(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – Ilene Kristen didn’t debut as Roxy Balsom on ABC’s “One Life to Live” until November 2001, but the actress did learn she had the job on September 10 of that year and began filming on September 27. Ten years later the actress reflects on the days after learning she had gotten the job, and what she is looking forward to when the soap transitions to Prospect Park in the coming months.
“It is ten years this week and it’s been a phenomenal ten years,” says Kristen in our exclusive interview. “It means a lot to me. I was actually told I had the job September 10 and it was very profound. I didn’t really talk to anybody or tell anybody on September 10. I didn’t tell them I had the job until September 20 because of everything that happened,” referring to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. “Acting at that moment seemed insignificant, but September 27 came around [getting teared up], it felt like such a furor to get out to entertain the troops. It was so sad,” she said as she wiped her tears away. “I’ve been on a mission for the last ten years, which is to truly entertain people. I really feel that it is an important thing. I see it as a healing for people and I particularly feel it was a healing for that period of time.”
At the time our interview with Kristen took place, the actress admitted she didn’t watch the series finale of “All My Children,” but she did tape it. “I taped it because I couldn’t bare watching it,” says the actress. “I saw some of it. I was actually at the ['One Life to Live'] studio and they had their cliffhanger, which was a little anti-climatic, but it was good,” the actress revealed. As for ABC’s decision to cancel the soap along with her show, Kristen says “It’s a sad thing. It’s a very sad thing. I think that ABC is making a huge mistake! I think they are going to live to regret it too, I really do. I think the network is perishing, their daytime is completely perishing. I mean who needs to watch news at 4 o’clock,” Kristen questions referring to New York’s WABC airing news at 4:00 PM after 25 years of airing “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in the timeslot. Even so, “It’s a new time and a new day. We’re moving on.”
“One Life to Live” is executive produced by Frank Valentini, a man that is credited for positioning the soap to the top of the ratings heap on ABC Daytime since before the announcement of the soaps cancellation by the network in April of this year. “Frank Valentini has such a deep love of the show, he’s deeply talented and he’s our fearless leader and I think we’re in really good hands,” said Kristen of Valentini. Upon hearing that Valentini would be joining Prospect Park as it takes over production of “One Life” as not just the soaps executive producer, but also taking on the role as Vice President, Serial Dramas, for the production company, the actress said “Well he should! I don’t know how he’s going to do everything, but if there is anybody who is really capable of handling things it’s him. He’s got very good taste and he’s got cutting edge ideas. He’s a modern person and I think they’re really lucky to have him. I just hope he has time for us!”
Unlike Sean Ringgold, who confirmed to Soap Opera Network exclusively that he would be joining Prospect Park when “One Life to Live” joins the web, Kristen has yet to receive an offer from the company. If you would like to see more Roxy on your favorite soap, let Prospect Park know via snail mail to Valentini at:
Executive Producer, One Life to Live
320 West 66th Street
New York, NY 10023
Or you can also email Prospect Park at [email protected]
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The 25th Annual Broadway Fleamarket sponsored by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS took place today and several of daytime’s biggest stars were on hand as celebrity guests including stars from “One Life to Live” such as Kristen Alderson (Starr Manning), Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning), Gina Tognoni (ex-Kelly Cramer), Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Ilene Kristen (Roxy Balsom) and even former cast member Judith Light (ex-Karen Wolek). Also in attendance was former “Guiding Light” actor Ron Raines (ex-Alan Spaulding), who is currently appearing in previews for the Broadway production of “Follies.” Raines’ former “Light” co-star Marj Dusay (ex-Alexandra Spaulding) was scheduled to appear but had to cancel due to illness. Also scheduled was “As The World Turns” actresses Eileen Fulton (ex-Lisa Grimaldi) and Ellen Dolan (Margo Hughes). Soap Opera Network spoke with a few of the stars and learned some interesting tidbits, one of which being that Ringgold received his offer from Prospect Park on Friday and he’s since decided to continue with the show when it moves to the web in January along with “All My Children.”
“You know what’s funny, I was making up my mind cause I got the offer to come over on Friday [September 23] actually and I didn’t give them my response, but after speaking with a couple of hierarchies, I just said ‘you know what? I’ll give it a year!’ Why not? So I’m going to come over to Prospect Park.” As for what the new version of the soap may look like and what fans can expect, Ringgold emphasizes that “There’s going to be more of a free reign to do more things on the internet than you could normally do on network. It could get quite interesting. I’ll leave that open for the imagination.” As for the chance of new faces popping up and where they’ll find their new filming digs, the actor says “I’m sure there are going to be new characters who are going to be brought on and I hope the studio goes to Brooklyn because I live in Queens. Although coming into Manhattan wouldn’t be a bad thing – I’ll miss Manhattan – but to just be able to wake up out of the bed and drive 10 minutes over to the studio. I’ll be in heaven.”
What is Ringgold looking forward to most for his character as the soap transitions from ABC to Prospect Park? “As long as Shaun is there for Destiny, and being supportive of his sister with her decision, whichever way we’ll see how that turns out to be… just to be there for [my] sister and to make sure she’s good and also my mom. They’re going to bring my pops back and it’ll be great if Greg [Terrell Tilford] popped up as well.” Speaking of Destiny, particularly her portrayer Shennell Edmonds, can we expect to hear news of her continuing as well? While Ringgold couldn’t confirm it as fact, he does hope it turns out to be the case.
Lastly with “One Life to Live” being canceled in April by ABC only to be picked up in July by Prospect Park, what happens to the planned series finale that was scheduled to air in January? “I’m sure they are changing the story a little bit because we’re going to continue on with Prospect Park.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — With today’s news that Prospect Park has officially begun making offers to actors in hopes of them joining “All My Children” 2.0 in time for its January 2012 debut, it’s only fitting to get an insiders perspective on the innerworkings of a canceled soap opera. Cameron Mathison, who portrays the role of Ryan Lavery on the soap, spoke with Soap Opera Network during the “All My Children” Fan Club Weekend and he shed some light on Prospect Park, being a contributor on “Good Morning America” and even dancing on “Dancing with the Stars.”
“What we’ve learned, and I hope I do this justice, is that network television…big corporation television…have got a certain amount of timeslots allowed. So just because ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ are off the air doesn’t mean they that it wasn’t a success, it just means in big business, you know… is there something in there that could made more money. There is only one time slot available,” said Mathison giving some insight into the decision to cancel the two soaps. “It doesn’t mean that ‘All My Children’ was a failure, it just simply means that for big business it wasn’t the best fit,” he continued.
You may be asking your self, “how can two soaps that weren’t ‘the best fit’ for broadcast television turn in a better profit for another company or find any type of success online?” While Mathison may not know the full answer to that question, he does help shed some light for those questioning the difference between an online series and one made available to you free over broadcast channels.
“This entrepreneurial company [Prospect Park], they don’t have the same restrictions that network television has. You can watch the show, any show, whatever you want with different types of advertising. I mean I don’t know the in’s and out’s of it, but I just know far fewer restrictions and I think because of that and because there is a daily production here that it’s a really a good fit. From what I understand, and again I don’t want to pretend I know more than I do, because I really don’t, but I do know that just because it came off the air on ABC it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t doing well. Apparently, they were still making good money, but they could make a lot more.”
For more from Mathison and where he sees his character going as we head into the final weeks of “All My Children,” click on the video below.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Cady McClain returned to “All My Children” during the Tuesday, May 17 broadcast of the soap despite filming her first scenes just seven days prior (May 10). So why did the show rapidly insert her scenes into already taped episodes of the soap? “AMC” was canceled of course! During fan club weekend last month, McClain spoke with Soap Opera Network about her return, what the cancellation news meant for cast and crew, the reunion of Tad Martin (Michael E. Knight) and Dixie Cooney (McClain) and even how she got to wear sweats to work while filming scenes of Dixie laying in bed.
In January 2007, Dixie “died” from “peanut butter and banana pancakes,” according to McClain, but in soap opera reality Dixie is in fact alive and was being held by Dr. David Hayward (Vincent Irizarry). “It’s all a big mystery,” the actress explains about her return. “Why is David keeping her there, how did he keep her alive? Who’s going to rescue her? How does she get out?”
As for those long time Tad and Dixie fans, who have waited for the two to finally happily reunite, especially with the show coming to a close on ABC, what does McClain think about Tad’s new wife Cara (Lindsay Hartley)? The actress shared that there is “room for a lot of conflict, a lot of torn heart strings for all the characters involved. No one’s a bad [or] mean person, but their in love you know, Dixie’s in love with Tad, Tad’s in love with Dixie, Tad’s in love with Cara, Cara’s in love with Tad. It’s like a new discovery for them.”
For this and more, check out our exclusive interview with Cady McClain below.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – Jacob Young is returning to the soap that started his daytime career back in 1997. This fall the Daytime Emmy Award winner will reprise the role of Eric Forrester (John McCook) and Brooke Logan’s (Katherine Kelly Lang) son, Rick Forrester, on the CBS daytime drama “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
Four months after it was announced that “All My Children” would be ending its run on ABC in September and just a month after learning that Prospect Park, a 2-year-old production company, had picked up the show as part of its yet-to-be-named infotainment network set for a January launch, Young (JR Chandler on “AMC”) has become the second actor to bolt the daytime drama series. The first being Debbi Morgan (Angie Hubbard), who is heading to “The Young and the Restless” later this fall.
In an interview with TV Guide Magazine‘s Michael Logan, Young reveals that he will be returning on screen to “B&B” beginning Monday, September 26, which will also mark the first time in 41-years that “All My Children” was not on the regularly scheduled ABC Daytime lineup. “The Chew” replaces “AMC” on this date.
“When I started talking to ‘B&B’ I didn’t think it would happen so fast. But I guess it’s good that way. I was looking forward to wrapping up ‘AMC’ and having a bit of a hiatus, maybe a month or two to travel with my family,” said Young. “As it turns out, I’ll probably have my ‘AMC’ and ‘B&B’ schedules overlapping and be shooting both shows at the same time. I’m like, ‘You guys figure it out and point me in the right direction.’”
Although he hopes the deal with Prospect Park and “AMC” can come together even without him and Morgan, like many of his co-stars Young is concerned about the hiatus between the soap ending on ABC and taking off on the internet. Young thinks a January 16 debut is an optimistic time table for when “AMC” could end up back on the air considering the facts of the situation so far. His advice to his co-stars in the meantime is “to get out there in the business and see what’s crackin’. Anybody with common sense would do that.”
With Prospect Park yet to confirm details of when “AMC” will pick up production due to union issues, the company has been unable to reach out to actors to try and iron out contracts, leaving an actor exodus a strong possibility before the online version of the soap even debuts. Interestingly enough, news of Young heading back to “B&B” comes on the heals of that soap returning from a three week production hiatus.
In an interview with Soap Opera Network during the “All My Children” Fan Club Weekend, Young shared his hopes for fans who would continue with the show online and where he sees his character as the show comes to a close on ABC.
For more from Young’s TV Guide interview where he discusses both “AMC” and “B&B, click here.
About Jacob Young
Young put the character of Rick Forrester on the map on “B&B” from 1997 to 1999. The role was last played by Kyle Lowder (ex-Brady, “Days of Our Lives) in 2011. Young moved on to ABC’s “General Hospital” as Lucky Spencer, the son of Luke and Laura Spencer (Anthony Geary and Genie Francis), from 2000 to 2003. Keeping a track record of playing the son of some of daytime’s most important characters, in 2003, Young landed the role of Adam Chandler (David Canary) and Dixie Cooney’s (Cady McClain) son JR Chandler on “AMC.” That role had previously been played to much acclaim by Jesse McCartney.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – On Thursday, July 28, while visiting the “Days of our Lives” set, my crew and I had walked in noticing a tray of cupcakes sitting at the security desk. Turns out it was brought in by Molly Burnett, who was celebrating her third year portraying the role of Melanie Layton on the daytime soap. After completing some scenes that are set to air in October, Burnett and Casey Deidrick (Chad DiMera) headed outside to Salem Place, one of the sets no longer used by the soap, and spent more than 11 minutes talking with us about their characters, what they do in their personal life outside of work, and some of their favorite TV shows and movies . Also, for those fans clamoring for some Chill (Chad/Will), Deidrick shared he’s not opposed to a possible pairing.
For the full interview, view the clip below.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Just before “Krystal’s Country BBQ” event took place on Saturday, July 30 during the “All My Children” Fan Club Weekend, Bobbie Eakes (Krystal Carey) took the time to speak to Soap Opera Network on when she learned her show was being canceled, how she broke the news it was being resurrected on Twitter and her delight at having Alexa Havins back as on-screen daughter Babe Chandler, despite the character supposedly succumbing to death back in 2008 care of a Tornado that hit Pine Valley.
“I got out of the shower. I was getting ready to go to work, and I have quite a drive from where I live, and all of a sudden I looked at my phone and I was getting message after message and tweet. You know all these things…text messages, phone calls and I said to my husband, ‘I bet we’ve been canceled,” said Eakes about the day she learned ABC decided to pull the plug on “AMC” after months of rumors. “I don’t have that many friends calling me all the time, so I knew something was up,” she laughed. “Sure enough, I got a call from the studio and they said ’you know there is a mandatory meeting,’ so I figured that’s what it was.”
For more from Eakes and whether she’d be open to moving with the show with Prospect Park now in control of things, watch our exclusive interview below.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – Greg Meng along with Noel Maxam were named Co-Executive Producers of NBC’s “Days of our Lives” on Tuesday, June 14, when the series released the first set of changes hitting the soap after the hiring of new head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas. While the writing duo shared with Soap Opera Network what fans could expect from the soap when their material hits the airwaves starting Monday, September 26, Meng took the time to tell viewers why they should continue tuning in before that day comes.
“There are surprises even coming up very soon on the show, so don’t wait until September 26, which is the big revitalized relaunch of the show, but there are surprises between now and then,” said Meng, who also discussed those “mini-plots” you’ve been seeing on your screens since Monday, August 1 (Please Note: This interview took place on Thursday, July 28) and what exactly caused the show to make such drastic changes just a few short months ago both on and off screen.
For more from our interview with Greg Meng, tune into the clip below.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – Matthew Ashford returns to NBC’s “Days of our Lives” this September when his character, Jack Deveraux, finds himself back in Salem facing many changes and new challenges. Soap Opera Network spoke with Ashford at the “DAYS” studio about his return to the soap, his work on the web based series “The Bay” and the most pirated movie of 2008!
With details of Ashford’s return still being kept under wraps as the drama gears up for a relaunch on Monday, September 26 with new head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Ashford wasn’t able to share much about Jacks’s return to Salem, but he did say that Jack “has been through some loss.” The actor also noted what’s to come for onscreen partner Melissa Reeves and her character Jennifer, who along with Ashford portray the popular couple Jack and Jennifer on the soap. “Jennifer has had some significant changes in her life. She’s had to make adjustments in her feelings and now Jack has to deal with that.” he said. Referring to Jack and Jennifer’s daughter Abigail (Kate Mansi), Ashford shared that “Abigail has grown and become quite the young lady.”
For more on what Ashford had to say about his return and how much daytime has changed since we last saw him check out our exclusive interview below.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — It was Thursday, May 19 when word broke that Dena Higley was out as head writer of “Days of our Lives” and former “Passions” Associate Head Writers, Darrell Ray Thomas and Marlene McPherson were in. Since the announcement, a lot has been speculated, talked about and dissected by anxious fans waiting to get some ounce of news on what they can expect to see when “Days of our Lives” relaunches itself this September. On Thursday, July 28, Soap Opera Network visited the Burbank set that houses “DAYS” in studios 2 and 4 and talked with the shows new head writers outside of the now defunct Salem Place set about what fans can expect when their material debuts on Monday, September 26. The duo also give us a scoop on what the Friday, September 23 show that precedes their official debut is all about.
Side Note: Please pardon the wind, it wasn’t something we could control. Also, yes we are aware that Marlene’s name was misspelled in the intro part of the video. We’re working on trying to correct this ASAP. Thanks for understanding!