Insider on Prospect Park’s Plans to Move AMC and OLTL to The Web Failing: “The Unions Were Willing to Negotiate”


 




Well there goes that. Prospect Park is finally confirming they won't be able to make a go of taking All My Children and One Life to Live online. While the press release they issued highlights "contractual demands of the guilds" as a stumbling block, I have been told by numerous sources both the WGA and AFTRA were more than willing to negotiate to make this potentially groundbreaking move happen.

"They can't blame this on them [ the unions]," says a source. "The unions were willing to negotiate."

As I previously reported, Prospect Park allegedly cancelled numerous meetings with the WGA and AFTRA of late, and brought in new representation at the 11th hour alarming many, according to sources.
 
See Prospect Park's full press release after the jump.
 

 

 

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.

37 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Bourgeois Nerd
    Bourgeois Nerd

    I saw a longer press release on EW that thanked a number of people by name, including Agnes Nixon, Ron Carlivati, Frank Valentini, and several actors. I thought that was classy of them.

    Anyway, this is a serious disappointment. But I’m not just not mad at PP. They obviously wanted to do it, they just couldn’t. And it sounds like funding was an issue. I didn’t read it as blaming the unions.

  2. Profile photo of DaytimeFan0001
    DaytimeFan0001

    I do not applaud PP for their efforts. What is the recipe for success? Hard work and dedication. And it doesn’t sound like PP did any of that. And now 100’s of people are back to the unemployment line after laziness and empty promises.

  3. Profile photo of DaytimeFan0001
    DaytimeFan0001

    I do not applaud PP for their efforts. What is the recipe for success? Hard work and determination. -Doesn’t sound like PP did any of that. And now 100’s of people are back to the unemployment line after laziness and empty promises.

  4. Profile photo of Bob Lamm
    Bob Lamm

    “Hard work and determination.” You’re dreaming, as was Prospect Park. This plan never made any sense financially. Some of us said that right from the beginning.

  5. Profile photo of stefanstavros
    stefanstavros

    Sooooo disappointing! Like the others I find that we are NOT getting the whole story on what happened here…In addition to the blaming the unions cop-out, PP’s emphasis on timing doesn’t hold water with me..As a big OLTL fan I wouldn’t care if it took longer to get the show up and running as long as I knew there would still be a show period! So saying that they couldn’t get it done “in time” doesn’t merit good logic. It just sucks royally because OLTL is the BEST soap out there and has been for a good while now. (I know Days people will say something lol) But it’s not like the cases of GL and AMC which truly had become a shell of what they once were…OLTL has and still is firing on all cylinders..How frustrating…

  6. Profile photo of soapjunkie88
    soapjunkie88

    It’s a real disappointment. I honestly don’t know who to blame but I don’t believe that Prospect Park really did everything they could have done. Some statements just say otherwise. The Susan Lucci situation was a messy one and this thing with WGA and AFTRA sounds pretty messed up too.

  7. Profile photo of ckg927
    ckg927

    Folks: If PP cannot do this, there is always text.

    And don’t tell me it can’t be done. If you bump around fan fiction sites, you’d be surprised at the sheer number of online soaps that are out there.

    So…who among us would be willing to give resurrecting OLTL online, text-style?

  8. Profile photo of angrierblackerman
    angrierblackerman

    I think PP is more concerned about its Primetime/Cable properties than it ever was about actually saving the soaps. Also, it bit off more than it could chew (no pun intended).

    So disappointed, but I said goodbye to my soaps already, so I guess now comes the grieving process.

    Somewhere, Maria Bell has just cracked open a bottle of champagne.

  9. Profile photo of SoapArmageddon
    SoapArmageddon

    Note to Ken Corday, get on the phone and get Teri Conn to come on board as Sarah Horton.

    Hell, get Robin Strasser for a short-term role as Sister Marie Horton while you’re at it. She could be part of the Alice Horton mystery story going on right now, and it would be fun to see her play the good girl for once. And she’s living in California now.

  10. Profile photo of alstonboy4315
    alstonboy4315

    I am sad like the rest of you are, but I have made a conscious effort to not get too involved with/hooked on OLTL because I knew that this day was POTENTIALLY going to come. Something about these “wizards” at Prospect Park just always seemed to be too good to be true for me. I tried to be positive and give them the benefit of the doubt, but I guess when you trust something too much, it leaves you heartbroken.

    I just hope that ABC will start selling vintage episodes of AMC and OLTL to long-term fans so that we can at least have some SMALL pieces of their history.

  11. Profile photo of appleridge
    appleridge

    Well without more investors and money the shows would not have gone on even if unions had come to terms.

    AFTRA — the union that represents actors on AMC and OLTL — released the following statement regarding Prospect Park’s decision to suspend production of the soaps. “AFTRA was deeply disappointed to read that the executives at Prospect Park have decided to suspend their efforts to produce the long-running and popular daytime serials, ‘One Life to Live’ and ‘All My Children,’ via online distribution. Despite initial progress in our negotiations with Prospect Park toward resolving a fair agreement to cover the performers appearing on these programs, we were perplexed and disappointed that for the past month Prospect Park has not responded to our repeated inquiries to resume those discussions. We now conclude from the press reports that Prospect Park faced other challenges unrelated to our negotiations, which prevented continuation of those discussions. We remain hopeful that an opportunity to revive these two popular series will emerge in the future, and remain ready to resume discussions should that opportunity arise.”

  12. Profile photo of josser
    josser

    DaytimeFan0001,

    How can you reasonably say that? You have no idea how much effort they put in this. PP obviously tried finding financial backers. Did you not read the Wall Street Journal article about PP trying to get funding in Silicon Valley?

    This is a business deal that fell apart. PP are the heroes who failed. Not the villains at ABC who succeeded in killing these soaps!

  13. Profile photo of josser
    josser

    Thank you to all in ABC Daytime soaps who brought great entertainment to generations of people. I am grateful for your artistry and dedication.

    My sympathies and regrets to the casts and crews of OLTL and AMC who now must navigate this brutal economy to find work. 1,200 jobs are officially lost. This is a tragedy.

  14. Profile photo of appleridge
    appleridge

    Your right Joss, the dael fell apart. No one At Fault. Jeff Kwanietz Tried with all his might, The cast, investors u cant make people sign on or invest money and I guess the unions wanted Broadcast rates minimunms which I understand from their standpoint but also understand why that would hinder an internet channel where there arent as many ads as there are on TV to make up for those salaries.

  15. Profile photo of chrissyo1
    chrissyo1

    Totally devastated by the collapse of negotiations to continue OLTL online! Does anyone else find it a little ironic that the announcement is made almost one week AFTER the last episode was filmed? I would assume that means even less chance of a satifying finale on television.
    Y & R almost unwatchable, not a GH fan- guess I will give Days a whirl- but it won’t replace OLTL!!!

  16. Profile photo of Cyberologist
    Cyberologist

    I was just always suspicious of Prospect Park; the whole thing I’m not a bit surprised this fell through but am surprised re: the financing since Steve Burton said they must have deep pockets apparently not so deep. I just don’t believe this is all there is to it. I may be cynical but I know a load of bull when I read it.

  17. Profile photo of marybee50
    marybee50

    My heart is broken.I wish only the best for all the fine people at OLTL.I hope signing with PP did not mess up any other options for them.I have already stopped watching GH because it is unwatchable.I feel this was Fron’s plan all along.Y&R,B&B,and now Days are what I watch,and of course my OLTL until it ends.

    I do not watch any other ABC shows,and have let my local station,WMAR Batltimore,know that I do not watch there station.I know this means very little,but it is all I can do.

    Thank you again,Frank & Ron for a quality show.Bless you all and your whole crew.I will miss you.

  18. Profile photo of Angie Lucy
    Angie Lucy

    Thanks to all of the men and women who have worked tirelessly for four decades to entertain us on All My Children and One Life to Live. This really is the end of an era.

  19. Profile photo of pumpkin
    pumpkin

    Maybe they should have just tackled oltl instead of two soaps. AMC really did not have much following.OLTL is in better shape with higher ratings, etc. PP was not very familiar with the soaps before attempting this. Oh well.

  20. Profile photo of Santa_Barbara_4Ever
    Santa_Barbara_4Ever

    Well, f#%@ me hard!!! ok; we need myself and about 4 other gay male die hard soap fans to meet up and work on this for about 5 days. We would come up with a way to save the genre. This is all bulls%#@ and oltl better get a good ending or i’ll have to get some meds to keep me from cutting the balls off of some so called tv executives! Ughhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! %#@&***%#@***&&%

  21. Profile photo of
    jedizenmaster

    I’m not blaming PP for this. It’s politics and now a lot of people finally got their wish with wanting PP to finally say something. Now before someone snaps on me here is where I’m coming from. From day 1 people wanted to know every single detail about PP.

    No one was patient i’ve seen threads were people were saying “We have a right to know, Why are there no promos etc”. When soaps changed networks in the past there were no promos on the previous network. But that doesn’t matter and now PP is being blamed for the entire thing. Thats not true there are always 2 sides to a story not just one.

    As well as the soap fans who were attempting to call PP and their investors to harass them for storyline information etc and then would bash PP on twitter and Facebook. That grassroots bashing didn’t help it made matters worse.

    As much of a big soap fan i am with OLTL being my fav soap which I’ve watch more or less all of my life I’m pretty much happy that the bitching and bashing will stop now since the show is officially cancelled.

    P.S wishing death and harm on people from ABC or PP just makes all soap fans look like psychos

  22. Profile photo of Bob Lamm
    Bob Lamm

    People want to blame ABC (what about CBS?), blame Prospect Park, blame the unions, throw out conspiracy theories. Get serious! You may as well blame your grandmothers for not living to age 100 or 120. Daytime soaps are dying because the audience for them is increasingly dying off. How many times have you read on soap message boards a statement like “I watched with my mother and grandmother!” And how many times have you read “I watch them now with my daughter and my granddaughter”? The ratio is about 100 to one.

  23. Profile photo of basilnsybil
    basilnsybil

    This One Life to Live fan is sad about this news. All these people with their jobs and the fact they brought so much great entertainment into our lives. A shame because OLTL is in such good shape with budget not to mention loyal steady audience and good solid storytelling.Here is an idea PP get in touch with Bell Globe Media up here in Canada a joint venture between the two might actually work. Bell Globe Media already airs OLTL on CTV Two Channel and did air AMC both online on CTV.CA and tv. Rookie Blue and Flashpoint are just two examples of joint ventures that have worked quite nicely between networks and countries. Maybe thinking outside the box might save these soaps and keep soaps from going. Bell Globe Media has the speciality cable channels and satellite service that attracts a lot of advertising coverage and solid revenue which would help in funding both OLTL and AMC for PP. A Canada US joint venture for soaps might be the ticket just an idea!!!

  24. Profile photo of mafelix86
    mafelix86

    Wow, now I am mad!!! I would’ve waited for AMC no matter how much time went by, but to hear that AMC isn’t coming back at all makes me VERY MAD!! What pains me more than the fact that AMC isn’t coming back is that I’ll probably never know who JR shot!! Viewers will never know. That’s it. AMC ends on a cliffhanger!!! ARRGGGGGGHHHHH!!!

  25. Profile photo of Jamestx
    Jamestx

    I find it kind of ironic that AMC, and now OLTL, are ending with cliffhangers. That is what made the soap genre so popular-the “exciting and can’t wait to see what happens next” cliffhanger. I find it almost poetic and that we don’t have to live through a rushed, neatly wrapped up package of all the storylines. We will always be left wondering what happened next amd developing our own scenarios. It’s ok to have an imagination amd imagine the possible endings.
    Thanks OLTL, and Guiding Light,for all the wonderful years of entertainment!

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