Venerable TV soaps “All My Children” and “One Live to Live” will live on alternate platforms after their ABC cancellation dates, thanks to a licensing agreement between the network and shingle Prospect Park.
Prospect Park will continue production of the soaps, delivering them online and on other emerging platforms, including Web-enabled TV sets. The shows will be the same length and are slated to come at the same frequency of five per week, and Prospect Park said it will maintain the same production values.
“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 execs Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz said in a 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.”
Prospect Park is finalizing details on the platforms that the soaps will bubble up on. An ad-supported model is expected, with online TV site Hulu said to be an inspiration for what Prospect Park has in mind.
“Technology changes the way the public can and will view television shows,” Frank and Kwatinetz said. “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.”
ABC will bid farewell to “All My Children” on Sept. 23, while “One Life” is to leave in January.
“‘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,” said Disney/ABC TV Group daytime prexy Brian Frons. “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.”
Former Disney Studios head Frank co-founded Prospect Park, which co-produces “Royal Pains” for USA and “Wilfred” for FX, with industry vet Kwatinetz.
ABC previously announced this year it was shedding the soaps to make room for programming that was more lifestyle oriented. Emblematic of this is “The Chew,” a food-focused talkshow that is to premiere three days after “Children” departs. “The Revolution,” a health and lifestyle skein, will supplant “One Life” in January.
Said Disney/ABC domestic TV prexy Janice Marinelli: “From the time the shift in the daytime strategy was announced, our hope was to find a new home for these treasured shows.”
Agnes Nixon, who created “One Life” (which premiered in 1968) and “Children” (1970), expressed excitement and relief regarding the new agreement.
“I’m just so happy that ABC found a home where the legacies of ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ can continue,” Nixon said. “I’m excited for their future with Prospect Park.
“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.”
Jane Hanan Carruthers exec produces “Children,” while Frank Valentini shepherds “One Life.”