ABC Drops Soaps Operas ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life to Live’

Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s ABC television network canceled two long-running soap operas, “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” and will replace them with programs about food, fitness and personal finance.

The shows will end in September 2011 and January 2012, respectively, ABC said today in an e-mailed announcement. “General Hospital,” the second-most popular show in daytime, will remain on the air, the network said.

ABC said it conducted “extensive research into what today’s daytime viewers want.” The soaps will be replaced by “The Chew,” focusing on food, nutrition and fitness, and a program on health, lifestyle and financial makeovers of women. That show is tentatively called “The Revolution.”

“While we are excited about our new shows and the shift in our business, I can’t help but recognize how bittersweet the change is,” Brian Frons, president daytime of the Disney ABC Television Group, said in the statement. Both shows were created by Agnes Nixon, ABC said.

The new shows, Frons added, will “provide an enormous opportunity for the creation of ancillary businesses and growth.”

“One Life to Live,” set in the fictional town of Llanview, made its debut on ABC in 1968 and marked its 10,000 episode in 2007. The show gained national attention in 1992 by introducing the character of a gay teen and was honored by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation three times.

“All My Children” premiered in 1970 and revolves around citizens of the fictional upscale town of Pine Valley. It won three Emmys and made what ABC calls “television history” by showing the first kiss between two lesbian characters.

Disney, based in Burbank, California, fell 68 cents to $41.02 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has gained 9.4 percent this year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net; Ronald Grover in Los Angeles at rgrover5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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