Fans of ABC’s doomed soaps have been left to wonder just that, thanks to a New York Post story claiming that an online upstart is finalizing a deal to give the citizens of Pine Valley and Llanview a new home. But did the tab newspaper get it right?
To hear the Post tell it, a three-year-old media firm called Prospect Park — founded by former Walt Disney Studios president Richard H. Frank and talent management vet Jeff Kwatinetz — has purchased from ABC the rights to both AMC and OLTL, with a plan to continue production on new episodes that would stream online via a Hulu-like service they’ve got baking in the oven.
The story goes on to say that in reviving each series, Prospect Park would “take charge of the same cast, crew and talent — even [AMC star] Susan Lucci” — aka one of the highest-paid actors in the daytime biz.
Eyes widened open by this out-of-nowhere notion, TVLine did some checking around. While a Prospect Park rep did not immediately get back to us and an ABC Daytime spokesperson declined to comment, a well-placed ABC source did tell us that the Post‘s reporting contains “inaccuracies.” The insider could not elaborate on the errors — Will only existing episodes be streamed? Are Lucci and her hefty paycheck in fact not part of the deal? — but soap fans shouldn’t be kept guessing for long. I’m hearing that a press release regarding the rumored “rescue” is due out soon.
The wrinkle to any such salvation: Only a fraction of soap opera viewers go online, and that segment gets paper-thin when talking about longtime daytime fans age 60 and up. So, if true, just how big (or small) an audience with the ongoing sagas of Erica Kane and Blair Cramer be playing to?