ABC cancels "All My Children", "One Life to Live"

Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:18pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - ABC television on Thursday announced it was canceling its long-running daytime soap operas "All My Children" and "One Life to Live", hastening the demise of a genre marked by dramatic plot twists, cliffhangers and multiple generations of characters.

ABC said the two dramas would be replaced by new programing focused on "transformation, food and lifestyle", saying that audience research had shown that these issues were of more interest to viewers.

The final episodes of the two shows will air in September 2011 and January 2012 respectively, ABC said in a statement. But "General Hospital", the second-most popular show in daytime TV, will remain on the air, the network added.

Audiences for the two soaps have fallen in recent years. "All My Children", which began in 1970, currently has about 2.4 million regular viewers, down form 3.2 million in 2006, ABC said.

Thursday's announcement follows the ending in 2009 of CBS soaps "Guiding Light" and "As The World Turns" in 2010.

"Viewers are looking for different types of programing these days," said Brian Frons, president of daytime programing at ABC, adding they wanted "informative, authentic and fun shows that are relatable, offer a wide variety of opinions and focus on 'real life' takeaways."

He said the two shows would conclude "in a manner that respects their legacies and the long-standing hopes of many viewers."

ABC said the new shows would be "Chew", which focuses on food "from every angle", and make-over series "The Revolution", with fashion mentor Tim Gunn.   Continued...

<p>Kourtney Kardashian makes her acting debut on ABC's "One Life to Live" with actors Kassie Depaiva and David Fumero on March 28, 2011. REUTERS/Heidi Gutman</p>