Would You Watch An "All My Children" Web Show? Prospect Park Is Betting On It

Soaps are known for bringing folks back from the dead, but this January may be their biggest resurrection yet: A production company, Prospect Park, hopes to relaunch some favorite soaps as web shows. (ABC recently killed off All My Children and One Life to Live.) But can it succeed? Internet TV pros chart a course.

Illustration by David Cowles
Illustration by David Cowles

THE CHALLENGE: Cutting costs.
Soaps cost about $190,000 an episode; even web shows with deep pockets get by for about $10,000.

THE SOLUTION: Dress it down.
"Make it seem more real. People want to feel like they're watching their neighbors," says Dina Kaplan of Blip.tv. "As long as it looks better than a YouTube video of a cat on a skateboard, that's good enough for a web audience."

THE CHALLENGE: Star power.
Though a number of the shows' actors have agreed to make the jump to the web, Susan Lucci--the diva of daytime--has yet to accept Prospect Park's contract offer to continue her reign as Erica Kane on All My Children.

THE SOLUTION: Create new stars.
"Soap actors can create blogs, use social media, or create videos, which they didn't do on mainstream TV," says Susan Miller, executive producer of the award-winning web series Anyone but Me. The sense of intimacy will have fans asking, "Susan Lucci who?"

THE CHALLENGE: Luring viewers.
The genre's viewership plummeted from 6.5 million in 1991 to 1.3 million in 2010. The remaining loyalists aren't known for their youth and may be slow to embrace technology.

THE SOLUTION: Build a network.
"You saw it with Lost, where the fan base developed a rapport online," says Diane Charles of L Studio, which produces Lisa Kudrow's Web Therapy. "Having a network where viewers can give feedback and influence the plot empowers them."

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5 Comments

  • Elizabeth

    yes i to tuck amc as a family and i can stand being with out it for me it was only 4yr but that was one time of the day where i could relix and set all troubles aside i have i hard life and it would mean so much to me if this could be worked out and git it running alot of people love it and counted on it to help them through the hard and unpleasent day

  • Amy Chouinard

    HOWEVER, I THIS IS AWFUL, WE NEED AMC. AS I SAID IN AN EARLIER COMMENT IN ANOTHER WEBSITE, AMC WAS MY THERAPY FOR YEARS AND MY FAMILY WHEN TIMES WERE TOUGH....I CAN'T STAND IT BEING GONE....IT MEANT SO MUCH TO ME FOR 40 YEARS AND STILL DOES...PLEASE FIGURE IT OUT.