Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dreams Do Come True! Canceled ABC Soaps to Move Online

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2011 at 5:00 PM

I've grumbled previously about the forthcoming cancellation of All My Children, a soap opera that my wife is a big fan of and that I became mildly obsessed with when I was freelancing for home for three years. The countdown to the show's final episode has been troubling, but sort of great in that many of the great characters from the last few years (how will they resurrect Leo?) are returning to the show to dance on its grave or something.

However, Jeff Kwatinetz, the man who with artist management group The Firm brought rap-rock acts like Korn and Limp Bizkit into the public's consciousness, is giving the show (and One Life to Live, which I don't care about at all) a new life, as an online-only production:

Today, ABC announced that it has licensed the soap operas to Prospect Park, a 2-year-old media and production company that plans to continue both series online by picking up where the TV shows leave off.

In a press release, Prospect Park promised to retain the "same quality," "format and length" of both series.

"We are privileged to continue the legacy of two of the greatest programs to air on daytime television, and are committed to delivering the storylines, characters and quality that audiences have come to love for over 40 years," Prospect Park co-founders Jeffrey Kwatinetz and Rich Frank said. "'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' are television icons, and we are looking forward to providing anytime, anywhere viewing to their loyal community of millions."

The statement did not detail if the current casts of the shows will participate in the online versions.

Kwatinetz and Frank, a former Disney Studios executive, are the executive producers of "Royal Pains." The soap operas are expected to be the first of a number of mainstream TV shows that will reportedly find a home on their site.

It did seem strange to me that someone couldn't find a way to make money of a show that has a million devoted fans, but apparently the team behind USA's Royal Pains is going to give it a shot. As long as the show's available on demand, I'm in.

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