Prospect Park has decided to cut back on the number of original episodes it airs of its online soap operas to two beginning May 20.
One Life to Live and All My Children were rebooted on April 29 after the two soap operas were canceled in 2011 by ABC amid fan outcry. Boycotts were organized against the network and its replacement shows. Fans received a reprieve when Prospect Park decided that it would bring the shows back to life in an online medium.
Hulu began airing four original shows on their website. However, Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz, the owners of Prospect Park, released a statement on Thursday and said their efforts would have to scaled back.
"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," the statement read.
The production company discovered that viewership tapered off after the initial launch. Many viewers simply found it difficult to keep up with so many new episodes through this new format.
"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," the statement read.
The two men acknowledged that the most fervent fans would be upset by the decision. They were aware of potential backlash and apologized. Nonetheless, Frank and Kwatinetz felt it was more important to take action now and not wait for the situation to become worse.
"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.
The decision to cut back on the shows is the latest setback for Prospect Park in regards to their purchase of the soap operas. In April, the company sued ABC for $25 million and alleged that Walt Disney owned network has engaged in sabotage over their efforts to bring the soap operas onto the internet.