After seven months of ups and downs, fans of All My Children and One Life to Live are left with the ultimate downer. Prospect Park, the company billed as the savior of the two canceled ABC soaps, has given up on its plans to relaunch the soaps on the Internet.
Prospect Park, the company that, in July, announced that it had licensed the rights to ABC's canceled soaps All My Children and One Life to Live, has announced that it will abandon plans to relaunch the two soaps on the Internet. According to sources, the company has had issues securing financing and reaching agreements with the various unions that represent the on- and off-screen talent.
"Word is that the guilds have been looking to hold OLTL and AMC to broadcast terms, which is somewhat understandable as the Prospect Park-ABC deal calls for the two series to 'continue to be delivered with the same quality and in the same format and length.'” But shows produced on broadcast terms are impossible to support with online vs. TV advertising," Nellie Andreeva reported in a post for industry site TVline.com
However, Daytime Confidential
's Jamey Giddens asserts that union sources insist that they were willing to negotiate with Prospect Park to make the online venture work.
Still, in its statement, Prospect Park put the blame squarely on the unions, saying that contract stalemates and money issues "proved too great a match" for their plans.
"I hear that Prospect Park principals are still trying to find a last-minute solution to keep the soap online venture going but feel pressed into a corner after exhausting every possible avenue and may decide to pull the plug as soon as today," Andreeva added.
The complete press release from Prospect Park follows:
After five months of negotiations with various guilds, hundreds of presentations to potential financial and technology partners, and a hope that we could pioneer a new network for the future, it is with great disappointment that we are suspending our aspirations to revive “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” via online distribution. It is now becoming clear that mounting issues make our ability to meet our deadlines to get OLTL on the air in a reasonable time period following its January 13, 2012 ABC finale impossible.
We believed the timing was right to launch an Online TV Network anchored by these two iconic soap operas, but we always knew it would be an uphill battle to create something historical, and unfortunately we couldn’t ultimately secure the backing and clear all the hurdles in time. We believe we exhausted all reasonable options apparent to us, but despite enormous personal, as well as financial cost to ourselves, we failed to find a solution.
While we narrowed in on a financial infrastructure, the contractual demands of the guilds, which regulate our industry, coupled with the program’s inherent economic challenges ultimately led to this final decision. In the end, the constraints of the current marketplace, including the evolution and impact of new media on our industry simply proved too great a match for even our passion.
In our opinion, new models like this can only work with the cooperation of many people striving to make them happen, and we would like to thank and praise the numerous people who tried to help and showed us incredible support. We are extremely grateful to the fans and media who showed great support to us through this process, to ABC who did everything in their control to help, and we are especially grateful for the support and encouragement from many of the soaps’ cast and crew themselves.
We hope that our efforts are not lost, and that we somehow created a dialogue and movement on the feasibility of first run, network quality content online. Of special note, we would like to thank Frank Valentini, Ron Carlivati, Agnes Nixon, many of the cast of OLTL including Michael Easton, Ted King, Kelley Missal, Melissa Archer, and of course Erika Slezak all of whom signed on quickly and did all they could to help, as well as our own Christine Sacani. Cameron Mathison and Lindsay Hartley also get our sincerest thanks for their support. We feel terrible we couldn’t come through for them and we were very much looking forward to working together.