"All My Children," the soap Agnes Nixon launched on January 5, 1970, may be on its deathbed, but at least ABC is paying tribute to the woman who started it all.
Nixon, who is often referred to as "the queen of the modern soap opera," will return to the soap on August 31 as Agnes Eckhardt, a role she first played in 2005 to celebrate the soap's 35th anniversary.
The character, who is a board member at Pine Valley Hospital, will be admitted for treatment at the facility this time around and, according to an ABC statement, "has a profound effect on all of the characters she interacts with that changes the course of their lives" — including Susan Lucci's Erica Kane.
Nixon will join a slew of former cast members in saying goodbye to the soap before it is removed from ABC's schedule on September 23. Sarah Michelle Gellar announced last Thursday that she'll be returning, and Carol Burnett will also make an appearance on the show. Josh Duhamel turned up last week, with his character waking up from a coma, nine years after he was presumed dead.
Amazingly, Nixon also created "One Life to Live," which ABC canceled at the same time as "All My Children." Its 43-year run on the network is set for January 20, 2012.
ABC sold the rights to both soaps to Prospect Park for potential revival online — but exact details of how that will work and when the shows will debut are still being ironed out.