ABC’s terrible decision to cancel both “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” brings to an end fifty years of soaps in New York. “OLTL” was the last. “AMC” had been moved sixteen months ago to Los Angeles. At one time, they were here along with several Procter & Gamble shows like “Another World” and its spinoffs, as well as “As the World Turns,” “Guiding Light,” and “Edge of Night,” “Search for Tomorrow.” ABC also had “Ryan’s Hope,” “The City,” and “Loving.” There was also “The Doctors” on NBC, from Colgate Palmolive.
Now, like “Playhouse 90″ and other relics of early television, they are all gone. It’s a massive blow to the city’s economy and to the casts and crews of all those shows. Daytime dramas were breeding grounds for hundreds of actors who went on to prime time and Broadway. At the same the shows also provided steady incomes to the veteran actors, directors, etc who kept the business going. Soap actors often turned up in Broadway shows, and vice versa: the best acting on soaps came from theater. That’s what made the New York soaps a cut above the ones from Los Angeles.
Even now, soap actors are planted all over Broadway. For example: Michael Park of “As the World Turns” is starring in “How to Succeed in Business.” Kerry Butler, from “One Life to Live,” is a lead in “Catch Me If You Can.” The loss of the soaps, as well as “Law & Order,” isn’t good for New York, and it sure ain’t good for the viewers. Shame on ABC.