Today in an article by Michael Maloney, Variety looks at the online rebirth of the beloved soaps All My Children and One Life to Live and raises the question, can soap operas be successful in the digital space?
One man who feels that they can is one half of Prospect Park visionaries, Rick Frank, who along with Jeff Kwatinetz, are leading the charge in putting AMC and OLTL back on the map!
Frank related, “While back, Jeff and I started to believe that the world was about to change in terms of how viewers receive their programs. Almost 20% of college graduates don’t buy television sets. Today, there’s the ability to feed anything to anybody’s screen — TV, iPad, or telephone — and give them programming that they want.”
When ABC canceled the two long-running soaps, Frank and Kwatinetz felt that the programs could serve as the foundation for their entire new venture, The Online Network. (TOLN) Frank explained, “At first, we had trouble explaining what we were trying to do, and we couldn’t make the deals. After a year of (people) being out of work, there was a lot more openness to it. The guilds worked with us.”
The article also goes on to talk about the buzz being generated that the new All My Children and One Life to Live will be more provocative than their network daytime counterparts. Frank reveals, “We are going to be a little hotter and sexier. That doesn’t mean we’ll be doing anything that’s offensive. We’re trying to be contemporary and have storylines that are relevant to people’s lives.”
Sony Pictures Television Senior Executive VP, Steve Kent, who was also interviewed for the Variety piece, offered a difference of opinion on the matter, stating, “If they turn All My Children into porn — and I’m sure they won’t — then nobody is going to watch. Soap audiences are more traditional.” While Days of our Lives co-executive producer, Greg Meng, who was also part of the piece weighed-in stating, “We all have our fingers crossed that this is successful. But these shows won’t be competitive with us.”
So soap fans, do you think the new All My Children and One Life to Live are poised to be the wave of the future? The new wave of storytelling as soaps try to become more contemporary? Will they be the leaders with possibly the networks stealing concepts and stories that they utilize? We shall see … stay tuned! Now, let us know your thoughts!