The soap opera genre just can't catch a break. CBS is the only remaining network with a daytime drama line-up of any note, and now the online transition that many had hoped would save the soap opera has seemingly gone down in flames.
Fans will recall that 'All My Children' (along with fellow ABC soap 'One Life to Live') were initially canceled back in 2011, after decades on the air. Not content to let that much TV history die, producers subsequently teamed up with production company Prospect Park to bring both series to the online realm. It took a lot of preparation and legal wrangling, but both shows finally hit the net in early 2013, airing primarily on Hulu and showing occasionally on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Unfortunately, 'AMC' and 'OLTL' only managed to produce one revived season, before things started going wrong. Various legal battles with ABC, disputes with labor unions, and trouble maintaining carriage agreements led to unplanned hiatuses for both dramas. 'OLTL' still remains in legal limbo in fact. 'AMC' ended its first (and now last) online season on Sep. 2.
News began leaking out over the weekend that the venerable soap had been canceled again, and the news was officially confirmed this afternoon. Farewell yet again, 'All My Children.'
I really think it's young actors that will suffer the most once soaps go completely extinct. Countless actors, writers, and directors have cut their teeth in the genre over the years, with many going on to become beloved Hollywood mainstays. What do names like Demi Moore, David Hasselhoff, Eva Longoria, Teri Hatcher, Meg Ryan, Morgan Freeman, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jared Padalecki, and Kelsey Grammer all have in common? They all gained early fame on soap operas, which doubtlessly got them noticed by the people that would eventually give them bigger breaks in the future. People like to rag on soaps, but they've always served as a valuable stepping stone in the industry.
Will you miss 'All My Children'? Does the soap opera genre deserve another chance?