The week we've been waiting for has finally arrived: All My Children is back with all-new episodes beginning April 29. I've been reading my email and posts made on our soapcentral.com Facebook and Twitter pages, and I know that there are some questions that fans still have about AMC's return. So I wanted to address them here.
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All right, so let's get down to business.
I WILL NOT PAY TO WATCH A SOAP. I ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH BILLS
Last Tuesday, I received eleven pieces of mail and eight of them were bills (one was addressed to "resident" and another was delivered to me by mistake). So I know all about having too many bills. So here's some amazing news: You do not have to pay to watch All My Children (or One Life to Live). If you are reading this column -- which I kind of guess you have to be -- then you can watch AMC for free. Log on to your desktop or laptop computer, open up your web browser, and pull up Hulu.com. Select "All My Children" from the list of shows -- or type it in the search menu -- and you're set. You can also bookmark hulu.com/all-my-children and head there directly.
I DON'T WANT TO WATCH TELEVISION ON MY COMPUTER. THAT'S WEIRD
More good news! You don't have to. Most new and newer computers have the ability to hook up a cable from your computer to your television screen. My laptop has an HDMI output that can plug right into a television.
If you want to watch from your tablet computer, a smart phone, or a Playstation or Wii that is already hooked up to your television, you can. There is an optional Hulu Plus subscription service that will allow you watch AMC (as well as One Life to Live and oodles of other programs) on any of those devices. For $7.99 a month you can stream broadcast-quality episodes of AMC and other programs to your Android tablet, iPad, Wii U, Playstation, Roku, and more.
If you're not sure that you want to pay for Hulu Plus, you can test it out for free trial period. Hulu is allowing soapcentral.com readers to get two weeks free if you sign up for a Hulu Plus account. For more information, visit: http://hulu.com/r/vV83SA
If you are a Best Buy Reward Zone member, you may even be able to sign up for a free one-month trial. Log into your Reward Zone account for complete details! (Thanks to Allison for the tip.)
I WON'T BE ABLE TO BE ON MY COMPUTER WHEN THE SHOWS AIR
Are you on your computer now? Then you can watch an episode of All My Children. The beauty of the online format is that you can watch episodes of All My Children any time you want. You can be nostalgic and watch them during the old 1pm timeslot. You can multitask and watch an episode or two while you eat dinner. If you're a night owl, you can watch at 2:17am. Whenever you have time to watch, you can watch. Jesse, Angie, and the whole gang will just be hanging around somewhere waiting for you to click the play button.
The ten most recent episodes will be available on Hulu.com for viewing. So if you are a weekend marathon watcher -- you can still do that. But now you don't have to rely on a set schedule. You can pick your start time.
THE SHOWS ARE GOING TO LOOK LIKE ONE OF THOSE YOUTUBE CAT VIDEOS
Not even close. I was fortune enough to be invited to the Red Carpet premiere for All My Children and One Life to Live and -- minus a snafu in the invitation list -- I had a blast. Which reminds me, if you didn't listen to Soap Central Live on April 26, you missed hearing interviews with Cady McClain (Dixie Martin), Thorsten Kaye (Zach Slater), Vincent Irizarry (David Hayward), Paula Garcés (Lea Marquez), and Sal Stowers (Cassandra Foster). But fear not! You can listen to the show any time you'd like for free. Sound familiar? You can even download a copy for your own personal archive -- and that's free, too. Just click here to head over to the archive.
And now, back to our show. The episodes of All My Children look identical in quality to the high-definition broadcasts on ABC. In fact, many of the scenes looked even better. The sets were shiny and new. The scenes shot outside the studio were just as crisp and vibrant as what we're used to.
While I can't guarantee that a cat won't pop up and play a piano at some point on All My Children (though I would say it's highly unlikely), I can tell you that many of the same people who have worked to put the shows together in the past are back in the studio doing it again. This isn't going to be some student project. It's a very professional setup.
WILL ALL MY CHILDREN EVER BE BACK ON TELEVISION?
It's possible that it will. Prospect Park does have the rights to air AMC on television, but not until at least September 2013. So for now, don't even worry about that. Focus on Hulu.
THE PEOPLE IN CANADA GET TO WATCH ON TV. WHY ARE THEY SO SPECIAL?
I happen to think our neighbors to the north are pretty swell. I've visited two different parts of Canada, and on neither occasion was I asked to leave. Of course, on one of the trips, they almost didn't let me into the country -- but that's another tale for another time.
There are different rules in place for international viewing. I won't bore you with details, but since I do handle advertising for soapcentral.com, I can tell you the international ad rates and licensing structures are much different outside of the United States. Prospect Park has determined that it is in everyone's best interest to broadcast AMC (and One Life to Live) on the FX Canada channel in Canada.
SO NOW THAT THESE SHOWS ARE ONLINE, DOES THAT MEAN I CAN'T GET RECAPS?
Will we be once again providing Daily Recaps for AMC? Absolutely. They'll be posted in the same spot as they've always been. Just click "Recaps" in the blue menu bar at the top of the page and you'll be able to read the most recent recaps. If you need past recaps, we've got those, too. We have Daily Recaps archived all the way back to 1995. Select the "Recaps archive" option from the "Recaps" menu item and prepare to relive some amazing AMC memories.
WHAT ABOUT NEW TWO SCOOPS COLUMNS?
Do you really think you could keep me away? I've written new columns when the show wasn't even on the air anymore! So, of course I'll be back to share my thoughts and opinions on the previous week's action. I will also be inviting others to pop in and post their opinions, so you'll get to read opinions other than mine.
My most recent "new" column was posted on February 25, and it offers my thoughts on AMC's five-year leap into the future. Do I think it's a good idea? You can click here to read the column and find out for yourself ! There are also Two Scoops columns from 2004 through 2012 posted in our archive for your reading enjoyment.
DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE TO SAY?
As a matter of fact, I do. I am so excited that All My Children and One Life to Live are back. I know that I've missed them, and I know that I have missed being able to talk with all of you about our friends in Pine Valley. Please tune in and support AMC. If your favorite star isn't on the show right now, you have to tune in and watch. The only way that your favorite star will ever have a chance to return is if the show remains in production. If you think you're proving a point by not watching, you're only shooting yourself in the foot.
We have fun in this column, and I try to be as positive as I can about things, but I am annoyed to no end by the people who are already saying that the show won't be good because it's on the Internet. Or that they won't watch because it's on the Internet. If you haven't seen an episode of the show yet, you have no idea what it will look like or what you're talking about. It is disheartening to hear from fans who were outraged that the show was canceled -- and to have them now talking about not tuning in because an actor isn't on the show or because the show is online.
As far as I'm concerned, Prospect Park could have chosen to broadcast AMC on the moon in a combination of Morse Code and Swahili -- and I would be on the first rocketship with my Rosetta Stone software in hand.
Welcome back, All My Children. You were missed -- and you'd better not even think of ever leaving us again.