Photo Credit: Rick Rowell/ABC ; Lou Rocco/ABC
In light of the recent cancellations of ABC soaps All My Children and One Life to Live, fans of the long-running shows -- 41 years and 42 years respectively! -- have made their disappointment about the news public. A group of loyalists even took out a full-page ad in the most recent issue of The Hollywood Reporter encouraging network execs to "Please Save The Soap Genre!"
Addressed to the ABC head of daytime programming, to the president of Disney/ABC Television Group and to advertisers of daytime TV, the plea states, "This is our appeal to save not only the jobs of those employed by All My Children and One Life to Live, but to also keep the soap genre from becoming extinct."
The ardent supporters (could AMC star Susan Lucci be part of that group?) went on to highlight why their shows make more business sense than other types of programming: "A soap opera has brand recognition that few other shows have, and would be impossible to duplicate with new shows that are short-lived. Product placement, leveraging soap fans' passion for the actors on their soaps to enhance product advertising and international syndication would all add to the profitability of the soaps that have served both ABC and the viewing community for so many decades."
This emphasis on purse strings may be in response to the network's announcement that it was dropping these venerable daytime dramas and replacing them with seemingly trendy shows: The Chew, a food and entertainment talk show debuting in September, and The Revolution, a health and lifestyle makeover show premiering in January.
If this ad doesn't get people's attention, then perhaps a good old-fashioned protest will. According to SoapOperaNetwork.com, a group of AMC and OLTL devotees is also planning a demonstration on Tuesday, May 17. It's set to take place outside of New York City's Lincoln Center, where ABC execs are scheduled to announce the network's fall 2011 lineup.
Will this lively debate help fans gain ground? We'll have to stay tuned to find out!