Soap Opera Network has learned exclusively that “All My Children” has cast veteran actor Ryan Bittle in the contract role of JR Chandler. Bittle replaces Jacob Young, who is currently appearing on CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful” as Rick Forrester.
Bittle first broke out into television in 1994, when he starred in the teen series “Sweet Valley High.” He portrayed Todd Wilkins on the popular series. Bittle’s other television credits include recent appearances in “Shameless,” “The New Normal” and “Bones.”
Earlier today, Prospect Park announced that actress Julia Barr will reprise her role of Brooke English on TOLN’s “All My Children,” which resumes production on Monday, February 25.
Barr, who last appeared during the finale episode of the soap opera’s ABC run in September 2011, has signed on as a series regular, a Prospect Park representative tells Soap Opera Network. The actress had previously appeared on the soap in a recurring capacity after being dropped from contract status in December 2006.
Reporting by Errol Lewis and Scotty Gore
As recently noted, Prospect Park’s “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” are currently in the casting phase of their reboots as we get closer to their expected first film date, which Soap Opera Network has learned will be in Mid February for both series in Stamford, CT.
Sadly, some of the roles being cast appear to be recasts of characters from the ABC eras of the shows. In addition to the expected recasting of “One Life to Live’s” Matthew Buchanan and Destiny Evans (last played by Eddie Alderson and Shenell Edmonds), “All My Children” is also said to be recasting the roles of JR Chandler (last played by Jacob Young) and Cassandra Foster (last portrayed by Yaya DaCosta). For those that may not recall, Cassandra is the adopted daughter of Angela Hubbard (Debbi Morgan), who the good doctor found abandoned in a dumpster during her run on ABC’s “The City” back in the mid-1990′s. The character returned as an 18 year-old seeking comfort from mommy dearest in 2008.
Although many had speculated that when a gunshot went off during the series finale of “All My Children” on ABC in September 2011, in a quasi “Dallas” redux where instead of “Who Shot JR?” it was “Who Did JR Shoot?” it appears as though the character of JR Chandler is very much alive and not in jail?!
According to Soap Central, “All My Children” is gearing up to recast the role of JR Chandler, last played by Jacob Young, who is currently starring on CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful.” The site says that despite a recent casting breakdown utilizing the name “Logan” in a scene with a character named “Faith,” the role being cast is in actuality that of JR.
Beginning tonight at 7:00 PM ET/PT, SOAPnet presents a “General Hospital” marathon dubbed “Quartermania,” which will provide fans with five hours of classic episodes of the ABC Daytime drama series and the crazy antics of the Quartermaine family. In attendance will be some of your favorite soap stars from “GH” past including Jacob Young as Lucky Spencer, Natalia Livingston as Emily Quartermaine, Wally Kurth as Ned Ashton, Robyn Richards as Maxie Jones and Linda Dano as Rea Cummings, with fan refreshers made available for upcoming returnees Lynn Herring as Lucy Coe and Robin Christopher as Skye Quartermaine.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Monday, March 19, “The Talk” will celebrate 25 years of CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful,” with a special commemorative show featuring much of the current cast including John McCook, Texas Battle, Jacob Young, Katherine Kelly Lang, Kimberly Matula and Heather Tom.
“The ‘B&B ‘cast will join ‘The Talk’ co-hosts in studio to discuss the legacy of the show and how it has touched and entertained viewers for the last 25 years. They’ll also look back on ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’s’ most memorable show moments, both on-camera and behind the scenes,” the network said in a press release.
“The Talk,” hosted by personalities Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood and Aisha Tyler airs Weekdays at 2:00 PM ET/1:00 PM PT/CT and “The Bold and the Beautiful” airs weekdays at 1:30 PM ET/12:30 PM PT/CT on the CBS Television Network. Bradley P. Bell serves as executive producer and head writer of the drama series.
(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.