In a brand new article out today from the New York Times on tomorrow’s premiere episodes of All My Children and One Life to Live, the piece speaks with Prospect Park’s Jeff Kwatinetz about the journey he and his company have taken to get the reboots of the two shows off the ground and running, and the production model they have implemented that changes the face of soap opera production in a new medium.
One of the more interesting notes from the NY times piece, was when it related about the recent lawsuit filed by Prospect Park on ABC for $25 million dollars in regards to, in part, the issues they faced with the reboot of One Life to Live and the misuse of characters. NY Times stated, “Meantime, the companies remain in business together, since Prospect Park is paying an $8.5 million annual license fee for the shows and ABC will share in any profits made by One Life to Live. Prospect Park also owns the rights to General Hospital in case ABC ends that one, too. ”
In regards to how production costs size up, the NY Times revealed, “On ABC the soaps had an hourlong format — roughly 40 minutes of storytelling, 20 minutes of commercials. Each episode cost about $175,000 to produce. Prospect Park has cut that down to about $80,000, partly by switching to a half-hour format, with 25 minutes of story. Paying actors a weekly rate, rather than per performance, and filming both soaps at the same studio in Connecticut, which provides a 30 percent tax incentive to producers, has also helped pare costs.”
Andy Forssell, the acting chief executive of Hulu who will run daily episodes of AMC and OLTL on his platform stated, “The gold standard online is the combination of a passionate, engaged fan and a show they love and want to watch day after day. That combination means great results for viewers, content owners and advertisers. You can’t find a better example of this than All My Children and One Life To Live.
So soap fans, what do you think of the shocking news to some that Prospect Park owns the licensing rights to GH should ABC decide to cancel the 50 year old series? What do you think about how Prospect Park has cut down production costs for their half-hour versions of the new OLTL and AMC? Weigh-in!