ABC's classic soap operas All My Children and One Life To Live were scheduled to end their decades of television within a year, but an online production company has bought the rights to the series. Both will continue their serialized episodes as full-length Internet shows.
Prospect Park, whose production credits include Royal Pains and FX's version of Wilfred, will take over both shows from Disney and ABC. The date of All My Children and One Life To Live switch hasn't been set, but prior to now, the former was set to end in September and the latter would have ended in January of next year.
According to the press release, both shows will "continue to be delivered with the same quality and in the same format and length." While it's a little early to predict the technical format of the soaps, streaming/download and iPhone/iPad/Android versions seem like safe bets.
One Life To Live began its run in 1968, with All My Children following in 1970. After sagging ratings and a general shift away from scripted programming, ABC announced the end of both soap opera staples in April of this year. But thanks to a big push from fans (who publicly protested outside the ABC upfront presentation in May) and the savvy maneuvering of Prospect Park, both shows will rise from the dead - not unlike some of their characters.
The deal is part of a growing trend of not only fan-favorite shows being resurrected (see Futurama, Damages, etc) but high-profile productions finding a home online. Netflix will launch its first series, David Fincher and Kevin Spacey's House of Cards, putting them squarely in the sights of networks like HBO and Showtime. Speaking of HBO, their online portal HBO GO has begun to premiere new episodes of shows like Game of Thrones and True Blood before their TV debuts.
There's very little information available about this soap opera online venture at the moment - we don't even know if they'll continue to be filmed at ABC Studios or will move somewhere else. There's also no timetable in place, so it's not known how many seasons or years Prospect Park is obligated to continue producing both shows.
In any case, millions of All My Children and One Life To Live fans can rest a little better tonight - and may want to look into some high-speed Internet options.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelCrider
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