(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”…
(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.
(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) — 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) — “Good Morning America” will pay tribute to the canceled daytime drama “One Life to Live” before the show leaves ABC Daytime for Prospect Park.
“All My Children” star Cameron Mathison (Ryan), who has served as a contributor for the popular morning show since 2009, made the announcement earlier this afternoon on his Twitter page, tweeting “I had the privilege of interviewing actors at ‘One Life To Live’ for a ‘GMA’ piece we are doing. GREAT stuff. I’ll let you know air date.”
“Good Morning America” aired a similar send-off to “One Life’s” sister soap “All My Children” on September 15, one week before that show aired its final episode on the network.
ABC will broadcast its final episode of “One Life to Live” on Friday, January 13, at which point it will begin airing on Prospect Park’s new Online Network, alongside “All My Children.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — As in previous weeks, ratings for soaps are unavailable at press time but the numbers are out for talk shows including “The Chew,” “The Talk” and “The View.”
Per Marc Berman at TV Media Insights, ABC’s “The Chew” has reached its largest audiences since premiere week (week of September 26-30, 2011) in viewers while remaining flat in Women 25-54, Women 18-49 and Women 18-34 compared to its post premiere week averages.
Ratings for recently introduced ABC daytime talk show The Chew remained consistent from one week earlier, still trailing former occupant All My Children by noticeable proportions. Based on the Live Plus Same Day data from Nielsen Media Research for the week of Oct. 17 (week four), The Chew averaged 1.94 million viewers, with no change demographically. One year earlier, long-running scripted serial All My Children averaged 2.31 million viewers, with the demographic breakdown compared to The Chew as follows:
All My Children (ABC) – Week of 10/18/10
Viewers: 2.31 million, Women 25-54: 1.2/ 8, Women 18-49: 0.8/ 6,
Women 18-34: 0.5/ 3
The Chew (ABC) – Week of 10/17/11
Viewers: 1.94 million, Women 25-54: 0.9/ 5, Women 18-49: 0.6/ 4,
Women 18-34: 0.4/ 2
All My Children Advantage
Viewers: + 19 percent, Women 25-54: +33, Women 18-49: +33,
Women 18-34: +25
The Chew, of course, is cheaper to produce than All My Children, hence the programming change. But sometimes the value of the audience is more important than the raw dollar figures, and the pending departure of One Life to Live for another talker, The Revolution, is also not likely to resonate in a daypart gutted with similar appeal programming.
For more on “The Chew” and how it compares to “The Talk” and “The View,” head on over to TV Media Insights.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Since we reported an update to ABC’s decision to hand over the “General Hospital” timeslot in September 2012 back to its affiliates in the Disney/ABC Television Groups plan to launch a new talk show hosted by Katie Couric, fans have been up in arms over the possible demise of a daytime institution (on top of the demises of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live”) after a number of them started calling their local ABC affiliates and reportedly were told that the network had informed them they would be pulling “GH” off the ABC Daytime schedule as early as June 2012. Now an ABC Daytime representative tells Soap Opera Network that those rumors are just “not true.”
“This is not true…our ABC stations have not been told that the ‘General Hospital’ time slot will end in June. The confusion probably lies in giving back the ‘GH’ ‘Time Period’ to the stations come September 2012,” said the rep who reminds us of the following statement issued back in June of this year:
“The announcement does not mean the inevitable cancellation of ‘General Hospital.’ Rather it means that in September 2012 we will program our daytime block with our three strongest shows. We’ll have options for the Daytime daypart just like we do each year with Primetime. We believe in all of our shows and the ones that our viewers want, will be the ones that continue. There are MANY options that could happen…only time will tell…we are simply giving ourselves options for the future, which is a smart way to do business. The best way to ensure a favorite show stays on the air is to watch it.”