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All My Children

Memories, Love & Heartache in the Afternoon – The Cast of AMC Says Goodbye to Its Network Television Run!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

In a brand new feature out today from On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman at FrontiersLA.com, several of the key members of the cast of All My Children are profiled and interviewed on their memories, the heartbreaking cancellation of the series, their loyal fans, and the sense of family camaraderie they have had together with all the trials and tribulations it took to keep the show on the air.

AMC’s Susan Lucci (Erica), Thorsten Kaye (Zach), Cameron Mathison (Ryan), Rebecca Budig (Greenlee), Bobbie Eakes (Krystal), Christina Bennett Lind (Bianca), Sarah Glendening (Marissa), Vincent Irizarry (David) Jill Larson (Opal), Michael Knight (Tad) and J.R. Martinez (Brot) are all part of this piece.

Below are just a few excerpts!

Jill Larson on her on-contract, then off-contract status with the show: “It has been quite a roller coaster ride really since the spring of 2006 when I went off contract. Then they started using me! I think it was Chuck Pratt [ex-head writer, AMC] that saw the value of the character and started using her more regularly. I did become the resident psychic and I did make all the other residents of Pine Valley look a little dense, because I had 100 percent accuracy and nobody would believe me!” [Laughs]

Jill getting emotional recalling the love of the fans at the recent All My Children Fan Club event: “Emotions are close to the surface right now. [Teary-eyed] I did not have any understanding of daytime, or the power and the potency of it in people’s lives when I started here. I feel so honored that I get to do a job that brings that kind of delight to people. That is extraordinairy to me. My character has evolved over the years in a way that I did not necessarily intend, but the voice of my mother, and my grandmother, and aunt Edna are in there with me, and they have come forth now in Opal after all my years of playing her. I thought she was a great distance from me, but clearly that is not the case. At the fan club weekend there were so many families that came. There was the daughter, and the grandmother, and the great grandmother in the wheelchair, the children and the grandchildren. Soaps really provide a common language and glue for families of every generation. I understand for the network it’s costly to do these shows. But, I don’t think they really appreciate the value and the uniqueness of this form, and the power of it.”

Susan Lucci on having those moments where she realized how amazing it has been playing the one and only Erica Kane: “I did pinch myself all along the way. I feel so lucky. I knew it from the very beginning that Erica was special, and then all along the way. I thought to myself, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’ The range I have got to play as Erica has been astounding. I think back to her modeling days in New York City, and being at the Met, and running down that grand staircase and all that went with it. Also, the comedy with David Canary [Adam/Stuart Chandler] comes to mind, and the great romances, but also the groundbreaking and socially relevant storylines … Bianca’s coming out, Erica’s addiction to prescription pain pills … both those stories were told in real time. That is a luxury of this genre.”

Vincent Irizarry on remember one of David’s most heinous acts … stepping over his mother, Vanessa! “There was one time David stepped over his mother while she was having a heart attack in the parking lot, and Erica is going, ‘Dr Hayward. I am so glad you are here.’ And I am like, ‘Oh, you bitch.’ And I keep walking off. And she is like, ‘Dr. Hayward why would you walk away from her?’ And someone goes, ‘That’s his mother!’ He loves to tell people in Pine Valley, ‘Look at yourselves! You’re not so different than me. You are just lacking the brilliance.’ Look, in the end, I will take away from this experience the wonderful relationships with the people that I work within every area of this show. It’s been incredible.”

Make sure to read all the actors thoughts on their time with AMC, and on its conclusion on television, by going to the full story here!

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Lee
Lee

Michael, Thank you (and thank you, AMC) for all of these wonderful interviews. I love this show and these actors! I’m hoping they will come back re-energized and fresh on the web and take it by storm.

ethel
ethel

thanks michael – i could not help but tear up reading this article……..

ellen
ellen

Wish you could have interviewed Jacob Young

Brian Greene
Brian Greene

I’m sending thank yous too, Michael! 🙂

All My Children

8 Years To The Day Of All My Children & One Life to Live Being Canceled; Still Considered By Many Worst Move For Daytime

It’s hard to believe that 8 years ago today on April 14th, 2011, the soap world, its fans, and the cast members, learned of the heartbreaking news that ABC, in one swift move, decimated its daytime line-up when they announced the cancellations of long running series, All My Children (which would end at its 41st year), and One Life to Live (which would ends its run in its 43rd year).

At the time, ABC announced it would move to more lifestyle/entertainment series to replace these dramas.  In its place came The Chew and The Revolution, neither show is still on the air today.  Executives at that time pointed to research saying that times are changing and that their decision was “guided by extensive research into what today’s daytime viewers want,” and blame, in part, “the changing viewing patterns of the audience” for the axing of AMC and OLTL

Then ABC Daytime President, Brian Frons had joked to Deadline about the big announcement that he: “Pre-entered the witness protection program prior to today’s events.”  He added that “The demise of the two venerable soaps was actually a year in the making.  A year ago, we started to look at our projections where the ratings for the soaps would go.  When those projections came in pretty discouraging, the network began to aggressively develop replacement shows, 15 of them.  Four of the 15 were picked up to pilot: The Chew and The Revolution and two others, a talk show and a dating show. Originally, the idea was to cancel only one daytime drama.  The way the ratings developed and the pilots turned out, the ratings developed negatively and pilots developed positively, so we decided to make a bigger shift.”  Of note is that when it went off the air, One Life to Live was in third place among its competitors in the ratings.

The press release that came with the cancellations stated: “To honor the core, passionate audience and their rich history both shows will conclude in a manner that respects their legacies and the longstanding hopes of many of their viewers.”

Following the cancellations daytime reeled. The mainstream was sure it meant the endings of the soaps, period.  However, four shows illustrated that is not true at all.  For Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless all remain, and still whether they are up or down in their numbers/ratings, they remain relevant and important to the enduring daytime viewing audience.

Sadly, as with any shows, the end of ABC’s AMC and OLTL meant loss of jobs for so many working in front of the camera and behind the scenes. One Life was the last soap opera in production in New York at the time.  AMC was already being shot in LA to cut costs to save it.

Still in 2019, if you venture on to social media, especially Twitter, you see fans constantly missing its stars and the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, wanting this wrong rectified.  Although Prospect Park tried to revive the show with their online versions, eventually after legal battles that went on for a few years, ABC now retains the right to these properties,

The good news is that many favorites from AMC and OLTL have found success and been hired on other soap operas, bringing their followings with them, whether it be on-screen, or in the writing, producing, directing or crew departments.

So, do you think the loss of AMC and OLTL consolidated daytime and made the remaining shows stronger so they would not be touched or canceled?  Do you think ABC should try to mount a resurrected AMC and OLTL or an amalgamation of the two?  Do you remember where you were when you learned the two soaps were cancelled? Was this the worst misstep of all-time for daytime? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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All My Children

George R. R. Martin’s “Leak” Of New Hulu Series WILD CARDS Featuring Eden Riegel, Thorsten Kaye. and Greg Rikkart

April Fool’s Day started off with a bang today when Eden Riegel (Ex-Bianca, AMC) posted a photo of herself with Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Greg Rikaart (Ex-Leo, DAYS)  in a very intriguing image.  See above pic!  As it turns out, it’s said to be from behind the scenes from some leaked footage of the upcoming Hulu series, Wild Cards.

The premise of Wild Cards is based on the sci-fi anthology series edited by George R. R, Martin, best known for writing the “Song of Ice and Fire” novels, on which HBO’s Game of Thrones is based.  Riegel’s husband, Andrew Miller is the showrunner attached to the upcoming series.

On Martin’s website he teases the set-up of the “leaked” video clip:  “This was not supposed to go public.. Everybody (Well, everybody that has been paying attention knows that we are developing two Wild Cards as a series for Hulu  Andrew Miller has taken the reins as showrunner, a writing staff has been hired, and they have been hard at work for months.  What was NOT supposed to be known is how far they’ve come.  Not only have some scripts been finished, but the first show has gone into production and has been shooting.  That was supposed to be a deep dark secret, however.   We wanted to surprise the world. It’s hard to keep secrets in Hollyweird, however.  And now it appears that some of the rough footage has been leaked by person or persons unknown”

Meanwhile, Riegel sent out a series of tweets: “Hooo boy…cat’s out of the bag! Fans, please don’t judge our show based on these leaked videos!! The effects are going to knock your socks off. And my costars, and , are doing the best work of their lives!”  That was followed by, T”hank you for the chance to work with you on your first foray into soaps! I am humbled and honored. We won’t let you down.” And then, “I’m probably not allowed to share this with all the NDAs I signed, but damnit I’m just so proud of the team!  think we are breaking new ground for soaps. So proud to work with you!”

Now below, check out the Wild Cards “leaked footage” and let us know if you think of the …. um … drama! Comment below.  And one more thing … Happy April Fool’s!

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All My Children

WATCH: All My Children Reunion On Strahan & Sara

On Monday’s episode of ABC’s Strahan & Sara, the show welcomed several stars of the beloved All My Children for a reunion, of sorts. Joining hosts Michael Strahan and Sara Haines were Susan Lucci (Erica), Walt Willey (Jack), Cady McClain (Dixie), Jacob Young (JR) and Jill Larson (Opal).

While it was wonderful to see the stars from Pine Valley again, it was also a painful reminder that this network, ABC, canceled the show, and had put in its place – The Chew, and now Strahan & Sara – since canning the series.   In fact, as you will see on the clips below, many of the crew who work on this talk show were once the crew for All My Children.

During the segment, Susan Lucci was tested to see if she remembered all of Erica Kane’s wedded names.  Later, Walt Willey and Susan re-created the final scene of the ABC version of All My Children between Erica and Jack, where Jack walks out on her.  However, this time, they have Jack changing his mind and coming back to Erica and sealing their relationship with a kiss – a moment of closure that never happened (since the show moved to online via Prospect Park).

In addition, Cady McClain and Jacob Young re-created the infamous Dixie “dying from eating poison pancakes” scene, as JR watches his mother die, only this time she lives.

It’s always great to see these veteran performers, but Strahan & Sara is trying to capture the soap viewers to put eyeballs on their show by bringing in talent from the show that sadly and wrongly went off the air.

Watch the clips below from the All My Children reunion below.  Then, let us know what you thought of it via the comment section below.

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