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SCHEDULE CHANGE: ALL MY CHILDREN Will Air On Mondays & Wednesdays, ONE LIFE TO LIVE On Tuesdays & Thursdays Starting May 20

Prospect Park's Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz sent to message to fans today detailing an upcoming schedule change for ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE.  Starting May 20 ALL MY CHILDREN will stream new episodes on Mondays and Wednesdays, while ONE LIFE TO LIVE will air on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Check it out below:
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

10 comments:

  1. Kinda harkens back to the days of 15 minute soaps...

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  2. wow...why not make the shows 1 hr instead and only show them two days a week. I am finding it hard to keep up with the fast pace. (And I'm only 30 something) Sometimes the editing isn't right for example, one character might be in two places at once...and I know it's because of the fast pace. Slow it down and bring quality back!

    I love having my shows back, but I don't want to be lot! Only 1 hr of my show per week when I use to have 5 hrs...wtheck!

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  3. this seems quite sudden, it's been 3 weeks. I just think "new, edgy versions" are not entertaining. I honestly stopped watching OLTL after the 3 episode and AMC I haven't seen in a week, partly due to schedule but they just are lacking and don't seem familiar to me.

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  4. How can you tell when a TV executive is lying? His lips are moving.

    The shows pale in comparison to their broadcast versions, so I hope they'll use this extra time to tighten up scripts and work on the directing. For 24 minutes of content, they waste a lot of time.

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  5. Bull***t!! If you're a OLTL fan that's the one you watch if you're an AMC fan, that's the one you watch. People spend more time online than ever so poor excuse. Finding 24 minutes a day is no big deal. Think of all the reality shows people watch every night for HOURS!!Lets come up with another reason. I for one was enjoying the resurrection and am VERY disappointed at the change!!

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  6. How is cutting your product in half going to enhance it?

    If they are truly worried about people not being able to keep up, they could arrange to keep them on Hulu (the free version) longer.

    It's funny that people were able to keep up with hour-long versions five days a week but Prospect Park thinks that their audience can't keep up with what they are serving.

    This was a great idea that really was given little thought and I would bet little research was put into it.

    If PP's definition of edgy and new is a few curse words and AJ's side-butt, then they were done for before they started. (I actually thought it was creepy imagery to have a nude high school student parading around like that.)

    I really wanted this to work, but when the second week ended and no one was touting Hulu and ITunes rankings, the writing was on the wall.

    When Passions moved to DirecTV in 2007, they aired 4 days each week. It was cut to three when they knew it wasn't working. Same thing here.

    What is really a shame here is that the actors and production teams were essentially demoted to part-time jobs.

    I feel bad for all of the folks who poured thier hearts into making this a viable alternative. I think it could have worked, but the product they rolled out was not full cooked.

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  7. They don't mention FX Canada, and I don't see it on the schedule there any longer. WASSSSUP? One would think that by reducing the total time to one hour for each show per week might actually benefit them finding a cable channel.

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  8. Can there be room to increase output once you get your audience stabilized and have some time to hit your stride? I have missed this show so much, I actually went through a period of feeling lost every midday - it's not like Jerry Springer will fill the void!! AMC was a landmark in my day for 40 years. I am sorry you will cut back production, and I think you may be kneejerk reacting, but I will be patient; just don't blow it, okay? These people were like family for so many of us, and now that we have them back, we want to keep them. Thanks for listening.

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  9. Answer to my own question ... FX Canada now announces: "Due to changes in production beyond our control, FX Canada will no longer be airing All My Children and One Life to Live. Beginning Monday, May 20, back-to-back episodes of critically-acclaimed series 30 Rock will air from noon to 1 p.m. ET on FX Canada."

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  10. I hate only having two half hours of One Life to Life every seven days, after a year's absence and watching five hours of it every week before it was cancelled. How hard is it to "catch up" on one's viewing in this scenario? Something's amiss here.

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