Will Canceled Soaps Be Revived On the Web?

The shows might go on! The New York Post is reporting that ABC has sold the online rights to All My Children and One Life to Live

Soap fans rarely get good news these days. There's hardly a soap-related headline that doesn't feature the word "cancelled"! But today, for once, there's something positive to report.

As long-time viewers come to grips with the recent cancellation of All My Children and One Life to Live, the New York Post is reporting that these shows may actually go on -- on the web. ABC has sold the online rights to both series to a media company, Prospect Park, that plans to keep the shows alive on a "TV-focused online network once the soaps finish their four-decade run on ABC."

That means that when All My Children and One Life to Live leave the air in September and January, their storylines wouldn't wrap up for good. They would simply continue on the new, online network. Ostensibly, the actors, writers and producers would get to keep their jobs, and viewers wouldn't have to give up their daily dose of scheming temptresses and long-lost siblings back from the dead. It's a win-win for everyone!

But don't pop the champagne quite yet. The soap world's troubles have always come down to lagging revenues, and the online network will have to figure out how to turn a profit, too.

"Prospect Park is said to be finalizing its current round of funding for its Hulu-style venture in the next month to 45 days," reports The Post. "Other unnamed financial backers are involved. The financial terms couldn’t be learned." In other words, the all-important money issue hasn't yet been resolved.

But if the financing does work out, the site could be a possible destination for other canceled shows. In the future, frustrated fans of yanked shows might mount online campaigns to bring them to the web. The only question, then, is: will more people start watching TV online? If their favorite shows are airing only there, you can bet they will.

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