After Maeve Ryan sang one last rendition of "Danny Boy," the long-running soap opera "Ryan's Hope" faded to black on Friday, leaving fans to wonder for eternity, who is Grace's father?
ABC announced in October that it was canceling the daytime drama after 131/2 years and 3,515 episodes.After wrapping up most of the storylines, the final scene was Maeve (Helen Gallagher), joined by family and friends in Ryan's Bar, singing "Danny Boy" as she has traditionally on every St. Patrick's Day. This year, there will be no St. Patrick's Day for the Ryans.
"Yes, it is a tear-jerker," said Karen Reynolds, the publicist for the show who attended the taping of the final episode.
The final episode features the wedding of reporter Jack Fenelli (Michael Levin) and newspaper publisher Leigh Kirkland (Felicity Lafortune). Of the series' other continuing storylines, the only major one to be left hanging is the paternity of 4-year-old Grace Coleridge.
ABC said it canceled the soap because too many affiliates chose to pre-empt the low-rated drama for noon newscasts.
"`Ryan's Hope' has not been rejected by the audience, it has simply been unavailable to viewers," Jo Ann Emmerich, vice president of daytime programs for ABC Entertainment, said at the time. "Without sufficient stations to carry it, it has become a victim of audience erosion."