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No More Lives to Live: Prospect Park Abandons Plan to Save ABC Soaps Online

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Rick Rowell / ABC / Getty Images

Susan Lucci on the set of "All My Children" during the taping of the final episode on August 30, 2011.

Soap opera fans suddenly have two fewer things to be thankful for today. Prospect Park, the production company that made an eye-opening deal to rescue cancelled ABC soaps All My Children and One Life to Live, issued a statement today saying that it was suspending plans to revive the  shows online.

The original announcement was cheered by fans of the long-running shows, who were outraged at ABC’s original decision to cut them. (Soaps are having a harder time on broadcast network, beset by problems with ratings, finances and cheaper reality-TV alternatives.) But over time there were signs that the deal might be too good to be true: reports began to surface that there were issues with logistics and signing cast members.

While Prospect Park’s statement did not go into great detail, it said that “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.” The company also cited expenses resulting from contractual agreements with the guilds, coupled with the special demands of the new-media marketplace. (Among them, presumably, the fact that there is not yet the same amount of money available to pay the bills of a network-style show.)

Condolences to the show’s fans, and to whoever in your family has to break the news to Grandma at dinner tomorrow.