Independent production company Prospect Park announced yesterday that they are abandoning plans to develop ABC soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live as an online series.
Last July the producers announced plans to adapt the shows for a TV-focused online network. ABC announced last april that they were canceling the shows. All My Children‘s final episode aired September 23, 2011with a revised ending so that Prospect Park could pick up where the story left off. One Life to Live‘s finale is scheduled for January 13, 2012.
Prospect Park principals Rich Frank and Jeffrey Kwatinetz released a statement explaining the reasons behind killing the project:
“While we narrowed in on a financial infrastructure, the contractual demands of the guilds, which regulate our industry, coupled with the program’s inherent economic challenges ultimately led to this final decision. In the end, the constraints of the current marketplace, including the evolution and impact of new media on our industry simply proved too great a match for even our passion.”
They continued, “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 Jan. 13, 2012 ABC finale impossible.”
Moving a network television show online is an ambitious project, and the obligation to maintain the same quality, format, and length as television presents significant production costs. When coupled with the scarce advertising dollars and revenue opportunities online (compared to television), these costs may pose too much risk for potential backers of an untested platform. It seems more likely that the business model just didn’t work, and the producers are looking for a place to lay the blame.