Beginning on July 1, SOAPnet will begin rebroadcasting episodes of ANOTHER WORLD, the much-missed 35-year-old sudser that left the airways four years ago. Digest spoke with Deborah Blackwell, general manager for SOAPnet, about this exciting addition.
Digest: Why did you decide to acquire AW?

Deborah Blackwell: Of the classic soaps, ANOTHER WORLD is the one that we have heard the most about. That makes sense because I think it’s the most prominent, popular and long-running of the soaps that are no longer on the air. So, in that sense, it was an easy choice. There were three reasons we really wanted it. First, the viewers wanted it. The second reason would be that we’re eager to invite NBC viewers into SOAPnet. Third, we liked building our relationship with Procter & Gamble. It felt good to start that relationship. We’re hoping that the day will come that we’ll have P&G soaps old and new on SOAPnet. This is our first step in that direction.
Digest: How long has this process to acquire AW been in motion?

Blackwell: It has been in motion for a long time. It’s an idea that we’ve had for at least a couple of years. We started discussions with P&G at least a year ago and expressed our interest in acquiring ANOTHER WORLD and potentially other soaps of theirs. We have a lot of other programming that is on during the day, so we didn’t have a space open until now.
Digest: Why did you decide to start rebroadcasting AW with the July 1, 1987 episode?

Blackwell: On a creative level, we are really excited about starting in 1987. It feels like that is a good moment in terms of storyline. We’re guessing that these more contemporary episodes will be easier for the bulk of our audience to relate to [as opposed to] if we had started earlier.
Digest: Are you contacting former AW actors to publicize the launch?

Blackwell: We are. Coincidentally, Linda Dano [ex-Felicia; now-Rae, ONE LIFE TO LIVE was] representing SOAPnet at a conference the week that the ANOTHER WORLD news broke, and they found ANOTHER WORLD fans there. Linda is somebody with whom we have a close relationship, but we hope to connect with other former stars of ANOTHER WORLD. We’re strategizing now about how to use them on air. We’re also brainstorming about fun on-air campaigns that will spark viewer interest in ANOTHER WORLD.

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