This series and "General Hospital" were both originally half-hour long shows. When NBC and CBS began expanding the length of rival soaps to an hour, the ABC network made the unusual move of expanding both shows to 45 minutes in length in 1977. The reason for this was that it would still be cheaper to produce than an hour-long series, and the unusual time schedule would discourage viewers from flipping the channel to other networks (Viewers of "One Life to Live" would presumably be less likely to flip the channel to a rival soap if they knew it was already half-over.) The scheme backfired, as more viewers began turning off "Life" early to watch rival soap than were staying tuned to watch "General Hospital." In less than a year, the network expanded both soaps to an hour in length.