With Lindsay Hartley, Vincent Irizarry, Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams now all said to have been confirmed in joining the cast of an online version of “All My Children” later this year, and actress Alicia Minshew revealing she has been approached by Prospect Park, which plans to re-reboot the series later this year after a failed attempt back in 2011, it’s only a matter of time before we learn who else will or will not be following the soap online.
In a posting on her Twitter page just a short time ago, former “All My Children” star Alicia Minshew revealed that she has been approached by Prospect Park to return to the soap in the role of Kendall Hart. “I’m so happy for all of you getting your ‘AMC’ and ‘OLTL’ shows back!” Minshew commented. “Many of you have asked me-Yes I have been approached. No news yet!”
Debbi Morgan, who on Saturday, January 5 announced she was returning to “All My Children” when it moves to the web later this year via Prospect Park, may have let the cat of the bag for one of her co-stars after responding to numerous tweets from excited fans. In response to Tweeter
@irishbangers, Morgan said, “It’s just terrific news, isn’t it?! Darnell is definitely on board, and I think Mike as well, but not quite sure yet…” For those wondering, Morgan is referring to Darnell Williams, who portrayed onscreen love interest Jesse Hubbard and Michael E. Knight, who portrayed Hubbard family friend Tad Martin on the soap.
The big news of December 2012 was word that Prospect Park was taking another stab at moving ABC’s “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to the web in 2013. The news was first reported by Deadline.com‘s Nellie Andreeva. In her initial reporting, Andreeva revealed that Prospect Park had made agreements with the unions SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) and the DGA (Directors Guild of America). Previously, while the company had planned on debuting the shows on the web in early 2012, no deals had been signed with either union or the WGA (Writers Guild of America). This hindered the company’s plan to move forward with the shows and resulted in a postponement that was announced in November 2011. In a statement at the time, AFTRA (prior to its merger with SAG) said that they were ”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.” Additionally, the union had said that they “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 future took more than a year, but it appears to have finally emerged. However, although a representative from SAG-AFTRA confirmed that an agreement with Prospect Park had been made when pressed for comment from Soap Opera Network early last week, it remains unclear if said agreement had actually been signed. “Not absolutely certain it had been signed but can check that for you,” said the rep. Due to the holidays, we don’t expect a response on that little detail until at least tomorrow, January 2.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — It was recently announced that Darnell Williams would be joining the cast of “The Young and the Restless” in 2012. The two-time Daytime Emmy Award winner becomes the forth “All My Children” actor to land on the high rated CBS daytime dramas since the 41-year old ABC soap went off the air in September 2011. He joins Jacob Young who returned to “The Bold and the Beautiful” last September, and past and future co-stars Debbi Morgan and Melissa Claire Egan.
Williams long-time co-star, Morgan, currently plays Harmony on “Y&R,” the long-time absent mother of Devon (Bryton McClure) on the CBS soap. Paired with Morgan, Williams contributed to forming daytime’s first super couple of color on “AMC.” Jesse and Angie Hubbard remain, arguably, the most enduring and famous couple of color created on daytime television. This marks the forth soap that Williams and Morgan have appeared on together, ultimately paired with each other each time. Along with the aforementioned soaps, the actors have appeared on “Loving” and ‘The City” at the same time. Williams started his daytime career on “AMC” in 1981.
In recent years the number one soap in the nation has taken to hiring – and then in several cases firing – former “AMC” actors at a very high rate. Since 2005, “Y&R” has hired Amelia Heinle (Victoria; ex-Mia, “AMC”), Vincent Irizarry (ex-David, “AMC” and “Y&R”), Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe; ex-Maggie, “AMC”), Stacy Haiduk (Patty; ex-Hannah, “AMC”), Eden Riegel (ex-Heather, “Y&R”; ex-Bianca, “AMC”), Billy Miller (Billy; ex-Richie, “AMC”), Jeff Branson (Ronan; ex-Jonathan, “AMC”), Egan (Chelsea ;ex-Annie, “AMC”), Morgan and Williams fresh off their Pine Valley runs. Fittingly, “Y&R” jumped at the chance to hire “AMC’s” long-time casting director, Judy Blye Wilson, this past fall.
There are currently no details available on whom Williams will be playing on “Y&R” or when he will debut in his new role. Stay tuned.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — After a successful three-city tour on the east coast, “A Tribute to Pine Valley,” produced and presented by Celebrity Events Group, Soap Opera Digestand Visit Myrtle Beach: South Carolina, is taking the show to the midwest. Beginning today, January 13, the tribute will hit three venues in Wisconsin and Illinois. The tour boasts a cast of some of “All My Children’s” most popular and sustaining actors for a question and answer session as well as an autograph and photo session where you can meet your favorite stars up-close and personal.
The tour as originated was slated to star Walt Willey (ex-Jackson), Michael E. Knight (Tad), Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan), Vincent Irizarry (ex-David), Jacob Young (ex-JR) and Julia Barr (ex-Brooke). After an injury sidelined Barr from attending the event on the east coast, Darnell Williams (ex-Jesse) stepped in and took her place. Williams, Willey, Mathison, Irizarry and Young will remain with the tour as it hits the midwest and have added some feminine energy to the mix this time around. Look for the beautiful Alicia Minshew (ex-Kendall) to attend this weekends events. The opportunity to say thank you and goodbye to the loyal fans for potentially the last time appealed to the actress who notes to Soaps In Depth, “when am I going to have [another] chance to do stuff with [AMC] fans?” Taking note of the attractive slate of former co-stars attending, the actress added “when I saw who was doing it, I thought, ‘My boys! My boys are doing it, so I have to go be with my boys!’”
On Friday, January 13, the six actors will land in Green Bay, Wisconsin at Fox Cities PAC. The events will run from 7:00 PM to 11:30 PM. Tickets start at $38.00. On Saturday, January 14, the tour moves to Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Pabst Theater. The events will run from 7:00 PM to 11:30 PM as well. Tickets start at $35.00. On Sunday, January 15, the tour ends in Chicago, Illonois at the Rosemont Theater. The events will run from 3:00 PM to 7:30 PM. Tickets start at $35.00 here as well. For more information on these events and information on how to purchase tickets visit A Tribute to Pine Valley.
(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) — 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) — Soap Opera Network has confirmed with an official Prospect Park spokesperson that Darnell Williams has reached an agreement to continue with “All My Children” for its scheduled online resurrection in 2012. This afternoon, Williams’ former and future co-star, Lindsay Hartley (Cara) jumped over the production company that licensed “AMC” and “One Life to Live” earlier this year to reveal the news on Twitter. The excited actress exclaimed to fans that the popular actor “has officially signed on!! More to come.” All deals between Prospect Park and performers remain tentative at the moment due to the fact that an official deal hasn’t been reached between the actors’ union AFTRA and the production company.
Williams originally joined the cast of “AMC” in 1981 as Jesse Hubbard, the future love of Angela Baxter’s (Debbi Morgan) life. The actor remained in the role until 1988 when Jesse was killed off. Before returning to “AMC” for a second long-term gig in 2008, Williams played Jacob Foster on ABC’s “Loving” and “The City” opposite his long time co-star Morgan and enjoyed a recurring gig on CBS’ “Guiding Light.” The 2-time Daytime Emmy winner has also appeared in a multitude of prime-time series including a recurring role on “Felicity.” Before rejoining the cast of “AMC,” Williams was the acting coach for the daytime drama for some time and occasionally directed an episode of the daytime drama. On an important side note, Williams’ on-screen other half, Morgan, is currently starring on CBS’ “The Young and the Restless.”
Williams, so far, is only the third “AMC” performer to sign on to continue with the soap opera once it goes online. He joins Hartley and Cameron Mathison (Ryan). Multiple sources indicate that the sticking point for a multitude of actors, besides not being contacted in some cases, has been that the Prospect Park executives want all of their actors to sign on to 4-year contracts. After years of being misinformed and tied to the controlling atmosphere of ABC Daytime, many “AMC” actors don’t appear to have a strong desire to oblige to long-term contracts.
As previously reported, with “All My Children” wrapping production in less than a week, actress Debbi Morgan (Dr. Angela Hubbard) will be heading to CBS’ “The Young and the Restless.” Although her “Y&R” role has not been revealed, a CBS representative has confirmed to Soap Opera Network that Morgan will begin taping scenes beginning Thursday, September 1, which is just one day after her contract with the ABC Television Network is set to expire.
Morgan returned to to the soap that made her famous (“AMC”) back in January 2008 after a near twenty-year absence. She debuted in the role of Dr. Hubbard in 1982, but departed in 1990. In between her “AMC” stints, the actress appeared on the ABC Daytime dramas “Loving,” “The City” and “Port Charles” from 1993 to 1998. She portrayed Dr. Hubbard on both “Loving” and “The City.”
Alongside Daytime Emmy Award Winner Darnell Williams, Morgan created daytime’s first African American super-couple in the form of Jesse and Angie Hubbard. Morgan’s daytime career has also extended outside of ABC Daytime. From 1990 to 1991, Morgan moved on to NBC’s “Generations” and then to CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful” from October 2006 to June 2007. The two-time Image Award winner has also had a successful career outside of daytime. She has appeared in numerous primetime series and films.
With “The Young and the Restless” filming roughly five weeks ahead of airdate, a representative has told Soap Opera Network that Morgan will begin airing on Friday, October 7.
“All My Children,” which taped in New York City for much of its broadcast run before moving to the Andrita Studios in Los Angeles after just a year and a half, will cease production next week. Morgan and Jacob Young (JR Chandler) are the only actors confirmed not to be joining the series when it relaunches on the new Prospect Park online network in January 2012. “All My Children” airs its broadcast television series finale on Friday, September 23.