(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — As “One Life to Live” winds down production on its television run, the show has landed the mother of all returns — literally. Agnes Nixon, who created “OLTL” and sister soap “All My Children,” will make an appearance on the show as, what else, a soap opera scribe.
TVGuide‘s Michael Logan is reporting that the 83-year-old Nixon will play Agnes Dixon, creator of “One Life’s” 1980s fictional soap-within-a-soap, “Fraternity Row.”
While the show is keeping mum on the storyline details, Logan writes that Nixon’s character will be interviewed by Llanview’s feisty television reporter Blanca Morales (Carolina Bermudez), and that the former soap parody will again become an integral part of the show’s final weeks on ABC Daytime before airing its final episode on Friday, January 13 and begins online production with Prospect Park.
Nixon will tape her scenes on November 17. They will air the week of January 9.
This marks the second time Nixon has appeared on “OLTL.” In 2008, she appeared as “Agnes” when Viki (Erika Slezak) went to heaven as part of the show’s 40th anniversary. She also made cameo appearances on “All My Children” in 2005, 2008, and September of this year.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — With “One Life to Live” nearing the end of its run on ABC Daytime, the list of returning former cast members is increasing. And, while the list is impressive, it is lacking one important ingredient for long-time fans of the soap.
With the exception of Judith Light, who is rumored to be making an appearance as Karen Wolek in the near future (which has yet to be officially confirmed), no one (character or actor) from the first two decades that “One Life to Live” was on the air are said to be on the list of possible returns (and no, Tina’s recent return doesn’t count). But this is hardly a new development. The same thing happened more than years ago when “OLTL” celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2008.
While this decision ignores nearly half of the show’s history and legacy, I can see where the writers are coming from in a sense. Aside from older, long-term fans who have watched the show since almost since its inception, and history buffs who like to research the early goings on in Llanview, the majority of today’s “One Life” fans likely have no connection to characters like Carla Gray, Steve Burke, or Elieen and Julie Dennison. Furthermore, several of the actors who played those characters back in the late 1960s and early and mid 1970s have since passed on. And, many of those characters would either no longer have any friends or family currently residing in Llanview or, if they did, no obvious reason to contact them now when they haven’t do so in twenty or thirty years anyway.
Even so, it would still be a nice way to honor the entire 43 year history of the show, and not just the last 23 years of it, especially considering that “One Life’s” early years were filled with storylines that were deemed rather controversial, ground-breaking, and unheard of it for its time, such as the light-skinned Carla Gray (whom the audience thought was white) kissing a black man. That kiss alone prompted an ABC affiliate in Texas to drop the show from its daytime schedule at one time. Or Cathy Craig, a young girl hooked on drugs, whose counseling sessions took place with real-life drug addicts in New York City’s Odyssey House. Even the soap’s original name “Between Heaven and Hell” was deemed too controversial by the show’s sponsors, prompting creator Agnes Nixon to compromise and go with a more traditional title.
That being said, I realize that the show’s last two decades have also had their fair share of controversial and socially relevant plots like the homophobia/AIDS storyline, Viki’s battle with breast cancer and enduring a heart transplant. But it was the success of those early storylines noted above the paved the way for the show to condition on with similar types of plots years later.
How interesting would it be for several of these characters who were last seen in Llanview twenty-five, thirty, or even thirty-five years ago to suddenly walk back into town? Even if Viki is the only person some of them recognize, what a nice nod to those long-time fans and to the show’s history that would be. It would also be a treat for newer viewers to finally see a character they may have only heard or read about suddenly onscreen interacting with Llanview residents we are more familiar with. I know it would be me, having been born more than a decade after “One Life to Live” aired its first episode, and I’m sure it would be for many others as well.
That’s not to say that I won’t enjoy seeing Gabrielle Medina, Lindsay Rappaport, or Alex Olanov returning once more, or that I haven’t like seeing Tina and Cord back in Llanview again. These were some of the characters I grew up with over the years. But is would certainly be interesting to see some of those I didn’t grow up coming back as well. With Tina, Viki, and Todd all together again, imagine if we got to see their other siblings Meredith and Tony again (even if only in spirit form) for instance. Sadly however, I’m sure that “OLTL” likely won’t even mention the names of many of these older characters in the final months. But even if they don’t much of those first twenty years of Llanview will live on through the “OLTL” anniversary books, Youtube videos, and old photographs. And that is better than nothing for a show that has been a part of my life for more than a quarter of a century now. However, I will be really ticked off if the show doesn’t ask Michael Storm to appear a final time as Dr. Larry Wolek. Just sayin’.
Moving on, congratulations to”Kelly” and “CBRVA83,” both of whom (for the most part) correctly guessed the answers to the trivia questions from the previous column. In case you missed the clues, here there are again with the answers: 1. What was the name of the episode of “Kate & Allie” that Frankie Faison (Richard Evans) appeared on, and what character did he play? Answer: “The Bad Seed;” a detective. 2. What legendary television star does Melissa Archer (Natalie) consider to be her role model? Anwer: Lucille Ball 3. What U.S. city does Florencia Lozano (Téa) say that she wouldn’t like to live in? Answer: Los Angeles.
Now it’s time to shake things up a bit and do some more trivia. 1. What small role did Peter Bartlett (Nigel) play in the film “Meet the Parents?” 2. To which magazine has Andrea Evans (Tina) served as a contributor? 3. What former “Andy Griffith Show” actor did Barbara Rhoades (Irene) co-star with in a 1968 Western, and what was the name of the movie? I’ll have the answers in the November 15 edition of My View of Llanview.
Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. Will a wedding go off without a hitch? Someone is discovered passed out. One man’s past catches up with him. And wedding bells ring, but it may or may not be who you think.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone! Have a safe and ghoulish Halloween and don’t eat too much candy.
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…
Susan Lucci has portrayed Erica Kane for 41-years – debuting during the shows 10 episode in January 1970 according to her book “All My Life,” and along with millions of viewers across the country she watched the soap that launched her career end its run on ABC earlier this afternoon. Ever the relevant personality (despite what ABC says), Lucci shares her thoughts with her Facebook friends and followers on the final episode of “AMC” and gives some minor hope as to what lies ahead for the soap opera in the coming months.
I just finished watching the last episode of All My Children – a very emotional time for me. I am so grateful to “The View” and ABC for their beautiful tribute show for ‘All My Children’ and Agnes Nixon. And to Agnes and to ABC for the incredible opportunity to play the amazing Erica Kane. At the center of all my gratitude is you, the fans. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being there for us, for spending all those days with us in Pine Valley and for bringing so much sunshine into my life.
Let’s hope we all get to see more of Pine Valley and the beloved characters Agnes Nixon has created. Today’s episode ended with quite a cliff hanger – and I really want to see what happens next!
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — After recently signing four of “One Life to Live’s” most prominent cast members, including long-time veteran Erika Slezak (Viki) to continue with the show when it moves to online-only distribution early next year, Prospect Park takes the next step in their commitment to make for a smooth transition for the show. According to Deadline Hollywood, the production company has hired “One Life” Executive Producer Frank Valentini to remain in his current post with the show, along with becoming Vice President of Serial Dramas.
“Frank’s successful track record both creatively and producorially with ‘One Life to Live’ has been stellar and we are honored that he has also agreed to take on more responsibilities at our new network,” states Prospect Park executives Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, whom Valentini will work closely with in his VP capacity to help relauch “OLTL” and sister soap “All My Children” with the company after each leaves ABC.
Serving as “One Life” Executive Producer since 2006, Valentini is known for running a tight ship and helping keep the show regularly under budget. He has also served as producer, director, stage manager, and music composer for the soap. And in 2010 he directed ABC.com’s “What If…” series, where characters from “All My Children,” “One Life to Live,” and “General Hospital” met one another in a series of short webisodes.
Valentini expressed his excitement in remaining with the show, saying “I am thrilled to join the Prospect Park team continuing my role as the Executive Producer of ‘One Life to Live.’ As we enter this new chapter, I must extend a very big, heartfelt thank you to the show’s creator Agnes Nixon who has always been generous with her support of our vision of her creation, ABC for affording me an incomparable experience for the past 26 years at ‘One Life to Live’ and the fans with their unwavering passion determined not to let their shows go away. The cast and crew is my family and I am very proud to have this opportunity to continue working with this talented and dedicated team. And finally, I must extend a huge thanks to Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz of Prospect Park whose pioneering innovation is giving us more life to live.”
With Valentini staying on with “OLTL,” fans may be wondering where this leaves the show’s current Head Writer Ron Carlvati. After it was announced earlier this year that he would be joining the writing staff of “General Hospital” after “OLTL” finishes its network run, and ABC spokesperson would only tell Soap Opera Network last month that plans for Carlivati’s move to “GH” are still in place “as far as [they] know.” You may recall it was announced in September 2010 that both Valentini and Carlivati had been signed to new long-term contracts with ABC for two and three years, respectively.
After wrapping production on its television run in November, “One Life to Live” is scheduled to broadcast its final episode on ABC on Friday, January 13, 2012.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — During the next week, ABC Daytime will take part in saying goodbye to “All My Children” which has been a part of their line-up since 1970. Following is details on the scheduled events which will include “Good Morning America” dedicating a special segment to the show and “The View” dedicating an entire airing to their former neighbors.
Weeks ago, on Twitter, “Dancing with the Stars” contestant J.R. Martinez (Brot) revealed to fans that Cameron Mathison was taping a special segment of ABC’s “Good Morning America” due to air soon. Today on Twitter, Mathison announced the segment is due to air tomorrow, Thursday, September 15. Look for Mathison to interact with other ”AMC” cast members and take fans on a tour through 41-years of Pine Valley history. “Good Morning America” airs on ABC Daytime from 7:00 AM EST to 9:00 AM EST.
On Friday, September 23, “The View” will be co-hosted by daytime drama’s biggest star, “AMC’s” Susan Lucci (Erica), alongside regular co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd. Scheduled guests include “AMC” creator Agnes Nixon, and current stars Mathison, Debbie Morgan (Angie), Darnell Williams (Jesse) Vincent Irizarry (David), Rebecca Budig (Greenlee), Alicia Minshew (Kendall) and Thorsten Kaye (Zach). Expect some blasts from the Pine Valley past as well. It has been revealed that one of those blasts will be the on-screen reunion of one of the soaps premier supercouples: Kim Delaney and Laurence Lau’s Greg and Jenny. The tribute episode will include never-before-seen footage, interviews with the cast members who returned to pay tribute to the show and a sneak peek at the finale. “The View” airs on ABC Daytime from 11:00 AM EST to 12:00 PM EST. (Update: 9/19/2011)
As previously reported, Disney which is ABC’s parent company will also air a tribute to “AMC” on cable channel SOAPnet. The tribute consists of re-airings centered around Erica Kane and Pine Valley’s most romantic couples.
“AMC” last airs on the ABC network on Friday, September 23. The daytime drama was licensed by production company Prospect Park earlier this summer and is slated to begin airing on the internet, with new content, in 2012.
(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.
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) — Julia Barr will bring Brooke English back to Pine Valley on Friday, September 16, which means, if the soap can take a break from exploring Dr. David Hayward’s (Vincent Irizarry) God complex in-depth, Barr will air in six episodes at the most before “All My Children” airs its series finale on ABC on Friday, September 23.
Barr initially reported she was due to tape nine episodes. Her return was most likely impacted by the 41-year old soap being picked up for continuation on the internet – and potentially cable – by production company Prospect Park. ABC Daytime Chief Brian Frons recently reported that the move meant that the last few weeks of “AMC” script had to be manipulated to apply a more ongoing and less of a finale tone.
Barr joined the cast of “AMC” in 1976 as the troubled niece of delightful socialite Phoebe Wallingford (Ruth Warrick). For thirty years, fans were spellbound as Barr took us on a journey through Brooke’s many personal and professional trials and tribulations. Barr’s most memorable work as Brooke included her numerous verbal sparring matches with Erica, her romance with Adam, and the heart-breaking death of Brooke’s baby daughter Laura. In 2006, Barr was told she could only remain on cast if she agreed to a downgrade to recurring status. She decided to exit. In 2010, Barr returned as the love of Adam Chandler’s life to usher David Canary off the canvas in top form.
As previously reported, Sarah Michelle Gellar (ex-Kendall) pops up with Eva La Rue (Maria) on Wednesday, September 21 and is scheduled to tape those scenes this week, according to sources. Gellar will appear as a new character; La Rue appeared in two episodes of “AMC” in July and was scheduled to appear in three more episodes before the ABC finale.
Agnes Nixon will appear on “AMC” beginning with the Wednesday, August 31 episode and continuing through Thursday, September 1. Carol Burnett (Verla) will air on Tuesday, September 6 and Wednesday, September 7. Leven Rambin (Lily), Alexa Havins (Babe), Justin Bruening (Jamie) and, of course, Canary’s return airdates have not been released at this time.
“All My Children” will end its network television run in just five weeks on Friday, September 23, 2011. The soap that houses the biggest name in the history of the daytime drama format, Susan Lucci (Erica Kane), debuted on ABC on January 5, 1970. The entertainment industry is set to pay tribute to the show that left its mark on pop culture with several special installments that fans will not want to miss out on.
People Magazine has spent the summer working on a Special Collector’s issue for fans of “AMC.” The issue is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com for a discounted price. The publication date for the issue is September 27, 2011, which means it should be on newsstands as early as the first week of September. The following is a description of the issue provided by the editors of the popular magazine:
A commemoration of the long-running soap opera that ends in September, 2011 after 41 years. With dozens of pages of brand new, exclusive photographs and interviews, the book visits Pine Valley and all the characters that made the show an American institution. Chock full of favorite moments, story lines, and insights from star Susan Lucci, creator Agnes Nixon and many others, it’s a collector’s book that will satisfy millions of fans.
Cameron Mathison will host a one-hour special on the TV Guide Network honoring “AMC” on Sunday, September 11 at 8:00 PM EST. Mathison has played Ryan Lavery on the ABC daytime drama since December 1997, save a one year break. Mathison posted on his Twitter page that among other past and present “AMC” stars that he has interviewed Kim Delaney (ex-Jenny Gardner) and Josh Duhamel (ex-Leo du Pres) for the special. The handsome actor who will turn 42-years old next week is also a special correspondent for “Extra” and “Good Morning America.” “GMA” which airs every morning on ABC will also be airing a special on “AMC” at an air-date yet to be announced.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — After nearly a two year absence, Kathy Brier and Chris Stack are set to return to ABC’s “One Life to Live” just before the series ends its run on broadcast television. According to Brier during last nights “Divas” concert at the Triad in New York City, Michael (Stack) and Marcie (Brier) McBain are heading back to Llanview for a few months beginning in October, although the actors have yet to begin filming their first scenes.
The duo join Andrea Evans (Tina Lord) and John Loprieno (Cord Buchanan) as the first set of returning stars to the drama series as it gets closer to its ABC finale on Friday, January 13, 2012.
Also returning is Erin Torpey, who for thirteen years (1990-2003) portrayed the role of Jessica Buchanan (now portrayed by Bree Williamson). Torpey made a return visit to the drama series in 2008 during the shows 40th anniversary episodes that also included an appearance by show creator Agnes Nixon in the role of Agnes, who interacts with Victoria Lord (Erika Slezak) while in heaven. Torpey played Megan Buchanan, Jessica’s miscarried baby with Will Rappaport (portrayed by Jason-Shane Scott), in the episodes. Details of Torpey’s September return have been kept under wraps despite her filming scenes way back on Wednesday, June 29, although it is understood that her return coincides with the departure of David Fumero‘s Cristian Vega (Jessica’s first love on the show). A first air date for Torpey has not been set nor a last air date for Fumero.
Brier and Stack were last seen on the show when Marcie gave birth to her and Michael’s baby boy, Gabriel Thomas McBain, in November 2009.