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Why Were 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' Canceled?

by Michael Maloney, posted Apr 15th 2011 2:00PM
Michael BrunoCombined, 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' cover more than 80 years of television and boast legions of fans, but that didn't stop ABC from announcing yesterday that the two Agnes Nixon–created soap operas will be leaving the airwaves. 'AMC' will exit in September, and 'OLTL' will air its final episode next January.

It's impossible to imagine daytime TV without Erica, Tad, Viki, Dorian and Bo, but that's exactly what we're going to have to get used to.

Why are these beloved programs leaving us? AOL TV spoke to daytime talent manager Michael Bruno, known for his Simon Cowell–esque comments as a judge on the defunct SOAPnet reality series 'I Wanna Be a Soap Star,' for some insight.

Bruno, who put stars Rebecca Budig and Bobbie Eakes on 'AMC' and currently represents Ricky Paull Goldin ('AMC') and Austin Peck ('OLTL), speaks candidly about what this loss is going to mean to the fans and to the people who work on these programs.

Why were 'AMC' and 'OLTL' canceled?
The bottom line is if they were making money and if more people were watching you wouldn't be doing this story. These shows have been on for over 40 years each. (Beat.) Things come to an end. The problem is that these shows were the only place in show business where it was like working at Prudential. It's really throwing people. I have had so many calls and emails. People are like, "I can't believe it." Even if you never watched a soap opera you knew that 'All My Children' is a soap opera. People know the names "Susan Lucci" and "Erica Kane."

Can you describe the impact of the simultaneous cancellation?
This isn't like when a few nighttime shows are canceled or not renewed. Nighttime shows come on once a week for four or five years. These shows have been on five days a week, 52 weeks a year for over 40 years. These shows are part of people's families. It's like a death in the family. People are really upset. People are emailing, Tweeting and calling. They need to connect over this. Hundreds of people who work on these shows are being affected in terms of their livelihoods. This also greatly affects all of the people who feel that these shows and these characters are part of their families.

In some ways, looking back, we knew that [canceled soaps] 'As the World Turns' and 'Guiding Light' might go because they were "older." But ABC owns their shows and their soaps are considered "younger." This is a big shock. People have been saying that daytime is dying for ten years and yet for a long time nothing [like this] happened and now it is.

Why is 'General Hospital' the surviving soap opera on 'ABC?'
They must think it's more solid. It's already Los Angeles-based [where studio space can be cheaper to rent.] They think there's still mileage in it.

What will the Daytime Emmys (set to air on CBS on June 19) be like?
Bittersweet. We should all have one hell of a party because it may be the last time we see people. The only positive thing that could possibly come from this is that the four remaining soaps ['The Young and the Restless,' 'The Bold and the Beautiful,' 'GH' and 'Days of our Lives'] now know more than ever that they may not be here forever so they have to bring their A-game in terms of acting, writing and producing every single day.

Any theories on how the stories on each show will conclude?
I think we'll see more favorites come back to give the viewers closure. It says something that ['AMC'] has brought back [revered head writer] Lorraine Broderick to write the show.

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I have ner been so disgusted, sad, angry than I am these days. I miss AMC so much and to think the morons at Abc replace it with The Chew an idiotic panel of people talking about food as if the American public needs more food. I never watch ABC anymore.

June 25 2012 at 7:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Norma A Moler

All I can really say is Agnes Nixon you suck. You should be locked up for whats left of your missrable life. You are a mass murderer, and I will never forgive you. The only thing I ever had to look forward to you took away, I am so glad my mother died before you did this, if not you would of killed her.................

January 16 2012 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lynn notarilan

Farewell ABC. I am DONE with your network! I haven't watched any of your nightime shows in years, nor the local news. Now you've taken away my daytime. I can't think of two more ridiculous shows than The Chew and now Revolutions. Do you really think people want this kind of junk? Well you are sadly mistaken.

January 16 2012 at 9:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Danette Laskowski-Bu

I will NEVER watch the chew or the show replacing OLTL. I am so very sad and upset. I will miss the cast of OLTL everyday. They were my second family. My one hour get away every day for the past 45 years.

January 13 2012 at 2:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

ABC will be deleted off my tv after fridays episode of OLTL. I quit watching their local news months ago. Now that my soaps gone, i have no use for your station. I wasnt a fan of AMC, but i refused to let one second of The Chew air on my tv. The commercials for it even make me sick. There is already way to many reality, cooking & talk shows. Im done with you ABC.

January 12 2012 at 1:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

That's right, take off MORE shows that help take us away from the sore reality of what our sad everyday lives are, i.e. a present day government that needs more help than ABC, the horrendous economy, and just everyday incidentals of work etc. for yet more Talk Show, Cooking Shows, Reality Shows? HOW NOVEL IS THAT. Those ought to bring the public running.....the OTHER way. Wake up people and give the Daytime Story Audience some source of pleasure and a time to escape for an hour a day from the hussle and bustle of our own real life daytime dramas. There is precious little I watch on ABC as it is, now you've cleared up that for me too

December 31 2011 at 9:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

taking these shows off sucks and am now done after will not watch the new shows ever !

October 13 2011 at 11:11 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Dorothy McCurdy

I am 66 years old and I started watching All My Children when I was 17. That is a lot of years and this was my family that I looked forward to everyday of my life. The last week has been horrible . It feels like all of them have died and left me alone. There are always new actors and story lines, so I don't understand how they could take this great show away. Even after I had to go to work during the day, My husband always taped All My children for me and that was the first thing I did when I got home, was to snuggle in my chair and watch my soap. I don't know how to get along without All My Children in my like. It is so sad that it makes me ache. Dot McCurdy

October 01 2011 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Janice Bush

I remember in 1975 as an undergraduate student at Illinois State University, running across the Quad to get to the Bone Student Center to grab me a good seat in front of the large screen T.V. to watch "All My Children". I purposely schedule my classes around the airing time of All of My Children so that I would not miss a episode. I WAS NOT THE ONLY ONE. The center was packed with male and female students all over campus; sitting, waiting and watching the beloved All My Children. That was over 37 years ago, and it still holds true today. I will miss my soap family.

September 16 2011 at 3:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Janice Bush

When I was undergraduate Student at Illinois State University, I remember scheduling my classes around noon time because that was when All My Children was on. I was not the only one, the majority students (male and female) packed Bone Student Center, grag the closet seat to the Big Screen T.V. and silently watch the episode. That was over 35 years ago and I am still a fan. I will miss my soap family.

September 16 2011 at 3:09 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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