Both All My Children
and One Life to Live have been cancelled.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Prospect Park
made this announcement Friday – saying that All My Children would not go into production for a second season -- and yet it seems to have caught some fans off
guard. I’m not sure why.
It was announced months ago that production on One Life to
Live had ceased. It was really only a matter of time before All My Children
I’m kind of torn on the matter.
On one hand, I love the soap opera genre as a whole – and I
was devastated when OLTL was cancelled (AMC had been waning in my opinion for
years). I liked the idea of my favorite soaps continuing – even if it was
On the flip side, the product that Prospect Park put out
there was terrible – and I do mean terrible. Only certain characters were
brought back, longtime relationships were submarined and the gratuitous
swearing turned off a lot of veteran viewers.
In other words, there was just no heart to the product being
produced by Prospect Park. And, for a
viewer like me, soaps are sustained by
Prospect Park had no idea what they were doing from the very
beginning. Producing a regular television show is vastly different from
producing a soap opera.
I think Prospect Park took one look at the vocal outcry by
soap fans when the announcement about the cancellation of OLTL and AMC was made
and saw visions of dollar signs flashing in their head. They failed to take a
few things into account:
1) Soaps are expensive to produce. Yes, the talent on soaps
gets paid less than primetime and movie talent, BUT the casts are usually
bigger and instead of 22 episodes a year, soaps produce around 260 episodes.
Think about that. Also, you still have to have sets, makeup people, camera operators, wardrobe people, etc.
2) Soap fans tend to skew older. While watching television
online is normal for some, it is not for others. Of course everyone that
watched OLTL and AMC on ABC was not going to naturally watch them online.
3) They waited too long. If Prospect Park had launched the
revamped versions of AMC and OLTL right after they went off network television,
then they might have been able to sustain an audience. The truth is, however,
Prospect Park was more than a year behind their goal and in the intervening
time, fans realize that they could live without their soaps – and they did.
4) You still have to put a quality product out there. Let’s
face it, soaps come up with some ridiculous storylines, but you still have to
have storylines to draw in fans. Both of the revamped OLTL and AMC products
were severely lacking in actual plot.
I know this second cancellation stings some fans, but I don’t
know anyone that didn’t see the writing on the wall.
The first sign of trouble was OLTL and AMC being cut from four to two airings a week -- a move
that came right on the heels of the shows launching.
Then, when Prospect Park sued ABC for “stealing” their characters,
fans had to know something was off. They cited the fact that GH killed off two
secondary characters (one who was only brought back for the finale and another
that was a toddler) as a reason that ABC owed them $25 million.
First off, it’s a soap, just bring the characters back from
the dead. It wouldn’t have been hard. Cole
and Hope were killed off-screen.
Just say that one of Mitch Lawrence’s disciples had them and move on.
It’s fairly obvious that Prospect Park wasn’t fighting over
creative differences. They were fighting to try and drum up some operating
It's pretty clear that Prospect Park positioned themselves to fail before they even started.
I am still hopeful that soaps will have a future online, don’t
get me wrong. I know that my favorite (General Hospital) has a limited shelf
life. I can only hope that a better production company will take on the task
If that's not an option, just let the show die with dignity then please.
What do you think? Were you surprised by the cancellations