Do you care about ABC canceling its soaps?

Yesterday ABC axed “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” saying that soaps were only popular with the World War II baby boom generation (my parents) but not with younger viewers.

From AP:

“Soap operas have slowly been fading as a TV force, with many of the women who made up the target audience now in the work force. In place of the two canceled dramas, ABC will air shows about food and lifestyle transformations.”

“Brian Frons, head of ABC’s daytime department, went to the California set of “All My Children” to deliver the news on Thursday, where a video link was also set up to the New York set of “One Life to Live.” He said the shows were doing well creatively, but falling ratings indicated they had a bleak future.”

“If you have a show in severe decline, you’re trying to catch a falling knife,” Frons said.

“Daytime dramas have suffered recently as cable networks like TLC, Bravo and Oxygen aggressively seek viewers in those hours, he said. Soaps are popular with viewers from the post-World War II baby boom, but younger viewers are more interested in other programming, he said.”

Mothers have traditionally been the target audience of soaps – that and old people. I find it so interesting that so many mothers have gone to work that there’s nobody sitting around watching them. Are they DVR’ing the for later?

I watched soap operas in middle school, high school and college (I started out all ABC but then switched to CBS soaps in high school), but I never got hooked again when I became a stay-at-home mom. I didn’t have enough time to devote to watching them.

My mom watched when we were little. She loved “Days of our Lives” but for the last few years she’s been watching “All My Children,” along with several others.

My parents DVR the shows during the day and watch at night while they eat dinner. They are very serious about the soaps. Do not talk while they watching their shows. (Soaps never change. I totally knew who everyone was even though I haven’t watched in years.) I even give my mom and Godmother a soap opera digest type magazine for Christmas each year, which they devour weekly.

My mom is in total denial. She’s hoping there will be uproar from fans and another network will pick up “All My Children.” (They just love Erica Kane! They would say “You’ll never guess what Erica did today!” And then regale me with her antics!)

I guess they can’t make enough money off of mothers and my parents DVRing soaps for nighttime.

Did you watch soaps while you were in school? Did you get hooked on soaps when you stayed home with your kids? Do you DVR soaps to watch later? Which one will you miss the most? Do you care that they have been canceled? Do you want another Rachael Ray type show?

(I have two blogs up today: Do your kids want you to buy the new Crayola Colored Bubbles? Read this before you purchase!)

– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, Momania. I have increased my Twitter activity. I am sending out great stories for moms each day focusing on health, fitness, sex, entertainment, food, travel and obviously parenting! So follow me on Twitter at @AJCMOMania!)

84 comments Add your comment


April 15th, 2011
2:11 pm

I started watching soaps in elementary school! My grandmother listened to soaps like “As the World Turns” and “Guiding Light” on the radio. She watched them on TV, too. They were both CBS soaps that have been canceled. My parents both watched the CBS soaps and I continued the tradition! I work during the day, but I do TiVo The Young and the Restless everyday. I don’t always have time to watch it every night, but I do watch a couple of episodes a week.

45 y/o SAHM

April 15th, 2011
3:06 pm

Hate to break it to you soap watchers, these shows are gone. I was a CBS watcher when I was a teenager, in college, and on-and-off quite a bit after that.

My 2 faves, GL & ATWT are now history. If they can cancel those 2, which were the longest running (ATWT started on on the radio I believe) – they will cancel yours too!

I remember this same uproar happened when GL & ATWT were cancelled. My mother was DEVASTED when her favorite NBC soap (name?) was canned a few years back – she just KNEW they would not do it but they did.

Sign of the times folks, and I agree it is kind of sad.

Ann Marie

April 15th, 2011
3:11 pm

I am shocked at the cancelation of ABC’s soaps All My Children and One Life to Live. I have been a fan of ABC soaps for 40 years. I as young mother, I would watch them faithfully (my children napped during AMC!) and when my children were grown and I got a job….I taped them as I still do! I watch my soaps over the new reality shows, which I feel are awful. There are many people who watch these shows, women AND men! Has ABC even considered these people? Soap Operas have been around forever! They started on radio and then went to television. ABC needs to take a step back and think about what they are doing. I would hate to have to turn to another network to watch a Soap Opera. I would rather continue to stay with ABC and the shows I have watched most of my life. If push comes to shove….Sopa Operas will win out and I will watch NBC or CBS to get my Soap Opera fix!

Jerri White

April 15th, 2011
4:04 pm

I was a “late bloomer” only watched AMC for 38 1/2 years but knew all the characters even before then. At 2:00 I could not find my secretary until I discovered the clerical staff split the lunch hour; the ones who watched AMC, came back and reported the day’s happenings.
I am very disappointed in ABC. The quality of your programming continues to go down the toilet. I gave up ABC news and GMA some time ago by choice; I hate being forced to make another choice. At least, it frees up recording time. I can do something else. But, I am not naive; profits drive the company not quality. Get rid of some of those stupid reality shows p I get enough reality every day I administer my free medical clinic.

Tammy Albright

April 15th, 2011
4:13 pm

why not just make it where we can only see both those show’s on the Soap net work? ABC think’s they’ll get better rating’s with a talk show or a food show? Please be real there’s enough of those already. Like the other’s I’m a faithful watcher of both thiose show’s for many year’s. You really should rethink this, I’ll boycott ABC for good and I watch ALOT of the ABC.

Mike Licht

April 15th, 2011
4:21 pm

ABC is trading soaps for food shows. Is General Hospital in Intensive Care?



April 15th, 2011
5:59 pm

No, don’t really care. Who other than shut-ins – who can’t afford the Internet or cable/satellite- still watches soap operas? I used to rush home everyday from school (pre-Internet age) to watch One Life to Live, which was one of the better soaps at one time, but quit when I realized they were basically rehashing the same plots and actors from other shows. Can’t believe I spent so much time wasted watching that stuff. I still waste time – love Facebook and the Internet – but unlike soaps, it’s an interactive experience and not quite so coma-inducing.


April 15th, 2011
6:34 pm

Sad, but that’s the way the soap bubble bursts . . .

I was never into soap operas, although I was intrigued by the number of students when I was in college who would organize their entire schedule around their favorite soaps. You’d walk by the lounge any day between 12 and 3, and there’d be 10-20 girls with their eyes glued to the TV. You don’t really get that kind of cameraderie anymore, since everyone has their own TV in their rooms and rarely venture into the lounge. I was just never really interested. I loved “Dark Shadows” when I was in 4/5/6 grade, but by the time it went off the air, I had lost interest and moved on to other things.

Although, two of my favorite movies have to do with soap operas: “Tootsie” (the final scene with “Edward” reveals himself is a classic!) and Kevin Kline in “Soap”.


April 15th, 2011
7:08 pm

Can’t believe it! Don’t we have enough talk shows and food shows (what is the food channel for, anyway?) There’s a huge following for the soaps!! Some of us have been watching AMC our entire adult lives. I think another network (maybe Oprah) should pick up AMC! It would be a smart move! Maybe a boycott for ABC, the idiot network, would help…

Just Sayin'

April 15th, 2011
7:48 pm

“Maybe a boycott for ABC, the idiot network, would help…”

Since boycotts didn’t bring down the state of Arizona or the big oil of BP, don’t count on your boycott of ABC to help in saving your soaps!


April 15th, 2011
10:20 pm

It’s interesting to see people talk about the huge following that ABC will lose. If a huge number of people were watching, they wouldn’t cancel the shows. It’s not about the feelings of viewers or how many talk shows we need, it’s about the number people watching in real time (people who record to watch later rarely watch ads so that argument doesn’t help the cause), especially those in demographics that buy lots of stuff and are still developing brand loyalties (younger folks).

Jane A Polley

April 15th, 2011
11:51 pm

I have watched these soaps faithfully for 40 years. ABC is making a serious mistake,and will be the one who pays the price in ratings.


April 16th, 2011
11:12 am

I am 28 and I have been watching these soaps since I was little. Very bad choice taking them off the air. Definantly dissappointed in abc.


April 16th, 2011
2:05 pm

If my grandmother were still alive (she would be 119 in May) this would have killed her. She loved to watch her “stories.”

NEVER got into them, although I would watch them when I visited with my grandmother on college breaks. I never realized I had missed anything in the several months in between viewing.

Having never been a stay at home person except in the summer, I have never had the time to watch TV much, certainly never during the day. Too many other things to do!


April 16th, 2011
5:45 pm

I am beyond upset that ABC chose to cancel All My Children and One Life to Live. I would love to see the research that supposedly shows daytime viewers want a different type of show. I am also disappointed in the way this decision was handled. The way this was handled was a publicity nightmare. It is obvious this has been in the works for months. Since the announcement of Soapnet being cancelled, they have worked behind the scenes to get these shows in place so that when the announcement was made there would be no going back. I can’t believe that Disney/ABC would allow their actors and viewers to be treated with such disregard. If this goes as planned, I will no longer be a viewer of Disney or ABC Daytime programming.


April 16th, 2011
6:14 pm

Big mistake! They are a great escape and fun to watch an ongoing story. Extremely disappointed in ABC!!


April 16th, 2011
6:54 pm

I have been a fan of AMC and One life to Live for 38 years. I love the drama and the characters. They are family. I will miss these 2 shows.I watched these shows thru high school, college and as a stay at home mom. I taped them when I couldn’t watch them during the day and have been enjoying them every day. I wish the people who did the research as to who watched the shows would have done more . Hopefully another network wil take them. I am sure these 2 soaps would make it then!


April 16th, 2011
7:30 pm

I think ABC is making a GREAT mistake. Another reality show? Really aren’t we realitied up the wazoo? I personally do not watch ANY reality show, get enough reality in my life. Soaps are a great escape and we love them,. Please re-consider this decision.


April 16th, 2011
8:13 pm

My gma watched “Days of our Lives” and “The Guiding Light”. Are those still on?


April 16th, 2011
9:05 pm

I can’t believe the person or persons that made this dumb decision. I have been watching the 3 abc soaps since my 1st daughter was born. 40 years ago. Not continuously as some of those years I worked. However, on and off all those years. The last thing we need is another food show or reality show. I hope someone rethinks this poor choice.

Audrie Sumner

April 16th, 2011
10:37 pm

I feel like a dearly loved friend has died. I can’t believe with obesity epidemic we need a nother Food show. ABC execs are idiots.!


April 17th, 2011
1:41 am

I don’t know what ABC is thinking. True soap fans that enjoy watching soaps will probably switch to another soap, which means they will switch to another network. I hope this is what happens and they lose millions of people to other networks and they fire the idiots that had this brilliant idea!!! I can’t believe they think that the people that have been watching these soaps for years are just going to keep tuning in, and that they are going to lure more people to tune in to these time slots with the junk they are going to replace it with. What are they thinking? I hope this backfires in their faces and their ratings for these time slots plummet, because once they lose the soap fans to other soaps they will never get them back.


April 17th, 2011
1:39 pm

I may be of the older generation, but I am already boycotting ABC and Disney. My 15 year old grandaughter and all her friends record AMC and OLT so they can watch it after school.. They will all stop warching Abc and Disney after this. Also the yearly trips to disney World are stopping. I hope you people pay dearly.

tanya smiith

April 17th, 2011
7:51 pm

I can’t believe they are doing this!I have watched theese show all my life,my mom watched it my daughter watches it I am really going to miss them.I am trulely devistated.

kiersten haviland

April 17th, 2011
7:59 pm

This is terrible i am so mad at abc and i will not watch anything that replaces them!!!i am soo sick my shows getting canceled!!!!


April 18th, 2011
3:48 pm

This is a VERY BIG MISTAKE that ABC can do!!! Ive watched these two soaps since I was little with my mother and grandmother. This just kills me, You know I use to get mad fun of from my boyfriend about watching them, and Now I have him hooked on them too. We fix dinner together and then we sit and get all caught up on them while we eat. All I can say is this really does suck for everyone that has gave there time during the days and years to watch these shows. What about all the older people that live in homes and things that look forward into watching them. They usually dont have much to do at times btu they watch these shows too. I know they do I work in a Nursing home!!! All I got to say is you suck for doing this to the people that look forward to these shows. Im very upset!!!


April 18th, 2011
4:35 pm

When I was a child, I would go stay with my Grandmother, she was an ABC soap fan, this was back in the day when Lucille and Jessie were on General Hospital. Now fast forward, about 50 years later and I am still an ABC soaps fan. Even though I stay at home, I don’t watch TV during the day, I DVR my 3 ABC soaps and watch them at night, since I have trouble sleeping. So my soaps fill that void. I can’t stand The View, so for ABC to think this show is a sucess and want to pattern more shows after it to replace the soaps is a joke. I won’t watch or record these shows. I’m tired of talk shows & reality shows with exception of American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. I can find info on the internet if I need it. There is a need for soaps, particularly ABC soaps. I hope there is a source that will pick up these Soaps when they are cancelled, at least give it a try and see how many viewers they will get who are soap fans. Keep the soaps alive…


April 19th, 2011
11:27 am

i’m not a soap opera fan. i used to watch nbc soaps with my granny when i was in high school, but that was a long time ago. i guess it is what it is. but, do we really need more reality shows?


April 19th, 2011
3:26 pm

HUGE MISTAKE ABC!!!!! I only watch ABC for the SOAPS and yes I AM A WORKING MOM. I DVR THE SHOWS. Like other moms I watch the soaps when I get home. I also watch greys at night but seeing as you only have a new episode every three weeks or once a month how abpout cancelling it instead. YOU ARE REDICULOUS ABC


April 19th, 2011
3:30 pm

It’s so hard to beleive that ABC is canceling AMC and One Life to Live……. These people that are canceling the shows must be to young to know what they are doing… I wonder why the casts of both shows don’t just walk today. To heck with abc they don’t care about faithful viewers or the wonderful cast that put the shows on. If I was a client advertising on ABC I would cancel. Why can’t the Soap Channel step up and buy the shows? Anyway I’m very unhappy and when the shows are gone from ABC I will be too…………… Talk shows will never beable to replace..


April 19th, 2011
6:02 pm

I am very, very upset about cancellation of these two soaps. I have watched them forever. It seems abc is catering to the younger population and not to those of us who still love these programs. We have enough reality shows, cooking shows, and lifestyle shows. I definitely will not be watching the show that replace these soaps. In fact, I will watch abc as little as possible. It’s bad enough Oprah is leaving. Now these soaps will be gone too……what next? We all know times are changing, but some thiings should be left alone. My heart goes out to all the wonderful actors in these shows. They give there heart and soul to the American public every day to keep us entertained, only to lose their livelyhood. How sad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


April 20th, 2011
8:59 am

Why aren’t other networks picking up the two soaps that will be cancelled in September, such as,Lifetime, OWN and many other network stations.
The soaps could be aired in the afternoon or evening.


April 20th, 2011
10:17 pm

I’ve been watching the ABC soaps for almost 36 years. Enough of the talk shows and reality shows. The soaps were a great way to pass the time while cooking in the kitchen. I think that soap lovers should vow not to watch the new upcoming day time TV. That will get to ABC’s pockets. That’s the only way to get ABC to listen.

sarah gillespie

April 21st, 2011
5:49 pm

Big mistake ABC you will be losing many viewers. I grew up watching these two soaps with my mom.
and now you want to take them away shame on you. just shame. it must be all about the money.