July 7, 2011
Soap fans have something to celebrate today. After heavy backlash around the cancellation of long-running series One Life To Live and All My Children, ABC has announced that a deal has been struck that will see both shows continue past their final network air dates - but not in their current format.
ABC has licensed both iconic soap operas to Prospect Park, a media and production company that plans to take the shows online in an exclusive multi-year, multi-platform deal. A press release issued today stated that while the delivery method is changing, Prospect Park will produce both shows in "the same quality and in the same format and length" as fans have come to expect.
"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," Prospect Park founders Jeffrey Kwatinetz and Rich Frank said in a statement. "Technology changes the way the public can and will view television shows. 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."
One Life To Live has been on the air since 1968, starting off as a half-hour show for ten years before expanding to a full hour in 1978. Over its more than 10,000 episodes the show's storylines have dealt with important social issues such as interracial romance, illiteracy, and teen pregnancy.
The show's finale on ABC is set to air in January 2012. Details will be forthcoming about the exact date for its online return.
(Source: TV by the Numbers)