The number of remaining TV soaps has just declined from six to four with the cancellation of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live". The daytime programs that used to hook tens of millions of women are losing their fans as the audience's interest have shifted with the availability of internet, cable TV and other social medias.
ABC ends the soap operas with the hope that two lifestyle shows that they have prepared as a replacement, "The Chew" and "The Revolution", would garner bigger rating at lower production cost. "All My Children" was already moved from L.A. to N.Y. to save some money but the rating continued to go down about 25% this season.
"You can't cut costs enough to make up for those losses," Brian Frons, president of daytime programming for the Disney ABC Television Group said in a statement. "There comes a point when you can no longer justify the expense." He added, "Soap operas are an expensive way to program a network and unless you have 'General Hospital'- or 'The Young and the Restless' -sized ratings, it's really not a business."
The double cancellations have drawn disappointed reactions. WGA East said, "The WGAE is deeply disappointed by ABC's announcement that both 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' will cease production. These groundbreaking shows have provided entertainment and enlightenment to millions of viewers, and have provided good employment to dozens of talented, dedicated writers. We urge the company to reconsider."
Directors Guild of America (DGA) said, "This is a very sad and frustrating day for daytime dramatic television and our members who work on these productions. DGA members are employed on daytime serials as directors, associate directors, stage managers and production associates. The cancellation of these two long-running shows will affect dozens of our members, most of whom have worked on these shows for decades. With the cancellation of 'One Life to Live', there aren't any more daytime dramas left in New York - once the home of this beloved programming."
Susan Lucci who has been on "All My Children" for more than three decades said, "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."
The soaps which are still 'hanging there' are "General Hospital" on ABC, "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful," both on CBS, and "Days of Our Lives" on NBC.