Monday, December 5, 2016


My heart skips a beat as I read about the settlement of the Prospect Park/ABC suit over All My Children and One Life to Live, and the return of the rights to the shows to ABC. What kind of soapster would I be, after all, if such news didn't make my ears perk up, at least a little? How could I not care about how the transfer of rights will affect something that was my life for so long?

The end of the lawsuit, and the transfer of rights, will likely mean nothing, except for the network's ability now to use the shows' characters for other shows if they so choose. The likelihood that production of All My Children and One Life to Live would resume is minimal. But the news does make me (and I'm sure a lot of other Lifers) wonder...

Would the shows be able to find an audience after all this time, and by what means?

Would the format, and its production model, actually be sustainable in the current television market?

Would the genre feel outdated, or would it be updated, or would it actually fit right in--just like the soap episode you watch after having not watched for weeks?

Would the canvas be filled with former characters, now at completely different places in their lives?

Would the crew be filled with former soapsters, now at completely different places in their lives?

I guess that last question is the one I wonder about the most. When Prospect Park revived the shows, it wasn't immediate, as originally planned, but it was soon enough after their demise on ABC that countless production people were still trying to find their way, and were thrilled at not just the return of the genre, but at the prospect (no pun intended) of long-term work. 

It has been a long time since that blip on the radar. Resilient as always, we soapsters have moved on--to other genres, to new endeavors, to distant locations. Out of both psychological and financial necessity, we have made new lives, lives interesting in all sorts of ways. So, if the opportunity arose, how many of us would really go back?

The opportunity is unlikely, so the question is really just an exercise. But sometimes, the exercise is what we need in order to understand just where we are and what we want. The truth is, if my phone rang tomorrow saying we could be back to the soaps, I'm not sure what I'd do.

And I suppose that is what they call a real cliffhanger...

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