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November 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm #420601
Sad news for soap fans just before Thanksgiving — One Life To Live and All My Children won’t get a second life online. Prospect Park, the company, which in July signed a licensing deal with ABC to keep canceled daytime dramas in production for online distribution, will not proceed with its plans for an online soap network anchored by the two shows. The decision comes after Prospect Park principals Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz spent the past few months trying to shore up financial backing for their Online TV Network, secure the talent and writers from the departing ABC series as well as sign agreements with the Hollywood unions. Accomplishing all three, especially the last one, on a tight deadline as continuing the soaps would only make sense if they could be relaunched close to their finale dates on ABC, proved impossible to do. Here is the company’s statement:
After five months of negotiations with various guilds, hundreds of presentations to potential financial and technology partners, and a hope that we could pioneer a new network for the future, it is with great disappointment that we are suspending our aspirations to revive “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” via online distribution. It is now becoming clear that mounting issues make our ability to meet our deadlines to get OLTL on the air in a reasonable time period following its January 13, 2012 ABC finale impossible.
We believed the timing was right to launch an Online TV Network anchored by these two iconic soap operas, but we always knew it would be an uphill battle to create something historical, and unfortunately we couldn’t ultimately secure the backing and clear all the hurdles in time. We believe we exhausted all reasonable options apparent to us, but despite enormous personal, as well as financial cost to ourselves, we failed to find a solution.
While we narrowed in on a financial infrastructure, the contractual demands of the guilds, which regulate our industry, coupled with the program’s inherent economic challenges ultimately led to this final decision. In the end, the constraints of the current marketplace, including the evolution and impact of new media on our industry simply proved too great a match for even our passion.
In our opinion, new models like this can only work with the cooperation of many people striving to make them happen, and we would like to thank and praise the numerous people who tried to help and showed us incredible support. We are extremely grateful to the fans and media who showed great support to us through this process, to ABC who did everything in their control to help, and we are especially grateful for the support and encouragement from many of the Soaps’ cast and crew themselves.
November 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm #420603
I was skeptical about the online move from the beginning, but what’s infuriating about this is that acquiring them not only gave fans false hope, but has denied viewers an ending to both shows. AMC ended in a cliffhanger in anticipation of the move, and OLTL has already finished filming and thus will probably also have an unresolved ending. Not being able to finish storylines doesn’t matter as much to me, since soap worlds are continuous and theoretically infinite, but not getting a sense of closure is outrageous.November 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm #420604
So they announce this right as OLTL wrapped up its shooting on Friday
I had bad feeling and a lot OLTL cast seemed like it was going to be part of itNovember 23, 2011 at 11:04 pm #420606
I feel sad that I didn’t stick to my guns in knowing that this was too good to be true. So much for trying to hope for the best in the end. I think the blame goes to both PP and ABC. The former for not clearly knowing what they were getting into and the latter for the obvious that would make a great thesis paper to describe their part in the demise of the daytime soap opera.
I keep going back and forth on this, but I am now going to say until I die that all of these soaps could’ve been saved if the effort to make them viable in this new era we are in was there. Cost cutting, fresh stories, or going back to the basics of classic melodrama, etc. But whatever.
I feel so sorry for the cast and crew and the fans.November 24, 2011 at 6:49 am #420607
Not 1 of the remaing 4 soaps will be on air in 7 years I bet. GH and DOOL days are very numberedNovember 24, 2011 at 9:10 am #420608
PP’s statement says they exhausted every possible option and had no choice but to give up. They went to Hollywood and Silicon Valley looking for investors and couldn’t find enough. Did they go to the show’s current advertisers and ask for sponsorship deals in exchange for product placement? I’m sure Hoover would’ve chipped in. Did they consider doing 1 episode a week instead of 5 or cutting the shows from an hour to a half-hour? Did they consider charging a subscription fee for TOLN like Hulu and Netflix do? Even Venice has a subscription fee. Did they look into selling the shows in foreign markets? It seems like there barely even scratched the surface of what they could do with these shows before throwing in the towel. Jerks got everybody’s hopes up for nothing.November 29, 2011 at 7:57 pm #420609
Surprise?! Hardly. Susan Lucci was right all along. GL and ATWT tried to shop around (or so the urban myth goes) when CBS gave them the pink-slip in favor of such lighter fare as “The Talk”, and they both died. Even Passions didn’t last long on DirecTV. This was hardly a surprise in my opinion.