Soap operas get a new lease on life online

'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' are going online only starting Monday -- as the first offerings of 'The Online Network', an ad-supported outlet for first-run entertainment delivered online.

Today’s the big day for some soap opera fans. Two of the longest running shows are coming back after getting cancelled two years ago, but you won’t find "All My Children" or "One Life to Live" on television -- both shows are premiering on the web, and the producers are banking on the fans to follow.

It’s not the first time soap operas have changed platforms; they followed advertising dollars from radio to television in the 1950s, and now they’re starting to shift to the web.

“Online video is the fastest growing segment in terms of ad revenue on the Internet, so there are opportunities there,” says Brad Adgate, an analyst at Horizon Media.

Adgate adds that online soaps will have to appeal to the web’s younger audience. The shows will be faster-paced and only 25 minutes long, down from an hour on TV.

“The language is a little saltier, and the clothing might be a little skimpier,” says Carolyn Hinsey, a longtime columnist for Soap Opera Digest, who’s seen the premieres of both shows. “They’re really good, I have to say. They were better than I expected. The production values were exactly the same as they were on television.”

Many of the original cast members are back, plus a bunch of young newcomers, including J-Woww from "Jersey Shore".  Snoop Lion will guest star as himself; the rapper formerly as Snoop Dogg also wrote a fresh theme song for "One Life to Live" called “Brand New Start.

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