(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Never one to mince words when it comes to voicing her opinions on the behind-the-scenes antics of both Llanview and ABC, “One Life to Live” leading lady Erika Slezak (Viki) speaks out against her soon-to-be-ex boss Brian Frons and notes her optimism at the soap’s future with Prospect Park.
Slezak is among a number of daytime stars, producers, executives, and journalists who share their thoughts on “the rise, fall, and possible resurrection of an American institution” in the September/October edition of the magazine Mental Floss, in an special article entitled “Sex & Death in the Afternoon: An Oral History of the American Soap Opera.”
In the final section of the article, titled “Daytime Turns to Twilight (2000-Present),” the six-time Daytime Emmy winner takes a parting shot at the network’s head honcho, saying “I think that Brian Frons, the head of ABC Daytime, doesn’t believe in the genre. He never believed they could last. My biggest objection is ABC saying people don’t want entertainment anymore; they want information. That’s ridiculous. People always want entertainment.”
Earlier this week it was announced that the actress, who celebrated 40 years with “One Life to Live” in March and plays the show’s only surviving original character, would be remaining with the soap when it moves to online-only production with Prospect Park early next year. In a statement released on her official website, Slezak commented that “I am very happy to be going on with ‘OLTL’ and look forward to working with our new production company, Prospect Park. It’s very exciting to be moving into a new medium and I sincerely hope that our wonderful viewers will follow us there.”
Slezak also talked about the loss of long-time “OLTL” Director David Pressman, who died on August 29 at the age of 97, stating “Please express my great sadness at David’s passing. He was totally instrumental in my getting this job and more than that, he taught me everything about working on TV. I owe him such a lot and will never be able to thank him properly, or repay him. Aside from that, David was a wonderful and talented man and I will miss him and always think of him.” Pressman directed episodes of “One Life” from 1970-1998.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — As Soap Opera Network reported late last week, Susan Lucci has added a scathing new chapter to “All My Life” scheduled to be included in the paperback release of her memoir on September 13. In the new epilogue, the actress who is known for being too well-mannered uncharacteristically blasts ABC Daytime Chief Brian Frons for what she feels is his mismanagement of ABC Daytime and his general arrogance. Following a weekend of book leaks, ABC released what could only be construed as a biting statement about Lucci’s book addition and conduct. On Tuesday – coincidentally or not – after getting information from an unnamed source, a Deadline.com article held back few jabs after revealing the actress turned down the offer to continue with “All My Children” online.
An epilogue is defined as a piece of writing usually included to conclude a body of work. On Saturday, September 3, as aforementioned, the New York Post not only revealed more juicy tidbits from Lucci’s new memoir epilogue detailing her feelings about the cancellation of the soap she put on the map in 1970, they also included a response from ABC in regard to it. An ABC Daytime spokesperson told the Post “we have all the respect in the world for Susan, and are sorry she felt the need to write this epilogue to an otherwise incredible career.” The negative connotation that statement ends on is hard to miss. Coincidentally on Tuesday, September 6, Deadline.com announced that Lucci officially turned down Prospect Park’s more than fair offer to remain with the show due to trying to “gouge the producers for more money.” According to the article, Lucci was offered the same pay she currently receives at ABC Daytime but demanded a raise and perks including more time off. The article implies that the future of “AMC” is now in jeopardy and “One Life to Live” will become the focus of the new venture due to Lucci’s lack of cooperation with the company that has licensed “AMC” and “OLTL” from ABC. In the same article it was also announced that the production company had secured several “OLTL” stars to continue post-ABC Daytime including Llanview’s main leading lady Erika Slezak.
For her part, despite the addition to the book being written before Lucci learned of the licensing deal with Prospect Park, the Emmy Award winner recently told TV Guide Magazine’s Michael Logan she has no regrets about writing what was on her mind. Just last week, Lucci seemed to be a good bet to continue with Prospect Park. Once again speaking to TV Guide Magazine, she had this to say about the venture at that time: “my heart is there… I think it’s a very, very exciting possibility. I think that Prospect Park, the men involved there, have a wonderful, successful track record.” This leaves fans and the press alike wondering if ABC Daytime’s hurt feelings about Lucci speaking her mind was the real culprit behind this sudden turn of events or at least the negative tone now surrounding her current negotiation stand with Prospect Park. Jamey Giddens, from Daytime Confidential, reports that this may not be the end of talks. “AMC” creator Agnes Nixon is still hoping to help Prospect Park reach an agreement with Lucci.
Whatever the case, on September 23, Lucci is slated to co-host “The View’” for a special tribute to “AMC.” “The View” is a part of ABC Daytime and the talk show’s daily hot topics may become even more heated if any of these topics reach the discussion table.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” fans have reason to celebrate today as a handful of the show’s current cast members, including six-time Daytime Emmy winner Erika Slezak (Viki) have already agreed to make the transition with the show from ABC to online-only distribution with Prospect Park. According to Deadline Hollywood the company, which leased the rights to “OLTL” and sister soap “All My Children” in July, Slezak, along with Kassie DePaiva (Blair), Michael Easton (John), and Ted King (Tomas) will all be remaining with the show after it airs its final ABC episode early next year.
“One Life’s” longest-running cast member, Erika Slezak has been with the soap since 1971. Kassie DePaiva first appeared on the show in 1993. Michael Easton made his “OLTL” debut in 2003, and Ted King joined the show back in February of this year.
According to a statement from Prospect Park, “Pending a final agreement with AFTRA, Prospect Park has confirmed that ‘One Life to Live’ cast members Ted King (Tomas Delgado), Michael Easton (John McBain), Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer) and star of stars Erika Slezak who plays Lord family matriarch Victoria Lord, have agreed to deals to join the company’s new production of ‘One Life to Live.’ This marks the first confirmation of cast members since Prospect Park began planning for the soap production to live on the new online network beyond its finale January televised date on ABC.”
Furthermore, Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva reports 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.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — If you are a fan of “All My Children” you have probably given up on both keeping count and keeping track of all the returns racking up to help guide the 41-year old daytime drama’s exit off ABC Daytime. Don’t fret, Soap Opera Network is here to help guide you.
Carol Burnett return as Verla Grubbs beginning on Tuesday, September 6. For two episodes, Burnett brings the eccentric daughter of Langley Wallingford (Louis Edmonds) back to Pine Valley to stir up trouble for Opal Cortlandt (Jill Larson).
Thanks to the reach of Facebook, the hard-to-find Jason Kincaid returns as Sam Brady next week, as well . Kincaid played the object of both Opal (then played by Dorothy Lyman) and Verla’s affections in the 1980s. Verla won Round One in the battle for Sam’s heart. If Opal and her closest friends have anything to say about it, Opal will knock Verla out of the ring in Round Two.
Julia Barr returns as Brooke English on Friday, September 16. Look for Brooke’s return to Pine Valley to tie into JR Chandler’s (Jacob Young) story. David Canary will follow on the heels of the love of Adam Chandler’s life. Along with a multitude of unforgettable connections, Adam is, of course, the father of JR and Colby Chandler (Natalie Hall). Will David Canary also dust off Stuart Chandler for one more appearance? Stay Tuned.
Alexa Havins will return as Babe Carey on Tuesday, September 20. Babe is the daughter of David Hayward (Vincent Irizarry) and Krystal Carey (Bobbie Eakes). She is also the ex-wife of JR and the mother of his son AJ (Tate Berney). Is Babe alive? Stay Tuned.
Justin Bruening returns as Jamie Martin on Wednesday, September 21. Jamie is the son of Tad Martin (Michael E. Knight) and Brooke. He is also JR’s brother-in-heart and Babe’s former lover.
Sarah Michelle Geller and Eva La Rue also return to the scene on September 21 for a quick sighting. In tribute to her “Buffy the Vampire” success, Gellar (who played Kendall Hart from 1993 to 1995) plays a psychiatric patient that is convinced she’s surrounded by vampires. La Rue’s Dr. Maria Santos will see to her care.
Look for Ray MacDonnell and Lee Meriwether to also return as Dr. Joe and Ruth Martin during the week of September 19. Leven Rambin had to cancel her return to “AMC” due to a scheduling conflict. Rambin, who played Lily Montgomery on the ABC soap, is currently filming the much-anticipated film “The Hunger Games.” “AMC” last airs on ABC Daytime on Friday, September 23, 2011.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Susan Lucci’s memoir “All My Life,” a New York Times Bestseller, hit book stores on March 29, 2011. On September 13, 2011, the paperback edition of the book will be released with a new chapter where the actress, who is regarded as one of the biggest names on daytime television, tells fans what she really thinks about a multitude of events surrounding the ABC Daytime cancellation of “All My Children.”
In the new thought-provoking chapter, written before “AMC” was given a new lease on life upon being licensed by production company Prospect Park, Lucci takes on ABC Daytime President Brian Frons and the detrimental influence she believes his decisions had on ”AMC.” High-up on her list of management criticisms includes the 2008 hiring of former ”AMC” head-writer Charles Pratt, Jr. who had fans and actors alike running for cover with his quick-shot character assassinations. The Emmy winner also gives a detailed description of the days surrounding the announcement that the soap she helped launch in 1970 had been given the axe.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Moments before the announcement that production company Prospect Part had licensed “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” from ABC and saved it from imminent cancellation, it was announced that Debbi Morgan (Angie) had already signed on to “The Young and the Restless.” She will debut on the popular CBS soap this fall. Not too long after that, Jacob Young (JR) announced that he was unable to ignore the call back to “The Bold and the Beautiful.” He returns as Rick Forrester on Monday, September 26. At this moment, Prospect Park is still trying to work out a deal with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) that will allow them to begin negotiating with actors for a hopeful January 2012 relaunch of both ABC soaps. This leaves the actors of “AMC” with free time and a contract with ABC that dissolved earlier this week. In the September 13, 2011 issues of Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly, it is revealed that Alicia Minshew and Chrishell Stause have also both been contacted to join another soap.
Both actresses declined. Minshew, who joined the cast of “AMC” in 2002 as Kendall Hart, apparently would like to remain with the show if it’s feasible. The Emmy nominated actress does not want to make a commitment to another daytime drama without giving Prospect Park a fair chance to iron things out behind the scenes. Stause, who joined the cast of “AMC” in 2005 as Amanda Dillon, is planning to take advantage of being in the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles. The stunning young actress who was scheduled to split ways with the soap in 2010 to go to Los Angeles changed her mind when it was announced “AMC” would be joining her on the West Coast. Stause does not rule out a return to daytime television in the future, but wants to try out different formats of entertainment for the foreseeable future.
Various actor interviews also indicate that red-hot commodity Susan Lucci (Erica), as well as long-time “AMC” stars Walt Willey (Jack), Michael E. Knight (Tad), Vincent Irizarry (David) and expert schmoozer Cameron Mathison (Ryan) share Minshew’s willingness to wait a while longer for Prospect Park to get everything aligned before making any major commitments that could impede the potential to join a relaunch of the soap. Mathison, in the meantime, has taken up one more part-time hosting job. Beginning on October 3, fans can see the “Good Morning America” correspondent hosting a new reality-series, “Ultimate Proposal,” a web-series that will be produced by Yahoo! The star who joined “AMC” in 1997 is also slated to begin filming a Lifetime made-for-television movie, “The Wife He Met Online,” opposite former “AMC” star Sydney Penny (ex-Julia). Lucci, meanwhile, has denounced rumors that she’s going to ABC’s prime-time series “Desperate Housewives” but has admitted to having had a good talk with its executive producer Marc Cherry. While waiting for things to take shape, the stunning 64-year old does plan on taking advantage of the time that has opened up and is pondering a return to the stage.
Production of “AMC” for ABC network airings ended earlier this week. The last episode of “AMC” on the ABC network is scheduled to air on Friday, September 23.
Friday, September 23, 2011 may be the final airdate for “All My Children” on ABC, but Wednesday, August 31, 2011 marked the last date an actor was under contract with the drama series since the filming of the soaps pilot episode in late 1969.
Although “One Life to Live” debuted nearly two years before it, “All My Children” was actually the first soap opera created by Agnes Nixon that was geared towards the ABC Television Network’s daytime audience. Initially, ABC thought the idea of “AMC” was too much for daytime television, especially with an untested series creator (Nixon), so the network asked the scribe to conceive a totally different soap opera (“OLTL”). With the success of “One Life,” Nixon was given the go ahead to move forward with “All My Children,” which takes place in the fictional town of Pine Valley, Pennsylvania. The series debuted as a half-hour program and was owned by Nixon’s Creative Horizons, Inc. before being sold to ABC outright in 1975. “AMC” was expanded to an hour long serial beginning in 1977.
After more than 10,700 episodes and 41-years on television, “All My Children” will end its broadcast run on ABC on Friday, September 23, 2011. In its final week and leading to its final moments, “All My Children” will celebrate the rich history and legacy of Pine Valley’s favorite families including the Kane family, the Hubbard family, the Martin family and the Chandlers. Nixon has promised a cliffhanger ending that will have the audience excited for the next chapter of her 41-year old sudser. Susan Lucci, who portrays matriarch Erica Kane, will have been the only original cast member from the first season of “AMC” that has remained with the show without interruption since its debut on January 5, 1970.
At this time it is unclear as to who will be returning to the soap when “All My Children” resumes production later this fall/early winter in order to make its grand return when it moves to an online format beginning in January 2012 when Prospect Park takes over production from the Disney/ABC Television Group.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — If you watched yesterday’s (August 30) episode of “One Life to Live” you likely heard Kristen Alderson‘s (Starr) singing during the montage at the end of the episode where Victor Lord, Jr. (Trevor St. John) was gunned down by an unknown assailant. And if you liked the song you are in luck, it will soon be available for fans to download.
The catchy tune, which includes the show’s name as part of the lyrics, was recently recorded at the “OLTL” studios by Alderson on August 4, after it was “written” by her character Starr and her soon-to-be former co-star Barret Helms (Baz).
Alderson thanked her fans for their support following the episode, tweeting, “I’m so glad everyone liked Starr’s ‘One Life To Live’ song that aired today! All of your compliments mean the world. <3″ She went on to say that the show’s Music Director Paul S. Glass “is working on getting the song available for download for you guys asap. xoxoxo”
The actress also complimented Glass on the song, tweeting “Thank you @oltlmusic !! You and Dave are the BEST. The song fit so perfectly with the episode. =)” Glass responded in kind saying “Thanks! I loved how it worked out and so glad at the response! You were awesome!”
This was not the first time music from “One Life to Live” has been made commercially available for fans. Back on Valentine’s Day, “The Sound of a Kiss” is the third “OLTL” album to be released on iTunes, and featured songs performed by Alderson and several of her “OLTL” co-stars. The show released “Prom Night: The Musical” in 2007 and “Starr X’d Lovers: The Musical” in 2010. “One Life to Live” also released the CD “One Life, Many Voices” to help with Hurricane Katrina and Rita clean-up efforts in 2006. And different songs by various artists featured in past episodes have also been made available by “OLTL” on iTunes.
In case you missed the part of Tuesday’s episode featuring the song, you can watch it here starting at the six minute mark.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Daytime Emmy Award winning television and stage director, actor, and teacher David Pressman died of natural causes on Monday in New York City at the age of 97. Pressman is best remembered by soap fans for his three decades of directing daytime dramas, including “Another World” and “One Life to Live.”
According to Variety, Pressman began his long career as child after receiving a scholarship to the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater, where he studied acting alongside Sanford Mesiner. It was during this time that Pressman made his acting debut in 1941 in a stage production of “Brooklyn, U.S.A.” He later also appeared on stage in “The Eve of St. Mark” and “Dream Girl.”
After graduating, Mesiner asked him to return as his teaching assistant, where he mentored several young actors, including Marlon Brando, Gregory Peck and Tony Randall.
After serving in World War II, where he earned two Purple Hearts, Pressman pursued a career in the new medium of television. In the early 1950s he won a Peabody for his work directing a live action “Actors Studio” TV program. Before directing the series, Pressman starred in the first episode opposite Jessica Tandy, in an adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play “Portrait of a Madonna.” He then earned widespread recognition for his work directing Molnar’s “The Swan” as a segment on “Studio One in Hollywood” starring Grace Kelly in 1951, which later remade into a feature film.
Blacklisted during the 1950s for being a member of the Communist Party, the Soviet-born Pressman founded the acting department at Boston University, where he a number of future Hollywood stars, including Olympia Dukakis. From there, he moved to Broadway, where he directed a number of stage productions, including “The Disenchanted,” “Roman Candle,” and “Summertree.” He then returned to the Neighborhood Playhouse, where he took over the school for the next decade.
By the 1960s, Pressman returned to television, and directed episodes of the primetime dramas “The Defenders,” “The Doctors and the Nurses,” and “N.Y.P.D.,” including a 1968 episode featuring future Hollywood icons Al Pacino and Jill Claybaugh. After a stint of directing on the NBC soap “Another World,” Pressman joined rival ABC soap “One Life to Live” in 1970 at the request of then Executive Producer Doris Quinlin. After directing countless episodes of “OLTL” during the next twenty-eight years, and earning several Daytime Emmy nominations (winning in 1976, 1983, and 1984), Pressman retired from the show in 1998. However, he was soon asked to return for a time to help train the soap’s younger actors.
Also in 1998, Pressman returned to his acting roots when he played the Shakespeare-quoting homeless man Bernie Hopper on “OLTL.” He later reprised the role in 2003. In 2004 he was interviewed as part of the Archive of American Television’s TV Legends Series, which you can watch here.
Pressman is survived by his wife, two sons, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The “One Life to Live” revolving door will stay busy during the month of September as several new and familiar faces make their presence known in Llanview.
As we previously reported, “Guiding Light” alum Wendy Moniz has been tapped to take over as Llanview’s new mayor following the resignation of Dorian Lord (Robin Strasser), who left town after being appointed a U.S. Senator. On Friday, September 16, look for the former deputy mayor to start exercising her newfound authority around town.
With visions of Gigi (Farah Fath) still fresh on Rex’s (John-Paul Lavoisier) mind, Lea DeLaria again reprises her role as Llanview’s favorite physic Madame Delphina beginning Wednesday, September 14, when she tries to help Rex make sense of what he has been seeing. However, Rex isn’t the only Balsom Delphina will come into contact with.
Apparently porn doesn’t pay the bills. As the calendar turns to September look for X-rated film producer Rick Powers (Austin Peck) to resurface following his attempt to make a name for himself by substituting the film “VickerMan” with his own creation “Hold the Diploma” in late July. Only this time it isn’t smut that he’s peddling. As Rick branches out career-wise, expect him to get tangled up in another storyline playing out on the canvas.
After going MIA since saving his Aunt Dorian while dressed as a pint-sized Spiderman, the youngest Manning child Sam (Patrick Gibbons, Jr.) returns again this month. But how will the recent developments in his family affect the little guy?
Barbara Rhoades will continue to air as Irene Manning through the month of September.
It appears as if Mandy Evans, who made her debut as “Uncanny Annie,” a pole dancer at the Spotted Pony strip club in Kentucky on August 19, may be making another appearance on the show. Evans, who taped her first scenes on July 11, posted the following on her website on August 8: “Recurring Under 5 as Uncanny Annie on One Life To Live.”
Paul Rolfes returns as Dr. Jay Gangemi on Wednesday, August 31, along with a few dayplayer nurses, EMTS, and cops. In the same episode, Helmar Augustus Cooper is back as homeless man Louie, who interacts with several Llanview residents. And on the same date, Frankie Faison also airs again as Destiny’s grandad Richard Evans.
Rumors continue to swirl that Terrell Tilford will be returning to Llanview as Destiny’s (Shenell Edmonds) dad and Shaun (Sean Ringgold) brother Greg Evans this fall. Tilford himself has added to the speculation with this video message to his former “OLTL” fans on his Facebook fan page, teasing about a possible return to the show. However, while it remains to be seen if the actor is actually returning or not, Greg’s name will be mentioned more than once by his loved ones in the coming weeks.
Edmonds tweeted on August 24 that it was a “Good day at #OLTL, one day break and back again to close out the week.” Also be sure to check out her Twitter page to read her earlier tweets from some of Destiny’s scenes from the August 5 episode.
Check out this tweet from Hillary B. Smith from earlier this month: “I would love to do ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ But ABC doesn’t promote us on ‘OLTL.’” She also responds to a fan who asked her on August 22, “Yet, you all are the number one rated soap on their schedule! Word!,” with “we sure are!!! Not their plan! But aren’t we grand!!!” Earlier in the month she commented on slap Phylicia gave Nora recently, saying “The slap was acted. I don’t think my head would have stayed attached if Tonye [Phylicia Evans] connected. She was awesome!”
Robin Strasser tweeted on August 30 that “GROUND TURKEY E COLI RECALL? didn’t know- ate turkey burgers with gusto. SICK unto death-gotta get better help.Thank you for prayers.” On August 26 she tweeted that “Yes, I was able to watch the ‘last show”. I LUV Erika Slezak, Kassie DePaiva, Kristen Alderson, Gina Tognoni. I’ll miss working with them. Soap Central really cheered me UP. I’m in hospital- 2nd time in 2 weeks for a blood infection (wuh?) Hoping for meds I’m not allergic to.”
A fan commented to Kristen Alderson on Twitter on August 30, saying “LOVED when Starr said Brown Chicken Brown Cow today!tweeting”I added that in cause Kassie always says it hahah.”
And speaking of Shaun, fans can expect to see more of him in September, along with a few of Llanview’s other infrequently used supporting characters like Nigel (Peter Bartlett), Shane (Austin Williams), Echo (Kim Zimmer), Phylicia (Tonye Patano), Roxy (Ilene Kristen), and a certain prized possession of the eccentric hairdresser.