For the past three months, fans of All My Children and One Life to Live have lobbied to keep both soaps on the air. It appears their hard work has paid off. A published report claims that ABC has agreed to sell the rights to the two canceled soaps to a company that will broadcast the soaps online.
"Disney’s ABC has sold the online rights to the two long-running soaps, which are scheduled to go off the air in September, as part of a deal with TV, film and music company Prospect Park," the New York Post reported online on Wednesday night.
According to the Post, both shows will pick up their stories online exactly where they leave off on their final television broadcast.
Fans have been skeptical of the report, noting that One Life to Live will not go off the air until January 2012, not September as the Post reported. Others are dubious of the licensing agreement because the Post noted that Prospect Park is in the process of "finalizing its current round of funding," which would seemingly indicate that the deal is contingent upon Prospect Park securing a substantial amount of money.
Citing a network source, TV|Line reports that the Post article contained "inaccuracies," but the source didn't elaborate. The online publication hints that the inaccuracies could range from Prospect Park airing existing episodes of AMC and OLTL to Susan Lucci not being part of the deal.
Last month, the Internet was abuzz with chatter that ABC had turned down multiple offers from companies seeking to acquire All My Children and One Life to Live. Though various reasons were offered for ABC's refusal, there were no official statements regarding any such offers.
Shortly after ABC's April announcement that both AMC and OLTL would be going off the air, TVGuide reported that ABC would be "willing to entertain offers" from other media outlets that might be interested in licensing its two soaps.
Oprah Winfrey issued a video statement to soap fans in April informing them that her OWN cable channel would not be acquiring AMC or OLTL.
"All good things come to an end. All things have their time," Winfrey offered in explaining why she could not save the soaps.
If All My Children and One Life to Live were to migrate to the Internet, it would not be the first time that a canceled soap found new life outside of broadcast television. In 2007, NBC announced that it would be ending its supernatural-tilting soap, Passions. A few months after the announcement, satellite television provider DirecTV stepped up and agreed to air Passions exclusively on its original content channel, The 101. Unfortunately for Passions fans, the gamble didn't pay off, and the show was cancelled -- again -- by the end of 2007.
An ABC spokesperson had no comment, but a press release with some sort of news should be released shortly.