'One Life to Live,' 'All My Children' Will Not Move Online
UPDATED: "The constraints of the current marketplace, including the evolution and impact of new media on our industry simply proved too great a match even for our passion," Prospect Park said in a statement.
Prospect Park’s ambitious plan to move ABC daytime soaps One Life to Live and All My Children from the small screen to the computer screen has been halted indefinitely.
The move had proven difficult as Prospect Park and the various guilds associated with transitioning the series to the Web struggle to come to terms.
"After five months of negotiations with various guilds, hundreds of presentations to potential financial and technology partners, and a hope that we could pioneer a new network for the future, it is with great disappointment that we are suspending our aspirations to revive One Life to Live and All My Children via online distribution," said Prospect Park's Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinez in a joint statement issued Wednesday.
"It is now becoming clear that mounting issues make our ability to meet our deadlines to get OLTL on the air in a reasonable time period following its January 13, 2012 ABC finale impossible," the statement continues.
Frank and Kwatinez cited the current economic landscape as another reason why their efforts with the guilds proved unsuccessful. "While we narrowed in on a financial infrastructure, the contractual demands of the guilds, which regulate our industry, coupled with the program’s inherent economic challenges ultimately led to this final decision," they said. "In the end, the constraints of the current marketplace, including the evolution and impact of new media on our industry simply proved too great a match for even our passion."
Frank and Kwatinez remain optimistic that the discussion will remain ongoing with creating original online content. "We hope that our efforts are not lost, and that we somehow created a dialogue and movement on the feasibility of first run, network quality content online," they said.
Both the WGA and AFTRA issued statements expressing their disappointment that the endeavor wouldn't be moving forward.
“We were disappointed to learn that Prospect Park’s financing fell through," the WGA said. "Prior to the end of last week, we were close to a fair deal for the writers.”
Added AFTRA, the union that represents the actors for both soaps: "Despite initial progress in our negotiations with Prospect Park toward resolving a fair agreement to cover the performers appearing on these programs, we were perplexed and disappointed that for the past month Prospect Park has not responded to our repeated inquiries to resume those discussions. We now conclude from the press reports that Prospect Park faced other challenges unrelated to our negotiations, which prevented continuation of those discussions."
Reports surfaced in early November that All My Children’s move to the Web would be halted and that efforts would be spent on One Life to Live instead.
That prompted All My Children veteran Susan Lucci to address speculation that she was one of the major causes for the delay. “There has been miscommunications as a result of statements in the press that I am one of the reasons that All My Children is not moving forward. This is simply untrue and not the case,” wrote Lucci, who was the only regular to remain on the soap for the entirety of its 41-year run, a few days later.
The only cast members signed on to the online continuation of All My Children are Cameron Mathison (Ryan) and Lindsay Hartley (Cara).
Prospect Park, headed by Frank and Kwatinez, announced in September that it would launch All My Children on The Online Network, a new web-based platform that will include original programming, in January 2012 with One Life to Live to follow. In July, Prospect Park made a licensing deal with ABC that would continue production on the long-running soaps after both series concluded their runs on broadcast television for the Internet.
ABC officially canceled the the two soaps in April, launching food and lifestyle series The Chew and the upcoming The Revolution. The news followed a string of daytime cancellations at other networks in recent years, including CBS' long-running The Guiding Light, As the World Turns and NBC's Passions.
All My Children aired its final episode on Sept. 23. One Life to Live will broadcast its series finale in Jan. 13, 2012.