Classic Soaps Return -- On The Web
New episodes of the long-running soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live returned to the screens today (Monday), nearly two years after they were canceled in 2011. But the screens, more than likely, were computer screens or the screens of smartphones and tablets, rather than TV screens. The soaps' return was engineered by Jeffrey Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, whose company, Prospect Park, has had to wrestle with rights and union issues as well as the usual chores of coming up with financing and advertising. When the shows aired on ABC, each episode ran one hour and cost $175,000 to produce. The new shows will cost about $80,000 and run a half-hour. According to today's (Monday) New York Times, the savings was achieved not only by the shorter time frame but also by working out new agreements with the actors' guild SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America. (Actors have agreed to receive a weekly salary rather than be paid per performance, the Times said.) The shows will also be filmed at the same studio in Connecticut, a state that is providing a 30 percent tax incentive. The video website Hulu became a pivotal partner, the newspaper reported, when it guaranteed a minimum amount of ad revenue for the shows, something that enabled Prospect Park to land $25 million in funding from Boston-based private equity firm AWRY Partners.