Just five months after rolling out plans to adapt the ABC soap operas "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" for the Internet, independent production firm Prospect Park said it was abandoning its effort.
The move, announced Wednesday, likely will be another punch in the gut for soap opera fans who were hopeful that Prospect Park could revive a fading genre. Only four network soap operas will remain on the air after this season, including CBS' top-rated "Young and the Restless," NBC's "Days of Our Lives," and ABC's "General Hospital."
Prospect Park founders said their plans collapsed when they could not reach agreement with the guilds that represent the actors and workers. The production firm had been looking for concessions that would have made their Web series profitable.
"We always knew it would be an uphill battle to create something historical, and unfortunately we couldn’t ultimately secure the backing and clear all the hurdles in time," Prospect Park's partners Rich Frank and Jeffrey Kwatinetz said in a statement. "We believe we exhausted all reasonable options apparent to us, but despite enormous personal, as well as financial cost to ourselves, we failed to find a solution.
"It is now becoming clear that mounting issues make our ability to meet our deadlines to get 'One Life to Live' on the air in a reasonable time period ... impossible," the statement continued.
"One Life to Live" ends its ABC run Jan. 13. The network pulled the curtain on "All My Children" in September after revising the finale so that Prospect Park could pick up the story lines.
"While we narrowed in on a financial infrastructure, the contractual demands of the guilds, which regulate our industry, coupled with the program’s inherent economic challenges ultimately led to this final decision," Prospect Park said. "In the end, the constraints of the current marketplace, including the evolution and impact of new media on our industry simply proved too great a match for even our passion."
-- Meg James
Photo: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa makes a guest appearance on ABC's "All My Children" with Susan Lucci in 2010. Credit: Stefano Paltera / For The Times