ABC hasn't backed down from its decision to yank All My Children and One Life to Live from the airwaves, but the two soaps are far from dead. ABC has licensed the rights to the two soaps to a company that will continue production of the two shows online.
All My Children and One Life to Live will live on past their final airdates on ABC. ABC has confirmed that it has licensed Agnes Nixon's two iconic creations to a media/production company, Prospect Park. The exclusive deal "enables the soaps' stories to continue beyond their final dates on ABC.
The licensing agreement, first reported by the New York Post
, which was brokered by Disney/ABC Domestic Television Group, enables Prospect Park to continue production of All My Children and One Life to Live. According to ABC, "under the terms of the arrangement, the programs will continue to be delivered with the same quality and in the same format and length." The Wall Street Journal
has reported that Prospect Park will retain exclusive rights to AMC and OLTL for more than a decade, and Disney is slated to make "millions of dollars a year in royalties for as long as the shows are produced."
Additional details will be released by Prospect Park. In a bit of irony, Prospect Park shares its name with the ABC studio lot where General Hospital is filmed.
"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," Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz of Prospect Park said in a joint statement. "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."
"All My Children and One Life to Live are iconic pieces of television history that captivated millions of fans since their beginning over 40 years ago," Brian Frons, President, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group, added. "Each of the shows have made an indelible mark on our culture's history and informed our consciousness in their own way. We are so glad Prospect Park has assumed the mantel for these shows and that they will continue for the fans."
In April, Frons announced that All My Children and One Life to Live would both be ending their runs on ABC to make way for "lifestyle" programming. The Chew
, a food-centric version of The View
, will replace All My Children in September, and a fashion-and-weight-loss program, The Revolution
, will take over One Life to Live's spot on the dial in January 2012.
A Disney exec states that the company always wanted to find a post-ABC home for the two soaps.
"From the time the shift in the daytime strategy was announced, our hope was to find a new home for these treasured shows," Janice Marinelli, President, Disney/ABC Domestic Television explained. "We are thrilled to license them to Prospect Park so the stories of life in Pine Valley and Llanview can continue to be told for the passionate and loyal fans that enjoy watching each day."
While All My Children and One Life to Live will no longer be viewable on traditional broadcast television, fans should be pleased that the two programs will remain in production. Among those expressing their elation is the two series' creator, Agnes Nixon, who is also pleased by the developments.
"I'm just so happy that ABC found a home where the legacies of All My Children and One Life to Live can continue. I'm excited for their future with Prospect Park," Nixon said in a statement. "It takes a lot of living to make a soap opera a serial, and the wonderful teams on both shows have done just that. Together, we are a big family that keeps going, and I'm looking forward to working alongside these wonderful people as we ensure that the shows will continue with all the love and excitement we've always had. I also am so happy for our loyal fans, whom we love so much, and who have been so supportive over the last 40 plus years."
Will fans hop online to watch soap operas, programs that many viewers have watched on television for more the four decades? That will remain to be seen, but an informal poll conducted by soap
showed that many soap fans already are
watching their soaps online. ABC, NBC, and CBS all offer their daytime programming for online viewing on their official web sites, in addition to allowing select third-party sites to offer streaming video of the soaps.
"Technology changes the way the public can and will view television shows," Frank and Kwatinetz added. "Now that there are so many devices available in addition to television sets, viewers are taking advantage of watching shows wherever they are and on any number of devices. The driving force in making the switch and attracting new audiences is to have outstanding programs that people want to watch. We believe that by continuing to produce the shows in their current hour format and with the same quality, viewers will follow the show to our new, online network."
It is unclear at this time when All My Children and One Life to Live will make their online debuts, where fans will be able to watch them, if the shows will continue to air every weekday, or how many members of the shows' casts will make the move online. Also yet to be determined is how
fans will be able to watch the web-based soaps: Will Prospect Park require viewers to pay for a subscription or will the shows be supported by ad revenue and product placements?
All My Children will air its final episode on ABC on September 23. One Life to Live makes it ABC farewell in January 2012.
For star reaction on the news, please read: Stars react to news of AMC/OLTL licensing deal