Prospect Park Cuts New Episodes of All My Children and One Life to Live to Two a Week!






Prospect Park has issued a press release with lots of talk about research and online viewer habits (I will post it below), but to cut to the chase—or chase to the cut—the production company has decided to take new episodes of All My Children and One Life to Live down from four-a-week to two. See full release below:

For close to two years we have been working passionately to bring first run premium content to an online platform with the creation of brand-new versions of the two iconic series, All My Children and One Life To Live. There was no precedent for this effort- we had no history-no barometer for how our fans would respond. We always knew there would quickly be new insights into how audiences would respond to our shows and this new platform, and that our ability to adapt quickly to audience needs would ultimately determine the long-term success of the shows and our mission. This is a new medium, a new time and we have always planned to make changes quickly by listening to you, our fans and customers.

Today it is clear these shows have resonated, as many millions of views have been logged since our April 29th debut, a mere two and a half weeks ago. We’ve consistently been in the top ten shows viewed on Hulu and viewers and critics alike have told us how impressed they are with the quality of both programs. The past two weeks have been invaluable in terms of learning about how you watch and when you watch our shows on this new platform. We have gained enormous insight through our actual viewing data and our research. And our research has revealed the following:

·         In the past these shows had their vast majority of views within the first 24 hours. Instead, our shows are primarily consumed on different days then when they originally air. Primarily, fans have been binge viewing or watching on demand, and as a result, we feel we have been expecting our audience to dedicate what has turned out to be an excessive amount of time to viewing these shows. (As an example, for the substantial audience only watching on the weekends, we are currently asking them to watch five hours of programming to keep pace with our release schedule).

·         On ABC the shows shared a large percentage of their viewers with each other. Yet, the majority of our viewers are watching one show or the other, not both, and they aren’t viewing the shows when they did before. Part of the reason for choosing between the shows may be that the largest viewing takes place either between 12PM and 1PM (when people generally can only fit one episode during lunch time) or between 5PM and 7PM (when the vast majority of competing shows are a half hour long). We are finding that asking most people to regularly watch more than a half hour per day online seems to be too much.

·         During their ABC runs, viewers watched only 2-3 episodes on average a week and picked up with whichever day’s episode it was. Our viewers seem to primarily start with the first episode and then continue forward episode by episode. Like with primetime serialized dramas as opposed to the traditional slower pacing of daytime, people feel lost if they miss an episode. People are starting from the beginning; the shows are designed for complete viewing from episode one. Yet starting from the beginning with the amount of episodes we are releasing is asking too much for viewers who need to catch up.

The clear conclusion is that while somewhat mixed, these viewing patterns resemble more closely the typical patterns of online viewing rather than how one would watch traditional television. This leads us to believe we are posting too many episodes and making it far too challenging for viewers to keep up. When it comes to online viewing, most of us are just trying to find time to watch series comprised of 13 to 22 episodes a season-so asking viewers to assign time for over 100 episodes per show is a daunting task.

Therefore, we have chosen to revise our scheduling model beginning this Monday, May 20th by introducing two new episodes from OLTL and AMC each week- new episodes of AMC will now run on Mondays and Wednesdays, and fresh episodes of OLTL will post Tuesdays and Thursdays. MORE, our behind the scenes series, will run as a single show on Fridays. This allows us to introduce a new episode of quality television every Monday through Friday and gives the audience a chance to catch up as we continue to build awareness and excitement around these new shows.   Because Hulu agrees with our findings, for the meantime they will keep all of our episodes on Hulu.com for free to give viewers the opportunity to find us and catch up.

We know our most dedicated viewers will be upset as they would probably prefer more shows to less (we personally wish there were more episodes of our favorite shows; we would love 50 episodes a year of Homeland, Mad Men or The Simpsons). We apologize to these viewers and ask them to please understand we are trying to ensure our shows succeed and not meet the fate they experienced previously. We need to devise a model that works for all viewers and follows how they want, and are actually watching, online. When it comes to online, as with all new technology, it’s adapt or fail.  We feel fortunate to be an online company and to have such an opportunity to adapt. Of course, we will continue to evaluate all the data that comes in and will be vigilant about revising our strategy as needed.

We want to be clear that this will in no way impact our feverish pace of production - we will be filming new episodes through mid-June, continue editing throughout July and until we go back into production in August. It’s a frenetic schedule but all of us are up for the challenge and excited to continue to deliver great shows.

As a new venture we felt obligated to address the needs of our viewers head on and to make adjustments that we think will work for our viewers. And as always, we thank you for your continued support and encouragement.

Sincerely

Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz

Okay, I am sure this is about to cause pandelirium (When pandemonium meets delirium) here in the DC comments and across the interwebs, but this time around I am going to wait before I rush to judgement. PP managed to get these soaps back on the air — when many thought it was impossible. If they have to tinker with things a bit, I am not gonna start dousing them with haterade.

I've enjoyed the relaunches of both soaps, for the most part, and will continue to support them as they find their way. I'm sure when Mama Irna Phillips took The Guiding Light from radio to TV there were tons of hiccups. We'll get through this, soap nuts! 


Comments

Member since:
21 May 2013
Last activity:
47 weeks 22 hours

I am disappointed and shocked at this cutback from less than 2 hrs a week to less than 1 hr (since there is NO true Friday show). I think this cutback is going to kill off these show for good. I have noted that with so little show time before this cutback I was stating to lose interest. With the different families and story-lines they just barely touch on each and the show is over to the day, and one is lucky if it pick ups and continues the next day or if it is a the day after, with it now being only two days a week, they may start a story-line and not get back to it until the following week. (I had so hoped that after a month or so they would become '1 hour' shows and i thought they would, boy was I wrong.)

I think people are going to lose interest and they are going to lose viewers and these shows will be lucky to last a few months if even that long. Look at show on prime time if they don't hold the viewers interest long enough they can be canceled after 2 shows like DO NO HARM, or 4 shows like Zero Hour and there have been many others. An hour a week is not enough, even 30 min (which they are not really 30 min shows) 4 days a week was not really enough. I find this say, I loved these soaps but even with as much as I love soaps, they were barely holding my interest at 4 days, '30 min' and now, well I suspect that after a month or so, I will move on to other shows, simply because things move to slow in this new format. As I said, they were barely holding it before.

This makes me very sad, it's like they are dying again, and it's truly the end for these soaps, or at least it will be. I hope other write and state how this change is effecting them.

Member since:
5 July 2008
Last activity:
14 min 34 sec

This may be unpopular but Fans fought 2 years for @allmychildren & @onelifetolive . They are back but some still BITCH about not being enough episodes. Really just support the shows U supposedly wanted back. Now some wanna give up. Really U watched all the way on ABC & are gonna give up after just a month. I want the true soap fans back. Not these fair weathered fans who are greedy, childish and ME ME ME screw everyone else, UGHHH.

soapjunkie88's picture
Member since:
3 July 2008
Last activity:
3 hours 18 min

It's still a matter of how it's done. Yes fans fought for these shows and because of that they should just be happy and not allowed to question Prospect Park or be disappointed that after only a couple of weeks they cut back the episodes and change the schedule?

If you can't do it right don't do it at all. It doesn't help to be in half way or show that you are not a good business partner.

Why be happy if the product isn't what you thought it would be? Or if it's only given to you in such small dosis that it simply doesn't matter anymore?

Not to mention that you check on how many episodes you can produce in a year BEFORE you premiere these shows and close a deal with other partners.

It frustrating as a soap fan because all you seemed allowed doing is be happy that shows are still around. No matter if they meet your expectations or are just bad.

TV Gord's picture
Member since:
18 February 2009
Last activity:
3 hours 10 min

nysam wrote:
Gord and I often disagree, but he is right on this one.

Shock Shock Shock I'm...I'm dying, right? You've found out I'm dying, somehow. That's got to be it! Shock Wink Shock