the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Dixie Martin: R.I.P.


The continuing saga of how Neil met Sophia on the internet has been canceled today for a special bulletin:

Dixie Martin, beloved wife of Tad Martin and mother of J.R. Chandler, died today, January 29, 2007, in Pine Valley, after eating a poisoned peanut butter pancake intended for her daughter-in-law, Babe Chandler.

This was a shock to All My Children soap opera fans across the country. Some fans are so upset they are refusing to watch the show anymore. In fact, Sophia and Neil couldn’t stop talking about it all day. Even tonight’s episode of “24” seemed to pale in comparison to the drama of AMC killing off one of the show’s most popular characters.

The producers of AMC made a big splash when they brought actress Cady McClain back to the show after a four year absence. They had spent an enormous amount of time and money to woo her back. The return of Dixie created a slew of new storylines, since her character was repeatedly said to be “the heart” of Pine Valley. Tad and Dixie seemed destined to reunite as a couple — and even find their missing baby girl that unbeknownst to them, was now LIVING in Pine Valley after her parents were killed in a car accident! But one year into her contract, it’s death by peanut butter for Dixie. What happened?

Insiders know the real story. AMC producers, desperate for more viewers, tried to use the internet to drum up interest. They gave Dixie (Cady McClain) a blog to discuss her life as a soap opera star, in much the same way as other bloggers talk about their work and families.

With their ratings low, AMC also let go many of their long-standing characters, such as Brooke English (played by Julia Barr), who was with the show since 1976 and Dr. David Hayward (wonderfully played by Vincent Irizarry for the last ten years.) While the older actors were thrown to the street, the show hired a whole new group of dopey teenage actors. “Dixie” made a statement on her blog, saying it wasn’t a good idea to fire the show’s beloved older actors. The producers apparently didn’t like “Dixie” giving her opinion on her ABC blog, so to punish her — they promptly killed her off, making mincemeat of the storyline.

When someone says they were Dooced, people understand it to mean that someone was fired because of their blog. From now on, when someone is “killed off” because of their blog, I will use the term “Dixied.”

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Fact-Finding Mission


  1. OldOldLady Of The Hills

    Are you telling me I’m first??? Impossible, I say! But I’m thrilled!
    I don’t watch any of the Soap Operas anymore having kicked the “Soap Habit” about 20 years ago, Thank God…But, having said that and also wanting to say I was never an ABC Soap watcher anyway….Poor Girl…Writes her opinion and gets axed! Ugly. Very Ugly…and I wouldn’t doubt that it is true….Loyalty runs very short on The Soaps in our time now….They don’t understand holding on to their beloved characters and “older” actors…..The Powers That Be don’t care about anything but greed. Greed is their God!
    Well, Good Luck To Them, right Neil? They are all bastard creeps…Dear Agnes Nixon would be very very very VERY upset with those in charge now.

  2. Killer

    I don’t know anything about Soaps, but I hate to hear someone getting canned for their opinions.
    Maybe her and all the other discarded Soap stars could go start a new soap. I still wouldn’t watch it, but it would make for a heart warming story.

  3. tamarika

    Well, this hasn’t anything to do with Soaps … just a huge thank you for the “blog crush” link! Being your “hot date” though smacks of soapiness, I think. Except, I am seriously worried about your Scrabble ability. Are you sure you know how to play the game? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge …

    By the way, I can’t wait for the next Internet/Sophia installment …

  4. Lou P.

    The popularity of soap operas baffle me, if for nothing else because of the incredibly slow pace in which they move.

    I dated a girl in college who made lunch for me usually once a week, and I’d get drawn into watching Days of our Lives at her apartment. A week would go by, and the SAME SCENE would still be playing out, a hushed conversation in a room, with a key player eavesdropping from the hallway.

    The crazy plotlines I can take, but the way things drag on so slowly seems maddening to me. “But I can miss a week and catch right back up,” I’ve been told. Seems like a rip-off to the loyal viewers to me…

  5. M.A.

    Do think that soaps are having so many problems thanks to moms working and bad morning talk shows, or the plethora of movies one can watch on cable instead of soaps? Why kill off all of the beloved characters? That just seems counterintuitive.

  6. Finn

    Oh, no, not Dixie! I loved her. I admit that I haven’t seen an episode of AMC since just before Erica’s daughter came out of the closet (what is her name?!).

    A shame, that. The soaps just ain’t what they used to be, are they? It’s all about the “kids” now. God I hate getting old.

  7. LisaBinDaCity

    Oh please, you know soaps. She’s not really dead! She just flatlined yesterday and they will bring her back today 🙂

  8. Mo

    I used to love AMC, watch it every single day. And for what? For Dixie. I remember her comings and goings, her first times with Tad. I thought she was the prettiest girl I’d ever seen. She made the show for me. Haven’t watched it in decades now, but obviously not going back!
    P.S. I caught a glimpse of the show last week at a sushi bar, saw Dixie and thought her hair was terrible. Guess it was a death omen… make her ugly and then axe her.

  9. Neil

    Lisa B — No, this time there is going to be a dead body and everything to make sure she is isn’t coming back — double punishment by the producers.

  10. Mist 1

    I’m going to pretend that I never read this post. I don’t like to think of you, sitting on the couch in a purple robe watching soaps.

    Your penis and I are totally going to talk about this one behind your back for weeks.

  11. V-Grrrl

    I haven’t watched network TV, in um, almost 25 years, but I did watch AMC at one time and remember when Tad was a virgin high school boy. I kid you not.

  12. Nancy

    Awful! Are you SURE she’s dead? I mean, can she come back next month — or at least her twin sister that no one ever knew she had??

  13. Heather B.

    I’ve recently become sucked back into the world of Soaps. I’m such a GH fan -which sometimes does cross story lines with AMC – that I drop everything at 3 PM. Of course with sweeps coming up anyone could die but and from what I hear some of the older characters are being ‘driven’ off that show as well. I suppose that the writers/producers of these shows are trying to cater to the younger set by getting rid of the older characters. Which I find odd given that most Soap viewers aren’t between the ages of 18-25. But apparently they don’t care or they’re trying to attract younger viewers who are enthralled by demonic posession and brothers finding out that their father is actually a former serial killer/kidnapper/prince.

  14. Jack

    I have as much use for soap operas as I do for cats…none. If I never saw either again I wouldn’t notice.

  15. Danny

    “All My Children” is a guilty pleasure I only admit to watching on your blog. But I’m glad you’re man enough to pay respects to poor Dixie Cooney Chandler Martin Bodine Martin Martin. What an appalling move on the part of those ridiculous producers who run their daytime TV fiefdom like they are Afghani mujahideen. They spent four years courting that actress from other projects just so they could kill her for good the first time she steps out of line. I do believe they’ll lose a lot of long-time viewers over this. I hope Cady McClain becomes a huge hit on some nighttime show (let’s put her on “24”) and tells the AMC brass to go take a flying f*ck in her Emmy speech. I knew this show was going to hell when Erica Kane’s 1973 abortion became a character last year. What? You didn’t know it was possible 34 years ago for a doctor to take an aborted fetus and implant it in his infertile wife’s womb?

  16. kapgar

    Oh no no no no no no!!

    I will not let you be like my brother who has crossed over to the dark side and can recite any factoid from daytime soap operas that you could ever ask of him. NO!!! Come back to the good side, Neil!!!

  17. rdl

    I used to be an avid fan, haven’t seen it in yrs. and it just happened to be on yesterday when I was in a waiting room and I saw her hit the floor. Too bad they got rid of all the regulars.

  18. Postmodern Sass

    I stopped watching AMC when Agnes Nixon left and the woman from GH took over. The whole show changed from the Martin/Tyler family sagas to crazy spies — just like GH. I have hours of videotape of AMC shows from the ’90s, the good old days of Tad and Dixie’s, I think it was, third marriage, and the time Tad was dead (when he fell of the bridge with Billy Clyde Tuggle) and Dixie ran off and married Brian. The scene where Tad tracks her down to a hotel room in New York, and pounds on her door, and she’s on the other side listening, but not believing that it’s him, and then she finally opens the door… makes me bawl like a baby every time.

    And don’t even get me started on Natalie and Trevor.

  19. Paris Parfait

    Thanks for keeping us up-to-date Neil. I haven’t watched AMC in many years, but I always liked Dixie. (And they fired Brooke?!)

  20. LisaBinDaCity

    Damn it, you were right, Neil. I’m so PISSED at “All My Children” right now. Why didn’t they just give her amnesia or something???

    Really dumb decision. Super Couples don’t come every day. And we were all invested in Dixie and Tad.

    Damn it!

  21. Roonie

    It’s still a sad situation, it really is. Tad and Dixie were the reason I began watching the show at the ripe old age of 8. I turn the show on now, and don’t recognize anyone. So of course, I flip to Passions to make it all better, where at least the actors change but the characters stay the same.

  22. JC

    Uh, Neil?
    Have you lost your penis altogether?

  23. Neil's Penis

    JC — You think you’re concerned. I’m stuck with him!

    But then again, at least there are cute women on the show.  I actually think it is weirder that guys spend next week watching a bunch of big guys wrestling and hugging each other in the Super Bowl. How do you explain that one?

  24. Kim in Tacoma

    Postmodern Sass reminds me of me.

    Tad and Dixie were going to get back together and raise their biological daughter. Many fans waited about 18 years for this to happen. OOOPS Was that the rug pulled out from underneath us?!? Yeah, it sure was. The door was slammed. The knife was jabbed. The middle finger was displayed…. note the spotlight shining on it! I wish Cady all the best as she moves on to superb greatness, and she can look back on AMC as the sinking ship that went down after she was let go.

  25. Churlita

    I used to watch AMC with a bunch of other nurses and NA’s on my lunch break when I worked at the clinic. It was an awesome group activity, but I couldn’t quite get into it after I switched jobs and had to watch it alone. It’s a good thing you have Sophia around to watch it with.

  26. maribeth

    AMC is dead to me now.

  27. Blitz Krieg

    I got hooked on AMC back when I was on a submarine in Hawaii. Dixie was always my favorite. What a bunch of crap!

  28. better safe than sorry

    rip dixie. i haven’t watched that show for years, but i remember dixie and tad, she was one of my favorites. brooke on the other hand, i couldn’t watch her, something about her mouth or teeth?

  29. panthergirl

    Oh my god. You are in my head, I swear. When you emailed me to tell me you had posted about this, I thought “Oh, how can I turn this into a Dooced/Dixied post?” Now I can just link to you.

    AMC is really going down the toilet. It was always funny because it didn’t take itself too seriously (Erica, Opal, MYRTLE, for god’s sake). But now we’ve got shrieking teenyboppers, insufferable trannies and dead people. C’mon… where’s the bed hopping and backstabbing?

    And are they ever going to explain the disappearance of Brooke? Maybe she’s the killer!! “Those goddamned starlets…who could stand to be seen next to them??”

    I have a feeling that Palmer is next. Whenever he’s delivering a line I imagine that it’s written backwards on the forehead of the actor he’s talking to. Try it sometimes. It’s funny.

  30. malnurtured snay

    I’ve heard of being fired for blogging when the employer was unware of the blogging beforehand; but never being fired for blogging on the blog the employer set up for you to state your opinions! Bah!

    (My favorite dixie is Dixie Cousins.)

  31. moviequill

    the word is two veteran actors on the show are going to quit in protest, fed up with the way things are heading. Jack Montgomery actor is one rumoured

  32. Bloppy

    AMC is ridiculous for getting rid of Cady – I hope she goes back to ATWT. She was better on there anyway and AMC is a sinking ship. And speaking of soaps…primetime serial dramas like Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, ER, etc. are basically just once a week soap episodes that are filmed instead of video taped. All the daytime haters need to chillax. DVR a (good) soap and have some fun!

  33. Carmi

    I love that phrase: “poisoned peanut butter pancake”

    Say it 10 times fast!

    Come on, really! It’s damn funny!

    Then again, the whole soap thing is, by definition, funny. I’m amazed people still watch that tripe.

  34. panthergirl

    Soap Opera Digest’s best headline ever:

    “The Crepes of Wrath”

  35. marcail

    Dixie returns to the South, Dead Pigeon Hollow. Like the neologism, dixied.
    I’m sure the programed is being dixied. Watch out for a biological terrorism storyline whereby everyone dies or leaves town.



  37. Michele

    I will miss Dixie and Cady! Why???? Cady McClain is the best. Why things where getting so good.

    Bye Cady

  38. Soapnet Fan

    I just found out that SOAPnet is doing a special for Valentine’s Day called “100 Reasons We Love Soaps.” It’s amazing how some of the reasons ring true in pop culture today!

    It will air this Saturday, February 10 from 1-3 PM ET/PT. I’m excited to see if I can guess all 100!

  39. Karyn Ann in San Fran

    AMC has finally “jumped the shark” with this ridiculous plot device – Death by Pancakes – and mistaken identity pancakes, at that!! Geez – Dixie Martin was killed by eating poisoned peanut butter and banana pancakes that were actually intended for someone else (Elvis, perhaps?)

    Would I like some pancakes?? Me?? Nah, I’ll stick with my waffles, thank you!! Uh, thank you, thank you very much!

  40. Heather

    I love All My Children, especially Susan Lucci! She will be on SOAPnet’s “Soapnet Reveals” this Saturday at 6pm ET/PT in a candid conversation with Rosie O’ Donnell. Who knows what those two will talk about?

  41. Mandy

    Dixie Coon Martin Rest In Peace. Please don’t come back to this awful show ever. I’m tired of watching dead people come back, especially since this time we saw a body for Dixie and Dixie’s Ghost.

  42. AMC 4 EVAH!

    I see dead people. It’s the audience.

  43. Deborah J. Reyes

    Cady McClain was a class act and she will be sorely missed. Right along with all of the OTHER class acts who have been unceremoniously kicked out of soap doors over the last several years – going all the way back to General Hospital’s cruel and unusual treatment of the magnificent Anna Lee!

    People who went into rejoice mode when they learned that Megan McTavish had finally been sacked were starting on their hallelujah chorus waaaaaay to soon, IMO!

    I used to watch Port Charles and everything that AMC viewers are now complaining about on AMC went on FIRST at Port Charles! J.H.Carruthers was in charge of BOTH messes. Port Charles DELIBERATELY drove AWAY more than one million viewers during Port Charles’ final days. Looks like JHC is determined to repeat her Port Charles ‘success’ now at AMC! And, yes, right up until the day BEFORE it was announced that Port Charles was going to be cancelled, the network was spinning the loss of ONE MILLION VIEWERS as some kind of ‘success’ story! Now they are repeating the SAME M.O. with AMC! The whole bunch of jerks who wrecked Port Charles SHOULD have been fired and banned from ever working in daytime again so long as they lived. Instead, the whole bunch of dimwits were exported out to OTHER ABC shows and now EVERY show at ABC is suffering from the same serial stupidity which led to the demise of Port Charles!

    I say AMC viewers should consider themselves fortunate that there are no vampires in Pine Valley – YET! But, mark my words – if it isn’t vampires it will probably be something ten times worse!

    Trust me – I KNOW about this – Megan McTavish was NOT alone in swinging the wrecking ball over Alll My Children! JHC was right there with her, relishing every stupid move!

    And, as I understand it, there have been orders from TPTB that Pine Valley needs to be swept clean of ALL vestigages of the past and everything to be installed NEW – which means that Dixie will NOT be the end of AMC, OLTL and GH veterans to be kicked out the door!

    Sincerely, Deborah J. Reyes

  44. Felecia Mayfield

    All My Children use to be a special show for me . I watched from day one. Dixie was killed. Tad is now a killer, Adam is a p**sy,and Brooke is gone. All we have now is a bunch of bullsh*t writing. I do not watch anymore.

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