Two classic-but-cancelled daytime dramas have, in true soap-opera fashion, come back from the dead: ABC’s All My Children and One Life To Live, were both canceled in 2012 after a combined 80 years on the air, but are now returning to bring fans more evil twins, kidnapped babies and amnesiac jewel thieves.
The shows will air as daily half-hour online segments on the Online Network starting April 29, but insiders got a sneak peek of the debut episodes last night at NYU’s Skirball Arts Center. We won’t risk the wrath of soap fans by revealing new storylines, but we can say the One Life to Live episode had audiences literally shrieking at the closing scene.
At the more-subdued after party, many familiar faces from Llanview and Pine Valley celebrated the shows’ remarkable rebirth: Tuc Watkins, who starred on the show in the 1990s and went on to play a gay hubby on the nightime soap Desperate Housewives, told us he was thrilled to return but also surprised. “Actually, I’m kinda flabbergasted to be back,” he told NewNowNext. “I genuinely thought the show was done and dead.”
But Watkins is thrilled to step back into the role of crafty/crazy David Vickers: “David is one of the greatest characters I’ve played—he’s a buffoon who thinks he’s a genius.” (Watkins said that he modeled the character on his favorite comic actor, Kevin Kline.)
Other familiar faces that will appear on the shows include Transformers actor Josh Kelly, High School Musical‘s Corbin Bleu and Jenni “JWoww” Farley, who has a recurring role as a bartender on OLTL.
Nick Choksi, who joined OLTL right before it was axed, said being online allows the shows to get a little racier: “I never had to take my shirt off on the old show, but the first day [here], they had me in my underwear,” said Choksi with a grin. “You get a little chilly.”
Catch the return of All My Children and One Life to Live daily on Hulu and iTunes, starting April 29