With six Outstanding Lead Actress Daytime Emmy Awards under her belt — or rather, on her shelf — “One Life to Live’s” Erika Slezak (Victoria Lord) is one woman to be respected. So when she says TOLN’s version of the iconic show she’s been a part of for more than 40 years is going to be stellar, you’d damn well better believe her!
“I think we’re in great shape. I really do,” the actress reveals. “I have ultimate faith in [co-headwriter] Susan Horgan. She emailed me a few weeks ago, and she said, ‘You’re going to love this. This is so exciting.” I had lunch with her right after she took the job, and we talked for like three hours just about where the show was when it ended, and she already had so many crazy, wonderful ideas, and I thought, ‘This is going to be great.’”
As previously reported, “All My Children” has named Marlene McPherson and Elizabeth Snyder as co-head writers. What’s so significant about their hiring is that this marks the first time since 2003 that a daytime soap opera has had two females leading its writing team. The last time was with Ellen Weston and Carolyn Culliton co-head writing CBS’ “Guiding Light.” Prior to that was in 2002, when Millee Taggert and Culliton also co-head wrote for “GL.”
Sure it looks generic (and that’s just us being nice) and may not be the final product, but TradeMarkia.com has a posting on its website which shows that Prospect Park Networks, LLC has filed a trademark on the TOLN logo. There is also a posting for TOLN’s more widely known name – the OnLine Network.
On Monday, February 11, Paos Revolution, the team behind the upcoming “On Air” film starring “All My Children’s” Jordi Vilasuso (Dr. Griffin Castillo) and Alicia Minshew (ex-Kendall Hart) announced the launch of their official website. “The launch of paosrevolution.com is the first step of our plan to connect fans to the soap actors and insiders they love. Founding partners Jordi Vilasuso, Dock (Jeff Dockweiler) and John Homa are committed to creating an interactive actor friendly environment,” said a press release announcing the launch.
Per recent comments made by TV Line‘s Matt Webb Mitovich, it looks like Prospect Park’s plans to air new episodes of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” via its pending TOLN.com and TheOnLineNetwork.com web portal may not be happening after all. This is apparently as a result of today’s announcement that Hulu and its Hulu Plus subdivision, along with Apple’s iTunes, will be the digital places to be plugged (or unplugged if you have wireless capabilities) into for fans of the soap operas. It was initially expected that with the Hulu and Apple deals in place, TOLN.com and TheOnLineNetwork.com would be used for additional viewing opportunities as was done with the shows when they aired on ABC.com and Hulu.com.
According to a posting on his facebook page, “One Life to Live” co-head writer Thom Racina let it slip that the online reboot of the series may hit the web as soon as April. “I sincerely hope you will support us and tell your friends and start watching ‘One Life to Live’ come April!” the writer stated in his message to his followers.
The likelihood of “OLTL” (and sister soap “All My Children”) returning to your screens (albeit computerized versions - for now) is seen as being in line with Prospect Park’s TOLN (The OnLine Network) internet hubs projections of beginning production on both series as soon as next month. With much of “One Life to Live’s” cast and writing team now signed on along with “AMC’s” signings, a two month ahead filming schedule would put both series inline with NBC’s “Days of our Lives,” which is currently the only American daily serial that films two or more months ahead of airdate.
Prospect Park executives Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank have confirmed to Soap Opera Network that the production company has signed “One Life to Live” cast members Tuc Watkins (David), Josh Kelly (Cutter), Florencia Lozano (Tea), and Shenell Edmonds (Destiny) for the online version of the ABC soap pending final Guild agreements.
In a statement, the company said “After the ABC television network finale airs in January, ‘One Life to Live’s’ David, Cutter, Tea and Destiny will be reunited with previously announced characters including Erika Slezak’s Victoria and Kassie DePaiva’s Blair Cramer.”
With the signing of Watkins, Kelly, Lozano and Edmonds, Prospect Park has now signed a total of 13 current “One Life to Live” cast members including the aforementioned Slezak and DePaiva. On Friday, September 30, Prospect Park announced deals with Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan Banks), Kelley Missal (Danielle Rayburn), Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning) and Jerry VerDorn (Clint Buchanan). The company previously announced the signings of Ted King (Thomas Delgado), Michael Easton (John McBain) on Tuesday, September 6.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Prospect Park continues to forge ahead with plans for their new Online Network in preparation of its January launch by signing a new deal with Universal Music Group. As part of deal, music from UMG’s record and publishing companies will be featured in upcoming episodes of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” when the soaps transition to the new online venue early next year.
The agreement will also provide fans with an opportunity to purchase songs used in both shows, as well as access to exclusive online content. According to Prospect Park executives Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, “As we continue to develop programming for our online network, we are taking every facet of production into consideration to create a premium product for our viewers. Previously these programs have not focused on, or had limited contemporary music and artist involvement, and through UMG we can deliver fans from around the world access to some of the world’s most popular music and artists all leading to better production, storylines and program experience.”
In recent years Kwatinetz and UMG have collaborated with “One Life to Live” in episodes featuring Snoop Dogg, One Republic, Mary J. Blige, and Puddle of Mudd.
“This unique arrangement with ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ offers our artists and songwriters a special opportunity for exposure on two of the most iconic soap operas ever. The online network for the programs is an exciting new vehicle for consumers to connect with our artists and their work, and purchase music seamlessly as they hear it on each episode. We look forward to working with Prospect to bring the best music to our shows’ fans,” UMG President & COO, Zach Horowitz stated in a press release.
Prospect Park secured the the rights to “AMC” and “OLTL” from the Disney/ABC Domestic Television Group back in July, as part of a multi-year, multi-platform licensing agreement. Both shows are expected to begin airing on The Online Network (TOLN) in mid-January.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Nearly three months after licensing the rights to “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” from ABC, Prospect announces the launching of a new web channel, The Online Network, which will air both soaps along with the upstart company’s other current and future programming.
According to a press release, the new site will launch in January “with the goal of eventually providing viewers with a full programming selection of first-run, long form content on an anytime, anywhere basis.”
“We are creating TOLN to conveniently deliver fans of quality television long-form programming anytime and anywhere. With broadband availability in 70% of US households and the proliferation of internet enabled televisions, DVRs and wireless devices, ultimately we believe that online distribution provides the best platform to access 30 and 60 minute entertainment content. The viewer response to the shows we have licensed has been tremendous, and we have much more in development to appeal to a broad audience base,” adds Prospect Park co-founders Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz.
Furthermore, it appears that Canadian fans of the soaps will be in luck, as ABC Soaps in Depth tweets that our friends north of the border will be able to watch “AMC” and “OLTL” on The Online Network as well.
In related news, TVLine is reporting that “at launch time TOLN will be strictly ad-supported, like most online video hubs,” however that has yet to be confirmed by Prospect Park.
Fans wanting to receive updates regarding The Online Network, as well as its show (including “AMC” and “OLTL”), can register with your e-mail address or cell phone number at www.TOLN.com or www.theonlinenetwork.com.
“All My Children” aired its final episode on ABC last Friday, while “One Life to Live” will last end its network run on January 13, 2012. Both shows are expected to resume with Prospect Park early next year.
(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.