(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Buenos Dias Llanview! January LaVoy is reprising her role as Noelle Ortiz Stubbs, diner waitress turned close friend of Victoria Lord (Erika Slezak), according to Soap Opera Digest.
LaVoy originated the role of Noelle as part of “One Life’s” Paris, Texas storyline, in 2007 and was last seen on the show in December of 2009.
There are also rumors that her former onscreen husband John Rue (Moe Stubbs) will be returning as well before the show wraps up production on its television run next month.
The actress has reportedly already returned to the set, however, a first airdate has not been announced.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — October 8, 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of Soap Opera Network, an online magazine celebrating the world of soaps past, present and future.
Soap Opera Network began as an online message board on the then popular ezBoard (now called Yuki) platform by two individuals that wanted to start a more industry based discussion forum for fans of the soap opera genre with the idea that not only could one discuss the comings, the goings or the general news of the day, but have the opportunity to learn more about the names, the faces and the minds of the people that help make daily dramatic serials happen year in and year out. At launch, soap operas “All My Children, “As The World Turns,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital,” “Guiding Light,” “One Life to Live,” “Passions,” “Port Charles,” and “The Young and the Restless” were on the schedules of television networks ABC, CBS and NBC.
In November 2002, Soap Opera Network left ezBoard and became its own .com service.
Thanks to elaborate databases such as a ratings archive (how soaps rated over the years), episode count archive (who appeared in episodes of a soap opera each and every month and year), its end credit archive (who wrote, directed or produced each episode), including a listing of episode writers and directors along with profile pieces on more than 80% of the writers, producers and directors, Soap Opera Network has cornered the market on information surrounding the inner workings of the soap opera format.
Over the course of its ten years, Soap Opera Network has interviewed a number of daytime’s biggest stars and behind the scenes personnel including Susan Lucci, Erika Slezak, Melody Thomas Scott, Maurice Benard, Steve Burton, Sarah Brown, Hillary B. Smith, Robert S. Woods, Ilene Kristen, Ken Corday, Cameron Mathison, Cady McClain, Eden Riegel, Judith Light, Bradley P. Bell, Brian Frons, Maria Arena Bell, Sherri Shepherd, Daniel Goddard, Greg Meng, Marlene McPherson, Darrell Ray Thomas, Nancy Curlee, Melissa Archer, Kristen Alderson, Julie Pinson, Ron Carlivati, Frank Valentini, Linda Dano and many more.
Current Soap Opera Network staff is as follows:
Xavier Toups, Co-Founder
Errol Lewis, Editor in Chief; General Hospital Editor; Days of our Lives Editor
Angela Rosa, Managing Editor; All My Children Editor
Scotty Gore, Managing Editor; One Life to Live Editor
Venus Stone-Cutter, The Young and the Restless Editor
Gehrig Burnett Jr., The Bold and the Beautiful Editor
(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) — “One Life to Live” isn’t even finished filming its last ABC episodes yet and already the soap has signed deals with “OLTL” head writer Ron Carlivati and several of the soaps cast members. By comparison, Prospect Park has signed far fewer deals with cast members from “All My Children,” which ended its television run on Friday, September 23.
As we reported earlier this morning, Carlivati’s rumored return to “One Life to Live” is now confirmed as Prospect Park made it official in a press release issued just a short time ago. Carlivati joins Frank Valentini, the soaps executive producer, as the second behind the scenes crew member that will move on with the soap when it debuts online in January 2012 on THE Online Network (aka: TOLN). The Emmy award winning writer joined the writing team in 1996 and was named head writer in 2007. The terms of his deal are subject to an agreement between Prospect Park and the Writers Guild of America (WGA). Should it come to pass, it is understood that Carlivati will also be listed as a Consulting Producer for the soap.
For those that know more about what they see on TV than they do behind the scenes, you’ll be pleased to hear that Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan Banks), Kelley Missal (Danielle Rayburn), Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning) and Jerry VerDorn (Clint Buchanan) will be joining already signed Ted King (Thomas Delgado), Michael Easton (John McBain), Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer) and Erika Slezak (Viki Banks) when the show is transitioned over from ABC to the web. Ringgold exclusively confirmed his signing to Soap Opera Network earlier this week.
via Press Release
LOS ANGELES, CA – September 30, 2011 – Below is a statement from THE Online Network (TOLN) regarding “One Life to Live.”
Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz of TOLN have confirmed today that a deal is in place for “One Life to Live” Emmy®-winning Head Writer and Consulting Producer Ron Carlivati, subject to a WGA agreement, to continue with the show when it moves online at the beginning of next year. Carlivati has been with the show since 1996 and a head writer since 2007.
Pending a final agreement with AFTRA, additional deals are in place for cast members Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan Banks), Kelley Missal (Danielle Rayburn), Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning) and Jerry VerDorn (Clint Buchanan) to join previously announced cast including Ted King, Michael Easton, Kassie DePaiva and Erika Slezak.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Late last week, on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” an excited Cameron Mathison (Ryan) announced that the production company that licensed “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” from ABC this summer, Prospect Park, had started to contact actors from his show to negotiate. Today, Prospect Park revealed to the press that they have come to terms with not only Mathison but his co-star Lindsay Hartley (Cara) to continue with the 41-year old daytime drama online.
Mathison joined the cast of “AMC” in December 1997 as con-artist and resident hunk Ryan Lavery. The Emmy-nominee, “Dancing with the Stars” contestant and entertainment show correspondent remained on the show for nearly the entire time since. He took a one year break from July 2002 to July 2003 to try other things. Hartley began her daytime career on NBC Daytime’s “Passions” as Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald in 1999. She remained on the show until its cancellation in 2008. In 2009, she joined the cast of NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” as Arianna Hernandez. The actress joined the cast of “AMC” as Dr. Cara Castillo in December 2010 after an early dismissal from “DAYS.” Hartley is married to former “Smallville” star Justin Hartley.
The deals with Mathison, Hartley and “OLTL’s” Erika Slezak (Viki), Michael Easton (John), Kassie DePaiva (Blair) and Ted King (Tomas) are not official as can be, yet. Prospect Park and the actor’s union, AFTRA, have to come to official terms before anything can be made official. It appears to be just a matter of time before that happens.
Prospect Park also announced today that they will release “AMC’s” first day of production for the 2012 season in the next few weeks. “AMC” last airs on ABC on Friday, September 23.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The latest cast changes and other odds and ends for “One Life to Live.”
Is Tonja Walker on her back to Llanview as Alex Olanov. While it has yet to be confirmed if she is referencing “OLTL,” the actress posted the following message on her Facebook fan club page “I am coming baaaackkkk! I don’t know anything else!” Walker last appeared as Alex back in April.
Steph Garcia next airs as a Diner Waitress on Thursday, November 3.
Paul Hickert will play Kentucky Cop #2 on Monday, October 17.
According to IMDb, one of Nic Robuck‘s (James Ford) October airdates will be the 21st.
For those of you wondering the name of the actress who played Victor’s (Trevor St. John) secretary Tracy recently, here is your answer. The young lady was Alyssa Rose, daughter of New York Mets announcer Howie Rose. She also appeared on the show back on July 6 as a “patient representative,” which marked her debut as a television actress.
Although first airdates remain unknown for Kathy Brier (Marcie) and Chris Stack (Michael), Brier tweeted on August 30 that she was “@ OLTL in the Hair & Make-up Room…I will be going back for a bit…and yes I am really preggers!,” along with this picture of herself in the make-up chair. Look for both Brier and Stack to return to Llanview with Marcie and Michael’s little son Gabriel Thomas. Also, ABC SID reports that Brier’s pregnancy will be written into the show.
The magazine also reports that Tina (Andrea Evans) and Cord (John Loprieno) will stick around Llanview for awhile when they return on September 26 and 28, respectively. In fact, Head Writer Ron Carlivati tells the mag. that he has a big fall storyline planned involving the two of them.
Look for some more dayplayer characters in the coming weeks, including a lawyer and a mystery man.
Christopher Stadulis played an Agent on Monday, August 22.
Get ready for a music video to go along with Starr’s (Kristen Alderson) new single. Alderson tweeted earlier this week that “A new song & a music video to go along w/it for the show! Are u dying w/excitement yet?l ol that’s all I can say with out getting in trouble. Such a blast in the recording studio with @oltlmusic today. I can’t wait for you guys to hear the new Starr/Baz [Barret Helms] song!”
On a related note, “OLTL” Music Director Paul S. Glass tweets that “Mixing right now Kristen….sounds incredible! Definitely a blast!! Thanks!” He also said on September 5 that “the Viki/Dorian [Erika Slezak/Robin Strasser] montage was ‘Moments’ by Josh Auer. We had Josh do special version but the original is available on iTunes.” And he responds to fan who asks the name of a song Jessica sang while on the run way back when Erin Torpey was still in the role by tweeting “Wow..that goes way back! That song is ‘I Will Be the Flame’ by a singer/songwriter Sarah Symons.” Check out Glass’ Twitter page for more comments and thoughts on Starr and Baz’s single.
David A. Gregory (Ford) tries to clear up some confusion surrounding “One Life’s” transition to Prospect Park by posting a message on his Facebook page: “Hey everyone. Just wanted to let you know that, as of now, I have no new news about who else is heading to the online show, when the online production begins, where it films etc. Not sure when our last tape date for TV is, although I’m told it’s just before Thanksgiving. Hope this helps. Sorry I cannot answer all questions.”
Is Andrew Trischitta (Jack) making the moving with “OLTL” to online-only distribution? On September 8, the actor responded to a fan who asked if he was interesting in continuing with the show after it leaves ABC by tweeting “I would love to do so.”
And Robin Strasser (ex-Dorian) also chimed in, tweeting on September 5 that “NO, haven’t been asked to participate in prospective Prospect Park ‘OLTL.’ NOR in ‘OLTL’s’ last final months. Diss-appointing? yes-Surprising-no.” And then earlier this evening, after learning that “OLTL” Executive Producer Frank Valentini would be continuing on with the show after it moves to Prospect Park, Strasser added “NO WAY! JUST HEARD: Frank Valentini signed EP Prospect Park ‘OLTL?’ Smart move that, wonder if there’s a chance they’LL call me? prolly SLIM 2 none : (”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — After recently signing four of “One Life to Live’s” most prominent cast members, including long-time veteran Erika Slezak (Viki) to continue with the show when it moves to online-only distribution early next year, Prospect Park takes the next step in their commitment to make for a smooth transition for the show. According to Deadline Hollywood, the production company has hired “One Life” Executive Producer Frank Valentini to remain in his current post with the show, along with becoming Vice President of Serial Dramas.
“Frank’s successful track record both creatively and producorially with ‘One Life to Live’ has been stellar and we are honored that he has also agreed to take on more responsibilities at our new network,” states Prospect Park executives Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, whom Valentini will work closely with in his VP capacity to help relauch “OLTL” and sister soap “All My Children” with the company after each leaves ABC.
Serving as “One Life” Executive Producer since 2006, Valentini is known for running a tight ship and helping keep the show regularly under budget. He has also served as producer, director, stage manager, and music composer for the soap. And in 2010 he directed ABC.com’s “What If…” series, where characters from “All My Children,” “One Life to Live,” and “General Hospital” met one another in a series of short webisodes.
Valentini expressed his excitement in remaining with the show, saying “I am thrilled to join the Prospect Park team continuing my role as the Executive Producer of ‘One Life to Live.’ As we enter this new chapter, I must extend a very big, heartfelt thank you to the show’s creator Agnes Nixon who has always been generous with her support of our vision of her creation, ABC for affording me an incomparable experience for the past 26 years at ‘One Life to Live’ and the fans with their unwavering passion determined not to let their shows go away. The cast and crew is my family and I am very proud to have this opportunity to continue working with this talented and dedicated team. And finally, I must extend a huge thanks to Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz of Prospect Park whose pioneering innovation is giving us more life to live.”
With Valentini staying on with “OLTL,” fans may be wondering where this leaves the show’s current Head Writer Ron Carlvati. After it was announced earlier this year that he would be joining the writing staff of “General Hospital” after “OLTL” finishes its network run, and ABC spokesperson would only tell Soap Opera Network last month that plans for Carlivati’s move to “GH” are still in place “as far as [they] know.” You may recall it was announced in September 2010 that both Valentini and Carlivati had been signed to new long-term contracts with ABC for two and three years, respectively.
After wrapping production on its television run in November, “One Life to Live” is scheduled to broadcast its final episode on ABC on Friday, January 13, 2012.
(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) — Three years after her character uttered the words “Goodbye Llanview, I’m gonna miss you … but you have not seen the last of Tina Lord Roberts, that I promise you,” Andrea Evans returns to “One Life to Live” as Tina attempts to reconcile with her estranged family. However, it isn’t exactly love of family that brings Tina back home.
On Monday, September 26 look for Tina, along with her beloved canine companion David Vickers (presumably still played by Tallulah Bean), to travel back to Llanview, where she arrives just as the estate of her deceased, long-lost brother Victor Lord, Jr. (Trevor St. John) is being settled.
Once back in town, she is reunited with fellow siblings Viki (Erika Slezak) and Todd (Roger Howarth), along with a few other family members. Unfortunately for Tina, however, things don’t go quite as expected for the Lord heiress, who has has a run of bad luck. As for doggie David Vickers, look for him to make an important discovery, which could place several lives in jeopardy, including his own.
But how will Tina take the news, and just how will she react upon learning that her late mother Irene (Barbara Rhoades) is still very much alive? And with Cord (John Loprieno) also returning, will the old flames rekindle their relationship? Tune in to find out!
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Never one to mince words when it comes to voicing her opinions on the behind-the-scenes antics of both Llanview and ABC, “One Life to Live” leading lady Erika Slezak (Viki) speaks out against her soon-to-be-ex boss Brian Frons and notes her optimism at the soap’s future with Prospect Park.
Slezak is among a number of daytime stars, producers, executives, and journalists who share their thoughts on “the rise, fall, and possible resurrection of an American institution” in the September/October edition of the magazine Mental Floss, in an special article entitled “Sex & Death in the Afternoon: An Oral History of the American Soap Opera.”
In the final section of the article, titled “Daytime Turns to Twilight (2000-Present),” the six-time Daytime Emmy winner takes a parting shot at the network’s head honcho, saying “I think that Brian Frons, the head of ABC Daytime, doesn’t believe in the genre. He never believed they could last. My biggest objection is ABC saying people don’t want entertainment anymore; they want information. That’s ridiculous. People always want entertainment.”
Earlier this week it was announced that the actress, who celebrated 40 years with “One Life to Live” in March and plays the show’s only surviving original character, would be remaining with the soap when it moves to online-only production with Prospect Park early next year. In a statement released on her official website, Slezak commented that “I am very happy to be going on with ‘OLTL’ and look forward to working with our new production company, Prospect Park. It’s very exciting to be moving into a new medium and I sincerely hope that our wonderful viewers will follow us there.”
Slezak also talked about the loss of long-time “OLTL” Director David Pressman, who died on August 29 at the age of 97, stating “Please express my great sadness at David’s passing. He was totally instrumental in my getting this job and more than that, he taught me everything about working on TV. I owe him such a lot and will never be able to thank him properly, or repay him. Aside from that, David was a wonderful and talented man and I will miss him and always think of him.” Pressman directed episodes of “One Life” from 1970-1998.