A real-life soap opera is playing out between ABC and loyal fans of "One Life to Live" and "All My Children." The network recently canceled both programs. On Tuesday, loyal watchers staged protests in cities across the country. Organizers have promised "massive" protests in front of ABC station in over a dozen cities, including New York, Austin, Orlando, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Both shows have been on the air for more than 40 years and have developed generations of fans -- but not enough to convince ABC Daytime President Brian Frons to keep the shows on the air. Approximately 2.5 million people watch "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" each day. Frons has said that viewers are looking for different types of programming and he plans to replace the soaps with lifestyle programming. "General Hospital," which will celebrate 50 years on TV in 2013, will continue on ABC.
Soap operas are infamous for having characters return from the dead. Long-lost true loves frequently re-appear through the fog to return to their rightful place. Fans are hoping the same for their beloved shows.
At this point, "All My Children" is scheduled to go off the air in September and "One Life to Live" finishes in January 2012.