For several days, All My Children fans have been rocked by rumors that the 41-year-old soap would soon be going off the air. With each passing hour, more and more media outlets seemed to pick up the story. Officially, ABC did not deny talk of AMC going dark, and its non-specific response to the rumors did nothing to lessen fans' panic.
"The [Deadline Hollywood] piece is just another story in a long line of stories about this same topic again and again," a network spokesperson told Soap Central earlier this week.
Now, Soap Central has learned that All My Children's executive producer, Julie Hanan Carruthers, has assured castmembers that the cancellation rumors are just that -- rumors.
Later, Days of our Lives star Eric Martsolf (Brady Black) informed his followers that he'd spoken to his former Passions co-star, Lindsay Hartley (Cara Castillo; ex-Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald, Passions), and also heard that All My Children was staying put.
"AMC [is] not going anywhere folks," Martsolf wrote. "Just talked to my girl Linds. It's all good."
Though the statements that AMC is not in imminent danger of being canceled might temporarily calm jittery nerves, it does not mean that the show's record low ratings should be ignored. For the week of March 7, All My Children drew just 463,000 viewers in the women 18-49 demographic -- more than a third lower than the comparable week in 2010. Overall, for the same week, AMC had 2.32 million total viewers.
Some skeptics, however, have noted that then-executive producer Ellen Wheeler was reportedly blindsided by CBS's April 2009 cancellation of Guiding Light. Wheeler had been under the impression that the show would be renewed for another year.
In 2009, after months of cancellation rumors, ABC announced that it would move production of All My Children from New York to Los Angeles to help lower its production costs.
"The move to Los Angeles enables both All My Children and One Life to Live to dramatically improve the series production models and achieve significant efficiencies while enhancing each show," Brian Frons, president of the Daytime division of the Disney/ABC Television Group, said in a statement at the time. "We had to examine every option on the table to combat the current economic realities, and rising costs of production, and we are doing it in a way that makes each of our shows stronger."
Still, rumors have persisted that All My Children has still been operating over budget -- even after the move that was designed to save it money.
AMC stars including Eakes, Vasi, and Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake Martin) have taken to Twitter to tell fans to let ABC know in a respectful, courteous manner that they want the show to continue. Fans are urged to call 818.460.7477 for ABC's automated feedback line -- and then enter the following numbers at the prompts: 1, 2, 3, and 255. This will allow fans to leave a recorded message to express their love of All My Children.