All My Children fans were up-ended earlier this year when ABC announced that it was transitioning production of the show to the West Coast. Now comes another surprising turn: the show will be moving on without its head writer. ABC is now confirming a report made earlier today by soapcentral.com: Charles Pratt, Jr. has been fired as head writer of All My Children.
Pratt's first day at the helm of All My Children was June 23, 2008. Upon his hiring, Brian Frons, president, Daytime, Disney-ABC Television Group, referred to Pratt as "a master storyteller" and touted Pratt's work experience as something that would "undoubtedly elevate All My Children stories in new and exciting directions."
Fans, however, have felt otherwise. Over the past six months, viewers have inundated soapcentral.com's mailboxes with complaints about the direction of the show. What was to have been a complex and mysterious murder mystery -- the "Who Killed Stuart?" storyline -- dragged on too long in the eyes of many fans, and most have expressed dissatisfaction with the plot's resolution. Other viewers have threatened to tune out and a soap columnist even urged viewers to boycott the show until Pratt was fired.
In three years, All My Children has had three head writing regimes. In February 2007, the ABC soap dismissed Megan McTavish as its head writer amid complaints that the show had become too dark. Three months later, Barbara Esensten and James Harmon Brown were unveiled as co-head writers. A year later, Esensten and Brown were out and Pratt was in.
While the network has not announced a permanent replacement for Pratt, it has announced that a familiar name will be returning to help keep AMC on track post-Pratt.
"Lorraine Broderick is on as part of the writing team as an associate writer," the network said in a statement. "We have no announcements to make about the head writer position."