One Life to Live favorites Hillary B. Smith (Nora Buchanan) and Robert S. Woods (Bo Buchanan) gave a joint roundtable interview earlier this week to talk about, among other things, the show's return to television.
Beginning July 15, the first 40 episodes of All My Children and One Life to Live will air on Oprah Winfrey's OWN television network. Episodes of AMC will air Monday through Thursday at 1pm ET/PT, and episodes of OLTL will air Monday through Thursday at 3pm ET/PT.
"Yeah, it's really nice because especially with All My Children going into a 1 o'clock time slot, which was its time slot, and then we're going into the 3 o'clock time slot, which was typical for the General Hospital time but they're in the 2 o'clock, so we're not going to be competing against General Hospital," Smith offered. "But we are taking over that time slot where people are looking for that daytime soap. They really still are. And for those people who don't have Internet, they like that habit. They like going back to the television set. I think it's wonderful to have both platforms working. I think it covers all of the bases and that everyone who can see it will get to see it; who wants to see it can actually access it now."
"I'm glad it's 3 o'clock and poor Katie Couric, I hope we bury her," Woods said with a chuckle.
In 2011, Oprah famously declined to save All My Children and One Life to Live from cancellation. While some fans are still smarting from that rebuff, others have found a new sense of vindication. Smith and Woods say that they understand why Oprah was unable to step in at the time.
"You know, it's dollars and cents. I don't think she was ready to take over the whole production. And actually, you know, my dad always said, 'As rotten as it gets, everything happens for the best. You're going to leave this unpleasant thing at least learning something,'" Woods shared. "And it's gone full circle. I think the fact that we're on the Internet now. I think that's probably the future of the way people get their entertainment. I'm sure it's going to all kind of link together at one time, and it's going to have a lot to do with Internet and less to do with broadcast television."
Smith praised OWN for stepping forward to give viewers another, perhaps more traditional, viewing format for the shows.
"[T]o have it at a set time, it's just perfect. I think it's just perfect what it's come back to. To have it on television again, and I agree with Woods, I think with Oprah at the time to take on the production and the cost of it, it was prohibitive. But to syndicate it is something else," Smith added. "I think it's going to help her network, and we're thrilled that she's doing it. I think she'll be thrilled she did it and also, it's not dead. It's not dead. And the way it ended with ABC, it left everyone thinking that it was dead. We had a year to re-group, re-think, and re-attack the show in a new way and I think that also made it new and exciting and something to be looked at."
With all the pieces falling into place to allow One Life to Live and All My Children to reach a new audience via new media as well as viewers who prefer to watch on television, Smith is quick to note that nothing has changed about the two shows' classic format.
"The wheel is round, and it works best when it's round," Smith noted.
For more information about AMC and OLTL airing on OWN and to quickly find out what channel OWN is on your cable provider, click here.