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'All My Children,' 'One Life to Live' online versions scrapped

Elizabeth Rodriguez, Thorsten Kaye, Susan Lucci and Walt

Elizabeth Rodriguez, Thorsten Kaye, Susan Lucci and Walt Willey in a scene that aired the week of April 7, 2008, on ABC Daytime's "All My Children." Credit: ABC

Now this bad news for fans of two very long-running and much-loved soaps, "All My Children" and "One Life to Live": The plan to rescue them via an online venture has been scrapped. It proved too complex to pull off the various agreements, including union ones. "AMC's" Susan Lucci had never signed an agreement, which seemed a rather major impediment there, so this news is not entirely surprising.

Meanwhile, fans will never know "Who J.R. Shot" -- the subtext of the cliffhanger in which J.R. hid in his former home and shot someone. That was to have been resolved, presumably, in the new online version. The mystery will remain ...

The company, Prospect Park, released this statement; it's very specific and at the same time, not specific - what was the gap between Prospect's proposals and the unions' counteroffer, for example? Prospect is run by two very savvy industry veterans, Rich Frank, and Jeff Kwatinetz, who knew exactly what they were getting into when they launched this, and one is now left to wonder that if they couldn't pull it off, probably no one can.  

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 January 13, 2012 ABC finale impossible. We believed the timing was right to launch an Online TV Network anchored by these two iconic soap operas, but we always knew it would be an uphill battle to create something historical, and unfortunately we couldn’t ultimately secure the backing and clear all the hurdles in time.

We believe we exhausted all reasonable options apparent to us, but despite enormous personal, as well as financial cost to ourselves, we failed to find a solution. 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. In our opinion, new models like this can only work with the cooperation of many people striving to make them happen, and we would like to thank and praise the numerous people who tried to help and showed us incredible support. We are extremely grateful to the fans and media who showed great support to us through this process, to ABC who did everything in their control to help, and we are especially grateful for the support and encouragement from many of the Soaps’ cast and crew themselves.

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