Real Life vs. Reel Life: Tornadoes Blow Out Soaps Cancellation Announcement

Tornado damage in Tushka, OK

One of the biggest stories Thursday never made it on air. It was blown out of the newscasts by the tornadoes and severe weather that swept through Oklahoma.

The story you never saw

Sure, storm chasers screaming “Tornado on the ground, tornado on the ground!” and soundbites like “I was talking to Bubba one moment, and the next moment the mobile home was gone!” is reality TV at its best.  But because of the wall-to-wall weather coverage on towns like Tushka and Stroud, we had to dump a short story of an announcement that affects the people who live in Pine Valley and Llanview. The announcement ends two long-time TV shows that had loyal viewers who tuned in for decades to escape reality. Here’s the story you never saw:

A bombshell for soap opera fans. ABC announced it’s canceling two icons of daytime programming… “All My Children” and “One Life To Live”. The network blames low ratings, and says the soaps will be replaced by lifestyle and cooking shows. “All My Children” will end its 40 year run this coming September. “One Life To Live” will sign off in January of next year.

“What? For real??” Yep, for real

I was sitting at the news desk for two hours, rattling off the latest tornado/hail/wind headlines on Facebook, while the weather guys did their thing.  Between my warnings of “Tornado reported on ground near Stroud” and “Batten down the hatches Tulsa”, I posted “BTW ABC is canceling 2 soaps. All My Children and One Life To Live.” The reactions blew in faster than an EF-5 twister. Here are a few:

  • “What? For real??
  • “dislike…:)”
  • “Really? Can’t be true!!!”
  • “I am in shock… I have watched these shows since HS! :)”

Whenever a TV station covers up a soap to show, for example a presidential address, the switchboard lights up like a Christmas tree with complaints. It’s not a pretty sight sound. Canceling two soaps? Put your earmuffs on.

What would JR think?

My new friend Jacob Young

I wonder what Jacob Young thinks about the news. Sorry. All My Children fans know him better as bad boy JR Chandler.  Jacob and I met our fans and signed autographs recently at the Women’s Health Expo in Tulsa (Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit. Read my post).

Reel life vs. real life

My Facebook warnings on the bad weather got a lot of responses. I’m not surprised. That’s truly life and death stuff. And I really wasn’t surprised with the reactions to the cancellations. People love their soaps.  Can you blame them? Sometimes we need to escape realife with a little reel life.


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