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Oprah: I Can't Save 'All My Children' or 'One Life to Live'

Apparently there are some things even the almighty Oprah Winfrey can't save.

After fans of canceled soap operas "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" started bombarding the talk show giant with requests for her to pick up the shows on the OWN network, Winfrey made a video explaining why she just can't.

"I understand what it feels like to have a show you love off the air, I appreciate that you all think I could save the soaps," says Oprah. "But here is the bone marrow truth. The soaps have been an institution in broadcast history and television because they had the support of the audience."

Winfrey then lays out the sad statistics -- and the ratings info she has isn't pretty.

She continues, "Believe me, if there was a dime left to be made from them on broadcast television it would still be happening ... I will not be taking on the responsibility of trying to revive an institution that for all intent and all purpose indicates that that time has come for it to be over. So thank you for believing I could save them. But I really can’t.”

"All My Children" has been on the air since 1970 ... and "One Life to Live" debuted in 1968. Both were given the ax last week.

Comments (40)

Vinnie Cristina:  1379 days ago

I stopped watching CBS and now ABC, they do not care they made their money, they do not care about the fans that had watched these show for years.

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sue:  1379 days ago

I cannot believe they are taking All My Children off the air, I have watched it since day one! I don't think they took into consideration that some people watch these 2 shows on soapnet, since we work during the day. Have you checked the ratings on there also ? I will not even turn my TV on during my lunch hours again !

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kitty:  1379 days ago

I understand that Oprah's network might not have money to buy the soaps, but I wished she checked the facts before citing low ratings:
1. One Live to Live is the 3rd highest rated soap on daytime tv, and it's also has high rating among 18-38 viewers (it's obvious ABC doesn't give a damn about anybody older than 38). So if it was all about the ratings why did they choose OLTL?
2. OLTL ratings have been climbing up not declining.
3. The ratings of daytime shows are inaccurate. A lot of us professional people record them to watch in the evening/weekends. Also most of us don't want to bother be "Nielson families" - I know somebody who was asked and refused.
4. The ratings would've been much higher if Frohns hadn't been purposely destroying them for years by ignoring fans' suggestions, by getting rid of actors that fans like, by re-writing history, etc....
5. If the ratings of AMC is low, it could well be improved with better storylines.
6. Over half of soap opera viewers are professionals who record the shows. NOBODY is going to record yet another talk show or yet another show about food or losing weight.

BTW - I am a professional woman with an advanced degree. I resent that soap fans are being presented as stupid or uneducated.

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pat clark:  1379 days ago

i too can not believe they are cancelling ALL MY CHILDREN i am a 64 year old retired male who has been with the show over 30 friends make fun of me but i have secretly been in love with erica kane for all these years. everyone in my company i worked for at lexis-nexis knew not to call me between 1 pm and 2 pm every day when ALL MY CHILDREN was on. i will miss you erica kane.and to all my friends, yes, you were right
about my wanting to be erica's 10th husband!

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Deb Smith:  1379 days ago

For 25 years soaps have been a lead in to her show. The way her new network is floundering you would think she would at least extend there life and give it chance. I'm sure that would be a way to get ppl to watch her channel,I bet there is a very huge number of soap fans that watch her show. She could be shooting herself in the foot by pi$$ing them off. She could always air them at night IMO I think that she is making a very bad business decision, but now that she is sitting on a mint it doesn't really matter to her. At least as short term trial to thank them for helping put her on the map. and if she gets the rights to the older shows and airs them as well it would be a goldmine.

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TIRED OF ALL SLUTS,MCGEE, ETC...:  1379 days ago

So sorry to see the soaps cancelled. I have watched for years. They are our extended family.
Athletes, Entertainers, Singers, watch them too. Big mistake ABC. Send Sawyer,Roberts and Walters to the Royal Wedding, 3 to cover it at least, use the money for the shows and actors!!!

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ELI:  1379 days ago

Oprah is just blowing smoke out her a..!

She could buy the two shows and then put them on OWN!

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fran:  1379 days ago

I cannot believe he is taking these 2 shows off. For what more food shows? Why stop there, take General Hospital off and make a clean sweep. There is more violence on GH then AMC & OLTL. If the ratings are down then go after the writers to write good stories. I will not watch another food show or reality show and as for Rachel Ray I will not watch anymore either. She is so happy the food show is coming on because they are her friends. Not one word about our soaps going off. I don't watch the View, can't stand the people on there, all they do is hackle the whole time. ABC has turned me off and now I will turn you off. I am not alone when I say I will BOYCOTT these shows. I guess Brian Frons was lying when he said the fans matter. After Jan 2012 ABC is dead to me and I can't wait for those 2 shows to fail.

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pam:  1379 days ago

Oprah is right. The soaps would still be on the air if enough people were watching them. Producing a soap is very expensive compared to reality, cooking or talk shows. The truth is there is more money to be made with other types of shows. The networks are losing viewers to cable channels and the internet every day. They are not in the business of keeping their loyal soap fans happy. If anything, they are willing to drop you and pick up a more profitable viewing demographic. The only thing about fans that matters to a network is the number of them watching a show. And if that number isn't high enough to justify the production costs, the show will be gone. That's why there are so many reality shows. They are cheap to make and lots of people watch them (not me). the soaps have been dying for at least 20 years. Time to let them go.

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Stella:  1379 days ago

That is BULL and you know it. I know for a FACT that Bob Iger got an $8M Christmas bonus, trust me there is money available. Why does it ALWAYS come down to money, REALLY? what about joy and looking forward to escaping with Erica.

Do the right thing ABC and Oprah your support would help.


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lora:  1379 days ago

I shall boycott whatever appears in the time slot that belongs to AMC...good bye Channel 7. I have a graduate degree...not uneducated or stupid. This decision is a BIG mistake

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Hisjules:  1379 days ago


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Roxanne :  1379 days ago

Why not buy them and air the shows later in the evening? Why not check soap net veiwership? Yes we have to work during the day but most busy soap fans catch up during the evening. Air those shows at 6pm and 7pm, that way to catch fans who are home from work and you're not competing with primetime heavy hitters like american idol, dancing with the stars etc... take a page out of Telemundo and Univision's book. They have huge success with their late night novelas. Remember when General Hospital had theit primetime special and what about the many successful primetime serials in the past (Dallas, Knots Landing,Dynasty, Falcon Crest etc...). I know it's more expensive to shoot on film (used for prime time shows) vs. video (used for most daytime serials), 6 and 7pm are still early enough that they could get away with it.

I have a graduate degree and I LOVE soaps

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Betty:  1378 days ago

I am so angry that my two favorite soaps have been cancelled. I have watched All My Children since it started and record it daily. It is the only show I watch regularly. My husband and I look forward to watching it each night when we get home from work. I will not watch another talk show or reality show!! I am so sick of them!!

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Maria:  1377 days ago

I understand ...Oprah will be way too busy trying to save the Obamas over the next 2 years.

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