All My Children ends

(ABC7, AP) - Tissues were on hand among soap opera fans who gathered to watch "All My Children" sign off from ABC on Friday after more than 40 years.

The screen faded to black with a gunshot and a cliffhanger - an indication that the story may not be dead, even if the television series is.

ABC has licensed the story to a production company that is hoping to keep the "All My Children" going online after the first of next year.

Donna Poole has been a fan of all my children since its first days, 41 years ago.

“I'll miss it terribly, but we've got this legacy of storytelling that's lasted a lifetime it doesn't really go anywhere, we still have that,” she says.

She says as the characters passed milestones in their fictional lives, so did she -- watching the soap even in labor with her first child.

“I was in the labor room for exactly one hour because the closing credits were running as they wheeled me off into the delivery room,” she says.

Two of ABC's three daytime dramas, "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," were canceled this year. That leaves only four soaps on network television, with "General Hospital" the only one on ABC when "One Life to Live" formally leaves in a few months.

TV executives consider soaps a losing cause, more expensive to produce than talk or reality shows and with a dwindling audience as more women work and their tastes change - even though the ratings for ABC's two canceled programs have jumped in recent months.