Reporting by Errol Lewis and Scotty Gore
As recently noted, Prospect Park’s “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” are currently in the casting phase of their reboots as we get closer to their expected first film date, which Soap Opera Network has learned will be in Mid February for both series in Stamford, CT.
Sadly, some of the roles being cast appear to be recasts of characters from the ABC eras of the shows. In addition to the expected recasting of “One Life to Live’s” Matthew Buchanan and Destiny Evans (last played by Eddie Alderson and Shenell Edmonds), “All My Children” is also said to be recasting the roles of JR Chandler (last played by Jacob Young) and Cassandra Foster (last portrayed by Yaya DaCosta). For those that may not recall, Cassandra is the adopted daughter of Angela Hubbard (Debbi Morgan), who the good doctor found abandoned in a dumpster during her run on ABC’s “The City” back in the mid-1990′s. The character returned as an 18 year-old seeking comfort from mommy dearest in 2008.
On Thursday, January 24, former “All My Children” star Christina Bennett Lind (ex-Bianca Montgomery) began appearing in the role of Susy Hendrix, a blind woman who finds herself opening doors to a psychopathic game of deceit and murder, in the John W. Engeman Theater Production of “Wait Until Dark.”
The story begins with Susy’s husband, Sam (portrayed by Steven Alan O’Brien), who’s persuaded by a strange woman to transport a doll across the Canadian border not knowing he is smuggling illicit drugs into the United States at the same time. Shortly afterward, Susy becomes the target of three-con men, headed by Roat (portrayed by actor Michael Sharon), who are on the hunt for the drugs and will go about any means necessary to get what they want. Even if that includes murder!
The 1967 film version of the Broadway play starred actress Audrey Hepburn in the role of Susy.
Earlier this month Soap Opera Network asked “What About the Music?” shortly after word first leaked that Prospect Park would be resuming plans to produce new episodes of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” for the web. Today, we can report that Prospect Park’s deal with Universal Music Group is back on and fans should expect music, e-commerce and artist participation to new productions of both series, as originally outlined in an October 2011 press release (see release below).
Although many had speculated that when a gunshot went off during the series finale of “All My Children” on ABC in September 2011, in a quasi “Dallas” redux where instead of “Who Shot JR?” it was “Who Did JR Shoot?” it appears as though the character of JR Chandler is very much alive and not in jail?!
According to Soap Central, “All My Children” is gearing up to recast the role of JR Chandler, last played by Jacob Young, who is currently starring on CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful.” The site says that despite a recent casting breakdown utilizing the name “Logan” in a scene with a character named “Faith,” the role being cast is in actuality that of JR.
On Tuesday, January 22, Prospect Park provided soap fans with casting, writing and production updates for its soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” While the company officially confirmed that Susie Bedsow Horgan and Thom Racina would be helming “OLTL,” the status of who’d be leading “AMC” remained unclear. Today, Soap Opera Network can confirm that former “Days of our Lives” Head Writer Marlene McPherson has been named Head Writer of Prospect Park’s online version of “All My Children.”
A Prospect Park representative has confirmed to Soap Opera Network that Stephen ‘Foz’ McDermott, who was officially named head of production for the company’s internet hub TOLN on Monday, January 7, has been let go. The rep tells us that McDermott’s departure from the company will not put a dent in production of “All My Children” or “One Life to Live,” which will begin filming in Stamford, CT next month.
Prospect Park first announced plans to move “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to the web back in July 2011 after striking a license holding deal with Disney/ABC Domestic Television. Sadly, plans fell through by November 2011 after apparent financing and union discussions fell through. Since that dreadful time period, Prospect Park has resumed work on returning the soaps to your [computer] screens, only this time with financing said to be in place and union deals already signed with the DGA (directors), SAG-AFTRA (actors) and the WGA (writers). With more than a year gone by since “One Life to Live” last aired, we thought it would be a great opportunity to see which stars have (so far) signed on to return to “AMC” and “OLTL” compared to the list circling back in 2011.
According to a posting on his facebook page, “One Life to Live” co-head writer Thom Racina let it slip that the online reboot of the series may hit the web as soon as April. “I sincerely hope you will support us and tell your friends and start watching ‘One Life to Live’ come April!” the writer stated in his message to his followers.
The likelihood of “OLTL” (and sister soap “All My Children”) returning to your screens (albeit computerized versions - for now) is seen as being in line with Prospect Park’s TOLN (The OnLine Network) internet hubs projections of beginning production on both series as soon as next month. With much of “One Life to Live’s” cast and writing team now signed on along with “AMC’s” signings, a two month ahead filming schedule would put both series inline with NBC’s “Days of our Lives,” which is currently the only American daily serial that films two or more months ahead of airdate.
Prospect Park today announced an initial listing of writers, producers and cast members who have signed on for the online reboots of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” The company has formally announced Susie Bedsow Horgan and Thom Racina as head writers of “OLTL.” Thorsten Kaye and Jill Larson bring the “AMC” cast count to 7 stars signed. “OLTL” adds Erika Slezak, Tuc Watkins, Kassie DePaiva, Florencia Lozano, Melissa Archer, Hillary B. Smith, Kelley Missal, Josh Kelly and Andrew Trischitta, who join previously signed Robert S. Woods, Robin Strasser and Jerry verDorn. With the exception of Strasser, Woods, and Smith, Prospect Park has secured most of the actors signed on during the first round of plans to reboot the soaps back in 2011.
Scott Evans, who played Oliver Fish on “One Life to Live,” has pleaded guilty to attempted cocaine possession. From 2008-10 Evans was one half of the show’s popular, yet controversial gay couple nicknamed “Kish,” which also featured Brett Claywell as Fish’s love interest Kyle Lewis. However, according to TMZ, Evans isn’t expected to serve any jail time.