As All My Children Finds Online Home, Morgan Signs with Y&R

Zora Jimenez | 9/14/2011, 10:24 p.m.
The wildly popular television soap opera "All My Children," is set to air its series...
The Hubbards represented one of the most resilient images of Black family in media. Model Yaya DaCosta (left) and Cornelius Smith Jr. (right) round out the family as the Hubbard children, Cassandra and Franklin. / Courtesy photo

The wildly popular television soap opera "All My Children," is set to air its series finale on American Broadcasting Company (ABC) on Sept. 23. And while many fans of the long-running drama may not take too evenly to its replacement - the "food-oriented" talk show, "The Chew", they may not have to abandon the show altogether.

In one of the industry's most innovative moves, the Los Angeles-based production company Prospect Park has agreed to take the show virtual. Prospect Park, led by Royal Pains executive producers Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz, licensed the soaps from ABC and plans to re-launch them online in the first quarter of 2012, has also reportedly shopped both "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" (also cancelled and expected to run its final episode in January 2012) to several major cable networks.

Some actors on "Children" have been offered contracts which mimic their ABC ones, including Walt Willey, who portrays the character Jackson Montgomery.

"I'm very excited about it though. These folks [at Prospect Park] are innovators and I think they are very smart. I think that getting this up and running by fall was a little on the undoable side, but now it seems that both AMC and One Life will be starting up on the Internet at the same time in January 2012," said Willey.

But veteran "Children" actress Debbi Morgan, who portrays Angela Hubbard and one half of the African-American super couple, Jesse and Angie, has already signed to move on to the award-winning CBS soap, "The Young and the Restless" as soon as her show takes its final network bow. Darnell Williams (Shadowboxer, The Breakup Artist) portrays the other half of the duo.

According to TV Guide, "Y&R's" coup happened a few weeks ago after weeks of speculation and rumor that Morgan would be shifting shows. The Emmy award-winning actress will begin filming in late September.

For some fans, like Mary Simpson of Northwest, who only recently returned to "Children", the absence of one of its Black characters has caused more anxiety than the show going off entirely.

"I had not watched the show in ten years. It wasn't until Angie and Jesse reunited in 2008 that I fell in love with the characters and the show all over again. I am happy for Debbi, but what will happen to that Black family? It has been magical seeing a loving, caring Black couple on daytime television," Simpson said.

Simpson, 54, said that for all of the many stereotypical portrayals of Black relationships on television, the Hubbards offered viewers an accurate and beautiful alternative.

"They are the mature couple on the show and fans have watched them grow into adults on the show. She is not yelling and screaming, he is not abusive or abused. They are for daytime what the Cosbys were to primetime television."

However the show adjusts online to re-establish positive Black family ties, fans are sure to continue watching.

All My Children was created by Agnes Nixon in 1970. Throughout the show's run, Nixon pushed the limit with shocking subplots, including uterine cancer, abortion, and political views that ran contrary to mainstream views. In one such instance, actress Mary Fickett (who recently passed at age 83) delivered an impassioned dialogue against the Vietnam War, which led to her first Emmy Award (1973). Fickett, a Virginia native, portrayed the ever-vigilant nurse Ruth Martin.

"We are privileged to continue the legacy of two of the greatest programs to air on daytime television, and are committed to delivering the storylines, characters and quality that audiences have come to love for over 40 years. 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' are television icons, and we are looking forward to providing anytime, anywhere viewing to their loyal community of millions," Frank and Kwatinetz said in a statement.