In news that will no doubt be greeted with lots of lingering, pensive stares of disbelief as we slowly zoom in on the faces of their fans, ABC has canceled its long-running daytime soaps All My Children and One Life To Live. It’s all part of a looming end to the afternoon “stories” that for much of the 20th century captivated housewives and house-husbands, invalids, the unemployed, the flu-ridden, the night shift, and other people home during the day. And for the 41-year-old All My Children and the 43-year-old One Life To Live, this heralds the conclusion of sagas that have spanned decades and generations, launched the careers of countless famous actors, and had more mysterious deaths, rapes, and bomb plots than most war-torn Third World countries.
Once All My Children ends in September and One Life To Live bows out in January, the network plans to replace them, respectively, with the live food-related show The Chew and the health and fitness show The Revolution, neither of which will feature anyone dying and then coming back from the dead to stop a wedding or anything cool like that. The cancellation leaves the occasionally Franco-starring General Hospital as ABC’s sole remaining daytime soap opera—and still the longest-running soap opera in the U.S.—while its only fellow survivors include The Young And The Restless, The Bold And The Beautiful, and Days Of Our Lives. Poor Soap Opera Digest just lost one-third of its coverage.