The Decline Of The American Soap Opera Melodie April 15, 2011 28 Comments With the news of All My Children and One Life to Live being canceled on Thursday, April 12, 2011, the American Soap Opera genre spun into a state of disaster. Over a span of three years, the genre has lost a total of five soap operas, leaving the final four standing. What could cause shows that have been on the air for 40 plus years to get the boot from their respective networks? What does this mean for the American soaps still on the air? What are the key factors to a successful soap? Is it possible that in five years the American Soap Opera will be a thing of the past? So many questions, so little time. I have a few theories and comments of why the genre that has captured the hearts of Americans for years is slowly but surely fading into oblivion.