Fans were shocked to learn that starting Monday, May 20, ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE, which had been airing via Hulu.com four days a week, would now be airing twice a week. (AMC will air Monday and Wednesday, with OLTL filling the Tuesday and Thursday slot.) We went to Prospect Park head honcho Jeff Kwatinetz for details on what led to the surprising move.
Soaps In Depth: What does this mean for the future?
Jeff Kwatinetz: It’s good. We’ve been getting millions of views. We’re off to a great start. The data is pretty clear. People aren’t watching like they watched it before. We should have expected this. We thought it’d be a lot…I don’t know why, but our initial instinct was that people were going to watch them like they watched them on ABC. But the truth is they’re watching them more like they watch shows on-line, and people are just falling behind. They think that there are too many episodes, and they don’t like missing shows or getting behind. [Another factor has been the fast paced-nature of the episodes themselves.] We don’t want to slow them down so people feel like it is okay to miss a show. People are telling us – and you have your own experiences – that if they miss one of our shows they feel like they have to go back, they can’t just pick up.
In Depth: How does switching to two days a week impact the pacing of shows that are already taped? If you had a Tuesday show that’s now a Wednesday show — and you’re not getting another one till next Monday — how does that affect the viewers? What about cliffhangers and holiday shows, themes that were going on?
Kwatinetz: That’s a really good question. Luckily, our stories weren’t dependent on things like holidays or times of year. But that’s part of why, once we saw that people were watching the shows more like they do other on-line shows, we realized we needed to do something quicker and [not] end up with the kind of issues you’re talking about.
In Depth: Once you’ve gotten a chance to see how this new schedule does, might you consider going back to a four-episode week down the line?
Kwatinetz: Of course! We always said that we’re going to adjust to the audience. This give us more time to work with you guys about marketing the show and making the show its own event. The last thing we wanted to do is slow down the pacing because everyone loves the shows themselves. I have not been involved with TV that has gotten such great reviews. We don’t want to screw around with the content. We just wanted to make sure that people can keep up.