It is a good time to be a fan of soaps. For fans of daytime serials, 2013 is getting off to a great start as it relates to the venerable sudsers. In less than two weeks soap viewers have gotten enough good news to almost eradicate a pretty bad last two years for the genre.
It is a story that has had all of the ups and downs of a classic daytime drama. Soap fans got an early Christmas present in the form of a rumor and late new year’s present in the form of the confirmation of that rumor - production company Prospect Park will in fact bring 'One Life to Live' and 'All My Children' to the web, albeit over a year later than initially planned.
Unlike 'All My Children', in the year interim 'One Life to Live' storylines have continued to be told on ABC’s last remaining soap 'General Hospital', which moved into 'One Life to Live's timeslot.
Prospect Park is set to begin production on OLTL and AMC in February and air them on TOLN.com.
'Days of Our Lives' renewed through September 2014
Fans can count on being able to see their favorite stories unfold in Salem for at least over a year; NBC has just renewed 'Days of Our Lives' through September 2014.
President of NBC Entertainment Jennifer Salke said in a statement, "We are thrilled to announce that 'Days of our Lives' is not going anywhere. It is NBC's longest-running drama series by far and is one of the most historic brands in television."
'Days of Our Lives' premiered on November 8, 1965.
Genie Francis will bring Laura back to 'General Hospital'
It is the announcement fans have been waiting for - Genie Francis will bring back Laura, half of daytime television's most popular couple Luke & Laura, to ABC's 'General Hospital'. The actress has spent the last year and a half portraying Genevieve Atkinson on the highly rated CBS soap 'The Young & The Restless'.
Anthony Geary who portrays Luke, has remained on 'General Hospital' and won a record seventh Daytime Emmy Award last year.
Francis won an Emmy for her brief return in 2007, which saw the character of Laura awake from a catatonic state, not realizing that she and Luke were not still married. Luke pretended to still be married to her in an effort not to stall her recovery. They renewed their vows for their 25th wedding anniversary (a wedding that is the highest rated moment in daytime television history) only for Laura to ultimately slip back into her catatonia, devastating Luke.
She returned again briefly in 2008 to awaken from her catatonia to leave Port Charles (the show's fictional town) to seek treatment.
Francis will return to the set of 'General Hospital' later this month with scenes to begin airing February 11th, 50 days before the shows 50th anniversary.
As if CBS and ABC decided to make a trade, Steve Burton who recently left General Hospital, where he portrayed Jason Morgan since 1990, has decided to join the cast of The Young & The Restless.
Soap ratings are up
Another welcome relief to soap fans has come in the form of the Nielsen numbers which have gone up for soaps and sees them outpacing the talk shows which had begun to replace them, according to a Hollywood Reporter article.
In the article VP and Director of Programming at Katz Television Group attributes the ratings uptick to a rediscovery of the genre saying, "What's happened is the core audience realized these treasures might go away." He continued, "They decided they'd better watch, or the shows are not going to be there."