Prospect Park, the company that, over the course of several months in 2011, announced plans to produce online versions of All My Children and One Life to Live, only to later scrap those plans, is once again back in the soap opera mix. A newly published report indicates that the production company is once again putting together plans to revive the former ABC soaps online.
According to a report by Deadline Hollywood, Prospect Park has been quietly working for the past few months to get all of their proverbial ducks in a row, something that didn't happen when the company tried to move AMC and OLTL from broadcast television to the Internet in only a few months' time.
In July 2011, after news of the deal leaked to the media, ABC confirmed that it had licensed the rights to both All My Children and One Life to Live to Prospect Park. Much of the deal remained shrouded in mystery. As weeks and months passed with little additional news, fans became concerned that the silence might mean that the deal had hit a snag.
Just before Thanksgiving 2011, Prospect Park issued a terse statement revealing that it had suspended its ambitious plans to move the two soaps to an online format. Fans were incensed, claiming that they'd been strung along and, still reeling from the shows' cancellation, had their hearts broken for the second time in under a year.
The reason cited at the time for the deal falling through was an inability to work out deals with the two unions representing the on-screen talent, a hindrance that this time around seems to have been resolved.
"While the online venture was formally dead [in November 2011], I hear Frank and Kwatinetz never lost hope, and had been quietly working since the summer on putting their plan back together and had been talking with the guilds, resulting in agreements with SAG-AFTRA and DGA," Deadline's Nellie Andreeva reports.
Moreover, Deadline adds that preliminary talks with former All My Children and One Life to Live actors have already begun.
The status of talks between Prospect Park and the Writers Guild of America, the union representing the writers, is not known. Daytime Confidential's Jamey Giddens reports that there is talk that "fi-core" writers, those claiming financial hardship, may be used in order to skirt the union rules.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Prospect Park is in talks with both the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America.
While the union deals are said to have been a key reason for Prospect Park abandoning its plans last year, funding was also believed to have played a key part in things falling apart. Sources tell soapcentral.com that Prospect Park had been unable to secure the funding needed because of its inability to work out deals with the various unions. Though deals seem to have now been hammered out, it is unknown if those funding sources are still on board with Prospect Park's plans.
Prospect Park's licensing deal with ABC is reportedly set to expire at the end of January 2013 unless an extension were to be signed. It's unclear if ABC would renew the deal because several of the company's own media partners are said to be interested in reviving All My Children and One Life to Live.
As has been the case in the past, Prospect Park has refused to comment.