With Will Ferrell visiting, Steve Carell's final few episodes are sure to be sweet (and funny)
ABC Cancels 'All My Children,' 'One Life to Live'
'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' Canceled
After weeks of tittering, murmurings and not quite denials from ABC, the network announced today that it is cancelling two of its soap operas! "All My Children" is set to go dark in September 2011, with "One Life to Live" airing until January 2012. In their place, ABC will launch two transformation, food and lifestyle shows, "The Chew" and "The Revolution" (working title). This makes "General Hospital" the network's only remaining soap and brings the total daytime soap count down to four.
"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," said Brian Frons, President, Daytime, Disney ABC/Television Group. "We are taking this bold step to expand our business because viewers are looking for different types of programming these days. They are telling us there is room for informative, authentic and fun shows that are relatable, offer a wide variety of opinions and focus on ‘real life' takeaways."
The cancellation news is still fresh, but the tweets are already coming. "End of an era. So sad. Fond memories," posted "All My Children" vet Cady McClain (ex-Dixie), speaking for so many fans and ABC employees.
"Your support is overwhelming and appreciated! I'll keep you updated on other projects as they happen and still try to amuse you on Twitter," Chrishell Stause (Amanda, "All My Children") tweeted.
"Heartbreaking," tweeted "Biggest Loser" host Alison Sweeney, who would likely approve of ABC's health conscious replacements, but having grown up on "Days of our Lives," is a loyal soapster.
With the ABC affiliate SoapNet set to go dark in January 2012 as well, rumblings about ABC's soap cancellations hit a high in recent weeks. Soap opera legend and "All My Children" star Susan Lucci even took to the airwaves in March to dispel the rumors.
"The rumor is not coming from ABC," Lucci told Gayle King. "I'm hoping it's not true. We just received congratulations from the financial people, saying how great shape we're in."
Apparently, they weren't in good enough shape. The network made one last effort to save the shows back in 2009 by moving "One Life to Live" into the swankier "All My Children" studios in New York, while moving the New York-based "All My Children" cast to bigger, better sets in Los Angeles. There was also a markedly increased publicity effort, with Lucci at the center of it all.
Now, the network is promising to "conclude each series in a manner that respects their legacies and the longstanding hopes of many of their viewers," while fans are wondering if the remaining soaps will snap up fan faves like Lucci, Michael E. Knight, Bobbie Eakes, Ricky Paull Goldin, Cameron Mathison, Rebecca Budig, Erika Slezak, Kristen Alderson, Michael Easton, Robin Strasser, Hillary B. Smith, Trevor St. John, Gina Tognoni and Susan Haskell (to name a few!), not to mention whether all those transplanted East Coasters will return to New York or stay in Los Angeles.
"All My Children" premiered on January 5, 1970, while "One Live to Live" premiered July 15, 1968. With creator Agnes Nixon's vision, the shows took on social issues like AIDS, abortion, racial bias, rape, spousal abuse, homosexuality, drug abuse and much more.
"Each of the shows has touched millions and millions of viewers and informed the social consciousness," Frons said. "It has been a privilege to work with the extraordinary teams who brought the residents of Pine Valley and Llanview to life each day, and we thank the cast, crew, producers and most especially the fans for their commitment to the shows through their history."
In the past few years, daytime has seen the demise of "Guiding Light," "As the World Turns" and "Passions". The end of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" leaves just four daytime soaps on the dial, including CBS's "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful," ABC's "General Hospital" and NBC's "Days of our Lives."
FOOD TALK AFTER "THE VIEW"
More is sure to come on ABC's new talk shows, but here's a first look at "The Chew" and "The Revolution."
"The Chew" is set to be all about food, from a social angle. Hosts Mario Batali (Restaurateur, "Iron Chef America"), Clinton Kelly ("What Not to Wear"), Carla Hall ("Top Chef"), Michael Symon (Restaurateur and "Iron Chef America") and Daphne Oz will talk every angle of food, "a source of joy, health, family ritual, friendship, breaking news, dating, fitness, weight loss, travel adventures and life's moments."
"The Revolution" is about getting healthy and comes from the producers of "The Biggest Loser," "Masterchef" and ABC's upcoming "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition". With Tim Gunn at the hosting helm, the team includes celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak and "American Idol" alum Kimberley Locke. Each week will follow one woman's five-month weight loss journey, with daily results and a final transformational reveal on Friday.
Some folks try to change, while others return to their roots in ‘Debts and Accounts’
Tonight, we saw every character (with one major exception) struggling with his or her past, and striving to change the future for the better (again with that one glaring exception). Winona and Raylan were front and center, hashing out their recent adventure with the stolen money as well as their tumultuous history together. After a decidedly un-whitewashed dressing down by Art (“I thought at one point that maybe someday you and I would be able to look back on all this and laugh, but I don’t think you’re gonna live that long.”) and some honest self-examination about his tendency to lean more towards “outlaw” than “lawman”, Raylan comes clean and admits he is still in love with Winona (her characteristically tart reply: “And I love you back. Now what?”). Their mutual decision to leave Harlan and head back to Glynco for a quieter life is sealed during an impromptu shootout with two mysterious gunmen (Dixie Mafia maybe, sent by Wynn Duffy and his best bud Gary?) Of course, no one is really leaving Kentucky, but it is refreshing that see actual adults grappling with an impossible situation.
Also attempting to move into a different life – Harlan matriarch extraordinaire Mags Bennett. After confirming that Helen and Arlo did indeed sell their land to complete her Black Pike windfall, Mags proceeds to coldly and methodically cut off her son Dickie (with a parting gift of the marijuana business to run) while delivering the final insult that she has given free rein to Boyd Crowder to run all other illicit activity in Harlan County. Jeremy Davies does a great job portraying a man who is just crafty enough to get along and rise to a certain level, but is always brought down by both his inability to let go of old grudges and his compulsion to wildly overestimate his own authority. Without the real threat of his universally feared mother, he is destined to meet a sad end, either at the hands of the law or the newly regenerated Crowder crime family.
Which brings us to the exception. The one person who has wholeheartedly embraced his true nature is the new and most definitely not improved Boyd, who behaved throughout the episode like a man finally awaking from a long coma. He reunites with cousin Johnny (in a wheelchair after being shot and left for dead last season), recruits an old white supremacist buddy during a poker-game robbery that sets them up with a little walking-around money, and starts laying out the nefarious plan to succeed his Daddy as the kingpin of Harlan County. Walton Goggins seems utterly transformed; his wicked glee is palpable as he taunts the card-players to come after him if they dare. Who knows? Maybe crime really does pay. At the very least, you get to make out with Ava under a star-filled sky.
- “Now you know that thing that never happened that we never talked about? We’re not going to talk about it.”
- Just a few moments with Margo Martindale, but she makes every one count.
- Very affecting scene between Raylan and Loretta when he persuades her to meet her new foster family – both of them realistically hardheaded and unsentimental, but still full of emotion.
- Gorgeous lighting in the barn full of hanging marijuana plants.
- “Alacrity.” That’s just a funny word to use.
- “Should I grow a mustache?”
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“Assumptions are your enemy, Detective” – Sarah Linden
AMC’s new series managed to keep up the suspense and move the story along just enough tonight. The parallel plot lines are still segregated for the most part, but the overlaps between Linden and Holder, mayoral candidate Richmond and the Larsen family are tentatively getting larger.
The cops: After thankfully informing her fiancé that she will be staying at least a few more days to try to close the case, Sarah Linden uses the identification made by the school’s pedophile janitor to isolate a new suspect: Kris Echols, a childhood friend of Rosie’s who is now a meth-dealing scumbag who happens to be nasty Jasper’s best friend. With no real evidence, they still can’t arrest either boy. Until a tape surfaces showing their brutal gang rape of Rosie in “The Cage”. Remember, there were students actually watching this video before Mr. Ahmed confiscated the phone. How much more will this disturbing conspiracy of silence amongst the student body block the progress of the police work? Linden and Holder are still clashing, although she seems to be respectful of his undercover cop skills (or “skills”), and we get some more hints of a troubled childhood in his past.
The campaign: It is revealed that Betty Draper’s little brother (sorry, “Jamie”) was responsible for at least the first inside leak about Yitanes’ endorsement. This seems very plausible as a weasel-like political move, unless his vehement denials turn out to be true. There are still only hints about the story behind the death of Richmond’s wife, although it seems clear it was a violent one, and Richmond lowers himself to some old-fashioned back room dealing to finally get that elusive endorsement. It is a tribute to the depth of the actor’s performances and commitment to the intense but relatively low-key stakes that this storyline is as compelling as it is right now, contrasted with the raw emotion on display elsewhere.
The parents: Both Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton continue to bring devastating emotion to all their scenes, even the ones that border on cliché, like listening over and over to an outgoing phone message recorded by their dead daughter. Indeed, one of the best things about “The Killing” is its simple commitment to showing the agonizing but mundane process of mourning – as a grieving parent, you may want to sleep for days, but you still have make dinner for your young children, and stay strong when your son absent-mindedly sets a place for his sister at the table. Unlike on the ubiquitous and exploitative network police procedurals, viewers are being asked to go on that long journey with everyone involved in Rosie Larsen’s murder. There will be a lot more pain along the way.
- New character: Regi, a childhood friend of Sarah’s who may know her better than she knows herself.
- Most intriguing new mystery: What in the world was Holder up to on that phone call? Quote: “I don’t care what he says. I’m not gonna do it right now. Give me time to ease in – she’s not stupid.” Please say he is not a secret bad guy of some kind.
- Most chilling moment: Mitch Larsen ducking under the water in the bathtub, and then coming up sputtering and gasping for air, sadly answering her own question, “Did she suffer?”