Video: Oprah Says She Can’t Save Canceled Soap Operas, Explains Why ‘The Time Has Come’ for an Institution to Die. She Also Explains What Primetime Series Cancellation Devastated Her Growing Up

Apr 25, 2011  •  Post A Comment

{Update: item is revised to include Oprah’s video statement about ABC’s two canceled soap operas]

Oprah Winfrey took to YouTube to respond to pleas from fans of canceled soap operas "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" asking her to use her OWN network to save the shows, reports TVLine.com.

In the YouTube video, which you can watch below, the daytime talk queen said she can’t save the soaps, and went on to explain why the genre is dying.

Winfrey, who is ending her syndicated daytime talk show this season, noted, "There just are not enough people who are at home in the daytime to watch them, and because of that they’re going off the air.”

Winfrey cited the declining ratings of soap operas and said, "I will not be taking on the responsibility of trying to revive an institution that for all intent and all purpose indicates that the time has come for it to be over.”

Here’s Oprah in a YouTube video explaining why she can’t save the soaps:


  1. Kinda hateful. With the ratings for her new network in the toilet, it may be time for her own network to be left to die off.

  2. OWN operates 24-hours. Daytime TV does not. With all the outcry, it clearly is not a dead genre. It simply needs to be revitalized with out-of-the-box thinking. Run the soaps in daytime with primetime replays. Or vice versa. Either way, I can’t imagine its already built-in audience wouldn’t bring in larger numbers than what she is generating now.
    Waste opportunity on OWN’s part.

  3. Revitalized – exactly. There’s plenty of daytime tv viewers, but soaps are produced in such a dated way that nobody watches them. Revitalizing them would take time, money and talent – three things in short supply in today’s tv biz. It’s much cheaper, quicker, easier to air another lame reality show or talk show.

  4. It was nice of Opera to address the situation. I’ll miss the soaps, but I can move on. Rest in peace.

  5. Oprah is right. For those who do not understand the business of tv, nothing remains the same. Shows that have not changed their formats and scripts to convey the broader scope of diversity within the real World…have no place in this new age World. There is a SOAP Channel, unfortunately it need strong shows with growing diverse audiences in order to promote program placement stability… these shows may not fill the build. As Oprah has stated, it’s time for these shows to end. Fans please move on, the time has come.

  6. Well..I never would expect her to help the soaps stay on the air..afterall..there arent enough African Americans on them to please her. If they were on the BET network..you bet your sweet a$$ she would be helping them.

  7. Has anyone checked the demographics of those few people who are at home watching 40-year-old soaps that recycle the same plots over and over? They are not the audience that modern advertisers are interested in. That is what Oprah understands the most – advertisers and what they are looking for. That is why her network will do fine in the long run. You don’t need awesome ratings on cable to have a profitable network. Look at Comcast’s networks.

  8. Lynn, your race based hate is showing. Since you believe tv is all what your views of this once all-white world, you have to hate Oprah and BET. I hope that your simple mind can understand that tv is a business, low ratings equals low viewers, low viewers equal no show. Oprah did not drop these shows, ABC did. Please find yourself a real life. I know that it won’t incude diversity.

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