Daytime Soap Fans in a Lather

April 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm , by

Jessica Leccia, star of One Life to Live and Venice. Photo: Michael Craft

It’s been a tough couple of years for soap operas. Guiding Light was extinguished in 2009, As the World Turns stopped production last year and just yesterday, ABC announced that it will pull the plug on both All My Children (in September) and One Life to Live (in January). Daytime actors, writers, crew and fans have been reeling from the news and Twitter has blown up with passionate posts about the fate of a much loved genre of television.

Soap fans are some of the most devoted fans in the world and it’s always amazed me just how much daytime TV has linked people and intertwined their lives. Meeting someone who watches your soap, to me, feels like you’re reconnecting with a long lost cousin at the kiddie table at Thanksgiving. And now it just kind of feels like Thanksgiving dinner has been cancelled, which is wrong. Right?

My oldest friend in the world, for example, sadly was just diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. The night I got the news, in my teary reminiscing of our 30 year friendship, I was somewhat surprised that some of the first things that flashed through my mind were our teenage phone calls about the latest Fletcher, Reva, Kyle, Lujack and India (!) shenanigans on Guiding Light. (She got me hooked on the show in junior high and we were both addicts.) As a former AMC devotee, my mom still keeps me up to date on the latest Susan Lucci news. When la Lucci landed on Dancing With the Stars a few seasons ago, it was like we had a family member on the show. (I have an aunt who is very Erica Kane-ish.)

And another one of my closest friends has virtually formed a whole new family over the past few years, having being drawn in to the Otalia storyline on Guiding Light in the year or so before it went off the air. That’s led to a feverish support of online webseries Venice— created by Crystal Chappell, half of the Otalia love story and current cast member on Days of Our Lives—and me having the pleasure of meeting this extended family at fan luncheons for Jessica Leccia (GL’s Natalia, Venice’s Ani and OLTL’s Inez). “I am heartbroken once again for the hardworking casts and crews of these wonderful shows,” Leccia tells me about yesterday’s announcement, having suffered through the GL cancellation two years ago and now reliving it as a cast member of OLTL. “I’m also terribly sad for the fans who have invested so much time and love into them,” she adds. “I can’t help but feel that daytime has been robbed.”

Let us know your thoughts on the fate of daytime TV. Has daytime TV been robbed, as Leccia suggests? Who are you going to miss most? Will you watch the talk shows replacing these soaps on ABC? Don’t make us have to wait to tune in tomorrow to find out …

21 Responses to “Daytime Soap Fans in a Lather”

  1. It’s a travesty…

  2. My mom still watches All My Children every night! She’s so sad to see it go.

  3. This is disgusting, soaps have been the solace of many, and the hidden pleasure of many more. Afternoon TV has become a wasteland of canned ‘advice’ (Dr Phil, Dr Oz), reruns, pseudo talk shows (Jerry Springer) and the like. I’m sure this is all cheap, but I think the networks will find they are getting what they pay for, not much, and losing a whole sector of viewers who were probably decent customers for the advertising. I can’t recall what is advertised on Springer (I hate the show and try not to watch even if it is right in front of me), but unless it is beer, I bet the men who watch it where I work don’t buy anything they see. And in fact, they all already have their favourite brands, they’re unlikely to change.

  4. I cannot believe this!!!!!! All the soap magazines have been saying that “All My Children” is safe, was that just a lie? I am beyond shocked!!! I don’t get a chance to watch during the day but thank gooodness for Soapnet which carries both shows at night. I am saddended. What does that leave GH, Y&R, B&B and DOUL’s? What are there days numbered also? What can we do to assure that this entertainment stays alive for those that love them life family?

  5. It is absurd! These characters have been shared by grandmothers, mothers, and daughters. Generations have bonded over soap operas, becoming very involved in the storylines. I absolutely will NOT support the talk shows or reality shows that may take place of soap operas. Studio heads need to stop being so greedy over the money made by pointless reality tv such as Jersey Shore and the Real Housewives franchise. The actors on soap operas have paid their dues, earning their spot on daytime tv. They have waited tables and done other odd jobs to pay for acting classes and/or college. They memorize hundreds of pages of script, attend countless fan events, and give a lot of their time to their work. The only thing I can hope for is that other soap actors will follow Crystal Chappell’s lead,i.e. “Venice the Series”, and look to the internet to give the fans what studios don’t have the guts to…and with better writing. (Yes, that is directed to Days of our Lives.)

  6. This is soooo stupid!!! I don’t watch talk shows now, I watch soaps. Just because you take soaps off the air, do you really think I am going to start watching talk shows???? Uh, no. I’ll go the web and watch Venice The Series and discover other web series.

    Man, you just can’t fix STUPID….it’s terminal!

  7. I’ve started watching Young and the Restless & All my children back in my High School days and I even got my mom hooked on them. I soon became hooked and started watching One Life to Live, General Hospital and Days of our Lives. My mom and I always talk about the soap and catch one another up when we missed a show. I was sad that Guiding Light shutdown and now this AMC & OLTL. What is going on? I will not watch talk shows or cooking show that will be replacing the soap. I hate talk show and I don’t cook so why watch it. I agree with Jessica Leccia that DAYTIME SHOWS HAS REALLY BEEN ROBBED! Please do not cancel these show. Believe it or not, we learn a thing or two.

  8. I can’t believe that these 2 shows are being cancelled, who needs more food network and lifesyles changes? We love our soaps, and I love Jessica Leccia and Crystal Chappel in the Otalia story that was on Guiding Light. I think that woman everywhere want these soaps to continue, it’s so nice to sit down and watch these soaps while having lunch or tea, and kick up our heels for an hour and relax in between chores, please don’t cancel these shows, they are loved by so many people everywhere.

  9. I saw OLTL the very first day it was on!! I have missed some over the years because of jobs but, always get caught up from friends until I can watch or record it. I will miss it terribly. These people our wonderful actors (except a few). I watch some of GH but my baby is OLTL.

  10. That’s just what we need…more bad talk shows! Seems like they will give one to just about anyone with an opinion and an attitude! I have been watching both Soaps since I was 10 or 11 yrs old, I’m turning 43 this year! How can ABC do this and cancel both of them? I’m already mad as hell at TBS for canceling Glory Daze after one short season. Has the TV programmers lost their ever lovin minds? PLEASE….. I’m just plain disgusted! I could go on for an hour. I used to be a radio DJ…think maybe someone would give me a talk show too; I could go up against The Wendy Williams Show on Fox. (:


  12. You know what’s so sad. In 2010, the Cast of Guiding Light took their last bows during The Daytime Emmys and as the Actors watched none of them could have fathomed that they would be in the Same Boat.

    When AMC and OLTL go off the air in September and January respectively, it is going to symbolize the ending of Soaps. Think about it, GL debuted in Chicago in 1937, went to New York in 1952 and back in the day so many of the Soaps were filmed in New York many of which were owned by Proctor & Gamble.

    Guiding Light, As The World Turns, The Doctors (Not The Daytime Talk Show), Search For Tomorrow, Texas, and of course Another World. ABC had Loving (The City), All My Children, Ryan’s Hope, and One Life To Live. So many actors and actresses got their start on these shows from Two Desperate Housewives to Ally McBeal to Two Successful Grammy Award Winning Singers as well as Two Future Oscar Winners.

    I recently sent a note to a Pen Pal in Europe and I told him about what was happening and he was shocked. In the UK many of the Soaps that are on the air have major staying power. Coronation St., the longest running Soap Opera debuting in 1960 where William Roache (Ken Barlow) holds the Record for being the longest running Soap Actor in British TV. Emmerdale that had it’s first Lesbian Storyline debuting in 1972, and Eastenders,the first UK Soap to deal with AIDS.

    What’s so sad was that a couple of months ago, Susan Lucci talked about how she and her fellow Soap Stars took major pay cuts and now out of a Job and when these shows end, a part of a populuar culture will end as well.

  13. I was 5 when Guiding light started. I grew up watching the soaps with my mom and some of my happiest memories are the laughs and tears we shared over the soaps. From the CBS soaps to ABC’s soaps. It is the end of an era. So many people will lose their jobs adding to the downturn in the economy. We’ll miss our soaps but 100′s of people will lose their jobs. That is a travesty.

    I certainly will survive without the soaps and my livelihood doesn’t depend on them but I will grieve for the end of an era. Soaps took my mind off of family and work problems and made me laugh or cry when I needed to do so.

    I can guarantee you I will not be watching any kind of talk or reality show on ABC in place of the soaps. I don’t watch “The Talk” or “Let’s Make a Deal” on CBS either nor will I ever watch them.

  14. I echo what Jessica Leccia said the daytime has been robbed! Sad to see so many daily doses of love for many people (SOAPS)being canceled mercilessly without even thinking of how much love passion and time the fans of the said soaps have devoted and invested in them.

  15. This is heartbreaking news.

    I am a lifetime CBS soaps viewer and was obviously saddened by the cancellation of GL and ATWT. Like many of you, I had no interest in other “replacement” shows (talk shows, reality, health, etc…). So I decided to add OLTL to my list of “can’t miss” shows. It came on at the same time ATWT did and it showcased many talented actors from previous CBS daytime shows. I have been watching since ATWT went off the air and I was certainly hoping that it wouldn’t fall victim to the chopping block that killed my favs. I was especially happy to learn that Roger Howarth, previously Paul from ATWT, would be rejoining the cast of OLTL. Roger was previously on OLTL and to my understanding, a real fan favorite. I thought this was a good sign for OLTL…that it was in good shape. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

    I truly realize that the shows are very costly, but surely all means to cut the budget have not been exhausted. I know that no amount of pleading is going to change this decision, but I certainly hope the powers that be for the remaining soaps (especially Y&R and The Bold and the Beautiful) will really make every effort to sustain them. There remains an audience eager to watch!!!!

  16. I have been watching soaps since I was 9 which is approximately 25 years. My soap of choice is Days of Our Lives, but through the years I’ve watched others such as AMC and OLTL. I am saddened and disgusted over ABC’s intent to cancel (2) long running and beloved Soaps. This genre needs to be protected not tossed aside for what network executives believe is better television. We have more than enough cooking and lifestyle shows, we are however, running out of Soaps which offer drama, comedy, passion, fantasy, and romance. These characters are our family, coming into our homes every day, and to just have these shows yanked from out screens with what appears to be no real thought is an outrage. Save our Soaps.

  17. I think its really sad, and yes I think the fans as well as the actors are being robbed. My mother has watched AMC since she was a teenager, My grandmother let us miss school so we could watch Luke and Laura’s wedding. Soaps are something that are passed down from Generation to generation. My best friend from college called me about the Otalia story line and we all started watching GL because of it and well CC and JL are fabulous actresses. So no my mom my grandma’s nor any of my friends will be watching the abc replacements.

  18. glad young and restless still on the only good soap

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