One life to live: a timeless TV series

One life to live: a timeless TV series

One Life to Live or OLTL (the shorter version of the name) is one of those American soap operas that goes on for decades without becoming boring. This timeless series aired for 43 years and introduces us to generations of amazing actors.

Firs it was aired and produced by ABC television network from July 15, 1968 to January 13, 2012 when the series took a break. However, its charm was rekindled by the online streaming network Hulu and it continued going from April until August 29, 2013. When it first aired, one episode took 30 minutes, but they moved up to 45 minutes in 1976 and reached the 1-hour length per episode in 1978.

OLTL is an iconic name in the American filmography as it was the first daytime drama to introduce issues like drug addiction or interracial relationships. It was also one of the first shows to openly discuss the lives of people from all sorts of backgrounds, not just the high-class.


The plot

The story in this daytime drama revolves around the good people of Llanview, a fictional city situated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The main focus is set on the wealthy Lord family and their relationships with people around. We also get to meet two other powerful families: the Buchanans and the Cramers. On a secondary plan, we can also see the lives of the Woleks and Rileys, two middle-class families that intersect with the Lords throughout the show.

Of course, there’s only that much that can happen in a small town where several families intersect their lives. However, the creator of the show, Agnes Nixon, managed to keep things interesting by approaching taboo situations like occult practices, out of body experiences, time travel, and even international espionage.

The awards

The show won several impressive awards and so did the actors that represented it for so many years. Here are some of the most notable ones:

  • Six Daytime Emmy Awards for the actress portraying the main character, Victoria Lord
  • The series won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series, in 2002
  • A GLAAD Media Award for groundbreaking storyline when depicting homosexuality and intolerance, in 1993

The success

The powerful plot and complex characters did bring unchartered audiences to the show, back when it was launched. It even challenged competitor televisions to produce better materials to compete with this show’s success.

The show was extremely popular during the 70s but started losing the game in more modern times, even getting cancelled in 2011. However, since we live in the Internet era, the show was taken over and streamed online by names like Hulu and iTunes TV. The fact that the show could be restarted online shows that people stick with what they love and that OLTL was indeed a high-quality production.