This week’s news that Prospect Park had suspended production
of ‘One Life to Live’ indefinitely couldn’t have come as much of a surprise to
The production company said that they were still moving
forward and writing scripts for ‘All My Children’ – but OLTL’s future is
definitely in limbo.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Prospect Park is hoping
that a lawsuit they have filed against ABC will quickly be settled and then
they’ll have the funds to start production on OLTL again.
Prospect Park filed the lawsuit because they claim ABC
purposely submarined their online efforts when they wanted to resurrected the
cancelled ABC sudsers. They also claim that ABC “ruined” several characters
when they borrowed them for ‘General Hospital’ – including killing of Cole and
Here’s my problem with Prospect Park’s entire claim: It
doesn’t hold water.
First off, I don’t think ABC has been perfect in this
scenario (by any stretch of the imagination) but Prospect Park was dead in the
water when ABC brought Michael Easton, Roger Howarth and Kristen Alderson on as
their OLTL alter egos.
At the time, it seemed like a nice gesture for bitter OLTL
fans that were sad over losing their soap.
They obviously couldn’t bring the
whole cast over – but something was better than nothing.
Prospect Park agreed to loan the characters to GH – and it
was announced that all three actors had signed long-term contracts with ABC –
so Prospect Park’s sudden whining when they decided to launch their online
endeavors rang false. They knew those actors were on contract with ABC.
If they were really upset about Cole and Hope – characters they’re
calling important even though a recast Cole only returned at the end of OLTL’s
run to give Starr Manning a happy ending and Hope was a toddler that was used
as a plot point – why didn’t they say something when it happened? Why wait so
long to voice their “concerns”? Also, this is a soap, if you want the characters alive again just bring them back from the dead. That's a soap staple, after all.
When Prospect Park announced that they were launching OLTL
and AMC online, fans were understandably dubious. A lot of fans wanted to
believe – mostly because they missed their soaps so much – even though the
launch didn’t have a lot of hope of being successful.
From the beginning, I didn’t have a lot of hope that these
online versions would work. My first problem was with the timing. By the time
Prospect Park decided to get their act together – it was already too late. A
lot of fans had already realized they could survive without their soaps – and they
had no intention of coming back.
The second issue some fans had was that the reboots were
trying to be “racier” and “edgier” – even though a big section of the soap
audience is older and doesn’t really want “edgier.” In other words, fans were turned off with the sexier content and swearing.
Prospect Park was having issues almost from the minute they
relaunched the soaps. Within short order they trimmed episode counts for labor
problems and then trimmed airings because they weren’t getting the ratings that
In other words: Prospect Park wasn’t making a profit. And,
if the company can’t make a profit, then
the soaps can’t thrive.
It doesn’t surprise me that Prospect Park is holding on to ‘All
My Children’ tighter at this point. First of all, the soap has more viewers
than OLTL. Second of all, Prospect Park keeps trying to make ABC the scapegoat
for their ongoing OLTL problems. They can't do that if OLTL is the one doing better.
The thing is, when ‘All My Children’ finally gets yanked –
and it is inevitable – who is Prospect Park going to blame then?
I’m sorry for fans of AMC and OLTL – and I used to watch
both soaps religiously on ABC – but the end is pretty much in sight, at this
point. While I didn’t like the rebooted soaps (I wasn’t thrilled with a lot of
the characters they chose to include or the new sets), I wanted them to succeed
because I thought that would mean ‘General Hospital’ could succeed when it’s
I don’t have a lot of hope now.
I honestly think it is only a matter of time before Prospect
Park permanently pulls the final plug.
What do you think? What are the chances AMC and OLTL will be
able to survive?