Earlier today, Prospect Park, the production/distribution company that licensed the rights to All My Children and One Life to Live when ABC Daytime cancelled both soaps last April, released a statement saying they were suspending their five-month long (and rigorous) efforts to generate the financial backing and entertainment union cooperation to launch the soaps online.
Two of the entertainment unions in question have responded...
WGA (Writers Guild of America) said:
"We were disappointed to learn that Prospect Park’s financing fell through. Prior to the end of last week, we were close to a fair deal for the writers."
AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) said:
"AFTRA was deeply disappointed to read that the executives at Prospect Park have decided to suspend their efforts to produce the long-running and popular daytime serials, 'One Life to Live' and 'All My Children,' via online distribution. 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. We remain hopeful that an opportunity to revive these two popular series will emerge in the future, and remain ready to resume discussions should that opportunity arise."
Susan Lucci (Erica, All My Children), pictured above, also said recently on her Facebook page that talks between her and Prospect Park were started, but she had not heard back from them in quite a while.
From where Soapdom sits, it is obvious that undertaking an endeavor of this magnitude was gargantuan. Not only was financing needed, studios and sets had to be procured, actors, writers, producers, directors had to be negotiated with, union deals that encompassed new ground had to be hashed out, the website had to be engineered, designed, tested, deals with online video content distributors had to be negotiated, on and on and on.
Like I said. Gargantuan. It's no wonder, that even given the five month time frame, THE Online Network is not ready to roll out.
The question? Is Prospect Park totally abandoning the dream of an online network distributing quailty, network-like programming, or are they just suspending efforts for now?
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