Well, sad news indeed, soap fans: Two iconic daytime serials are coming to an end. The demise of "All My Children" has been rumored; the death of "One Life to Live" comes as a surprise.
Both are creations of Agnes Nixon -- the queen of soaps -- and both had their debuts 41 and 43 years ago, respectively. Erica Kane -- Susan Lucci of Garden City -- is perhaps the only household name in soaps in households that don't even watch 'em.
Meanwhile, here's Susan's statement: “It’s been a fantastic journey. I’ve loved playing Erica Kane and working with Agnes Nixon and all the incredible people involved with All My Children. I’m looking forward to all kinds of new and exciting opportunities.”
ABC just announced that both will end in September and January respectively, and a pair of talk shows will take their place.
Here's the ABC release about both shows:
“‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ are iconic pieces of television that have made an indelible mark on our culture’s history,” reflected Brian Frons [ABC daytime chief.]. “Each of the shows has touched millions and millions of viewers and informed the social consciousness. It has been a privilege to work with the extraordinary teams who brought the residents of Pine Valley and Llanview to life each day, and we thank the cast, crew, producers and most especially the fans for their commitment to the shows through their history.”
None of this could have been possible without the extraordinary Agnes Nixon. More than 40 years ago, Agnes Nixon created both the worlds of ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live,’ worlds that the rest of us have been privileged to live in,” said Frons. “Her shows led the way forward, breaking a lot of rules along the way to defy expectations about what soaps can do and the issues they can cover. I am honored to have worked with her.”
“All My Children” has revolved around the lives of the residents of fictional Pine Valley, a town which closely resembles the Philadelphia Main Line. “All My Children” took home the 1998 Emmy award for outstanding drama series, the third time the show received this top honor, having also garnered the award in 1994 and 1992. “All My Children” has received more than 30 Emmy awards and consistently distinguishes itself in the field of daytime drama.
The show has historically been committed to and is often the first to tackle social issues, focusing on such topics as AIDS, abortion, cochlear implants, teenage alcoholism, racial bias, acquaintance rape, spousal abuse, homosexuality, Reyes syndrome, Vietnam MIAs, drug abuse, the risks of motherhood over 40, safe sex, pet therapy and organ donations, among others. The show made television history airing daytime television’s first same-sex kiss between two lesbian characters, as well as daytime television’s first same sex wedding between two women. It was the first to chronicle the coming-out story of a transgender woman and to cast a real life Iraq War veteran whose story reflected his real life experiences and injuries incurred in combat. “All My Children” premiered on the ABC Television Network on Jan. 5, 1970, as a half-hour show; seven years later it expanded to an hour. Julie Hanan Carruthers is executive producer.
Also created by Agnes Nixon, Emmy award-winning “One Live to Live” is set in the fictional town of Llanview, which is modeled on a Philadelphia suburb. “One Life to Live” debuted on The ABC Television Network July 15, 1968 as a half-hour show. Ten years later, it grew to a full hour in 1978. “One Life to Live” has been lauded for its groundbreaking exploration of social issues, diverse canvas, award-winning performances and innovative storylines.
Along with the history-making week of live shows in May 2002, “One Life to Live” is responsible for many “firsts” in daytime television, including stories of interracial romance, illiteracy, medical misdiagnosis, racial prejudice, gang violence and teen pregnancy. The show received mass critical acclaim for its 1992 homophobia storyline, which captured national headlines when it introduced the character of a gay teen (played by then unknown Ryan Phillippe) and culminated with the emotional display of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. “One Life to Live” was honored by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) with the outstanding daytime drama award in 1993, and again in 2005 and 2010. In 2002 the show won its first-ever Daytime Emmy for outstanding drama series, and was nominated again in 2007 and 2008. Created by Agnes Nixon, “One Life to Live” debuted on July 15, 1968 and marked its 10,000th episode on Aug. 17, 2007. Frank Valentini executive-produces.