The aftermath of ABC's cancellation of All My Children and One Life to Live has provided more drama than... well, a soap opera. From the moment ABC issued its press release that two of its three soaps were going off the air, fans have been voicing their outrage over the decision. That fan furor has led to nationwide rallies outside ABC and Disney (the parent company of ABC) properties. A home electronics company has yanked its ads from ABC. Even Oprah Winfrey has been pulled into the fray, as the queen of talk shows issued a YouTube video to tell soap fans that she won't be saving their canceled soaps.
But soap fans have remained undeterred and have vowed to fight on. The twist in the post-cancellation melodrama involves a rumor that Sony Pictures is interested in purchasing or licensing both of ABC's fallen soaps. The rumor, which seemed to grow from posts on the soapcentral.com message boards and vague Twitter comments from daytime stars, has now taken on a life of its own.
According to the rumor, Sony wants to purchase All My Children and One Life to Live and use its distribution power to market both soaps internationally. Neither AMC nor OLTL had been actively sold to overseas markets, where additional revenue could be generated. Sony has successfully distributed Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless abroad, and both soaps have recently been renewed.
To date, the only mainstream report involving Sony has been a Deadline article that hinted that two Sony-distributed soaps were said to be interested in hiring actors who will find themselves out of work after AMC and OLTL go dark.
The 'net chatter is that the Deadline report is merely a guise to throw fans off to what is really going on -- Sony doesn't want the soon-to-be-fired soap stars to get other gigs before being locked into a deal that would keep them on their respective shows when ABC sells them.
If that's the case, one All My Children star reports that it's news to him and his co-stars.
"I'm getting a lot of messages from many of you asking about some rumors that Sony is poised to pick up the shows," Vincent Irizarry (David Hayward, AMC) wrote in a post on his Facebook page. "All I can say is I've checked with several actors on my show and at this point they appear to be nothing but rumors. Wish I had more positive news to share, but that's all I know about this..."
Rumor or not, that hasn't stopped hopeful soap fans from wanting to believe that the rumor is true. After all, it wasn't too long ago when soap stars took to the Internet to denounce the cancellation rumors as just rumors.
In an appearance on NBC's Tonight Show, host Jay Leno asked Susan Lucci if any sort of letter-writing campaign could help save All My Children or if another network might swoop in and buy the show.
"You know, I really have no idea, but I will say that our fans are on fire and they were online instantly and they are there for us," Lucci responded.
TVGuide has previously reported that an ABC insider said that the network would be open to ideas to sell or license All My Children and One Life to Live, but the network reportedly doesn't believe that anyone will pony up the big bucks needed -- it costs approximately $50 million a year to produce one soap opera -- to make a deal happen.
So what will happen next? Tune in tomorrow for more of the latest twist and turns in this real-life soap opera soap opera!