It's true that ABC offered to buy the rights to AW in 1999. R Scott Collishaw wrote about finding out as the show was winding down that the ABC rumor was true.
P&G not selling the rights was because they realized the value of the property they had though and saw the value of the archive and the characters -- the exact opposite of not wanting to be involved with soap operas anymore.
If ABC wanted to air AW, they could have paid a fee to P&G to keep making it. Giving ABC creative control over the legacy of Another World would have been a disaster for the memory of AW, given that Brian Frons was just a couple years away from coming to ABC Daytime. So I don't blame P&G one bit for not selling.
I agree P&G may have wanted out of the soap biz, but I think if that is the case, it was the parent corporation that wanted out, not Procter and Gamble Productions/TeleNext. Also while MADD was there, there were still things like college soap writer contests ... The whole P&G conspiracy going back to the 90s is not really supportable in my view. If they firmly decided they wanted out, it was in the mid-2000s, not going back to the 90s.
Thanks for confirming that! I've always heard that it was rumor but never knew if it was true or not. I agree that giving ABC creative control could've been disastrous but the selfish part of me would've wanted to see if they proved us wrong. And I agree that it was the parent company, Procter and Gamble, that wanted out; however, the last decade these shows were on the air made me question the production company too. Even though I loathed MADD for what she did to Michael Zaslow, I do think that under her rule, these shows did have a central power to answer too, and she did toss people out quick, fast, and in a hurry when ratings did not resonate. IMO, around late 2006-2007 when there was still some hope for these shows, P&G productions should've stepped in and did a massive overhaul behind the scenes, getting rid of Goutman and Wheeler in the process, regardless of them winning emmys, WGA awards, etc.