As any soap fan knows, it's often hard to tell when a character is really dead. As a longtime All My Children fan, I've seen characters who were shot and later appeared as angels miraculously show up a decade later to stir up trouble in their lover's new relationship (often while pretending to be deceased, these beloved characters also develop an entirely new look and personality and get 10 to 15 years younger). I don't know if fans will believe this, but All My Children and One Life To Live truly are canceled, and there's no chance they'll show up on your TV screen once again, begging you to give them a second chance.
Shortly after ABC announced that it was canceling the two long-running soaps, the company Prospect Park gave viewers hope that all was not lost by promising to produce episodes of the shows for a for a new online-only soap opera channel. The new episodes would feature as much of the original cast as possible and there was much debate over whether major stars, most notably Susan Lucci, would sign on to the experimental format or move on after decades playing the same character. Now Prospect Park has announced that it's offiicially scrapping all plans to continue producing the shows.
The company said of the new shows, which were slated to start soon after One Life to Live runs its final episode in January:
"After five months of negotiations with various guilds, hundreds of presentations to potential financial and technology partners, and a hope that we could pioneer a new network for the future, it is with great disappointment that we are suspending our aspirations to revive 'One Life to Live' and 'All My Children' via online distribution ... We believed the timing was right to launch an online TV network anchored by these two iconic soap operas, but 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. 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."
Prospect Park went on to blame the "contractual demands of the guilds," but the writers' and actors' guilds have denied that they were the problem, and said they were "close to a fair deal for the writers," before the company's financing fell through.
Considering that soap operas seem to be dying out in general and the future of web-only series is still unclear, the entire venture was a longshot at best. The potential for new episodes lessened the blow for die-hard fans who have been watching the shows for decades, but sadly the time when one could spend the afternoon watching characters bedhop and exchange meaningful and excruciatingly long glances seems to be drawing to a close.