"One Life to Live" might want to consider changing its name to "Two Lives to Live."
The long-running soap and its fellow cancelled ABC daytime staple "All My Children" will be allowed continue online once their TV runs are over, the network announced Thursday.
In a multi-year, multi-platform deal, ABC has licensed the soaps to Prospect Park, the production company responsible for USA Network's "Royal Pains.
Founded in 2008 by Jeff Kwatinetz and former Disney Studios honcho Rich Frank, Prospect Park now holds the right to produce new episodes of the shows and plans to make them a crucial part of a "new, online network" similar to Hulu.
If those plans are carried out, the licensing agreement will allow fans of the shows to watch online and on internet-enabled TV sets. Both soaps would have the same length and format, Prospect Park said.
“We are privileged to continue the legacy of two of the greatest programs to air on daytime television, and are committed to delivering the storylines, characters and quality that audiences have come to love for over 40 years. ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ are television icons, and we are looking forward to providing anytime, anywhere viewing to their loyal community of millions,” said Frank and Kwatinetz.
The New York Post reported Wednesday that the shows would pick up where they leave off and have the same cast and crew -- even the one and the only Susan Lucci (pictured). But other than the "storylines, characters and quality" comment above, the exact makeup of the cast has yet to be explicitly disclosed.
The news may lessen the impact of ABC's farewell celebrations for the programs. The network announced last week that "All My Children" would end on September 23 with the return of some key former cast members. "One Life to Live" will end its ABC run in January 2012.
Fans of the daytime soaps picketed outside an ABC advertising event in May to protest the shows' cancellations. We doubt they'll protest the latest news.