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 14th, 2011
11:34 pm

This is big mistake! You are taking away a long lived tradition! You have to leave somethings alone despite money. Tell the UPPER MANAGEMENT TO CUT THEIR SALARIES, NOT DAYTIME SOAPS!

Frances Annas

April 14th, 2011
11:36 pm

I am very disappointed in the news of this one of my favorite shows. I live in Costa Rica and we don’t get many english speaking channels. I happen to love watching All my Children. Please this has to be a joke.
It is a travestity to hear about these shows where one can relate to others lives. I am very sad indeed about this cancellation. Obviously the people that make these decicions are only in it for the all mighty dollar. Very sad indeed.

[...] (I have two blogs up this morning: Will you miss ABC’s soap operas? Do you care that “All My Children” was canceled? ) [...]

Michele Collins

April 15th, 2011
12:01 am

I have watched soaps since I was 5 years old & didn’t like taking naps, My freshman yr of college I arranged my classes around wathching my soaps from Ryan’s Hope til the end of The Edge of Night, Although I work fulltime my evenings are dedicated to Soapnet from 8pm-11pm so I don’t miss a thing on my ABC soaps because TV is not reflecting my reality with all of these non watchable shows. I watch soaps and reruns of old shows. ABC & Disney in paticular needs to seriously reconsider cancelling proven shows with a following for something I’ll bet noone will be watching especially when you have 2-3 identical shows on every network!

[...] My Children,' 'One Life to Live'Washington -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 921 news [...]


April 15th, 2011
12:07 am

IDIOTS!!!! You could not have possibly done research that had resulted in people wanting more food and talk shows. Oprah is leaving and has started her own network with the same stuff and you think you can compete. That is what the food network is for. I can’t believe there was no consideration to shorten the time the shows aired or making them exclusive to Soapnet. This is about the dumbest thing ABC has ever done and Disney should stick to making parks. I am IRATE!!!!


April 15th, 2011
12:10 am

Dah who else is home to watch other than older people that have retired. Or just older people in general. Aren’t we the majority these days. I thought one person turned 60 every minute last year. Don’t you think most of those people are home watching. Executives are not known for their smarts they just get the big bucks. How about some more of that crappy reality stuff. Maybe you could put Jersey Shore in its place after all the people that watch that show aren’t working so they will have time to watch in the middle of the afternoon.


April 15th, 2011
12:14 am

OOOOOh I have a good idea. If I were Oprah I would pick up both of those shows for my new network. Oprah not a bad idea for afternoon. I will definitly be looking forward to your new station. Especially if you pick up both of those shows it would be awesome. Oprah I hope you are listening….just a thought.


April 15th, 2011
12:18 am

You are killing the tradition.


April 15th, 2011
12:24 am

NO! I work AROUND the soaps! I WATCH them! I count on them! what I don’t do, is watch the other stupid programs, like Rachel Ray. If I want to educate myself about health I google it and study what the CDC says, or some other REPUTABLE website. For entertainment I watch SOAPS! UNBELIEVABLE!


April 15th, 2011
12:24 am

Mary and djmixer…couldn’t have said it better myself! I love AMC, tho I must admit I don’t watch all the time but I still tune in a couple times a week. Food and Lifestyle shows?…I’m 27 with two kids and I cannot take anymore of those shows!!! I’d rather watch Nickelodeon all day than the garbage on any other channel during the day!! As Michele said, I watch reruns of old shows cuz new ones aren’t good! One more thing…STOP copying off of other people!!!! Come up with your own ideas!!!

[...] My Children,' 'One Life to Live' shockersmsnbc.comHartford Courant (blog) -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Tampabay.comall 902 news [...]


April 15th, 2011
12:28 am

I have already written how I feel, but I’ll say it again1 ABC will PAY for this! I already only watch the soaps, because their programming is so poor. I schedule mt life so I CAN WATCH ABC SOAPS! What a stupid mistake! Can we fire the idiot who made that stupid mistake?


April 15th, 2011
12:39 am

I cant believe it. What a HUGE mistake.!!!!!!!!What can we do to change their minds. This sucks. I hate all these other shows. I always schedule doctors appts. around my shows. UGHHHH!!!!!!!

Doreen C.

April 15th, 2011
3:00 am

Please keep these shows!!! Esp All My Children. They can pick you up, make you mad and make you laugh and make you think about other people’s lives. No one will tape talk shows or diet shows and watch them later – people will not join a fan club for the boring nonsense that is being proposed to replace the soaps. Don’t further dumb down our populace…. KEEP THESE SOAPS on the AIR!!!!!!!! Older people tend to watch more TV and have more money and more time to shop…. what’s wrong with that!


April 15th, 2011
3:28 am

If they ever cancel General Hospital i will literally die!! Leaving it alone was a VERY SMART MOVE!!!


April 15th, 2011
4:29 am

I will no longer watch ABC daytime.


April 15th, 2011
5:47 am

You will regret this decision. When the other shows fail and you realize your mistake, you won’t be able to fix it. Then maybe the world will cancel ABC. I for one will never watch abc daytime again if these shows are gone. There are at least, did he say 2.5 million, more that think the same.i only watch abc night time shows about twice a week. They do not have any shows worth watching except the soaps. Who do they think they are anyway.


April 15th, 2011
7:17 am

I think ABC is stupid for cancelling the soaps. I watch One Life to Live everyday it is on. They don’t care about the viewers feelings. I hope those new shows they put on the air are a big flop. I just don’t understand what they are thinking. Think of the viewers and what they think.


April 15th, 2011
7:43 am

I’ve never watched daytime soaps so I don’t care that they were cancelled.

Obviously some people are upset about the cancellations (as indicated by the posts so far) and people are throwing out “they only care about the money!” — well of course, they only care about the money, it is a business. IF the shows were still profitable the network wouldn’t be cancelling them.


April 15th, 2011
8:02 am

Seriuosly? I cannot tell you the last time I watched a daytime soap opera. They are just beyond stupid, in my opinion. My neighbor is hooked on The Young & Restless, tapes it every day, and watches it first thing when she gets home from work……

Have a great weekend all……

Susie Smith

April 15th, 2011
8:25 am

I can not believe you are taking these shows off the air!! And how dare you say that the only people watch these shows are the World War II baby boom generation.Are you saying we don’t count? I know a lot of younger people like soaps too. Who wants to watch talk shows all day!!! I will not watch ABC daytime again if the shows a taken off. I have watched One Life To Live since it came on. Hope they come on another channel.!!!!!

cerise gallaher

April 15th, 2011
8:34 am

i have watch the abc soaps all my life, along with soap net. canceling these shows is a mistake,
cause as soon as the shows go off the air on abc .so do i i do not like life style show or cooking
show and the games shows suck. good–bye abc daytime.


April 15th, 2011
8:36 am

Wow, I can’t believe how many people are upset. Then again, it’s none of the regular blog followers who are so at least that portion of my theory is still true. Daytime TV is awful. Quite frankly I can’t believe the stations even care- how many viewers are there in the middle of the day?


April 15th, 2011
8:41 am

Umm, nope…couldn’t give an airborne rodent copulation if soaps were canceled. I didn’t realize people still watched that crap. As for some of the comments above…you DO realize it’s not real, right???? They are characters, not real people.


April 15th, 2011
8:49 am

When I’m home during the week days, my tv isn’t even on……I cannot stand daytime tv. I will record shows like Fraiser, Cheers, etc. but for the most part, I don’t know how anyone can watch that daytime dribble…..I’m glad I have a 9-5 job.

And, nighttime tv isn’t much better…..there’s only a handfull of shows I watch anymore…..I’m on the verge of cancelling cable/internet……


April 15th, 2011
8:58 am

The TV execs might be fools, but the numbers don’t lie. If the genre is dying, it would be pretty irresponsible to their shareholders to continue to air the programming instead of finding something viewers find relevant.


April 15th, 2011
9:00 am

The only soap I watch is wrestling.


April 15th, 2011
9:02 am

“Who do they think they are anyway?”

Am I the only one that loves the irony in this comment?


April 15th, 2011
9:34 am

OMG, this cant be true. I have grown up watching these 2 shows. I could care less about general hosp. . I either schedule everything around these 2 shows or make sure to record them., Its really like a 2nd family. Please ABC think of new ways to make this work. More talk shows is the last thisng daytime tv needs, I mean seriously.


April 15th, 2011
9:40 am

Worst idea ever. If people are not watching during the day, you can bet they are being recorded for later viewing.

jackie dunn

April 15th, 2011
9:46 am



April 15th, 2011
9:53 am

I am quite upset about ABC taking these 2 institutions off the air. Some of the best actors and directors have gotten their start on the soaps. We do not need any more reality or lifestyle shows. If you are taking them off the air, at least be creative with the replacements. I really hope they reconsider this move because I don’t think they are ready for all of the nighttime viewers they will lose by their actions.

Enemas for Easter

April 15th, 2011
9:56 am

You ladies should be cooking and cleaning, not watching TV.


April 15th, 2011
10:02 am

I haven’t watched soaps in years, so at this time it’s no big deal..But, I would much rather watch soaps than most of the “reality” shows that are on..I mean, do we really need a reality show for every thing that people do? I don’t watch a lot of TV anyway, I read while my husband has the TV on..But he pretty much only watches AMC and History..


April 15th, 2011
10:17 am

Pam – Wow you actually schedule your life around a soap opera? Your family must feel very special.


April 15th, 2011
10:18 am

ahhhh hahahahahahahahah. I can’t believe people are so infuriated about losing a television show. they are not traditions or institutions, they are make believe. maybe now you will have time to get up off the sofas and do something productive.

It's all about money...

April 15th, 2011
10:27 am

…and soaps really cost a LOT to produce, so having a talk show with one or two hosts is much more economical – IF they can get decdent sponsors and hosts whom people would like to watch…


April 15th, 2011
10:31 am

It makes me really sad. AMC can go… but OLTL is still a very good show with interesting characters and stories. I’ve watched it over 20 years and will miss it. I DVR it and watch it at night or catch up on the weekends.


April 15th, 2011
10:33 am

I haven’t voluntarily watched a soap opera since I was in the 6th grade. The last time I was forced to observe one was about 8 years ago while I sat in the waiting room of a car dealership while my car was being repaired. First of all, the jerks at the dealership had taken twice as long to fix my car as they said they would, and then, to add insult to injury, they had All My Children blaring on the TV in the waiting room. When I went to the guy working the front desk and begged to have the channel changed and he actually said “but I thought all you ladies loved soap operas!” It was literally all I could do not to slug him. He didn’t change the channel either. If what I saw that terrible day was any indication, I can only say it is a miracle that show managed to stay on the air as long as it did. Even my mom, who was an avid soap addict back in the day, realized years ago there’s way better trash on Lifetime during the day. That being said, I do feel kind of sorry for all those people who’ve been watching these shows for decades and are now being dumped by the networks like yesterday’s garbage. Lord knows why anyone would want to watch a soap but are a couple more talk shows really an improvement?


April 15th, 2011
11:39 am

I’ll really miss AMC & OLTL. But the disturbing part of ABC’s announcement is a new cooking show called “The Chew”. Yuck!


April 15th, 2011
12:18 pm

“they are not traditions or institutions, they are make believe.”

First of all, learn how to capitalize the first word of a sentence. Second of all, you are really showing your ignorance if you can say that ANYTHING that has lasted 4, 5, and 6 decades isn’t a tradition or an institution. Of the five soaps that are still on TV, all but one have been on the air since well before I was born (31 years old). No, I longer keep up with them as faithfully as I use to, but I did grow up on them, and will feel the same void that older generations will feel when these two shows are gone. Third of all, ALL genres of drama and theater encompass “make believe”, so that fact about the soap genre does not negate it’s place in television history. I guess I said all that to say, regardless of how you may feel, at least write a comment as if you have some type of sense.


April 15th, 2011
12:20 pm

I watched Dark Shadows, in the basement, as a kid. Knotts Landing in College and until it ran out.
Nothing else. Now, I could toss my TV and it would not matter. I need a computer and a good book.
I read 3 books last week. Started one yesterday on the plane to Montana and should finish it today or tomorrow. Do people really spend HOURS in a day watching TV? I guess so. To each his.her own.

TWG…hats off to you…you do have some new posters today.

JJ…take a peak at my response to the bank fees on gas …I may be missing something…maybe not.

Kathy…are you the same Kathy who has known me for years or someone else…I know there is more than one Kathy…just checking.


April 15th, 2011
12:50 pm

MJG – I watched Dark Shadows too!!!! Loved that Barnabus Collins…..

And I was an avid fan of Knots Landing, I never missed one single episode. When I was dating my ex, we would be out somewhere on a Thursday night, and I told him I have to be home at 10:00 to watch Knots.. so we would go back to my place, watch it, and then go back out…..fond memories. My Grandmother watched it too, and I would call her on Sundays and we would talk all about it…..

I also loved Dallas & Dynasty….


April 15th, 2011
12:50 pm

What about Falcon Crest? I watched that a little, but not for too long….


April 15th, 2011
1:01 pm

@ MJG- I named one of my girls after a character on Dark Shadows. My mom used to watch it back in the day. I only heard of it when it made a brief reappearance back in the 80’s (I think it was).


April 15th, 2011
1:18 pm

I AM TRULY DISAPPOINTED IN ABC! I live for the one oclock hour to come and get my mom time by watching these two great shows!!!! I love knowing that i can watch them and it makes my day seem like a piece of cake!!!! Cant you guys at abc see that this is going to ruin your ratings even more!!!!!!!!???????????? I hate reality tv! As a real mother of three i think us moms that dont get paid for staying home should be getting followed around and paid way more than the mothers on tv. they have nannies and dont do anything right! ABC YOU JUST LOST ANOTHER MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rodney Brown

April 15th, 2011
1:28 pm

This is so stupid….I am a quadipletic have been since I was 16 am now 44 I have been watching these shows all these years. I hate weekends because there are no soaps on.. The highlight of my days are getting up before noon and watching my soaps, as I can’t do much else.. What do you expect someone to do that really lives for these shows.. I have a sattalite but only watch ABC until General Hospital goes off. Please keep our soaps on…..


April 15th, 2011
1:32 pm

Um, Jill, you do get paid to stay home, actually, you get “Rewarded” to stay at home (and I’m not being nasty). You get to be with your kids, raise your kids, and not have to worry about getting back and forth to work, fighting traffic, taking time off with a sick child, or wondering if you will get a raise this year or not. I know stay at home moms work just as hard as us working moms (not opening THAT can of worms LOL). I am envious you get to stay home. I would have LOVED to stayed home with my daughter when she was growing up. But as a single parent, that was not an option for me. I love my job, but I would have loved the opportunity to stay home with her.

virginia Bailey

April 15th, 2011
2:09 pm

I have been watching these soaps for over 40 years. I will discontinues watching ABC for anything. I also will not be buying any products advertised on ABC.