Prospect Park Adds To ABC Lawsuit; Accuses Network of a Damaging ‘Mega Soap’ Scheme!

Prospect Park
Prospect Park

Get ready for your jaws to drop, because the battle over “” and “” just got a hell of a lot uglier! In addition to the lawsuit that Prospect Park launched against ABC this April for the alleged sabotage of the company’s efforts to move the two sudsers online, the plaintiff filed a new amended complaint today with more details regarding the alphabet network’s alleged fraud and a claim that ABC schemed to create a “mega soap.” And guess what? It all comes with a demand for more than $95 million in damages!

As fans might remember, Prospect Park entered into a licensing agreement with ABC soon after the network cancelled both “AMC” and “OLTL.” As per the deal, Prospect Park owned the licensing rights to both shows and was able to bring to them to viewers online via The Online Network. Shortly after, however, it is rumored that ABC realized that abandoning the shows was a mistake and therefore purposefully dismissed Prospect Park’s chances at launching the shows successfully — which, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is only the beginning!

According to official documents secured by the publication, ABC’s alleged scheme to thwart Prospect Park started with an ABC announcement in late December that the network had hired “OLTL” executive producer and headwriter to helm its remaining soap, “” — which was the beginning of a “quest for a mega soap.” The next part of the alleged plot involved convincing Prospect Park to allow “GH” to “borrow” certain “OLTL” characters in a limited, short-term capacity. But, as brought to light by Prospect Park’s original lawsuit, the plaintiff says that “even before the ink dried on the parties’ agreement, ABC began unilaterally changing key storylines and themes, literally killing some ‘OLTL’ characters and deeply integrating others into the ‘GH’ landscape, all to create a mega soap of ‘GH’ behind Prospect Park’s back.”

Chapman Baehler/TOLN
Chapman Baehler/TOLN

Now, the plaintiff is adding that “ABC even went so far as to induce the actors who had been playing some of the more popular characters on ‘OLTL’ to sign secret, exclusive, multi-year contracts with ABC — all without a word to Prospect Park,” which was allegedly to “limit or prevent the actors’ return to ‘OLTL’ once Prospect Park exercised its options rights.”

“We have developed an increasing amount of evidence from ABC,” says Prospect Park attorney . “The arrogance of ABC is simply amazing… A jury is going to be outraged by this conduct.”

For more on the story, including ABC’s statement regarding Prospect Park’s claims, click here.

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  • Kathi MacDonald

    we just want our soaps back, still don’t watch abc.

  • Kylie

    And? I mean, where in any of this do we get our soaps back? Money doesn’t equal AMC and OLTL, it just means someone wins.

  • Johnny

    What has this to do though with ALL MY CHILDREN being cancelled when it pulled in strong viewing numbers? It sounds like it’s all about dollar signs, which from a business point I understand (though their reasoning is slightly preposterous) – and right now, it sounds like neither party can do AMC and I wish that ABC-TV had just trimmed down the show to it’s original half hour format, soaps don’t need to be an hour every day.

  • Over4tea

    If Prospect Park would have been prepared to launch the soaps right away, abc wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of them the way they did. They wasted no time snatching up the EP, HW and several characters and actors from OLTL to transport to GH. That speaks volumes to abc’s perceived value of these elements. PP must make this a key point in their case against abc. Looking back, it’s obvious that PP never should have agreed to loan any characters to abc, but regardless of the mistakes they made, PP is clearly not getting all that they are paying for. PP shouldn’t have to pay the penalty for abc’s foolish mistake to cancel OLTL. They have a strong case, and I hope they prevail.

    • Philip

      When it all boils down to it the OLTL characters probably had nothing to do with ABC. ABC at the time didn’t care as their plan was to get rid of GH anyway. They still thought the Revolution was the answer to what they wanted. They had no idea it was going to fail so badly.

      They hired Frank V. and Ron C. because they were already associated with ABC and had contracts. So they moved them to GH when the deal with PP failed. I am sure they just let them do what they wanted with bringing the characters over.

      Frank and Ron just do not want to give up OLTL. I mean clearly they could have fired the three actors and just let it go. Many actors with contracts have been fired before their contracts ran out. Those 2 are just determined to keep them on.

      But now ABC is possibly going to have to pay for what they allowed Ron and Frank to do.

  • Jim Fung

    Prospect Park is clearly only pursuing this lawsuit to get the money to fund OLTL and/or AMC. The merits of the lawsuit are tenuous at best.

  • Shane

    Kristen Alderson and Michael Easton didn’t and weren’t going to sign on originally with PP anyway. Only Roger Howarth had agreed to do so.

  • cdh195077

    I got a feeling that Prospect Park wanted to get out of the license agreement with ABC and keep all the money in their pocket.

  • KansasGuest

    This is one of the stupidest claims I’ve ever read. Why on earth would ABC want to create a “megasoap” when it could barely afford the one soap it had left on air – GH? They were cutting GH’s budget to the bare bones even a year after OLTL & AMC had ended. The whole reason ABC & other networks cancelled their soaps was $$$. A mega soap would be mega expensive and flies in the face of every decision ABC Daytime was making (i.e., developing cheaper talk shows).

  • KansasGuest

    PP gambled, lost big, and now their trying to
    sue the house for waaaay more than they lost IMO. As if ABC owes them
    for *their* risk. No one forced them to buy the rights. There are no
    guarantees when you produce entertainment, and they are sore losers. If they couldn’t make the profit they wanted from AMC & OLTL to keep them running, chalk it up to experience & move on. In fact, why don’t they try supporting some of the other online soaps that ARE successful (VENICE, THE BAY, upcoming TAINTED DREAMS) & be groundbreaking in that manner? Instead, they’re whining & suing for a ridiculous amount. As if they actually lost over $100 million. They didn’t even SPEND a fraction of that on relaunching both soaps!

  • Former ABC/CBS viewer

    Boycott ABC until they bring our soaps back!

    Boycott any advertiser that finances the replacement shows that are so much weaker in the demos!!

    It’s incredible that ABC continues its irrational anti-soaps agenda, although NO other daytime program draws the ratings that GH as their only remaining soap is delivering.

    All the execs that are responsible for this kind of sabotage should be fired!

    Just look at the numbers of last season (season average): The replacement shows draw only about half the ratings in the key demos (that’s true for CBS’ “The Talk”, too) than GH’s numbers and the numbers AMC and OLTL drew only shortly before getting canceled.

    • KansasGuest

      It doesn’t matter what the ratings are. It’s the COST that is lower with the replacement shows. They cost a fraction to produce (like 75% less) compared to what it cost ABC to produce OLTL & AMC on a weekly basis. Profit is the bottom line; not ratings.

      • Angela

        This lie has been told over and over again, and it’s still a lie.

        The “Katie” show is on the verge of being canceled because of its terrible ratings, and like several media outlets have confirmed, it costs nearly as much as a soap.

        And your logic just doesn’t work for the advertisers on the long run: They need higher ratings in the key demos than the ridiculous numbers that all the replacement shows are delivering. That’s what they are paying for, and they need to pressure the networks to give viewers what they want; more of GH-like, good scripted drama!! GH is now ABC’s best daytime show in the key demos by far.

        • Bexx The Clown

          Katie is a syndicated show that is produced by a division of ABC. In some areas it airs on a non ABC station.

          The Chew has been drawing the same numbers in the important advertiser demos that All My Children had gotten and The Chew has a far lower budget so not a lie at all

          • emma

            “the chew” draw about HALF the ratings in the women 18-49 demo than GH last season (season average 0.7 vs. 1.2).

            how low does abc wanna go and how long are advertisers going to pay for that crap??

          • KansasGuest

            As long as the ratings are rising (compared to declining, which is what the case was when AMC & OLTL were on), ABC is happy. Daytime ratings have been increasing across the board in all demographics for all shows on a consistent monthly basis. GH is safe for now & all signs are that ABC is pleased with its performance in the young adult demographic. I don’t know which ratings report you look at. But, THE CHEW is doing great according to Variety magazine. An article dated October 2013 noted that while their total audience has risen 15% compared to last year, in the 18-34 demographic their ratings are up 64%. In the 18-49 demographic, THE CHEW is up 48% compared to last year. Not exactly “crap” statistics to advertisers.

          • Over4tea

            OLTL’s ratings were rising when it was cancelled, not declining.

          • Philip

            OLTL’s ratings didn’t start rising until after the decision was made. ABC wasn’t going to change it’s mind after money had already spent on a new show and made all the announcements.

          • Over4tea

            Yes, abc had a replacement show ready (and we all know how well that worked out for them), but no, the announcements weren’t made before OLTL’s ratings started to rise. They made a mistake and they realized it, so they tried to import OLTL to GH, which they had no right to do because the rights didn’t belong to them anymore. They can’t have it both ways.

          • Noah Snyder

            I couldn’t agree more. Some people here are obviously on the wrong site. This site is called SoapOperaNetwork, not Anti-SoapOperaNetwork. But obviously, that’s exactly their agenda.

          • Over4tea

            Thank you. I understand the ratings are only part of the equation, and production costs are also important to consider. My concern as a television viewer is quality and entertainment. I personally don’t want shows like The Chew or Katie replacing the soaps. PP made a good effort and produced a decent product. If the shows were no good, there wouldn’t have been such an uproar about cutting down the number of episodes and then the hiatus. Even though I didn’t like the cutbacks, I was still looking forward to next season.

          • Bexx The Clown

            Looking at the week of October 24 The Chew had 552,000 vs GH having 745,000 in the 18-49 key advertiser demo. That is a differnce of less than 200,000. The Chew’s budge is probably 3/4 less than that of GH so drawing those numbers whcih are better than what AMC was drawing in that demo before it ended is enough to make the Chew more profitable than the soaps. The chew was also very close in total viwers to GH. Soap fans need to get over trying to spin things that The Chew is not successfull when it is

          • Noah Snyder

            But nobody except you is looking at one week.

            Long-term numbers are what matters!

            And they have been stated correctly above.

            All the soaps are drawing significantly better numbers in the key demos than these cheap, crappy shows.

            Advertisers don’t pay for the cheapest shows, but for the ones with the best ratings in the key demos!!

            GH is even number 1 in women 18-34. That’s where AMC and OLTL could stand now, too. The talk and cooking shows, however, have proved that they CANNOT.

        • KansasGuest

          The reason KATIE costs that much is because of Katie Couric. Her salary alone makes that talk show extremely expensive, which isn’t the norm. KATIE is the exception among the replacement shows, and it was clearly a mistake. But, consider this…if ABC is cancelling expensive KATIE, why would they relaunch AMC & OLTL – which are equally expensive & couldn’t make money for PP in their half-hour/2 episode-per-week format online? This was the fans’ chance to bring the numbers, and it just didn’t happen. Regardless of the positive spin PP put on the ratings, they needed MUCH higher ones to continue producing even one soap.

        • Philip

          And yet funny that ABC is lining more talk shows to take the place of Katie. Two already in the works now.

          If it was such a lie about cost then why are they not out there developing all kinds of new soaps to take their place.

          You can state a delusion over and over and believe a delusion as much as you want. In the end it is still a delusion.

          Several actors and production members have Tweeted that even though the ratings for AMC and OLTL weren’t bad. They just weren’t good enough to make up for how much both shows cost Prospect Park. And that is why they were cancelled. That is exactly why ABC said they cancelled them. Nothing has changed.

  • Bexx The Clown

    This is sad and pathetic. I am also confused how Tea’s baby dying and Cole dying had such an effect on the OLTL relaunch. As has been said Kristen Alderson and Michael Easton had not signed with the new OLTL so there was no secret signing behind PP back. Even with the characters I don’t believe it would have made any difference on how well the shows performed

    • KansasGuest

      Bottom line: what killed them was the same reason other shows are cancelled after their first season – lower than expected results. PP should have just been honest & more forthcoming about the challenges they were facing. Even now, the way they are avoiding making a formal press release – has anyone over there taken P.R. 101?

  • Bottom Line

    We still don’t watch ABC anymore.

    • Bottom Line

      Only exception: General Hospital, of course.

  • Philip

    If anyone has the delusion that the outcome of this lawsuit is going to bring back the soaps or enact revenge you need to get over it. I am sure Prospect Park is just wanting to break even. If the lawsuit was the reason they couldn’t continue both shows then how in the world did they do Season 1. The things in the lawsuit happened before the shows even went into production. They didn’t affect Season 1 but all of a sudden the shows can’t be continued because of them.

    Prospect Park just wants this money to break even.

    And if ABC loses they aren’t going to swallow the costs they have to pay. They will just take the money out of the budget of some show and I imagine since Cartini are at the root of the problem here GH will be the one that pays.

    Soap fans won’t win a thing out of this.

  • SoapFansTogether

    OK, let’s put all this into perspective.

    AMC and OLTL were brought back online (only!) by a start-up (!) company without any support of a network or major media player. Just to the contrary, ABC did everything they could to turn this into a disaster for Prospect Park AND the viewers!

    Nonetheless, hundreds of thousands of fans (see Hulu statistics) of these decade-long success stories and household marks were re-activated within a couple of weeks/months and supported this adventure no matter what, despite all the enormous limitations and disappointments.

    The most important lesson everyone can learn here is that no other daytime genre would ever achieve something like this. Soaps continue to have the most loyal, most enthusiastic fans and viewership – and the best demographic structure, as the soaps that are still on TV are proving day by day and week by week.

    • SoapFansTogether

      So, if anything, this was merely the BEGINNING of a new era where the world of TV is increasingly merging with the internet (more and more on mobile devices),

      and soaps have proved to be – once again and just as it was when they made the transition from radio to TV – strong and impressive pioneers in this process.

      • Over4tea

        I totally agree with this. The fans will always be there for soaps. PP always wanted the soaps to succeed. They made the effort, but just didn’t have the budget or the cooperation they should have gotten from the greedy criminals of abc. They didn’t have the rights to OLTL, but continued to use it, all the while reaping fees from the sale of the rights! This is even more criminal than breaking a copyright law because they were still making money off the rights. Why should they get away with such a scheme? They should be held accountable.

  • janewagon

    The reason that ABC was able to bring OLTL character’s over to GH was because PP, after announcing that they were bringing AMC and OLTL back to online only, abruptly announced that they had to back out because they didn’t have enough revenue to get them re-launched. GH did them a favor by bringing certain OLTL character’s over and keeping their storylines going. ABC also gave jobs to actors who had no prospects at the time. How could ABC foresee that PP would come back later and announce that they changed their minds again and would be re-launching AMC and OLTL? If anyone is to blame for this fiasco it’s PP. Once they finally got these shows launched online, they kept changing their viewing schedule, confusing the fans and constantly leaving them wondering exactly what was going on. Those shows failed because of a combination of poor storylines not to mention an inadequacy by PP to be honest with their loyal fans about what was really going on when they kept changing their viewing times and episodes. This ridiculous lawsuit is nothing more than PP trying to blame anyone but themselves for their failure to succeed.

  • soapfanS

    The diehard soap fans (AMC & OLTL) should stop watching GH. There’s a new soap that will be starting online “Tainted Dreams”. I say fans find out about that one & start watching. This will bring up the numbers of viewers for this soap online. Show ABC that they can’t push the diehard soap fans around. ABC really has no day time programing to watch, except “The View”. The Chew is a joke. Despite what others are saying about increased viewers & less money for their production, they are so despite they were showing viewers how you can cut cooking time using can goods . Most can goods are filled with high sodium & GMO products. I think they will try anything to help their ratings. Notice at the end of the show when other network shows have the commercials for at least 5 minutes “The Chew” stays on until at least 1 1/2 minutes before the next broadcasting show. ABC you better hold on to “Scandal” because that’s the only thing keeping you afloat. You deserve to fall, under estimating the soap fan viewers. Diehard fans like I say need to find out about “Tainted Dreams” soap online. Drop “General Hospital”. Show this network we want & support online soaps. I thought the storyline for AMC & OLTL was very good. The writers really built solid stories around the younger actors & actresses. Watch online soaps even the reruns!!