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The announcement came today from Brian Frons, president of daytime at Disney ABC Television Group, Janice Marinelli, president of Disney/ABC Domestic Television and Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz of Prospect Park.
The multi-year deal calls for Prospect Park to produce and deliver the soaps in the same format online and on additional emerging platforms, including Internet enabled television sets. It’s unclear when the shows will be available online. But Prospect Park is currently finalizing financing for a streaming Internet service. The soaps will continue the same story lines and have roughly the same running time, according to ABC. And the much of the cast and crew of the original series will remain.
“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. 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,” said Frank and Kwatinetz in a statement. “Now that there are so many devices available in addition to television sets, viewers are taking advantage of watching shows where ever 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 has been fighting a public relations battle since the network announced that the soaps — which have seen ratings erosion for several years — would be replaced with less expensive daytime offerings. Fans have flooded the network with emails, mounted protest sites, organized online petitions and even picketed the network’s upfront presentation last May in New York.
“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 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.”
Frank and Kwatinetz formed Prospect Park in 2009. Frank is a former president of Disney Studios, while Kwatinetz has produced several films including Unstoppable and Big Momma’s House 2. Both men are also ep’s on the USA series Royal Pains.
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