Episode Orders Reduced for 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live'

Categories: Daytime and Soap Opera TV Ratings

Written By

May 16th, 2013

one life to live

 

The annual episode orders for online soaps All My Children and One Life To Live from have been reduced from 168 to 110, according to Deadline. New episodes of All My Children will now be made available on Mondays and Wednesdays, while new episodes of One Life To Live will be released on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Prospect Park co-founders Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz released the following letter, explaining the reasons for the change:

For close to two years we have been working passionately to bring first run premium content to an online platform with the creation of brand-new versions of the two iconic series, All My Children and One Life To Live. There was no precedent for this effort- we had no history-no barometer for how our fans would respond. We always knew there would quickly be new insights into how audiences would respond to our shows and this new platform, and that our ability to adapt quickly to audience needs would ultimately determine the long-term success of the shows and our mission. This is a new medium, a new time and we have always planned to make changes quickly by listening to you, our fans and customers.

Today it is clear these shows have resonated, as many millions of views have been logged since our April 29th debut, a mere two and a half weeks ago. We’ve consistently been in the top ten shows viewed on Hulu and viewers and critics alike have told us how impressed they are with the quality of both programs. The past two weeks have been invaluable in terms of learning about how you watch and when you watch our shows on this new platform. We have gained enormous insight through our actual viewing data and our research. And our research has revealed the following:

  •  In the past these shows had their vast majority of views within the first 24 hours. Instead, our shows are primarily consumed on different days then when they originally air. Primarily, fans have been binge viewing or watching on demand, and as a result, we feel we have been expecting our audience to dedicate what has turned out to be an excessive amount of time to viewing these shows. (As an example, for the substantial audience only watching on the weekends, we are currently asking them to watch five hours of programming to keep pace with our release schedule).
  • On ABC the shows shared a large percentage of their viewers with each other. Yet, the majority of our viewers are watching one show or the other, not both, and they aren’t viewing the shows when they did before. Part of the reason for choosing between the shows may be that the largest viewing takes place either between 12PM and 1PM (when people generally can only fit one episode during lunch time) or between 5PM and 7PM (when the vast majority of competing shows are a half hour long). We are finding that asking most people to regularly watch more than a half hour per day online seems to be too much.
  •  During their ABC runs, viewers watched only 2-3 episodes on average a week and picked up with whichever day’s episode it was. Our viewers seem to primarily start with the first episode and then continue forward episode by episode. Like with primetime serialized dramas as opposed to the traditional slower pacing of daytime, people feel lost if they miss an episode. People are starting from the beginning; the shows are designed for complete viewing from episode one. Yet starting from the beginning with the amount of episodes we are releasing is asking too much for viewers who need to catch up.

The clear conclusion is that while somewhat mixed, these viewing patterns resemble more closely the typical patterns of online viewing rather than how one would watch traditional television. This leads us to believe we are posting too many episodes and making it far too challenging for viewers to keep up. When it comes to online viewing, most of us are just trying to find time to watch series comprised of 13 to 22 episodes a season-so asking viewers to assign time for over 100 episodes per show is a daunting task.

Therefore, we have chosen to revise our scheduling model beginning this Monday, May 20th by introducing two new episodes from OLTL and AMC each week- new episodes of AMC will now run on Mondays and Wednesdays, and fresh episodes of OLTL will post Tuesdays and Thursdays. MORE, our behind the scenes series, will run as a single show on Fridays. This allows us to introduce a new episode of quality television every Monday through Friday and gives the audience a chance to catch up as we continue to build awareness and excitement around these new shows. Because Hulu agrees with our findings, for the meantime they will keep all of our episodes on Hulu.com for free to give viewers the opportunity to find us and catch up.

We know our most dedicated viewers will be upset as they would probably prefer more shows to less (we personally wish there were more episodes of our favorite shows; we would love 50 episodes a year of Homeland, Mad Men or The Simpsons). We apologize to these viewers and ask them to please understand we are trying to ensure our shows succeed and not meet the fate they experienced previously. We need to devise a model that works for all viewers and follows how they want, and are actually watching, online. When it comes to online, as with all new technology, it’s adapt or fail. We feel fortunate to be an online company and to have such an opportunity to adapt. Of course, we will continue to evaluate all the data that comes in and will be vigilant about revising our strategy as needed.

We want to be clear that this will in no way impact our feverish pace of production – we will be filming new episodes through mid-June, continue editing throughout July and until we go back into production in August. It’s a frenetic schedule but all of us are up for the challenge and excited to continue to deliver great shows.

As a new venture we felt obligated to address the needs of our viewers head on and to make adjustments that we think will work for our viewers. And as always, we thank you for your continued support and encouragement.

Sincerely
Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz:

 

 

 
  • Mike

    Wow there is a post now on Soap Opera Network from a person in Canada that says FX in Canada has dropped both All My Children and One Life To Live. That was Canadian’s only free way to watch the shows. Now they will have to pay for them on Canadian ITunes. They replaced them with reruns of 30 Rock.

    That cannot be good for the shows, and for any future TV deal for the shows in the US I would think.

    I would also think that this would hurt revenues for PP for the shows.

  • Irene

    What they have written about the online viewing makes sense and matches what I know about people I know. (not necessarily me because I am retired and can watch with more ease) I had it said to me by younger person that the daytime soaps were meant for another time and era. Today’s lifestyle is different. Back in the day even women who worked in factories, started early and were home in time to watch their soaps. It was their relaxation. The times are jut different. I knew what he meant. There are several examples I am just giving one. I never thought daytime soaps were only for lazy people. A stereotype that was unfair. I will still watch my latest epy. Knowing I have option to watch all at once if I need to is great.

  • clara

    WTH, they first said they had high hits on Hulu the first week, now they are giving us this bull, I know this is going to cause a lot of people to quit watching, soaps have to be on continiously for people to keep watching. They are putting a dagger into their own heart if they continue with just two episodes of each per week. I know from my perspective I was working serious amount of overtime in the past month and haven’t had a chance to keep watching online, but I had planned to as soon as my job situation goes back to normal. I know others out there who have wanted to watch but don’t have internet yet, or their computers are too old to watch, and they are waiting to get the money to upgrade, you are pushing these fans away if they get their equipment together with only two shows a week of their favorite show.

  • clara

    Another problem I see is they do not have all the actors/characters that most people want to see, such as on AMC, where is Kendal, and Greenly, as well as Tad.
    On OLTL where is Roxy? She was a hoot to watch, especially with Nigel.

  • Mari

    MMMM so where is Monday the 20th episode on AMC? I just went to watch and it’s not there?

  • diana

    Whatever keeps these shows in business, I say. I watched both of them the first week, but was much more interested in OLTL, so I’ve not been watching AMC since. Now I guess I have to watch them both, they’re a package deal? I can always put AMC on and just let it run, without watching it. Like I say, I just want to keep them going. Especially because GH is so boring lately. Thank goodness OLTL “gets it”. We want to see OUR favorites, not the writers’ “pets” all the time. Yes, we have to suffer through the stupid, drunken teens playing strip poker, but there’s also a healthy dose of Bo&Nora, Clint&Vicki, Dorian&David, Todd&Blair, Tea&Victor, and my favorites, Natalie & little Sam Manning. Loving it!

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