It has been nearly eight years since All My Children ended its four-decade network run. The iconic soap aired on ABC from January 5, 1970, to September 23, 2011, ending its long daytime reign with a tally of more than 10,700 episodes.
Susan Lucci was the face of the show, debuting her role as Pine Valley diva Erica Kane during AMC’s first season and remaining on the daytime staple for its full 41-year run. When All My Children was suddenly canceled in 2011, Lucci felt feelings of anger and a period of “mourning.” The Emmy-winning actress told Yahoo Entertainment the show’s passionate fans got her through that dark period.
Susan Lucci also said was “very surprised” by All My Children’s cancelation, as well as its unlikely replacement, the recently canceled TV chatfest The Chew.
In September of 2011, All My Children’s finale featured Lucci’s character as she prepared to leave Pine Valley to move to Hollywood amid a rocky relationship with longtime love Jack (played by Walt Willey). But the show ended with a gun-toting J.R. Chandler (Jacob Young) firing shots at an unknown target as Erica Kane ran into the line of fire. The final scene, which you can see below, faded to black.
According to Lucci, All My Children’s original ending left fans with plenty of questions and room for a comeback.
“The way the show ended was very interesting. There was a cliffhanger [and] to this day people will ask me: ‘Who was in the crosshairs? Did Erica live? Did she go get Jack back? Did they get married?‘ After we were canceled [All My Children creator] Agnes [Nixon] still had storyline, so [we] both thought the show would come back.”
— Yahoo Entertainment (@YahooEnt) May 3, 2019
After All My Children was canceled by ABC, soap fans were comforted by news of an online revival. Veteran All My Children cast members David Canary, Julia Barr, Jill Larson, Vincent Irizarry, Debbi Morgan, Darnell Williams, and Cady McClain all signed on for the digital revival, but Lucci refused to sign on to it. Lucci told The View that she was working on other projects.
“I so hope that I can return,” Lucci said of her signature role. “I want with all my heart to return to All My Children. I just don’t know the answer yet. But what I do know is that all of us — all of us — are working so hard to make that happen.”
The brief All My Children revival by production company Prospect Park failed miserably, and the show was canceled for a second time in 2013.
Susan Lucci told Yahoo that while All My Children has already been canceled twice, she will never rule the possibility of a return for the series. Lucci even revealed that there have been talks to bring the beloved soap back in another incarnation.
“There is some conversation about a way to do it,” Lucci said. “We’ll see. I mean, we don’t know.”
For All My Children fans, that’s a lot better than a “no.”
You can see the final scene from ABC’s All My Children below.