ABC Daytime Cancels All My Children and One Life to Live

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ABC Soap Nation Two new "lifestyle-type" shows to replace iconic AMC and OLTL

It is a very, very sad day for soapdom, readers. The rumors have been rampant for months, yet everytime we contacted ABC Daytime, they assured us that rumors were all they were.  Soapdom couldn't help ponder, however, that old saying "where there's smoke there's fire," and there's been a lot of smoke lately in regard to the network canceling not one, but two of it's soap operas.

The ax fell today.  In a statement, Brian Frons, President, Daytime,. Disney ABC/Television Group said:  "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.  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."

Frons is referring to the "extensive research" that went into the decision to cancel All My Children and One Life to Live and replace them with two new shows:  

The Chew ("what a terrible name for a show," my husband said), a show that 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.

The Revolution (working title) will be a daily show about health and lifestyle transformations.  

Looks like cable TV is coming to Broadcast.  Nothing revolutionary about these programs in our opinion.  Just versions of what you can tune in to see on HGTV or the Food Network.  

Meanwhile, many, many actors, stage hands, producers, writers, reporters, photographers will be put out of work thanks to this move.  In the case of All My Children, it is especially egregious, as the network invested much in relocating the show to Los Angeles less than a year and a half ago, including actors and their families who had to make a new home for themselves in LA.

I have remained fairly mum on this issue over these months, as I was hoping against hope that ABC Daytime would not take this road.  My argument was that since the network owned its soaps (as opposed to CBS having to license its soaps from Procter & Gamble and Bell-Phillip Productions/Sony) it would stick with them.  Some say that precisely is what kept the ABC soaps on the air this long.  

But now the network is changing course, except for General Hospital which has escaped the chopping block and as the second most popular soap, will remain on the air -- at least for now. 

"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," ABC's press release 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," 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." 

Nice way to say, "thanks," right?  

"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 will broadcast its final episodes in September 2011. One Life to Live will broadcast its final episodes in January 2012.

Soapdom will be back with more on this breaking news. To the fans of AMC and OLTL, all we can say is that we are so very sorry to have to report this news.