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All My Children

All My Children (AMC) is a popular American soap opera and drama television series that has been broadcast Monday through Friday on the ABC TV network since January 5, 1970, and on SOAPnet weeknights at 8pm ET/PT. All My Children was created by Agnes Nixon. Nixon had created One Life to Live for ABC following her success as head writer for Another World and The Guiding Light. She set the show in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, a small fictitious suburb of Philadelphia. Since its inception, the show has featured Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, one of the most popular characters in soap opera history.

The title of the show refers to the brotherhood of man. Nixon believed that it doesn't matter who one was, what one looked like, or where one was from — for every human being was a child of God. The poem at the start of the All My Children photo album reads:

The poem, which epitomizes the goal of All My Children's storytelling, was penned by Nixon herself.

The show was originally owned by Creative Horizons, Inc., the company created by Agnes Nixon and her husband Bob. The show was sold to ABC in January 1975.

Originally a half-hour in length, the show expanded to an hour in April 1977. Previously, the show had experimented with the hour format for one week starting on July 7, 1975, when Ryan's Hope premiered.

From 1970-1990, it was recorded at ABC's now defunct studio TV18 at 101 West 66th St.

Since March 1990, it has been recorded at ABC's television studio TV23 on 320 West 66th Street in New York City.

On July 25, 2006, the show began using a post-production process called FilmLook, which gives it a filmed (as opposed to taped) appearance.

At one time, the program was so popular that it was the most widely-recorded television show in the United States, and once had an audience that was estimated to be 30% male. The show ranked #1 in the daytime Nielsen Ratings from 1978-1979. Throughout most of the 1980s and into the early 1990s, All My Children was the #2 daytime soap opera on the air.

With the death of core cast member Ruth Warrick in January 2005, two original cast members, Lucci and Ray MacDonnell, remain.

History

1970s

In the 1960s Agnes Nixon, then head writer for The Guiding Light, tried to sell a property called All My Children to NBC, then CBS, then NBC again through the auspices of sponsor Procter & Gamble. Despite her success and sponsor support, it was not until the start of 1970 that her brainchild finally aired.

Nixon strived to create a soap that was topical, and could illustrate social issues to the audience. She wanted all this while also injecting regular humor into the script. To keep the action more real, she allowed the audience to locate her fictional "Pine Valley" on a map: situated just outside of Philadelphia, it was a mere hour-long train ride from New York City. However, it wasn't until the 1990s that it was revealed that Pine Valley was actually in Pennsylvania.

From 1970 and into the 1980s, the show was either written by Nixon herself or by her protégé, Wisner Washam. He was groomed by Nixon to take the reins in the 1980s while she focused on other endeavors, like creating and launching Loving in 1983. Lorraine Broderick and Margaret DePriest also had brief stints as head writers in the 1980s.

The show's first action took place around several families and characters. Phoebe Tyler (Ruth Warrick), who fashioned herself as "Queen of Pine Valley", was the definition of a rich snob. There was also single mother Mona Kane and her prima donna daughter, Erica. Contrasting this was the stable Martin Family, who have long been thought of as the symbolic foundation of All My Children.

If Phoebe was the "Queen of Pine Valley", then Susan Lucci's Erica Kane was definitely the "Princess". Destined to break up the young romance of classmates Tara Martin (Karen Lynn Gorney) and Phil Brent (Richard Hatch), Erica found out that Phil was not Ruth's son, but the son of Ruth's sister Amy (Rosemary Prinz). In a selfish attempt to break up Phil and Tara, she told everyone the truth.

All My Children's first success was its telling of young love. ABC wanted a soap opera that would bring in young viewers, and slowly the program was accomplishing just that.

The show's ratings did not start out strong, however. In its first year on the air, it ranked #17 out of 19 soaps. Despite this, its audience was building with each passing year, which kept both Nixon and ABC happy.

The show was unique for its use of the Vietnam War. Before All My Children debuted no show, let alone daytime soap, had discussed the war in any depth. There was the character of Phoebe, a conservative, and Amy, a free-spirited liberal, both butting heads over the war, with Amy often leading protests around Pine Valley. When the character of Amy left, Ruth took over as the anti-war voice. Her early 1970s protest speech won Mary Fickett the first ever Emmy Award given to a soap performer back in 1972. Later in the show's run, Phoebe became more liberal.

In 1973, Erica Kane made the decision to have an abortion. What made the abortion extra-controversial was Erica's reason for doing it. She wasn't having it done because her health was in jeopardy, but because she didn't want to gain weight and lose her modeling job. The abortion story got much media attention, especially since Roe v. Wade had been decided just a few months before the story began airing. Erica developed a potentially fatal infection after having the abortion, and the switch-boards at ABC lit up with calls from doctors and nurses, offering their medical opinions on how best to treat the character's case. The controversy didn’t hurt ratings, which rose from an 8.2 to a 9.1 Household rating.

Phoebe's husband Charles (Hugh Franklin) had gotten close to Mona Kane (Frances Heflin), Erica's mother and his secretary at the hospital. The two fell in love and Charles divorced Phoebe, even though she tried to blackmail Mona and even faked paralysis. In the end, Phoebe was left a drunken divorcée and Mona became the new Mrs. Tyler. This ordeal started the longtime Phoebe/Mona rivalry.

When Eileen Letchworth, who played Margo Flax Martin, was contemplating a facelift, she talked it over with Agnes Nixon. Not only was Letchwoth going to need time off, she was going to look significantly different when she returned to the show. Nixon approved and worked the facelift into a storyline. Margo wanted to impress the somewhat younger Paul Martin (William Mooney). Margo’s facelift in 1974 was one of the first major storylines on television discussing cosmetic surgery and its psychological effects.

In June 1976, the character of Brooke English showed up on her Aunt Phoebe's doorstep and soon after clashed with Erica over Tom Cudahy and Mark Dalton. Since then, Brooke has feasted on many of Erica's left-over men. Also, in 1976 was the introduction of fan favorite Myrtle Lum Fargate (Eileen Herlie).

By the late 1970s the show had risen to the top of the ratings. One reason for this was the arrival of teenage prostitute Donna Beck. Her relationship with the handsome Dr. Chuck Tyler breathed life into the show and captivated many fans for years to come. Another new addition was the arrival of aristocratic Palmer Cortlandt (aka Peter Cooney) (James Mitchell), his somewhat creepy housekeeper Myra Murdock, and his overprotected daughter Nina (Taylor Miller), who, to Palmer's chagrin, caught the fancy of Dr. Cliff Warner (Peter Bergman). Palmer did everything in his power to break up the couple, included telling Nina she was going blind due to her diabetes. Palmer teamed up with Cliff's past flame, nurse Sybil Thorne (Linda Gibboney), who confronted Cliff about fathering her son. But this was temporary, because Sybil was murdered by Sean Cudahy (Alan Dysert). During the murder trial, Nina was astonished to learn that her mother, Daisy Cortlandt (Gillian Spencer), whom she believed to be dead, was in fact alive and living in Pine Valley as 'Monique Jonville'. To complete everyone's shock, Myra acknowledged that Daisy was her daughter. AMC also found memorable villains in Billy Clyde Tuggle and Ray Gardner.

1980s

The early '80s is considered by many to have been a golden period for the show. Younger characters, such as Jenny Gardner and Greg Nelson (Kim Delaney and Laurence Lau), Liza (Marcy Walker), Liza's best friend Amanda Cousins (Amanda Bearse), Jesse Hubbard and Angie Baxter (Darnell Williams and Debbi Morgan) and a now-grown-up Tad Martin (Michael E. Knight), who was now legally Ruth and Joe's son, entered the scene and drew large followings.

The storyline involving Liza plotting to win Greg back after he left her for Jenny was a huge fan favorite, as was the Jenny/Greg pairing. The legend of "Tad the Cad" was born when Tad Martin took Liza Colby's virginity, then simultaneously began having sex with her mother, socialite Marian Colby (Jennifer Bassey), who eventually was sent to prison and returned to marry Stuart Chandler (David Canary).

Jenny and Jesse's summer in New York City was so well received that it allowed the program to reach #1 in the ratings for 10 weeks in mid-1982.

On the not-so-younger side, Jenny and Tad's natural mother Opal (Dorothy Lyman) was also added to the canvas, where she opened the Glamorama salon and spa. Opal greatly showcased All My Children’s attempt at humor and satire. Powerful businessman Adam Chandler and his twin brother Stuart arrived in town and became significant characters.

The character of Erica began to take on a larger-than-life role by the 1980s. This was evident with her writing an autobiography, "Raising Kane", and turning it into a motion picture. When her presumed half-sister Silver (Deborah Goodrich) accused her of murdering Kent Bogard (Michael Woods, Lee Goodart), her former lover and boss, she went on the run fleeing to the Hollywood Hills. She did this all while posing as a nun. Many remember her forest encounter with a grizzly bear after she escaped a kidnapping attempt made by Adam. The character would go on to marry over 10 times (with her most recent wedding taking place in June 2005).

The show made their first attempt at tackling the taboo topic of homosexuality in 1983. Tricia Pursley played the divorced Devon McFadden who believed she was falling in love with her psychiatrist, Lynn Carson (played by Donna Pescow). Lynn admitted to being a lesbian, and Devon admitted her crush. Other soaps and television shows had done stories hinting at bisexuality, but never homosexuality, much less with women.

The show intelligently tackled the issue of drug use when Mark La Mura's character, Mark Dalton, became addicted to cocaine after years of casual use. His half-sister, Erica staged an intervention with his friends to have him confront his problems. They practiced a "tough love" policy that had Mark admit to the addiction. The informative episode showed how to hold an intervention, and the stages to go through for a successful confrontation.

Controversy hit in 1987 with the arrival of Cindy Parker (Ellen Wheeler), who would later fall in love with Stuart Chandler (David Canary). The character was revealed to have AIDS. Through visits by Dr. Angie Hubbard, the show educated the public on how the disease was spread and how to prevent it. Cindy had contracted HIV from her husband, Fred, who contracted it from sharing needles for drug use. Cindy would be attacked by a vigilante hate group led by her niece Skye Chandler. The tragedy of the attack showed the extremes of violence that was occurring everyday to victims of the disease. Cindy married Stuart and he adopted her son Scott. She died early in 1989 in one of the soap's most watched episodes.

By 1989, ABC wanted changes at All My Children. The show was getting about 6.5 million viewers per episode, but many felt that the program had lost its unique sense of humor. Agnes Nixon and Wisner Washam, who had both written the show since the '70s, were faced with a merry-go-round of executive producers, starting in the mid-'80s when producer Jacqueline Babbin left. Jorn Winther was hired to executive produce the show. Efforts were made to bring the show back to the glory days of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. This would mean adding a mixture of both social issues and also the intelligent satire that the show had been known for.

Felicia Minei Behr was hired as the new executive producer in early 1989. Having been a producer on Ryan's Hope, Behr was familiar with All My Children, having been an associate producer from 1970 to 1975. Behr welcomed the input of both Nixon and Washam. In the eyes of Agnes Nixon, the show finally had a stable executive producer. Behr worked with Nixon and Washam, crafting a baby storyline involving the characters of Adam, Brooke, Tad, and Dixie (Cady McClain). By this time, the show also found a hit couple in Cecily and Nico (played by Rosa Nevin and Maurice Benard).

ABC was pleased with Behr; Agnes Nixon was as well, and decided her creation was safe in the hands of the new producer. The program was faced with many actor defections during this time, including longtime favorites such as Peter Bergman, Taylor Miller, and Debbi Morgan, but Behr countered this by bringing back other favorite characters from the past -- Opal (this time played by Jill Larson), Dr. Chuck Tyler, and Billy Clyde Tuggle (the former pimp who first made his big splash in the '70s). Behr also helped craft a story re-exploring Erica's father, Eric Kane. It was revealed he had faked his own death. In a comical twist, Erica found him working as a clown in a traveling circus.

1990s

At the time of Behr's hiring in early 1989, the show usually ranked around #4 in the ratings, by 1990, the show had inched up to the #3 spot. ABC chose Megan McTavish, a former actress who had been on the writing team since 1987, to be its new head writer. She was promoted to head writer in 1992, with Nixon serving as Executive Head Writer.

Billy Clyde Tuggle returned to Pine Valley in 1990, after a ten-year absence (in prison). He proceeded to undo the lives of many in Pine Valley. He told his daughter, Emily Ann Sago, that he was her natural father, devastating her with the truth that she was the product of rape. He died tumbling over a bridge (with Tad Martin), ending the reign of one of Pine Valley's most evil and entertaining characters ever.

Stories such as Molly's leukemia, Ceara Connor (Genie Frances') incest, Mona’s lung cancer, and Deconstruction (a story about racism), were all praised in the soap magazines for their social conscience. Other storylines included the 'Who Killed Will?' mystery, Willow Lake Acres (a both humorous and serious tale about the plight of the elderly in a fraudulent nursing home), and a tornado that rocked Pine Valley. Kendall Hart (Sarah Michelle Gellar), who was revealed to be the product of a rape that happened to Erica on her fourteenth birthday, was a major rewrite, but still a popular story in the eyes of many. The Santos, Dillon, Frye, and Keefer families were introduced during this time as well.

Tad and Dixie were now very popular. The show also had other couples with large followings during this time: Dimitri and Erica (Michael Nader), Trevor (James Kiberd) and Natalie (Kate Collins), and Hayley (Kelly Ripa) and Brian (Gregory Gordon, Matt Borlenghi, Brian L. Greene).

Many fans consider the early 1990s to have been a second golden period for the show, often comparing it to the late 1970s/early 1980s.

However, by the early-mid-1990s, some of McTavish's storytelling received criticism for being gimmick-driven (i.e. multiple dual roles, bomb plots). Reports soon surfaced that Behr and McTavish were having conflicts about storylines and the direction of AMC. After the O.J. Simpson trial preempted daytime television programs throughout late 1994 and into 1995, many soaps saw their ratings decline, and All My Children was no different. When Megan McTavish was fired from her head writing post in the spring, former associate head writer Lorraine Broderick was tapped by Behr as the new head writer.

Broderick's tenure under Behr was popular among critics and fans for returning AMC to its socially relevant, character-driven roots. Her biggest successes were Erica's drug addiction story (with the character receiving treatment at the Betty Ford Center), and also the story of a homophobia over a gay high school boy and a history teacher. But with the ratings still stagnant, ABC fired longtime executive producer Felicia Minei Behr, and brought in Francesca James (who had previously won an Emmy award acting on the show as twins Kitty and Kelly). The storylines now included a voodoo arc with the popular Noah and Julia (Keith Hamilton Cobb and Sydney Penny), a fantasy story for Myrtle featuring the "real" Santa Claus, and finally a baby kidnapping story involving Erica.

Despite winning three consecutive Daytime Emmys for writing during her tenure on AMC, Broderick was replaced in December 1997 by her predecessor, McTavish. The first major story McTavish tackled was ironically one created by Broderick, Bianca Montgomery's anorexia. The character of Bianca, Erica's young daughter, was checked into a facility to treat the disease. Apart from the anorexia story, McTavish's tales were plot-driven and made severe, implausible alterations to the show's history such as the resurrection of Erica's lifetime-love, Mike Roy (Nicholas Surovy). In 1998 the show, yet again, got a new executive producer, Jean Dadario Burke, taking over from Francesca James. She would become known to many speculating fans as a weak producer with little vision.

Cady McClain, who had left the show as Dixie in 1996, returned to the delight of her fans, but other storylines -- involving ghosts, poison tattoos, Nazi art, and a sperm switch -- were all busts. By the start of 1999, with All My Children being voted as the 'Worst of 1998' by Soap Opera Digest magazine, McTavish was once again fired.

As ratings began to fall in the late 1990s, ABC convinced Agnes Nixon to make a brief return. Many long-running actors, such as Michael Nader, James Kiberd, and Robin Mattson, left their roles. Nixon decided to write a story that would breathe new life into the show and be socially relevant at the same time. This resulted in the revelation that Erica Kane's daughter Bianca was a lesbian. She admitted the truth to her mother in December 2000. Despite the many flaws during this period, the show found success in the pairing of newcomers Leo and Greenlee (Josh Duhamel and Rebecca Budig).

2000s to present

After more than a ten year absence, Kate Collins reprised the role of Janet Green for a limited run in November 2005, making more brief returns in February 2007 and November 2007.

Starting with the July 25, 2006 episode, the show's video has been processed to appear as though it was shot on film.

The soap has been strongly criticized for keeping the film look.

Another big return occurred on February 9, 2007, whenever Susan Pratt returned as Barbara Montgomery. Pratt made her last appearance in July of that year.

On December 12, 2007, news came that Rebecca Budig would be returning as Greenlee Smythe. Seen by many as a desperate attempt by President of ABC Daytime Brian Scott Frons to bring back viewers, enthusiasm for Budig's return was overshadowed with word of how Sabine Singh, the character's recast, was treated in the process of bringing Budig back. While many viewers rejoiced at the news of Budig's return, others had grown to accept and appreciate Singh as Greenlee, and both sides felt the actress was treated badly by ABC.

It was reported in the December 25, 2007 issue of Soap Opera Digest that fan favorites Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams would return as Jesse Hubbard and Angie Baxter. Morgan returned on January 18, 2008 and Williams on January 25, 2008.

In April 2008, it was announced that Laurence Lau would briefly reprise the role of Greg Nelson for the much anticipated wedding of Jesse and Angie Hubbard.

In August 2008, it was announced that Eden Riegel and Vincent Irizarry would reprise their roles as Bianca Montgomery and David Hayward. Bianca would be returning with a new love interest, Reese Williams, portrayed by Tamara Braun.

All My Children storylines and people

Megan McTavish and her replacements as head writer

After even more staff turnover in recent years, Megan McTavish, who wrote the show for most of the '90s, again returned. Her storylines began airing in July 2003, which included the controversial rape of Bianca.

Gone upon McTavish's latest return was Jean Dadario Burke as executive producer, being replaced with Julie Hanan Carruthers.

Under McTavish, ratings bounced from the middle of the pack and the bottom. McTavish resorted to quick thinking and stunt casting to lure back long-time viewers. Various characters returned to the show after long absences, including Julia Santos (Sydney Penny) and Janet Dillon (Kate Collins, who was originally slated to return for a brief stint and was eventually given a contract. The most notable, however, was the long-kept secret of Cady McClain's return as the iconic Dixie Cooney Martin. The news of her return was spread just two weeks before she appeared on viewers' screens again. In a very unpopular move the writers chose to kill off Dixie only a year after her return

A controversial storyline had Erica's thought-to-be-aborted son come to Pine Valley.

In August 2006, after months of speculation it was confirmed that fan favorite Eden Riegel would be reprising her Emmy winning role of Bianca Montgomery. Since departing the show in February 2005, Eden has returned for three limited guest appearances but this time signed a contract of undetermined length with the show.

In 2006, the show began a storyline about a transgender character that involves Bianca and the rock musician Freddie 'Zarf/Zoe' Luper.

In December 2006, AMC introduced a storyline where the women of Fusion Cosmetics began being killed by a serial killer. Simone and Erin were the first two victims of the serial killer, with Danielle Frye being the third. When the "Satin Slayer" attacked Danielle, she saw him/her before collapsing. Josh Madden and Babe get to Danielle before she died, and got her to the hospital, but she was unable to identify her attacker. Her father had her moved to Hawaii for her recovery, and to get her away from the killer. Dixie Cooney Martin was the fourth victim of the "Satin Slayer". Although Babe Chandler was the intended victim, Dixie accidentally ate the poisoned food, and succumbed to the drug. Dixie's spirit visited Jamie and J.R. as well as Tad, and she realized that Kathy was her Kate, before moving on to the afterlife. Weeks later Babe was to fall victim to the Satin Slayer. Her bodyguard had been killed behind her car and as she went to check on him, the Satin Slayer got hold of her and plunged a syringe into her neck causing her to suffer the same fate as her co-workers and mother-in-law, or so it seemed. It was later revealed that Babe was indeed alive and in hiding. It was revealed in February 2007 that Alexander Cambias Sr. was The Satin Slayer.

It was officially announced February 2007 that Megan McTavish has been fired due to viewer criticism about her storylines and playing favorites with certain characters. On May 21, 2007, James Harmon Brown and Barbara Esensten were announced as the new head writers of All My Children. The duo have written for Days of our Lives, One Life to Live, Dynasty and Port Charles, and were the creators and writers of The City.

On May 21, 2008, Charles Pratt, Jr., former co-head writer for General Hospital was announced as a replacement for Brown and Esenstein, amid record low ratings.

Title sequences

|align="right" All title sequences use a book of the show's title.

Ever since the debut in 1970, AMC's opener has included a photo album/scrapbook in some kind of form.


January 5, 1970 - December 29, 1989
The First Two Decades With the premiere, the sequence was simple: a camera slowly zooms in on a leather-bound photo album as a female hand enters the image to open the album. On the first page of the album, the title is shown in calligraphic type. Until at least June 1970, the hand turned to a second page, crediting Rosemary Prinz as a "Special Guest Star". Prinz, at the time, was the cast member with the most experience in soaps, and crediting her in the sequence was used as a way to coax her fans to tune in. She left after six months on the show, and the second page was eliminated from the sequence.

In June 1970, the sequence was updated, featuring the same hand-turning the book format, only now based on a larger table/credenza, and the book was more centered. The title appeared in the same calligraphic font, but the inside title page now revealed a painted spring of flowers to accompany it. The hand would begin to turn to the next page just as the sequence faded out, to give the effect of someone displaying a full family photo album. However, additional pages would never be seen again during the run of this sequence.

This set ran for nineteen years, making it one of the longest-running packages in soap history. The theme music used with this sequence was written by Dina Dore and her daughter Carlina Paul. It went through two principal arrangements; in the beginning it was a soft lullaby-type tune. Retained from the 1970 sequence, it ran through 1971. Another version debuted in late 1971 and was used until 1976. A new version of the theme, more sweeping and cheery than the two previous versions, and featuring full orchestration, was used from 1976 to 1989. The last and final episode of All My Children with the "title inside page" sequence aired on December 29, 1989.


January 2, 1990 - January 2, 1995
A Whole New Look For The 1990s In 1989 executive producer Felicia Minei Behr decided to create a new sequence to bring AMC into the 1990s for the 20th Anniversary. Billy Barber and Bob Israel were hired to record the new theme. By the middle of December 1989 the recording of the theme music was completed. Then, all contract cast members of the show were all called to do a photoshoot and once the filming was completed, animation began. The animation was completed early in the last week of December and by December 29 the sequence was complete. The new sequence debuted during the 20th Anniversary week in January 1990. This new sequence kept the photo album theme, but expanded upon it. It began with the camera panning across a desk featuring framed pictures of longtime cast members.

This dissolved into a series of animations in which still pictures of each cast member hovered into piles on the desk. It ended with a portrait of lead actress Susan Lucci slowly sliding onto a page in the photo album, as it closed to reveal the title in an Old English type on the cover. Occasionally, the title would disappear from the cover and a sponsor's logo would be in its place, with the announcer doing an ad for the sponsor.

As popular as the sequence was, the theme music was even more popular. Written by legendary television composer Billy Barber, it began with a perky melody. A slightly remixed "90s" version of this theme debuted in December 1992 with a quieter, slower arrangement at the beginning and tuned to a much newer pop theme, that lasted until 1995. The theme song was identified with the show's years of the early 1990s. The last episode of AMC with the falling pictures sequence aired on January 2, 1995.


January 3, 1995 - October 4, 2002
25th Anniversary Update In 1994, Behr decided to come up with another new sequence for the 25th Anniversary. She hired saxophonist David Benoit to record the theme and then decided she wanted heirlooms such as necklaces, chess pieces, and different exteriors. By Christmas Eve 1994, she decided that they would include motion backgrounds, not in color however, to make the opening a tour of Pine Valley and finalized most of the components such as cast pictures. On December 29, 1994, the sequence was completed with motion images. However, they became stills due to budgets. For for the 25th Anniversary week, the new sequence made its debut. The first episode of AMC with the locket sequence debuted on January 4, 1995. It featured stills of each cast member fading in and out of a white background while various images, including galloping horses, house exteriors, pearl necklaces, and pink roses, crossfaded throughout the cast images. Susan Lucci was again given a nod as her picture was always first, and was the only one in the sequence to be framed with a silver frame. Finally, Agnes Nixon's hand-written epigram for the show crossfaded in the background just as the photo album did.

Later in 1995, a new theme debuted to replace the January 1995 theme; it was shortened at the beginning and lengthened towards the end with a few new instruments. Also, a new piano theme debuted that month. In October 1995, the sequence was updated to include posed images of most cast members, but the images were still motionless. In July 1996 the opening was updated and debuted live video images of the former stills. In August 1997, a quiet piano arrangement debuted that lasted to the summer of 1998 when a new upbeat version that included the ending version would debut. In October 2000 it was modified music with a series of a few additional instruments included and used Digital Surround Sound. All of the music that accompanied these sequences were composed by David Benoit. AMC retired this sequence on October 4, 2002.


October 7, 2002 - May 28, 2004
A New Spin on a Fan Favorite On October 7, 2002, after nearly eight years of the previous sequence, a new one made its debut. The first AMC episode with the Scrapbook opening debuted on October 7, 2002. It featured the photo album, but unlike the other sequences, the photo album was constantly seen throughout. It began with a closeup of the album (with the title on the cover) as it opened. The Agnes Nixon epigram is seen on the front page, but the screen fades into the montage of cast member images, all done in live action. The photos were already on their pages in the album and as each face was shown, the name of the character was scrawled on their page in the book, similar to what many people do with their own family scrapbooks. Yet again, Susan Lucci is paid homage by being at the end of both formats of this sequence. This time, however, she shared that honor with David Canary, as he was in both sequences as well, as Adam Chandler in one and Stuart in the other. The theme that accompanied this sequence was a much-loved update of the 1990-1995 theme originally composed by Billy Barber, this time with contributions by Robert Israel. There were two music versions of this sequence, the first of which was a quiet, fast tempo that lasted for two weeks when it was replaced by a more dramatic theme. An alternate theme debuted in 2003 and was used occasionally until 2004.

May 31, 2004–present
Following a Network Mandate After barely a year and a half of the previous opening, the show debuted another on May 31, 2004. This opening was styled after the commercial break bumpers that were present on all of ABC's serials at the time. One Life to Live and General Hospital's openings were done in similar ways to the All My Children opening.

The new opening generated mixed opinions from the audience. The pros of it were that many pictures from the show's past, including montages of classic Susan Lucci and Ruth Warrick headshots and a wedding portrait from Edmund and Maria's 1994 wedding, was seen at the beginning. Also in favor was the updated version of the classic early 1990s theme song. Cons were Ryan's image was after Erica's, which many felt that place belonged to Alicia Minshew's Kendall. The All My Children book letter font was in Monotype Corsiva rather than the traditional Old English Text and the book was in a different red hue. This was also the first time that the show's name was written on a single line, as opposed to the usual three lines. In December 2006, a slightly modified version of the theme debuted and is still in use.


Closing Credits For the first 12 years of All My Children, the closing credits used the format of a single mimed scene of one or more characters engaging in an activity or interacting with each other, usually only on a single set. Credits would always scroll over the scene, and would feature the full cast list after production principals on some days, while a full crew list would appear on others. Occasionally, as is still the case to this very day, full cast & crew would run if enough time allotted. As with most soaps, this entire credit list was known for running especially on holiday episodes.

During the entire time All My Children used mimed scenes for the closings, thin, regular Craw Clarendon font, in white, was used. In the era in which the show debuted, this font was commonly used on two other ABC soaps, General Hospital and One Life to Live. OLTL was also an Agnes Nixon production, under her Creative Horizons company, which explains the similar cosmetic look between that soap and All My Children. GH, however, had been completely purchased by ABC come the early 1970s, but had always used Craw Clarendon Condensed font as opposed to the regular variant of the type utilized on OLTL and AMC. Both programs saw their closing sequence formats go unchanged even after Ms. Nixon sold them to ABC entirely, in 1975. By 1978, the Craw Clarendon used on AMC became smaller and thinly embossed, but by that same year the program was the only one still using the font, as OLTL's credit setup changed at that time. It should also be noted that beginning in the late 1970s, the scrolling cast list went from being completely centered to displaying character names on the left side of the screen, while actors' names were positioned on the right. Copyright notice first appeared on AMC in 1980; it appeared in small Arial font under the "Videotaped at ABC Television Center in New York" credit until 1982.

Sometime in 1982, AMC experienced its first major credits overhaul. The single scenes minus dialogue were replaced with a series of different live action scenes from the episode just aired. The credit font changed at this time to Brittanica Bold for actors and crew members, and small Arial for character names and production titles. Subsequently, the cast list now scrolled completely on the left hand side, and a closing display of the show's title now appeared above the copyright notice. In May 1983, "All Rights Reserved" was added to the copyright for the first time, and in early 1984, the small Arial-type copyright format was changed to the new version mandated for most ABC daytime programs, set in a variation of Century Gothic font.

Thereafter, the credits continued to see periodic alterations, especially as Agnes Nixon began handing over the show to new executive producers for the first time (all of which she hired herself, starting with Jacqueline Babbin). By 1985, the credits became super-embossed with black shadowing, whereas previously it had been minimal. In early 1987, the cast list reverted to running centered on the screen, for the first time since the late 1970s. At this point, the credit portions running in Arial type disappeared, leaving the entire setup in Brittanica font. Not long after Felicia Minei Behr became the new executive producer in early 1989, black embossment on the credits was toned down, and the credit setup now once again only displayed Brittanica font for the title, actors' names and crew names; the production titles and character names were now set in thin Helvetica. These latest changes would remain until the last month of Ms. Behr's seven-year tenure at AMC, in early 1996.

In March 1996, standard closing credit sequences that ran daily came to an end on AMC for the most part, as they did on all other ABC soaps. Credits now ran in a quick, condensed form, carded over stills from that day's episode. The font was switched from the long-running Brittanica/Helvetica combo to Windsor type, especially for this change.

Cast

Current cast members

Actor Character Duration
David Canary Adam Chandler
Stuart Chandler
1983-
1984-
Bobbie Eakes Krystal Carey Martin 2003-
Melissa Claire Egan Annie Lavery 2006-
Beth Ehlers Taylor Thompson 2008-
Ricky Paull Goldin Dr. Jake Martin 2008-
Thorsten Kaye Zach Slater 2004-
Michael E. Knight Tad Martin 1982-1986, 1988-1990, 1992-
Susan Lucci Erica Kane 1970-
Ray MacDonnell Dr. Joe Martin 1970-
Cameron Mathison Ryan Lavery 1998-2002, 2003-
Alicia Minshew Kendall Hart Slater 2002-
James Mitchell Palmer Cortlandt 1979-
Brianne Moncrief Colby Chandler 2008-
Debbi Morgan Dr. Angie Hubbard 1982-1990, 2008-
Elizabeth Rodriguez Carmen Morales 2008-
Cornelius Smith Jr. Dr. Frankie Hubbard 2007-
Chrishell Stause Amanda Dillon 2005-
Aiden Turner Aidan Devane 2002-
Denise Vasi Randi Morgan 2008-
Walt Willey Jackson Montgomery 1987-
Darnell Williams Jesse Hubbard 1981-1988, 2008-
Jacob Young JR Chandler 2003-

Recurring cast members

Actor Character
Jennifer Bassey Marian Colby Chandler
Jenna DiMartini Corinna Vasquez
Alexander Eckstein
Benjamin Eckstein
Caleb Eckstein
Spike Lavery
Joel Fabiani Barry Shire
Alexa Gerasimovich Kathy Martin
Chris Henry Alistair "Ren" Reynolds
Cheryl Hulteen Winifred
Shannon Kane Natalia
Daniel Kennedy Pete Cortlandt
Jill Larson Opal
Rebecca Levine Jenny Martin
Michael Malone Val
Lee Meriwether Ruth Martin
Lucy Merriam Emma Lavery
Jack Mungovan Lt. Perry
Jillian O'Neill Chandler Maid
Jarred Sturmann Adam Chandler III
Jessalyn Wanlim Rachael

Comings and goings

Actor Character Status
Eden Riegel Bianca Montgomery Returns October 17
Hayley Evans Miranda Montgomery Returns October 17
Vincent Irizarry David Hayward Returns October 23
Laura Koffman Rebecca Debuts October 28
Tamara Braun Reese Williams Debuts October 30
Amanda Baker Babe Carey Exits October 23
Alicia Minshew Kendall Hart Slater Temporarily Exits October 2008, Returns December 2008
Malachy McCourt Father Clarence Temp. Returns November
Rebecca Budig Greenlee Smythe Exits January 2009

Deceased cast members

Actor Character Year of Death
Philip Amelio Scott Chandler April 1, 2005
Kay Campbell Kate Martin May 27, 1985
Ron Christopher Detective 2000
Raúl Dávila Hector Santos January 2, 2006
Louis Edmonds Langley Wallingford March 3, 2001
Hugh Franklin Dr. Charles Tyler September 26, 1986
Kate Harrington Kate Martin November 23, 1978
Eileen Herlie Myrtle Fargate October 8, 2008
Frances Heflin Mona Tyler June 1, 1994
Jo Henderson Wilma Marlowe August 8, 1988
Paul Gleason Dr. David Thornton May 27, 2006
William Griffis Harlan Tucker April 13, 1998
Elizabeth Lawrence Myra Sloane June 11, 2000
Dack Rambo Steve Jacobi March 21, 1994
Lynne Thigpen Grace Keefer March 12, 2003
Ruth Warrick Phoebe Wallingford January 15, 2005

Notable alumni

Many well-known film and television actors and celebrities appeared on the serial before their big break, including:
Actor Role Duration
Mischa Barton Lily Montgomery December 1995
Amanda Bearse Amanda Cousins 1981-1984
Jonathan Bennett J.R. Chandler 2001-2002
Lacey Chabert Bianca Montgomery 1992-1993
Kim Delaney Jenny Gardner 1981-1984
Josh Duhamel Leo du Pres 1999-2002
Jesse McCartney J.R. Chandler 1998-2001
Sarah Michelle Gellar Kendall Hart 1993-1995
Lauren Holly Julie Chandler 1986-1989
Laura San Giacomo Louisa Sanchez 1988
Michelle Trachtenberg Lily Montgomery 1993-1996
Michael Nader Dimitri Marick 1991-1999, 2000-2001
Kelly Ripa Hayley Vaughan 1990-2002
Mark Consuelos Mateo Santos 1995-2002
Eva LaRue Maria Santos 1993-1997, 2002-2005

Ratings

For historical ratings information, see List of US daytime soap opera ratings

1970s ratings

1969-1970 Season (HH Ratings) (Nielsen)

  • As the World Turns 13.6
  • One Life to Live 6.7

1970-1971 Season

  • 1. As the World Turns 12.4
  • 15. One Life to Live 6.5

1971-1972 Season

  • 1. As the World Turns 11.1
  • 13. One Life to Live 7.3

1972-1973 Season

  • 1. As the World Turns 10.6
  • 7. One Life to Live 8.3

  1973-1974 Season

1974-1975 Season (HH Ratings)

  • 1. As the World Turns 10.8
  • 11. One Life to Live 7.4

1975-1976 Season

  • 1. As the World Turns 9.4
  • 11. One Life to Live 6.8

  1976-1977 Season

  • 1. As the World Turns 9.9
  • 8. One Life to Live 7.3

1977-1978 Season

  • 1. As the World Turns 8.6 (#1 in viewers)
  • 1. Another World 8.6
  • 7. One Life to Live 7.2

1978-1979 Season (HH Ratings)

  • 1. All My Children 9.0
  • 6. One Life to Live 8.0

1980s ratings

1979-1980 Season (HH Ratings) (Nielsen)

1981-1982 Season (HH Ratings)

  • 1. General Hospital 11.2
  • 2. All My Children 9.4
  • 3. One Life to Live 9.3
  • 4. Guiding Light 8.0

Highest rated week in daytime history
(Week of November 16-November 20, 1981) (HH ratings)

  • 1. General Hospital 16.0 (3-4pm)
  • 2. All My Children 10.2 (1-2pm) (#2 in viewers)
  • 2. One Life to Live 10.2 (2-3pm) (#3 in viewers)
  • 4. Guiding Light 7.9 (3-4pm)
  • 5. The Young And The Restless 7.3 (12:30-1:30pm)

  1982-1983 Season

  • 1. General Hospital 9.8
  • 2. All My Children 9.4
  • 3. One Life to Live 8.1

1983-1984 Season

  • 1. General Hospital 10.0
  • 2. All My Children 9.1
  • 4. One Life to Live 8.2
  • 5. Guiding Light 8.1

1984-1985 Season

  • 1. General Hospital 9.1
  • 2. All My Children 8.2
  • 4. Guiding Light 7.5
  • 5. One Life to Live 7.3

1985-1986 Season (HH Ratings)

  • 1. General Hospital 9.2
  • 2. The Young and the Restless 8.3
  • 3. All My Children 8.0
  • 4. One Life to Live 7.8

  1986-1987 Season

  • 1. General Hospital 8.3
  • 2. The Young and the Restless 8.0
  • 3. One Life to Live 7.2
  • 4. All My Children 7.0

1987-1988 Season

  • 1. General Hospital 8.1 (#1 in viewers)
  • 1. The Young and the Restless 8.1 (#2 in viewers)
  • 3. One Life to Live 7.7
  • 4. All My Children 7.7

1988-1989 Season (HH Ratings)

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 8.1
  • 2. General Hospital 7.5
  • 3. One Life to Live 7.1
  • 4. All My Children 6.7

1990s ratings

1989-1990 Season (HH Ratings) (1 = 921,000 Homes)

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 8.0
  • 2. General Hospital 7.4
  • 3. All My Children 6.5
  • 4. One Life to Live 6.3

1990-1991 Season (HH Ratings)

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 8.1
  • 2. General Hospital 6.7
  • 3. All My Children 6.6
  • 4. One Life to Live 5.8

1991-1992 Season (HH Ratings)

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 8.2
  • 2. All My Children 6.8
  • 5. Guiding Light 5.6
  • 7. One Life to Live 5.4

1992-1993 Season (HH Ratings)

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 8.4
  • 2. All My Children 7.3
  • 6. One Life to Live 5.5

1993-1994 Season (HH Ratings) (1 = 942,000 Homes)

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 8.6
  • 2. All My Children 6.6
  • 6. One Life to Live 5.6

  1994-1995 Season (HH Ratings)

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 7.5
  • 2. All My Children 6.1
  • 5. One Life to Live 5.4

1995 Ratings (Millions of Viewers)

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 7.155
  • 2. All My Children 5.891
  • 3. General Hospital 5.343
  • 4. The Bold And The Beautiful 5.247
  • 5. One Life to Live 5.152

1995-1996 Season (HH Ratings)

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 7.7
  • 2. Days of our Lives 5.8
  • 3. The Bold and the Beautiful 5.4
  • 4. All My Children 5.3
  • 6. One Life to Live 4.6

1996-1997 Season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 7.1
  • 2. Days of our Lives – 5.8
  • 3. The Bold and the Beautiful 5.0
  • 4. General Hospital 4.8
  • 5. All My Children 4.7
  • 7. One Life to Live 4.0

  1997-1998 Season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 7.0
  • 2. Days of our Lives 5.9
  • 3. The Bold and the Beautiful 4.8
  • 4. General Hospital 4.6
  • 5. All My Children 4.2
  • 7. One Life to Live 3.9

1998-1999 Season (HH Ratings)

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 6.9
  • 2. Days of our Lives
  • 3. The Bold and the Beautiful 4.7
  • 4. General Hospital 4.3
  • 5. All My Children 3.9
  • 7. One Life to Live 3.7

2000s ratings

1999-2000 Season (HH Ratings) (Nielsen)

2000-2001 Season

2001-2002 Season

2002-2003 Season

  2003-2004 Season

2004-2005 Season

2005-2006 Season (HH Ratings)

2006-2007 Season (HH Ratings)

The show reached a record low of 1,931,000 viewers on Friday, August 22, 2008. It's previous low was 2,144,000 viewers on Friday, November 2, 2007.

Latest ratings

Week of April 28- May 2, 2008 (Compared To Last WK/Compared To Last YR)

  • 1. Y&R 5,305,000 (-28,000/-99,000)
  • 7. AMC 2,468,000 (+2,000/-562,000)

Scheduling history

Except for a period between July 7, 1975 and December 31, 1976, when AMC ran at 12:30 p.m. Eastern/11:30 a.m. Central time in order to make way for the new Ryan's Hope, the show has aired since its inception at 1 p.m./12 Noon. It replaced the original version of the game show Dream House, which had been plagued by several prize-related scandals.

The timeslot caused some ratings (and thus audience development) problems in the show's early years, as it faced local newscasts or tape-delayed games or soaps on NBC and CBS affiliates, but AMC persevered despite the handicap and fought very strongly against NBC's Days of Our Lives from 1979 onward.

Unless one counts The Today Show, AMC has stayed in its timeslot longer than any other daytime program running on network television, having reached a total of 30 consecutive years of broadcasting daily at 1 p.m./Noon on January 3, 2007.

Awards and nominations

Here is the list of the winners at the Daytime Emmy Awards, it has been nominated in excess of 250 times.

Show

  • 1988 "Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team"
  • 1992 "Outstanding Drama Series"
  • 1994 "Outstanding Drama Series"
  • 1995 "Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team"
  • 1995 "Outstanding Technical Direction/Electronic Camera/Video Control"
  • 1995 "Outstanding Live and Tape Sound Mixing and Sound Effects"
  • 1996 "Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team"
  • 1997 "Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team"
  • 1998 "Outstanding Drama Series"
  • 1998 "Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team"
  • 1998 "Outstanding Makeup"
  • 1998 "Outstanding Multiple Camera Editing"
  • 1998 "Outstanding Live and Direct To Tape Sound Mixing"
  • 1999 "Outstanding Music Direction And Composition"
  • 2001 "Outstanding Achievement in Multiple Camera Editing"
  • 2001 "Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling"
  • 2002 "Outstanding Achievement in Casting"
  • 2002 "Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design"
  • 2002 "Outstanding Achievement in Technical Direction/Electronic Camera/Video Control"
  • 2002 "Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition"
  • 2003 "Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team"
  • 2005 "Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for a Drama Series" (tied with One Life to Live)
  • 2007 "Outstanding Achievement In Technical Direction/Electronic Camera/Video Control"

Individuals

Executive producers and head writers

Executive Producers

Duration Name
January 5, 1970 to 1978 Agnes Nixon
and Bud Kloss
1978 to 1982 Agnes Nixon
and Jorn Winther
1982 to January 1986 Jacqueline Babbin
January 1986 to March 1986 Jorn Winther
March 1986 to January 1989 Stephen Schenkel
January 1989 to April 1996 Felicia Minei Behr
April 1996 to April 1998 Francesca James
April 1998 to September 2003 Jean Dadario Burke
September 19, 2003 to October 24, 2003 Casey Childs
October 25, 2003 to present Julie Hanan Carruthers

Head Writers

Duration Name
1970 to 1983 Agnes Nixon
1983 to 1985 Wisner Washam
1985 Wisner Washam & Lorraine Broderick
1986 to 1989 Wisner Washam
1989 to 1990 Wisner Washam & Margaret DePriest
1990 to 1992 Wisner Washam & Agnes Nixon
1992 to 1995 Megan McTavish
and Agnes Nixon
1995 to 1997 Lorraine Broderick
1997 to 1999 Megan McTavish
1999 to September 2001 Jean Passanante
Elizabeth Page
and Agnes Nixon
September 2001 to December 2002 Richard Culliton
December 2002 to March 2003 Gordon Rayfield
March 2003 to July 2003 Gordon Rayfield
and Anna Cascio
July 2003 to May 2007 Megan McTavish
May 2007 to July 25, 2007 No Head Writer Credited
July 26, 2007 to January 14, 2008 James Harmon Brown
and Barbara Esensten
January 15, 2008 to January 30, 2008 Julie Hanan Carruthers
and Brian Frons (WGA strike)
January 31, 2008 to August 2008 James Harmon Brown
and Barbara Esensten
August 2008 to present Charles Pratt, Jr.

Current Main Crew

Writers Producers/Consultants Directors
Charles Pratt, Jr.; Daran Little, Chip Hayes, Kate Hall, Joanna Cohen, Rebecca Taylor, Jeff Beldner, Addie Walsh, Tracey Thomson, Amanda L. Beall Julie Hanan Carruthers (Executive Producer), Ginger Smith, Karen Johnson, Nadine Aronson, Barry Gingold, Joann Busiglio, Enza Dolce, Brian Frons Casey Childs, Joe Cotugno, Steven Williford, Conal O'Brien, Angela Tessinari, Barbara M. Simmons, Jill Ackles, Michael V. Pomarico, Francesca James, Shelley Curtis, Anthony Pascarelli, Enza Dolce, Judy Blye Wilson, Robert Lambert

Popular culture

  • AMC was the favorite TV show of author P. G. Wodehouse, who otherwise loathed television.
  • On the Nickelodeon show, The Fairly OddParents, an episode was made where a character watched a show called All My Parents' Offspring, as well as All My Biceps.
  • A parody version of All My Children exists within the universe of Futurama, entitled All My Circuits as well as Gaia Online, entitled All My Gaians.
  • A parody entitled All My Siblings appears in Pinky and the Brain episode The Family That Poits Together, Narfs Together
  • In Season 2 episode 19 of Friends, the character Gunther claims to have played Bryce on All My Children.
  • In Italy, under the title La valle dei pini, the show started to air in 1985 on Canale 5. In 1987 it was moved to another channel, Rete 4. In 1992 it was cancelled, due to low ratings . At that time, episodes were three years behind the U.S.
  • In an episode of Friends Joey auditions for the part of a boxer on All My Children.
  • The main characters from the show Friends are named after All My Children characters. Ross for Ross Chandler, Joey for Joey Martin, Chandler for the Chandler family, Monica for Monique/Daisy Cortland, Rachel (Karen) Green for Janet "from another planet" Green, and Phoebe for Phoebe Tyler Wallingford.
  • The hip-hop community has embraced the Erica Kane character in several songs.

DVD

A DVD was released on January 24, 2004 titled Daytime's Greatest Weddings which contained All My Children and other daytime soaps' weddings.

References

External links

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