|Show Name:||All My Children|
|Executive Producer:||Julie Hanan Carruthers|
|Head Writer:||Charles Pratt Jr.|
|Senior Cast Members:||Susan Lucci |
Michael E. Knight
|First Aired:||January 5, 1970|
|Run Time:||60 minutes (30 minutes from 1970 to 1977)|
All My Children: The Summer of Seduction
|Num Episodes:||10,075 (as of March 6, 2009)|
|Internet Movie Database entry 0065272|
|Tv Com Id:||62|
All My Children, sometimes abbreviated by fans and the press as AMC, is an American soap opera and drama television series that has been broadcast Monday through Friday on the ABC TV network since January 5, 1970, and the daily episode also airs weeknights on SOAPnet. Created by Agnes Nixon, the show is set 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 daytime's most popular characters. 
The title of the show refers to the bonds of humanity. The poem, written by Nixon, that appears in the title credits' photo album reads:
The first new network daytime drama to debut in the 1970s, AMC was originally owned by Creative Horizons, Inc., the company created by 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.
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.
On November 12, 2008 the show celebrated its 10,000th show with a special appearance by Agnes Nixon and a special tribute to Myrtle Fargate
On January 5th, 2010 All My Children will celebrate its 40th anniversary.
See main article: All My Children (1970-1979). 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 Childrens 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 accidently killed 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.
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. We soon learned that Erica was raped on her 14th birthday, by her father's actor friend Richard Fields. She became pregant and gave the baby up for adoption to the Harts, a couple from Florida. Years later the child, Kendall Hart (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alicia Minshew) emerged and made her way to Pine Valley after finding out her biological mother was indeed the famous Erica Kane, to reek havoc on the unsuspecting rape victim, and assume Erica's glamorous lifestyle which she felt was her birth right. Erica had thought she had put that whole nightmare behind her, only to have it come back years later with a vengence.......and a name. Mother and daughter loathed one another.
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. The introduction of Erica's daughter Kendall Hart (Sarah Michelle Gellar), was a major retcon, 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 and mid 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).
Starting with the July 25, 2006 episode, the show's video has been processed to appear as though it was shot on film. For a time, the soap has been strongly criticized for keeping the film look.
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. Bianca and David would make their returns in the midst of a multi-tornado storm - a prediction made by Opal - in October 2008 as Greenlee's feelings towards Ryan are revealed.
On November 6, 2008, AMC aired a special episode in which veterans share their stories unscripted.
On November 12, 2008 AMC celebrated their 10,000 episode.
On December 19, 2008 a special episode ran for the late Eileen Herlie. It showed clips from the past. On Friday, February 13, 2009 Bianca and Resse got married - the first gay marriage on daytime TV.
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.
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.
January 5, 1970 - December 29, 1989
|The First Two DecadesWith 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 1990sIn 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 UpdateIn 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 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.|
On March 8, 1995, a new theme debuted to replace the December 1994 theme; it was shortened at the beginning and lengthened towards the end with a few new instruments. Also, a new quiet piano arrangement debuted on April 4, 1995. 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, the quiet 1995 piano arrangement became the main title theme. It was re-recorded differently from 1995 format(including a harp) and debuted in September 1997 with a thoroughly updated cast montage which lasted to October 1998 when a new upbeat version that included the ending version would debut. The upbeat theme was re-recorded in January 1999 and debuted later that month. In 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 FavoriteOn 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 MandateAfter 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 CreditsFor 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 OLTLs 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. The Arial-type copyright notice continued until no later than April 1983, when All My Children became the first ABC daytime program to implement a network-mandated copyright, set in a variation of italicized Century Gothic font. This copyright had been introduced on all ABC News programs, daytime and nighttime, a couple of years earlier. With the introduction of this notice format, "All Rights Reserved" was added to the copyright for the first time, and it originally contained the word "Copyright" before the symbol; it would be removed by early 1984. This mandate subsequently made its way to all other ABC daytime programs over the next year (with the exception of General Hospital, which has traditionally been allowed different credit and branding practices by ABC).
Thereafter, AMCs 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.
|Tamara Braun||Reese Williams||2008-|
|David Canary||Adam Chandler |
|Bobbie Eakes||Krystal Carey||2003-|
|Melissa Claire Egan||Annie Lavery||2006-|
|Beth Ehlers||Taylor Thompson||2008-|
|Ricky Paull Goldin||Dr. Jake Martin||2008-|
|Vincent Irizarry||Dr. David Hayward||1997-1998, 1998-2006, 2008-|
|Thorsten Kaye||Zach Slater||2004-|
|Daniel Kennedy||Pete Cortlandt||2008- |
|Michael E. Knight||Tad Martin||1982-1986, 1988-1990, 1992-|
|Susan Lucci||Erica Kane||1970-|
|Ray MacDonnell||Dr. Joe Martin||1970-|
|JR Martinez||Brot Monroe||2008-|
|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-|
|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, 2001, 2008-|
|Jacob Young||JR Chandler||2003-|
|Jennifer Bassey||Marian Chandler||1983-1985, 1995-|
|Jenna DiMartini||Corrina Vasquez||2007-|
and Caleb Eckstein
|Haley Evans||Miranda Montgomery||2006-2007, 2008-|
|Joel Fabiani||Barry Shire||1999-|
|Alexa Gerasimovich||Kathy Martin||2006-|
|Chris Henry||Ren Reynolds||2007-|
|Shannon Kane||Natalia Hubbard||2008-|
|Rebecca Levine||Jenny Martin||2007-|
|Declan McTigue |
and Rory McTigue
|Little Adam Chandler||2008-|
|Lee Meriwether||Ruth Martin||1996-1999, 2002, 2003-|
|Lucy Merriam||Emma Lavery||2006-|
|Jack Mungovan||Lt. Brian Perry||2005-|
|Scott Peck||Ian Slater||2007-|
|Tonya Pinkins||Livia Frye||1991-1995, 2003-|
|John Behlmann||Dr. Burke||Debuts March 10|
|Frank Runyeon||Forrest Williams||Temp. Returns Week of March 16|
|Laila Robins||Claire Williams||Temp. Returns Week of March 16|
|Adam-Jon Fiorentino||Simon Marshall||Temp. Returns Week of March 16|
|Eden Riegel||Bianca Montgomery||Returns Spring|
|"||Actor||Character||Year of Death|
|Kay Campbell||Kate Martin||May 27, 1985|
|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|
Many well-known film and television actors and celebrities appeared on the serial before their big break, including:
|Mischa Barton||Lily Montgomery||December 1995|
|Amanda Bearse||Amanda Cousins||1981-1984|
|Jonathan Bennett||JR Chandler||2001-2002|
|Lacey Chabert||Bianca Montgomery||1992-1993|
|Kim Delaney||Jenny Gardner||1981-1984|
|Josh Duhamel||Leo du Pres||1999-2002|
|Jesse McCartney||JR Chandler||1998-2001|
|Sarah Michelle Gellar||Kendall Hart||1993-1995|
|Lauren Holly||Julie Chandler||1986-1989|
|Laura San Giacomo||Louisa Sanchez||1988|
|Amanda Seyfried||Joni Stafford||2002-2003|
|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|
|Justin Bruening||Jamie Martin||2003-2007|
|Leven Rambin||Lily Montgomery|
March 30, 2007-Feb 19, 2008
For historical ratings information, see List of US daytime soap opera ratings
1978-1979 Season (HH Ratings)
|1979-1980 Season (HH Ratings) (Nielsen)|
1981-1982 Season (HH Ratings)
Highest rated week in daytime history
1985-1986 Season (HH Ratings)
1988-1989 Season (HH Ratings)
|1989-1990 Season (HH Ratings) (1 = 921,000 Homes)|
1990-1991 Season (HH Ratings)
1991-1992 Season (HH Ratings)
1992-1993 Season (HH Ratings)
1993-1994 Season (HH Ratings) (1 = 942,000 Homes)
|1994-1995 Season (HH Ratings)|
1995 Ratings (Millions of Viewers)
1995-1996 Season (HH Ratings)
1998-1999 Season (HH Ratings)
|1999-2000 Season (HH Ratings) (Nielsen)|
2005-2006 Season (HH Ratings)
2006-2007 Season (HH Ratings)
2007-2008 Season (HH Ratings)
The show reached a record low of 1,931,000 viewers on Friday, August 22, 2008. It's previous low was 2,080,000 viewers on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 and 2,144,000 viewers on Friday, November 2, 2007.
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.
- In Italy All My Children, under the title La valle dei pini, started to air in 1985, with episodes 4 years behind the U.S. In 1992 it was cancelled; at that time episodes were 7 years behind the U.S..
Here is the list of the winners at the Daytime Emmy Awards, it has been nominated in excess of 250 times.
See main article: List of All My Children crew.
|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|
|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|
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 26, 2008||James Harmon Brown|
and Barbara Esensten
|August 27, 2008 to present||Charles Pratt, Jr.|
|Charles Pratt, Jr.||Julie Hanan Carruthers (Executive Producer), Ginger Smith, Karen Johnson, Nadine Aronson, Barry Gingold, Joann Busiglio, Enza Dolce, Brian Frons||Casey Childs, Steven Williford, Conal O'Brien, Angela Tessinari, Barbara M. Simmons, Jill Ackles, Michael V. Pomarico, Francesca James, Shelley Curtis, Judy Blye Wilson|
A DVD was released on January 24, 2004 titled Daytime's Greatest Weddings which contained All My Children and other daytime soaps' weddings.