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NEW YORK (AP) — ABC canceled two of its three soap operas on Thursday, consigning "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" — and Susan Lucci, daytime's most famous actress — to television history.
The move leaves "General Hospital" as ABC's only daytime drama, one of only four that will remain on ABC, CBS and NBC's daytime schedule.
Soap operas have slowly been fading as a TV force, with many of the women who made up the target audience now in the work force. In place of the two canceled dramas, ABC will air shows about food and lifestyle transformations.
Brian Frons, head of ABC's daytime department, went to the California set of "All My Children" to deliver the news on Thursday, where a video link was also set up to the New York set of "One Life to Live." He said the shows were doing well creatively, but falling ratings indicated they had a bleak future.
"If you have a show in severe decline, you're trying to catch a falling knife," Frons said.
Daytime dramas have suffered recently as cable networks like TLC, Bravo and Oxygen aggressively seek viewers in those hours, he said. Soaps are popular with viewers from the post-World War II baby boom, but younger viewers are more interested in other programming, he said.
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