Five days down, about another 80 to go.
Last week was the first week All My Children fans have been prevented from visiting with their friends in Pine Valley in quite some time. Not since the infamous trial of O.J. Simpson have soap fans had to do without their favorite soap. I don't know about you, but this glove definitely does not fit.
I also don't know how it is for you, but I don't like being blocked from something that I consider mine. It's sort of like when a road is closed, and you can't get to your house. That's a pretty good analogy of how I feel about what happened with All My Children. It's not that I decided to stop watching All My Children. I wasn't given the choice. I was told by a network's misguided programming decision that I no longer wanted to watch.
There's some good news in all of that, though -- but more on that in a bit.
I've pledged to do my best to continue with a weekly Two Scoops column until All My Children returns in 2012. I'll share my thoughts on things that happened this week in All My Children history, discuss the latest AMC-related news, and share some of my thoughts on what's happening elsewhere in the world of soaps that will be of interest to my AMC friends.
So, what have you been doing with your "free" hours of time now that All My Children isn't airing every day? Have you tuned in to another soap? Are you watching old AMC videos on YouTube? Did you start TiVoing the classic AMC episodes that are airing in the wee hours of the morning on SOAPnet? Drop me a line and let me know... I may share some of the more creative ideas with other readers.
For the past two weeks, I've put together All My Children tributes on Soap Central Live. Two weeks ago, I shared some of the interviews that I conducted with the cast of AMC when I visited the studio back in August. Why so long ago? There was an embargo that prevented me from publishing the interviews until a certain date, but I thought that hearing from our favorite stars on the last day of AMC was a better way to go. The show also featured some clips from All My Children's past.
This past week, I turned the microphone over to the fans. For one full, commercial-free hour, All My Children fans called in on the hotline and shared their favorite AMC memories and their opinions of the finale, and I also asked for their thoughts on AMC's planned move to the Internet. I hope this doesn't sound pretentious, but I had to say that the callers reaffirmed why I've been running the soapcentral.com web site for the past 16-and-a-half years. The fans were passionate, respectful, knowledgeable, and an absolute joy to talk to. And there was a surprise caller. Terri Ivens (ex-Simone Torres) learned of the show via Twitter, and she called in to share some of her AMC memories. I had no idea she'd be calling -- and if you listen to the show, you can almost "hear" my eyes rolling when I was informed that she was on the phone.
There were hundreds of callers who wanted to take part in the show, and there were only 55 minutes of show. You don't have to be a math major to be able to calculate that not everyone who wanted to talk AMC was able to get through to talk. So, I have decided that I will host All My Children fan call-in shows once a month until AMC returns. If you were not able to be a part of the last show, keep an eye tuned to this column to find out when the next one will be held.
If you missed either my AMC tribute or the fall call-in show, you can check them out over on the Soap Central Live page at https://www.soapcentral.com/radio
Aside from the tributes -- and this isn't very exciting -- I fixed a leaky shower and tidied up my office. I made it all the way to Thursday before I reached for the remote, thinking that I could watch All My Children. My mind was focused on other things, and in that moment... I was pretty disappointed when I realized that there would be no AMC playing on my TiVo.
As I predicted, ABC had a press release waiting in the wings to tout the-show-that-shall-not-be-named's first-day ratings. The release stated that the show topped All My Children's ratings. I have to wonder if some viewers forgot that AMC wouldn't be on the air and tuned in by accident. I'm sure there was a curiosity factor involved, too. The ads for said show have been airing nonstop for months.
The subsequent days were not as good as that show choked -- and the ratings tanked. By the end of the first week, the "replacement" show's ratings were lower than All My Children's.
Oh, and the final episode of AMC? AMC had its highest ratings in four years. Just about 3.5 million people watched the last ABC broadcast. More than that, AMC ranked as the #2 soap in households for the first time since...ready?... 1995!
And not to toot my own horn, but my Two Scoops column for last week was the most-read feature on the entire Soap Central site. It ranks as the most-read Two Scoops column of the year.
So what does all of this mean? The callers, the readers, the ratings... It shows that people still care about All My Children. Regardless of what the official line is, people are still watching. So the next time you think you might be crazy because you miss the action in Pine Valley, remember that you're not alone.
Until All My Children finds its new home on Prospect Park's Internet channel, The Online Network -- I'm thankful to the guys at Prospect Park so I won't even comment on the name -- we'll just need to find some things to do to pass the time. Fixing those leaky faucets. Reading books. Whatever it is, I hope that you'll still find some time in your schedule to check in here with me, as well as the latest soap news on Soap Central.