Soaps Go Down The Drain
In the end, the skepticism that greeted the announcement that Prospect Park producers Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank planned to keep two beloved-but-canceled soap operas alive by moving them online proved to be justified. The pair announced today that they were "suspending our aspirations to revive One Life to Live and All My Children via online distribution." As several analysts had already pointed out, no online business model has been conceived that would generate enough revenue to cover the production costs of live, five-day-a-week drama. The TV budget for each series was estimated at $50 million a year, and Kwatinetz and Frank indicated in their statement that the various unions that would have been involved in the production had little interest in slashing pay rates in order to keep the two series alive online. "The contractual demands of the guilds, which regulate our industry, coupled with the program's inherent economic challenges ultimately led to this final decision," the two said in their statement. Just last week Netflix and 20th Century Fox said that they plan to revive the sitcom Arrested Development . But they suggested that only a small number of episodes would be produced -- and even then, skepticism was voiced about whether a production on the scale of the original could be feasibly mounted for programming that hangs on online subscription revenue for funding and profitability.