All My Children and One Life to Live are officially coming back this spring, but you’ll see them first online as opposed to a TV network.
After several delays, Prospect Park has gotten all of its ducks in a row and two canceled ABC soap operas will be coming back to life. All My Children and One Life to Live were canceled by ABC in Sept. 2011 and Jan. 2012, respectively, and normally that would have been the end of things. However, in July 2011 Prospect Park announced its intentions to license the two shows and bring them back to life online via streaming media. By Nov. of that year, though, the plans were scrapped as all of the various trade unions were unable to reach an agreement in exactly how this would work.
While the original plans were thrown out, it seems talks continued and as of earlier this month everything was in place for the shows to return. Prospect Park has gone about signing new deals with original actors from both series and filming is set to begin in Feb. of this year on all new episodes of both series. What wasn’t clear until today was exactly how people would be able to view them.
Returning One Life to Live Actors Gallery
Prospect Park sent out a press release this afternoon announcing that both series will be available on Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes beginning this spring. Additionally the company announced that it has secured a new financing round with ABRY Partners for an undisclosed amount.
While soap operas may not be everyone’s cup of tea, instances such as this and Netflix resurrecting Arrested Development demonstrates that streaming media could quite possibly be where canceled properties can go to find a new life. If all of these ventures are the least bit successful, we could see this happen further with new series as they find that being on traditional broadcast television isn’t the right fit for them. This doesn’t mean that every series will be able to go this route, but at least this could prove the option is on the table.
If only this had been an option when Fox cancelled Firefly.
“All My Children” and “One Life to Live”
Set to Premiere Digitally on Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes
Prospect Park Announces Landmark Digital Distribution Agreement to Bring First-Run, Broadcast-Quality Episodes of Wildly Popular Shows Directly to Fans on Demand
Company also Closes Financing with ABRY Partners
Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY – January 25, 2013 – In a groundbreaking move that brings premium first-run, broadcast-quality programming to a mass-market audience via the internet, Prospect Park’s The Online Network (TOLN) announced today that the Company has reached an agreement with Hulu and the iTunes Store to distribute all-new episodes of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” Through the Hulu distribution agreement, the hugely popular daily dramas will reach tens of millions of fans via the free Hulu.com service, as well as millions of Hulu Plus subscribers watching on connected TVs, mobile phones, tablets and PCs. iTunes customers can enjoy viewing on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV and their Mac or PC. The announcement was made today by Prospect Park Chairman and CEO, Jeff Kwatinetz.
“I believe that both Hulu and iTunes have the vision, the reach and the technology to help us launch TOLN in a significant way,” Kwatinetz said. “We think these platforms are part of history, helping us to transform distribution. Hulu’s reach, platform and advertising prowess are best in class, and iTunes provides an incredible way to buy TV shows that is second to none. Through both of these partners, we hope daytime drama fans are absolutely delighted to be able to watch their favorite programs in a broadcast-quality HD format wherever and whenever they want.”
Separately, Prospect Park has closed its financing with ABRY Partners, one of the most experienced and successful media-focused private equity investment firms in North America. Since 1989, ABRY has completed over $36 billion in leveraged transactions and other private equity investments involving approximately 450 properties.
Brent Stone, a partner at ABRY Partners, stated, “We are excited to be partnering with Jeff Kwatinetz and the rest of the team at Prospect Park, and we strongly believe that they will continue to be a leader in their innovative approach to content creation.”
Kwatinetz continued, “We are privileged to the have the backing and partnership with Brent and his team at ABRY, who are proven, brilliant investors, and will help us reach our ultimate goals.”
Starting this spring, viewers can stream the beloved serial dramas “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” on the free Hulu.com service and the Hulu Plus subscription service. New 30-minute episodes of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” will be introduced each weekday. This innovative content deal will re-introduce these venerable daytime hits in a new format perfect for the viewing habits of the digital generation. Prospect Park and TOLN plan to blend new themes, fresh stars and youthful energy with the familiar actors and writers who made these shows must-watch afternoon viewing for legions of loyal fans.
The agreement with Hulu also allows brands and marketers to connect with a highly desirable and engaged audience. Hulu will manage the advertising sales for both shows, and package integrated sponsorship opportunities. TOLN will also offer ecommerce and other digital marketing programs to brands and entities looking to tap into Hulu’s mass market demographic. Additionally, Hulu will promote both series across its subscription and free-to-view platforms.
Under the leadership of Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, Prospect Park in 2011 forged a multi-year, multi-platform licensing agreement with Disney/ABC Domestic Television Group to continue production of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” Prospect Park has also entered into a consulting agreement with Agnes Nixon, the creator of both series, guaranteeing her active involvement in their continued production. “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” ended their runs on ABC Television in September, 2011 and January, 2012, respectively.
Earlier in this month, Prospect Park announced guild agreements with Hollywood’s major labor groups, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the Directors Guild of America. The company also finalized a deal with the Writer’s Guild of America.
About Prospect Park
Prospect Park is a media and production company founded in 2009 by entertainment industry veterans Jeffrey Kwatinetz and former Disney Studios head Rich Frank. Along with successful film and music divisions, the company’s television group has numerous shows in development and breakout network hits airing including “Royal Pains” and “Wilfred.”