Susan Lucci: I was completely blindsided
Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2011 12:33:07 PM
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Lucci: I was completely blindsided
Soap fans weren't the only ones caught off guard by ABC's cancellation of All My Children and One Life to Live. Susan Lucci, the daytime diva herself, was given just a five-minute warning that AMC was going off the air.

During the publicity tour for her new memoir, Susan Lucci (Erica Kane) denounced talk of All My Children's cancellation as a nasty rumor. When ABC unceremoniously canceled the show on April 14, many fans wondered if Lucci had somehow been complicit in the coverup or if the woman, who is arguably the most familiar face in daytime television history, had been kept in the dark.

Now the Emmy-winning actress has offered a stunning revelation that doesn't appear in her tell-all book: she was told that her 41-year run on All My Children would be ending just five minutes before the show's cancellation was officially announced.

"I was completely blindsided," Lucci told Jay Leno in an appearance on NBC's Tonight Show. "I had just started the book tour. I had been to cities all over the country meeting thousands and thousands of people, enthusiastic, so excited about the show. I had no idea. I was shocked. I found out just like the rest of the company of actors. I found out five minutes before. I received a call from Brian Frons, the Vice President of Daytime television, asking me to come upstairs to our producer's office. And at that time he told me that our show had been canceled and that we were going off the air in September."

Lucci admitted that she sensed something wasn't quite right when she saw "a lot of very seriously dressed executives" on her way to her meeting with Frons.

After musing that he'd had similar meetings, Leno asked Lucci the million dollar question: Why would a show that is still doing well and still has millions of fans be "killed?"

"I asked at the time that I was called up to the office, I asked this... Mr. Brian Frons what they were replacing us with," Lucci added, struggling to find Frons' name. "And he said they were replacing us with a reality show that would cost 40 percent less to produce."

Leno also asked Lucci how the fans had reacted to the news, noting that shows have, in the past, been saved by letter-writing campaigns and viewer outcry.

Lucci shrugged, saying that she didn't know if anything could be done to alter ABC's decision, but offered strong words of thanks to the show's fans.

"Our fans are on fire," Lucci said with a wide smile. "They were online instantly and they [have been] there for us."

As for what's next for Lucci if All My Children cannot be saved, the actress declined to answer when Leno asked her about the rumors that she could join the cast of Desperate Housewives.

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