Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cancelled ABC soaps may come back – but on web only

I want to clear up some confusion from soap fans: ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ are not coming back to your televisions.

Just want to get that out of the way.

Stories surfaced this week saying that Prospect Park – the company that bought the rights to OLTL and AMC after ABC announced their cancellations – was making an effort to bring the shows back.

Here’s the thing that fans don’t seem to realize, though: They want to bring them back on the web – not on television.

Fans need to realize that the soaps they loved are not going to be the same. Web series have fewer episodes, fewer actors and (sometimes) terrible production values. This isn’t going to be the AMC and OLTL you remember.

Listen, I’m not trying to rain on anybody’s parade. I want soaps to survive as a genre – and if this is the only way, I’m willing to support them.
I think people need to realize, though, they’re not going to get what they want out of this endeavor if they go into it thinking that they’re going to get their entire cast back. Quite frankly, if 50 percent of the cast returns I would be stunned.

What’s going to happen is that Prospect Park is going to fill out the soaps with untalented newbies and recasts that are much cheaper than the stars we love.  That’s just a simple fact.

The other thing fans should realize is that Kristen Alderson, Roger Howarth and Michael Easton are contracted to ‘General Hospital’ – not ‘One Life to Live’ anymore – and I don’t see them going anywhere. They are not going to leave a network show where they get paid more money to go to a web series where they will receive less exposure and less money. That’s a hard fact – but it’s the truth.

In other words, Prospect Park isn’t going to relaunch OLTL in six months and we’re going to see Viki, Clint, Jessica, Bo, Natalie and McBain slipping back into their lives. That’s just not going to happen.

Prospect Park made a lot of grand declarations when they bought the right to AMC and OLTL. Not one of them panned out.

The truth is, they had no idea what relaunching the soaps would entail. Am I supposed to believe that have a better plan now? Because I don’t.

The announcement comes at an interesting time. ‘General Hospital’ is seeing a ratings and creative resurgence. 

I honestly think Prospect Park wants to save the soap genre. I also think they have no idea how to do it.

Right now, I see their reluctance to let the soaps go as the equivalent of a 10-year-old taking his ball home so no one else can play with it. Basically, Prospect Park knows that it can’t give fans the soaps they want – but they also don’t want to give anyone else the chance to try.

Prospect Park is holding Llanview and Pine Valley hostage. In essence, Prospect Park is Jerry Jacks and OLTL and AMC are the water supplies being held ransom.

Maybe it’s time for Prospect Park to bow out gracefully – and let someone who knows what they’re doing try and legitimately resurrect the soaps. It probably won’t work – but it’s the best shot we’ve got.

What do you think? Do you believe Prospect Park can bring back the AMC and OLTL that you love?


Blogger Antony Jones said...

While I share you skepticism, internet is going to be the future of television and radio. Plus the guys behind Prospect Park are experienced in TV production, if they can bring half their know-how to the soaps, he should a greater better than what you laid out.

As far as money, I doubt Prospect Park will be a free service. Not every soap fan will want to see what the use to get for "free". However of the millions of soap fans.. if they can get one million subscribers, have them pay $8-10 a month(just like netflix), they can raise $96 - $120 million dollars a year. That should be enough money to put out a quality product fans expect. The stars, writers and crew won't make what they use to, but with that kind of money they'll be little drop-off in final product.

It can be done, Sirius Radio had 20 million subscribers, even with Howard Stern, nothing on there has the same loyal following as the soaps do, and that's why it'll work. Plus they can make deals with advertisers for product placement and commercials to generate even more income.

Being without their soaps for an entire year.. fans will be willing to pay or do anything, and that's why Prospect Park will work.

December 21, 2012 at 8:57 AM 

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