TODAY   |  April 28, 2013

Soap operas find new life online

Classic soap opera “All my Children” is finding a new life online. It will be available on Hulu and iTunes, and the show is hoping fans will log on instead of tune in. NBC’s Mara Schiavocampo reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> reporter: for 41 years, erica cane helped to make "all my children" a dailily viewing habit.

>> and you betrayed me!

>> reporter: that came to an end in 2011 , when abc cancelled the show. but now, the set of amc is bustling once again.

>> item 11 tapes nowment.

>> reporter: the classic soap opera returns on monday, but this time it won't air on network television . instead, it'll be a web series on sites like hulu and itunes. amc veterans darnell williams and debbe morgan expect fans to log on instead of tune in.

>> they're counting down. we have our own countdown for the show. they're koupting down, too.

>> it just makes us feel like it will be pow.

>> reporter: so far, the show's biggest star, susan lucci , is not part of the cast.

>> here we go.

>> reporter: but the same isn't true for "one life to live." it's also returning online with stars erika slezak returning to a role she played for decades.

>> it's really interesting that we're seeing original programming coming out from all sources.

>> reporter: this is part of a new trend. netflix is leading the way.

>> i'm sorry, mr. president.

>> reporter: its original series "house of cards" helped the company gain 3 million subscribe subscriber during the first three months of the year alone. and that success is expected to continue later this year thanks to new episodes of "arrested development" returning online after a seven-year hiatus.

>> that's a show that not only had a dedicated fan base when it was on the air be but that fan base has grown over the years, and that's true of soaps. when the soaps were pulled from the air, there was such an outcry.

>> reporter: only four soap operas remain on the air. ten years ago, there were a dozen. as for the ones moving online, expect new changes. new episodes run monday through thursday and are only 30 minutes long.

>> back in the day, soap operas were -- you know, moved so slow. now, this stuff just, like, whips by, whips by.

>> it's all about keeping up with the times.

>> reporter: back on the set of "all my children," it's business as usual as the show prepares to move from its familiar slot in daytime to a new one -- anytime. for "today," mara schiavo campo, nbc news, new york.