(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On the heels of today’s announcement by Prospect Park that the upstart production company was shelving plans to relaunch canceled ABC soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” the cast and crew of the sudsers are beginning to speak out. Kassie DePaiva (Blair), who became one of the first “OLTL” stars to sign on back in September to help the show make the transition, has issued a statement regarding the turn of events.
via DePaiva’s website
Words just don’t express how sad I am at hearing that Prospect Park has dropped the deal to move forward with “One Life”. I think what upsets me the most is how this whole deal has been handled from the get go. I wanted more than anything not to have been cancelled by ABC. I find it mind boggling that a company can spend 45 years building the strongest brand in daytime… launch a cable network to support it and then decide to cancel both broadcast and cable airings leaving the beloved fans with no where to turn for that brand. Then PP shows up out of nowhere as the great white hope promising to continue these shows…. I was happy to sign on. I love what I do and I’m proud to go to work everyday. I was asked to take a cut in pay and was happy to do it if it meant our show would go on. That was the first week of September. But other than a very quick speech on the studio floor by PP in late September the company did not give out any information regarding when and where we would be working. Last Wednesday the cast received an email telling us our dressing rooms must be cleared out by the 9th of Dec. or ABC would be tossing things out… and then to hear the official news today via a media report.
The last 2 weeks have been emotional for me. The stories are rocking and show is so good. It is must see TV. Don’t miss a day… don’t miss a scene. My hat goes off to Ron Calivarti…. he has written really powerful stuff and I think the fans are going love it. I especially want to shout out to Frank Valentini… who has fought the hardest to make the transition happen. He has been amazing and I want you fans to know how hard he worked to continue giving you fans the show you deserve. He found out this wasn’t going to happen just like I did…via a media report.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I have so much to be grateful for but I must say I wish things had worked out differently. It’s been the best 18 years of my life. I hope you will continue to watch “One Life” until the bitter sweet end.
(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.”
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.
via Press Release
After five months of negotiations with various guilds, hundreds of presentations to potential financial and technology partners, and a hope that we could pioneer a new network for the future, it is with great disappointment that we are suspending our aspirations to revive “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” via online distribution. It is now becoming clear that mounting issues make our ability to meet our deadlines to get OLTL on the air in a reasonable time period following its January 13, 2012 ABC finale impossible.
We believed the timing was right to launch an Online TV Network anchored by these two iconic soap operas, but we always knew it would be an uphill battle to create something historical, and unfortunately we couldn’t ultimately secure the backing and clear all the hurdles in time. We believe we exhausted all reasonable options apparent to us, but despite enormous personal, as well as financial cost to ourselves, we failed to find a solution.
While we narrowed in on a financial infrastructure, the contractual demands of the guilds, which regulate our industry, coupled with the program’s inherent economic challenges ultimately led to this final decision. In the end, the constraints of the current marketplace, including the evolution and impact of new media on our industry simply proved too great a match for even our passion.
In our opinion, new models like this can only work with the cooperation of many people striving to make them happen, and we would like to thank and praise the numerous people who tried to help and showed us incredible support. We are extremely grateful to the fans and media who showed great support to us through this process, to ABC who did everything in their control to help, and we are especially grateful for the support and encouragement from many of the Soaps’ cast and crew themselves.
We hope that our efforts are not lost, and that we somehow created a dialogue and movement on the feasibility of first run, network quality content online.
Of special note, we would like to thank Frank Valentini (Executive Producer), Ron Carlivati (Head Writer of OLTL), Agnes Nixon, many of the cast of OLTL including Michael Easton, Ted King, Kelley Missal, Melissa Archer, and of course Erika Slezak all of whom signed on quickly and did all they could to help, as well as our own Christine Sacani. Cameron Mathison and Lindsay Hartley also get our sincerest thanks for their support. We feel terrible we couldn’t come through for them and we were very much looking forward to working together.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Days after being declared one of the Sexiest Men Alive by People Magazine in the Special Double Issue on newsstands right now, J.R. Martinez achieved what many fully expected and took home the mirror ball trophy on “Dancing With the Stars.” Tonight, season thirteen’s most charming – and naturally talented – contestant beat out talk-show host and film actor Ricki Lake and her professional partner Derek Hough as well as reality television personality Rob Kardashian and his professional partner Cheryl Burke to help bring his professional partner Karina Smirnoff her first “DWTS” win in no less than ten attempts.
The former “All My Children” star follows in the footsteps of “General Hospital” star Kelly Monaco (Sam) who won the competition in its inaugural season back in the summer of 2005. Before her winning run with Martinez, professional dancer Smirnoff’s best showing was opposite entertainment personality Mario Lopez in season three of “DWTS.” She finished in second place. On tonight’s edition of the popular dance competition, Martinez and Smirnoff were up against “DWTS” two most successful professional dancers ever. Lake’s partner, Hough, has delivered wins with three partners including current “DWTS” host Brooke Burke, singer Nicole Scherzinger, and actress Jennifer Grey; meanwhile, Kardashian’s partner, Burke has taken singer Drew Lachey and football legend Emmit Smith to the end.
Iraq war veteran, veterans’ issues advocate and motivational speaker Martinez instantly won over millions of new fans after first showing off his impressive dancing skills and equally impressive personality on “DWTS” earlier this fall. Click here for a look at the journey Martinez has taken since then and what’s up next for the fan favorite. In the immediate future look for Martinez and partner Smirnoff to show up on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Wednesday, November 23 at 12:05 AM EST. Martinez and Smirnoff will then join their fellow finalists on “Good Morning America” at 7 AM EST on Wednesday morning. Later that morning, they’ll join runners-up Kardashian and Burke on “The View.”
“DWTS” returns for Season 14 on Monday, March 19, 2012 on ABC.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “Days of our Lives” and “General Hospital” continue to make changes to their writing staffs.
Victor Gialanella is rejoining “DAYS” as a breakdown writer. He previously wrote for the show from 1995 – 2006, and then again in 2008.
Script writer Janet Iacobuzio was let go from “DAYS” and was snapped up by “GH” to write scripts. Iacobuzio returns to “GH” where she was Co-Head Writer in 1997 and wrote breakdowns in 1998. Also joining “GH” is former “All My Children” script writer Joanna Cohen.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Soap fans across the web aren’t sure what to believe anymore as there are reports that Prospect Park is now without enough funding to support both “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” on its Online Network (TOLN), but considering both soaps were just a small part of the overall planning behind the network does that now mean that the Online Network itself is dead as well?
When pressed for comment on the status of both “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” the much talked about lack of funding and other matters, a Prospect Park representative told Soap Opera Network “we have no comment at this time.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — In a new Facebook posting that went up just a short time ago, actress Susan Lucci has taken to the social networking service to clear the air regarding the status of “All My Children” and its move to the internet and plans for her inclusion in the online version of the long running ABC soap.
“I want my fans to know the truth. There has been miscommunications as a result of statements in the press that I am one of the reasons that All My Children is not moving forward. This is simply untrue and not the case. We have been in discussions since Prospect Park first expressed interest in moving the series online, and in correspondence dated September 8th, I made it clear that I would be ecstatic to be a part of ‘All My Children’ in a prominent way if they committed to producing the series for another year. I have not heard back from Prospect Park since then, in fact, I learned of their decision not to proceed with ‘All My Children’ at the same time you did, through the media,” said Lucci in her posting.
“It’s been a privilege and honor to be involved with the ‘All My Children’ family for so many years, from working closely with Agnes Nixon to getting to know millions of devoted and wonderful fans.”
Previously it had been reported that Lucci turned down Prospect Park’s financial offer, which doesn’t appear to be the case per Lucci’s statement.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Monday afternoon, Vincent Irizarry received word of Jamey Giddens‘ (of Daytime Confidential) rather strong implication on Twitter that [Irizarry's] inability to reach an agreement with production company Prospect Park along with Agnes Nixon and Lorraine Broderick’s “story projections” were a major reason Prospect Park decided to reportedly halt early production efforts to move “All My Children” to the internet. The none too pleased Daytime Emmy Award winner responded to the claim on Facebook on Monday evening.
Irizarry was provided with an unexpected birthday surprise on Saturday, November 12 when Giddens revealed that his sources had spilled that “Prospect Park’s inability to make a deal [with] Irizarry is a factor in #AMC reboot stalling. Stories were to heavily involve David… [From a branding pt., Susan Lucci was their biggest casting factor, from story it was Irizzary].” When questioned on how that deduction was possible when neither an Executive Producer or Head Writer has been hired for the soap, as opposed to sister soap “One Life to Live,” which has signed talent to the aforementioned positions for their 2.0 incarnation as well as thirteen actors, Giddens added “Agnes and Lorraine worked on story projections for the show.”
On Monday evening, along with requesting the source of the claim that was stated to him in reduced form, Irizarry responded on his official fan page on Facebook and emphatically stated that “the part re: me and Lorraine is absolute rubbish. We are certainly not the reason [Prospect Park] has put the show on hold.” (Update: 11/16/11) This evening on Twitter, Vincent neither confirmed or denied the accuracy of Giddens sources but did state he felt Giddens comments were “terribly misquoted” to him by the original poster on his Facebook page. The posters original comment stated to Irizarry that it had been “reported that that the show was put on hold…because broderick and vincent cant decide if they want to sign.”
It had been revealed as far back as October 6 that Irizarry had finally been contacted by Prospect Park to join “AMC” as it prepared to go online. This discussion had not led to a signing before the reported stall in early production; similar to the results of reported discussions with major “AMC” names including Lucci (ex-Erica Kane), Michael E. Knight (ex-Tad Martin), Rebecca Budig (ex-Greenlee Smythe), Alicia Minshew (ex-Kendall Hart) and Jacob Young (ex-JR Chandler). From the performers they reached out to, Prospect Park has only been able to secure Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery), Lindsay Hartley (Cara Castillo) and Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard).
Irizarry, who just turned a handsome 52-years old, has enjoyed a long and successful daytime carrer which began on CBS’s Guiding Light in 1984 as anti-hero Brandon “Lujack” Luvanoczeck. He played the popular role until 1986. In 1987, the actor joined the cast of Santa Barbara for a two year run as Dr. Scott Clark. Irizarry returned to the soap that put him on the map in 1991 as Nick McHenry Spaulding. He remained on the soap for five more years. Irizarry landed the role of Dr. David Hayward in November 1997 and remained an integral part of the ABC soap through to the end outside of a two year break between his two stints in Pine Valley where he landed on CBS’ “The Young and the Restless.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Prospect Park decides to move forward with plans for “One Life to Live,” while delaying the launch of “All My Children” for the time being. But why the sudden change of plans?
As Soap Opera Network Editor-in-Chief Errol Lewis expressed over the weekend, recent actions by the upstart online production company have made their decision obvious. To date, pending final agreements with the various unions, 13 cast members have agreed to make the transition with the show from ABC to Prospect Park, compared with only three for “All My Children.” Furthermore, “One Life” will keep its current head writer and executive producer and, at least for the short term, still tape episodes in the same New York City studio.
But what are the reasons for that? Some have argued that Prospect Park is giving “All My Children” some additional time off as a way to preserve it. In this argument, “One Life to Live” is turned into somewhat of a guinea pig, with its failure or success determining if and when Prospect Park would decide to debut a rebooted “AMC.”
Despite being the biased “OLTL” fan that I am, I cannot accept that assumption as a valid argument. First, “OLTL” has been the stronger of the two shows in the months leading up to “AMC’s” final episode on ABC in September. “One Life to Live” moved up in the ratings, routinely breaking even with or outperforming both “All My Children” and “General Hospital.” Creatively, the show was on an upswing as well, luring back fan favorite Roger Howarth to step back into his signature role as Todd Manning.
Also, if “AMC” was supposedly the stronger of the two, why was it’s final ABC airdate scheduled nearly four months ahead of “OLTL,” therefore giving it a momentum-killing hiatus when only a weekend will separate “One Life to Live” from the ABC and Prospect Park eras? The days of “All My Children” being more of a household or brand name are long since gone. Outside of Susan Lucci, who has become somewhat of a caricature in recent years, the show is about recognizable as “OLTL.” And speaking of Lucci, it worth noting that, while she was/is allegedly holding out for more money and fewer hours, “One Life” grand dame Erika Slezak was among the first four cast members to sign up with Prospect Park.
I sometimes wonder if maybe “One Life to Live” was the only soap that Prospect Park really wanted to license from ABC, and the network played hardball with them by forcing them into taking “All My Children” as well. Yeah, I know, probably just some wishful thinking on my part, but stranger things have happened. However, regardless of whatever went into Prospect Park’s decision, as a “OLTL” fan I am excited and optimistic about what lies ahead for the fictional town of Llanview.
From the flood of returning cast members and familiar faces in the coming months, to the show’s upcoming storyline involving the cancellation and fan campaign to ‘save’ “Fraternity Row,” to awaiting the start of the Prospect Park era, I am anxious to see what the future may hold. “One Life to Live” is back in its groove again, and now is beginning to show some (keyword ‘some’) resemblances to the “OLTL” I grew up with back in the 80′s and 90′s.
Moving on, congratulations to “CBRVA83,” who 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 small role did Peter Bartlett (Nigel) play in the film “Meet the Parents?” Answer: An employee at an animal shelter. 2. To which magazine has Andrea Evans (Tina) served as a contributor? Answer: Healthy Cooking. 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? Answer: Don Knotts, “The Shakiest Gun in the West.”
Now it’s time to shake things up a bit and do some more trivia. 1. What role on “OLTL” did Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan, “AMC”) once audition for? Before taking over the character of Cristian Vega, what small role did David Fumero play? 3. What did Jerry verDorn wear to his audition for the role of Clint Buchanan that disappeared before his first episode aired? I’ll have the answers in the November 30 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. Unexpected couples lock lips. One family member probes into another’s mindset. Someone learns that things aren’t always what they seem. And an old flame has a few tricks up their sleeves while cozying up to the object of their affections.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone! Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and don’t eat too much turkey!
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…