How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of 'GH,' 'The View' and 'The Chew'; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of ‘GH,’ ‘The View’ and ‘The Chew’; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

 
Topic:
AFTRA

Donna Svennevik/ABC

(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.”



AFTRA/Prospect Park

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — After rumblings for the last two weeks and a shocking report by Deadline Hollywood earlier today, Prospect Park officially pulled the plug on plans for producing online versions of ABC’s “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” Of the key issues, Prospect Park cited its inability to come to terms with the unions including those representing the actors (AFTRA) and the writers (WGA). Shortly afterward, the various unions began issuing statements in response to the production companies decision.

The Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) issued the following to Soap Opera Network, “We were disappointed to learn that Prospect Park’s financing fell through. Prior to the end of last week, we were close to a fair deal for the writers.”

On Monday, November 14, Soap Opera Network spoke with a rep from the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), who stated they were still in talks with Prospect Park. Unfortunately, as noted in the statement  issued to media outlets today, those talks went no where as the production company wasn’t communicating well with the union.

via Press Release

AFTRA Statement Regarding Prospect Park’s Decision to Suspend Production of “One Life to Live” and “All My Children”

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 23, 2011) — The following is a statement from AFTRA, the union that represents actors on “One Life to Live” and “All My Children”:

“AFTRA was deeply disappointed to read that the executives at Prospect Park have decided to suspend their efforts to produce the long-running and popular daytime serials, One Life to Live’ and ‘All My Children,’ via online distribution.

Despite initial progress in our negotiations with Prospect Park toward resolving a fair agreement to cover the performers appearing on these programs, we were perplexed and disappointed that for the past month Prospect Park has not responded to our repeated inquiries to resume those discussions. We now conclude from the press reports that Prospect Park faced other challenges unrelated to our negotiations, which prevented continuation of those discussions.

We remain hopeful that an opportunity to revive these two popular series will emerge in the future, and remain ready to resume discussions should that opportunity arise.”

###

About AFTRA
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, broadcasters, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society. Visit AFTRA online at www.aftra.com.



AFTRA/Prospect Park

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — It was Tuesday, October 4 when Soap Opera Network first reported on the current status of union discussions between the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and Prospect Park following word back in July that Prospect Park would be launching “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” on the web. Now more than a month later, and with news that “AMC” is being delayed for various reasons, an AFTRA rep tells Soap Opera Network that they are “still in discussions with [Prospect Park].” This at some point could place a damper on the company’s plan of launching “One Life” online in January if a deal isn’t reached in the next several weeks.

The latest the soap could go back into production, following the end of production later this week of its ABC run, would be towards of end of December. This all hinges of course on a hoped for deal with the unions including AFTRA, the Writers Guild of America (WGA), the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and the Producers Guild of America (PGA), among others. Prospect Park previously signed a deal with Disney/ABC to rent out the soaps current New York studio at the ABC Television Center for the programs initial run via Prospect Park’s Online Network (TOLN).

Soap Opera Network will continue following all aspects of Prospect Park, the Online Network (TOLN), “One Life to Live” 2.0 and “All My Children” 2.0 as details become available.



AFTRA/Prospect Park

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Saturday, October 1, the National Board of Directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) met for the final time in 2011, as previously reported. One of the topics of discussion was Prospect Park and its transitioning of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to the web in January 2012. While exact details of the meeting are still unknown in that respect, a representative speaks to Soap Opera Network exclusively on where things stand at this time between the actors union and Prospect Park.

It has been nearly three months since Prospect Park announced that they had licensed the rights to “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” from the Disney/ABC Television Group with the intention of transitioning the soaps to the web beginning in January 2012. Since that time, AFTRA, better known as the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union, has been relatively silent on how the transition would be possible, until now. Soap Opera Network has learned exclusively that despite a number of actors from both “AMC” and “OLTL” signing on for the 2.0 versions of the soaps, talks between Prospect Park and AFTRA are still ongoing and that a deal between the actors union and the production company has yet to be signed.

Although “One Life to Live’s” Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan Banks), Kelley Missal (Danielle Rayburn), Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning) and Jerry VerDorn (Clint Buchanan), Ted King (Thomas Delgado), Michael Easton (John McBain), Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer) and Erika Slezak (Viki Banks) and “All My Children’s” Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery) and Lindsay Hartley (Cara Castillo) have already signed on despite no official deal between AFTRA and Prospect Park, an AFTRA rep tells Soap Opera Network “we are still in negotiations with Prospect Park. There is no agreement as of yet, but we are in discussion and when there is something final to announce we will announce it.”

Many of you have wondered why more cast members from “One Life to Live” have signed on to the web version of their show, pending a Prospect Park/AFTRA contract agreement, while not as many have signed on from the “All My Children” cast, but the AFTRA rep assures us that “we’ve been keeping the cast members of both shows advised as to the terms of the progress and the status of the discussions with Prospect Park.”

Actors from “All My Children,” which ended its television run on September 23, 2011, are left in limbo in the interim of a deal between AFTRA and Prospect Park, leaving many to seek new soap roles (Debbi Morgan, ex-Dr. Angie Hubbard now on “The Young and the Restless”), return to the soap that launched their careers (Jacob Young, ex-JR Chandler returned to “The Bold and the Beautiful”), or just deciding to take a much needed break (Michael E. Knight, ex-Tad Martin).



Prospect Park

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The final meeting of the year for the National Board of Directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) took place today via video conferences in New York and Los Angeles and one of the key topics of discussion effects Prospect Park and television network contracts including those surrounding daytime soaps.

For a complete understanding of what took place and how it affects daytime programming, read the press release below (highlights in bold):

LOS ANGELES AND NEW YORK (Oct. 1, 2011) — The National Board of Directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO – a national union of more than 70,000 recording artists, broadcasters and actors – met today by videoconference plenary in Los Angeles and New York, and unanimously voted to authorize the AFTRA Sound Recordings Negotiating Committee to take all actions necessary, up to and including proceeding to a strike authorization vote if needed, to secure an agreement with the major record labels.

Negotiations between AFTRA and representatives from Sony, UMG, Warner, EMI, Disney and most of their subsidiary labels for a successor agreement to the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Sound Recordings, the Union’s second largest national contract, commenced in New York on Aug. 15, with an additional round of bargaining held in Los Angeles the week of Sept. 12-16. An additional bargaining date has been set for Oct. 5 in an effort to resolve outstanding issues. AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth serves as Chief Negotiator for the Union.

The Sound Recordings Code covers singers, royalty and non-royalty artists, as well as announcers, actors, comedians, narrators and sound effects artists who work on recordings in all new and traditional media and all music formats, in addition to audiobooks, comedy albums and cast albums. The Code generates more than $140 million annually in AFTRA-covered earnings and benefits for both major artists and session singers around the country.

Board members also unanimously approved the appointment of the 2011 AFTRA Network Television Code Negotiating Committee. AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon will chair the 25-member committee and Hedgpeth will serve as Chief Negotiator for the Union. Negotiations with representatives for the four major television broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) and other producers are scheduled to commence on Nov. 7 in Los Angeles.

The AFTRA Network Television Code is the Union’s largest national collective bargaining agreement, and generates more than $300 million a year in member earnings. The Network Code covers programming in all television day parts, except for primetime dramatic programs on the networks and the CW. This includes dramas in first-run syndication, morning news shows, talk shows, serials (soap operas), variety, reality, contest and sports. Current programs covered by this contract include: “Good Morning America,” “The View,” “The Price is Right,” “General Hospital,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “The Voice,” “Survivor,” “20/20,” “Deal or No Deal,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” among many others.

“The Sound Recordings and Network Television Codes are AFTRA’s two largest and most mature contracts, and for more than 50 years, they have each provided thousands of AFTRA members with strong wages and important benefits,” said Hedgpeth. “But the traditional music, news and entertainment industries are changing rapidly, and the current and upcoming negotiations will provide a critical glimpse into the significant challenges that lie ahead in the 21st century and beyond.

“In order to prevail,” Hedgpeth continued, “professional union talent must stand together and organize themselves through their Union so that together they can secure strong contracts.”

Other business discussed at the Board’s final meeting of the year included a report on the One Union process, and a report on current negotiations with Prospect Park regarding the on-line productions of “One Life to Live” and “All My Children,” slated to commence in late 2011/early 2012.

National Treasurer and Los Angeles member Matthew Kimbrough told the Board that AFTRA has increased its budget for One Union-related expenses by another $115,000 to more than $1.5 million.

In her President’s Report, AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon updated Board members on the progress of One Union discussions with Screen Actors Guild. She observed: “The Labor Movement is facing tremendous challenges all across the country. Union density is declining in both the public and private sectors, and in mature and emerging industries alike. Performers and professionals who work in the entertainment and media industries are not immune from these challenges.

“This is why our work with Screen Actors Guild to build one new union for all of our members is so timely and so important,” continued Reardon. “We are building a bigger, stronger and more expansive union, both in terms of numbers and jurisdiction. The universe of work we cover has changed fundamentally, so this project is not just about our H&R benefits, and not just about two sets of dues. It’s about the industry and the future of the industry and how we stay unionized in the future.”

Phil Denniston, AFTRA National Director of Organizing, advised the Board that the new Organizing Incentive Fund Program, announced at the previous Board meeting in July, is now active and ready to receive applications from Locals. Denniston developed the program to provide AFTRA Locals additional support to continue building organizing programs to increase union density and job opportunities in local markets. A key feature of the program is an annual “matching fund” of $500,000 from the dedicated organizing revenue raised by the 2009 initiation fee increase. The Board today approved an oversight committee of members who will receive, review and approve all applications for matching funds.

Shelby Scott, Union Chair of the Trustees of the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds and AFTRA National Vice President, reported on the status of the AFTRA H&R Funds. The AFTRA H&R Trustees are next scheduled to meet in New York City next week.

Reardon was unanimously elected by the Board to serve as a Union representative on the AFTRA H&R Board of Trustees. Reardon replaces Kansas City actor Dean Vivian, who was elected as a Trustee at the May 14 meeting of the Board, but who subsequently had to step down due to work conflicts.

Longtime National Board member Mitchell McGuire has resigned from Board service after more than 20 years of service to AFTRA as New York Local and National Treasurer, and on many committees throughout the union. His resignation was accepted by the members of the National Board with expressions of gratitude for his years of dedicated and exemplary service to AFTRA members.

The National Board convened its meeting in the memory of more than 26 members who died since July, including New York recording artist Nick Ashford, newsperson Eleanor Mondale from the Twin Cities Local, Ernie Johnson, a sportscaster from Atlanta, actress Frances Bay from Los Angeles and actor Cliff Robertson from New York.

The AFTRA National Board will next meet by videoconference plenary in Los Angeles and New York on Jan. 21.

About AFTRA

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, broadcasters, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society. Visit AFTRA online at www.aftra.com.



Donna Svennevik/ABC

(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.”









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