EXCLUSIVE: Here is a great holiday gift for soap fans: I’ve learned that Prospect Park has revived its plan to continue cancelled ABC daytime dramas All My Children and One Life To Live online. I hear the company behind USA hit Royal Pains has inked deals with SAG-AFTRA and DGA for the soaps’ production, eyed to begin in the first quarter of 2013. UPDATE: Reps for DGA and SAG-AFTRA have confirmed to Deadline that the unions have reached agreements with Prospect Park.
Rich Frank & Jeff Kwatinetz’s Prospect Park made a licensing deal with ABC in July 2011 to keep OLTL and AMC alive for online distribution on their Online Network, which was slated to launch in the first quarter of 2012. But after difficult negotiations with the guilds, the company last November pulled the plug on its plans, despite securing a slew of OLTL and AMC actors to reprise their roles. While the online venture was formally dead, I hear Frank and Kwatinetz never lost hope, and had been quietly working since the summer on putting their plan back together and had been talking with the guilds, resulting in agreements with SAG-AFTRA and DGA. (The status of talks with WGA is unclear.) I hear there are preliminary discussions with actors from All My Children and One Life To Live to rejoin the revived shows. Prospect Park refused to comment.
The news comes at a fortuitous time, as the four remaining daytime soaps on TV are having a strong ratings showing, all posting gains vs. last year.