On Wednesday, November 23, 2011, the day before Thanksgiving, all of soapdom was shocked when Prospect Park, the one time savior of All My Children and One Life to Live, announced via a joint statement of company executives, Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz, that they were suspending efforts to launch the two soaps online.
Kassie DePaiva (Blair, One Life to Live) took to her official website to share her feelings about the announcement...
"Words just don't express how sad I am at hearing that Prospect Park has dropped the deal to move forward with "One Life." I think what upsets me the most is how this whole deal has been handled from the get go. I wanted more than anything not to have been cancelled by ABC. I find it mind boggling that a company can spend 45 years building the strongest brand in daytime... launch a cable network to support it and then decide to cancel both broadcast and cable airings leaving the beloved fans with no where to turn for that brand. Then PP shows up out of nowhere as the great white hope promising to continue these shows.... I was happy to sign on. I love what I do and I'm proud to go to work everyday. I was asked to take a cut in pay and was happy to do it if it meant our show would go on. That was the first week of September. But other than a very quick speech on the studio floor by PP in late September, the company did not give out any information regarding when and where we would be working. Last Wednesday the cast received an email telling us our dressing rooms must be cleared out by the 9th of Dec. or ABC would be tossing things out... and then to hear the official news today via a media report..."
Visit The Official Website of Kassie DePaiva for the rest of her statement.
In July, Prospect Park had come to the rescue of the two soaps via a licensing arrangement with ABC after ABC had cancelled both soaps in April of this year. In September, Prospect Park announced the launch of an online network (THE Online Network) that would produce and air full-length episodes of All My Children and One Life to Live, while paving the way for additional network-quality original programming to air online.
Per their statement of November 23, "After five months of negotiations with various guilds, hundreds of presentations to potential financial and technology partners, and a hope that we could pioneer a new network for the future, it is with great disappointment that we are suspending our aspirations to revive "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" via online distribution. It is now becoming clear that mounting issues make our ability to meet our deadlines to get OLTL on the air in a reasonable time period following its January 13, 2012 ABC finale impossible."
Although they note in their statement that they had narrowed in on the financial infrastructure, they noted that they were still encountering unsurmountable odds in negotiating deals with industry guilds and technology partners.
Both the WGA (Writers Guild) and AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), two of the guilds in question, quickly responded with statments saying that they were still in the negotiating stages with Prospect Park.
What remains to be seen is if this suspension of Prospect Park's efforts is permanent or temporary. They go on to say: "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."
Keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned.
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