Soap opera producer Prospect Park files for bankruptcy protection
Prospect Park Networks -- the production company that launched with high hopes of bringing two canceled ABC soap operas back to life -- has put itself on legal life support.
The production firm based in Century City, headed by veteran producers Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, said Monday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The group spent nearly three years and more than $10 million trying to revive two canceled daytime dramas, “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” that ran for four decades on the ABC television network.
Prospect Park secured the rights to the dramas in 2011 after ABC announced that it would end the two series.
Kwatinetz had intended the soaps to serve as a foundation for an ambitious project -- the Online Network -- which he envisioned as a next-generation Internet based programming service.
Kwatinetz figured that the shows, with their loyal and passionate fans, would be the perfect prototype to launch TOLN.
He hired writers and actors and built dozens of sets in a Connecticut sound stage to take advantage of that state’s film tax credit program. He even enlisted the 85-year-old creator of “All My Children,” Agnes Nixon, to help in the effort.
Early last year, his group succeeded in rebooting the programs as Internet series. But a tangle of issues, including logistics, union squabbles, small audiences and money troubles, prompted Prospect Park to cease production in August. Prospect Park produced 43 episodes of “All My Children” and 40 episodes of “One Life to Live.”
Kwatinetz had planned to resume production on “All My Children” last fall after a several-month hiatus, but the hoped-for financing did not come through.
Separately, the company has been waging a court fight against ABC.
In its 2013 lawsuit against Walt Disney Co.-owned ABC, Prospect Park alleges that ABC went out of its way to thwart Prospect Park’s efforts to bring back the two long-running soaps.
“The Chapter 11 filing in no way impacts PPN’s litigation against the American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.,” the company said in a statement. “In addition, the bankruptcy filing will allow PPN the timing flexibility to collect on a tax credit from the Connecticut Office of Film, Television & Digital Media.”
Kwatinetz’s group noted that its separate Prospect Park talent and management company was unrelated to PPN and, thus, not included in the bankruptcy filing.
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