The war between ABC and Prospect Park Networks over “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” continues to rage on, but today Prospect Park Networks took an expected step: filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
According to Variety.com, the online production company filed for bankruptcy earlier today in a federal court in Delaware. In a statement released by the company, they explained that “PPN is optimistic that this filing will make it possible to continue to maximize the value of its assets and settlement of past liabilities. The company is optimistic about the prospects for a smooth transition into bankruptcy.”
So what does this mean for Prospect Park? And how does this affect their lawsuit with ABC?
Last night marked the 66th annual Directors Guild of America Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, but none of today’s daytime drama directors received a nomination. Why? Because the “Daytime Serials” category was integrated into the “Dramatic Series” category following a June 22, 2013 DGA National Board meeting that voted on rule changes, which forces daytime and primetime dramas to compete against internet distributed dramas such as “House of Cards,” which essentially leaves daytime itself shut out from ever receiving a nomination as the dynamics of daytime is no where near the likes of 2013 nominees “Breaking Bad” (AMC), “Game of Thrones” (HBO), “Homeland” (Showtime), or even the aforementioned “House of Cards” (Netflix). “Bad” won the award for those wondering.
Back in November 2013, Prospect Park amended its lawsuit against ABC by demanding more than $95 million in damages following what it claims was the network’s scheme to create a “mega soap” after ABC utilized characters from “One Life to Live” on “General Hospital.”
According to court documents from the time, Prospect Park alleged ABC convinced the company 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 said 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.” Following Prospect Park’s claims, ABC has now filed an official response, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Two years ago today the final television broadcast of “One Life to Live” aired on ABC. While the show would go on to have an additional forty episodes in 2013 via Prospect Park’s The OnLine Network, this day marks the end of the soap’s 43-year run on the alphabet network.
In honor of the show’s finale anniversary, we take a look back at some of the biggest and best “OLTL” moments – all available to watch online. So if you have a few minutes, come reminisce with us!
According to Law360.com, Allison “Sam” Hall, a former co-head writer of ABC’s “One Life to Live,” is suing the network over what he claims are royalties owed since the soap transitioned to the web via Hulu and iTunes, and broadcast during summer 2013 on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), courtesy of Prospect Park – the company that licensed the rights to both programs from Disney/ABC in 2011. Hall reportedly filed his complaint against American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. (ABC) on Tuesday, January 7, in New York. Hall was named co-head writer of the soap in 1984, and remained with the series until 1985.
“Each week during which such exhibitions by each authorized entity occurred Hall was entitled to be paid the weekly royalties,” reads the complaint referring to royalties owed from characters Hall may have created while working on the soap. “Despite due demand, Hall has not been paid any of the weekly royalties to which he is entitled for the exhibition of the series by Prospect Park Productions, iTunes, Hulu and OWN, which total in excess of $50,000, an amount which is in excess of the jurisdictional limits of the lower courts.”
Sunday, January 5 marks the return of guilty pleasure TV with all new episodes of ABC’s “Revenge,” CBS’ “The Good Wife” and the returns of “The Bachelor” and PBS’ “Downton Abbey.” Which to choose to watch? It’s hard to say, but Soap Opera Network is providing you with a lowdown on what to expect on “Revenge.”
In the episode entitled, “Homecoming,” allies and enemies scramble to learn what happened the night of Emily Thorne’s (Emily VanCamp) wedding, while the Graysons close ranks to protect their own. But when everyone’s a suspect, it’s only a matter of time before they tear each other apart. In honor of the primetime guilty pleasures return, TVLine has your exclusive first look at Emily, who is recovering in a hospital after being shot by her husband, Daniel Grayson (Josh Bowman), after he learned that she lied to him and she was not in fact pregnant. In the sneak peek released to the site by ABC, Daniel visits a sleeping Emily, who grabs his arm and frantically asks, “Where am I?” and “Who am I?” Yes, the amnesia storyline staple of daytime television is still powerful enough for primetime.
Tonight on ABC’s “Revenge,” which returns from a three week hiatus, the wedding of Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) and Daniel Grayson (Josh Bowman) is fast approaching and Emily must put the finishing touches on her final takedown – Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) herself. In tonight’s episode, entitled “Surrender,” Victoria learns that Emily is pregnant after a supposed altercation with a recently revealed alive Lydia (Amber Valletta) results in Emily slipping and falling.
For a preview of tonight’s episode, watch the promo below:
During the week of November 25 through 29, 2013, ABC’s “General Hospital” reached its largest audience in nearly six years (since week of January 21, 2008), when 3.3 million viewers tuned into the happenings of Port Charles. The soap is currently pacing for its best season in seven years in total viewers (since the 2006-2007 television season). In addition to an increase in viewers, the daytime sap reached an over 2-and-a-half-year high in Women 25-54 (1.04 million/1.7 rating) and an over 2-year high in Women 18-49 (774,000/1.2 rating) – since weeks of 3/21/11 and 8/15/11, respectively – to rank a strong #2 for the week in the key female sales demos.
Per ABC, “GH” posted the largest year-to-year increases of any broadcast daytime drama in Total Viewers (+20% – 3.30 million vs. 2.75 million), Women 18-49 (+21% – 774,000 vs. 641,000) and Women 25-54 (+25% – 1.04 million vs. 833,000).
“GH” aired original episodes on Monday, November 25 through Wednesday, November 27. An encore aired on Thursday, November 28, while the soap was preempted on Friday, November 29. The encore airing did not count in the weekly average.
An ABC representative has confirmed with Soap Opera Network that it has cut the third season episode order of its red hot soap, “Scandal.” Originally expected to air 22 episodes this season, “Scandal” will now only air 18. While the network did not give a reason for the episode reduction, it’s understood that with series star Kerry Washington pregnant and it being harder to hide a pregnancy for a lead character on a primetime series than one on daytime, due to how much time it takes to film each episode, it’s likely that the reduction occurred for this reason.
With the reduction in episodes, “Scandal” will have aired just 47 episodes by the end of its third season. Most primetime series will have aired 66 episodes at that point, but “Scandal’s” first season comprised of only 7 episodes as it was a midseason replacement during the 2011-2012 television season.
“Scandal” is scheduled to go on a winter break following the Thursday, December 12 episode. Barring any schedule changes as a result of its episode reduction, the series is currently scheduled to return from break on Thursday, February 27 to air its remaining third season episodes.