Monday, April 29, 2013

The Rebirth of All My Children

Today marks the re-birth and return of two popular soap operas - All My Children and One Life to Live. Both we're cancelled by in 2011 and sold to a company called Prospect Park who is now giving these shows new life on the Internet.  

I grew up watching All My Children after school, and although I hadn't watched as faithfully as an adult and I was sad when the show ended.  I irrationally thought that the city where the soap opera takes place -- Pine Valley -- should always exist just in case I felt like returning.  Besides, I had big plans to watch it again when I retired - even though this is at least a couple of decades away. A lot of my friends who watched the show growing up felt the very same way. But wanting Pine Valley to exist is not enough to keep a show on network television. But maybe having a smaller group of hard core fans who watch a show daily is. 

I'm excited about this re-boot for a variety of reasons, but the number one reason is that I want to see Internet only specialty shows succeed. Like Netflix original programming, it offers new ways for viewers of cult shows that don't have super huge following to stay on the air (thank you for the Arrested Development reboot). It gives specialized, loyal audiences what they want, while putting writers and actors to work.  Hopefully everyone wins a la Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. 

The re-booted shows will be 30-minutes, shorter than the hour the shows claimed on network television in 2011 but the same length that they started out with when they originally made their debut decades ago.  They both have a mix of long-term characters and actors and fresh new faces.  Prospect Park has done a great job of getting the stars out there to promote the launch. I hope they can sustain the momentum. 

Both soaps will be available starting today on HULU, HULU plus and iTunes. Here's Cady McClain who plays Dixie on All My Children telling fans how to get "their stories on the Internet." 

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