Online Soap Opera Network May Fold Ending ‘OLTL’, ‘AMC’

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. Prospect Park’s surprising deal with ABC in July led to AMC producers changing the planned ending for the September finale on ABC so the series could have another chapter. Now their OLTL counterparts will likely do the opposite, making the January ending more permanent. Here is Prospect Park’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.