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Prospect Park’s Plans for ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life to Live’ Unveiled

Is it safe to start actually getting excited about this prospect yet? It is this question that I continue to ponder as more and more news breaks about Prospect Park’s upcoming revival of One Life to Live and All My Children.

Since we last reported that Prospect Park was in talks with Susan Lucci a whole lot of information has been spilling out fast and furiously so let’s go over them:

  • When will the shows return? The current outlook has the shows enter full on pre-production over the next two weeks, with actual production taking place early in February with the shows potentially airing mid-late February.
  • Where will I be able to watch the shows online, and how much will they cost? According to Nelson Branco’s Soap Opera UncensoredProspect Park is working with multiple avenues in order to get the shows in front of viewers in multiple formats. The series will initially premiere on (according to TV Line) the production companies The Online Network, where viewers will be able to watch the episodes for up to seven days for free (supported by advertisements). The series will also be available for download via Apple’s iTunes platform with episodes available for purchase individually or at a monthly / yearly price, which as of this posting has not been revealed but if they follow the scale currently set by other soaps we will have an individual cost of $1.99, a monthly cost of $14.99 or an annual cost under $180.

Now it is important to note that viewers who are initially fearful of watching content over the internet need to understand that this doesn’t mean you cannot watch on your television- just that you may end up having to take an extra step or two in order to get everything started.

  • Will the series air on television? Possibly.  Prospect Park is definitely looking into having the shows air on a one to two week delay, but the series will first air exclusively online.
  • What networks are potentially interested?  Rumors are just that, rumors. But it has been reported by Soap Opera Uncensored and Daytime Confidential that networks such as Lifetime were interested in potentially running the soaps in some form- with Prospect Park now producing the show, there is a chance we might see it wind up on Lifetime.
  • How many episodes per week will there be? Four brand new episodes followed by a weekly ‘catch up’ episode for fans that are unable to watch everything or just want to see some of the best moments again.
  • How long will the episodes be? Once again SOU broke that the episodes will be “Thirty Minutes long” as opposed to being an hour long as previously intended. Now what is important to note is the actual ‘run time’ of the episodes have not yet been released. For example the run time of CBS’s The Bold and the Beautiful is 19 minutes, including both opening and ending credits- this is in comparison to the ‘hour long’ soaps which average run time is 36 minutes.
  • How many episodes will there be? The shows will air 42 weeks out of the year and will be producing approximately 168 new episodes of each program, with an additional 42 ‘recap’ episodes each year. This could potentially lead to dramatic season cliffhangers and explosive season premiere’s similar to how soaps air in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Where will the shows be filmed? This is one of the questions a lot of people have been wondering, in order to get cast members around the show must first have an actual place to be filmed, and it looks like Prospect Park has deemed Stamford Connecticut as the perfect place to film. While this may lose some actors that relocated with All My Children when it made the move to LA, the hope is that this might lure some Vet’s back.
  • Speaking of Vet’s who is returning to these shows anyways? Well as it stands nobody has officially signed on to star in the reboots of either show. There is however a lot of talk that, as previously reported, Susan Lucci has been contacted to return and rumors are circulating that other actors, such as Lindsey Hartley are also in talks to return. TVLine reports that Prospect Park will continue to contact more actors in the coming weeks, as plans continue to firm up and the production company is able to discuss specifics with its cast and crew. {jathumbnail off}

We also do not know if the contracts with the 13 One Life To Live (Erika Slezak, Melissa Archer, Kassie DePaiva, Michael Easton, Shenell Edmonds, Josh Kelly, Ted King, Florencia Lozano, Kelley Missal, Sean Ringgold, Andrew Trischitta, Jerry Ver Dorn and Tuc Watkins. ) and the 2 All My Children (Cameron Mathison and Lindsey Hartley) actors will hold any weight or if those actors who initially leapt onto the digital platform will do so once again now that things have a bit more solid foundation.

  • What does all of this mean for the OLTL characters on GH?  Basically it means there is a bit of a mess.  As it appears, Prospect Park has the rights to all of the AMC and OLTL characters, and as such if they deem the characters presence necessary in Llanview / Pinevalley, they have every legal right to bring the characters back. With that said, the actors however, do not have to return, as their contract is with ABC and not Prospect Park, thus meaning we might get a recast Starr, Todd, John and co when the series premieres early next year.
  • In October of 2011 Prospect Park announced a deal with Universal Music Group to supply current hit songs for the two soaps- has there been any word on if this deal still exists? At this time there has not been any discussion of the actual music rights the production company still has in place, we should hear something on this matter shortly.
  • Who will be running the shows? Daytime Confidential  reports that All My Children will be helmed by Ginger Smith, a former AMC production assistant and writer, who has been with the show from 1988-2010. No name has been released for One Life to Live however we expect to hear confirmation on the matter shortly as they continue to contact potential producers.
  • What about writers?  In order to get around paying WGA minimums it appears that Prospect park will in fact be using Fi-Core writers. While this isn’t necessarily a horrible thing, it isn’t something that screams confidence either.

In April 2008 the WGA – The Writers guild of America- took twenty-eight writers to task and ousted them as going fi-core during the strike- all of which could potentially write for Prospect Park, should the company decide to go this route- which at this time appears to be very likely. Here is a list of potential writers that we know took a fi-core status. Maria Arena, John F. Cosgrove, Paula F. Cwikly, Clem Egan, Barbara J. Esensten, Jeanne M. Grunwell, Dena Higley, Mark Christopher Higley, Meg Kelly, Michelle Poteet Lisanti, Terry Meurer, Shawn Morrison, John Ridley, Hogan Sheffer, John F. Smith, Gary Tomlin, and Garin Wolf.

The WGAE members included: Pricilla Kay Alden, James Harmon Brown, Michael Conforti, Victor Gialanella, Josh Griffith, Frances Myers and Pete T. Rich.

So What’s My Take on it?: I am absolutely thrilled with this news! While I remain cautiously optimistic, the actual thought of seeing these shows again has me ecstatic! They are making all of the right moves (in my opinion) and getting people really psyched for what could potentially be the most game changing move in soaps in a very very long time.

The choice to make the episode 1/2 hour long, while potentially upsetting to some viewers who feel like they “NEED” an hour long episode in their life, fits my lifestyle perfectly. It is also a lot easier to sell a half hour program internationally than it is an hour long – thus opening up a whole international market for these sudsers. We then have the potential Season premieres and finale’s to look forward to. I mean could you imagine ending every year on a VicTodd is still alive / JR Shooting people up cliffhanger? I got one word for ya- EPIC!

I am slightly disappointed that they are going to be doing four episodes a week over five. I do LOVE the recap episode, and I know the four day a week model works in the UK for EastEnders but it is just weird to realize we won’t be having a Friday cliffhanger on these shows anymore, at least not initially. Prospect Park has, according to Soap Opera Uncensored, already stated that the soaps are scalable and that there is limitless potential for additional episodes, or spinoffs in the future, so I am definitely looking forward to what Prospect Park has in store for us in 2013, if however they do not actually get things off the ground I will be more than a little disappointed, but if they do, and it is as successful as I believe it will be, then we might be watching the beginning of the rebirth of the American Soap Opera and I for one cannot wait.

While we wait on Prospect Park’s confirmation on these answers, keep your browser pointed towards TV Source for all the latest news as this story continues to develop into the New Year.

ARCHIVED: THE PROSPECT PARK TIMELINE – OLTL/AMC

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