Well, Jeff Zucker did say that CNN was going to more broadly define what news was. It looks like it is going to more broadly define the sort of roles its reporters will play too. With The Lead With Jake Tapper up in the ratings, its host Jake Tapper is going dramatic, with his previously announced role on All My Childrennow set for August 12. The opportunity emerged when Tapper went up to Connecticut to do a piece on the cancelled ABC show’s new online life. Unlike CNN personalities like Wolf Blitzer or Larry King, who often show up on movies and TV shows playing themselves, Tapper will appear on the online soap as Business News Update reporter Spencer Phillips, which sounds almost like a real cable news reporter’s name. His character tries to interview Brooke English (Julia Barr) and Dixie Cooney (Cady McClain). This will be Tapper’s dramatic debut and finale, an insider tells me. After an unsteady start in mid-March, Tapper’s The Lead has seen rises, with the show topping its 4 PM time slot in July in the key adults 25-54 demo.
Online soaps All My Children and One Life To Live have found a network home. OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has acquired the first 40 episodes of The OnLine Network’s revivals for a 10-week limited engagement that will bring the cancelled ABC daytime dramas back to daytime. Half-hour episodes of each show will air Monday through Thursday beginning Monday, July 15 with All My Children at 1 PM and One Life to Live at 3 PM. “These shows have proven to be very popular with a significant, loyal fan base, not to mention Oprah herself is a big fan,” said Erik Logan, president, OWN. Added Jeff Kwatinetz, CEO of the soaps’ producer Prospect Park, “We are really excited to bring OWN viewers and our audience at large an opportunity to catch up on All My Children and One Life to Live on traditional television.”
‘All My Children’ & ‘One Life To Live’ Start Hiatus Early Because Of IATSE Dispute, Shows Mull Move To New Location
All My Children and One Life To Live were scheduled to go on hiatus on June 17. But in light of recent labor issues between soap’s producer Prospect Park and IATSE Local 52, work will stop 11 days earlier. What’s more, because of the dispute, I hear Prospect Park is considering moving production of the two shows, based in Stamford, Conn., to another state. “As a result of a dispute with the IATSE, The OnLine Network is beginning a long-planned hiatus for both All My Children and One Life To Live tomorrow instead of June 17,” the company said in a statement. “The hiatus is scheduled to end on August 12 pending resolution of this labor issue. Right now we have 40 episodes of each show ready to post through September, and if we can resolve this issue by August, we can get back into the studio on time so audiences will enjoy uninterrupted postings of their favorite shows.”
Three weeks into the re-launch of soaps All My Children and One Life To Live online, I’ve learned that producer Prospect Park is adjusting their release schedule to two new original episodes each week instead of four as it is now. Starting next Monday, fresh episodes of All My Children will be uploaded on Monday and Wednesday, and new episodes of One Life To Live on Tuesday and Thursday. (Friday will continue to be day for recaps, which will now run as a single show). I hear Prospect Park has started to notify producers and have obtained a letter by the company’s principals Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz to fans about the change (read it below).
I hear the decision to reduce the number of new episodes a week was made after Prospect Park studied the data for the first 2.5 weeks of viewing. On traditional TV, soap fans come in and out of their favorite shows, usually watching 2-3 shows a week. But because all aired episodes of AMC and OLTL are available online, viewers don’t rush to watch them right away and then try to see what they missed at once, leading to binge viewing. While that is not a problem for shows like Breaking Bad, Homeland and House Of Cards, which offer 13-episode seasons, catching up on four new episodes of both soaps proved difficult for online viewers, many of whom have already fallen behind. To accommodate them, Prospect Park will keep all aired episodes of AMC and OLTL on the free Hulu platform for now, instead of migrating the older ones to Hulu Plus with only the 10 most recent segments available for free. The decision was made to make the viewing load more manageable before fans start giving up.
UPDATE, 1:08 PM: Almost a week after producer Prospect Park sued ABC for more than $25 million over alleged broken agreements and claims of trying to sabotage the online launch of All My Children and One Life To Live, the network finally has responded. ABC says the suit is “baseless” and that it will defend itself legally. Read the brief full statement here:
“ABC remains very supportive of the on line launch of both ‘One Life to Live’ and ‘All My Children.’ With respect to Prospect Park’s lawsuit, we believe the claims are baseless and we will defend them vigorously in court and not the press.”
PREVIOUSLY, APRIL 18: One week before Prospect Park is set to launch online soaps All My Children and One Life To Live, the production company today filed a breach of contract lawsuit against ABC, (read it here) which licensed the shows two years ago to Prospect Park, the company of Jeff Kwatinetz and former Walt Disney Studios president Rich Frank. In the complaint, which was filed today in LA Superior Court, Prospect Park claims that ABC has been breaking the licensing agreement and sabotaging Prospect Park’s efforts to continue AMC and OLTL online. Requesting a jury trial, the suit seeks damages of at least $25 million from Disney-owned ABC. ABC had no comment.
The lawsuit won’t derail plans for the AMC and OLTL relaunch April 29. “These shows will go forward, and Prospect will address its rights in Court,” the suit said. “Regardless of how successful Prospect may be, the fact remains that ABC did not deliver what it promised, Prospect did not get what it paid for, and Prospect is now entitled to recover millions of dollars in damages for ABC’s egregious conduct.”
The lawsuit follows a couple of months of building-up tensions and threats of legal action between Prospect Park and ABC over the OLTL actors who had been starring on ABC’s General Hospital since the cancellation of OLTL by ABC. Prospect Park attempted to get them back, which created a stand-off with ABC. The last straw came last week when ABC announced that OLTL‘s Kristen Alderson, Michael Easton and Roger Howarth will return to GH on May 10, presumably as new characters.
The Online Network has released “first look” previews of the revived ABC serial dramas All My Children and One Life To Live. Both are set to make their debut on Hulu, HuluPlus and iTunes on April 29th. Check out the videos below:
The revived ABC daytime dramas All My Children and One Life To Live will make their debut on Prospect Park’s The Online Network on Monday, April 29. Both shows will air 30-minute episodes in broadcast quality on TOLN partners Hulu and iTunes. “We thank the fans whose tenaciousness to see these shows return made this historical moment possible,” said Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, Prospect Park’s partners. “We are determined to repay their support by delivering new and creatively groundbreaking episodes that both the fans, as well as legions of new viewers, will love.” Added AMC and OLTV creator Agnes Nixon, creative consultant for the reboots, “I am so pleased that our dream of bringing these two series back to life is coming to fruition.” Here are the first cast photos of both shows, with a list of all their actors.
Los Angeles. CA – February 11, 2013 – The Online Network announced today that production will commence on the highly-anticipated revivals of the beloved long-running serial dramas “All My Children,” and “One Life to Live,” beginning February 25. Principal production for both series will take place in Stamford, Connecticut with new episodes of “All My Children” and “One Life to Life” set to debut later this spring.
In an announcement earlier this year, Prospect Park’s The Online Network revealed its plans to re-introduce the beloved vanguard franchises, through a groundbreaking content deal that will bring premium first-run, broadcast-quality programming to a mass market audience via the Internet. Brand new 30-minute episodes of both “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” will be launched each weekday and available to stream online via the free Hulu.com service and to subscribers of Hulu Plus making these venerable dramas available in a new format that suits the viewing habits of the digital generation. In addition, the iTunes Store will offer both series via iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV and Mac or PC.
What a difference a year makes. Between 2009 and 2012, daytime soaps went from 8 to 4, and by the end of 2012, Prospect Park’s effort to revive two of the departed, All My Children and …
The online revival of cancelled ABC daytime dramas All My Children and One Life To Live is officially just months away. Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz’s Prospect Park today announced a distribution agreement with Hulu and iTunes that will bring the soaps to fans beginning this Spring. New 30-minute episodes will be introduced each weekday They’ll be available on the free Hulu.com service as well as subscription-based Hulu Plus and iTunes for viewing on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac or PC. “I believe that both Hulu and iTunes have the vision, the reach and the technology to help us launch TOLN in a significant way,” Prospect Park Chairman and CEO Jeff Kwatinetz said in a statement. “We think these platforms are part of history, helping us to transform distribution”. Prospect Park recently cleared the last major hurdle for the soaps’ online revival, reaching agreements with SAG-AFTRA, WGA, and DGA. The company also closed its financing with ABRY Partners and has entered into a consulting agreement with All My Children and One Life To Live creator Agnes Nixon. Prospect Park also recently announced more deals with cast members and production executives. You can read today’s release below:
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.