On June 26, Oprah Winfrey announced that her network OWN would be “hosting a summer fling for soap fans” by airing the first 40 episodes of The OnLine Network’s reprisal of All My Children and One Life to Live for 10 weeks starting Monday, July 15. Half-hour episodes of each show will air Monday through Thursday; AMC at 1 p.m. ET and OLTL at 3 p.m. ET.

First of all, YAY!!!

Second of all, kudos to Oprah for recognizing she made a mistake two years ago by uploading a video to YouTube saying, “The time has come for [soaps] to be over. There just are not enough people at home in the daytime to watch them.” She also said, “If there was a dime left to be made from them on broadcast television it would still be happening. Thank you for believing that I could save them, but I really can’t.” (Here’s a link to Oprah’s video.)

Setting aside the fact that “broadcast television” – specifically ABC – pulled the plug prematurely and has suffered for it with fan backlash, canceled soap replacements (The Revolution, anyone?), and Katie Couric’s $80 million flameout, Oprah has clearly realized that there is much more than “a dime” to still be made from soap operas.

Now we have to do our part: watch! If you’ve already seen the episodes online, watch them again. Record them. Tell your friends. I’m quite sure OWN has a proper PR machine to preview each day’s episode along with a highlight like, “Dorian insists David make her the new star of his reality show” so it will be easy to say, “Don’t miss Tuesday at 3 pm on Channel 115!”

Prospect Park has done their part by 1) cutting this deal with OWN and 2) cutting out the cursing. Contrary to popular belief, bleeping out the swear words came about more because of customer complaints to Hulu and iTunes than a fear of Pine Valley’s potty mouths offending Ms. Winfrey.

Between us (!), there was much more cursing on-air than was written in the scripts. As one AMC-er told me, “The actors said, ‘We have the freedom, so let’s curse!’ It had never been allowed before so everyone wanted to try it.” From a production standpoint that made it hard, because actors were adding the F word willy nilly. Eventually, the honchos decreed that if a swear word wasn’t in the script the actor couldn’t say it. One exception: When Jesse was trying to tell Angie that Cassandra had been kidnapped, Debbi Morgan adlibbed, “Tell me what the F— happened!” AMC left it in because, as one producer explained to me, “A mother would say that.”

So now we have cleaned-up versions of AMC and OLTL airing on Hulu, iTunes, etc., and full, watchable versions of the first 40 episodes of each show coming to our TV sets on July 15.

Soaps are back – and that’s the “bone marrow truth.”

Right, Oprah?

 

26 Responses to BREAKING NEWS: Holy S—! Oprah to air AMC & OLTL on OWN

  • Kattie says:

    If anyone feels as I do, please help me reach TPTB at P/P
    Productions. If we have to eventually go back to watching on-line, can’t they simply say
    ‘Episode monday 07/15/13″ instead of making the viewing audience
    memorize the episode numbers and chapter numbers? Just list the dates
    Of each show like network tv does. If you can only watch all of
    The week’s episodes at once it sure would be nice to just check the dates you
    Missed.
    Anyway, if you agree, please write in to them
    Thanks

  • Dee Russell says:

    What happens after her “summer fling”?

    • Annie says:

      Dee, we must all watch even if we have already seen them online. Most cable and all satellite companies require a box to view programming these days. Don’t kid yourself that they do know what we watch. How could DirecTV post the top five most watched shows on the “Active” page if they didn’t? Top 5 in your time zone, national, sports and movies show on that page.

      BTW, my mother is tickled pink because she was having a hard time figuring out how to watch the episodes I downloaded for her from my iTunes account onto her laptop. She didn’t even get excited until I went and let her watch a couple of online episodes via her flat screen…not that she could ever figure it out on her own.

  • marcia says:

    thank you Oprah! With all due respect, I believe you were wrong when you said soaps were failing because there was no one at home in the daytime to watch them. Be that as it may, many people are watching them at night on DVRs or watching them on their fancy smart phones. The entire Nielsen system needs to be revamped. But that’s only my opinion.

  • I Want Them to be a Success says:

    Good news, we need all the eyes we can get! Still not a fan of NOprah, but anything that helps our shows is fine with me. Heck, we’ve got JWow as a bartender on OLTL!

    For those who prefer the larger TV screen…many TV’s have a port where you can use an HDMI cord to connect your pc and watch on the big screen.

  • Kathleen says:

    Let’s pull ourselves together! Are you really helping soaps in general and AMC and OLTL in particular by not watching when they start on 7/17 on OWN??!!

    Oprah is a businesswoman, and she had thousands of people on the payroll depending on how she did with OWN. It’s been a difficult path for her as it would be for any other entrepreneur (hey, Ted Turner and CNN), but she’s doing better. And, yes, she sees an opportunity with us Soapers, now. Let’s continue to watch and watch it on OWN as well.

    We need each other. I still miss Rosie more than I can say……but am not going to let the soap community be hurt by my hurt feelings!

    Peace.

  • Carol says:

    No OWN here, so I will continue Huluing.

  • Renee Loyd says:

    The bottom line is this… It doesn’t really matter what Oprah said over 2 yrs ago about saving the soaps, what matters is how she handles the situation now. The station which she is co-owners in has agreed to show both AMC and OLTL 4 days a week for the 40 show run, if we as soap fans do our part and watch, dvr, and spread the word to our friends to do the same, it will ultimately get her viewership up and they could consider keeping “our beloved soaps” on television. Now, I ask everyone, isn’t this what we wanted and have been striving to achieve for the last 2+ years since we learned that they had been cancelled? Yes it is! Thank you OWN. Rememeber, Oprah is just a part of OWN, she isn’t the whole company.

  • Jan says:

    I have only watched one episode of each soap online. Just don’t like watching online. Also, I know one episode does not make a series, but I just didn’t like what I saw. However I will certainly give them another chance on OWN. Just being able to dvr the shows and watch them on my tv will be a plus. Maybe I’ll even decide the shows are worth watching.

    • Annie says:

      Jan, you should have given them a chance. IMHO, both shows (but OLTL in particular) have only gotten better.

  • Jody says:

    Will not use revenge when forgiveness will propel these two shows forward; I watch on Hulu Plus and I will DVR and watch on OWN if it means it will help build AMC and OLTL, and PP continue to produce

  • Joanne Cecere says:

    I was ticked at Oprah in the beginning just like everyone else…..but this is perfect for me……I’ve missed so much while caring for my Mom……now I can catch up. We all deserve a second chance, and this is great for all who don’t have a computer…….it’s a win-win.

  • Chaz says:

    While I am happy that there will be another outlet for AMC & OLTL, I think a big part of the decision is because OWN does not have that much in the way of original programming and SHE needs to fill her air time. As said, ultimately, Oprah is a businesswoman and sees an opportunity to not only make some money but bring viewers to her network.

  • d.w. mckim says:

    People are already “booing” the news and saying they won’t watch. HUH? I know Oprah made a lot of us angry before but let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture – THIS IS GOOD NEWS! (A) The people who can’t easily view them online now finally have the tv airing they’ve been waiting for. (B) A large part of PP’s business model has always been the plan to eventually get them on tv. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already seen the episodes online or how you feel about Oprah…the bottom line is IF WE DO NOT SUPPORT/WATCH THE TV AIRINGS, IT WILL NOT ONLY BE BAD FOR PP AND THE SHOWS BUT THAT WILL DISSUADE ANYONE ELSE FROM WANTING TO TOUCH THE SHOWS! (C) Though she didn’t present the news too well (and was probably flustered over being overwhelmed with calls, letters, and emails), it is a very expensive venture to pick up a soap as a PRODUCER. OWN was an upstart at the time the soaps were cancelled. It took PP over a year to do it and we’ve been witness to all their ups and downs. It’s easier to air shows already in production by an outside company and the network is at least righting a past (perceived) wrong. Where would we be if we still held a grudge against PP for not immediately coming through a year ago? Let’s give OWN the same support. (D) In the end, any network could have stepped up to the plate to air the shows and OWN is the one that came through. There were probably other networks interested so whoever got them would have had to “outbid” the others. For OWN to be the one coming through is no small feat. (E) It’s quite big of Oprah (or anybody) to admit a mistake and take actual action later on down the line. She had to have known that in picking up the shows, her previous response from 2011 would be put on blast, but instead of not touching the shows risking embarrassment, she came through for the fans anyway. I applaud anyone who admits they were wrong about something and later makes amends.

    ###THE TV AIRINGS ON OWN DESERVE OUR FULL SUPPORT REGARDLESS OF HOW WE FEEL ABOUT OPRAH WINFREY###

  • Rebecca says:

    This is fantastic news! I just never could get used to watching OLTL or AMC on my laptop (yes, I’m old!), so I will be SO glad to see both shows, but especially OLTL, again.
    And sorry Lisa and Rhonda, but I couldn’t disagree more. Better to come late to a party than to miss a joyous celebration altogether. I hope the shows run for years on OWN. I know I will be watching.

    • Annie says:

      Rebecca, get an HDMI cable and hook the laptop to your flat screen and you can watch the online shows on your TV screen. Now, I am assuming you have a flat screen since most do these days.

  • Kathy says:

    I will continue to watch on Hulu Plus, then also watch at least some of the reruns on OWN. I want to give the soaps as much support as I can.

  • Robert Seganti says:

    She insulted us and kicked us in the teeth when we desperately needed her.Now,her failing,flailing vanity “network” needs us. No way .

  • Penney says:

    You know, I get that people are ticked that Oprah turned her back on soaps the way she did back then. She certainly could have said it in a much better way than she did! It would go a long way if she actually apologized, but I guess saying that she “heard” us was a round-about way of admitting she was wrong. And yes, her channel continues to struggle. BUT, we need to be the bigger side, we need to be more graceful and say, great, thank you Oprah for finally coming to your senses. And then we just need to support the soaps and watch them again! You want them to succeed and stay on? Then YOU MUST SUPPORT THEM. They are counting eyeballs, so shut up, stop complaining about every little thing and enjoy the soaps! Jeesh.

  • Meg says:

    she made a mistake shes willing to correct .I’ll be watching OWN,which I REFUSED TO WATCH TILL NOW.B/C OF WHAT SHE SAID AND ITUNES.

  • Cheryl says:

    The shows have been great. I would hate to see another network come in and insist on changes. Let Prospect Park do their thing. They have been doing it well.

  • Denise Kelley says:

    I have several friends who won’t or can’t watch their soaps on a computer so this is what they need. Oprah is a businesswoman. She obviously realizes that this is a profitable decision. And it’s great for fans, too.

  • Rhonda says:

    Soap fans don’t easily forget. Turning her back on soaps and then changing her mind when it benefits her is an unbecoming position to take and impression to make, to say the least. After all, the daytime audience made her. I’m enjoying HuluPlus just fine, but ultimately I hope it gets more eyeballs on AMC and OLTL. That’s what counts.

  • lisa says:

    She bailed when we needed her, now she wants a piece, don’t give it to her

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