Soap fans thought the future of the six remaining daytime dramas was secure after the recent renewals of “Days of Our Lives,” “The Young & the Restless” and “The Bold & the Beautiful.” Now Deadline is reporting that ABC is considering canceling “All My Children” and replacing it with a talk show. Though the article does not cite any sources, it echoes a similar post on Daytime Confidential last month that also claimed ABC was considering dropping one of its soaps for a talk show next season.
Deadline thinks that AMC is the most vulnerable of ABC’s soaps because it is usually the lowest rated soap on the air, pointing out that it recently hit record lows among Women 18-49. In fairness, every single soap has been declining in the ratings this season, all hitting or tying their personal worst some weeks. As the article points out, the difference between AMC and “One Life to Live’s” ratings is minuscule. Many ABC fans have noted that OLTL is treated like the network’s red headed stepchild, consistently receiving less promotion than ABC’s other soaps, perhaps an indication that it is the soap ABC considers most expendable. Despite its lower ratings, AMC is the better known soap. Star Susan Lucci is a household name. In 2009, ABC moved AMC’s production from New York to Los Angeles, in what was supposed to be a longterm cost cutting move. Rumors persist that it is still over budget, while OLTL is consistently on or under budget. That could be a reason for the network to favor keeping OLTL on the air. “General Hospital,” the network’s highest rated soap, appears to be safe.
Deadline points out that since Disney will be replacing SoapNET with a pre-school cable channel in 2012, the studio now has less of a financial incentive to keep a full soap line-up on its schedule. “The View” frequently outperforms AMC and OLTL among key demographics, and the network may think it can get about the same ratings for much less money with another talk show. Given that the syndicated “The Oprah Winfrey Show” airs mainly on ABC affiliates, the network could be looking for an in-house replacement.
Though Deadline did not specify what talk shows are under consideration for next season, Daytime Confidential reported that projects in development include a talker starring Tori Spelling and Jeff Lewis, a cooking show starring Danny Boome and a Barbara Walters produced show that is described as a male version of “The View.”