Say It Ain't Soap: ABC Cancels 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live'
Are soap operas as we know it an endangered species? After today, it sure as hell seems so.
ABC announced this afternoon that it will be cancelling two of the longest-running soaps in TV history. "All My Children" will be going off the air in September and "One Life to Live" will close the shutters in January. As NPR points out, that leaves only General Hospital, Days of our Lives, The Young and the Restless, and The Bold and the Beautiful remaining on the air.
The decision to shutter the shows based on declining ratings was made in one fell swoop in a press release that came off as a...well...a little douchey.
"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," Brian Frons, ABC's daytime department president said in a press release.
"Real life' takeaways" apparently refers to the network's attempt to move into the foodie TV space and approximate the success of "The View.".
The network will be launching a new Mario Battali-hosted show called "The Chew" (Get it? It's like 'The View' but for food?) as a replacement. The show will also feature the most annoying "Top Chef" contestant of all time, Carla Hall. Tim Gunn will apparently helm the other replacement, as a lifestyle makeover artist in a show called "The Revolution." This apparently means that "The Revolution" will, in fact, be televised.
While we love Battali, who unlike many TV chefs is an actual honest to god culinarian (as opposed to simply a TV personality), and ""Project Runway" star Gunn is defintiely entertaining, we have to wonder about the wisdom of completely axing shows that have been on the air for over a combined 80 years and have a rather rabid built-in audience.
Is there no way to salvage the long-running shows, with fans who practically invented the much sought-after idea of appointment TV? According to ABC, not so much.
Susan Lucci, the queen of the soaps, released a statement saying:
"It's been a fantastic journey. I loved playing Erica Kane and working with [show 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."
"All My Children" has been on the air since 1970, and "One Life to Live" premiered in 1968.
RIP, soaps. RIP.