Soap fans, view this as less of a Christmas miracle and more of a Festivus airing of grievances.
Deadline reports that Prospect Park, the production company that infamously bought the rights to ABC’s canceled soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” with plans to turn them into daily full length online programs, then gave up on the idea the day before Thanksgiving, has revived the concept.
Apparently, Prospect Park has closed deals with the actors union SAG-AFTRA and the DGA, the director’s union, that would allow them to go into production in 2013.
But don’t get too excited. There are as of yet no deals with the Writers Guild of America or any of the unions which represent production crews. Nor is it even clear if Prospect Park still holds all the rights to the shows. The deals the company signed with actors have long expired. The shows’ sets have been destroyed.
Prospect Park’s big problem was never the entertainment unions. It was that the company did not have the financing in place to produce the show. Allegedly, its executives were shocked that producing an episode of a scripted television show with a large cast cost more than an episode of “Judge Judy.”
There are more reasons to be skeptical. Ron Carlivati and Frank Valentini, the headwriter and executive producer of “One Life to Live” have moved on to “General Hospital,” where they have succeeded in raising the show’s ratings. They have brought three of OLTL’s most popular actors to GH. So who is going to write and produce the on-line OLTL? What about AMC? Prospect Park never hired any writers or producers for the online AMC. Would it work without Todd (Roger Howarth), John (Michael Easton) and Star (Kristen Alderson)? “All My Children’s” biggest star Susan Lucci has landed a juicy role on Lifetime’s new drama “Devious Maids.”Even if she wanted to play Erica Kane again, she is under contract to Lifetime. Numerous other actors from both shows are now working on other daytime soaps and in primetime. Prospect Park never built the online network on which the shows were supposed to air.
Prospect Park has declined to comment. Unless and until an official launch date is announced, along with a specific, coherent plan for how to bring the shows back, take this news with a grain of salt.