(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Saturday, October 1, the National Board of Directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) met for the final time in 2011, as previously reported. One of the topics of discussion was Prospect Park and its transitioning of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to the web in January 2012. While exact details of the meeting are still unknown in that respect, a representative speaks to Soap Opera Network exclusively on where things stand at this time between the actors union and Prospect Park.
It has been nearly three months since Prospect Park announced that they had licensed the rights to “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” from the Disney/ABC Television Group with the intention of transitioning the soaps to the web beginning in January 2012. Since that time, AFTRA, better known as the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union, has been relatively silent on how the transition would be possible, until now. Soap Opera Network has learned exclusively that despite a number of actors from both “AMC” and “OLTL” signing on for the 2.0 versions of the soaps, talks between Prospect Park and AFTRA are still ongoing and that a deal between the actors union and the production company has yet to be signed.
Although “One Life to Live’s” Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan Banks), Kelley Missal (Danielle Rayburn), Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning) and Jerry VerDorn (Clint Buchanan), Ted King (Thomas Delgado), Michael Easton (John McBain), Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer) and Erika Slezak (Viki Banks) and “All My Children’s” Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery) and Lindsay Hartley (Cara Castillo) have already signed on despite no official deal between AFTRA and Prospect Park, an AFTRA rep tells Soap Opera Network “we are still in negotiations with Prospect Park. There is no agreement as of yet, but we are in discussion and when there is something final to announce we will announce it.”
Many of you have wondered why more cast members from “One Life to Live” have signed on to the web version of their show, pending a Prospect Park/AFTRA contract agreement, while not as many have signed on from the “All My Children” cast, but the AFTRA rep assures us that “we’ve been keeping the cast members of both shows advised as to the terms of the progress and the status of the discussions with Prospect Park.”
Actors from “All My Children,” which ended its television run on September 23, 2011, are left in limbo in the interim of a deal between AFTRA and Prospect Park, leaving many to seek new soap roles (Debbi Morgan, ex-Dr. Angie Hubbard now on “The Young and the Restless”), return to the soap that launched their careers (Jacob Young, ex-JR Chandler returned to “The Bold and the Beautiful”), or just deciding to take a much needed break (Michael E. Knight, ex-Tad Martin).
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Moments before the announcement that production company Prospect Part had licensed “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” from ABC and saved it from imminent cancellation, it was announced that Debbi Morgan (Angie) had already signed on to “The Young and the Restless.” She will debut on the popular CBS soap this fall. Not too long after that, Jacob Young (JR) announced that he was unable to ignore the call back to “The Bold and the Beautiful.” He returns as Rick Forrester on Monday, September 26. At this moment, Prospect Park is still trying to work out a deal with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) that will allow them to begin negotiating with actors for a hopeful January 2012 relaunch of both ABC soaps. This leaves the actors of “AMC” with free time and a contract with ABC that dissolved earlier this week. In the September 13, 2011 issues of Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly, it is revealed that Alicia Minshew and Chrishell Stause have also both been contacted to join another soap.
Both actresses declined. Minshew, who joined the cast of “AMC” in 2002 as Kendall Hart, apparently would like to remain with the show if it’s feasible. The Emmy nominated actress does not want to make a commitment to another daytime drama without giving Prospect Park a fair chance to iron things out behind the scenes. Stause, who joined the cast of “AMC” in 2005 as Amanda Dillon, is planning to take advantage of being in the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles. The stunning young actress who was scheduled to split ways with the soap in 2010 to go to Los Angeles changed her mind when it was announced “AMC” would be joining her on the West Coast. Stause does not rule out a return to daytime television in the future, but wants to try out different formats of entertainment for the foreseeable future.
Various actor interviews also indicate that red-hot commodity Susan Lucci (Erica), as well as long-time “AMC” stars Walt Willey (Jack), Michael E. Knight (Tad), Vincent Irizarry (David) and expert schmoozer Cameron Mathison (Ryan) share Minshew’s willingness to wait a while longer for Prospect Park to get everything aligned before making any major commitments that could impede the potential to join a relaunch of the soap. Mathison, in the meantime, has taken up one more part-time hosting job. Beginning on October 3, fans can see the “Good Morning America” correspondent hosting a new reality-series, “Ultimate Proposal,” a web-series that will be produced by Yahoo! The star who joined “AMC” in 1997 is also slated to begin filming a Lifetime made-for-television movie, “The Wife He Met Online,” opposite former “AMC” star Sydney Penny (ex-Julia). Lucci, meanwhile, has denounced rumors that she’s going to ABC’s prime-time series “Desperate Housewives” but has admitted to having had a good talk with its executive producer Marc Cherry. While waiting for things to take shape, the stunning 64-year old does plan on taking advantage of the time that has opened up and is pondering a return to the stage.
Production of “AMC” for ABC network airings ended earlier this week. The last episode of “AMC” on the ABC network is scheduled to air on Friday, September 23.
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.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – Susan Lucci has taken to Twitter by announcing that she is heading into her final week of taping at ABC’s “All My Children,” although she doesn’t make it clear whether or not she will be moving on to the Prospect Park version of the soap when it debuts in January 2012.
Heading towards my last week of All My Children..very emotional time yet excited to see David Canary & Julia Barr again! – Susan Lucci
Wednesday, August 31 is the last day that cast and crew of “All My Children” will be employed by the network, leaving Prospect Park to sign deals with the soon-to-be unemployed talent in order to properly re-launch the show in the coming months. There is no official word on who is staying, although we already know that Debbi Morgan (Angie Hubbard) and Jacob Young (JR Chandler) will not be part of the soap when Prospect Park takes over as each are heading to “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” respectively.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — As previously reported, the cast of “All My Children” have received offers from Prospect Park to return to the series upon re-launch in January 2012, nearly four months after the series completes its ABC run. According to Deadline Hollywood‘s Nellie Andreeva, Prospect Park is offering Susan Lucci (Erica Kane) virtually the same salary she’s currently receiving from ABC.
In her Deadline.com posting, Andreeva states Lucci “is currently mulling the offer. While there will probably be some budget trimming due to the medium switch, it looks like AMC and OLTL‘s’ new producers are stepping up to keep the shows’ biggest stars and fan favorites.AMC and OLTL are scheduled to relaunch online in the first quarter of 2012. Prospect Park is also in talks with cable networks about carving out a traditional TV window.”
Should Prospect secure Lucci, it will mark the first public sign of confidence from an “AMC” actor since news of the deal between Prospect Park and Disney/ABC Television Group was announced on Thursday, July 7. The series has already lost Debbi Morgan (Angie Hubbard) to “The Young and the Restless” and Jacob Young (JR Chandler) to “The Bold and the Beautiful,” although for Morgan she made her deal with the the Sony Pictures Television produced “Y&R” before news of Prospect even came to light. Young announced his post-”AMC” plans on Monday, August 15.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – Jacob Young is returning to the soap that started his daytime career back in 1997. This fall the Daytime Emmy Award winner will reprise the role of Eric Forrester (John McCook) and Brooke Logan’s (Katherine Kelly Lang) son, Rick Forrester, on the CBS daytime drama “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
Four months after it was announced that “All My Children” would be ending its run on ABC in September and just a month after learning that Prospect Park, a 2-year-old production company, had picked up the show as part of its yet-to-be-named infotainment network set for a January launch, Young (JR Chandler on “AMC”) has become the second actor to bolt the daytime drama series. The first being Debbi Morgan (Angie Hubbard), who is heading to “The Young and the Restless” later this fall.
In an interview with TV Guide Magazine‘s Michael Logan, Young reveals that he will be returning on screen to “B&B” beginning Monday, September 26, which will also mark the first time in 41-years that “All My Children” was not on the regularly scheduled ABC Daytime lineup. “The Chew” replaces “AMC” on this date.
“When I started talking to ‘B&B’ I didn’t think it would happen so fast. But I guess it’s good that way. I was looking forward to wrapping up ‘AMC’ and having a bit of a hiatus, maybe a month or two to travel with my family,” said Young. “As it turns out, I’ll probably have my ‘AMC’ and ‘B&B’ schedules overlapping and be shooting both shows at the same time. I’m like, ‘You guys figure it out and point me in the right direction.’”
Although he hopes the deal with Prospect Park and “AMC” can come together even without him and Morgan, like many of his co-stars Young is concerned about the hiatus between the soap ending on ABC and taking off on the internet. Young thinks a January 16 debut is an optimistic time table for when “AMC” could end up back on the air considering the facts of the situation so far. His advice to his co-stars in the meantime is “to get out there in the business and see what’s crackin’. Anybody with common sense would do that.”
With Prospect Park yet to confirm details of when “AMC” will pick up production due to union issues, the company has been unable to reach out to actors to try and iron out contracts, leaving an actor exodus a strong possibility before the online version of the soap even debuts. Interestingly enough, news of Young heading back to “B&B” comes on the heals of that soap returning from a three week production hiatus.
In an interview with Soap Opera Network during the “All My Children” Fan Club Weekend, Young shared his hopes for fans who would continue with the show online and where he sees his character as the show comes to a close on ABC.
For more from Young’s TV Guide interview where he discusses both “AMC” and “B&B, click here.
About Jacob Young
Young put the character of Rick Forrester on the map on “B&B” from 1997 to 1999. The role was last played by Kyle Lowder (ex-Brady, “Days of Our Lives) in 2011. Young moved on to ABC’s “General Hospital” as Lucky Spencer, the son of Luke and Laura Spencer (Anthony Geary and Genie Francis), from 2000 to 2003. Keeping a track record of playing the son of some of daytime’s most important characters, in 2003, Young landed the role of Adam Chandler (David Canary) and Dixie Cooney’s (Cady McClain) son JR Chandler on “AMC.” That role had previously been played to much acclaim by Jesse McCartney.