The Interesting History Of The Soap Opera – All My Children


All My Children, abbreviated as AMC, is an American television soap opera that aired from January 5, 1970, to September 23, 2011, on ABC. It was created by Agnes Nixon and the set was in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania. It was a fictional suburb of Philadelphia that was based on the current Rosemont suburb of Philadelphia. The original series starred Erica Kane and Susan Lucci, who were the most popular characters on daytime television. 

All My Children refers to the human bonds and it was the network’s new and first daytime drama premiered in the 1970s. The series started with a half an hour segment and on April 24, 1977, it was expanded to a full-hour show. In 2009, the filming location was moved from Manhattan to Los Angeles, California because the production was cheaper there. 

History of All My Children

History of All My Children

In the 1960s, Agnes Nixon, the lead writer of The Guiding Light, came up with the idea of All My Children. It was the time when she was writing the Bible of the Story. As a result, she wanted to have a light soap opera that can focus on the social issues in America and the love among the young people. 

Nixon tried to sell the series to NBC but failed. Later on, she went to CBS and again failed to sell her soap opera. Then she went back to NBC through Procter & Gamble, where All My Children was put on hold because there was no extra room for its programming. In 1965, Agnes Nixon became the lead writer for Another World and she decided to use some ideas from All My Children. 

In this case, Nixon was able to use Erica Kane’s character model to create Rachel Davis, a brand new Another World character. The common characteristics between Erica and Rachel were that they believed that they could live their dreams, they would be satisfied. On the other hand, the dream was difficult to achieve. 

Creation of All My Children

Creation of All My Children

Agnes Nixon was approached by ABC to create a show that reflects a contemporary tone. As a result, a new program debuted in 1968 named One Life to Live. This show was a success on daytime television and the network asked Nixon to make another show. She agreed to the network and revived her Erica Kane character and All My Children. 

On January 5, 1970, a game show Dream House was canceled by the network and it made a place for All My Children to be aired. For six months, a special guest star, Rosemary Prinz was hired for the show and played the role of a political activist named Amy Tyler. Prinz was known for her role as Penny Hughes in As the World Turns in the 1950s and 1960s. 

A head start was given to the show by adding Prinz due to the value of her name. From the 1970s to 1980s, the soap opera was written by Nixon herself or her protégé Wisner Washam. Nixon prepared him to finally take over the reins in the 1980s because Nixon had to focus on other shows such as the creation and release of Lovin in 1983.  

The Interesting History Of The Soap Opera – All My Children

The Interesting History Of The Soap Opera - All My Children

All My Children aired for 41 years on ABC with 10,000 episodes. This soap opera was not a big hit in the beginning but over the years, the ranking moved from no. 17 to no.4 in the 1990s. The online revival of this soap opera in 2013 never took off like its original series. So, there are a lot of interesting facts about All My Children over its aired years. 

  • Nixon starred as Agnes Eckhardt in the 10,000th episode. She used her maiden name as she used it for her onscreen appearance in One Life to Live. 
  • As mentioned earlier, All My Children was a victim of low rating but it was only once highest-rated. For one season, it became America’s no.1 daytime drama. 
  • In 1973, the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, and at the same time, Erica Kane became the first television character to undergo a legal abortion. 
  • In 1994, three weeks after a tornado endangered the residents of Pine Valley in All My Children, a real tornado landed near the Pennsylvania communities of Bryn Mawr and Rosemont. These two towns were the inspiration for the fictional town in this soap opera. 
  • Olga Sosnovska and Eden Riegel shared the first homosexual kiss in the history of American soap operas. In 2003, Lena Kundera and Bianca Montgomery kissed on-screen. 
  • In All My Children, Dorothy Lyman was a high school classmate with Jill Larson. Larson is the actress who succeeded her as Opal Cortlandt. 
  • Black Panther costars, Chadwick Boseman, and Michael B. Jordan played Reggie Montgomery in the series. Boseman was fired from the cast when he objected to the stereotypical nature of the character. 

Actress Sara Michele Gellar

  • In 1995, Riverdale start Mark Consuelos and Live! Kelly and Ryan’s co-host, Kelly Ripa, met on the show. They got married in the following year and reprised their roles on the series in 2010. 
  • After winning a daytime Emmy in her original appearance on the show, Buffy the Vampire Slayed album, Sarah Michelle Gellar returned to All My Children. Her role as Kendall Hart, who was a long-lost daughter of Erica. Gellar came back during the final week of the ABC soap opera and claimed that she had seen vampires, even before they were in vogue. 
  • The show was set in Pine Valley Pennsylvania. It was the fictional suburb of Philadelphia. This town has existed in other serial settings of the same fictional universe such as Loving, Ryan’s Hope, The Young Marrieds, General Hospital, and One Life to Live. 

Daytime Emmy Awards

Daytime Emmy Awards

The show and its crew have received over 360 nominations in the Daytime Emmy Awards. The performer categories have been as follows:

  • Drama Series
  • Lead Actor 
  • Lead Actress 
  • Supporting Actor 
  • Supporting Actress 
  • Younger Actor 
  • Younger Actress 
  • Lifetime Achievement

On the other hand, the show has won as follows Daytime Emmy Awards:

  • Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team
  • Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team 
  • Outstanding Drama Series
  • Outstanding Makeup
  • Outstanding Multiple Camera Editing
  • Outstanding Live and Direct to Tape Sound Mixing 
  • Outstanding Music Direction and Art Composition

During the 21st GLAAD Media Awards, All My Children was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in 2010. 

All My Children – Interesting Facts

All My Children is one of the longest-running daytime soaps with 10,000 episodes. Firstly, it was rejected by NBC because of houseful but later it was put on hold until one of the shows got canceled. All My Children has been a victim of low ratings but over the years, it got top ratings in different seasons. 

All My Children got a head start because of Rosemary Prinz who played the role of a political activist named Amy Tyler. In this era, there were few social issues in American such as love among the young people and its outcomes that lead to abortions. This soap opera focused on the highlighted social issues on the screen. 

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