Will a cable net rescue the canceled ABC soaps? (Sound: crickets)


Image Credit: Rick Rowell/ABC/Getty Images

There’s nothing more satisfying than when another network comes to the rescue of a show that gets the ax (Southland fans can never thank you enough, TNT. Same to you, BET, for giving the love to The Game). So it’s no wonder that heartsick fans of All My Children and One Life to Life are holding out hope that some network — any network — will give their beloved soaps a second lease on life now that ABC has dropped them.

Sadly, the economics are far different for the daytime sudsers. Though an insider acknowledged that ABC-Disney would certainly field offers for the 41-year-old AMC and/or the 43-year-old One Life to Live, it’s unlikely that any cable network would have the cash to make it work. The Oprah Winfrey Network is out (no matter how much it could use a headline-grabbing stunt like this to boost its ratings). And its doubtful any other female-friendly web could pony up the cash to keep Susan Lucci on the payroll. After all, Guiding Light and As the World Turns weren’t able to find new homes despite the fervent hopes of Telenext, which produced both soaps. Perhaps fans should redirect their efforts to finding a new destination for Erica Kane. (Are you reading this, 30 Rock?)

Ironically, AMC and OLTL creator Agnes Nixon thought the CBS shows could have been saved when she was out in Los Angeles last year to promote the 40th anniversary of her ABC sudser in 2010. “I just thought it wasn’t necessary,.” she told EW at the time. “If someone had a little more intelligence or understanding of the craft and the medium, it could have been saved.” When asked if she thought AMC and OLTL would stay off the chopping block, Nixon was predictably upbeat. “It’s a great vote of confidence that the network moved All My Children out here. They’ve moved One Life into a studio [in NY] and that’s much bigger for them than the one they had. They are really some great people there. …As long as people work hard and don’t take it for granted… If they keep telling a good story, I think they’ll be alright.”

That said, Nixon also predicted that there will be fewer soaps within a year — not realizing that two of the soon-to-be-cancelled shows would be her own.

ABC daytime chief: `I never thought I’d be the guy to take two of the shows off’
Do canceled soap stars have another life to live?
Susan Lucci reacts to ‘All My Children’ cancellation

Comments (218 total) Add your comment
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  • glenda henry


    • Alan

      Why are you mad, or why were they cancelled? Grammer, lady! Grammer.

      • Howfunny

        Hey Alan!
        It is so hilarious how you corrected someone else’s “grammer”, when you can’t even spell the word GRAMMAR! LOL
        Ummm….may that be a lesson to you. Duh.

      • Alan

        Touche! I have learned a valuable life lesson. I made that mistake because I had an erotic dream about Kelsey Grammer last night and he was on my mind.

      • sandi

        give me a break – grammar?? You know fricken what the writer meant…..

      • jo

        Thanks Mom!

      • Pat

        Spelling, Alan, spelling! The word is “grammar.” Lmao.

      • Adam Foster

        Alan got his Grammar Police badge out of the gum ball machine in front of Wal-Mart.

      • AcaseofGeo

        Alan’s misspelled message has a great point. Actually, he should’ve railed for CLARITY, NOT grammar. The first poster doesn’t make it clear what they are mad about: The cancellation? The unlikelihood that due to economics of the situation that no other network will pick them up? On the other hand, the original post wasn’t really substantive enough to elicit or deserve any kind of response at all.

      • cubrave

        Calm down, AcaseofGeo. No one cares any more. Are you always this anal?

      • Sarah

        AcaseofGeo is also Alan. Pretty obvious. Hahahahaha.

      • AJ

        Did you mean ‘grammar’? If so, thanks for the laugh.

    • Phishkiss

      U mad bro?

      • mary q contrary

        U reddit, bro?

    • Katy M

      I’m pretty sure you can at least catch episodes on-demand using the TVDevo website. They carry a lot of TV shows from everywhere and its all streamed online.

      • Gail B

        I watch TV with the TVDEVO website too and it gets my thumbs up vote!

    • Thomas

      Send ABC a protest email, and also mail them a letter to: ABC Daytime, 320 66th Ave, New Yrik, NY 10023..Overflow their mailroom , if people can overthrow gvts, they can oust this idiot from ABC…

      • Thomas

        York not Yrik, hey im using a black keyboard, thats my excuse lol

    • Flip

      DirecTV saved Passions in 2007. I am going on the record that Passions is the last soap to be saved/given a reprieve from cancellation.

      • Yeah right

        and where is PASSIONS today? Not on air… bahahahahaha…

    • Ann

      Can’t tell you how many of my friends, young and old, think it is a shame to kill a soap that so many people still watch. Everyone that i have talked to say, : We don’t need another food show???” After Michelle OBama tells everyone we need to eat less?? Who really is going to watch this show?? Does any body really care how many retired people watched these shows that are being taken off the air??? Thanks alot ABC!!!

      • Stacey

        Hi Ann

        I am so sad that the soaps are off i am going to boycott the new shows this is so souped we don’t need another cooking and decorating show bring all my children and one life to live back. us soap watchers we need to stick together don’t watch the now stuff. i gees i will start watching another channel soaps like The Yong and the resales. I’m not happy about this at all please ABC bring them back thank you Stacey

  • Ashley

    I am not too into AMC but OLTL…..I just started really getting into this show and now they are cancelling it, that is not fair. They could keep OLTL on air because that is a great soap…

    • markus

      do you know how many NEW viewers OLTL has been picking up!? You’re one of many. This just stinks.

    • carol

      i’m furious I have been an avid viewer of both of these programs for more than 30 years I never miss an episode so hoping that another network will pick them up,

      • bouch

        Sorry, but cancelled soaps do not get picked up by other networks.

      • Buzz

        not when they are wholly owned by another network , like these two are , ABC-Disney. If they had been really smart they would have mad e a theme park ride /location for their soaps …Llanville and Pine Valley would have fit in nicely in Disneyland/world if you ask me !
        B&B is owned by the Bell family ( i think) so even if cbs cancels them it could be shown in syndication … not to mention that it is extremely popular outside of the US, in Europe. If only theBell family would adopt these shows ,,,,

  • John Berggren

    It’s too bad SoapNet never took off like SciFi or other networks that are now branching into original programming. Institutional programming like this deserves a better fate.

  • Ms. M

    I don’t think that soaps could be brought over to cable in their current form (too many stars, too expensive). But cable could have their own soaps if they slimmed the casts down (12 or less, perhaps) and started from scratch or bought the right to an old soap title – Guiding Light, perhaps – and rebooted the story. Showing soaps in the early evening when women could watch them would be great as well.

    • JLAJRC

      I think another idea would be to reduce the amount of episodes. Does it really need to be on 5 days a week? How about just 2 or 3 times a week?

      • Ms. M

        That would certainly be helpful as well. Two soaps could share the same time that way.

      • Kelly

        Your missing the point. The network will make a lot more money from dumping these shows and replacing them with other ones. It’s all about the bottom line. The networks could care less about whatever loyal following those soaps have.

      • Bobby

        It would be much cheaper for them to cancel the shows and put on some reality show where people hit each other with sticks. On the other hand, film Susan Lucci being hit with sticks and you have a ratings topper!

      • halo

        Sorry, but your statement is factually inaccurate.
        ABC will care:
        1. The will not be able to charge the same for ad’s running in these new time slots
        2. Guaranteed viewership of 2/3 million vs gambling on new shows
        3. What happens when the first of these two is either cancelled OR underperforming in the same time slot.

        No offense, but ABC will care when they are averaging LESS viewers (and the demo won’t matter) than what they had before.
        It is all about ad money. And if the news shows do not perform well out of the game, Mr Frons will be looking for a new job. IMHO

      • WVL

        Kelly’s statement seems totally accurate to me. All he/she said was that ABC will make more money and that they don’t care about the loyal following of the two soaps. Obviously, ABC has crunched all the numbers carefully. Do you think they’d dump two soaps long-running soaps for some other shows if they weren’t sure they’d make more money? Don’t be stupid. And one of the most important points, which you stupidly failed to mention, is the enormous cost to produce a soap opera vs. the type of shows they want to replace them with. That in itself is reason enough to dump the soaps. The cost just to pay the large number of actors is through the roof. The new shows will have a “cast” of a few people, at most. The funniest part of your idiotic comment is that your summary is exactly the same as Kelly’s. Kelly said “It’s all about the bottom line” and you said “It is all about add money.” Uh, same thing… duh!

      • WVL

        my comment was @halo

      • reidross

        Halo, you’re the one who needs to get their facts straight.

        Among all soap operas on television, AMC is in dead last in every major catergory: Total Viewers, Households, Women 18-49 Viewers, and Women 18-49 Rating! And they have been for a long time. And in the past four weeks, their numbers have been the lowest ever in the show’s history.

        OLTL is in 3rd or 4th in all those categories. It and Days of Our Lives are the only soaps that have GAINED viewers from the same time last year. However, Young & the Restless (CBS) has gotten about twice the number of viewers for many years and remains the #1 soap, by far.

        Every media business analyst has said that ABC will definitely make more money by cancelling the two shows and replacing them with two other shows.

        ABC is fully aware that all of the two soaps’ loyal viewers would be pissed off about them being cancelled. But they made the decision to do it anyway. Why? Think about it. Hint: $$$

  • missi

    Somebody please pick these shows up! I hate this!! Roger Howarth is coming back as Todd, we gotta save them!!

    • karen

      I’m with you on that one, I hope he’s still coming back..

    • Chelsea

      I agree. They finally bring RH back and NOW they decide to cancel? So unfair.

      • Blake

        They brought back Roger Howarth because the show is being cancelled. They knew it was going to be cancelled because they have been trying to find replacement shows for at least a year.
        Bringing back Roger was like bringing back Grant Alexander as Phillip on Guiding Light, to satisfy the fans for the end, like they did by bringing back other favorites before it ended.

  • Sarita

    How could they do this Abc is stupid. That’s the maIn reason they get so many rating is from oltl and Amc I hate them for this. I will never watch ABC again. They lost my rating

    • Kelly

      WHAT’S the main reason?? And I’m sure they’ll be very sad to lose your “rating” – whatever that means.

    • Deborah

      I read about the stuff they are replacing these two shows with. Lost my support. Life is too full of reality the fiction of daytime soaps is a pleasant break from reality.

  • Jenny Jones

    I’m no “soap” expert, so those who watch a lot, don’t get mad at this opinion. But maybe a lot of people don’t want to watch soaps because they aren’t an “escape” any more? The plots used to be SO over the top (at least when I was in high school) that they were a ridiculous break from any problems you might be having. But now you hear about these CRAZY problems every day on the news: Kidnapped kid shows up 18 years later, had a family with her kidnappers; man has two wives and she finds out about the other family because of Facebook; dastardly cad sleeps with all the women in one family, etc etc. I think the regular news is a soap opera every day.

  • Annette

    I am so very upset about this turn of events. ABC is making decisions without regard to what the viewers want and enjoy. I have been watching All my Children for 36 years. I feel a great loss. I will not watch ABC for anything else. IT might as well be off the air.

    • Pipan

      Uh, obviously they’ve done lots of research about this and crunched the numbers. They wouldn’t dump one show for another unless they were sure they’d get more viewers and make more money. Duh.

      • MsM

        And obviously, no business in America has ever made a mistake in their predictions, right? I mean, every single study a network does is 100% guaranteed? ABC is run by morons, and they have no idea just how ticked off soap fans are. We are tuning out ABC daytime and primetime. Their ratings are falling across the board, and their advertising revenue won’t be far behind.

    • Pipan

      But I do understand you being very upset about his decision since you’ve been watching the show for 36 years. It’s just that TV networks are all about making as much money as possible.

    • Kate

      It’s not because of the ratings…. The president of ABC daytime has admitted he’s planned on canceling all the soaps for a long time. He also doesn’t like the fact that we don’t agree with all his choices, and stated once that we had to be ‘trained’ to like what he was putting in the shows…

    • Cheri

      guess abc just lost a viewer because I have been watching both shows since they started and enjoy them, guess I will start watching more movies on cable. AMC & OLTL are the only thing I watch on ABC. I think reality shows are lame so good bye ABC


    there are enough food and allo this other stuff. There are a lot of us who look forward to these soaps and have watched them for years. I will not wtch ABC other than General Hospital. You people need to look at this as a loss of views.

  • valerie


    • WiseMocha

      Unfortunately, Soapnet is also owned by Disney ABC, and it was announced last year that they were pulling the network off the air in 2012. It is suppose to be replaced by a new channel called Disney Jr.

      • Christie

        Really? I HATE ABC!!!!!

      • lach61

        To Whom It May Concern:

        There are too many Disney shows on cable/satellite and the original 3 networks, already. Why do we need another Disney channel?

        I do not see one reason why soapnet should be cancelled. I, too, watch the soaps at night–because I have started working during the day, recently. ABC made a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE mistake when they cancelled AMC (All My Children) & OLTL (One Life To Live). I will NOT watch the shows that are now in their timeslots ever. Somebody needs to find AMC & OLTL permanent homes, so they can continue on. I have watched AMC since it came on. OLTL–I’ve watched off and on since high school. It’s not fair to the actors or to the viewers! I am not a reality show person. I don’t need to watch what others are going thru when I have to go thru the same situations or similar ones. I just read where Brian Frons is stepping down. It’s about time! I also just heard that Prospect Park will not be picking up AMC or OLTL. So, if no station picks them up, this is the end of the soaps.

        Take care,

        Laura Haven
        Cincinnati, OH

  • Melissa

    I love my soaps! This is the third year in a row that I have lost a soap. First guiding light then as the world turns now all my children and one life to live…UGH

    • Venus Smith

      Soaps in ABC channel is so stunning. All of their shows and soaps is really quality and I admire this channel for all of their soaps.

  • Elizabeth Grochulski

    I sure hope so!

  • pam sessums

    I cannot believe this is happening. These shows are such an escape. I grew up with these people. With all the other crap on TV, this is what they decide to cut. Really. And, just how many food shows do we need. Enough is enough. I am really mad about thisl.

  • Nancy

    I think it would be great if someone else could pick them up even twice a week in the evenings.

    I can’t help but notice in all the comments on these articles that many people tape their soaps, DVR them or watch them on SoapNet. I don’t think it’s a lack of viewers, just a lack that can watch them when originally aired. I know I love soaps because I got hooked when young and home in the afternoons and now I just can’t watch them ‘live.’

  • Laura

    I haven’t missed an episode of AMC & OLTL my entire adult life. It’s the ‘never ending story’ I can’t imagine writing an ending. I bet each viewer would pay a buck or two out of pocket to keep the soaps in production.

    • Pat

      A buck or two from each viewer. You people are hilarious sometimes.

      • parmly

        @Laura, i have to agree with Pat for sure. That was one of the dumbest comments I’ve seen on here. Do you actually believe that every viewer of the soaps would pay to keep these soaps on? And do you actucally believe that a dollar or two will make any difference? Wow, you’re really naive. And stupid.

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