It's been a year and a half since All My Children went off the air, but much like Jesse Hubbard, the popular soap is back from the dead! On Monday, the serial drama will return exclusively online, with new episodes premiering on Hulu and iTunes four days a week, Monday-Thursday, at 5 a.m. ET. And with the series' timeline jumping ahead five years, now is the perfect time for new viewers to join the fun that is Pine Valley.
Here are five things to expect from the resurrected All My Children.
1. Fresh faces When AMC returns, it will feature a variety of new characters, including Francesca James (who previously played Kelly and Kitty Tyler) as Evelyn Johnson, Daniel Covin as high school bad boy Hunter and Heather Roop as coffee shop owner Jane McIntyre. The time jump and hiatus between seasons has also resulted in many old characters being recast, most notably the role of JR Chandler, who will now be played by Ryan Bittle. "All I can do is do what I see and my interpretation, and be honest with who I am and what I can bring. And hopefully fans are going to be able to relate to that and understand that," Bittle said of replacing Jacob Young.
2. Heightened sex appeal "It's a little more risqué now. There's a lot that we can do [online] that we couldn't really do on daytime television," said Paula Garces, who plays crime-fighter Lea Marquez. So will we see Garces show some skin this season? "Yeah ... I mean, come on. I work with Zach Slater!" she said, hinting at a possible future romance. But Garces won't be the only one showing off her sexy side. Before the premiere's opening credits even roll, two characters may get down and dirty — and at work, no less!
3. A balance of old and new Longtime fans have nothing to worry about. The influx of new characters won't displace the vets to supporting roles. Angie and Jesse Hubbard, David Hayward, Brooke English and all the returning favorites will feature heavily throughout the season. Jill Larson, who plays Opal, has faith that the age range within the show will translate to its audience, as well. "As is true to our reputation, we are dealing with some tough, contemporary issues, as AMC has always been known for," Larson said. "It could still be the kind of material that brings generations together, that kids can talk about with their parents and their grandparents. They'll just be watching it independently, rather than around the same TV."
4. The (possible) return of Susan Lucci Though the former AMC star has yet to sign on, the door is always open for Lucci to return. "I think she's definitely gonna return," said Garces, one of Lucci's co-stars on Devious Maids. "I've had conversations with her off-set and she's so in love with the show." Though Lucci and Garces haven't shared any screen time on the upcoming Lifetime drama, the soap alum did share some words of advice with the young actress. "She was like, 'Just breathe, go with it, trust your instincts. There's going to be bad days where you're going to be completely overwhelmed and not remember any of your lines, but people are going to help you out.' And it's been exactly that," said Garces.
5. Of course, tons of drama! With one returning character vowing revenge, one in a coma and another in a life-threatening situation, AMC's premiere proves it's as over the top as ever (in all the right ways). But thankfully with only slight exposition, it's easy for new viewers to follow the story lines without missing a beat. "It's going to be AMC, but it's going to be invested with a lot of new energy," said Julia Barr. Unfortunately for returning viewers, they'll have to wait just a little bit longer (well, at least until the end of the first week) to find out who bit the dust in the last season finale.
Any guesses as to who JR shot?
Watch a sneak peek of the new All My Children below — and check out this exclusive behind-the-scenes video with returning cast member Francesca James:
All My Children sneak peek:
Need a crash-course in Pine Valley history? Check out this AMC video catch-up.