'All My Children,' 'One Life to Live' Canceled! What Does This Mean for Daytime TV?

ABC axes both long-running soaps on the same day -- and replaces them with how-to lifestyle shows

R.I.P., All My Children and One Life to Live.

Today, ABC announced that both of these long-running soaps have been canceled. AMC will leave the air in September, and OLTL will end in January 2012. (The network's third daytime drama, General Hospital, will not be affected.)

All My Children has run for 41 years and launched the careers of such recognizable stars as Susan Lucci, Josh Duhamel, Amanda Seyfried, Melissa Leo, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Christian Slater and Kelly Ripa. One Life to Live has been on the air for an even more impressive 42 years -- and even recently featured the acting debut of one Kourtney Kardashian.

The soap opera world will miss them. Well, what's left of it. CBS's Guiding Light and As The World Turns were yanked a few years back, and SoapNet, the network devoted to soap opera reruns, will disappear next year.

Sources had hinted that one ABC soap would be on the chopping block come spring time (AMC was the odds-on favorite to get the ax), but to have both shows meet their end is a crushing blow to the daytime drama genre.

As soap operas continue to crumble around us, how is it changing the face of daytime TV? In ABC's statement, daytime president Brian Frons gives some hints about where we'll be going.

"We are taking this bold step to expand our business because viewers are looking for different types of programming these days," he says. "They are telling us there is room for informative, authentic and fun shows that are relatable, offer a wide variety of opinions and focus on 'real life' takeaways."

In other words, more shows like The View, as well as how-to programming about weight loss, cooking, healthy living, etc. Daytime TV, it seems, is going to be less and less about entertaining us, and more about teaching us.

Take the two shows already slated to replace AMC and OLTL. First, there's The Chew, which sounds like The View. But instead of a gaggle of opinionated women dishing about everything, this show will feature a more specific gaggle of people -- experts in the realm of food and entertaining -- dishing about food. So far, the hosts include chef Mario Batali (Iron Chef America), entertaining expert Clinton Kelly (What Not to Wear), Carla Hall (Top Chef), Michael Symon (Iron Chef America) and nutrition expert Daphne Oz.

The other show, The Revolution, will also feature a team of "experts" -- here in the realm of health and lifestyle transformation. "Each week, one woman's five-month weight loss journey will unfold in just five days, with daily results and a final transformational reveal on Friday." So viewers will learn weight loss tips while being inspired by the participants they see on screen.

Apparently, when it comes to weight loss, watching all those svelte soap opera bodies jump in and out of one another's beds isn't motivation enough. Go figure.

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