This week, in a surprise move ABC cancelled two of its remaining three daytime soap operas citing to “changing viewer behavior and preferences” as the reason.
All My Children which first hit the airwaves in 1970 will end it’s run 41 year run in September of this year. One Life to Live fans fare a little better in that Llanview residents will remain on screen until January of 2012, giving that ABC Soap opera a 43 year run.
Kelly Rippa, who got her start on AMC in 1970 as a teenager, summed it up beautifully when she told the Hollywood Reporter that “it’s like losing a member of your family.” A feeling many soap opera fans can sympathize with. I mean, what Days of Our Lives fan didn’t feel like a relative died when Alice Horton passed away in June 2010?
ABC’s move will leave only four daytime soap operas on air:
· General Hospital (ABC) will be the only soap opera in that networks line-up
· Days of our Lives has been NBC’s only soap opera since Passions’ cancellation in 2007.
· The Young and the Restless and the Bold and the Beautiful air on CBS.
Though Days of Our Lives was recently renewed until September 2013, with an option til 2014, fans should take the recent ABC cancellations as a call to action.
Soap opera ratings have been falling since their heyday in the 70’s and 80’s, resulting in only four remaining daytime dramas out of the once 19. Soap operas have been systematically replaced with talk TV and worse still reality TV, as these shows are cheaper to produce, and for now, draw eyeballs.
The only way to secure Days of our Lives’ place in the NBC daytime line-up is to tune in, and be counted. Watch live on NBC at 1pm in most markets, or catch same day repeats on cable channel Soapnet at 11pm each evening. And if you missed those airings, and don’t Tivo, then Hulu.com has up to 17 days of the most recent episodes available online (with minimal commercial interruption.)
Tune in every once in a while to see what the folks in Salem are up to, and preserve their place in the NBC daytime line-up. And for fans of All my Children and One Life to Live? I hope you and your favorite actors from AMC and OLTL find a new home at one of the remaining four soap operas…