Programming

ABC Cancels 'All My Children,' 'One Life to Live'

Final episodes will air in September 2011 and January 2012 4/14/2011 06:38:00 PM Eastern

Updated 7:05 p.m. ET

ABC is canceling its long-running soaps All My Children and One Life to Live and replacing them with two new daytime shows, the network said Thursday.

All My Children will broadcast its final episode in September 2011 and One Life to Live will exit in January 2012.

"We knew that whatever the timing the passionate soap fan was going to feel a sense of dislocation by losing their soap," Brian Frons, Disney-ABC's president of daytime, told B&C. "We had two shows we wanted to put on. We gave them some separation so the first show could find its own marketing voice before we launched the second show."

To determine with what to replace the declining soaps, ABC did a great deal of audience research. Those results indicated that daytime viewers -- who are still mostly women -- prefer to gather the opinions of many and  then make up their own minds about how they want to live their lives.

"Women who are younger than baby boomers -- the Gen X and Gen Yers - they do not want to be told what to do. They do not want to be told what to think," said Frons.

Replacing All My Children in September is The Chew, a one-hour live series that will focus on anything and everything related to food. Restaurateur Mario Batali, Clinton Kelly (What Not To Wear), Carla Hall (Top Chef), restaurateur Michael Symon and nutrition expert Daphne Oz., daughter of Dr. Mehmet Oz, have all signed on as hosts of the new series. Gordon Elliott (Paula Deen's Home Cooking) will executive produce.

In addition, The Revolution will bow in January, replacing One Life To Live, as a daily show about health and lifestyle transformations from producer JD Roth and 3 Ball Productions (The Biggest Loser). A team of experts led by fashion guru Tim Gunn, and including celebrity trainer Hayley Pasternak and American Idol alum Kimberly Locke, will showcase one woman's five-month weight loss journey over the course of five episodes. While each week will focus on a different woman's weight loss, the show also will showcase transformations in other women's lives during the course of every episode.

"Nobody in daytime is doing five-day-a-week shows like these shows," says Frons. "I think that cable does a lot of things that are smart. I think we are being smart by looking at people like Tim Gunn and Michael Symon and Clinton Kelly and Carla Hall. These are people who have attracted a large, affluent audience on cable."

ABC's two soaps depart after each ran for more than 40 years. All My Children premiered on ABC on Jan. 5, 1970 and One Life To Live bowed on July 15, 1968. Agnes Nixon created both series.

As previously announced, ABC's cable home for soaps, SOAPnet, will become Disney Junior in January 2012.

ABC soap General Hospital will remain on the air.

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