LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Canceled soap operas "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," will now live on -- not on the small screen but on the Internet, mobile phones and other online formats, the broadcaster said on Thursday.
ABC said it has licensed the two long-running daytime dramas to a Los Angeles-based production company in a multi-platform deal that "enables the soaps' stories to continue beyond their finale dates on ABC."
According to the statement, production company Prospect Park, which is behind the hit USA cable TV show "Royal Pains", will produce the two shows in the same format and length as ABC, but make them available on new devices, including Internet-enabled TV sets.
"We are privileged to continue the legacy of two of the greatest programs to air on daytime television, and are committed to delivering the storylines, characters and quality that audiences have come to love for over 40 years," Prospect Park said in a statement.
"'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' are television icons, and we are looking forward to providing anytime, anywhere viewing to their loyal community of millions," the statement added.
No date was given for when or where the new episodes would be available and it was not immediately clear whether the cast for the two shows would remain the same.
ABC's decision in April to end the two soaps and replace them with new food, lifestyle and make-over shows was met with uproar from the dwindling amount of fans, some of whom organized petitions in a bid to save them.
"All My Children", which made its debut in 1970, will broadcast its final episode on ABC on September 23, and "One Life to Live" will bow out in January 2012 after more than 40 years. "All My Children" has lost about one million regular viewers since 2006 and now attracts an audience of about 2.4 million.
Agnes Nixon, who created the two shows, said she was delighted they would have a new life.
"I'm excited for their future with Prospect Park," Nixon added. "We are a big family that keeps going, and I'm looking forward to working alongside these wonderful people as we ensure that the shows will continue with all the love and excitement we've always had. I also am so happy for our loyal fans."
Both "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" have won multiple awards and praise for tackling social issues like alcoholism, AIDS and illiteracy.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)