|Also known as AMC|
Created by Agnes Nixon
Country of origin United States
|Genre Soap operaDrama|
Starring Series cast
Original language(s) English
All My Children (often shortened to AMC) is an American television soap opera that aired on ABC for 41 years, from January 5, 1970, to September 23, 2011, and on The Online Network (TOLN) from April 29 to September 2, 2013, via Hulu, Hulu Plus, and iTunes. Created by Agnes Nixon, All My Children is set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, a fictional suburb of Philadelphia, which is modeled on the actual Philadelphia suburb of Rosemont. The original series featured Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, one of daytime's most popular characters. The title of the series refers to the bonds of humanity. All My Children was the first new network daytime drama to debut in the 1970s. Originally owned by Creative Horizons, Inc., the company created by Nixon and her husband, Bob, the show was sold to ABC in January 1975. The series started at a half-hour in per-installment length, then was expanded to a full hour on April 25, 1977. Earlier, the show had experimented with the full-hour format for one week starting on June 30, 1975, after which Ryan's Hope premiered.
- Unsuccessful attempt
- Primetime special
- 2010s ratings
- Record lows
- Ratings for final week on ABC
- Online viewership
- OWN viewership
- International broadcasting
- Awards nominations and recognition
- Drama series and performer categories
- Writers Guild of America
- Directors Guild of America
- Other awards
- Revival crew
From 1970 to 1990, All My Children was recorded at ABC's TV18 at 101 West 67th St, now a 50-story apartment tower. From March 1990 to December 2009, it was taped at ABC's Studio TV23 at 320 West 66th Street in Manhattan, New York City, New York. In December 2009, the locale for taping the series moved from Manhattan to less costly Los Angeles, California. The show was then produced in Stages 1 and 2 at the Andrita Studios in Los Angeles, California from 2010 to 2011, and then at the Connecticut Film Center in Stamford, Connecticut. All My Children started taping in high definition on January 4, 2010, and began airing in high definition on February 3, 2010. All My Children became the third soap opera to be produced and broadcast in high definition.
At one point, the program's popularity positioned it as the most widely recorded television show in the United States. Also, in a departure from societal norms at the time, All My Children, in the mid-1970s, had an audience that was estimated to be 30% male. The show ranked No. 1 in the daytime Nielsen ratings in the 1978–79 season. Throughout most of the 1980s and into the early 1990s, All My Children was the No. 2 daytime soap opera on the air. However, like the rest of the soap operas in the United States, All My Children experienced unprecedented declines in its daytime ratings during the 2000s. By the 2010s, it had become one of the least watched soap operas in daytime television.
On April 14, 2011, it was announced that ABC canceled All My Children after 41 years on the air due to low ratings. On July 7, 2011, ABC sold the licensing rights of All My Children to third-party production company Prospect Park with the show set to continue on the internet as a series of webisodes. The show taped its final scenes for ABC on August 30, 2011, and its final episode on the network aired on September 23, 2011, with a cliffhanger. On September 26, 2011, the following Monday, ABC replaced All My Children with a newly debuted talk show The Chew. Prospect Park had suspended its plan to revive the series on November 23, 2011, due to lack of funding and unsuccessful negotiation with the union organizations representing the actors and crews. On January 7, 2013, Prospect Park officially brought back its project to restore All My Children as a web series. The show taped its first scenes for Prospect Park TOLN on February 18, 2013, and its first episode on the network aired on April 29, 2013. However, the new series faced several behind-the-scene obstacles throughout its run. On November 11, 2013, several All My Children cast members announced that Prospect Park had closed production and canceled the series again.
Agnes Nixon, then head writer for The Guiding Light, first came up with the idea for All My Children in the 1960s. When writing the story bible, she designed the show so it would be a light-hearted soap opera that focused on social issues and young love. She unsuccessfully attempted to sell the series to NBC, then to CBS, and once again to NBC through Procter & Gamble. When Procter & Gamble was unable to make room for the show in its lineup, Nixon put All My Children on hold.
Nixon became head writer for Another World in 1965, and decided to use a few ideas from her All My Children bible. In one specific case, she used the model of the Erica Kane character to create a brand new Another World character named Rachel Davis. Nixon said Rachel was Erica's "precursor to the public … [What] Erica and Rachel have in common is they thought if they could get their dream, they'd be satisfied... But that dream has been elusive", Nixon said.
ABC later approached her to create a show that would reflect a more contemporary tone. That program became One Life to Live, and it debuted in 1968. After the show became a success, the network asked her for another program, and she obliged by reviving her All My Children bible and the Erica Kane character.
The poem, written by Nixon, that appears in the title credits' photo album reads:
The Great and the Least,
The Rich and the Poor,
The Weak and the Strong,
In Sickness and in Health,
In Joy and Sorrow,
In Tragedy and Triumph,
You are ALL MY CHILDREN
All My Children debuted on January 5, 1970. Rosemary Prinz was signed on to be the "special guest star" for six months, playing the role of policial activist Amy Tyler. Prinz was well known for her role of Penny Hughes on As the World Turns in the 1950s and 1960s, and she was added to the show to give it an initial boost due to her name value. From 1970 and into the 1980s, the show was either written by Nixon herself or by her protégé, Wisner Washam. He was groomed by Nixon to eventually take over the reins in the 1980s while she focused on other endeavors, which included creating and launching Loving in 1983.
Nixon strove to create a soap opera that was topical and could illustrate social issues for the audience. She wanted this and a combination of regular humor for the series. To keep the action more real, she allowed the audience to locate her fictional "Pine Valley" on a map: situated a mere hour-long train ride from New York City. Many believed Pine Valley was in New York because of a town called Pine Valley in western New York. However, it was not until the 1980s that it was finally revealed that Pine Valley is actually in Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia and also near One Life to Live's Llanview. (Nixon reportedly modeled the town on Rosemont, an actual suburb of Philadelphia.)
The show's first action takes place around several families and characters. Phoebe Tyler (Ruth Warrick), who fashions herself as "Queen of Pine Valley," was the paradigm of a rich snob when she is introduced. A divorced mother, Mona Kane (Frances Heflin), and her spoiled daughter, Erica (Susan Lucci) were also introduced. Contrasting this was the stable Martin family, headed by patriarch Joe and later (after the death of her husband, Ted Brent) by matriarch Ruth, who became a symbolic foundation of All My Children. Destined to break up the young romance of classmates Tara Martin (Karen Lynn Gorney) and Phil Brent (Richard Hatch), Erica learned that Phil was not the son of Ruth and Ted but, instead, the son of Ruth's sister, Amy Tyler (Rosemary Prinz) and her mother's friend, Nick Davis. In a selfish attempt to break up Phil and Tara, she told everyone the truth.
All My Children's first success was its focus on young love. ABC wanted a soap opera that would bring in young viewers, and slowly the program was accomplishing that. The show's ratings did not start out strong, however. In its first year on the air, it ranked No. 17 out of 19 soap operas. Despite this, its audience was building with each passing year.
The show was unique for its use of the Vietnam War. Before All My Children debuted, no show had discussed the war in any depth. There were traditional Phoebe and free-spirited Amy both butting heads over the war, with Amy often leading protests around Pine Valley. When Amy left, Ruth takes over as the anti-war voice and protests against the war in the early 1970s. The character's protest speech in 1972 won Mary Fickett the first Emmy Award given to a soap opera performer. Later in the show's run, Phoebe softened.
In May 1972, the character of Erica Kane Martin became the first television character to undergo a legal abortion. Making the abortion particularly controversial is Erica's reason for doing it, not because of her jeopardized health, but rather because she did not want to gain weight and lose her modeling job. The abortion story received much media attention, especially since it preceded the Roe vs. Wade decision by nearly a year. Within the story, Erica developed a potentially fatal infection, which was later determined to be toxoplasmosis after having the abortion, and the switchboards at ABC lit up with calls from doctors and nurses, offering their medical opinions on how best to treat the character's case.
Phoebe's husband Charles (Hugh Franklin) became close to Mona (Erica's mother and his secretary at the hospital). The two fell in love and Charles divorced Phoebe, even though she tried to blackmail Mona and even faked paralysis. In the end, Phoebe was left a drunken divorcée and Mona becomes the new Mrs. Tyler. This ordeal starts the long-time Phoebe/Mona rivalry.
When Eileen Letchworth, who portrayed Margo Flax Martin, contemplated a facelift, she talked it over with Nixon. Not only was Letchworth going to need time off, she was going to look significantly different when she returned to the show. Nixon approved and worked the facelift into a storyline. Margo wanted to impress the somewhat younger Paul Martin (William Mooney). Margo's facelift in 1974 became one of the first major storylines on television discussing plastic surgery and its psychological effects.
In June 1976, character Brooke English showed up on her Aunt Phoebe's doorstep and soon clashed with Erica over Tom Cudahy and Mark Dalton. In 1976, when Kitty Shea Tyler was searching for her natural mother, the show introduced Myrtle Lum Fargate (Eileen Herlie).
By the late 1970s, the show had risen to the top of the ratings. One reason for the rise was the arrival of teenage prostitute Donna Beck (Candice Earley). Her relationship with the handsome Dr. Chuck Tyler breathed life into the show and captivated fans. Other new additions are the arrivals of aristocratic Palmer Cortlandt (aka Peter Cooney) (James Mitchell), his somewhat creepy housekeeper Myra Murdock (Elizabeth Lawrence), and his overprotected daughter Nina (Taylor Miller), who, to Palmer's chagrin, entrances Dr. Cliff Warner (Peter Bergman). Palmer does everything in his power to break up the couple, including telling Nina she is going blind due to her diabetes. Palmer teams up with Cliff's past flame, nurse Sybil Thorne (Linda Gibboney), who confronts Cliff about fathering her son, but this is temporary; Sybil is murdered and Cliff is arrested for the crime, which actually was committed by Sean Cudahy (Alan Dysert). During the murder trial, Nina is astonished to learn that her mother, Daisy Cortlandt (Gillian Spencer), whom she believes to be dead, is, in fact, alive and living in Pine Valley as Monique Jonville. To everyone's complete shock, Myra acknowledges that Daisy to be her daughter. All My Children also found memorable villains in Billy Clyde Tuggle (Matthew Cowles) and Ray Gardner.
All My Children had always aired in color since its 1970 debut. The episodes were initially only saved for a short time on cartridge tapes and were eventually erased in order to tape other productions. Beginning in 1976, all the episodes were saved on cartridge tape and then digitally since the late 1990s. A few early episodes were saved on kinescope in black and white, one of which aired on ABC in 1997 on a special "A Daytime To Remember". But there are no known pre-1976 episodes to be still in existence on tape.
The early 1980s is considered a "golden period" for the show and the "Golden Age" for supercouples. Younger characters, such as Greg Nelson and Jenny Gardner (Laurence Lau and Kim Delaney), Liza Colby (Marcy Walker), Liza's best friend Amanda (Amanda Bearse), Jesse Hubbard and Angie Baxter (Darnell Williams and Debbi Morgan), and a now-grown-up Tad Martin (Michael E. Knight), who was now legally Ruth and Joe's son, enter the scene.
The storyline involving Liza plotting to win Greg back after he leaves her for Jenny became a fan favorite, as was the Greg and Jenny and Jesse and Angie pairings. Jesse and Jenny's summer in New York City became regarded as one of the greatest storylines in the history of the series. Meanwhile, the legend of "Tad the Cad" is born when Tad takes Liza's virginity, then simultaneously begins having sex with her mother, socialite Marian Colby (Jennifer Bassey), who eventually is sent to prison.
For older appeal, Jenny and Tad's natural mother Opal (Dorothy Lyman) was also added to the canvas, where she opens the Glamorama salon and spa. Opal greatly showcased All My Children’s attempt at humor and satire. Also introduced in the 1980s were powerful businessman Adam Chandler and his identical twin brother Stuart (both played by David Canary), the first arrival of members of the Chandler family. Adam became cited as one of the "most powerful male figures in television", which was contrasted by Stuart's kind, generous, and honest personality.
Erica began to take on a larger-than-life role by the 1980s. This is evident with her writing an autobiography, "Raising Kane", and turning it into a motion picture. When her presumed half-sister Silver (Deborah Goodrich) accuses her of murdering Kent Bogard (Michael Woods, Lee Godart), her former lover and boss, she goes on the run, fleeing to the Hollywood Hills. She does all this while posing as a nun.
The show made its first attempt at tackling the taboo topic of homosexuality in 1983. Tricia Pursley portrayed the divorced Devon McFadden, who believes she is falling in love with her lesbian psychiatrist, Lynn Carson (portrayed by Donna Pescow). Lynn acknowledges that she is a lesbian, and Devon admits her crush. Lynn however rebuffs her. Before this storyline, no other American soap opera had done a story about homosexuality.
The show tackled the issue of drug use when Mark La Mura's character, Mark Dalton, becomes addicted to cocaine after years of casual use. His half-sister, Erica, stages an intervention with his friends to have him confront his problems. They practice a tough love-policy that has Mark admit to the addiction. The informative episode showed how to hold an intervention, and the stages to go through for a successful confrontation. On March 18, 1985, the episode of All My Children included the scene while Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) met and became friends with Stephen J. Cannell, the writer, creator, and producer of drama shows The A-Team, Riptide, Hunter, and Wiseguy.
Controversy was prompted in 1987 with the arrival of Cindy Parker (Ellen Wheeler), who would later fall in love with Stuart. The character was revealed to have AIDS. Through visits by now-Dr. Angie Hubbard, the show educated the public on how the disease was spread and how to prevent it. Cindy had contracted HIV from her husband, Fred, played by Mark Morrison who contracted it from sharing needles for drug use. Cindy is attacked by a vigilante hate group led by her niece, Skye Chandler. The tragedy of the attack shows the extremes of violence that occur every day to victims of the disease. Cindy marries Stuart and he adopts her son, Scott. She dies early in 1989 in one of the show's most watched episodes. ABC wanted changes at All My Children. The show was getting about 6.5 million viewers per episode, but there sentiment that the program had lost its unique sense of humor and was simply copying other soaps with action/adventure storylines. Efforts were made to bring the show back to the glory days of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Felicia Minei Behr was hired as the new executive producer in early 1989. Having been a producer on Ryan's Hope, Behr was familiar with All My Children, having been an associate producer from 1970 to 1975. Among the stories featured was a baby storyline involving the characters of Adam, Brooke, Tad, and Dixie (Cady McClain). By this time, the show had also found a "hit couple" in Cecily and Nico (portrayed by Rosa Nevin and Maurice Benard), but Behr was unable to convince either to remain with the show, and the duo left at the end of 1989.
ABC was pleased with Behr; Nixon was as well, and decided her creation was safe in the hands of the new producer. Behr, however, made the unpopular decision to fire Peter Bergman (Cliff Warner) during this time, as well as Ellen Wheeler (Karen) and Robert Gentry (Ross Chandler). Bergman's departure was particularly frustrating to Debbi Morgan (who thought it was a cop-out by ABC on the promising interracial Angie/Cliff pairing; Morgan later defected to the new NBC soap opera Generations in protest), Taylor Miller (who was misled when Behr approached her to bring back her character Nina; Miller was frustrated to find out she had only been brought back for two weeks to facilitate Bergman's departure: Cliff and Nina reunited, married yet again, and left Pine Valley, leaving Miller to lament to Soap Opera Digest that she felt it was going backward for both characters, and difficult emotionally to play), and Bergman himself. Behr then brought back fan favorite Opal Gardner, but instead of contacting Emmy winner Dorothy Lyman to reprise the role, Behr hired Jill Larson. Lyman later noted her disappointment in never being contacted about reprising the role.
At the time of Behr's hiring in early 1989, the show usually ranked around No. 4 in the ratings. By 1990, it had inched up to the No. 3 spot. Billy Clyde Tuggle returns to Pine Valley in 1990, after a ten-year absence (in prison). He proceeds to undo the lives of many in Pine Valley. He tells his daughter, Emily Ann Sago, that he is her natural father, devastating her with the truth that she was the product of rape. He dies tumbling over a bridge (with Tad Martin), ending the reign of one of Pine Valley's most evil and entertaining characters ever.
ABC chose Megan McTavish, a former actress who had been on the writing team since 1987, to be its new head writer. She was officially promoted to that position in 1992, with Nixon serving as executive head writer. Stories such as Molly's leukemia, Ceara Connor's (Genie Francis) incest, Mona's lung cancer, and Deconstruction (a story about racism), were all praised in soap opera magazines for their social conscience. Other storylines included the Who Killed Will Cortlandt? mystery, Willow Lake Acres (a both humorous and serious tale about the plight of the elderly in a fraudulent nursing home), and a tornado that rocked Pine Valley. Behr also helped craft a story re-exploring Erica's father, Eric Kane. It was revealed he had faked his own death. In a comical twist, Erica finds him working as a clown in a traveling circus.
McTavish was also instrumental in a major but still popular retroactive continuity (retcon) storyline in 1993. Shortly after being introduced, the audience soon learns Kendall Hart (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is actually Erica's long-lost daughter. Kendall was conceived after Erica was raped on her 14th birthday by her father's actor friend Richard Fields. After she became pregnant, Erica gave her baby up for adoption to the Harts, a couple from Florida. Kendall comes to Pine Valley after finding out her birth mother is the famous Erica Kane. Kendall longs for Erica's approval but is also angry over her perceived feelings of being 'abandoned' at birth and comes to want payback against her mother. Though they try to make their family work at first, Kendall acts out and mother and daughter experience a painful, strained, and complicated relationship during this time in the series. The popular Gellar was proclaimed by some "as the second coming of Erica" in her two years as Kendall Hart from 1993–1995 but left the show to pursue other acting opportunities. Producers ended up waiting at least six years before even contemplating to recast the role (which eventually went to Alicia Minshew in 2002).
The Santos, Dillon, Frye, and Keefer families were introduced during the 90s as well. Also, the Tad and Dixie pairing had become especially popular. The show also had other couples with great followings during this time: Dimitri and Erica (Michael Nader), Trevor (James Kiberd) and Natalie (Kate Collins), and Hayley (Kelly Ripa) and Brian (Gregory Gordon, Matt Borlenghi, Brian L. Greene).
By the early/mid-1990s, some of McTavish's storytelling received criticism for being gimmick-driven (i.e. multiple dual roles, bomb plots). Reports soon surfaced that Behr and McTavish were having conflicts about storylines and the direction of the series. After the O.J. Simpson trial preempted daytime television programs throughout late 1994 and into 1995, many soaps saw their ratings decline, and All My Children was no different. When Megan McTavish was fired from her head writing post in the spring, former head writer Lorraine Broderick was tapped by Behr to lead the team once again.
Broderick's tenure under Behr was popular among critics and fans for returning All My Children to its socially relevant, character-driven roots. Her most significant successes were Erica's drug addiction story (with the character receiving treatment at the Betty Ford Center), and also the story of homophobia over a gay high school boy and a history teacher. However, with the ratings still stagnant, ABC did not renew longtime executive producer Felicia Minei Behr's contract, and brought in Francesca James (who had previously won an Emmy award acting on the show as twins Kitty and Kelly). The storylines now included a voodoo arc with the popular Noah and Julia (Keith Hamilton Cobb and Sydney Penny), a fantasy story for Myrtle featuring the "real" Santa Claus, and finally a baby kidnapping story involving Erica.
Despite winning three consecutive Daytime Emmys for writing during her tenure on All My Children, Broderick was replaced in December 1997 by her predecessor, McTavish. The first major story McTavish tackled was, "ironically", one created by Broderick, Bianca Montgomery's anorexia. The character of Bianca, Erica's young daughter, is checked into a facility to treat the disease. Apart from the anorexia story, McTavish's tales were plot-driven and made implausible alterations to the show's history such as the resurrection of Erica's lifetime-love, Mike Roy (Nicholas Surovy). In 1998, the show again got a new executive producer, Jean Dadario Burke, taking over from Francesca James. She would become known to many speculating fans as a weak producer with little vision.
Cady McClain, who had left the show as Dixie in 1996, returned to the delight of her fans, but other storylines—involving ghosts, poison tattoos, Nazi art, and a sperm switch—were all ill-received. By the start of 1999, with All My Children being voted as the "Worst of 1998" by Soap Opera Digest, McTavish was once again fired. As ratings began to fall, ABC convinced Nixon to make a brief return. Many long-running actors, such as Michael Nader, James Kiberd, and Robin Mattson, left their roles.
Nixon decided to write a story that would rejuvenate the show and be socially relevant at the same time. This resulted in the series revealing Erica's daughter Bianca as a lesbian. Within the series, Bianca admits the truth to her mother in December 2000. Though initially controversial, the storyline was praised by fans and critics. Bianca emerged as a breakout character and lesbian icon. The show found additional success in the pairing of newcomers Leo and Greenlee (Josh Duhamel and Rebecca Budig).
Richard Culliton wrote several of All My Children's early 2000s (decade) storylines. He created popular characters Frankie and Maggie Stone, and said Frankie was already intended to be killed in a murder storyline after only three months on the series. Culliton and ABC executives were surprised when viewers became attached to the romance between Bianca and Frankie, developed by Culliton with Frankie's debut. These fans attributed Frankie's death to the show's fear to focus on a lesbian romance. Eventually, Culliton introduced the idea to bring back popular actress Elizabeth Hendrickson, who had portrayed Frankie, as Frankie's twin sister Maggie. Culliton continued to write for the show until late 2002.
After more staff turnover, McTavish again returned as head writer. Her storylines began airing in July 2003, which included the controversial rape of Bianca. Gone upon McTavish's latest return was Jean Dadario Burke as executive producer, being replaced with Julie Hanan Carruthers. Under McTavish, ratings fluctuated back and forth. To lure back long-time viewers, McTavish created new characters and romances, as well as scripted the return of various characters who had been gone for long. She introduced star-crossed couple JR Chandler and Babe Carey upon writing JR's return to the series, scripted most of popular pairing Bianca Montgomery and Maggie Stone's love story, and created fellow popular couple Zach Slater and Kendall Hart. Characters Julia Santos (Sydney Penny) and Janet Dillon (Kate Collins, who was originally slated to return for a brief stint) were eventually brought back.
On July 26, 2006, Tanika Ray, Rihanna, as well as other celebrities, appeared on the show. During the Rihanna appearance, a controversial storyline involving Erica's thought-to-be-aborted son having come to Pine Valley under the name Josh Madden intensifies when Josh learns of how he truly came to exist. In August 2006, after months of speculation, it was confirmed that fan favorite Eden Riegel would be reprising her Emmy winning role as Bianca. She was a part of a controversial storyline centered on transgender character Zarf/Zoe.
The most notable return was Cady McClain's return as show heroine Dixie Cooney Martin. The news of her return spread just two weeks before she reappeared on the series. In an unpopular and controversial move by the series, the writers chose to kill off Dixie in January 2007 only a year after her return. The character's death was the result of the Satin Slayer storyline where she is unintentionally murdered in place of character Babe Carey.
Another prominent return to the series occurred on February 9, 2007, when Susan Pratt returned as Barbara Montgomery. Pratt made her last appearance in July of that year. That same month, McTavish was fired as head writer, reportedly due to viewer criticism about her storylines. On May 21, 2007, James Harmon Brown and Barbara Esensten were announced as the new head writers of All My Children. The duo wrote for Days of Our Lives, One Life to Live, Dynasty and Port Charles, and created and wrote for The City.
On December 12, 2007, ABC revealed Rebecca Budig would be returning to the series as Greenlee Smythe; the return was one of the most widely reported in daytime television history, attracting mainstream media attention such as the Associated Press and New York Daily News. Budig's return was overshadowed by controversy when news of Sabine Singh's reportedly unfair treatment as a Greenlee recast in order to bring Budig back incited viewer outrage.
On December 25, 2007, Soap Opera Digest reported the return of fan favorites Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams as Jesse Hubbard and Angie Baxter. Morgan returned on January 18, 2008, and Williams on January 25, 2008. In April 2008, it was announced that Laurence Lau would briefly reprise the role of Greg Nelson for Jesse and Angie's much anticipated wedding. On May 21, 2008, Charles Pratt, Jr., former co-head writer for General Hospital, was announced as a replacement for Brown and Esensten amid record low ratings. On November 6, 2008, All My Children aired a special episode in which veterans share their stories unscripted. On November 12, 2008, the show celebrated its 10,000th show with a special appearance by Nixon and a special tribute to Myrtle Fargate (as portrayed by Eileen Herlie who had recently died). On December 19, 2008, a special episode ran for Herlie, showing clips from the past.
On February 16, 2009, All My Children made daytime history with the nuptials of Reese Williams and Bianca Montgomery, the first legal same-sex marriage in American daytime television. After departing the show in February 2005, Riegel continued to return to the series for limited guest appearances, but permanently left the role in 2010.
On November 20, 2009, Pratt was fired as head writer. Daytime Emmy-winning former head writer Lorraine Broderick was brought back to lead the writing team on an interim basis. Reportedly, Broderick returned at the request of show creator Agnes Nixon, but was not interested in remaining permanently as the team's top scribe.
On January 5, 2010, All My Children celebrated its 40th anniversary with an episode structured like a documentary and hosted by character Hayley Santos. It featured appearances by characters Palmer Cortlandt, Nina Warner, Maria Santos Grey, Brooke English, Greg Nelson, Bianca Montgomery, Mateo Santos, and Lily Montgomery. It was also the final episode for characters Joe and Ruth Martin, who retired to Florida, and the final appearance for Palmer, since actor James Mitchell died a little over weeks after the episode aired.
On January 13, 2010, ABC Daytime announced the appointment of David Kreizman and Donna Swajeski as the co-head writers of All My Children, replacing interim head writer Lorraine Broderick, who in turn replaced Charles Pratt, Jr.. Brian Frons, head of ABC daytime, stated, "David and Donna are the perfect team to bring new ideas to All My Children while remaining true to its core by telling stories with a focus on the integrity of the show's history, its characters and families on the canvas." Prior to his appointment on All My Children, Kriezman was the head writer of Guiding Light from 2004 to the final episode on September 18, 2009, and the co-head writer of As the World Turns from 2009 to the final episode on September 17, 2010. Swajeski's prior experience includes a head writing stint on Another World from 1988 to 1992.
With the death on January 22 of James Mitchell at age 89 (Palmer Cortlandt 1979–2010), the show aired a tribute episode to Palmer on Tuesday April 20, 2010. Gillian Spencer (Daisy Murdoch Cortlandt), Taylor Miller (Nina Cortlandt), and Cady McClain (Dixie Cooney Martin) returned for the episode. On February 8, Walt Willey returned as a contract cast member in the role of Jackson Montgomery, following numerous months away and dispute about his future on the show. On February 23, Julia Barr reprised the role of Brooke English; Brooke's return was timed to the retirement of David Canary (Adam Chandler) after more than 26 years on the show. Their final episode aired April 23, 2010. On July 17, 2010, Larry Keith, who was on the show from 1970 to 2005 as Nick Davis, who gave Erica Kane the nickname "Princess", died. He was last seen on January 5, 2005, for the show's 35th anniversary episode.
In September 2010, Daytime Emmy winner Vincent Irizzary's character, David Hayward, was murdered. On the November 22, 2010, episode, David waltzed into the courtroom during Greenlee's trial (for which she was just sentenced to life in prison for murdering him) at the tail end of it, confirming rumors that he was going to return all along. Soap Opera Digest confirmed soon after that the show had planned this all along from the start. On September 16, 2010, Adam Mayfield (Scott Chandler) and Brittany Allen (Marissa Tasker) were announced to be leaving the show. ABC reports that they wanted to take both the characters in a different direction. On September 22, 2010, it was announced that Daniel Cosgrove (ex-Scott, All My Children; ex-Bill, Guiding Light; ex-Chris, As the World Turns) would return to All My Children and replace Adam Mayfield (Scott) as Scott Chandler. On October 28, 2010, it was announced that Sarah Glendening (ex-Lucy, As the World Turns) would be taking over the role of Marissa Tasker. Glendening debuted on December 27 and Cosgrove debuted on December 29.
In January 2011, Debbi Morgan said that she would take a leave of absence from the show. She said it was for personal reasons and on January 14, 2011, she released to the public that she has been diagnosed with Lyme Disease. She returned during the second week of February and her first episode aired on March 8, 2011. On February 10, 2011, as part of her 25th (and farewell) season, Oprah Winfrey invited All My Children's Susan Lucci, Debbi Morgan, Darnell Williams, and Michael E. Knight, along with General Hospital s Luke and Laura and The Young and the Restless's Mrs. Chancellor to The Oprah Winfrey Show. As a surprise, Winfrey shocked Lucci and the rest of the crowd by bringing back all of Erica's husbands. During February 2011, the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland and All My Children did a crossover event. On the 16th, and February 23, Lucci, Michael E. Knight, and Darnell Williams made a guest appearance on the show. On the 24th, Wendie Malick guest-starred.
On April 2, 2011, amid rumors of All My Children's possible cancellation, Soaps in Depth broke the news via Twitter that longtime All My Children writer Lorraine Broderick had once again been named the show's head writer, replacing David Kreizman and Donna Swajeski.
On April 14, 2011, ABC confirmed that it would not renew both All My Children and One Life to Live after 41 and 43 years respectively, starting with All My Children ending its run on September 23, 2011, and with One Life to Live ending its run on January 13, 2012. Reasons for both shows' cancellations cited "extensive research into what today's daytime viewers want and the changing viewing patterns of the audience". It would be replaced by a new lifestyle show, The Chew, while its time slot on SOAPnet would be replaced by daily reruns of Days of Our Lives. In response to the cancellation of this, vacuum cleaner manufacturer Hoover withdrew its advertising from all ABC programs out of protest, going as far as running a campaign to get ABC to reverse its decision.
On April 25, Cady McClain (ex-Dixie Cooney Martin) announced that she would be returning to All My Children but could not report what her storyline would be. Other former cast members announced to be returning to the series are Ray MacDonnell (Dr. Joe Martin), Lee Meriwether (Ruth Martin), David Canary (Adam Chandler), Julia Barr (Brooke English), Thorsten Kaye (Zach Slater), Eva La Rue (Maria Santos), Jennifer Bassey (Marian Colby), Kate Collins (Janet Dillon), Melissa Claire Egan (Annie Lavery), Josh Duhamel (Leo du Pres), Leven Rambin (Lily Montgomery), Carol Burnett (Verla Grubbs), Jason Kincaid (Sam Brady), and Sarah Michelle Gellar playing a young woman who claims to see vampires (an allusion to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer story Normal Again).
On July 7, 2011, the New York Post reported that ABC had sold the licensing rights of All My Children and One Life To Live to a TV-focused online channel being developed by TV, film and music production company Prospect Park. ABC confirmed this via press release; as a result of Prospect Park's acquisition of the two soaps, All My Children and One Life to Live would be the first soap operas to transition first-run broadcasts from traditional television to internet television. Since the deal between ABC and Prospect Park is a licensing agreement, both soaps would continue to remain the property of ABC.
On September 8, 2011, the original Ruth Martin, actress Mary Fickett, died at age 83. The episode on Wednesday September 21, 2011, was dedicated to her. On September 23, 2011, the series finale aired on ABC with open-ended stories. The final week featured Dr. Joe and Ruth Martin relocating to Pine Valley to cover recently arrested David Hayward's hospital duties. The return of Adam Chandler and Brooke English coincided with the revelation that David had somehow resurrected Stuart Chandler. Jackson Montgomery dissolved his relationship with Erica after she admitted that she prefers not to remarry. Unresolved is JR Chandler's plunge into insanity as he drunkenly aims a gun at a crowd of All My Children regulars during a welcome-home party for Stuart. The screen darkened before revealing the victim, leaving the story open for an eventual continuation with Prospect Park. On April 29, 2013, the revived series moved five years into the future after the original series finale on ABC. On November 11, 2013, it was confirmed by some of its actors that the series had once again become cancelled, this time by its online revival team.
In August 2010, Prospect Park announced that it was shopping for a cable network to air All My Children in complementary to its future internet television channel. Prospect Park officially began negotiations with the actors of All My Children on September 15, 2011. On September 19, 2011, Cameron Mathison and Lindsay Hartley became the only actors that had agreed to continue the show with Prospect Park.
Prospect Park initially intended for All My Children to begin its run on the internet on September 26, 2011, but ran into challenges. One challenge cited in was a need to negotiate a new contract with the union representing the actors of All My Children. On September 27, 2011, Prospect Park announced that All My Children along with its sister soap One Life to Live would be relaunched in January 2012 on the company's new internet channel, The Online Network. But on November 10, 2011, several sources reported that Prospect Park had indefinitely suspended its plans to relaunch All My Children and that the company would concentrate solely on the higher-rated One Life to Live. Reasons given for this decision were lack of funding coupled with Prospect Park not being able to sign enough cast members from All My Children.
On November 23, 2011, Prospect Park confirmed that it had officially suspended itheir attempt to produce both shows. Reasons given by Prospect Park for this decision include funding problems and poor negotiations with the unions representing the cast of both soaps. WGA and AFTRA, which respectively represent the writer and the actors, have both expressed disappointment over Prospect Park's announcement.
On December 17, 2012, Deadline Hollywood reported that revival plans for All My Children and One Life to Live had resurfaced. A few days later, it was reported that Prospect Park had secured studio place in Stamford, Connecticut, where both shows would be filmed. The show had been filmed in New York City from 1970 to 2010, and in Los Angeles from 2010 to 2011.
Within the weeks following the reports, Lindsay Hartley, Vincent Irizarry, Debbi Morgan, Darnell Williams, Jordi Vilasuso, Jill Larson, Thorsten Kaye, Cady McClain, David Canary, Julia Barr, and Ray MacDonnell were reported and/or confirmed to be returning to the show's revival, while Susan Lucci would reportedly return for one episode, Eden Riegel would return for a guest-arc, Cameron Mathison might return to the revival in the future, and Alicia Minshew would return for one episode with the possibility of returning in the future.
Along with the returning stars, a number of new actors were cast, including Ryan Bittle as JR Chandler, Robert Scott Wilson as Pete Cortlandt, Eric Nelsen as an aged AJ Chandler, Denyse Tontz as an aged Miranda Montgomery, Sal Stowers as Cassandra Foster, and Jordan Lane Price as a newly created character, Celia Fitzgerald.
On January 7, 2013, Prospect Park released an official statement confirming plans to revive All My Children and One Life to Live on The Online Network, their internet production company. Prospect Park inked deals with SAG-AFTRA and DGA for the soap opera's production.
Former All My Children writer and producer Ginger Smith returned as the new executive producer and creator Agnes Nixon served as consultant. The new episodes were 30 minutes long and aired on Hulu, Hulu Plus, and iTunes. Initially, 220 episodes of the show were ordered. The production company planned to shop the reboot to cable distributors beginning September 2013. The show schedule was four days a week (Monday-Thursday) with a Friday recap show, MORE All My Children, to feature behind the scenes footage as well as interviews with the cast and to be hosted by Leslie Miller. The revival show began on April 29, 2013, and production began on February 25, 2013, in Connecticut, with All My Children and One Life to Live taping in five-week rotations for 17 weeks.
On May 17, 2013, The Online Network announced that All My Children and One Life To Live would no longer air five days a week together, due to viewer ratings that reflect online viewing patterns rather than those of traditional television. Starting May 20, 2013, All My Children and One Life To Life will be presented in a new schedule, with AMC airing on Mondays and Wednesdays and OLTL airing Tuesdays and Thursdays. The recap shows MORE All My Children and MORE One Life To Life will also combine together as one show airing on Fridays. The following day on May 18, 2013, both shows were noticeably missing from the FX Canada website and schedule, and although they subsequently became available on iTunes Canada, it was later revealed that FX Canada dropped All My Children and One Life To Live due the reduction of episodes, as the carriage agreement had specifically called for the airing of four episodes per week of both shows. Due to the reduction, FX Canada stated that "the agreement is no longer valid". On May 20, 2013, the first episodes of the new All My Children and One Life To Live were available worldwide on The Online Network's YouTube page, TOLNSoaps.
On May 24, 2013, in a press release Prospect Park announced through Agnes Nixon that Snyder and McPherson will be out as co-head writers of All My Children and replaced by current script writers Lisa Connor and Chip Hayes.
On June 5, 2013, due to a labor dispute with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees All My Children and One Life to Live were forced into an early hiatus with the writers, directors and editors still working; there were talks of production being moved out of state, but those plans were later shelved.
On June 20, 2013, a deal was reached between Prospect Park and the Union, and taping will resume on August 12, 2013. On June 25, 2013, TOLN stated that there will be a scheduling switch for All My Children and One Life to Live. Starting July 1, 2013, all episodes of the week for both shows would be released on Mondays.
Beginning July 15, 2013, All My Children and One Life to Live aired for a 10-week limited engagement on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Monday through Thursday at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. All My Children aired a season finale on September 2, 2013.
In November 2013, Prospect Park indicated it was suspending further production of both shows. No new episodes have been made since that time. In total, only 40 of each program were produced in the new online format.
Since the series began in 1970, the fictional suburb of Philadelphia, Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, has been the setting for the show. The town exists in the same fictional universe as other serial settings such as Llanview (One Life to Live), Port Charles (General Hospital, Port Charles, The Young Marrieds), and Corinth (Loving).
All My Children has featured several crossovers with other ABC soaps, including an extensive 2004 'baby switch' storyline with One Life to Live which featured crossovers of over 20 characters between the two shows.
For historical ratings information, see List of U.S. daytime soap opera ratings
January 15, 1995: AMC 25th Anniversary (#56, 10.3/15 rating/share and 16.0 million viewers) (Competition: Murder, She Wrote on CBS (#16, 14.5/21 rating/share and 20.8 million viewers) and seaQuest DSV on NBC (#61, 9.7/14 rating/share and 16.5 million viewers)).
The show reached a record low of 1,931,000 viewers on August 22, 2008. Its former low was 2,144,000 viewers on November 2, 2007. (Nielsen Media Research)
Ratings for final week on ABC
All My Children had an overall increase of 495,000 viewers from the previous week, making it the second most watched daytime soap after The Young and the Restless. All My Children's final episode on ABC beat the final episodes of the two previous canceled soaps on CBS: As the World Turns and Guiding Light.
What follows is a breakdown of "All My Children's" final weekly ratings performance:
All My Children's first online episode premiered with impressive numbers. On iTunes the show was the most downloaded TV season of the day, the 4th most downloaded episode of the day and on Hulu it was the most watched show of the day.
Series Debut on OWN: 144,000 viewers 
The show aired on ABC Daytime for the entirety of its television run:
From January 1970 to July 1975, the show aired for thirty minutes at 1 pm (12 p.m.), but when the new Ryan's Hope premiered, All My Children was bumped up a half-hour to 12:30 pm (11:30 am). It returned to its original time slot in January 1977 and remained there until its September 2011 finale, expanding to sixty-minute episodes on April 25, 1977.
At the time of the show's cancellation, All My Children aired Monday through Friday at 1 pm Eastern, with an option to air the show at noon (11 a.m. Central Time) for stations that air news in that time slot. Encores were aired on SOAPnet in primetime at 8 pm (7 p.m.), late nights at 1 am (midnight), and early mornings at 7 am (6 a.m.). The week's episodes aired in a marathon on Sunday nights at midnight (11 p.m.).
Beginning April 29, 2013, new thirty-minute episodes are streamed on The OnLine Network (TOLN) via Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes at 2 am PST and 5 am EST every week, Monday through Thursday, and are available for viewing for one week on Hulu and indefinitely on Hulu Plus and iTunes. In Canada, also beginning on April 29, 2013, new episodes are available on cable network FX Canada at noon every Monday through Thursday.
As of 2013, new episodes are available for purchase worldwide via the iTunes store. In Australia, All My Children aired on free to air channel 7TWO at 11 am weekdays. 7TWO screened episodes from 2007. It had previously aired on Network Ten in the late 1980s.
In France, All My Children, under the title La Force du Destin (Strength of Destiny) was aired on TF1 in March 2003, with episodes eight years behind the US during a week at 2:30 pm (after The Young and the Restless). But, because of a fall of the audience, the show was canceled.
In Italy, All My Children, under the title La valle dei pini (Pine Valley), started to air on Canale 5 in September 1985 at 2:30 pm, with episodes four years behind the US in January 1987, it was moved to another channel, Rete 4, always at 2:30 pm At the end of the decade, La valle dei pini began airing in late afternoon (and from September 1990 with only half US episode each evening), after a bunch of Latin American telenovelas and before General Hospital. Then, in September 1991, the show was moved to 9:00 am All My Children was canceled in May 1992, with episodes at that time six years behind the US.
As of 2012, New Zealand, started airing All My Children on TV3 1 pm weekdays. TV3 airs episodes from 2010. TV3 has reportedly canceled their contract with ABC NETWORK after learning of the show's demise.
All My Children was broadcast in South Africa on SABC3 from 2001 to 2014. For most of its run it was broadcast weekday afternoons, but for its last few years was broadcast weekday mornings. Episodes were four years behind the US.
In Canada, starting April 29, 2013, new episodes of the revived series are available on cable network FX Canada at noon every Monday through Thursday, followed by new episodes of One Life to Live at 12:30, with same-day repeats airing at 5:00 pm (followed by One Life to Live at 5:30 pm). It previously aired on CTV Two 12 p.m. PT, 1 p.m. ET in Canada until its 2011 cancellation and Citytv stations in Calgary CKAL-TV, Edmonton CKEM-TV, and Winnipeg CHMI-TV. 1970 to 1982, All My Children Aired on CTV. 1982 to 1998, All My Children aired on the CBC Television network.
In Solomon Islands, All My Children aired on Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation Mondays to Friday at 1:00 pm
In Israel, All My Children was broadcast on channel 2 from 1999 to 2005 at 4:30 after The Bold and the Beautiful; in 2006, AMC moved to channel 1 until it was cancelled in 2007. The show started from 1994 episodes until 1997.
Since it ended its ABC run on September 23, 2011, the reruns of All My Children currently air on Sky 1 since September 26, 2011.
Awards, nominations and recognition
This is a list of the winners at the Daytime Emmy Awards; the show and its performers have received 360 nominations:
Drama series and performer categories
Writers Guild of America
Directors Guild of America
In 2010, All My Children was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding Daily Drama" during the 21st GLAAD Media Awards.
Jill Ackles, Larry Auerbach, James A. Baffico, Jack Coffey, Jean Dadario Burke, Conal O'Brien, Christopher Goutman, Sherrell Hoffman, Del Hughes, Henry Kaplan, Andrew Lee, Robert Scinto, Susan Simon, Diana B. Wenman, Anthony Pascarelli, Steven Williford, Christopher Goutman, Angela Tessinari, Michael V. Pomarico, Sonia Blangiardo, Habib Azar
Felicia Minei Behr, Jean Dadario Burke, Michael Laibson, Heidi Adam, Terry Cacavio, Thomas DeVilliers, Lisa Connor, Linda Laundra, Stephen Schenkel, Nancy Horwich, Sonia Blangiardo, Vivian Gundaker, Dustin Fitzharris, Jennifer Salamone
Neal Bell, Clarice Blackburn, Bettina F. Bradbury, Craig Carlson, Cathy Chicos, Hal Corley, Christina Covino, Carolyn Culliton, William Delligan, Judith Donato, Caroline Franz, Sharon Epstein, Charlotte Gibson, Kenneth Harvey, David Hiltrand, Janet Iacobuzio, Anita Jaffe, Frederick Johnson, Susan Kirshenbaum, Kathleen Klein, N. Gail Lawrence, Mimi Leahy, Kathleen Klein, Karen Lewis, Taylor Miller, Victor Miller, Jane Owen Murphy, Juliet Law Packer, Michelle Patrick, John PiRoman, Pete T. Rich, John Saffron, Courtney Simon, Peggy Sloan, Elizabeth Smith, Gillian Spencer, Millee Taggart, Ralph Wakefield, Elizabeth Wallace, Addie Walsh, Mary K. Wells, Jack Wood, Rodney Christopher, Laura Siggia, Moses Thomas Greene, Wisner Washam, Marlene McPherson, Elizabeth Snyder, Lisa K. Connor, Rebecca Taylor, and Suzanne V. Johnson.
Anthony Pascarelli, Mason Dickson, Marika Kushel Brancato, Ernie Generalli, Matthew Griffin, Corey Pitts, Myron Tookes, Teresa Cicala
The game company TSR, Inc. introduced the All My Children game in 1985, based on the daytime drama. The game sold more than 150,000 copies.
A DVD was released on January 24, 2004, titled Daytime's Greatest Weddings which contained All My Children and other daytime soaps' weddings.