As the ends of "All My Children", a TV soap opera fans mourn

As the ends of "All My Children", a TV soap opera fans mourn
It was the early 1980s. The girls dash in clay-like home to join Torres and her husband Joe to catch the latest episode of "All My Children."

"It was our special time of day," said Desiree Sanchez, one of the granddaughters. Now 32, she gymnastics coach in New York and plans her workouts so she could watch the programs while working on the treadmill.

"It was not just some stupid show. It was so much more than that," she said.

On Friday, the ABC television network will end nearly 42-year run, "All My Children," which stars Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, a temptress in the fictional suburb of Philadelphia Pine Valley. Drama, is losing viewers, and ABC was afraid that it will lose money on production.

Change of audience tastes, increased competition and a difficult economy fell into a soap opera, once a staple of daytime TV. ABC "One Life to Live" will end in January, leaving only four daytime dramas on television.

For heavy viewers, lifting have been devastating. Fans getting ready for Friday with the same range of emotions that accompany the death of a loved one.

"It's like losing a grandmother again and again," said Sanchez. "This show made me feel connected with people I lost, and the people that I am far from. No matter what else happens, you can always turn on the TV and there was that one constant that one comforting thing, especially when the rest of the world, it seemed like it was in chaos. "

Soap Operas provoke the degree of devotion, are increasingly rare in the fragmented world media.

"There is no other genre that gets under the skin and penetrates into the DNA of the audience, like a soap opera," said Sheraton Kalouria, executive vice president of Sony Pictures Television, which produces three of the four surviving daytime dramas, including top-rated "The Young and the Restless "on CBS.

The researchers were astonished spectators a strong personal affection for the show. Fans were eager to learn what happens to their favorites, as the writers wisely sending site development. They refer to the program as "my show" and to consider the characters of friends.

Audience is often several generations. For example, in the Torres / Sanchez family, women have been a ritual to their husbands, uncles and daughters - stretching dedication for three generations. Family ties serves to intensify the emotional tug.

But the most important factor, the researchers say, is the frequency of the program. Recent episodes of work five days a week, providing a close, which a few shows can match.

"In many ways, soap operas were the first social network," says Stacy Matthais, co-executive director of Insight Research. "For decades, people have a daily to obtain updated information on their favorite characters. Frequency of communication is not much different from Facebook today."

What makes a soap opera is different from other scripts and reality shows is "the feeling that you go through life with these characters," Matthais said. "These programs represent an extreme version of what is happening in people's lives every day. This is how life is centered."

When ABC announced last spring that the abolition of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," a furious fans bombarded the network with angry letters, organizing rallies and boycotts, and installed Facebook pages, including the name of "Save our Soaps."

"You want to keep what you love," Gail Giordano, 52, said.
She remembers how she and her cousin would sit with his Italian grandmother on her floral couch in Brooklyn, and watch the soaps. Her grandmother would cut apple slices for girls with a cutting torch. "It's one of my fondest memories," she said.

"These characters are guests in your home, they, as members of your family," she said. "You see them every day, you love some and hate some of them - but they're yours."

Roger Newcomb, manager of the database project in New York who edits the site "We Love Soaps, 'said he plunged into the exotic and complex life of the characters.

"I came home from school and watch the five o'clock soap - it was in those days, the VCR - and I could transport myself from my home in Tennessee, one of the fictional Midwestern towns as a means of escape," Newcomb, 41, said . "People have experienced so many things and have always overcome adversity. It was a great message for young people."

But the audience is graying - and shrinking. During the past year, "All My Children" averaged 2.4 million viewers an episode, compared to 4 million years ago, according to Nielsen Co, the average age of the audience show, 57 - well beyond the category of viewers that advertisers pay premiums to reach.

Daytime drama reached its zenith in the early 1980s. That's when students will be warm for the coming of age story. Several general television on campus will be locked to the soap. But now the students have their own TVs and notebook computers, and networks, including the CW, ABC Family and MTV for young adults with shows as obscene, including "Pretty Little Liars" and "Jersey Shore".

According to ABC, 10 million women between the ages of 18 to 49 years of watching television from 1 pm to 2 hours, but only 16% were tuned to one of the soap. Stay at home mother, is likely to be watching Disney Channel and Nickelodeon with my kids, socializing with other people on Facebook or watch online social games.

Los Angeles-based production company, Prospect Park, believes that is still in the juice of soap. He hopes to adapt "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" for the Internet. The company bought the rights to two ABC drama last summer to run the scheduled entertainment online channel.

"People are just glued to these programs, and is an ideal audience," Prospect Park co-founder Frank Rich. "There is nothing like it in American television, and we do not want to ignore the technology."

But the soap audience is generally more comfortable with their television than computers.

For 41 years, Marty Sanchez, daughter Martha Torres, watching "All My Children." She told her mother the program in 1970 - the year he made his debut - became enthusiastic about the Vietnam War era storyline.

"The show was something my whole family was in general," said Sanchez, 64, who recently retired from her job teaching students with special needs. "My mom loves to play. She would talk about history in a way that helped her to convey her meaning to me and my daughter."

When Marty's daughter, in Desiree, moved to New York in 2004, she would call her grandparents every night so they can turns retelling the story. Her grandfather, Joe Torres, died the following year. Torres died in March 2008, and the day she passed, her family has forgotten to watch the soap.

"This show was the last viable communication we had with my mom and dad," Marty said Sanchez. "And I do not think I'll ever lose it."

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