Was there a chance to prevent All My Children's ratings from dipping to the lows that caused its cancellation? There's no way to know for certain, but according to a published report, there was at least a chance that fans could have been reacquainted with the AMC of old, rather than the recent storylines that have turned them off.
In early April, approximately two weeks before ABC officially announced the cancellation of All My Children, Lorraine Broderick was named the show's "new" head writer. Broderick had held the head writing position in the 1980s, and had served in various capacities on the show's writing team dating back to 1979. At the time, Broderick's deal was said to be a multi-year pact. Broderick's return brought renewed hope that the 41-year-old series might steer clear of the chopping block.
Broderick presided over AMC's storylines as an interim head writer between the 2009 firing of Charles Pratt, Jr., as head writer, and the installation of David Kreizman and Donna Swajeski as co-head writers. During those few short months between writing regimes, AMC saw its ratings climb. It was widely reported at the time that Broderick had only agreed to work as head writer of All My Children until former Guiding Light scribes Kreizman and Swajeski got up to speed with the show -- and that she didn't want to take on the rigors of becoming head writer on a full-time basis.
That may not be the case.
Citing, an unnamed show source, Soap Opera Digest states that Broderick did, in fact, want to helm AMC.
"Rumors were out there that she didn't want the gig, but the truth is, she wasn't wanted," the magazine reports.
In an interview following the April 14 cancellation of All My Children and One Life to Live, Frons hinted that AMC might not have been initially destined for soap heaven.
Frons told Deadline.com that the network had planned to cancel just one soap but "the way the ratings developed and the pilots turned out, the ratings developed negatively and pilots developed positively, so we decided to make a bigger shift."
All My Children's ratings are down 18% in the coveted Women 18-49 demographic, according to Entertainment Weekly. Overall, AMC dropped to 2.4 million total viewers from 2.7 million. Considering those numbers, it would seem that AMC was the show with the ratigns that "developed negatively." One Life to Live was the only soap to have more total viewers this year -- up from 2.5 million to 2.6 million.
The obvious question would be: If Lorraine Broderick had been selected as a permanent head writer in 2010, could her stories have boosted the ratings to have prevented All My Children from being axed. Sadly, it's an answer that will never be known.
Broderick's material as head writer begins airing on June 27. All My Children is scheduled to air its final episode on September 24.