The wait is over. Soap operas rise from the dead (again) on Monday.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

Because who hasn’t wondered about where Corbin Bleu is these days?!

Have no fear, Disney Channel fans, the former “High School Musical” standout (assuming “standout” means “cast member”) is returning to the airwaves Monday when “One Life To Live” calls up its friend, “All My Children,” and they plan their first night out together in years. Yes. We’ve written about this before. From Gary Levin at USA Today …

“Both will be available Monday in a shortened half-hour weekday format at Hulu and iTunes from the Prospect Park studio’s The Online Network, which licensed the rights to both shows in 2011 as part of a push into original online programming,” he wrote Thursday.

Quick. What’s more shocking: The fact that this blog has survived long enough to cover both the moment it was first announced that these shows were moving to the World Wide Internet and the moment that it actually happened, or the fact that something called The Online Network actually exists?

After a combined 85 full seasons on ABC between the two — an exaggeration, that is not — the two soap operas will officially land firmly with their feet planted on the daytime drama ground next week when they make their triumphant and respective returns to the screens of housewives and grandmothers everywhere. This time, though, those screens will not be connected to a cable television package, and instead the Solitaire window will have to be minimized in order to experience optimal viewing.

Hulu and iTunes are the two big names attached to where you may be able to find the new episodes. The format will be as such: Four half-hour episodes a week with a recap show slated for Fridays. This will combine to amass about 42 weeks of original programming and 210 episodes … just in the first year. Who was it that said the Internet was for only slackers, again?

“It is somehow fitting that TV’s oldest genre, carried over from radio, should now be making the transition to a 21st-century online platform complete with Agnes Nixon, who created both shows, as a digital pioneer,” The Associated Press’ Frazier Moore wrote earlier today. “It’s a potentially restorative move that could prove the TV medium failed soaps, not the other way around.”

How observant!

No, but seriously: How observant!

This blog has shown an unwavering dedication to the soap-opera-to-web-saga (for reasons I still can’t quite explain or comprehend), and through all my silly, smug and obnoxious remarks, Moore’s final thought in the aforementioned passage had never crossed my mind. This move could prove that the TV medium failed soaps and not the other way around.

Such would seem fairly poetic, don’t you think? The quintessential American television pastime becomes the first medium to successfully transition from conventional cable to the Internet when before it became one of the first mediums to successfully transition from the radio to television. “Back from the dead” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

More interesting? This gets something called The Online Network off the ground. Owned by Prospect Park studios, the site gives us only a few video trailers and where-to-watch links right now, but — and this is an important but — if this venture is a success, who’s to say it has to stop with soap operas? Think of the possibilities a new outlet for canceled shows could bring. More so, think of how irrelevant the notion of “being canceled” would become. All of our favorite television series, successful or not, wouldn’t have to wait 10 years and six social media campaigns in order for a reboot to happen. In fact, reboots as a practice would be rendered useless because the only thing standing in the way of a show’s shelf life would be the desire from its creators to continue its existence.

Or, in other words, could the return of ABC’s “One Life To Live” on April 29, 2013, eventually lead to the return of HBO’s ill-fated “Luck” on April 29, 2014?

Oh, if only Chester Bernstein could control his anger.

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