To paraphrase Pete Seeger, where have all the soap operas gone?
There were quite a few in my youth, and now, we're down to 4 (Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, The Young & The Restless, & The Bold & The Beautiful). When ABC promoted their soap block in the early 80's as Love in the Afternoon, they weren't kidding, as far as the target demographic (adult women) was concerned.
All My Children launched in 1970, and spent 41 years on ABC, the majority of that time spent in a hour-long format, which it adopted sometime in the late 70's-early 80's.
All you really need to know was that, for the most part, the series was built around Erica Kane (Susan Lucci), who became daytime television's answer to actresses Elizabeth Taylor and Zsa Zsa Gabor with her multiple marriages and divorces. Lucci was a perennial nominee for a Daytime Emmy, and finally won near the end of the show's run.
Children helped resurrect the career of David Canary (ex-Bonanza), and also managed to find room for "super-fan" Carol Burnett.
I didn't see much of the show myself, but when my mom was home on vacation from work, she'd watch as often as possible. No rating will be applied.
We'll leave you with a sample clip, and dedicating this to the memories of creator Agnes Nixon and actor Larkin Malloy, who've passed away within the last 24-48 hours.