It was the shot heard 'round the world -- or at least around Pine Valley. When All My Children wrapped its 41-year-run on ABC on September 23, 2011, viewers were left with the ultimate cliffhanger: who, if anyone, did JR Chandler shoot?
The answer was supposed to be revealed about four months later, in January 2012, when All My Children was to have begun airing on the Internet as part of Prospect Park's planned online entertainment channel, The Online Network. Fans now know that AMC won't be coming back as planned because Prospect Park suspended its online aspirations after failing to secure enough money to make producing the soaps possible.
AMC creator Agnes Nixon and head writer Lorraine Broderick had originally scripted a definitive finale for All My Children, but the ending was reworked when Prospect Park announced its plans to take over production of the show. Rather than wrapping things up with a neat little bow, Prospect Park leveraged the writers to craft a cliffhanger that would want to make fans tune in when the show relaunched on the Internet.
"I would have never written an 'end' because life doesn't end," Agnes Nixon stated after learning that Prospect Park had abandoned its plans to relaunch the soaps she'd created.
So was rewriting the show's series finale to end with a cliffhanger the worst idea ever? Maybe, maybe not. An alternate ending of All My Children exists -- but it's unclear if anyone will ever be able to see it.
"We did shoot a different version, and I love the version we shot originally," Chrishell Stause (Amanda Dillon) revealed in an interview with TVLine. "But then the Prospect Park thing came about. We only had Kate Collins (Janet Green) for a few days, so we had to shoot our ending with her really, really early. And then the Prospect Park thing happened and they changed the ending to what you saw. What's sad is that I know what the ending [w]as supposed to be, so I feel like the fans were robbed. We all had these vignettes that were beautiful and really great, so that's the biggest regret."
Earlier this year, sources told soapcentral.com that All My Children's original ending was to have included a "flash forward," that would have shown viewers what their favorite characters were up to several years into the future.
Where are All My Children's long-lost scenes and will they ever see the light of day? That's one script that does not appear to have been written yet.