Could the incompetence of a network executive get any uglier? Why yes, it can! The latest in a series of blunders by Brian Frons, President, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group, since the announcement that he has decided to “evolve” ABC Daytime by canceling “All My Children and “One Life to Live” by replacing them with “The Chew” and “The Revolution,” while sticking his foot in his mouth in interview (Deadline.com), after interview (Entertainment Weekly), after interview (The Wrap), comes a scathing report by another Disney Insider that paints Frons as an executive without much imagineers (Disney speak for imagination).
Nathan Fillion is best known to soap opera fans for his portrayal of Joey Buchanan on ABC’s “One Life to Live,” but the actor has made a name for himself in the mainstream world via the networks primetime hit “Castle.” Sadly, according to Deadline Hollywood, the actor is currently embroiled in a contract dispute with ABC Studios, which produces the drama series.
Cancelled primetime dramas “666 Park Avenue” and “Zero Hour” may no longer be in production but fans will get closer to a conclusion to their epic tales as Deadline is reporting that ABC plans to burn off the remaining episodes of both series starting in June.
In its report, Deadline says that “Zero Hour” will begin airing its final episodes on Saturday, June 15 from 8:00 – 10:00 PM ET/PT. Then, on Saturday, June 22, “Hour” will continue airing from 8:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT as it leads into “666 Park Avenue,” which begins airing its final batch of episodes from 9:00 – 10:00 PM ET/PT that night.
According to a report by Deadline Hollywood, Prospect Park’s The OnLine Network has opted to reduce the yearly episode orders of both “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” from 168 to 110. In addition, new episodes of “AMC” will now be made available on Mondays and Wednesdays, while new episodes of “One Life to Live” will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays via Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes. The “MORE” recap shows will continue to be provided on Fridays. The change goes into effect beginning Monday, May 20.
People Magazine is reporting that Kristin Chenoweth, who was scheduled to appear in a recurring role on the new season of CBS’ “The Good Wife” as a political reporter, will not be returning to the series.
In a statement to People Chenoweth said, “It is with deep regret to inform everyone that due to my injuries, I am unable to return to ‘The Good Wife’ at this time.” On the status of her health the actress stated, “[I'm] getting better slowly, and thank you everyone for your concern.”
Chenoweth injured herself last month after a piece of falling lighting equipment caused her to fall and hit her head on concrete while filming scenes, TMZ reported. “While filming a scene for ‘The Good Wife’ in Brooklyn, a gust of wind blew a lighting silk out of place striking actress Kristin Chenoweth. All of us at the studio and the show are thinking about Kristin and wishing her a quick recovery,” CBS, which produces the series, said in a statement at the time.
According to Deadline Hollywood, Chenoweth’s role on “Wife” will not be recast and the program will have other characters continue the storyline in already written episodes. “We enjoyed having Kristin on the show and would love to have her back when she’s feeling better,” said a CBS representative.
Despite her not continuing on the show, Chenoweth will still appear in the season premiere episode of “The Good Wife” on Sunday, September 30 at 9:00 PM ET/PT on CBS.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — At least one “One Life to Live” cast member may not be making the transition with the show when it moves to online-only distribution with Prospect Park early next year. Josh Kelly (Cutter Wentworth) has been tapped to play one of the leads in a new MTV pilot “Dumb Girls,” a new comedy series from “Awkward” producer Lauren Iungerich.
According to Deadline Hollywood, Kelly will be part of an ensemble cast which will also feature Christine Evangelista of “The Joneses,” Xosha Roquemore, and Nico Evers Swindell, who played Prince William in film “William & Kate.” The show will be produced by MTV and will focus on a group of twentysomethings. Iungerich is the executive producer for the pilot, and work alongside Robyn Meisinger and Kim Fleary. Production is slated to begin next month.
Deadline also reports that Kelly, who joined the cast of “One Life” on December 29, 2010, “has not been approached yet about continuing on the show when it moves online, though that is considered likely.” “OLTL” wraps production on its television run in November, and will air its final ABC episode on January 13, 2012. It is expected to resume online with Prospect Park the following week.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — With the Prospect Park era about to begin for “One Life to Live,” the show appears to be in better shape than its sister soap “All My Children.”
“OLTL” fans have reason to be optimistic about the show’s future after it leaves the ABC Daytime line-up in January. Ratings for the show continue to be solid and holding steady above “AMC” and “General Hospital.” Casting wise, the soap is an upswing. Hot on the heels of Roger Howarth‘s return to Llanview, comes word that several others, including Andrea Evans (Tina), John Loprieno (Cord), Kathy Brier (Marcie), Chris Stack (Michael), and possibly Tonja Walker (Alex) are on their way back as well. Rumors are flying that Prospect Park may be focusing more on “OLTL” than “AMC,” something which “One Life” never really experienced under ABC. And four of the show’s leading stars, including grand dame Erika Slezak (Viki), have already agreed to remain with the show when it transitions to the online distribution company in a few months (the others being Kassie DePaiva [Blair], Ted King [Tomas], and Michael Easton [John]).
Meanwhile, “All My Children’s” future seems less certain. Aside from strained negotiations between Prospect Park and “AMC” leading lady Susan Lucci (Erica Kane), there have thus far been no confirmed reports of any members of the show’s cast either being in serious talks with the company or signing on the dotted line to continue with the show. Furthermore, it appears increasingly more apparent that “AMC” may get the same treatment from Prospect Park that “OLTL” has gotten for years now from ABC.
Speculation on the matter was fueled last week by two separate incidents. First, Deadline Hollywood‘s Nellie Andreeva reported that “I hear that Prospect Park may reevaluate its short-term strategy for the two soaps and put its muscle behind the higher-rated ‘OLTL,’ while moving ‘AMC’ to the back burner.” That was followed up by a Soaps.com interview with “All My Children’s” Vincent Irizarry (David) who commented that “As far as I know, no, there hasn’t been. I’ve spoken to numerous actors from the show over the last few days and nobody from our show has been in contact with them. Except for Susan [Lucci, Erica], which we all assumed that awhile ago. So, that’s basically it. They’re moving [forward] with ‘One Life to Live’ right now and that’s certainly their right. That’s what they’re doing and for whatever reason that’s how it happened.”
Furthermore, unlike “One Life to Live,” “All My Children” will have a nearly four month gap between the airing of its last episode on ABC and its first episode of Prospect Park. “One Life” on the other hand, is said to be debuting on Prospect Park the Monday after its airs its final ABC episode on Friday, January 13, therefore maintaining the status quo for “OLTL,” while leaving “All My Children” fans in suspense and impatiently waiting for weeks for their show to return.
Personally, I find all of this extremely interesting, especially since there seems to have been a complete role reversal between the two shows. “One Life to Live” has always reminded me of “The Little Engine That Could,” endlessly trying to make its way up the hill to the top of the mountain (i.e. ratings), while all the more powerful engines (or in this case, the better known soap operas) just keep passing them by until one day when the little engine finally made it to the top after years of chanting “I think I can.” In a sense, it is uncharted waters for many “One Life” fans who aren’t used to their show doing so well. It makes me proud of the soap I have grown up watching for more than two decades now.
However, its one thing to get to the top, but it is quite another thing to stay there. And with the show’s writing, production, and directing crews under Prospect Park still up in the air, it leaves me feeling somewhat concerned, especially given the fact that current head writer Ron Carlivati still seems on track to join the writing staff of “General Hospital” once “OLTL” up production of its TV run in November. Granted, Carlivati isn’t exactly daytime’s best scribe considering “OLTL’s” overabundance of useless characters in idiotic storylines (e.g. the Nate/Deanna/Rick porn plot), and treatment of women characters, but he must be doing something right for the show to be climbing in the ratings as it has been. But like him or not, he does bring stability to the show and often draws upon the soap’s rather rich history (even if he usually twists it to fit his own agenda) when penning tales. Throwing in someone new, especially if they are not very familiar with the show could cause problems. The same can be said for Executive Producer Frank Valentini. For several years now, he has managed to keep “OLTL” under budget while running a tight ship. Finding a suitable replacement may prove difficult.
That being said, I think the show is in good hands with Prospect Park, and believe that it will continue to do rather well. Even so, I am well aware of the potential risks involved in moving an established 43-year-old soap opera from a television slot it has held for more than 30 years to the uncharted waters of online-only distribution. If it works, then wonderful, soaps will have found a new way to live on. If it fails, then at least soap fans can say they tried, and “OLTL” and “AMC” will be remembered for going where no other soaps have gone. Either way, it gives new hope for the daytime serial genre, proving that there may still be some life in the old “stories” yet.
Moving on, congratulations to “CBRVA83,” who correctly guessed the answers to my trivia questions from last time. In case you missed the clues, here they are, along with the answers: 1. What current “OLTL” cast member was the youngest soap star ever placed on contract with a daytime drama back in 2001? Answer: Kristen Alderson. 2. In college, what subject did Ted King get his undergraduate degree in and from what school? Answer: Business from UC-Santa Barbara. 3. What foreign language did Erika Slezak grow up speaking before learning English at five-years-old? Answer: German.
Now it’s time to shake things up a bit and do some more trivia. See if you know the answers to these questions about some of the current and former cast members of “One Life to Live.” 1. Kassie DePaiva (Blair) appeared on what game show before joining “OLTL” and who was the daytime celebrity (and future co-star) was she paired up with? 2. What two wars did the late Phil Carey (Asa) serve in? 3. What is John-Paul Lavoisier‘s (Rex) real last name? I’ll have the answers in the September 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. Someone turns up dead. One man risks his life to save others. An unlikely person is put in jail. And one sister makes a shocking discovery about her sibling.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone! Stay safe!
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” fans have reason to celebrate today as a handful of the show’s current cast members, including six-time Daytime Emmy winner Erika Slezak (Viki) have already agreed to make the transition with the show from ABC to online-only distribution with Prospect Park. According to Deadline Hollywood the company, which leased the rights to “OLTL” and sister soap “All My Children” in July, Slezak, along with Kassie DePaiva (Blair), Michael Easton (John), and Ted King (Tomas) will all be remaining with the show after it airs its final ABC episode early next year.
“One Life’s” longest-running cast member, Erika Slezak has been with the soap since 1971. Kassie DePaiva first appeared on the show in 1993. Michael Easton made his “OLTL” debut in 2003, and Ted King joined the show back in February of this year.
According to a statement from Prospect Park, “Pending a final agreement with AFTRA, Prospect Park has confirmed that ‘One Life to Live’ cast members Ted King (Tomas Delgado), Michael Easton (John McBain), Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer) and star of stars Erika Slezak who plays Lord family matriarch Victoria Lord, have agreed to deals to join the company’s new production of ‘One Life to Live.’ This marks the first confirmation of cast members since Prospect Park began planning for the soap production to live on the new online network beyond its finale January televised date on ABC.”
Furthermore, Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva reports that “I hear that Prospect Park may reevaluate its short-term strategy for the two soaps and put its muscle behind the higher-rated ‘OLTL,’ while moving ‘AMC’ to the back burner.”
Following months of speculation, the announcement has finally been made official today. ABC has announced plans to cancel two-thirds of their daytime soap line-up. According to reports, “All My Children” will last air in September, while “One Life to Live” will leave the air in January 2012. The move will leave “General Hospital” as the network’s only remaining daytime drama.
Reaction is slowly beginning to trickle in from the cast and crew of both soaps. David A. Gregory (Robert Ford, “OLTL”) posted on Facebook this afternoon that “Oh, guys, it’s with great difficulty I report that at a company meeting today, we were told the ‘OLTL’ will be taping their last episodes in November. Airing Jan. 2012. ‘AMC’ will finish taping in August. Thank you all so much for your support of not only Daytime TV, but the ABC soaps: especially ‘OLTL.’ And the Ford clan!! Love you guys. Frank [Valentini] has promised were goin’ out with a bang so get ready!”