Effort to Revive Soap Operas Online Goes Down in Flames

Nov 23, 2011  •  Post A Comment

One of the most high-profile efforts of the past year to create an online content destination has collapsed, according to a statement from the company trying to put together the project.

Prospect Park, run by former Disney executive Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz, the former CEO of the talent agency The Firm, announced that it is giving up on plans to resurrect two recently canceled ABC soap operas as part of a new online video network.

Frank and Kwatinetz said in a statement: “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.”

Prospect Park’s best-known existing production is USA Network’s “Royal Pains.”

The soap operas were to be the centerpiece of the Online TV Network, a new content destination. “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,” Frank and Kwatinetz said in their statement.

The statement cites marketplace constraints, the role of the guilds and the inherent economic demands of production as factors in abandoning the project.

Frank and Kwatinetz sound a mildly optimistic note, adding: “We hope that our efforts are not lost, and that we somehow created a dialogue and movement on the feasibility of first run, network quality content online.”

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