On Wednesday, November 23, 2011, soap fans were cut to the quick for the second time this year when Soapdom reported that Prospect Park, the Los Angeles-based production company that came to the rescue when ABC Daytime cancelled All My Children and One Life to Live, announced that they "suspended" efforts to bring the shows to THE Online Network.
Citing stalemates with union negotiations, the rigorous demands of producing an hour-long soap five days a week, and not being able to meet deadlines to get One Life to Live on the air in a reasonable time period following it's January 13, 2012 finale, Prospect Park's executives, Jeff Kwatinetz and Rick Frank decided to throw in the towel.
Or did they?
Soapdom knows for a fact that this was a gut wrenching decision on the part of Prospect Park, but also always held the hope that by phrasing their comments with the word "suspending" and not using verbs and phrases like "abandoning," "calling it quits," or "giving up," and ending their comments with this: "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," that they had just come to realize that they needed more time to pull it all together and that they would not be able to deliver One Life to Live to fans online on January 16th as originally hoped, but that didn't mean that they wouldn't stop pursuing efforts to get The Online Network launched, with All My Children and One Life to Live as it's anchor programs.
Not that I want to say I told you so, but today's Daily Variety is reporting that Prospect Park is indeed continuing negotiations, and investigating new avenues to get the soaps online.
One such scenario includes an international co-production deal which might eliminate the need to even work out union contracts, although according to Variety, these discussions are in the very preliminary stages.
However, Prospect Park has lost the talents of Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati, who had signed with them to executive produce and pen One Life to Live (respectively), but with the announcement of the "suspension," they went ahead and signed with General Hospital to helm that soap, ousting Jill Ferren Phelps.
Not to get your hopes up too far, All My Children and One Life to Live soap fans, but I don't think this is over yet.
What I would recommend, however, is to NOT bombard Prospect Park with email and phone calls. Let them do what they have to do to make this happen without our interfering. In being too overly enthusiastic about our soaps, we might start to scare them off and we certainly don't want to do that.
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