All My Children (often shortened to AMC) is an American television soap opera that aired on ABC for 41 years, from January 5, 1970, to September 23, 2011, and on The Online Network (TOLN) from April 29 to September 2, 2013, via Hulu, Hulu Plus, and iTunes. Created by Agnes Nixon, All My Children is set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, a fictional suburb of Philadelphia, which is modeled on the actual Philadelphia suburb of Rosemont. The original series featured Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, one of daytime television's most popular characters. The title of the series refers to the bonds of humanity. All My Children was the first new network daytime drama to debut in the 1970s. Originally owned by Creative Horizons, Inc., the company created by Nixon and her husband, Bob, the show was sold to ABC in January 1975. The series started at a half-hour in per-installment length, then was expanded to a full hour on April 25, 1977. Earlier, the show had experimented with the full-hour format for one week starting on June 30, 1975, after which Ryan's Hope premiered.
From 1970 to 1990, All My Children was recorded at ABC's TV18 at 101 West 67th St, now a 50-story apartment tower. From March 1990 to December 2009, it was taped at ABC's Studio TV23 at 320 West 66th Street in Manhattan, New York City, New York. In December 2009, the locale for taping the series moved from Manhattan to less costly Los Angeles, California. The show was then produced in Stages 1 and 2 at the Andrita Studios in Los Angeles, California, from 2010 to 2011, and then at the Connecticut Film Center in Stamford, Connecticut. All My Children started taping in high definition on January 4, 2010, and began airing in high definition on February 3, 2010. All My Children became the third soap opera to be produced and broadcast in high definition.
At one point, the program's popularity positioned it as the most widely recorded television show in the United States. Also, in a departure from societal norms at the time, All My Children, in the mid-1970s, had an audience that was estimated to be 30% male. The show ranked No. 1 in the daytime Nielsen ratings in the 1978–79 season. Throughout most of the 1980s and into the early 1990s, All My Children was the No. 2 daytime soap opera on the air. However, like the rest of the soap operas in the United States, All My Children experienced unprecedented declines in its daytime ratings during the 2000s. By the 2010s, it had become one of the least watched soap operas in daytime television.
On April 14, 2011, it was announced that ABC canceled All My Children after 41 years on the air due to low ratings. On July 7, 2011, ABC sold the licensing rights of All My Children to third-party production company Prospect Park with the show set to continue on the internet as a series of webisodes. The show taped its final scenes for ABC on August 30, 2011, and its final episode on the network aired on September 23, 2011, with a cliffhanger. On September 26, 2011, the following Monday, ABC replaced All My Children with a newly debuted talk show The Chew. Prospect Park had suspended its plan to revive the series on November 23, 2011, due to lack of funding and unsuccessful negotiation with the union organizations representing the actors and crews. On January 7, 2013, Prospect Park officially brought back its project to restore All My Children as a web series. The show taped its first scenes for Prospect Park TOLN on February 18, 2013, and its first episode on the network aired on April 29, 2013. However, the new series faced several behind-the-scene obstacles throughout its run. On November 11, 2013, several All My Children cast members announced that Prospect Park had closed production and canceled the series again. ABC regained the rights to All My Children in December 2016.