Soap operas live! Soap operas live!

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

TV Without A TV: Your one-stop shop for all things soap opera.

No, but really, guys — there’s even a soap operas category!

Take it away, Graeme McMillian from the website Digital Trends …

“Eighteen months after the idea of airing ABC’s cancelled soap operas ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ online first floated,” he wrote Monday, “the concept has come to fruition: Both shows will debut online via Hulu and iTunes later this year. New episodes of the two series, which were cancelled by ABC in July 2011, will be produced by Prospect Park, a production company formed in 2009 by former Disney Studios head Rich Frank and industry veteran Jeff Kwatinetz (best known for its FX’s ‘Wilfred’ and USA Network’s ‘Royal Pains’). The company initially licensed the rights to continue the soap operas from ABC almost immediately following news of both shows’ cancellation, although the road from there to today has proven remarkably rocky.”

And “remarkably rocky” is an understatement.

As this blog noted in 2011 (remember: soap operas category!) the future wasn’t always this bright for these stalwarts of American afternoon culture. After floating the idea of continuing the series online, everybody recoiled in November 2011 before doing an about-face exactly one month and one year after that. Add in a group of private financial backers and boom — every Stay-At-Home Something has reason to rejoice!

According to AV Today (whatever that is), Erika Slezak, Jerry verDorn, Robin Strasser Tuc Watkins, Robert S. Woods, Kassie DePaiva, Florencia Lozano, Melissa Archer, Hilary B. Smith, Kelley Missal, Josh Kelly, Andrew Trishchitta, Sean Ringgold, Shenaz Treasury and Nick Choksi will return to “One Life To Live,” while Jordi Vilasuso, Jill Larson, Thorsten Kaye, Darnell Williams, Debbi Morgan, Lindsay Hartley and Vincent Irizarry will return to “All My Children.”

And no, for those who may still rock “Amazing” on your iPod every now and then, it’s not thatJosh Kelly.

“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,” Jeff Kwatinetz, Prospect Park CEO, said in a statement. “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.” 

This is another pretty nice get for Hulu, actually. Soap operas are an oddly established American tradition and despite how many jokes may be lobbed in the direction of either “All My Children” or “One Life To Live,” these things have always had a fairly loyal fan base. Is it a game-changer? Of course not. But is it a valuable notch in the always-expanding belt of Internet television? Sure.

As for iTunes … well, it’s about darn time the people at Apple get serious about expanding its original-programing reach. About. Darn. Time.

Each episode will run about a half-hour and the plan is that five new ones will be available each week. The best part? In true soap opera fashion, both series plan to pick up where each left off, as though nothing has happened over the course of the last two years.

The episodes won’t begin rolling out until the spring. This means that you have precisely three months to convince grandma that Hulu isn’t just a stripper’s nickname and the computer can be used as something more than a platform to play Solitaire.

And … go.


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