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Soap World Pays Tribute And Mourns The Loss Of AMC & OLTL Creator Agnes Nixon

Courtesy/PaleyCenter

Courtesy/PaleyCenter

On Wednesday, those known in the soap opera genre took to social media to pay tribute to All My Children and One Life to Live creator Agnes Nixon, who passed away this morning.

For it was Nixon, who was responsible for some of the most iconic characters in the annals of soap opera, the casting of some of the biggest names associated with those roles, and brought her iconic storytelling abilities to TV that touched the hearts of millions of viewers for decades.  The outpouring of love and ‘thank you’s’ on the passing of Nixon has been nothing short of remarkable and just thinking about how Agnes impacted so many greats in the industry.

Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Co., said in a statement: “It is with a heavy  heart I mourn the passing of television pioneer Agnes Nixon, someone I was proud to call a friend.  Agnes’ impact on daytime television and pop culture is undeniable.  She was the first to champion socially relevant topics, and the towns and characters Agnes brought to life leave an indelible imprint on television that will be remembered forever.”

Below are just some of the notable individuals and more who shared their sorrow on the death of this legendary scribe.  From One Life to Live’s Erika Slezak and Robin Strasser to All My Children’s Susan Lucci, Josh Duhamel. Cameron Mathison, to former OLTL EP and head writer, Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati and more, everyone took time out to remember this legend.

Photo: SLucciInstagram

Erika Slezak (Viki, OLTL):  I am so terribly saddened by the death of Agnes Nixon. She was more than a great writer, producer and boss, she was a warm, loving and wonderful woman with a truly delightful and somewhat wicked sense of humor. It was my very great privilege to have known her and to have worked for her.  When she hired me to play Viki on One Life To Live, she changed my life and my career and I will forever be grateful to her. I wish her peace and angels all around her. She deserves that!

Susan Lucci (Erika, AMC): I am devastated to learn that we have lost Agnes. I adored her and admired her–and I am forever grateful to her! May this liveliest and loveliest of women rest in peace.

Josh Duhamel (Leo, AMC): Sad to hear of the passing of Agnes Nixon. I’m thankful everyday that she created ALL MY CHILDREN and the character that gave me my first shot in the business. She will be missed.

Robin Strasser (Dorian: OLTL): I once asked Agnes Nixon about the Afterlife-she said she believed that someday she’d be reunited with her beloved husband…RIP Mrs. Nixon. Few can match the accomplishments of Agnes Nixon Her genius was a gift to many! She was generous, exacting, imaginative! Truly incomparable!

Photo: ERiegelTwitter

Alicia Minshew (Kendall, AMC) Just heard the sad news about the passing of the sweet and incredible genius #Agnesnixon. Makes me so sad. This is the last time I saw her. On the last shooting day of #AMC almost exactly 5 years ago. I was lucky to spend that time with her. She was a class act and a true talent. She helped give me the life and friendships I have today. And for that I am truly grateful to her. We all miss her stories and now will miss her as well. Thoughts and prayers are being sent to her family. RIP sweet Agnes. ❤️

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Sarah Michelle Gellar: (Kendall, AMC) RIP Agnes Nixon One of the classiest ladies, I ever had the honor to meet. And so talented.

Rebecca Budig: (Greenlee AMC, now Hayden GH) Agnes created one of the best characters I’ve ever played and was brilliant and KIND. Love and prayers to her family.

Eden Riegel: (Bianca, AMC): So sad to hear that Agnes Nixon has passed away. She told stories that made the world better. She touched our humanity. I will miss her.

Cameron Mathison (Ryan, AMC): RIP Agnes Nixon.  It was such an honor to know you and be part of your All My Children family.

Aiden Turner (Aidan, AMC): Sad to hear of the passing of #agnesnixon. It was an honor to be “one of her children” thank you for all the memories.

Photo: RCarlivatiTwitter

Scott Evans (Fish, OLTL): My heart goes out to Agnes Nixon and her family. She changed countless lives, mine included, and she will be missed. RIP

Melissa Archer (Natalie, OLTL) RIP Agnes Nixon. 🙁 Honored to have been One of your Children.

Frank Valentini (Executive Producer OLTL, now EP, General Hospital): So sorry to hear about #AgnesNixon. I knew her & loved her very much. She was a fantastic, incredible person. Rest in peace. Thank you for creating two amazing shows. Your contribution to the daytime community is unparalleled. You will be sorely missed. 

Ron Carlivati (Former head writer, OLTL): Heartbroken to learn of the passing of Agnes Nixon, the legendary creator of All My Children and One Life to Live. Not only was she one of my biggest inspirations, she was also one of my biggest champions, always there for me throughout my career with her support, advice and encouragement. I will treasure the memories of the time we spent together, particularly one night that she took me to dinner at the 21 Club. Imagine being a lifelong soap opera fan and getting to spend the evening with this iconic woman in this iconic place. Another time, at the final celebration for One Life to Live on The View, she pulled me up on stage with her on live TV to make sure I was acknowledged. Thank you, Agnes, for your generosity, your wisdom, your sense of humor, and most of all your stories. You will never be forgotten.

Andrea Evans (Tina Lord, OLTL): RIP. @agnesnixon You were one of a kind & I owe you so much! @OfficialOLTLFC we will miss you!

Nancy Lee Grahn (Beverly, OLTL now Alexis, GH): 1st pro acting job was on #OLTL Where would I’ve begun without her? #AgnesNixon May she live on after death like any great soap character.  

Dena  Higley (Former head writer, OLTL, now co-head writer, DAYS): A tiny lady but a force of nature. A talent like no other. The time I spent in her presence a treasure. Rest peacefully Agnes Nixon.

Photo: ABC

Melissa Claire Egan (Annie, AMC, now Chelsea Y&R): So sad to hear about the passing of Agnes Nixon. I owe her and #AMC so so much. A true trailblazer. May she rest in peace.

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Jean Passanante (Former co-head writer AMC and OLTL, now co-head writer, GH): Devastated by the death of Agnes Nixon, brilliant woman and pioneer who brought substance and humor to daytime. Grateful for her mentorship. Agnes Nixon was a petite woman with a giant heart, a wicked laugh and a head full of stories. Thanks for all you taught me.

Angelica McDaniel (Executive Vice President, Daytime Programs and Syndicated Program Development, CBS Entertainment and CBS Television): Daytime has lost Agnes Nixon, a pioneer in the soap genre. My thoughts are with her family, friends and fan.

Walt Willey (Jack, AMC): Oh, the irony! I’m pretty sure Agnes would approve. When I opened my Facebook page just now to say something in memory of the marvelous Agnes Nixon I found that I had typed a post regarding the anniversary of  All My Children’s final show on September 23 but had neglected to hit “Post.”  So let me make this post a combined tribute to the show that meant so much to so many of you on which I gladly toiled for almost 25 years, and the incredible woman that created this daytime juggernaut. Agnes Nixon was, to me, the epitome of class, erudition, and grace. Though tiny in stature, her creative genius filled her with a glow that fairly shown around her. She always had time for her actors, her “children,” and truly loved them. She was tough and honest and I cherish every moment I ever spent in discussion with Agnes or just observing her as everyone in the room came to her as if to a most benign monarch. Agnes, you honored and delighted me every time we had anything to do with one another. You will be greatly missed.

Photo:FValentiniTwitter

Cady McClain: (Dixie, AMC): It is so sad to hear of Agnes Nixon’s passing today. She was a great woman who really changed the world and made a great difference in my life and the lives of many women.  I always appreciated how “All My Children” was so moral. In it’s heyday, this was what defined it from other soaps. The good guys always struggled but won. We had a little church, and the characters prayed. Dixie did wrong things, but had a deep goodness to her.

CBS Daytime:  CBS Daytime mourns the loss of a true original and queen of daytime hearts, Agnes Nixon. Her contribution to the soaps will live on forever.

Andy Cohen: (Bravo, Watch What Happens Live,  and huge fan of AMC): Rest in Peace Agnes Nixon!!! Mother of so many great soaps!! And Erica Kane!!!

Jessica Collins (Dinah Lee, Loving): Very sad to hear about the passing of Agnes Nixon. She gave so many of us our start on #LOVING

Eric Nelsen (AJ, AMC): Rest In Peace #AgnesNixon!! We lost a real legend. I consider myself extremely lucky to have have known and worked for you. @allmychildren

Bryan Cranston (Douglas, Loving): I am saddened to hear of the passing of #AgnesNixon. Talented and kind, she gave me my start 33 yrs ago on “Loving.” Sweet passage dear one.

What did you think of the heartfelt posts from some of your favorites in daytime and more paying tribute to Agnes Nixon?  Let us know in the comment section below.

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Mike
Mike

This women made me a fan of the genre. One life to live was and is still alive everyday in my mind and inspired so much talent that it could never possibly end. Rip Agnes you have left a forever mark on me.

OLTL Forever
OLTL Forever

I just can’t. Devastated. A true pioneer. I looked up to her alot.

PennySoap
PennySoap

I’m crying…

Robynne
Robynne

We fans have been pushing for Agnes to receive a Kennedy Center Honor. We couldn’t do it before she left us…I hope all these actors/produces/writers/etc will join us now to make it happen posthumously. She more than deserves it. Love her, her stories, and all the friends I have made because of her – both on and off screen.

Kit
Kit

I’m sorry, but Bob Iger’s tribute just rings hollow to me, considering how ignominiously ABC treated both Mrs. Nixon and her two iconic shows in their last years (not to mention the to-dos that helped doom the Prospect Park resurrection).

Rapids
Rapids

ABC aired her two once greT shows for over forty years. I didn’t see anything wrong with what Bob Iger said. The shows were canceled after millions quit watching.
I send thoughts and prayers to her family and I will treasure all the memories from AMC.

mark
mark

So sad she wont be replaced by anyone a true original!

Mary
Mary

R.I.P Agnes Nixon I am very sorry for your loss she will be missed .may god with her family and friends and the soap world…

Jeffery L White
Jeffery L White

Rest in Peace Agnes Nixon, thank you for giving us “Love in the Afternoon”….

Debra m
Debra m

I grew up watching AMC and OLTL. Still miss them today. Agnes was an icon. If only the soaps were the way they used to be. RIP dear Agnes!

John
John

I live in NJ and a derailed commuter train interrupted LIVE a couple minutes into the show, but I was VERY disappointed that Kelly Ripa didn’t open the show and give her condolences. Haven’t seen them in her social media yet either.

Like I said her show was interrupted in the NY/NJ area so she could have said something later in the show not sure.

Harry
Harry

The first soap head writer to incorporate the works of Shakespeare and Robert & Elizabeth Barret Browning into her scripts. She had Nina and Cliff reciting “The Portuguese Sonnets” to one another and had some of her characters would interject a Shakespeare quote into their dialogue and it was done gracefully and seamlessly.
Indeed. I remember she had Kendall saying,”I have immortal longings in me” (Antony and Cleopatra) and she did so in such a way as to flesh out the character’s complexities making her more interesting and compelling.
Agnes Nixon treated her viewers as if they were intelligent and well educated and never patronized or talked down to the audience.
“And this,” Ms. Nixon, “shall give life to thee” (William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18).

Allen saint james
Allen saint james

Thank god for Agnes Nixon!

Dave
Dave

One of the last great creators of our beloved soap genre. She will be missed of course, but her spirit and essence will live on thru those she touched and mentored. RIP Agnes. We love you.

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.

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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,

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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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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”

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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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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.

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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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