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“Why would you drive millions of other people away from your lineup?” she asked. “If you want to save money, cut your costs, cut your sets. You can’t be so cavalier with your daytime eyeballs that you let two, three, four million people disappear.”

“All My Children” will go off the air in September, replaced by “The Chew,” a live one-hour show about food and nutrition, featuring two cast members from “Iron Chef America” and nutrition expert Daphne Oz, Dr. Mehmet Oz’s daughter. Frons described it as a cross between “The View” and a cooking show.

“One Life to Live” lasts until January. Its replacement is “The Revolution,” made by the producers behind “The Biggest Loser,” and will be a health and lifestyle show featuring fashion expert Tim Gunn. Each week the show will focus on the weight loss transformation of one woman.

Besides “General Hospital,” ABC’s decision will leave CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” and NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” as the only daytime dramas left on the air. Each appears to be in no imminent danger, Hinsey said.

Asked what message fans of “General Hospital” should take from Thursday’s announcement, Frons said, “they should feel like they are fans of one of the most powerful franchises in television. It’s in good creative shape, it’s in good financial shape and they should ask as many of their friends to watch the show as possible.”

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AP Television Writer Frazier Moore contributed to this report.