What a roller coaster ride of emotions for “OLTL” fans in the past month. First the show tapes its final episode for its television run on Friday, November 18 in preparation for its move online with Prospect Park, only to be told five days later via a press release that the upstart production company was scrapping plans to transition “One Life” and its sister soap “All My Children” to the Internet due to a lack of funding.
This was an especially hard pill for many “One Life to Live” viewers to swallow, given that the news came only four months after it was announced that Prospect Park had licensed the rights to “OLTL” and “AMC” from ABC after the network unceremoniously axed the soaps in April after 43 and 41 years on the air, respectively.
Further adding salt to the wounds of ticked off fans was that the announcement to dump “One Life to Live” came only weeks after it was revealed that the company had decided to focus solely on the soap while keeping “All My Children” on the back burner for the foreseeable future. Add to this the fact that Prospect Park had reached agreements in the past few months with 13 “OLTL” cast members, along with the show’s head writer and executive producer to continue the show after it left ABC.
Talk about a feeling of déjà vu. My first reaction to the news about Prospect Park dumping “OLTL” was “not again.” Only recently had I begun to work my way out of the five stages of grief over the loss of my favorite soap opera, which I have grown up watching since I was a little kid. I had nearly come to terms with the cancelation and was coping with the fact that although the soap wouldn’t continue that my “Life” (no pun intended) would go on. Then came the news that Prospect Park was swooping in to save the day. After being skeptical at first, I slowly became lulled into a false sense of security, excited about “OLTL” getting another chance. I was thrilled at the possibility of still being able to see characters like Viki and Blair, who have become like a part of my family over the years. I was intrigued that the thought of actually setting down in front of my computer on a regular basis to watch “OLTL” and other shows. And most of all I was optimistic that the show would thrive online and continue to enjoy its current level of success (so to speak).
Then the rugged was pulled out from me…again. Going through the emotions again, I still hold out a small glimmer of hope that another miracle will take place, saving my favorite soap once more. However, this time around I am also becoming more rational in my understanding that “One Life to Live,” like all other things in life, must eventually come to an end. Nothing lasts forever, no matter how much we hope they will. Just like losing a beloved family member, pet, or possession, we have to learn when and how to let go of something that we have loved and cherished for so very long. And, while it may be painful, time will eventually heal those wounds.
“One Life to Live” may be “only a television show” but to myself and millions of other fans out there, it has and always will hold a special place in our hearts. The characters are like family, and Llanview is like our second hometown. Throughout the years, we have laughed, cried, hurt, and mourned alongside the residents of the fictional Philadelphia suburb. We rallied around Viki when she had breast cancer, encouraged the Cramer girls as they tried to stay sane in a family with a history of mental illness, sympathized with Shane when he was being bullied, and learned about intolerance as Llanview was torn apart over homosexuality. We cried when Megan died, became depressed when Asa passed on, and smiled when each baby was born. We became Llanview and Llanview became us. So, while to many it may be only a TV show, to us it is part of the family. That’s why the 2:00 pm ET hour (1:00 pm for me) will never be the same.
And, like family, “OLTL” fans need to come together to celebrate the show’s long history, and allow it to bow out gracefully and not needlessly suffer through frivolous lawsuits, ineffective boycotts, threats of violence, and harassing letters, phone calls, and e-mails to ABC, Prospect Park, and others. Let’s show everyone what soap fans are really like and give “One Life to Live” a proper sendoff like Viki and the rest of Llanview deserve. That is the least we can do for four decades of memories. Sure we’re angry, but those types of things will get you nowhere. And at the end of the day, it will all be for naught as “OLTL” will still be canceled.
Let’s make these last seven weeks that “One Life to Live” is on the air the highest rated the show has seen in years and show ABC that they were wrong in canceling it and Prospect Park wrong in thinking that there aren’t people out there willing to help fund its continuation online. That is the least we can do for “One Life” for all that it has given us. I know that’s what I’m going to do anyway. And I hope you will do the same.
As with the show itself, my “One Life to Live” reporting duties here at Soap Opera Network will also soon be coming to an end, which includes this column. Barring any last minute changes, look for the final edition of “My View of Llanview” on January 30, just over two weeks after “OLTL” airs its final ABC episode. Thank you to all my faithful readers over the years, who have endured all my incessant ramblings and opinions. It has been one hell of a ride to say the least.
Moving on, no one guessed (either correctly or incorrectly) the answers to the trivia questions from the previous column. So I’m going to give you a second chance. Here are the questions again: 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 December 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. One man is forced to make a tough choice. Someone sees things from a whole new prospective. More than one secret is revealed. And one Llanview family spends Christmas with someone unexpected.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Stay safe and warm.
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…
(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) — “One Life to Live” is forced to recast the character of Cole Thornhart, who is serving a prison sentence for murdering Eli Clarke (Matt Walton) with Broadway star Van Hughes only one day after Brandon Buddy returned to the role.
According to reports, Buddy became unable to continue with the show after taping only one episode, leaving the show’s producers in limbo as they scrambled to find a replacement, claiming it was too late to rewrite the scenes, since the show wraps production on its ABC run next Friday.
“OLTL” is said to have re-shot all of Buddy’s scenes with Van Hughes, who first taped with Kristen Alderson, who plays Cole’s ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, Starr Manning, on Tuesday of this week. No word on the number of episodes the actor will appear in.
This is not Van Hughes’ first time in Llanview. In September 2010, he briefly appeared as preppy art student Simon Ulrich in scenes with Gigi Morasco (Farah Fath) and Cristian Vega (David Fumero). He also had a recurring role on “As the World Turns” as Gil Penn from 2006-07. His first airdate is unknown.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Saundra Santiago becomes the latest “One Life to Live” seldom used recurring cast member to finally getting some much needed screen time when her onscreen persona, Carlotta Vega, interacts with a familiar face at the family diner, and a few other new and familiar faces pop up in Llanview.
On Thursday, September 8, Carlotta returns when Cristian (David Fumero) seeks a little motherly advice about his future. As we previously reported, Fumero is leaving “One Life” before the show wraps production in November. Santiago taped her scenes on July 14.
In other news, Helmar Augustus Cooper may be returning as Louie, the homeless man who pulled Todd Manning (Roger Howarth) out of the river last month. At the very least, look for the drifter and part-time police informant to be a hot topic of conversation around the LPD water cooler the week of September 5.
Patrick Allen Cole returns as Rodi’s bartender/manager Jeff (now AKA Adam) on Wednesday, September 21.
Nick Choksi (Vimal) has posted on Facebook that “On Thursday’s [September 1] episode of ‘One Life To Live,’ everything seems to be hunky dory in the Patel household, but a secret will lead to a suspicion which will lead to…inevitable mayhem. I also get to square off with the man who cuckolded me…for about a second…which is the most i can handle. ABC @ 2pm.”
Edixon Caridad appears as a Guard in several episodes in mid and later September.
Look for Victor’s secretary at the Sun to continue to appear on screen during the next few weeks.
For those asking about the song playing during Viki and Dorian’s farewell montage during Thursday’s episode was “Moments” by Josh Auer. That was not the first time the song as been used by the show, however, and was heard most recently in this promo from May 12, featuring John and Natalie.
And a walk on role on “One Life to Live” was among the items auctioned off at the Miracle House 11th Annual “Cocktails By the Bay” charity event in Sag Harbor, New York earlier this month. Miracle House “provides temporary housing, meals and advocacy to caregivers and patients coming to the city for critical medical treatment,” according to its website. Click here to learn more.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — As we previously reported, after nearly a decade since departing “One Life to Live,” Erin Torpey is returning to the fictional town of Llanview to shake things up with one of her former characters childhood lovers.
On Thursday, September 8, Torpey, who is best known for her portrayal of Jessica Buchanan (now played by Bree Williamson) from 1990-2003 , has a life-changing encounter with one of Jessica’s old flames that will forever alter that person’s life. Unfortunately, however, don’t expect the actress to interact with her former onscreen mom Erika Slezak (Victoria Lord) this time around. Torpey last returned to “One Life” in honor of the show’s 40th anniversary as the adult spirit of Jessica’s stillborn daughter Megan, who escorted Viki to heaven back in 2008.
“I grew up on ‘OLTL,’ and I am happy to make one last cameo as the show prepares to end its run. ‘OLTL’ was a second family to me, and it will always hold a very special place in my life,” she noted in a statement last month. Torpey taped her scenes on June 29.
(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.
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.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live’s” Robert S. Woods (Bo) will be among those honored at HeartShare Human Services of New York‘s Annual Spring Gala on Thursday, March 24. Woods will be honored withThe Linda Dano Heart Award for his support of the organization, which is “dedicated to improving the lives of people in need of special services and support.”
The award is named after actress Linda Dano (ex-Rae, “OLTL”), who serves on the HeartShare Board of Directors and presents the honor on an annual basis to an individual or group in the entertainment industry who “exemplifies a commitment to improving the lives of children,” states a press release. Previous recipients of the award include Cameron Mathison and Susan Lucci from “All My Children,” along with the cast and crew of “As the World Turns,” “One Life to Live,” and “The View.”
Woods will be among four individuals recognized for their support and contributions. The others include Mark C. Healy, President and CEO of the American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC., who will receive The Monsignor Thomas G. Hagerty Humanitarian Award; Vincent Theurer, Sr., President of the Approved Oil Company of Brooklyn, who is the recipient of The George A. Cincotta Community Development Award; and Lorraine M. Tazzo, President of The Genie Foundation, who will be presented with The HeartShare Genie Foundation Award.
Scheduled to attend from “One Life to Live,” in addition to Woods and Dano, include Eddie Alderson (Matthew), Kristen Alderson (Starr), Farah Fath (Gigi), David Fumero (Cristian), Susan Haskell (Marty), John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex), Mark Lawson (Brody), Sean Ringgold (Shaun), and Hillary B. Smith (Nora), as well as former cast member Billy Warlock (ex-Ross), and novelist Peter Straub (who has appeared on “OLTL” several times). Other soap stars in attendance include Julie Pinson Warlock (ex-Janet, “As the World Turns”) and Thorsten Kaye (Ex-Zach, “All My Children”). For a listing of other television, radio, and entertainment personalities attending, click here.
The 2011 HeartShare Spring Gala and Auction will be held on Thursday, March 24, at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Cocktails and the silent auction begin at 5:30 pm ET, with the dinner to follow at 7:00 pm ET. For more information, call (718) 422-3210, email [email protected], or click here. And to learn more about HeartShare, please visit their website.
“One Life to Live” fans, who also happen to watch CBS’ “CSI: Miami,” should pay close attention to the Sunday, February 20 episode of the primetime drama as David Fumero (Cristian Vega) is set to play the role of Armando Salazar in the episode entitled “Last Stand.” “General Hospital‘s” Robert LaSardo (ex-Manny/Mateo) is also set to return as Memmo Fiero, the man who killed Horatio Caine’s (David Caruso) wife.