I spent the morning traveling around New York City for the Sex and the City Sites by On Location Tours, so I just heard the news that two beloved soaps, All My Children and One Life to Live, have been canceled by ABC.
In another life, I was mad about soaps. I created one in college and interned at Another World. I vividly remember being consumed by the Marty/Todd gang rape storyline on One Life to Live back in 1992, and then came to the big city to work on OLTL for a brief moment.
Realizing I had a journalistic heart, I started working at soap opera magazines to dissect my favorite and not so favorite storylines. Through the years, I met hundreds of soap stars and learned they are some of the hardest working actors in the business, memorizing 70-plus page scripts in days and delivering performances in one take.
I also had the ultimate experience of meeting Agnes Nixon, the creator of both AMC and OLTL, just last year. I asked her about the state of the soap opera. The woman who brought such major issues as abortion, cancer and drug addiction, as well as multi-racial families, to the screen for the first time still believed that soaps had a little fight left in them.
ΓÇ£I donΓÇÖt think the genre is dying. ItΓÇÖs changing some,ΓÇ¥ she explained. ΓÇ£We just need to make writers understand how hard it is to write and to work hard,ΓÇ¥ she told me as she was inducted as one of the Giants of Broadcasting by the Library of American Broadcasting. If only ABC believed that the new soap scribes could someday heed the lessons of Agnes, maybe OLTL and AMC would still be on the air.
The shows don’t end til the fall, and I’m pretty sure One Life will go out with a bang now that the Roger Howarth — the original Todd Manning — is back on the canvas. Even with that notion, it will be hard to see the families and friends we’ve made in Llanview and Pine Valley gone forever.
OLTL and AMC, we’ll miss you…
photo credit: ABC