes syndrome, Vietnam MIAs, drug abuse, the risks of motherhood over 40, safe sex, pet therapy and organ donations, among others. The show made television history airing daytime television's first same-sex kiss between two lesbian characters, as well as daytime television's first same sex wedding between two women. It was the first to chronicle the coming-out story of a transgender woman and to cast a real life Iraq War veteran whose story reflected his real life experiences and injuries incurred in combat.

"All My Children" premiered on the ABC Television Network on January 5, 1970, as a half-hour show; seven years later it expanded to an hour. Julie Hanan Carruthers is executive producer.

Also created by Agnes Nixon, Emmy Award-winning "One Live to Live" is set in the fictional town of Llanview, which is modeled on a Philadelphia suburb. "One Life to Live" debuted on The ABC Television Network July 15, 1968 as a half-hour show. Ten years later, it grew to a full hour in 1978.

"One Life to Live" has been lauded for its groundbreaking exploration of social issues, diverse canvas, award-winning performances and innovative storylines. Along with the history-making week of live shows in May 2002, "One Life to Live" is responsible for many "firsts" in Daytime television, including stories of interracial romance, illiteracy, medical misdiagnosis, racial prejudice, gang violence and teen pregnancy. The show received mass critical acclaim for its 1992 homophobia storyline, which captured national headlines when it introduced the character of a gay teen (played by then unknown Ryan Phillippe) and culminated with the emotional display of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. "One Life to Live" was honored by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) with the Outstanding Daytime Drama Award in 1993, and again in 2005 and 2010.

In 2002 the show won its first-ever Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series, and was nominated again in 2007 and 2008. Created by Agnes Nixon, "One Life to Live" debuted on July 15, 1968 and marked its 10,000th episode on August 17, 2007. Frank Valentini executive-produces.








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