What a difference a year makes, huh “One Life to Live” fans? Looking back through the Soap Opera Network archives, I happened upon the last column that I had written. It was November 30, 2011, nearly two weeks after Prospect Park made the now infamous decision to scrap their plans to revive “OLTL” online, just five days after the soap wrapped production on its ABC run. And now here we are just over a year later, with that plan seemingly resurrected and “One Life,” along with sister soap “All My Children,” a month away from resuming production for new episodes on the internet.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Last summer I was lucky enough to be included as an interviewee in the new soap opera themed documentary appropriately titled “Soap Life,” which follows the life, and possible death, of daytime soap operas. I can’t believe I forgot all about it and didn’t realize it until this morning!
Several past and present actors, producers, journalists and writers were interviewed for the documentary including Lisa LoCicero, Rick Hearst, Kristen Renton, Jill Larson, Bradford Anderson, Carolyn Hennesy, Mimi Torchin, Shenell Edmonds, Ronnie Marmo, Cady McClain, Derk Cheetwood, Jordi Vilasuso, Max Tapper, Lexi Ainsworth, Crystal Hunt, Bobbie Eakes, Gary Tomlin, Sean Ringgold, Francesca James, Julia Barr, Eileen Fulton, and many more.
The crew behind the documentary recently surpassed their goal of raising $12,000 in funding for the project, but if you’d like to help out you are more than welcome to do so.
“Soap Life” is a new documentary about the changes taking place in the world of daytime drama. As more and more classic soap operas are cancelled or forced to move to exclusively new media distribution, the landscape of American television is going through unprecedented changes. We’ve spoken with executives, fans and a number of current and former daytime stars to get their perspective on what it all means and what lies ahead.
We are trying to raise the last amount of funds needed to finish our documentary. We still have a few weeks left to film in NYC and then post production where we need to edit, color correct, and clean up the audio.
We hope to finish the film within the next few months and the money we raise will help this become a reality.
Our gifts include a pre-order of the DVD, a collectible poster, an invite to the film’s premier, a special thanks in the credits, and the chance to make an appearance in the documentary.
Ten years is a longtime for a website to remain in operation. It is thanks to all of you that we’ve been able to provide you with the most up-to-date, current and timely information relating to the genre of soap operas between our SON Community and our reporting team. Unfortunately, in the past month there hasn’t been much of any up-to-date, current or timely information relating to the genre of soap operas posted on Soap Opera Network by its reporting team. Why is that? It isn’t like there hasn’t been news to report, especially with the reign of Brian Frons, President, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group, coming to a close in January after a year in which he canceled “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” Frank Valentini, executive producer, and Ron Carlivati, head writer, from “One Life to Live” will be taking over from Jill Farren Phelps and Garin Wolf as EP and Head Writer, respectively in the coming weeks. The Online Network (TOLN) is still looking to shop around funding/support for both “AMC” and “OLTL” following last month’s announcement that Prospect Park would “suspend” plans to put the programs online early next year. So what happened to Soap Opera Network and why did we not report on any of these breaking stories? It’s no one’s fault but my own.
Over the years I’ve taken unplanned “breaks” from the website due to personal issues that would surely rival any soap opera currently seen on television today. Previously, there were no precautions in place for when I would be gone and the staff would not know to do X, Y and/or Z in my absence. Being the face of the site and the primary contact between the soaps themselves and what eventually gets posted on the site from information we’ve gathered, there really was no way the site could function correctly without proper directives.
While I won’t go into specifics, I can say that one of the primary issues has been dealt with and should no longer be categorized as such. There are now directives in place that will ensure the sustainability of the site no matter the absence of any one individual, including myself. Additionally, we will be returning you to our regularly scheduled reporting, and for those of you who have emailed us worried about where we have gone, we thank you.
Editor in Chief
What a roller coaster ride of emotions for “OLTL” fans in the past month. First the show tapes its final episode for its television run on Friday, November 18 in preparation for its move online with Prospect Park, only to be told five days later via a press release that the upstart production company was scrapping plans to transition “One Life” and its sister soap “All My Children” to the Internet due to a lack of funding.
This was an especially hard pill for many “One Life to Live” viewers to swallow, given that the news came only four months after it was announced that Prospect Park had licensed the rights to “OLTL” and “AMC” from ABC after the network unceremoniously axed the soaps in April after 43 and 41 years on the air, respectively.
Further adding salt to the wounds of ticked off fans was that the announcement to dump “One Life to Live” came only weeks after it was revealed that the company had decided to focus solely on the soap while keeping “All My Children” on the back burner for the foreseeable future. Add to this the fact that Prospect Park had reached agreements in the past few months with 13 “OLTL” cast members, along with the show’s head writer and executive producer to continue the show after it left ABC.
Talk about a feeling of déjà vu. My first reaction to the news about Prospect Park dumping “OLTL” was “not again.” Only recently had I begun to work my way out of the five stages of grief over the loss of my favorite soap opera, which I have grown up watching since I was a little kid. I had nearly come to terms with the cancelation and was coping with the fact that although the soap wouldn’t continue that my “Life” (no pun intended) would go on. Then came the news that Prospect Park was swooping in to save the day. After being skeptical at first, I slowly became lulled into a false sense of security, excited about “OLTL” getting another chance. I was thrilled at the possibility of still being able to see characters like Viki and Blair, who have become like a part of my family over the years. I was intrigued that the thought of actually setting down in front of my computer on a regular basis to watch “OLTL” and other shows. And most of all I was optimistic that the show would thrive online and continue to enjoy its current level of success (so to speak).
Then the rugged was pulled out from me…again. Going through the emotions again, I still hold out a small glimmer of hope that another miracle will take place, saving my favorite soap once more. However, this time around I am also becoming more rational in my understanding that “One Life to Live,” like all other things in life, must eventually come to an end. Nothing lasts forever, no matter how much we hope they will. Just like losing a beloved family member, pet, or possession, we have to learn when and how to let go of something that we have loved and cherished for so very long. And, while it may be painful, time will eventually heal those wounds.
“One Life to Live” may be “only a television show” but to myself and millions of other fans out there, it has and always will hold a special place in our hearts. The characters are like family, and Llanview is like our second hometown. Throughout the years, we have laughed, cried, hurt, and mourned alongside the residents of the fictional Philadelphia suburb. We rallied around Viki when she had breast cancer, encouraged the Cramer girls as they tried to stay sane in a family with a history of mental illness, sympathized with Shane when he was being bullied, and learned about intolerance as Llanview was torn apart over homosexuality. We cried when Megan died, became depressed when Asa passed on, and smiled when each baby was born. We became Llanview and Llanview became us. So, while to many it may be only a TV show, to us it is part of the family. That’s why the 2:00 pm ET hour (1:00 pm for me) will never be the same.
And, like family, “OLTL” fans need to come together to celebrate the show’s long history, and allow it to bow out gracefully and not needlessly suffer through frivolous lawsuits, ineffective boycotts, threats of violence, and harassing letters, phone calls, and e-mails to ABC, Prospect Park, and others. Let’s show everyone what soap fans are really like and give “One Life to Live” a proper sendoff like Viki and the rest of Llanview deserve. That is the least we can do for four decades of memories. Sure we’re angry, but those types of things will get you nowhere. And at the end of the day, it will all be for naught as “OLTL” will still be canceled.
Let’s make these last seven weeks that “One Life to Live” is on the air the highest rated the show has seen in years and show ABC that they were wrong in canceling it and Prospect Park wrong in thinking that there aren’t people out there willing to help fund its continuation online. That is the least we can do for “One Life” for all that it has given us. I know that’s what I’m going to do anyway. And I hope you will do the same.
As with the show itself, my “One Life to Live” reporting duties here at Soap Opera Network will also soon be coming to an end, which includes this column. Barring any last minute changes, look for the final edition of “My View of Llanview” on January 30, just over two weeks after “OLTL” airs its final ABC episode. Thank you to all my faithful readers over the years, who have endured all my incessant ramblings and opinions. It has been one hell of a ride to say the least.
Moving on, no one guessed (either correctly or incorrectly) the answers to the trivia questions from the previous column. So I’m going to give you a second chance. Here are the questions again: 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 December 15 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. One man is forced to make a tough choice. Someone sees things from a whole new prospective. More than one secret is revealed. And one Llanview family spends Christmas with someone unexpected.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Stay safe and warm.
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…
(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) — With “One Life to Live” nearing the end of its run on ABC Daytime, the list of returning former cast members is increasing. And, while the list is impressive, it is lacking one important ingredient for long-time fans of the soap.
With the exception of Judith Light, who is rumored to be making an appearance as Karen Wolek in the near future (which has yet to be officially confirmed), no one (character or actor) from the first two decades that “One Life to Live” was on the air are said to be on the list of possible returns (and no, Tina’s recent return doesn’t count). But this is hardly a new development. The same thing happened more than years ago when “OLTL” celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2008.
While this decision ignores nearly half of the show’s history and legacy, I can see where the writers are coming from in a sense. Aside from older, long-term fans who have watched the show since almost since its inception, and history buffs who like to research the early goings on in Llanview, the majority of today’s “One Life” fans likely have no connection to characters like Carla Gray, Steve Burke, or Elieen and Julie Dennison. Furthermore, several of the actors who played those characters back in the late 1960s and early and mid 1970s have since passed on. And, many of those characters would either no longer have any friends or family currently residing in Llanview or, if they did, no obvious reason to contact them now when they haven’t do so in twenty or thirty years anyway.
Even so, it would still be a nice way to honor the entire 43 year history of the show, and not just the last 23 years of it, especially considering that “One Life’s” early years were filled with storylines that were deemed rather controversial, ground-breaking, and unheard of it for its time, such as the light-skinned Carla Gray (whom the audience thought was white) kissing a black man. That kiss alone prompted an ABC affiliate in Texas to drop the show from its daytime schedule at one time. Or Cathy Craig, a young girl hooked on drugs, whose counseling sessions took place with real-life drug addicts in New York City’s Odyssey House. Even the soap’s original name “Between Heaven and Hell” was deemed too controversial by the show’s sponsors, prompting creator Agnes Nixon to compromise and go with a more traditional title.
That being said, I realize that the show’s last two decades have also had their fair share of controversial and socially relevant plots like the homophobia/AIDS storyline, Viki’s battle with breast cancer and enduring a heart transplant. But it was the success of those early storylines noted above the paved the way for the show to condition on with similar types of plots years later.
How interesting would it be for several of these characters who were last seen in Llanview twenty-five, thirty, or even thirty-five years ago to suddenly walk back into town? Even if Viki is the only person some of them recognize, what a nice nod to those long-time fans and to the show’s history that would be. It would also be a treat for newer viewers to finally see a character they may have only heard or read about suddenly onscreen interacting with Llanview residents we are more familiar with. I know it would be me, having been born more than a decade after “One Life to Live” aired its first episode, and I’m sure it would be for many others as well.
That’s not to say that I won’t enjoy seeing Gabrielle Medina, Lindsay Rappaport, or Alex Olanov returning once more, or that I haven’t like seeing Tina and Cord back in Llanview again. These were some of the characters I grew up with over the years. But is would certainly be interesting to see some of those I didn’t grow up coming back as well. With Tina, Viki, and Todd all together again, imagine if we got to see their other siblings Meredith and Tony again (even if only in spirit form) for instance. Sadly however, I’m sure that “OLTL” likely won’t even mention the names of many of these older characters in the final months. But even if they don’t much of those first twenty years of Llanview will live on through the “OLTL” anniversary books, Youtube videos, and old photographs. And that is better than nothing for a show that has been a part of my life for more than a quarter of a century now. However, I will be really ticked off if the show doesn’t ask Michael Storm to appear a final time as Dr. Larry Wolek. Just sayin’.
Moving on, congratulations to”Kelly” and “CBRVA83,” both of whom (for the most part) 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 was the name of the episode of “Kate & Allie” that Frankie Faison (Richard Evans) appeared on, and what character did he play? Answer: “The Bad Seed;” a detective. 2. What legendary television star does Melissa Archer (Natalie) consider to be her role model? Anwer: Lucille Ball 3. What U.S. city does Florencia Lozano (Téa) say that she wouldn’t like to live in? Answer: Los Angeles.
Now it’s time to shake things up a bit and do some more trivia. 1. What small role did Peter Bartlett (Nigel) play in the film “Meet the Parents?” 2. To which magazine has Andrea Evans (Tina) served as a contributor? 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? I’ll have the answers in the November 15 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. Will a wedding go off without a hitch? Someone is discovered passed out. One man’s past catches up with him. And wedding bells ring, but it may or may not be who you think.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone! Have a safe and ghoulish Halloween and don’t eat too much candy.
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…
In the October 7 episode of “One Life to Live” a dog and a baby were shown communicating with one another in adult voices. In the scenes, doggie David Vickers “told” little Liam that John McBain was really his father and not Brody Lovett, as nearly everyone in town currently believes.
And, while the scenes campy and somewhat amusing, some “One Life” fans have already taken to Internet message boards vilifying the show and claiming that it was finally the moment that the show “jumped the shark.” Various comments have ranged from embarrassment to disgust to threats of never watching the soap again are becoming increasingly common.
After reading and following the rather bizarre uproar and flack over a couple of scenes from just one episode of “OLTL,” it confirms my hypothesis that soap operas are a lot like politics. Every election year many voters seem to develop selective amnesia when deciding which candidate or party deserves their vote, seemingly forgetting why they were voted off of office in the last election.
Much the same can be said for soap operas. If “OLTL” fans think that a baby and talk “talking” to one another is bad, then how would those same fans react to some of the show’s more outrageous storylines from the past 40 years? Did “One Life” not “jump the shark” with the secret underground city of Eterna, or Viki going to heaven not once, but twice? Or what about the time travel plot from the 1980′s when Clint went back in time to the Old West, or three years ago when Bo and Rex were transported back to 1968, but yet were still able to communicate with the present day by using a cell phone? And what about Viki conveniently forgetting about the births of two of her children, including a daughter whose twin was conceived by a different father?
If that’s not enough to convince you, then what about when Victor Lord returned from the dead nearly three decades after one of his daughter’s alternate personalities supposedly killed him, to claim his granddaughter’s heart? Don’t forget Margaret Cochran’s 12 month pregnancy. Or, more recently, with the Stacy “back from the dead with plastic surgery to make her look like her sister Gigi” storyline, or how Todd’s mother was able to fake her own death, control a government facility in Louisiana, brainwash one son into thinking he was someone else, and hold her other son prisoner for eight years while torturing him on a daily basis?
And let’s not forget how the writers made a point of reminding viewers that Téa and Todd had sex on the tropical island in 2002, when she returned to town in 2009 with a suddenly teenaged daughter which he was the father of? Or how Jack Manning aged at least six years in less than a month? And don’t forget how Marty and Patrick’s 16-year-old son Cole returned to Llanview in 2006, when he really should have been their 8-year-old daughter, based on Marty and Patrick’s exit storyline from 1997?
I realize that all soaps occasionally age characters to fit storyline purposes, however they, along with the other examples I listed above, showcase only a few of the times from over the years when the show actually did “jump the shark.” Many of those storylines were a lot more outrageous then a couple of scenes involving a dog and a baby communicating with one another. Heck, it isn’t even the first time an animal (either alive or dead) has “talked” on this show. Back in the 1990′s, Todd’s parrot Moose chatted with him on a regular basis. And in 2009, Morris the Stuffed Porcupine was heard talking to viewers. So why should doggie David Vickers and baby Liam conversing with one another cause such an uproar, be so difficult to deal with, and insult viewer intelligence any more so than any of the other storylines over the years have?
My point is that, while the scenes may have been a little embarrassing for some fans, it is by far not the worst thing “OLTL” has ever done. It was just some harmless fun on the show’s part and was largely just cute and amusing. No real harm done. It’s not the end of the world….’Life’ will go on….
Moving on, congratulations to “CBRVA83″ and “Mary,” both of whom 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. Kassie DePaiva (Blair) appeared on what game show before joining “OLTL” and who was the daytime celebrity (and future co-star) was she paired up with? Answer: “Body Language,” Catherine Hickland. 2. What two wars did the late Phil Carey (Asa) serve in? Answer: World War II and the Korean War. 3. What is John-Paul Lavoisier‘s (Rex) real last name? Answer: Seponski.
Now it’s time to shake things up a bit and do some more trivia. 1. What was the name of the episode of “Kate & Allie” that Frankie Faison (Richard Evans) appeared on, and what character did he play? 2. What legendary television star does Melissa Archer (Natalie) consider to be her role model? 3. What U.S. city does Florencia Lozano (Téa) say that she wouldn’t like to live in? I’ll have the answers in the October 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. A former couple remembers the good old days. A child makes a troubling discovery about their parent. Two old flames find themselves in a compromising position. And one family is ordered to appear in court.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone! Stay safe and warm wherever you are!
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…
Despite not having regularly watched “AMC” since childhood, I made it a point to watch the show’s final episode on ABC last Friday. And, while I was out of touch with most of the recent storyline (like how or why Dr. David Hayward kept many of Pine Valley’s supposedly deceased people alive for several years), overall I enjoyed watching that episode. And it made me hope and wish that when “OLTL” airs its final episode on the network in January that it would get similar treatment.
However, that optimism came to a screeching halt when I watched the first episode of “One Life” the following Monday on a post-”All My Children” ABC Network. What a major disappointment to see episode begin with Ford in a hot dog food asking bystanders in Angel Square to “sample his wiener.” At first it made me wonder if the writers were trying to be clever by throwing the scene in right after the first episode of “The Chew,” an infamous new show all about food, had just aired. But I seriously don’t believe they are smart enough to do something like that, especially considering that its not the first (or probably the last) time Ford has been seen in that very same hotdog costume.
I suppose those scenes involving a meat packing Ford (ha!) and troubled Buchanan twit Jessica were more likely to appease the pair’s dozen or so fans. Yes, nothing says love like an heiress flirting with the guy who raped her when she was suffering from a mental illness, while he is dressed up as a giant wiener. And what a nice follow-up by showing a carefree Jessica then jumping rope with three middle school-aged girls. Just warms your heart doesn’t it? I know it does mine. When I watched those scenes all I could think of saying was “well bless her heart.”
But I suppose it can’t compete with the classics like Todd leaving Téa naked out in the cold, and her hitting him in the back of the head with a shovel. Or Victor Jr. (back when he still thought he was Todd) falling in love and sleeping with an amnesiac Marty Saybrooke, the same woman Todd raped years back. Love is many splendored thing, I suppose.
I find refreshing to see just how far “One Life to Live” has come over the years. In 1968, the show was filled with controversial stories such as interracial couples and drug abuse, prominently featured poor and middle class families, and characters representing different ethnic groups and religious backgrounds. Now, forty-three later, we have a man prancing around town in a hotdog outfit, a guy helping his brother’s ex-girlfriend find her long-lost mother by making a porn flick with her, three shirtless brothers frequently hanging out in a sauna, a paranoid idiot receiving notes and “visits” from his dead girlfriend, and a little boy holding a grown woman hostage against a motel room door armed with only a Spiderman costume and a can of silly string. You’ve certainly come a long way Llanview! Stay classy!
However not everything is negative on the show right now. There is still some good on “One Life to Live.” Cord and Tina are a site for sore eyes and so is doggie David Vickers. I think he is much cuter and smarter than his namesake. Todd (yes the same one I mentioned above) cracks me up. Roger Howarth does rather well with comedic material in my opinion, and the majority of his scenes always put a smile on my face and leave me chuckling a little. And I always enjoy it when Natalie knocks Princess Jessica down a few pegs. I mean it’s not as if she doesn’t deserve it every now and again.
Moving on, no one guessed (either correctly or incorrectly) the answers to the trivia questions from last time. So I’m going to give you a second chance to place your answers. In case you missed the clues, here there are again: 1. Kassie DePaiva (Blair) appeared on what game show before joining “OLTL” and who was the daytime celebrity (and future co-star) was she paired up with? 2. What two wars did the late Phil Carey (Asa) serve in? 3. What is John-Paul Lavoisier‘s (Rex) real last name? I’ll have the answers in the October 15 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. Someone is threatened. One family member extends an olive branch to another. An unlikely couple grows closer. And one man comes up with a new scheme to get what he wants.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone! Stay safe and enjoy the beautiful fall weather.
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “All My Children‘s” replacement show “The Chew” debuts today, just three days after “AMC” aired its final episode on ABC, and I can’t help myself in wishing it would just go away. No, it isn’t the show or what it is all about. In a perfect world I’d care to watch it from time to time, after all we all have to cook good and healthy meals don’t we? But it is the way the network went about handling “The Chew” which included non-stop advertising during “AMC’s” final weeks on television along with non-stop advertising on soap opera centered websites including Soap Opera Network that I find myself saying “what a way to spit on your audience.”
Of course daytime has changed according to ABC’s own research and their viewers were really tired of watching soap operas so it makes sense to promote your new shows to your audience, but the only audience you had were watching soaps, so who is going to watch “The Chew” if not soap fans? “The Chew” is being promoted everywhere you look. On TV, on billboards, in magazines and if I recall correctly (or IIRC) and not mistaken, it’s also being promoted in movie theaters with pre-show clippings. Where was this type of advertising for daytime soap operas?
Do I wish the show failure? If I were being honest with myself I’d say yes just so ABC can be proven wrong in their presumptions, but I don’t think it will bomb. No matter if it lands itself below “All My Children” in every ratings category from here on out, it will still be a success for ABC because the network is spending 30-40% less than they did on “AMC.” Ratings no longer matter, it’s all about the bottom dollar and just like Jeff Zucker, who has joined the network as it gets ready to launch a Katie Couric hosted daytime talk show next year, said when he ran NBC “we’re managing for margin, not for ratings. So it’s the expense of our shows, the consistency of our shows being on the schedule. It’s not determined by the size of the ratings, because the size of the ratings of a show we cannot afford is not going to do us any good anymore.” Right or wrong, that’s just the new reality.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — With the Prospect Park era about to begin for “One Life to Live,” the show appears to be in better shape than its sister soap “All My Children.”
“OLTL” fans have reason to be optimistic about the show’s future after it leaves the ABC Daytime line-up in January. Ratings for the show continue to be solid and holding steady above “AMC” and “General Hospital.” Casting wise, the soap is an upswing. Hot on the heels of Roger Howarth‘s return to Llanview, comes word that several others, including Andrea Evans (Tina), John Loprieno (Cord), Kathy Brier (Marcie), Chris Stack (Michael), and possibly Tonja Walker (Alex) are on their way back as well. Rumors are flying that Prospect Park may be focusing more on “OLTL” than “AMC,” something which “One Life” never really experienced under ABC. And four of the show’s leading stars, including grand dame Erika Slezak (Viki), have already agreed to remain with the show when it transitions to the online distribution company in a few months (the others being Kassie DePaiva [Blair], Ted King [Tomas], and Michael Easton [John]).
Meanwhile, “All My Children’s” future seems less certain. Aside from strained negotiations between Prospect Park and “AMC” leading lady Susan Lucci (Erica Kane), there have thus far been no confirmed reports of any members of the show’s cast either being in serious talks with the company or signing on the dotted line to continue with the show. Furthermore, it appears increasingly more apparent that “AMC” may get the same treatment from Prospect Park that “OLTL” has gotten for years now from ABC.
Speculation on the matter was fueled last week by two separate incidents. First, Deadline Hollywood‘s Nellie Andreeva reported that “I hear that Prospect Park may reevaluate its short-term strategy for the two soaps and put its muscle behind the higher-rated ‘OLTL,’ while moving ‘AMC’ to the back burner.” That was followed up by a Soaps.com interview with “All My Children’s” Vincent Irizarry (David) who commented that “As far as I know, no, there hasn’t been. I’ve spoken to numerous actors from the show over the last few days and nobody from our show has been in contact with them. Except for Susan [Lucci, Erica], which we all assumed that awhile ago. So, that’s basically it. They’re moving [forward] with ‘One Life to Live’ right now and that’s certainly their right. That’s what they’re doing and for whatever reason that’s how it happened.”
Furthermore, unlike “One Life to Live,” “All My Children” will have a nearly four month gap between the airing of its last episode on ABC and its first episode of Prospect Park. “One Life” on the other hand, is said to be debuting on Prospect Park the Monday after its airs its final ABC episode on Friday, January 13, therefore maintaining the status quo for “OLTL,” while leaving “All My Children” fans in suspense and impatiently waiting for weeks for their show to return.
Personally, I find all of this extremely interesting, especially since there seems to have been a complete role reversal between the two shows. “One Life to Live” has always reminded me of “The Little Engine That Could,” endlessly trying to make its way up the hill to the top of the mountain (i.e. ratings), while all the more powerful engines (or in this case, the better known soap operas) just keep passing them by until one day when the little engine finally made it to the top after years of chanting “I think I can.” In a sense, it is uncharted waters for many “One Life” fans who aren’t used to their show doing so well. It makes me proud of the soap I have grown up watching for more than two decades now.
However, its one thing to get to the top, but it is quite another thing to stay there. And with the show’s writing, production, and directing crews under Prospect Park still up in the air, it leaves me feeling somewhat concerned, especially given the fact that current head writer Ron Carlivati still seems on track to join the writing staff of “General Hospital” once “OLTL” up production of its TV run in November. Granted, Carlivati isn’t exactly daytime’s best scribe considering “OLTL’s” overabundance of useless characters in idiotic storylines (e.g. the Nate/Deanna/Rick porn plot), and treatment of women characters, but he must be doing something right for the show to be climbing in the ratings as it has been. But like him or not, he does bring stability to the show and often draws upon the soap’s rather rich history (even if he usually twists it to fit his own agenda) when penning tales. Throwing in someone new, especially if they are not very familiar with the show could cause problems. The same can be said for Executive Producer Frank Valentini. For several years now, he has managed to keep “OLTL” under budget while running a tight ship. Finding a suitable replacement may prove difficult.
That being said, I think the show is in good hands with Prospect Park, and believe that it will continue to do rather well. Even so, I am well aware of the potential risks involved in moving an established 43-year-old soap opera from a television slot it has held for more than 30 years to the uncharted waters of online-only distribution. If it works, then wonderful, soaps will have found a new way to live on. If it fails, then at least soap fans can say they tried, and “OLTL” and “AMC” will be remembered for going where no other soaps have gone. Either way, it gives new hope for the daytime serial genre, proving that there may still be some life in the old “stories” yet.
Moving on, congratulations to “CBRVA83,” who correctly guessed the answers to my trivia questions from last time. In case you missed the clues, here they are, along with the answers: 1. What current “OLTL” cast member was the youngest soap star ever placed on contract with a daytime drama back in 2001? Answer: Kristen Alderson. 2. In college, what subject did Ted King get his undergraduate degree in and from what school? Answer: Business from UC-Santa Barbara. 3. What foreign language did Erika Slezak grow up speaking before learning English at five-years-old? Answer: German.
Now it’s time to shake things up a bit and do some more trivia. See if you know the answers to these questions about some of the current and former cast members of “One Life to Live.” 1. Kassie DePaiva (Blair) appeared on what game show before joining “OLTL” and who was the daytime celebrity (and future co-star) was she paired up with? 2. What two wars did the late Phil Carey (Asa) serve in? 3. What is John-Paul Lavoisier‘s (Rex) real last name? I’ll have the answers in the September 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. Someone turns up dead. One man risks his life to save others. An unlikely person is put in jail. And one sister makes a shocking discovery about her sibling.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone! Stay safe!
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…