It's the ultimate soap story, complete with twists and turns: "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" were killed, left for dead with legions of fans calling for blood. Then, a ray of hope appeared in the form of Prospect Park, but that was quickly extinguished ... until now. "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" are back from the dead and have found a new home online.
"Most of us thought that both shows were dead in the water and the tradition was going down the tubes and nobody loved us anymore and we felt bad," Cady McCalin, who plays Dixie Cooney on "All My Children," told The Huffington Post at the premiere for the two soaps on Tuesday, April 23.
"All My Children" and "One Life to Live" return on Monday, April 29 with new half-hour episodes on iTunes and Hulu. It's a big change from the normal timeslots in the early afternoon, but the stars aren't worried.
"It's no longer daytime -- it's anytime now," "All My Children" star Jill Larson (Opal Cortlandt to soap fans) said. "I walk into the restaurant and see everyone sitting with their phone ... I don't think it's going to be that big of a jump."
It's been more than a year and a half since "All My Children" ended and a little more than a year since "One Life to Live" went off the air. Some of the actors have moved past the initial feelings of betrayal when ABC canceled the soaps, while others haven't let go.
"I enjoy holding a grudge. I carry grudges like excess baggage," Robin Strasser, who plays Dorian Lord on "One Life to Live," said. "OK, I'm not wishing personal or family harm, but a badass mistake was made that shot down a lot of jobs, careers and two fabulous shows. If, at some point, they own their mistake or karma's a bitch and comes around, then so be it. At least I'm sane enough to know I'm not in charge of that."
Longtime stars like Strasser and Larson are returning to their soap homes alongside new faces like Jenni "JWoww" Farley and Corbin Bleu -- they're on "One Life to Live" -- and Paula Garces, a "Guiding Light" veteran who joins "All My Children."
"I was really, really nervous because ... they're such a tight-knit group," Garces said. "I did 'Guiding Light' a while ago and I had forgotten how much work a soap was, so my first day I had like 60 pages of dialogue and I thought I was going to cry and just go home and say, 'Forget it, guys -- you made a mistake.'"
Bleu, a veteran of "High School Musical," is playing a journalist on "One Life to Live." "Everyone here on the set has been wonderful," he said. "It's a very talented group, a very fun group. All my stuff is with Erika Slezak, so you really can't get better than that."
Click through the gallery below to see how the stars described their first day back on the revived soaps.
"All My Children" and "One Life to Live" return on Monday, April 29 with new half-hour episodes on iTunes and Hulu.
"[The first day on set was] like riding a bike ... It's got a wonderful feel to it and it's new and exciting at the same time."
"[The first day on set] was like magic. It really was ... We all just walked around shaking our heads saying, 'I can't believe this is happening.'"
"Oh my god, [the first day on set] was a love festival. I mean it was like going to your grandmother's house and she just made your favorite cookies and everybody you love in the whole world was there. It was heaven. My heart was exploding with joy."
"[The first day on set] felt like putting on an old pair of slippers. We just picked up from where we were because we were around so many familiar faces -- even behind the scenes, behind the camera. People we worked with back in the day -- that was wonderful. We left them when we moved out to LA, which was really sad. So to come back and see those faces, it was so great."
"[The first day on set was] a blast. Yeah, I think I took my clothes off and made love to Bob Woods. I don't know what that makes me. [Laughs.] I think I got paid for that. I don't know what that makes me."
"[The first day on set] was surreal ... We've got old people and we've got new people -- so much of a cool mix that it was like ... doing an old project and a new project all at the same time and putting them all together and being like, 'Oh, a nice sandwich.'"
"The first day [back on set] was crazy ... We dove right into it. right into the drama! It's like a dream. You almost forget what you shot. It was very exciting."
"[The first day on set] was so amazing ... It felt like a miracle. They said the shows were dead. They said give up hope, but the fans did not stop agitating, advocating and going for it. Luckily, Prospect Park stepped up and I can just tell you they are doing such a first class job."
"We had a lot of fun the first day [on set]. It was like the old fashioned stuff we used to do ... it was fun. A lot of laughs."