Recession Hits ABC's All My Children

Fresno, CA Julie Caruthers, Executive Producer, All My Children said, "It is hitting pine valley, we are not unique."

They shoot 50 weeks a year, putting a new show on every day, juggling crew, sets, costumes and actors. And now they are having to do it in the toughest economic environment any of them have seen, with ad revenues drying up. Susan Lucci, who has played the immortal Erica Kane for 39 years, though thick and thin, and thin, even Susan Lucci reportedly had to take a pay cut.

Susan Lucci said, "To meet some of the economic crunches, everybody has pitched in."

John Berman asked: "Is it harder to keep your audience than it used to be?"

Frank Valentini said, "I think it's a little more challenging now because there are more choices. "

More choices certainly than 1981, when Luke and Laura's wedding aired on General Hospital pulled in 30 million Soaps are lucky to pull in 3 million. That doesn't mean they aren't trying, with big splashy plot- lines, All My Children had a giant tornado. Yes, times are challenging. But the soaps have a secret weapon, their fans, deeply devoted, committed fans.

Julie Caruthers, All My Children said, "At the end of the day, we probably could be doing this in front of a black drape and they would be watching for their characters in the stories."

And just because we're in a recession doesn't mean that will change. Erica Kane will almost definitely get married again, and divorced. It seems we need it more now than ever.

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