An Era Comes to an End

Last night’s TV news announced that two ABC soaps, “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” were going off the air after a 40-year run.

Now, I didn’t watch those soaps, but I know lots of people (mostly women) who did. Every day, they’d tune in hoping for a bit of romance, intrigue, or drama, as well as the enjoyment of seeing interesting people in interesting situations. They’d root for their favorite characters to get together, weep at touching scenes like weddings and funerals, ooh and aah over cute babies, gripe over storylines that didn’t go the way they thought they should, and hang onto every spoken word.

Then do it all again the following day.

So for them to hear that ABC is taking these shows off the air — well, it’s like they’re losing part of their family. A cherished tradition.

I feel for them. I mean, they’ve been on for practically my entire life, too!

The network blames a dwindling viewership on its move, noting that the folks who would have watched no longer did — because of jobs and other responsibilities.

That might be true, but women who dearly love their soaps will find a way to keep up with them. It might be via Websites; it might be via TiVo; it might be simple word-of-mouth with like-minded viewers.

And the network claims soaps as a TV genre are no longer relevant to today’s woman. Really? Who doesn’t want to occasionally escape into someone else’s fiction world, to fret over someone else’s problems for an hour or so?

Isn’t that part of the magic of novels?

We all know you can only watch so many reality shows before you go nuts!

Wasn’t it up to the writers and editors and such to make the storylines relevant, to change with the times?

ABC says it plans on replacing these soaps with talk shows, one featuring a food-based theme.

Food? Talk?

Excuse me, but don’t we have entire networks already devoted to food programming?

Why do they think more food programming is what the viewing public wants to see?

And just how many talking head shows can the world endure?


So come September, “All My Children” will be no more. “One Life to Live” will cease in January. Only “General Hospital” will remain in the ABC lineup of daytime dramas.

It’s truly the end of an era.