It's official. Even though Susan Lucci didn't seem to know it was coming, saying last month she had her schedule for next year, ABC has announced it is canceling two long-running soaps, All My Children and One Life to Live, and replacing them with cheaper talk shows about food and health.
AMC, which premiered in 1970, will end its run in September, while OLTL, which started in 1968, will end in January.
Both shows were created by Agnes Nixon and will leaveGeneral Hospital as the network's only surviving soap opera in an era when others—NBC's Another World and CBS' Guiding Light and As the World Turns—were also axed in recent years.
Taking their place: The Chew, a live show focusing on food trends hosted by Mario Batali, Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall, Michael Symon and Daphne Oz, replacing AMC, and The Revolution, which will cover "health and lifestyle transformations," featuring a "dream team" of experts led by Tim Gunn and American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke, which takes over for OLTL.
In a statement, ABC Daytime chief Brian Frons called the change "bittersweet," but spun it as an effort to serve viewers "looking for different types of programming."
Ratings for soaps have steadily declined, and ABC—which owns its daytime dramas—tried to cut costs by moving Children to Los Angeles last year. The talk-show formats are far cheaper to produce and can more easily integrate sponsors' products. But the quick replacements should end speculation that ABC was chasing a Katie Couric talk show, which could begin in fall 2012.
I remembered watching this ever since I can remember and I can't believe that ABC cancelled it. I wonder what will run in it's place. What do you think about ABC's decision?