The End of Two Eras: ABC Cancels 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live'
The End of Two Eras: ABC Cancels 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live'
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
The fat lady is singing, not for the end of the opera, but the end of the soap opera. Today, after months of rumors and speculation, ABC officially canceled its long-running daytime soaps All My Children and One Life to Live.

All My Children, which started in 1970 and has run for more than 10,000 episodes, will end in September 2011, being replaced by a food talk show called The Chew (which is a vaguely disgusting-sounding name for a show).

One Life to Live, which began in 1968 and has close to 11,000 episodes, will come to an end in January 2012, being replaced by a health and wellness talk show called The Revolution starring Project Runway's Tim Gunn and former American Idol contestant Kimberly Locke.

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The cancellations come at a time when many soaps are facing the cutting block. In 2009, Guiding Light was axed, and in 2010, As the World Turns left the air. With All My Children and One Life to Live leaving, it leaves just four major network soap operas: The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of Our Lives, General Hospital and The Young and the Restless.

The biggest loser might be Susan Lucci, who has starred on All My Children as Erica Kane since the start. After more than 41 years in one role, she's now going to be out of a job.

Between soap operas ending and Oprah Winfrey announcing the end of her show, the world of daytime television is going to be completely different in the future. What will all those housewives and stay-at-home moms do now?

Perhaps they'll start drinking more wine. Then they'll have an affair with the UPS delivery guy. Then the divorce rate in the United States will grow even higher. And before you know it, the entire country will suffer a complete collapse, and it's all due to soap operas being canceled.

That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the face of daytime television is still changing. What will happen to the Daytime Emmys? Can you really have awards for soap operas when there are only four of them on television?

Luckily for me, the only soap opera I've ever watched, General Hospital, is still on the air. Soap operas may be dying, but as long as Luke Spencer is alive and kicking, there can still be hope.

(Image courtesy of ABC)