In the newest issue of ABC Soaps In Depth, “General Hospital” star Julie Marie Berman has announced in an exclusive interview that she is leaving the series after seven and a half years portraying Lulu Spencer. “I always have a desire to grow and challenge myself in other mediums. And there are enough reasons now that my gut is telling me this is the right time to finally let go of ‘GH.’” Berman says she informed her bosses back in July of last year that she had plans to leave the series. “I gave my notice in July to leave when my contract was up in November last year,” said Berman, who also explained that she decided to stay a little while longer after subsequent discussions between her management team and “GH” executive producer Frank Valentini.
Daytime legend Susan Lucci, who portrayed Erica Kane on all 41 years of “All My Children,” will be appearing on the Monday, February 25 edition of ABC’s “The View.” The actress is expected to sit down with the ladies to discuss her new Lifetime series “Devious Maids,” and the second season of her Investigation Discovery series “Deadly Affairs.”
Nic Robuck (ex-James Ford, “One Life to Live”) has landed his first feature film role, reports ABC Soaps In Depth. The actor has signed on to play the lead in the film “A Dark Plan.”
“I play the lead character, Shane Dempsey, a sociopath who had a horrible upbringing. He will do anything for the love of others… even kill if he’s desperate enough!” said Robuck to Soaps In Depth. “He’s a bit like James in that they both had rough upbringings,” Robuck revealed, “but Shane has much deeper, darker-rooted issues and isn’t quite stable.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — A compilation of Twitter and Facebook posts from the cast of “One Life to Live” following word that Prospect Park was dropping plans to resurrect the show online only five days after the soap wrapped production on its ABC run.
Kristen Alderson (Starr): “Extremely sad sad news… No #prospectpark deal for AMC or OLTL. So many lives affected by this… #RIPoltl”
Hillary B. Smith (Nora): “I want to b careful what I say right now. I am so sad for the fans. I am so sad for all of us who were robbed of the 7 months to plan. I wish there had been more communication. This was not about AFTRA! The guilds and unions were talking. The endings were changed to accomodate the move. I wish they would have left us alone. So sad!!!! no, I believe they did what they could, just had no idea what a soap cost. Don’t hate them for ignorance. Endings were changed! So unprofessional. You will al still be satisfied. The ride to the end is still worth it!!! I promise. Meanwhile, LONG LIVE VENICE!!! no but ABC chose this deal. It was on the interrnet. I still feel that ABC will regret this decision. I love you all! I m sorry! But the show is worth the ride. Enjoy through January!!!
Mark Lawson (Brody): “Sorry to hear Prospect Park was unable to pull it off. A sad day today for all the fans. A sad day for all of us who were part of the One Life family. But I know we all brought our best these last few months and can be proud of how we finished the game. Thanks OLTL for all you taught me.”
Michael Easton (John McBain): “I’m sorry to say it’s done. Still Much to be thankful for. Happy Thansgiving. I love you all. MY THOUGHTS ARE WITH ALL OF YOU TONIGHT…I know how disappointing this news is to many of you. We tried to fight the good fight, we fought to the end to get the ratings up, but it wasn’t enough. We’re sorry we let you down. I just wanted to thank you all for the years of kindness, love and support you’ve shown me and my family. If you get a chance at some point, maybe say a prayer for the wonderful crew members of “One Life To Live”, many of whom are supporting large families, that they may find work soon. God Bless. Happy Thanksgiving.”
David A. Gregory (Ford): “So sad to hear. Again, thank you everyone for all your support… Keep watching! Its gonna be a great finale week starting January 9th.”
Robin Strasser (ex-Dorian): “I know NOTHING about Prospect Park’s purported pick-up-or- drop out of #OLTL-I depend on SOD+SID+other postings. If I knew-I’d tell YOU. I’m rooting Prospect Park finds the funding, even if I was not picked to be a start-up contract player. Hoping good things happen for ALL. Sad+disappointed-tho not surprised. Statement sounds a bit blame game- Actors/Directors/Writers terminated by ABC were amped 2 rock 4 PP! I believe OLTL actors who accepted PP offer from git-go would’ve knocked it out of ballpark right through last tape day-even without that. #OLTL cast: talented, smart, great looking, edgy, uniquely+singularly creative. How much do I admire and miss them?-let me count the ways.”
Shenaz Treasury (Rama): “OLTL ended, Im so bummed. Now I may really need to be in LA.”
Jerry verDorn (Clint): “Hello everybody.Thank you all for your kind birthday wishes. I enjoyed the day prepping for the Thanksgiving Feast. Much to be thankful for and a little something to grumble about. Don’t blame Prospect Park but rather blame the economy. They lost some financing that was too hard to replace. Start-up money is near impossible to find these days. Who knows what may happen. I guess my birthday present this year is retirement. Love to all.”
Kelley Missal (Dani): “Just saw the news that #OLTL won’t be moving on to the Internet after all. so sad but at least they gave it the chance it deserved!!”
Matt Walton (ex-Eli): “My heart goes out to my #AMC and #OLTL alumni. What a backwards world we live in right now. A bold response is coming soon.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Sunday, November 13, The New York Times reported that American Media, Inc., which earlier this year purchased the licensing rights of both Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly from owner Source Interlink, in which the company now oversees all aspects including editorial, advertising, marketing and distribution, would be launching a new weekly magazine dubbed Reality Weekly.
The magazine, which is set to launch in January 2012 with a newsstand price of $1.79 per issue, has long been expected. After all, reality TV related programming and “stars” have graced the covers of People and Entertainment Weeky, and even celebrity gossip mags Us Weekly, Star (which is owned by American Media) and Life & Style. With coveted supermarket placing between both Weekly and Digest, many often wondered if, along with dwindling audience for the soaps, American Media took over the mags just for their positioning and would shutter the mags in place of magazine’s such as Reality Weekly. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Although I do not personally subscribe to either Digest or Weekly, it recently came to my attention that Soap Opera Weekly no longer provides subscriptions for soap fans wishing to receive their Weekly at home as it and numerous other magazines have done since their inceptions. This was later confirmed as the magazine no longer provides an online subscription via the Zinio magazine subscription and tablet application service. Digest and Soaps in Depth (both ABC and CBS editions) continue to provide subscriptions, however.
An American Media representative told Soap Opera Network “Absolutely not!” when asked if the launch of Reality Weekly had anything to do with the company’s decision to stop providing subscriptions for Weekly. “We made it a 100 percent newsstand mag that generates a million dollars of editda per year,” the rep continued. EDITDA stands for Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
In an industry plagued with erosion, it’s safe to say that at least our soap magazine’s appear to have more longevity than some of the soaps themselves.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — There has been much discussed about “All My Children” 2.0 following a report by Soaps in Depth in which the magazine reported on its website that “All My Children,” as conceived by the minds behind the scenes at Prospect Park, has been placed on hold. This of course is after months of rumors and speculation stating that the company had planned to launch the show just days following its September 23 ABC finale and again in January 2012 following the network finale of sister soap “One Life to Live,” which in addition to “AMC” was licensed to Prospect Park for its Online Network (TOLN) in a deal brokered with the Disney/ABC Television Group back in July of this year. But is this really news to the fans or were we all just hoping something else was going on behind the scenes that would suddenly pace the show on the same trek as “OLTL?”
When the deal with Prospect Park was announced many speculated that one of the reasons “One Life to Live” was allowed to continue on post ABC was due in large part to its association with “All My Children,” both in cancellation and its creator Agnes Nixon. After weeks of silence following the big press release touting the renewed life for both series, which were canceled by ABC in April, “One Life to Live” signed deals with four actors in early September to continue on while “All My Children” only signed two. By the end of September “One Life” would not only sign five additional stars, but would also sign an executive producer and a head writer. Frank Valentini, who will continue as the soaps EP once production wraps at the end of this coming week, will also take on duties as VP, Serial Dramas, Prospect Park. In this new role Valentini will be responsible for all aspects of “One Life to Live” and “All My Children,” along with any other serialized dramatic programming Prospect Park puts into production. His duties will include signing off on the hiring of actors, writers, producers, etc along with setting the budgetary tone for each serialized program under Prospect Park.
By the end of October, “One Life to Live” had signed a total of 13 actors in addition to their EP and HW, while “All My Children” signed Darnell Williams (ex-Jesse Hubbard) to round out the current “AMC” 2.0 cast that includes Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan Lavery) and Lindsay Hartley (ex-Cara Castillo). Williams’ signing was confirmed to Soap Opera Network by a Prospect Park representative, although other publications have yet to confirm the news through proper channels and used a tweet by Hartley as the basis for their initial reporting. “All My Children” remains without a head writer or executive producer. Last week, Soap Opera Network reported via several sources that ABC had agreed to allow Prospect Park continued usage of “One Life’s” current studio space, which just so happened to be “AMC’s” studio prior to the soaps move to LA in 2010. “All My Children” was said to continue filming at its Andrita studio in LA under Prospect Park, but after nearly three months since production ceased for the ABC run it’s anyone’s guess as to what has since happened to the sets, wardrobe, props, etc.
With the signing of no more than three actors, no executive producer, and no head writer, there was absolutely no way “All My Children” could continue online or in any other form as planned. Meanwhile, Prospect Park continues to state that their new Online Network (TOLN) is launching in January 2012, and the company has signed a licensing deal with Universal Music Group in which contemporary music would be available in episodes of both soaps and available for purchase online after the end of each episode. Although there are reports that the company is in need of $65 million on hand to get their efforts off the ground and an additional $80 million per year to fund both series each year, the funding necessary doesn’t seem to be stalling preparations for an online version of “One Life to Live” nor does the fact that there is no deal between the required unions such as the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the Writers Guild of America (WGA), the Directors Guild of America (DGA) or the Producers Guild of America (PGA), among others.
The issues currently plaguing “AMC” rests on the former cast and crew and their ability to now find jobs anywhere in Hollywood now that they are all living their lives comfortably in the Bear state and free from the clutches of ABC. Michael E. Knight (ex-Tad Martin) received an offer from Prospect Park, but turned it down because he wanted a break. Alicia Minshew (ex-Kendall Hart) and Rebecca Budig (Greenlee Smythe) were sure to be in demand by the company, but alas both wish to only return if they were able to remain on recurring status. Series star and soap opera legend, Susan Lucci (ex-Erica Kane), turned down the company’s offer for the same salary she received while working on the ABC version of the soap. Jacob Young (ex-JR Chandler), who returned on screen at “The Bold and the Beautiful” just before “AMC” aired its final episode in September, admitted that he only signed a short-term deal with “B&B” and wants Prospect Park to be more forthcoming with information. “Let’s see what these Prospect Park guys can bring to the table,” he said on Tuesday, October 25 at New York’s Town Hall for the first of several “A Tribute to Pine Valley” sessions with fans. Once Prospect Park gets its ducks in a row, including signing deals with the necessary unions and apparently finding the funding necessary, “All My Children” 2.0 is now said to be geared for a March 2012 launch, while “OLTL” remains on track to launch in January 2012.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” casting odds and ends for the month of October and beyond.
Tonja Walker shares more details into her upcoming return to “One Life” as Alex Olanov, tweeting “so far I’m told I have a story, but I’ve only shot four episodes. Hope its only the beginning!” She also says that she “was happy with the way they [the writers] wrote Alex this time,” but that she can’t discuss her scenes with Farah Fath (Gigi/Stacy) and Josh Kelly (Cutter). Walker also tweets that her scenes will air in November and promises to post her airdates soon.
As we previously reported, Paul Hickert will appear on “OLTL” on Monday, October 17 as “Kentucky Cop #2.” Yesterday, the Murray (KY) Ledger & Times posted an interview with Hickert, who played football for Murray State University from 1984-87 on their website. The Clearwater, Florida native, who now calls New York City home, spoke about his upcoming guest spot on the soap, notes that he will have several lines on “OLTL” as a cop, although he couldn’t say much about why his scene takes place in Kentucky, only that one of the show’s major characters finds their way there. Hickert also has a small role as an FBI agent the movie “Tower Heist,” debuting in theaters on November 4th. The film, directed by Brett Ratner, stars Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, and Matthew Broderick. Click here to read a related interview with Hickert from the Murray State Athletics Official website.
According to various sources, including the actress’ Facebook page, Teresa Patel will be joining the cast of “OLTL” in mid-October in an unnamed role. At this time it appears to be a minor role, however, that has yet to be confirmed.
Miss hearing Trevor St. John‘s (ex-Victor, Jr.) voice? If so, then you may be in luck. On Monday, October 17, John asks Téa (Florencia Lozano) if she wants to hear the voicemail Victor left Shaun just before he was shot. Also, in the same episode, Todd (Roger Howarth) has another vision of his late mother Irene (Barbara Rhoades).
Sara Oliver booked an Under 5 role on “OLTL” earlier this month.
“One Life to Live” recently released a new casting call, this time for the role of “Jill.”
Farah Fath (Gigi/Stacy) tweets that she will be taping scenes every day this week on “OLTL.”
Here comes the judge. Look for the dayplayer roles of a judge and assistant district attorney to appear in scenes in late October.
ABC Soaps in Depth clears up a little confusion among “One Life” fans, tweeting that “For those asking, although it didn’t sound like him, that WAS Michael Easton doing the voice of baby Liam last week!”
Looks like there is about to be another catfight on the show. Last Thursday on her Facebook page, Shenaz Treasury (Rama) posted this picture of herself in make-up while on set with a scar on her cheek.
Sean Ringgold (Shaun) posted this picture of himself on September 30 with his onscreen girlfriend Kearran Giovanni (Vivian), showing their characters all dressed up while taping scenes for “OLTL.”
Get ready for some big Starr and Todd scenes soon. Kristen Alderson (Starr) tweeted on October 6 that she had “Filmed some classic Starr/Todd scenes today! You guys are gonna love it. Roger and I had so much fun filming. =)”
On October 1, Austin Peck (Rick) tweeted “I’m having so much fun with Mr. Rick Powers. He maybe a sociopath…but like in the best possible way.”
Shenell Edmonds tweeted that she returned to “OLTL” on October 3 after being on vacation.
And Julia Davis, the show’s make-up artist made several tweets last week on her Twitter page about cast and crew having several long days filming on set.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Nearly three months after licensing the rights to “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” from ABC, Prospect announces the launching of a new web channel, The Online Network, which will air both soaps along with the upstart company’s other current and future programming.
According to a press release, the new site will launch in January “with the goal of eventually providing viewers with a full programming selection of first-run, long form content on an anytime, anywhere basis.”
“We are creating TOLN to conveniently deliver fans of quality television long-form programming anytime and anywhere. With broadband availability in 70% of US households and the proliferation of internet enabled televisions, DVRs and wireless devices, ultimately we believe that online distribution provides the best platform to access 30 and 60 minute entertainment content. The viewer response to the shows we have licensed has been tremendous, and we have much more in development to appeal to a broad audience base,” adds Prospect Park co-founders Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz.
Furthermore, it appears that Canadian fans of the soaps will be in luck, as ABC Soaps in Depth tweets that our friends north of the border will be able to watch “AMC” and “OLTL” on The Online Network as well.
In related news, TVLine is reporting that “at launch time TOLN will be strictly ad-supported, like most online video hubs,” however that has yet to be confirmed by Prospect Park.
Fans wanting to receive updates regarding The Online Network, as well as its show (including “AMC” and “OLTL”), can register with your e-mail address or cell phone number at www.TOLN.com or www.theonlinenetwork.com.
“All My Children” aired its final episode on ABC last Friday, while “One Life to Live” will last end its network run on January 13, 2012. Both shows are expected to resume with Prospect Park early next year.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The latest cast changes and other odds and ends for “One Life to Live.”
Is Tonja Walker on her back to Llanview as Alex Olanov. While it has yet to be confirmed if she is referencing “OLTL,” the actress posted the following message on her Facebook fan club page “I am coming baaaackkkk! I don’t know anything else!” Walker last appeared as Alex back in April.
Steph Garcia next airs as a Diner Waitress on Thursday, November 3.
Paul Hickert will play Kentucky Cop #2 on Monday, October 17.
According to IMDb, one of Nic Robuck‘s (James Ford) October airdates will be the 21st.
For those of you wondering the name of the actress who played Victor’s (Trevor St. John) secretary Tracy recently, here is your answer. The young lady was Alyssa Rose, daughter of New York Mets announcer Howie Rose. She also appeared on the show back on July 6 as a “patient representative,” which marked her debut as a television actress.
Although first airdates remain unknown for Kathy Brier (Marcie) and Chris Stack (Michael), Brier tweeted on August 30 that she was “@ OLTL in the Hair & Make-up Room…I will be going back for a bit…and yes I am really preggers!,” along with this picture of herself in the make-up chair. Look for both Brier and Stack to return to Llanview with Marcie and Michael’s little son Gabriel Thomas. Also, ABC SID reports that Brier’s pregnancy will be written into the show.
The magazine also reports that Tina (Andrea Evans) and Cord (John Loprieno) will stick around Llanview for awhile when they return on September 26 and 28, respectively. In fact, Head Writer Ron Carlivati tells the mag. that he has a big fall storyline planned involving the two of them.
Look for some more dayplayer characters in the coming weeks, including a lawyer and a mystery man.
Christopher Stadulis played an Agent on Monday, August 22.
Get ready for a music video to go along with Starr’s (Kristen Alderson) new single. Alderson tweeted earlier this week that “A new song & a music video to go along w/it for the show! Are u dying w/excitement yet?l ol that’s all I can say with out getting in trouble. Such a blast in the recording studio with @oltlmusic today. I can’t wait for you guys to hear the new Starr/Baz [Barret Helms] song!”
On a related note, “OLTL” Music Director Paul S. Glass tweets that “Mixing right now Kristen….sounds incredible! Definitely a blast!! Thanks!” He also said on September 5 that “the Viki/Dorian [Erika Slezak/Robin Strasser] montage was ‘Moments’ by Josh Auer. We had Josh do special version but the original is available on iTunes.” And he responds to fan who asks the name of a song Jessica sang while on the run way back when Erin Torpey was still in the role by tweeting “Wow..that goes way back! That song is ‘I Will Be the Flame’ by a singer/songwriter Sarah Symons.” Check out Glass’ Twitter page for more comments and thoughts on Starr and Baz’s single.
David A. Gregory (Ford) tries to clear up some confusion surrounding “One Life’s” transition to Prospect Park by posting a message on his Facebook page: “Hey everyone. Just wanted to let you know that, as of now, I have no new news about who else is heading to the online show, when the online production begins, where it films etc. Not sure when our last tape date for TV is, although I’m told it’s just before Thanksgiving. Hope this helps. Sorry I cannot answer all questions.”
Is Andrew Trischitta (Jack) making the moving with “OLTL” to online-only distribution? On September 8, the actor responded to a fan who asked if he was interesting in continuing with the show after it leaves ABC by tweeting “I would love to do so.”
And Robin Strasser (ex-Dorian) also chimed in, tweeting on September 5 that “NO, haven’t been asked to participate in prospective Prospect Park ‘OLTL.’ NOR in ‘OLTL’s’ last final months. Diss-appointing? yes-Surprising-no.” And then earlier this evening, after learning that “OLTL” Executive Producer Frank Valentini would be continuing on with the show after it moves to Prospect Park, Strasser added “NO WAY! JUST HEARD: Frank Valentini signed EP Prospect Park ‘OLTL?’ Smart move that, wonder if there’s a chance they’LL call me? prolly SLIM 2 none : (”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Thursday, July 21, ABC Soaps in Depth reported that Kelly Sullivan had been hired as a recast Kate Howard after more than a year since we last saw the character (last played by Megan Ward). Now Soap Opera Network has learned when you can catch your first glimpse of the actress.
In In Depth‘s posting they indicated that Kate “will be looking a bit different after all that time recently spent in Paris and Milan,” but that’s only half the story! Just wait until Kate comes face-to-face with Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), her high school boyfriend and supposedly the loves of each other’s lives, or she was until Sonny remembered Brenda Barrett (Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo) at this point last year.
In addition to “GH,” Sullivan has appeared in episodes of “As The World Turns” and “One Life to Live” along with a guest-stint in “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” She’ll appear in the film “333″ co-starring with “The Young and the Restless’” Camryn Grimes (ex-Cassie Newman) which is set for release in 2012.
Sullivan’s first airdate is scheduled for Monday, September 12.