ABC’s old soaps have finally been saved! Prospect Park, which bought All My Children and One Life to Live after ABC yanked the aging sudsers, announced today that it has closed deals with the Hollywood unions to air the soaps on The Online Network.
Owners Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank released a statement today that said they signed agreements with the Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the DGA to make it possible to air the soaps. In addition, the soaps’ legendary Creator Agnes Nixon will serve as a consultant, while Ginger Smith will return to AMC as an executive producer (she previously produced the series) and Jennifer Pepperman has been upped from director to an EP.
Prospect Park also found financing to begin production in February on the web editions of both soaps. “We thank the loyal audience and new generation of fans of both shows who have demonstrated that passion and exciting story lines are not just reserved for traditional television,” the statement said. “Their enduring support encouraged us to move forward each and every day. We look forward to sharing more details including our launch air date and additional specifics in the coming weeks.”
In late 2011, Prospect Park had to abandon plans to air the soaps online after failing to reach guild deals to make the soaps’ run on the internet a reality. Arrangements with the unions are necessary if Prospect Park wants to also sell the soaps to cable. It’s also economically unfeasible to pay guild wages for an internet show that would generate a fraction of the revenue it once did on ABC.
At the time, Prospect Park was struggling to close deals with the AMC actors: Only Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery) and Lindsay Hartley (Dr. Cara Castillo Martin) had agreed to continue after it ended its ABC run. In contrast, OLTL’s Erika Slezak (Victoria Lord), along with Ted King (Tomas Delgado), Michael Easton (John McBain) and Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer), among others, had closed deals to stay in the fictitious town of Llanview.
Prospect Park is not yet ready to reveal what actors will stay aboard for the online venture.