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TV Milestone: More Soaps Down the Drain

One of the longest-surviving institutions of the age of network television (and, before that, network radio) took another hit today, as ABC announced cancellation of the soap operas All My Children and One Life To Live.

In an age where "unscripted programming" and forensic thrillers dominate television, it's not hard to see where the remaining soaps may also be headed. Still, it seems like the soap opera formula (long, drawn out story arcs, over-the-top characters, and ample amounts of romance performed by low-paid up-and-coming actors) would lend itself, in capable hands, to sustainable growth and maybe even an expanding audience in the social media age. Characters (rather than the actual actors who play them) with Twitter feeds, alternate "what-if" storylines distributed through YouTube, and fan pages on Facebook seem like a natural fit for engaging young viewers, but who knows?

Both programs will have enough time to wrap up current stories and pay adequate tribute to cast, crew and viewers. All My Children will run until September; One Life To Live will run until January.

(Posted by Feliks Banel)

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