(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Monday afternoon, Vincent Irizarry received word of Jamey Giddens‘ (of Daytime Confidential) rather strong implication on Twitter that [Irizarry's] inability to reach an agreement with production company Prospect Park along with Agnes Nixon and Lorraine Broderick‘s “story projections” were a major reason Prospect Park decided to reportedly halt early production efforts to move “All My Children” to the internet. The none too pleased Daytime Emmy Award winner responded to the claim on Facebook on Monday evening.
Irizarry was provided with an unexpected birthday surprise on Saturday, November 12 when Giddens revealed that his sources had spilled that “Prospect Park’s inability to make a deal [with] Irizarry is a factor in #AMC reboot stalling. Stories were to heavily involve David… [From a branding pt., Susan Lucci was their biggest casting factor, from story it was Irizzary].” When questioned on how that deduction was possible when neither an Executive Producer or Head Writer has been hired for the soap, as opposed to sister soap “One Life to Live,” which has signed talent to the aforementioned positions for their 2.0 incarnation as well as thirteen actors, Giddens added “Agnes and Lorraine worked on story projections for the show.”
On Monday evening, along with requesting the source of the claim that was stated to him in reduced form, Irizarry responded on his official fan page on Facebook and emphatically stated that “the part re: me and Lorraine is absolute rubbish. We are certainly not the reason [Prospect Park] has put the show on hold.” (Update: 11/16/11) This evening on Twitter, Vincent neither confirmed or denied the accuracy of Giddens sources but did state he felt Giddens comments were “terribly misquoted” to him by the original poster on his Facebook page. The posters original comment stated to Irizarry that it had been “reported that that the show was put on hold…because broderick and vincent cant decide if they want to sign.”
It had been revealed as far back as October 6 that Irizarry had finally been contacted by Prospect Park to join “AMC” as it prepared to go online. This discussion had not led to a signing before the reported stall in early production; similar to the results of reported discussions with major “AMC” names including Lucci (ex-Erica Kane), Michael E. Knight (ex-Tad Martin), Rebecca Budig (ex-Greenlee Smythe), Alicia Minshew (ex-Kendall Hart) and Jacob Young (ex-JR Chandler). From the performers they reached out to, Prospect Park has only been able to secure Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery), Lindsay Hartley (Cara Castillo) and Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard).
Irizarry, who just turned a handsome 52-years old, has enjoyed a long and successful daytime carrer which began on CBS’s Guiding Light in 1984 as anti-hero Brandon “Lujack” Luvanoczeck. He played the popular role until 1986. In 1987, the actor joined the cast of Santa Barbara for a two year run as Dr. Scott Clark. Irizarry returned to the soap that put him on the map in 1991 as Nick McHenry Spaulding. He remained on the soap for five more years. Irizarry landed the role of Dr. David Hayward in November 1997 and remained an integral part of the ABC soap through to the end outside of a two year break between his two stints in Pine Valley where he landed on CBS’ “The Young and the Restless.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — With an amazing spirit that shines from the inside out and a very quick learning curve, Iraq war veteran and motivational speaker J.R. Martinez wasted little time winning over legions of “All My Children” fans after joining the cast of the popular daytime drama in November of 2008. The fearless 28-year old has gone on to win over the hearts of millions more since joining the cast of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” Along with soaring to the top of the leaderboard on the popular dance show, the actor has emerged as arguably the most popular star of the 13th season and a role model to many who may have never heard of him before.
On November 1, Rick Jackson, the President of the Tournament of Roses announced the appointment of Martinez as Grand Marshal of the annual event that airs on January 2. The events theme for 2012 is “Just Imagine…” The theme celebrates the power of imagination, inspiration and determination to encourage people to reach higher and try harder. Jackson felt Martinez was the perfect embodiment of “Just Imagine…” Along with leading off the Rose Parade, Martinez will also toss the coin before the 98th Rose Bowl college football game. Former Grand Marshals of the event include Bob Hope, Richard Nixon, Walt Disney, Roy Rogers, Hank Aaron, Charles Schulz, Frank Sinatra, Gregory Peck and George Lucas to name just a few.
On Monday, November 7, Martinez earned a Tri-Union Diversity Award, along with the likes of television legend Bill Cosby. The Tri-Union Diversity Award is awarded by the three major unions covering actors – the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the American Federation of Television and Radio Actors (AFTRA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). The award celebrates performers and organizations that “have taken an active stand to make a difference toward a more representational, multicultural community by helping build a foundation for diversity within the industry.” Martinez was chosen for the honor for providing a strong voice to both burn victims and disabled veterans in the industry as a performer on both “AMC” and “DWTS.”
Just this past Friday, which happened to be Veterans Day, Martinez enjoyed his second visit to “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” His first appearance was as a scheduled guest on October 12. The actor who within a month of his deployment to Iraq in 2003 suffered severe burns to nearly half of his body when his Humvee hit a land mine recently shared his personal story of triumph over tragedy with People Magazine for a cover story. He is on the cover of the November 7 issue. The aforementioned honors are not exactly everyday occurances for current or former daytime actors who have not made it in prime-time or films nor for war veterans. Along with being a fixture on entertainment shows such as EXTRA, Martinez also made a special guest appearance on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” for its Veterans Day episode.
On “DWTS,” Martinez continues to show-off his quick learning curve and, in a first for the season, earned not just one but two consecutive perfect scores with partner Karina Smirnoff in the 8th week of competiton. On Monday, considered the favorite to take the top spot, Martinez joined soccer player Hope Solo, reality star Rob Kardashian, and probably his most fierce competition, talk show host Ricki Lake in the semifinals. Despite obvious discomfort from an ankle he injured in practice this past weekend, Martinez earned high marks for his efforts but landed in third place as Kardashian continued to show improvement. Tune in to “DWTS” tonite to see if Martinez makes it to the Finals scheduled to begin airing on Monday, November 21. Having made it to the semifinals in the current season of competition, Martinez has already out-danced former “AMC” co-stars and former “DWTS” competitors Cameron Mathison (finished in 5th place in season 5), Susan Lucci (finished in 6th place in season 7) and Aiden Turner (finished in 9th place in season 10).
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Prospect Park decides to move forward with plans for “One Life to Live,” while delaying the launch of “All My Children” for the time being. But why the sudden change of plans?
As Soap Opera Network Editor-in-Chief Errol Lewis expressed over the weekend, recent actions by the upstart online production company have made their decision obvious. To date, pending final agreements with the various unions, 13 cast members have agreed to make the transition with the show from ABC to Prospect Park, compared with only three for “All My Children.” Furthermore, “One Life” will keep its current head writer and executive producer and, at least for the short term, still tape episodes in the same New York City studio.
But what are the reasons for that? Some have argued that Prospect Park is giving “All My Children” some additional time off as a way to preserve it. In this argument, “One Life to Live” is turned into somewhat of a guinea pig, with its failure or success determining if and when Prospect Park would decide to debut a rebooted “AMC.”
Despite being the biased “OLTL” fan that I am, I cannot accept that assumption as a valid argument. First, “OLTL” has been the stronger of the two shows in the months leading up to “AMC’s” final episode on ABC in September. “One Life to Live” moved up in the ratings, routinely breaking even with or outperforming both “All My Children” and “General Hospital.” Creatively, the show was on an upswing as well, luring back fan favorite Roger Howarth to step back into his signature role as Todd Manning.
Also, if “AMC” was supposedly the stronger of the two, why was it’s final ABC airdate scheduled nearly four months ahead of “OLTL,” therefore giving it a momentum-killing hiatus when only a weekend will separate “One Life to Live” from the ABC and Prospect Park eras? The days of “All My Children” being more of a household or brand name are long since gone. Outside of Susan Lucci, who has become somewhat of a caricature in recent years, the show is about recognizable as “OLTL.” And speaking of Lucci, it worth noting that, while she was/is allegedly holding out for more money and fewer hours, “One Life” grand dame Erika Slezak was among the first four cast members to sign up with Prospect Park.
I sometimes wonder if maybe “One Life to Live” was the only soap that Prospect Park really wanted to license from ABC, and the network played hardball with them by forcing them into taking “All My Children” as well. Yeah, I know, probably just some wishful thinking on my part, but stranger things have happened. However, regardless of whatever went into Prospect Park’s decision, as a “OLTL” fan I am excited and optimistic about what lies ahead for the fictional town of Llanview.
From the flood of returning cast members and familiar faces in the coming months, to the show’s upcoming storyline involving the cancellation and fan campaign to ‘save’ “Fraternity Row,” to awaiting the start of the Prospect Park era, I am anxious to see what the future may hold. “One Life to Live” is back in its groove again, and now is beginning to show some (keyword ‘some’) resemblances to the “OLTL” I grew up with back in the 80′s and 90′s.
Moving on, congratulations to “CBRVA83,” who correctly guessed the answers to the trivia questions from the previous column. In case you missed the clues, here there are again with the answers: 1. What small role did Peter Bartlett (Nigel) play in the film “Meet the Parents?” Answer: An employee at an animal shelter. 2. To which magazine has Andrea Evans (Tina) served as a contributor? Answer: Healthy Cooking. 3. What former “Andy Griffith Show” actor did Barbara Rhoades (Irene) co-star with in a 1968 Western, and what was the name of the movie? Answer: Don Knotts, “The Shakiest Gun in the West.”
Now it’s time to shake things up a bit and do some more trivia. 1. What role on “OLTL” did Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan, “AMC”) once audition for? Before taking over the character of Cristian Vega, what small role did David Fumero play? 3. What did Jerry verDorn wear to his audition for the role of Clint Buchanan that disappeared before his first episode aired? I’ll have the answers in the November 30 edition of My View of Llanview.
Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. Unexpected couples lock lips. One family member probes into another’s mindset. Someone learns that things aren’t always what they seem. And an old flame has a few tricks up their sleeves while cozying up to the object of their affections.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone! Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and don’t eat too much turkey!
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” Episode Recap – Monday, November 14, 2011.
IT HAPPENED TODAY…
Natalie’s wedding to Brody is underway, and when the minister asks if anyone knows just cause why these two should not be married, Roxy speaks up. As the ceremony continues, Natalie is haunted by what Jessica told her earlier – that Liam might be John’s baby, not Brody’s.
Meanwhile, Tina tracks down DV the dog, who has the paternity test results. Tina races to the wedding to show Natalie. Tina manages to give Natalie the document… Natalie is overwhelmed as she realizes everything Jessica said was true. Brody reacts to this news. Will they go through with the wedding? Natalie makes a declaration to Brody.
Earlier, John chooses not to answer his phone… we see it’s Jessica, who’s decided to tell him he might well be Liam’s father. John goes to the nursery to say goodbye to Liam, remembers happy times with him and Natalie. Nigel catches him.
Ford and Jessica grow closer and he supports her in her decision to try to tell John the truth. Jessica feels terrible for how much she’s leaned on him, figures he probably wishes he hadn’t chosen to hang out with her so much. EOD, they kiss.
Cutter catches Stacy at the airport trying to use his credit card to buy a ticket to Brazil to get her face changed back to look like herself. He tries to convince her not to go, but she argues passionately that she needs to get back to her old self, try to regain her memory, and especially not do anything more that could hurt Rex and Shane. Cutter is touched, finally offers to go with her.
On the Next One Life to Live…
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — It was Tuesday, October 4 when Soap Opera Network first reported on the current status of union discussions between the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and Prospect Park following word back in July that Prospect Park would be launching “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” on the web. Now more than a month later, and with news that “AMC” is being delayed for various reasons, an AFTRA rep tells Soap Opera Network that they are “still in discussions with [Prospect Park].” This at some point could place a damper on the company’s plan of launching “One Life” online in January if a deal isn’t reached in the next several weeks.
The latest the soap could go back into production, following the end of production later this week of its ABC run, would be towards of end of December. This all hinges of course on a hoped for deal with the unions including AFTRA, the Writers Guild of America (WGA), the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and the Producers Guild of America (PGA), among others. Prospect Park previously signed a deal with Disney/ABC to rent out the soaps current New York studio at the ABC Television Center for the programs initial run via Prospect Park’s Online Network (TOLN).
Soap Opera Network will continue following all aspects of Prospect Park, the Online Network (TOLN), “One Life to Live” 2.0 and “All My Children” 2.0 as details become available.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “General Hospital” Episode Recap – Monday, November 14, 2011.
IT HAPPENED TODAY…
Lucky gets a churchyard message and a visitor.
Delirious, Elizabeth clings to Jason from her hospital bed swearing Jake is alive, as Matt and Monica look on.
Mac questions Patrick and Robin about Lisa Niles murder.
Maggie gets acclimated to General Hospital – and Olivia.
Dante interrupts Delores from interrogating Olivia as a suspect. Sonny and Luke have a deep heart to heart about Dante & Lulu. Meanwhile, Lulu has her hands full with Cameron and Aiden, only for Dante to level her with news that he is on the Lisa Niles murder case.
On the Next General Hospital…
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Sunday, November 13, The New York Times reported that American Media, Inc., which earlier this year purchased the licensing rights of both Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly from owner Source Interlink, in which the company now oversees all aspects including editorial, advertising, marketing and distribution, would be launching a new weekly magazine dubbed Reality Weekly.
The magazine, which is set to launch in January 2012 with a newsstand price of $1.79 per issue, has long been expected. After all, reality TV related programming and “stars” have graced the covers of People and Entertainment Weeky, and even celebrity gossip mags Us Weekly, Star (which is owned by American Media) and Life & Style. With coveted supermarket placing between both Weekly and Digest, many often wondered if, along with dwindling audience for the soaps, American Media took over the mags just for their positioning and would shutter the mags in place of magazine’s such as Reality Weekly. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Although I do not personally subscribe to either Digest or Weekly, it recently came to my attention that Soap Opera Weekly no longer provides subscriptions for soap fans wishing to receive their Weekly at home as it and numerous other magazines have done since their inceptions. This was later confirmed as the magazine no longer provides an online subscription via the Zinio magazine subscription and tablet application service. Digest and Soaps in Depth (both ABC and CBS editions) continue to provide subscriptions, however.
An American Media representative told Soap Opera Network “Absolutely not!” when asked if the launch of Reality Weekly had anything to do with the company’s decision to stop providing subscriptions for Weekly. “We made it a 100 percent newsstand mag that generates a million dollars of editda per year,” the rep continued. EDITDA stands for Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
In an industry plagued with erosion, it’s safe to say that at least our soap magazine’s appear to have more longevity than some of the soaps themselves.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — There has been much discussed about “All My Children” 2.0 following a report by Soaps in Depth in which the magazine reported on its website that “All My Children,” as conceived by the minds behind the scenes at Prospect Park, has been placed on hold. This of course is after months of rumors and speculation stating that the company had planned to launch the show just days following its September 23 ABC finale and again in January 2012 following the network finale of sister soap “One Life to Live,” which in addition to “AMC” was licensed to Prospect Park for its Online Network (TOLN) in a deal brokered with the Disney/ABC Television Group back in July of this year. But is this really news to the fans or were we all just hoping something else was going on behind the scenes that would suddenly pace the show on the same trek as “OLTL?”
When the deal with Prospect Park was announced many speculated that one of the reasons “One Life to Live” was allowed to continue on post ABC was due in large part to its association with “All My Children,” both in cancellation and its creator Agnes Nixon. After weeks of silence following the big press release touting the renewed life for both series, which were canceled by ABC in April, “One Life to Live” signed deals with four actors in early September to continue on while “All My Children” only signed two. By the end of September “One Life” would not only sign five additional stars, but would also sign an executive producer and a head writer. Frank Valentini, who will continue as the soaps EP once production wraps at the end of this coming week, will also take on duties as VP, Serial Dramas, Prospect Park. In this new role Valentini will be responsible for all aspects of “One Life to Live” and “All My Children,” along with any other serialized dramatic programming Prospect Park puts into production. His duties will include signing off on the hiring of actors, writers, producers, etc along with setting the budgetary tone for each serialized program under Prospect Park.
By the end of October, “One Life to Live” had signed a total of 13 actors in addition to their EP and HW, while “All My Children” signed Darnell Williams (ex-Jesse Hubbard) to round out the current “AMC” 2.0 cast that includes Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan Lavery) and Lindsay Hartley (ex-Cara Castillo). Williams’ signing was confirmed to Soap Opera Network by a Prospect Park representative, although other publications have yet to confirm the news through proper channels and used a tweet by Hartley as the basis for their initial reporting. “All My Children” remains without a head writer or executive producer. Last week, Soap Opera Network reported via several sources that ABC had agreed to allow Prospect Park continued usage of “One Life’s” current studio space, which just so happened to be “AMC’s” studio prior to the soaps move to LA in 2010. “All My Children” was said to continue filming at its Andrita studio in LA under Prospect Park, but after nearly three months since production ceased for the ABC run it’s anyone’s guess as to what has since happened to the sets, wardrobe, props, etc.
With the signing of no more than three actors, no executive producer, and no head writer, there was absolutely no way “All My Children” could continue online or in any other form as planned. Meanwhile, Prospect Park continues to state that their new Online Network (TOLN) is launching in January 2012, and the company has signed a licensing deal with Universal Music Group in which contemporary music would be available in episodes of both soaps and available for purchase online after the end of each episode. Although there are reports that the company is in need of $65 million on hand to get their efforts off the ground and an additional $80 million per year to fund both series each year, the funding necessary doesn’t seem to be stalling preparations for an online version of “One Life to Live” nor does the fact that there is no deal between the required unions such as the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the Writers Guild of America (WGA), the Directors Guild of America (DGA) or the Producers Guild of America (PGA), among others.
The issues currently plaguing “AMC” rests on the former cast and crew and their ability to now find jobs anywhere in Hollywood now that they are all living their lives comfortably in the Bear state and free from the clutches of ABC. Michael E. Knight (ex-Tad Martin) received an offer from Prospect Park, but turned it down because he wanted a break. Alicia Minshew (ex-Kendall Hart) and Rebecca Budig (Greenlee Smythe) were sure to be in demand by the company, but alas both wish to only return if they were able to remain on recurring status. Series star and soap opera legend, Susan Lucci (ex-Erica Kane), turned down the company’s offer for the same salary she received while working on the ABC version of the soap. Jacob Young (ex-JR Chandler), who returned on screen at “The Bold and the Beautiful” just before “AMC” aired its final episode in September, admitted that he only signed a short-term deal with “B&B” and wants Prospect Park to be more forthcoming with information. “Let’s see what these Prospect Park guys can bring to the table,” he said on Tuesday, October 25 at New York’s Town Hall for the first of several “A Tribute to Pine Valley” sessions with fans. Once Prospect Park gets its ducks in a row, including signing deals with the necessary unions and apparently finding the funding necessary, “All My Children” 2.0 is now said to be geared for a March 2012 launch, while “OLTL” remains on track to launch in January 2012.
GENERAL HOSPITAL: TEASERS
ONE LIFE TO LIVE: TEASERS