No. Way. Venerable daytime serials All My Children and One Life to Live are going to the great cancellation bin in the sky. (Or perhaps down to the lost undergound city of Eterna that existed under Llanview for a while in the '80s?)
It's true, folks, after a combined 86 years and 20,000-plus episodes on the air, ABC is shutting down AMC and OLTL. The soaps will be replaced with new April Fool's jokes series The Chew (about food) and The Revolution (about healthy living).
So what's the drop-dead date for these two beloved living fossils?
Rumors of AMC's and OLTL's demise have been circulating for weeks; a rep for ABC Daytime claimed on April 1, "These are just rumors that you are hearing. I am sorry to hear that they're escalating." The hammer finally came down this morning, as part of ABC's new daytime strategy. The Alphabet looks to ditch long-in-the-tooth early-afternoon soaps for the same style of talky programming that airs before noon and late in the day before evening news programs on most local channels.
ABC's only remaining daytime drama is General Hospital, which premiered eight months before the Kennedy assassination, back in ye olde 1963.
All My Children, which launched in 1970 and airs weekdays at 1 p.m. on ABC, is about the convoluted adventures of families in the fictional town of Pine Valley, Pa., especially the exploits of storied original castmember Erica Kane (Susan Lucci). In response to the news of the cancellation, 21-time Daytime Emmy nominee Lucci released a statement saying, "It's been a fantastic journey. I've loved playing Erica Kane and working with [series creator] Agnes Nixon and all the incredible people involved with All My Children. I'm looking forward to all kinds of new and exciting opportunities."
Similarly, One Life to Live, which launched in 1968 and airs weekdays at 2 p.m. on ABC, is set in neighboring fictional Llanview, Pa. OLTL centers around the world of Victoria "Viki" Lord Burke Riley Buchanan Carpenter Davidson Banks, as played by Erika Slezak since 1971.
Acting careers launched by All My Children including Josh Duhamel, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kelly Ripa, Mischa Barton and Amanda Seyfried; notable alums of One Life to Live include Laurence Fishburne, Tommy Lee Jones, Hayden Panettiere, Phylicia Rashad, Nathan Fillion, Marcia Cross, Judith Light, Ryan Phillippe, Blair Underwood and Brandon Routh.
The final episode of All My Children will air this September, and the final episode of One Life to Live will air January 2012.
Thoughts? What did these soaps mean to you guys?