Dumped by ABC, Canceled Soaps Find New Home on the Internet
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” may be ending their four decades’ long run on ABC in September and January respectively, however it won’t be the end of the road for either of the long-running, iconic daytime drama series. In a shocking development, upstart television, film, and music company Prospect Park Studios has purchased the rights from the network, who states that “the multi-year, multi-platform deal enables the soaps to continue beyond their finale dates on ABC.”
The news comes less that 24 hours after the New York Post first broke the news on their website reporting that ABC had sold the online rights to its recently cancelled shows “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to the studios, and that “Prospect Park is said to be finalizing its current round of funding for its Hulu-style venture in the next month to 45 days. Other unnamed financial backers are involved.” The article was initally met with much skepticism from soap fans and well as from other media outlets who were claiming the Post article contained numerous factual inaccuracies.
In a joint press release this afternoon by ABC and Prospect Park, which was founded in 2009 by Jeffrey Kwatinetz and former Disney Studios chief Rich Frank, “We are privileged to continue the legacy of two of the greatest programs to air on daytime television, and are committed to delivering the storylines, characters and quality that audiences have come to love for over 40 years. ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ are television icons, and we are looking forward to providing anytime, anywhere viewing to their loyal community of millions. Technology changes the way the public can and will view television shows. Now that there are so many devices available in addition to television sets, viewers are taking advantage of watching shows where ever they are and on any number of devices. The driving force in making the switch and attracting new audiences is to have outstanding programs that people want to watch,” the statement continued. “We believe that by continuing to produce the shows in their current hour format and with the same quality, viewers will follow the show to our new, online network.” Prospect Park is perhaps best known for producing “Royal Pains” for the USA Network and “Wilfred” for FX.
As part of the deal, which was brokered by the Disney/ABC Domestic Television Group, “Prospect Park will produce and deliver the two long-running programs to consumers via online formats and additional emerging platforms including internet enabled television sets. Under the terms of the arrangement, the programs will continue to be delivered with the same quality and in the same format and length. Additional details of the new productions and tune-in will be forthcoming from Prospect Park.” However, while the statement notes that both shows will continue to exist in their present hour-long formats, it is vague as to the frequency in which new episodes will air.
“From the time the shift in the daytime strategy was announced, our hope was to find a new home for these treasured shows. We are thrilled to license them to Prospect Park so the stories of life in Pine Valley and Llanview can continue to be told for the passionate and loyal fans that enjoy watching each day,” comments Janice Marinelli, President, Disney/ABC Domestic Television.
President of the Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group Brian Frons, who announced the cancellation of “Children” and “One Life” back on April 15 in favor of the less-expensive, unscripted programming such as “The Chew” and “The Revolution,” said in the statement that “‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ are iconic pieces of television history that captivated millions of fans since their beginning over 40 years ago. Each of the shows have made an indelible mark on our culture’s history and informed our consciousness in their own way. We are so glad Prospect Park has assumed the mantel for these shows and that they will continue for the fans.”
The sentiments were furthered echoed by “AMC” and “OLTL” creator Agnes Nixon, who has been tirelessly searching for new venues for both shows in recent months, saying “I’m just so happy that ABC found a home where the legacies of ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life To Live’ can continue. I’m excited for their future with Prospect Park. It takes a lot of living to make a soap opera a serial, and the wonderful teams on both shows have done just that. Together, we are a big family that keeps going, and I’m looking forward to working alongside these wonderful people as we ensure that the shows will continue with all the love and excitement we’ve always had. I also am so happy for our loyal fans, whom we love so much, and who have been so supportive over the last 40 plus years.”
“All My Children” will air its final episode on ABC on Friday, September 23, 2011 while “One Life to Live” will last air on the network on Friday, January 20, 2012.
Soap Opera Network will continue to follow this story and bring you further details as they develop.