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One Life to Live Aired Its Last ABC Episode Five Years Ago Today!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

It is hard to fathom that five years ago on this date in 2012, the beloved One Life to Live aired its final episode on ABC after being cancelled by the network along with All My Children in 2011.  One Life debuted on ABC in 1968, a creation of the late and iconic Agnes Nixon who passed away late in 2016.

After over 43 years, when the series was canned along with AMC, that sweeping move still today has shaken the soap genre to its core. Then after stalled attempts at an online rebirth, One Life was given a new life to live online on April 29, 2013 via one season on Hulu via Prospect Park. Now after a long litigation, the rights to the series are back with ABC.

The final episode of ABC’s One Life to Live ended with a rousing cliffhanger between Alison Perkins (Barbara Garrick) revealing she had tied up and kidnapped Victor Lord Jr. (Trevor St. John) who is very much alive, just as his brother Todd (Roger Howarth) is arrested for his “murder”.   The amazing final run and final episodes were brilliantly executed and written by then OLTL head writer Ron Carlivati and his stellar writing team.

After the jump, watch the final ABC episode of One Life to Live that originally aired five years ago today.  Then share your thoughts and memories of the soap in the comment section below.

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Iakovos
Iakovos

Among the most boneheaded decisions by ABC, cancelling OLTL and AMC. The Alphabet net once owned daytime and had a brand envied by all in the game. These were quality programs that deserved better than what they received in their final years.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

OLTL was in an upswing in its final year…it got so good-better than what is currently going on in our 4 remaing soaps!

robert
robert

it was better than the material we are seeing now. OLTL’s demos were higher than what the current soaps are doing

Sean
Sean

The ratings were not good and although The Chews ratings may not be as good its close enough and much cheaper to produce. Im sad OLTL is gone but from a business standpoint I get why ABC did what it did.

Celia
Celia

Yeah, Iakovos.That’s what I call a SOAP….. Drama. Suspense. Gorgeous characters. Supreme acting. Oh, yeah….watching these clips was an incredibly out-of-body experience for me. Be still mine heart…it’s all a’twitter! So bittersweet.
I wanted to dive right in there, head first. I love these people….every single one of them.
Victor ( fake Todd) is alive? I do not remember that scene.

Mollie
Mollie

I encourage you to watch The Sopranos, The West Wing, and Breaking Bad. Those are quality programs. For you to put One Life To Live in the “quality” category is simply absurd.

Celia
Celia

Hey, Mollie,
I am trying to understand your post. How is it relevant? We are speaking of soaps not defunct primetime shows.
We, as viewers are a diverse lot. Different strokes for different folks.
What may seem “quality” to you, may be trash to another. My intellect must be impaired because I never found any interest in those shows. I am sorry, but that is such a blatant remark.
I do not appreciate violence, no matter the “high” quality. ‘Tis a choice. How can one compare soaps to primetime programming? Apples and Oranges.
OLTL, as far as I am concerned, was one of THE best soaps ever created. Still watching, after twenty-seven years. My first memory, at the age of three, was Rachel talking to Ava (ANOTHER WORLD, in her kitchen, with a dish cloth swung over her shoulder. Constance Ford, I believe died just a few years later.
So, you see, Mollie, what counts is what makes an impression. To me, that’s “quality”.
Furthermore, Iakovos is right. The soaps of yore brought something to the table. They had heart….something to which we all related; even to those of us who started watching as toddlers.
Iakovos was not comparing, you are. He is strictly talking about soaps, THEIR merits and how their ‘richness’ is getting poorer and poorer. To those of us who are avid soap watchers, Mollie, this “regression” hurts. I take it, you don’t really like soaps? Later.

brian
brian

i have to agree so strongly with Celia.. and somehow i feel that you may not understand what soaps gave to people. Imagine being a gay teenage in my world of 1981 and 1982 and my 2 final years of high bulling being now played 10 years later by Ryan Phillipe. the dialogue, the visualization of what Billy Douglas suffered bridges so much understand of what i went thru for my mother to see on this soap. I mean no offense to you in any way, but i felt strongly to give voice to my experience. there were days in those years when it would be easier for to have gone to bed and hoped not to awake..but it was wanting to watch OLTL the next day that calmed those thoughts. And with regard to Breaking Bad , which at the time it aired, i too enjoyed watching..please do some viewing of the documentary movie “Chemsex” and see what crystal meth has done to the gay community 10 years later on.

AJ
AJ

While I loathe the cancellation of soaps – I still miss my beloved Santa Barbara – I can’t agree that it was “among the most boneheaded decisions by ABC.” Soaps are quite expensive to produce and just don’t have the ratings they once did, especially the ABC ones. The Chew averages almost 3M viewers and costs much less than OLTL to produce. It’s simple business. Yes, the Revolution failed, but now that hour is back at the affiliates and that makes them happier than having any network programming!

Alan
Alan

OLTL was at the top of its game during its last few years. It’s sad that a show that was never afraid to take creative chances with its storytelling was cancelled in favor of GH and its singular worship of all things Corinthos.

Brian
Brian

It’s pretty simple, GH was the higher rated show at the time, and brought in higher ad revenue. It also had the history and the track record. Not to mention, OLTL was cost ineffective being taped in New York where production costs are much higher. There’s a reason none of the New York based soaps ever lasted. It came down to dollars and cents, which is all ABC cared about. I don’t like that it happened, but from working in the TV business, I can understand why it did.

fginaspy
fginaspy

I enjoyed the finale better this time around. I think no commercials helped. I least favorite character in this episode was Tomas. Now that ABC owns the rights of characters again I wonder if some characters will once again appear on GH. Even if they resurrect OLTL on a smaller scale to stream online. We know there is an audience.

Claudio
Claudio

Wow time flies, ABC made a huge mistake in cancelling OLTL. ABC will never admit there mistake, I hope they choke on it. OLTL will never come back to ABC, way too late now.

Rose
Rose

I agree with you Claudio. Even if they tried to re-boot it’s hard to catch the magic again…like David Vickers, Dorian, Blair. And then there seems to be problems finding good writers for the soaps we have left.

It’s said it costs more to do a soap than the other shows they’ve tried as replacements for our soaps. But I also have to think it has cost a lot in loyalty and the revolving door of shows that have come and gone.

Phil
Phil

I miss Guiding Light of all the cancelled shows… wish they would find a way to bring it back on the air, but sadly we will never see another daytime soap premiere!

jlh
jlh

I thought about OLTL several times today and still recall 5 years ago. I was at work and looked at the clock at the time it was airing its final moments. A heartbreaking moment. Went home, watched the episode and cried like a baby. I’ll never forget the series–it was a part of 40 years of my life–and in fact got a OLTL tattoo (the abbreviations) last year!

Lori bono
Lori bono

I felt the exact same way, it was so heart wrenching I was devastated

Patricio
Patricio

I cried from the opening credits on. I was hoping that OLTL would be my afternoon companion as it was for my mom and aunts. GH is too hit and miss.

John Gordon
John Gordon

It COULD come back though it is highly unlikely – the viewers would have to accept new cast members intermingled with existing Cast members such as Erika Slezak as Victoria ~ add in some new players – there’s no reason why it can’t be done – the only problem is, ABC probably won’t do it.

Terri
Terri

OLTL was must watch daytime drama, funny, poignant, sexy, with the best cast and couples . The acting was superb and the writing was at the top of its game. I miss my beloved soap I miss my favorite couple Jolie, as well as other favorites Cicki and Clint, David and Dorian, Todd and Blair, Victor and Tea, Jess and Nash, Bo and Nora and oh the tears when it ended.

Patty
Patty

Miss oltl to much, bring it back and other character from and
And other soaps it will do great, daytime right now sucks
Except for a few shows.

jeanine girard
jeanine girard

Wow. Five years already! So miss all the soaps that were cancelled last: OLTL, ATWT, and of course GL. The reasons can be many why they were cancelled from expenses to different demographics and viewing habits, etc. I just find it ironic that the execs who proclaimed that viewers don’t want to watch serial dramas anymore. And now what is the primetime landscapes littered with: Serialized dramas! Makes me crazy!!

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

I still mourn the loss of our beloved One Life to Live. All this week, I’ve watched episodes from 2009-2010 online and am thoroughly entertained. The quality of the acting, story weaving and production is superb. There were half a dozen different story lines going on at the same time and nothing got lost in the shuffle. I miss those rich, multi-layered characters and complex stories with all the twists and turns. I offer my sincere thanks to the entire cast and crew for entertaining me from July 15, 1968 to January 13, 2012.

Abe Washington
Abe Washington

Prospect Park’s OLTL was also really good. It got better and better as it went on, I wish it had continued1

Yvonne
Yvonne

Now maybe GH can have Dr Finn go off into the sunset with Hayden or his not-so dead wife and bring back John McBain. They can do the same with Franco/Todd. Or better yet have some other actors take the role of Dr. Finn and Franco and return Michael Easton to the role of McBain and Roger Howard to Todd. That would be a hoot.

Shelly
Shelly

I miss it a lot! And AMC too. I watched them both from the time I was a little girl staying with my Grandma. She’d stop for a break to watch her “stories” then she’d go back to cooking and cleaning. Lol

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

What I loved most about OLTL is that Ron Carlivati was in charge of the writing and Frank Valentini was the head honcho. Ron gave us a surprise every day which had me tuning in because I knew if I missed a day I missed alot. He also waited until a big payoff came on a story and I remember swearing at my TV so many times because I wanted the ending to come but of course making me wait was half the fun with the show. The last time i had that anticipation was when TEXAS was on the air. Soaps that have something exciting happen every day are the most fun for me to watch and I miss both those shows so very much.

su0000
su0000

hi James,
yes, Ron gave us a surprise every day and always an ending pay-off to the story.
Ron Carlivati is the best of the best.
I am awaiting Ron Carlivati’s return to GH.

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

Is Ron coming back to GH? I didn’t hear anything about that but I was disappointed when he was let go because I felt that Frank and Ron were the Dynamic Duo of Daytime. OLTL was my favorite soap when they were the captains there and when they went to GH, they were still the best team anywhere. I hope this is true!!

Lori bono
Lori bono

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BRING BACK THESE TWO SOAPS!!

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

I also loved The Guiding Light and Santa Barbara among many other favorites over the years that gave been cancelled.

Jp
Jp

Still miss one life to live everyday. It was part of me growing up. I wish it was still on the air in some capacity.

Chaz
Chaz

Through highs & lows I watched OLTL from beginning to end and it had a talented cast, was fearless in highlighting social issues way before some other shows – even prime time – would touch them, was not afraid to be silly and incorporate humor and those musical numbers into it and created some of daytime’s most loyal fans.

While I doubt it will happen again, I would love to see the show revived, even in a 30 minute format.

blake
blake

Do you have to remind us? I’m still not over this. OLTL was the best soap at this time and I enjoyed watching every episode. ABC was stupid to cancel it and they never recovered for it thankfully.

Rodd
Rodd

Still miss it like crazy.

P. McMahon
P. McMahon

I miss that show every single weekday to this day.

mgb357
mgb357

They were family… and everyday they are thought of fondly.

OLTL – hopefully Another Life To Live….

su0000
su0000

On RC’s twitter..
he posted a link to a video of–
OLTL: Viki’s Heartbreaking Last Speech About Soaps (2012)
She tells it !

you OLTL fans might want to view it, get your hankies out !

dmr
dmr

In my opinion, the final days/episodes were dreadful-focused on Destiny, her family, and Matthew-all lackluster actors in lackluster storylines. OLTL was filler for me, airing before General Hospital; although, I always enjoyed Viki when she was altered as Niki Smith and I loved Dorian and the Cramer “girls.”

Janet
Janet

Unless it’s coming back I don’t want to say anything but this.

robert
robert

it was a stupid decision to end it. over it’s last year,it had really improved. the quality was much better than what we are currently getting with the four remaining soaps. all of it’s replacement flops showed they made a mistake

John Gordon
John Gordon

Wow it’s been over 5 years since ABC-TV made the biggest mistake in the history of television ~ now they have CRAP on in the afternoon, I really hope the Execs are happy ~

Breaking News

Judith Chapman Confirms She Is Back On DAYS And As Leo’s Mom

Exciting news DAYS fans, those rumblings were true! Judith Chapman will be playing the trouble-making Leo Stark’s (Greg Rikaart) mother on Days of our Lives.  And that reunites Chapman with Rikaart as mother and son.

As soap fans know, they played Gloria and Kevin Fisher on The Young and the Restless for many years together.  Now they will be playing a new mother/son dynamic duo in Salem. But, just what kind of twisted relationship might they have, since Leo has given clues that she was a bad mom?

Soap Opera Digest revealed that Judith will play Diana.   Her first airdate will be on January 29th.  DAYS fans know Judith from her time as Angelica Deveraux from 1989-1991, and most recently when she returned to the show for the 2018 Halloween episode doing a guest-turn as Angelica AKA Satan in Hattie’s (Deidre Hall) nightmare.

Chapman confirmed her arrival on the Salem scene in a tweet today, stating “And I don’t have to keep the secret either Mitch Sandusky! What a GREAT way to start 2019… More articles to come in TV Guide Magazine and Soap Opera Digest… and to be reunited with my TV son.

Diana will have a past with John Black (Drake Hogestyn), which could cause trouble for John and Marlena’s wedded bliss.

So, excited to know Judith will once again tear up the soap-screen, but this time back on DAYS? Comment below.

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The beloved and iconic star Carol Channing has passed away at age 97.  Best known for her performance as Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly, the Tony Award-winning actress also picked up a Golden Globe for her role in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and was nominated for an Academy Award for it as well, throughout her enduring career.

Reports on Tuesday detail that Channing died at her home in Rancho Mirage, California, of natural causes.

While Channing did so much in her illustrious career, she also appeared as herself back in 1993 on CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful.  That’s when the Forresters staged a celebrity-filled fashion show with plenty of glitz.

In a tweet with a photo of B&B’s enduring star, John McCook (Eric Forrester) pictured with Channing, the daytime drama shared: “All of us at mourn the loss of our friend, the legendary star, . She was a true original and there will never be anyone like her. Ms. Channing appeared as herself on B&B in 1993. May she rest in peace.”

Channing’s performance as a diamond-loving showgirl, Lorelei Lee, in the Broadway musical Gentleman Prefer Blondes back in 1949 made her a star.  Marilyn Monroe would play the role in the film adaptation.

Later in her TV career, she appeared on numerous shows including: Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, The Love Boat, Touched by an Angel and several game shows, to name just a few.

Share your thoughts on the passing of Carol Channing via the comment section below.

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Here;s what we know .. on Monday’s episode of ABC;s General Hospital, Ryan added CarSon, Sonny and Carly, to his hit list of victims.  He wants them out of the the way so Ava can take Avery and leave Port Charles with him and never look back.

Meanwhile, Carly is definitely a threat to figuring out that Kevin is Ryan, given her unrelenting quest and her days at Ferncliff.

Elsewhere, Franco is up to trying to figure out why “Kevin” suddenly dumped him as a patient, and if anyone can come across the lock box in “Kevin’s” office and open it up, therein lies clue to the serial killer’s movesand victims.

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Video du Jour

GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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