Was an All My Children Storyline Cut Short by the Oklahoma City Bombing?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: All My Children cut a storyline short in the middle of it because of the Oklahoma City bombing.

The horrific April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK by Timothy McVeigh, was one of the most tragic days in United States history, with 168 dead and over 800 wounded.

As horrific as the day was, you can only imagine what the producers of All My Children were thinking when they realized that their April 19th episode had to do with a bomb plot!!

The popular soap opera (home to Susan Lucci’s famous character, Erica Kane) had a plot where Janet Green (played by Robin Mattson – see the picture below) makes a homemade bomb and sends it to the father of her child (the father, obviously her former lover, is getting married that day to another woman).

On the following Monday, Robin Mattson opened the show with a message to the audience that, due to sensitivity over the plot, All My Children decided to re-edit, re-write and re-shoot the episodes with that plot and excise anything bomb-related.

Which is exactly what they did.

Instead, I believe Janet was struck by lightning before she could do anything to the wedding (she, of course, survived the lightning and returned to do other mischief – Mattson stayed on as Janet Green until 2000).

The legend is…


Thanks to reader Joe M. for recommending this story to me! And you don’t have to make excuses for watching All My Children, Joe! You like what you like – it’s all good!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future urban legends columns! My e-mail address is [email protected]

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2 Responses to “Was an All My Children Storyline Cut Short by the Oklahoma City Bombing?”

  1. From what I remember, Fox soap “Melrose Place” had to alter its third season finale a bit due to the Oklahoma City bombing. That season was supposed to end with Dr. Kimberly Shaw (played by Marcia Cross) planting explosives and blowing up the apartment complex where the series was set. She had indeed set up the bombs in the season finale (aired in May, 1995 – one month after the Murrah building bombing) which was supposed to end with the complex blowing up. However, the actual explosion was not shown until the fourth season premiere the following September.

  2. Correct on Melrose Place.

    General Hospital also had to scrap a storyline where the fictional New York city of Port Charles was held hostage by terrorists, shortly after 9/11. The storyline (crafted by Anthony Geary, who plays Luke Spencer) had already begun and had to be hastily tied up.

    Man, there’s so many crazy soap storylines you could address here — from a real alien on GH following the success of the STAR MAN movie, to the time traveling of One Life To Live, to the vampires of Port Charles….

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