10 Fun Facts About 'All My Children' as It Turns 50 Years Old
All My Children left the airwaves in 2011 after more than 10,000 episodes and 41 years on ABC — a victim of low ratings and the overall decline of the daytime drama genre — and its 2013 online revival never took off.
Nevertheless, the residents of Pine Valley — Susan Lucci’s Erica Kane in particular — still kept soap fans enthralled for more than four decades, and All My Children would have celebrated 50 years on the air this January 5.
In honor of that anniversary, scroll down for trivia about AMC — including some of the “firsts” the show made, and its surprising connections to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Black Panther.
1. All My Children creator Agnes Nixon dreamed up the show in the 1960s while serving as head writer on the soap Guiding Light. She unsuccessfully pitched the show to NBC, CBS, and NBC again. It finally made it to air in 1970 on ABC, after Nixon had become head writer of Another World and creator of One Life to Live.
2. Nixon played the role of Agnes Eckhardt in the show’s 10,000th episode, using her maiden name as she had for her onscreen appearance on One Life to Live.
3. Though All My Children only ranked as the top-rated daytime drama for one season, it did become the most widely-recorded TV show in America.
4. In 1973, the same year the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, Erica Kane became the first television character to receive a legal abortion.
5. In 1994, three weeks after a tornado endangered the residents of Pine Valley on All My Children, a twister touched down near the Pennsylvania communities of Rosemont and Bryn Mawr, the inspirations for the fictional town.
6. Eden Riegel and Olga Sosnovska shared the first same-sex kiss in American soap opera history when their All My Children characters, Bianca Montgomery and Lena Kundera, locked lips in 2003.
7. All My Children star Dorothy Lyman was high school classmates with Jill Larson, the actress who succeeded her in the role of Opal Cortlandt.
8. Black Panther costars (and onscreen adversaries) Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan both played the role of Reggie Montgomery on the show. According to TheWrap, Boseman was fired after one week after objecting to the stereotypical nature of the part. “I remember going home and thinking, ‘Do I say something to them about this? Do I just do it?’” the actor told the magazine. “And I couldn’t just do it. I had to voice my opinions and put my stamp on it. And the good thing about it was, it changed it a little bit for him.”
10. After winning a Daytime Emmy during her original run on the show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Sarah Michelle Gellar returned to All My Children during the soap opera’s final week on ABC, playing a character who said she’s been seeing vampires “before they were trendy.”