Soap opera addicts with good broadband can breathe a sigh of relief: ABC (NYSE: DIS) has licensed All My Children and One Life to Live, which it’s yanking off the air in the next few months, to Jeff Kwatinetz and Disney Studios vet Rich Frank’s Prospect Park. The soaps will appear solely online.
More details about the arrangement are forthcoming, but in a press release, Kwatinetz and Frank said that outstanding programming is the best way to attract audiences online: “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 is airing its final episode of All My Children on September 23, and its final episode of One Life to Live in January. Prospect Park is picking up the soaps at a time when ABC is turning away from them: All My Children is being replaced by a food-focused daily talk show called The Chew, and One Life to Live is being replaced by a health and lifestyle show, The Revolution. And ABC parent company Disney transitioned its rerun-centered SOAPnet channel from cable to online last year, replacing it with Disney Junior.
Agnes Nixon, creator of both All My Children and One Life to Live, said, “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.” But in addition to the other variables at play here, it is also unclear whether all of the shows’ current actors will continue. Some already have new arrangements — and others may have ego issues.