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23 January 13th, 2012 OLTL Takes Its Final Bow – The Curtain Comes Down on Llanview!

Courtesy/ABC

This afternoon across television screens in America, fans will be saying goodbye to One Life to Live after its 43-year-run.

To honor the show with a look at what made the show so special and with comments from members of the cast including Erika Slezak, Robert S. Woods and Hillary B. Smith, Ilene Kristen, John-Paul Lavoisier and Farah Fath and Kristen Alderson and Kassie DePaiva, On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman filed this special feature, OLTL Takes Its Final Bow – The Curtain Comes Down on Llanview and Daytime Will Never Be The Same for FrontiersLa.com!

Here are some excerpts below from the story introduction and a few quotes from the cast.

“As this sad kick-in-the-teeth twice story goes, ABC canned OLTL from their lineup, then Prospect Park (the entertainment media company) acquired the licensing rights to the show to move it to its new Online Network, only to pull out just five days after the series wrapped its final episode. The news rocked the soap world, and its devoted and loyal fans, that One Life, for all intent and purposes, will go to soap opera heaven with its epitaph reading: “You canceled the wrong show!”

From romance, intrigue and courtroom drama unmatched anywhere in soaps; look no further than Judith Light’s Daytime Emmy-winning, unforgettable performance in 1979 as Karen Wolek (when she took the witness stand and admitted she was a prostitute in front of her husband and family) to exonerate her best friend, Viki. Stories on mental illness, social issues of the day, action/adventure soap style and some highly creative fantasy episodes and more, OLTL packed all of it into its 43 years. They accomplished this with a quirky and loveable appeal that made the audience at home on occasion have a good laugh—and ultimately what a good soap does best—made us reach for a box of tissues and have a good cry.”

Erika Slezak (Viki) on dealing with the loss of the series for herself, the cast, and the fans:  “When we were canceled, I was walking to work one day and I got so sad, because I won’t be seeing my buddies or my friends anymore,” Erika poignantly said. “There is a life that lives in this building, obviously. Many of us have been here together for many years, and even people that have been here for two weeks become part of the family so quickly. I was sitting next to Agnes Nixon when we did our final cast photo and I started to cry. I told her, ‘You changed my life, and I have not been able to properly thank you.’ What she did for me and what she has done for the audience is quite remarkable. Thank God we did not do the photo shoot the last day of the show. I think we all would have been in tears. I don’t think any one of us could have gotten through it. It’s kind of amazing that we were all together one last time for the photo. I am trying very hard not to think about Friday.”

Robert S. Woods (Bo) on the power of the fans, who patiently waiting for ten years for he, and on-screen partner, Hillary B. Smith (Nora) to be reunited on-screen: “I was so struck by that, because I kept thinking and telling them, ‘No. It’s over. Don’t you get that? Their lives have taken completely different directions. Doesn’t anybody get it but me?’ But as it turns out, I was the only guy who didn’t get it until we were reteamed, and then I went, ‘Wow, this is like stealing money and so easy!’ This last couple of years has been really fun. We came back together and it blew me away and I could not believe it. The fans are what kept us going. I know they are not happy about losing this soap. It is going to be a very devastating loss for them. ”

What do you think will be One Life to Live’s legacy, and what it will be most remembered for?  Let us know!

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  1. gloria says:

    This show has to come back somehow, some way. It just cannot be over.

    Reply

  2. barbara t says:

    told everyone victor was alive.and it looks like trevor st john did come back for a split second, I had a feeling crazy lady allison perkins was talking to him.cool.and our fight to save one life to live and all my children have to continue.cant stop the fight ,drive abc nuts call ,email ,dont watch anything but general hospital then change that channel ,yea,victor is alive.

    Reply

    1loveabcsoaps replied

    Barbara: Read this. Still awake wasn’t feeling well BC of the headache, but feeling alittle better now.

    ABC has already tried letting go of fan favorites and bringing in cheap newbies on General Hospital, which has sunk so low in the ratings that i sincerely doubt that it will be back after September 2012 when Katie Couric gets her talk show. Also, ABC should think about keeping both AMC and OLTL in its back pocket because I don’t know of anyone that is interested in watching either The Chew or the Revolution–my grandmother, who has never watched a soap in her 80 years, is planning on boycotting the new shows in solidarity with her friends that have watched.

    As for Trevor St. John leaving the show, I wish OLTL would reconsider. I understand that Howarth was the original Todd, but St. John has made that character his own, and seeing Todd switched back to the old Todd is ridiculous. There has been so much character development in the past 8 years that even if this version of Todd isn’t the real Todd, I feel like I have been lied to and had the wool pulled over my eyes.

    Comment by Elizabeth – June 29, 2011 02:12 PM PST Reply To This Post

    Reply

  3. David says:

    It was a good finale! Going to miss Erika. And the last scene was AWESOME! Hope fully, Trevor’s Todd/Victor gets resolved in the crossover to GH. Nevertheless, it was a sad au revoir.

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  4. Carol Painter says:

    I Want My Show Back! The Ending Today was incredible!! I LOVED IT! I want OLTL Back on the air, And for someone To WAKE up and Do the RIGHT thing. Put This Program Back. I don’t care how you can do this…3 times a week…2 times a week???
    It can be done!! Someone do it!!!

    Reply

  5. QueenB says:

    I can’t believe it is over! OLTL has been a part of my life for over 20 years! I choked up when they showed Pa(Asa) picture on the mantel. It was like he was looking down over everyone. All the actors are great. I have loved them all. Tuc Watkins has kept me laughing from the beginning. It was great ride, I hope it comes back in some other form. Good luck to all the cast and crew! OLTL -forever.

    Reply

  6. Kimberly Lowe says:

    I have watched this show for 35 yrs (started watching it with my mom when I was 8 yrs old! I seriously have been crying watching it and cannot accept it is over!
    SOMEONE PLEASE FUND THIS SHOW AND BRING IT BACK!

    Reply

    1loveabcsoaps replied

    I have a campaign going, why dont you start one beginning with constantly writing the own network.

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  7. lew says:

    Great finale. I thought I would be able to let go when it was over, but it is a big loss. I will miss our show.

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  8. delphenia wilson says:

    I have been watching this since 1980. I’m going to miss this show. Very depressing for everyone. I hope they can all move on to gh and make it a 2 hour a day series. I hope all the devoted crew of one life to live are able to move on tho bigger and better things, I’ll always have the memories of oltl and how it helped me entertain my mind and relate to different life experiences. Peace. Hope to see you again someday!

    Reply

  9. david says:

    I couldn’t believe it: Victor/Todd alive! Did Trevor lie about not coming back for the end? What an actor! The end was the best I could hope for. Most people had happy endings, and in true soap opera form, we were left with a cliffhanger. I loved it.

    As for OLTL’s legacy–it’s incredibly rich: exceptional ensemble cast, decades of moving performances, compelling storytelling, remarkable capacity for surprise, whimsy, humor, and fine stagecraft. It is the art of theatre for the masses.

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  10. karen says:

    That is the final straw! I am no longer going to watch ABC. I’ll watch my news elsewhere too!

    Reply

    1loveabcsoaps replied

    Karen: I missed today’s show, I had court. abc has already taken down the OLTL site, I cannot BELIEVE IT. Can you or someone tell me how I watch this weeks episode someplace else. I CANNOT BELIEVE THEY TOOK THE SITE DOWN ALREADY FOR PEOPLE WHO WORK AT NIGHT AND WATCH THIS SOAP AND COULDN’T BE HOME TO WATCH THE FINALE. THIS IS REALLY BS. MAYB THAT WAS THE WAY FOR THEM TO GET BACK AT US BARKING FANS….. CAN YOU OR SOMEONE DIRECT ME TO A SITE THAT WILL SHOW IT.

    Reply

    barbara t replied

    soapnet.and you missed alot, it was good ,better then good.Id tell you what happened, but I dont want to be a spoiler,however I will say ,I was right.

    PAUL WILLIAMS replied

    You can catch it one last time on SoapNet tomorrow night, as part of OLTL’s late night marathon. The ending of it was a real surprise, and a real shocker! I sure hope that you can catch it, believe me, you won’t be disappointed!

    JIM replied

    FYI: You can still access the OLTL site on ABC.com but you have to go into the area where you view the videos and then choose from the list. OLTL is on the list and I just got done watching it. It’s there. Relax.

    I believe that ABC knows it made a horrible mistake shelving OLTL and they didn’t expect to have the tidal wave that hit them in terms of the fan outcry.

    I’m one of RC’s biggest critics, but I do think that he set things up nicely yesterday about the cliffhanger ending as well as he could have, although yesterday’s story seemed like the finale.

    I would have liked some sort of shout out about KISH besides the derogatory way that Mitch referred to Oliver as “the homosexual.” For a show that prided itself in being groundbreaking, there seemed to be some narrow minded bigotry going on with OLTL the way that they depicted fundamentalist Christians, which I found actually appalling. There are many good people out there who are fundamentalists but RC chose to depict them to be ignorant and evil. It’s like the whole thing on Glee: Gays good, Straight People weird and evil.

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  11. Blake says:

    The past 2 weeks have been great! Great stories wrapping up and I love how Friday’s show had so much going on, it really flew by because it was so interesting. Love that Victor was on there. I figured he and Dorian would be on there even though the actors denied it (I was wrong about Dorian sadly!), I figured there had to be surprises.

    ABC sucks for taking OLTL off. I am going to dvr Days of Our Lives now. At least NBC seems to care about their show and want to keep it going.

    Reply

  12. Tali says:

    Brilliant, shocking, climactic, breathtakingly wonderful! What a ride! Long Live One Life! My heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in the making of this show, you have brought us years of the very best in entertainment. Thank you for every cheer and every tear, I will miss this show more than words can say. Bravo!

    Reply

  13. Torrey says:

    Remember on Monday, don’t even turn you TV to ABC! I know some might get curious about how bad the new show will be, but the best way to really stick it to the network is not to watch at all. Let’s show ABC, just how big of a mistake they made by canceling OLTL!!!

    Reply

    Tali replied

    Torrey, I’ll join you in not tuning into the Chew or the Revolution, but I’m going to be tuning into GH on Monday for the very first time. I think its a gift to the fans of OLTL to know some of our beloved characters will live on, and with Frank and Ron at the helm, and the actors that have signed on I can only say thank you! And I will be there with my support and viewership, and so much appreciation.

    Reply

    Torrey replied

    Yeah, I’m just protesting The Chew & The Revolution…..this has nothing to do with GH. I want soap fans to continue to support the soaps….that’s the only way that the networks can see that we are serious about our soaps.

  14. Brian says:

    “This afternoon across television screens in America, fans will be saying goodbye to One Life to Live after its 43-year-run.”

    hmmm… OLTL has also been very popular in Canada… i watched it for the last 30 years.

    Reply

  15. Brian Greene says:

    Bless You OLTL. We Love You In Northwest Illinois! :D

    Reply

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