Soap Opera Survey: ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ Mark End of Era

Popular ABC soap operas ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ were recently cancelled, but will reportedly continue to air new episodes online after the final TV episodes. Some soap opera fans fear these cancellations mark the end of an era as well as the beginning of a long line of soap opera cancellations. Are these two just the first to go?

all my children

Soap Opera Fans

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 28% of respondents said they watch soap operas. Of those respondents, 38.4% watch ‘All My Children’ and 33.9% watch ‘One Life to Live.’ Other popular shows include: ‘Days of our Lives,’ watched by 42%; ‘General Hospital,’ watched by 40.2%; ‘The Young and the Restless,’ watched by 30.4%; and ‘The Bold and the Beautiful,’ watched by 14.3%. Only 14.3% watch any other soap operas.

So what is it that draws fans to these daytime dramas? 55.4% of soap opera fans said they watch enjoy them because of the characters, 53.6% said they love the drama, 50.9% love the stories, and 23.2% enjoy the acting. 28.6% said there’s nothing specific they enjoy – soap operas are just a guilty pleasure.

The Rest

The other 72% of respondents who do not watch soap operas said that it’s not for lack of trying. 42.7% said they have watched soap operas before and just couldn’t get into them. 26.4% of those who don’t watch soap operas said they don’t watch because they don’t think they would enjoy them. Another 20.1% said they don’t watch because they aren’t home when they air, and 12.8% said they have just never considered watching them.


So what do these two major cancellations mean for those who do watch soap operas? 42% of soap opera fans said they are sad because they feel it’s the end of an era. 31.3% said they are afraid more networks will follow suit and cancel more daytime dramas soon. 30.4% said they will miss watching ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live,” and 13.4% said it was probably time for those shows to end.

The face of entertainment is changing, and soap operas are not immune to the changes. Will online viewing be enough for soap opera fans? And will other shows follow suit in the coming years?

Photo Credit: Susan Lucci from Flickr

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.