Prospect Park today announced an initial listing of writers, producers and cast members who have signed on for the online reboots of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” The company has formally announced Susie Bedsow Horgan and Thom Racina as head writers of “OLTL.” Thorsten Kaye and Jill Larson bring the “AMC” cast count to 7 stars signed. “OLTL” adds Erika Slezak, Tuc Watkins, Kassie DePaiva, Florencia Lozano, Melissa Archer, Hillary B. Smith, Kelley Missal, Josh Kelly and Andrew Trischitta, who join previously signed Robert S. Woods, Robin Strasser and Jerry verDorn. With the exception of Strasser, Woods, and Smith, Prospect Park has secured most of the actors signed on during the first round of plans to reboot the soaps back in 2011.
The list of former “One Life to Live” stars signing on to continue their roles in the Prospect Park reboot of the cancelled drama series continues to grow. According to published reports, Robert S. Woods has become the latest “One Life” vet to help the soap transition to the web.
The resurrection of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” has moved another step closer to reality with published reports that the production company has hired Alison Goodman as casting director for the defunct ABC soaps.
Robin Strasser has become only the second “One Life to Live” alum to announce their decision to bring their Llanview alter ego over to Prospect Park’s upcoming online revival of the now defunct ABC daytime serial, making the announcement this morning via her Twitter page.
As he did back in 2011 when news of Prospect Park’s plan to move “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to the web first hit, actor Jerry verDorn has announced that he will be returning to Llanview once more as Clint Buchanan. The actor made the announcement yesterday evening on his Facebook page:
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” gets ‘canceled’ for the second time in seven months as Prospect Park breaks the hearts of the show’s loyal fanbase.
What a roller coaster ride of emotions for “OLTL” fans in the past month. First the show tapes its final episode for its television run on Friday, November 18 in preparation for its move online with Prospect Park, only to be told five days later via a press release that the upstart production company was scrapping plans to transition “One Life” and its sister soap “All My Children” to the Internet due to a lack of funding.
This was an especially hard pill for many “One Life to Live” viewers to swallow, given that the news came only four months after it was announced that Prospect Park had licensed the rights to “OLTL” and “AMC” from ABC after the network unceremoniously axed the soaps in April after 43 and 41 years on the air, respectively.
Further adding salt to the wounds of ticked off fans was that the announcement to dump “One Life to Live” came only weeks after it was revealed that the company had decided to focus solely on the soap while keeping “All My Children” on the back burner for the foreseeable future. Add to this the fact that Prospect Park had reached agreements in the past few months with 13 “OLTL” cast members, along with the show’s head writer and executive producer to continue the show after it left ABC.
Talk about a feeling of déjà vu. My first reaction to the news about Prospect Park dumping “OLTL” was “not again.” Only recently had I begun to work my way out of the five stages of grief over the loss of my favorite soap opera, which I have grown up watching since I was a little kid. I had nearly come to terms with the cancelation and was coping with the fact that although the soap wouldn’t continue that my “Life” (no pun intended) would go on. Then came the news that Prospect Park was swooping in to save the day. After being skeptical at first, I slowly became lulled into a false sense of security, excited about “OLTL” getting another chance. I was thrilled at the possibility of still being able to see characters like Viki and Blair, who have become like a part of my family over the years. I was intrigued that the thought of actually setting down in front of my computer on a regular basis to watch “OLTL” and other shows. And most of all I was optimistic that the show would thrive online and continue to enjoy its current level of success (so to speak).
Then the rugged was pulled out from me…again. Going through the emotions again, I still hold out a small glimmer of hope that another miracle will take place, saving my favorite soap once more. However, this time around I am also becoming more rational in my understanding that “One Life to Live,” like all other things in life, must eventually come to an end. Nothing lasts forever, no matter how much we hope they will. Just like losing a beloved family member, pet, or possession, we have to learn when and how to let go of something that we have loved and cherished for so very long. And, while it may be painful, time will eventually heal those wounds.
“One Life to Live” may be “only a television show” but to myself and millions of other fans out there, it has and always will hold a special place in our hearts. The characters are like family, and Llanview is like our second hometown. Throughout the years, we have laughed, cried, hurt, and mourned alongside the residents of the fictional Philadelphia suburb. We rallied around Viki when she had breast cancer, encouraged the Cramer girls as they tried to stay sane in a family with a history of mental illness, sympathized with Shane when he was being bullied, and learned about intolerance as Llanview was torn apart over homosexuality. We cried when Megan died, became depressed when Asa passed on, and smiled when each baby was born. We became Llanview and Llanview became us. So, while to many it may be only a TV show, to us it is part of the family. That’s why the 2:00 pm ET hour (1:00 pm for me) will never be the same.
And, like family, “OLTL” fans need to come together to celebrate the show’s long history, and allow it to bow out gracefully and not needlessly suffer through frivolous lawsuits, ineffective boycotts, threats of violence, and harassing letters, phone calls, and e-mails to ABC, Prospect Park, and others. Let’s show everyone what soap fans are really like and give “One Life to Live” a proper sendoff like Viki and the rest of Llanview deserve. That is the least we can do for four decades of memories. Sure we’re angry, but those types of things will get you nowhere. And at the end of the day, it will all be for naught as “OLTL” will still be canceled.
Let’s make these last seven weeks that “One Life to Live” is on the air the highest rated the show has seen in years and show ABC that they were wrong in canceling it and Prospect Park wrong in thinking that there aren’t people out there willing to help fund its continuation online. That is the least we can do for “One Life” for all that it has given us. I know that’s what I’m going to do anyway. And I hope you will do the same.
As with the show itself, my “One Life to Live” reporting duties here at Soap Opera Network will also soon be coming to an end, which includes this column. Barring any last minute changes, look for the final edition of “My View of Llanview” on January 30, just over two weeks after “OLTL” airs its final ABC episode. Thank you to all my faithful readers over the years, who have endured all my incessant ramblings and opinions. It has been one hell of a ride to say the least.
Moving on, no one guessed (either correctly or incorrectly) the answers to the trivia questions from the previous column. So I’m going to give you a second chance. Here are the questions again: 1. What role on “OLTL” did Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan, “AMC”) once audition for? Before taking over the character of Cristian Vega, what small role did David Fumero play? 3. What did Jerry verDorn wear to his audition for the role of Clint Buchanan that disappeared before his first episode aired? I’ll have the answers in the December 15 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. One man is forced to make a tough choice. Someone sees things from a whole new prospective. More than one secret is revealed. And one Llanview family spends Christmas with someone unexpected.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Stay safe and warm.
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — A compilation of Twitter and Facebook posts from the cast of “One Life to Live” following word that Prospect Park was dropping plans to resurrect the show online only five days after the soap wrapped production on its ABC run.
Kristen Alderson (Starr): “Extremely sad sad news… No #prospectpark deal for AMC or OLTL. So many lives affected by this… #RIPoltl”
Hillary B. Smith (Nora): “I want to b careful what I say right now. I am so sad for the fans. I am so sad for all of us who were robbed of the 7 months to plan. I wish there had been more communication. This was not about AFTRA! The guilds and unions were talking. The endings were changed to accomodate the move. I wish they would have left us alone. So sad!!!! no, I believe they did what they could, just had no idea what a soap cost. Don’t hate them for ignorance. Endings were changed! So unprofessional. You will al still be satisfied. The ride to the end is still worth it!!! I promise. Meanwhile, LONG LIVE VENICE!!! no but ABC chose this deal. It was on the interrnet. I still feel that ABC will regret this decision. I love you all! I m sorry! But the show is worth the ride. Enjoy through January!!!
Mark Lawson (Brody): “Sorry to hear Prospect Park was unable to pull it off. A sad day today for all the fans. A sad day for all of us who were part of the One Life family. But I know we all brought our best these last few months and can be proud of how we finished the game. Thanks OLTL for all you taught me.”
Michael Easton (John McBain): “I’m sorry to say it’s done. Still Much to be thankful for. Happy Thansgiving. I love you all. MY THOUGHTS ARE WITH ALL OF YOU TONIGHT…I know how disappointing this news is to many of you. We tried to fight the good fight, we fought to the end to get the ratings up, but it wasn’t enough. We’re sorry we let you down. I just wanted to thank you all for the years of kindness, love and support you’ve shown me and my family. If you get a chance at some point, maybe say a prayer for the wonderful crew members of “One Life To Live”, many of whom are supporting large families, that they may find work soon. God Bless. Happy Thanksgiving.”
David A. Gregory (Ford): “So sad to hear. Again, thank you everyone for all your support… Keep watching! Its gonna be a great finale week starting January 9th.”
Robin Strasser (ex-Dorian): “I know NOTHING about Prospect Park’s purported pick-up-or- drop out of #OLTL-I depend on SOD+SID+other postings. If I knew-I’d tell YOU. I’m rooting Prospect Park finds the funding, even if I was not picked to be a start-up contract player. Hoping good things happen for ALL. Sad+disappointed-tho not surprised. Statement sounds a bit blame game- Actors/Directors/Writers terminated by ABC were amped 2 rock 4 PP! I believe OLTL actors who accepted PP offer from git-go would’ve knocked it out of ballpark right through last tape day-even without that. #OLTL cast: talented, smart, great looking, edgy, uniquely+singularly creative. How much do I admire and miss them?-let me count the ways.”
Shenaz Treasury (Rama): “OLTL ended, Im so bummed. Now I may really need to be in LA.”
Jerry verDorn (Clint): “Hello everybody.Thank you all for your kind birthday wishes. I enjoyed the day prepping for the Thanksgiving Feast. Much to be thankful for and a little something to grumble about. Don’t blame Prospect Park but rather blame the economy. They lost some financing that was too hard to replace. Start-up money is near impossible to find these days. Who knows what may happen. I guess my birthday present this year is retirement. Love to all.”
Kelley Missal (Dani): “Just saw the news that #OLTL won’t be moving on to the Internet after all. so sad but at least they gave it the chance it deserved!!”
Matt Walton (ex-Eli): “My heart goes out to my #AMC and #OLTL alumni. What a backwards world we live in right now. A bold response is coming soon.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — December may bring the first signs of the winter season, but as the month begins things will be heating up on “One Life to Live” when several familiar faces return to the canvas as the show’s ABC run prepares to come to an end.
The week begins on Monday, December 5 when Matthew Conlon next appears as Tomas’ (Ted King) acquaintance M. Claude Calmar, when John McBain (Michael Easton) becomes suspicious of what the shifty Frenchman has to say.
On Tuesday, December 6, January LaVoy reprises her role as the pie-totting waitress Noelle when she and Moe (John Rue) have a special surprise for Shane (Austin Williams). In the same episode, after taking a brief hiatus from “OLTL,” Amanda Setton reappears as an incarcerated Kimberly Andrews (aka Aubrey Wentworth) when the character receives a visit from some unexpected guests. Meanwhile, Nigel (Peter Barlett) gets an earful from Clint (Jerry verDorn) about the women in his life.
Brian Kerwin returns as Viki’s most recent ex-husband Charlie Banks on Monday, December 12, when he encounters someone from his past while at the Bon Jour Café in Paris, Texas.
Tuc Watkins is back yet again as David Vickers Buchanan on Tuesday, December 13 when he pays a surprise visit to his family. Once in town, however, he is quickly sought out by Roxy (Ilene Kristen), who has an usual request for him when she asks him to help save something very important to her.
All this…plus as the residents of Llanview settle in to watch their favorite soap “Fraternity Row,” will fans receive a special treat? Tune in to find out!
In Other News…
Brittany Underwood (Langston) reportedly shot scenes on “OLTL’s” final ABC tape date (Friday, November 18) alongside her onscreen beau Jason Tam (Markko).
David A. Gregory (Ford) has posted on Facebook that his upcoming [tentative] airdates include November 23, December 13 and 19, and January 5, 6, 9, and 10.
Farah Fath (Stacy/Gigi) reveals on Twitter that the “First scene I ever taped on #OLTL was w/ the queen Erika Slezak. Last scene I will ever tape was w/ Erika Slezak.”
Nick Choksi (Vimal) states that “there’s about 10 more episodes of ‘OLTL’ that I am in between now and the 13th of Jan when it all come to a close.”
Peter Austin Noir who, as we previously reported, will play Statesville Prison Johnny Rocket in January, has posted more information about his upcoming “OLTL” appearance on his website. The actor writes that the show contacted him on October 26 and that he taped his scenes on November 10. Look for him to appear on screen on Tuesday, January 3.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — A collection of Twitter and Facebook posts from current and former cast and crew members of “One Life to Live” during and following the show’s final days of production on its ABC Daytime run, which wrapped production last Friday.
Kristen Alderson (Starr): “Tomorrow [Friday] is the big day #LastdayofOLTL VERY strange feeling, harder than I could’ve ever imagined. Can’t wait for the wrap party though. Eddie [Alderson], Hillary [Nora], and Bob [Woods] last day today. So blessed to be with them today for it. It’s heartbreaking but so special. I want to thank all of our AMAZING/LOYAL fans for being so extremely supportive through all of the years&for today! Our cast partied their butts off until 4AM last night!…going to be hard falling asleep earlier now…lol”
Brittany Underwood (Langston): “Listening to OLTL musicals all morning. can’t believe the last day of OLTL as we know it has arrived :-/ thanks for all the memories. Just wanted to apologize to everyone who waited outside the studio for us. Couldn’t bear 2 say goodbye. Way 2 emotional 2day. Love you all. Yesterday was perfect. I got to be a part of something so amazing for 5 years and to be there for the end was truly special. So blessed 2 have worked with such amazing people.”
Jason Tam (ex-Markko): “Going over my lines for tomorrow [Friday]. So proud to have been a part of OLTL and can’t wait to be in the studio one last time.”
Eddie Alderson (Matthew): “Tomorrow [Friday] is my last day of filming of #OLTL..this is going to be one of the hardest days I’ve ever had. So thankful for all the years though. Wow..thank you so much everyone! You all have been more than amazing to my family over the years, we appreciate you all and will forever! ‘Don’t be sad it’s over, smile because it happened.’ That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through..so upsetting. Every new beginning comes from another beginnings end. Wrap party time. Let’s go. After party bitchezzz. Well I guess you could say we went out with a bang.”
Bree Williamson (Jessica): “Today last day….. Tomorrow first day. Thanks so much for all of your thoughtful tweets!! They mean so so much. Jerry verDorn [Clint] told me he loved me today during taping and I lost it. To all the fans outside, thank you for your support! I am so sorry I had to run. I was trying to get home to be a mom before party time. Ouch……. Dear new York, thank you for giving me perfect days like these before I have to leave you.”
Melissa Archer (Natalie): “I just want to take a moment to thank all of you. Your support means so much. 10 wonderful years!! When one door closes another opens…”
Lenny Platt (Nate): “Last day heading into #OLTL. I’m grateful to have learned so much in my short tenure. Honor to have been part of it. Thanks to the fans. At least now i can keep my shirt on and don’t have to spend 2 hours in the makeup chair getting my extra nipples covered… So much change today. Also Regis‘s [Philbin] last day. Now where am I gonna go to get a lovable little man yelling at me 1st thing in the morning?”
Hillary B. Smith (Nora): “My emotions are over flowing!!! This is getting really sad. It’s our last few days of taping on ABC. We will be together again!! Hard to know when you have a cold if your eyes are running because you are sick or you are sad! I m here 4 my last tape day on OLTL for ABC. Last night we wewre told that we must remove all of our belongings from the dressing rooms. I have all this fan memoribilia, pictures of me with the bo and Nora Fans, jello shot girls, animals, cast mates, presents from fans. How? I love you all, you crazy people!!! You have kept me sane. Is it possible for insanity to bring clarity? thank you for 20 years of YOU! All I ask is that you watch us to the end. There is really good stuff. And then you can turn your sets off or turn the channel. Hey! Good Morning my tweets! It is Saturday morning and I am officially unemployed! Wow! Had a gr8 send off last night! Danced like a fool with my peeps. Cried like a fool, but laughed as well! Great party! You must keep watching OLTL. fantastic all the way thru to end! So good! Nora is not gone, she is out in the yard gardening… Okay ordering the gardner around. I can’t bear the idea that she might b gone. someone has to water the plants on the roof garden. Oh yea…. There is a huge roof garden.”
Shenell Edmonds (Destiny): “Tomorrow [Friday] is my last day on OLTL with the most amazing cast and crew I have ever worked with! I am so grateful the time I have had with them! Wow. I just started crying, realizing that this is my last day of taping until I move on w/ #PP . I really didnt think it would be this hard. thank u guys for the amazing support u have given, not just me but the entire show. U guy are awesome an we will never forget. Omg. Emotions r running high today. So happy an grateful to hav the opportunity to be part of this family!!!”
Farah Fath (Gigi/Stacy): “Sitting in my dressing room on my last day at #OLTL 3 more scenes & thats a wrap! Feeling so very thankful for the time I’ve had here. First scene I ever taped on #OLTL was w/ the queen Erika Slezak [Viki]. Last scene I will ever tape was w/ Erika Slezak. To my fans: From the bottom of my heart, thank you SO much for your support over the years. My 12 years on daytime is because of you all.”
Crystal Hunt (ex-Stacy): “Don’t know if anyone’s popping by the OLTL wrap party tomorrow [Friday], if so, see u there. Btw the wrap party is at Capital, not the studio. Last night was sad but sooo much fun!”
Kassie DePaiva (Blair): “This has been a sad day. I’m truly grateful 4 this awesome journey. I’ve had an amazing time in Llanview….& really hate 2 see it end. But it was great and my life is better because of the lives that have touched mine. Thank you OLTL/Blair fans for 18 years of goodness. It’s because of you that it has lasted this long. Until we meet again… Xoxo”
Andrew Trischitta (Jack): “Thanks to all those fans waiting outside the studio! I could never have done that it was freezing. greeted the fans outside the studio. Starting up the after party.. This is gonna be a long night. What am I going to do now that we stopped filming? Kelly [Missal, Dani] cause I miss you so much I just won’t be able to survive. Haha in a few pictures of me from the wrap party, my tie was obnoxiously long.. Because little Patrick [Gibbons Jr.] (Sam) was pulling it, I didn’t know. not that many cried there. But it was very sad.”
Kelley Missal (Dani): “thank you to all the fans for your incredible support and dedication to #OLTL!!! you mean the world.”
Nick Choksi (Vimal): “Incidentally, today [Thursday] is also my last day of filming! That’s a wrap! Thanks, OLTL, for a fantastic time and a hell of a year! The last day of taping is Friday, we’re all closing out. Today is just my last round, my last dance with the disco king! Thanks, everyone! Clarification: I’ll still be in episodes between now and the big Finale on Jan 13. The taping of it all is finished, they shot the last scenes yesterday and I taped my last scenes on Wednesday! there’s about 10 more episodes of OLTL that I am in between now and the 13th of Jan when it all come to a close. thanks for the good wishes. Happy Thanksgiving, America!”
Shenaz Treasury (Rama): “And it’s a wrap for OLTL. Just walked out of the ABC Studios for the last time [Thursday]. Emotional day for everyone on the show. I was just there a little over a year and I’m a weepy mess. Think about all the people who have been with it for 30 years! So grateful to have been part of such a wonderful team. Thank you for being my family in New York!”
Robin Strasser (ex-Dorian): “Fans couldn’t save AMC/OLTL but they FOUGHT back hard-Taking action-they created a shift in a mis-conceived plan. With LOVE-it’s never over. My heart feels this IS Black-est Friday. My mind-confused by rumors about Prospect Park. My spirit is proud of being part of OLTL’s history. Saw promo 4 a Charity Event-Chicago on LAST OLTL airing ABC Daytime. Zoicks! OMG! Last show is going to be 1/13. YO? that’s Friday the 13th!”
Gina Tognoni (ex-Kelly): “Going to the One Life Wrap Party / follow the show y”all Xx. Today last day of taping for entire One Life cast and crew. Today the last day of taping One Life.The amazing cast and crew god bless / great things ahead for ALL in the new year no doubt!! Going to the wrap party 4 sure.”
David A. Gregory (Ford): “Heading to the studio for the last day of OLTL. Thank you all so much for your support; it means the world. I was only supposed to be around a few episodes and you turned it into a few years. Thank you guys!” Gregory also posted this video thank you to his fans on Facebook.
Mark Lawson (Brody): “Studying for Brody’s last scenes for ABC. I can’t believe it’s here. The last three and a half years have flown by. I’ve learned so much and am so thankful for all the people I’ve been privilaged to work with. Above all, I’m overwhelmed by the support of the fans. Your love of the show, of Brody, and of me as an actor have made this ride worth it. Thank you.”
Carolina Bermudez (Blanca): “Sitting in my makeup chair for the last time [Thursday] at One Life to Live & it’s creator Agnes Nixon is sitting next to me… I’ll never forget this. Headed to the #OLTL wrap party to get my drink on!”
Tonja Walker (Alex): “Fun last night…Fun last night…me Ilene and Jimmy” Ilene [Kristen] and Jimmy [DePaiva].”
Catherine Hickland (ex-Lindsay): “Good morning, Kittens! Today belongs to #OLTL. Sending love to cast, crew, fans & all who supported the show throughout the years! BIG love To all of my brothers and sisters at OLTL. God Speed to the new and improved. Blessings on each cast&crew member. TY Frank V 4all.”
Fiona Hutchison (ex-Gabrielle): “Saying Goodbye. Goodbye One life to Live… We’ll miss you on the network… saying goodbye to One Life to Live on the ABC Network… as well as so much of daytime these past few years.”
January LaVoy (ex-Noelle): “To my friends and colleagues at One Life to Live…all the best. 44 endlessly entertaining years! From my grandmother’s knee to Paris, Texas, I was so fortunate to be a part of that family. Love and congratulations to everyone.”
Thom Christopher (ex-Carlo): “To everyone at “One Life To Live” let it be said that every individual involved in this show, both past and present, have added themselves to the collective memory of millions of viewers. The decades of this show and its’ success speak a million words of praise to everyones creative labor…how proud I am to have been one of its’ laborers. I join in the sadness to see it go dark but look at the greatlight it leaves behind..my love to all and the thanks for the journey.” And from “OLTL” Director Bruce S. Cooperman, “Hi Thom- you were definitely a part of my happy memories at OLTL. I will never forget the great times we had!! All the best to you and Judy. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!”
Nafessa Williams (ex-Deanna): “OLTL memories. I hear it’s lots of #OLTL supporters outside the studio. Sending my love to everybody from LA;) xoxo.”
Tika Sumpter (ex-Layla): “Goodbye #OLTL , it was nice meeting you and being apart of your T.V. history.”
Erin Torpey (ex-Jessica): “Thinking about my OLTL family today. Love you all.”
Crystal Chappell (ex-Maggie): “I miss One Life already. What a wonderful show! Thinking of everyone there. Enjoy the party tonight! Will toast in your honor.”
Terrell Tilford (ex-Greg): “To All of My ONE LIFE TO LIVE past-castmates, the crew and the entire awesome production team, Congratulations on your great job… Today may be the last day of THIS, but I look forward to the first day of 2.0 for all of you! Keep it movin’!!!”
Paul S. Glass (“OLTL” Music Director): “Thanks so much..I really appreciate it! I’m so proud of all we’ve done & hope to have the chance of doing even more! Can’t say enough about the people in that studio. Great friends, incredible talents and even better people. one family. We did things that people thought we were crazy for even trying and things that were impossible…year after year! So fortunate to have EPs (especially Frank [Valentini]! ) that always wanted to push the music to the limits! Their support made everything possible. Have had such great material and performances to work with! Thanks & thanks 4 you all your support! Nothing like the feeling of putting music 2 video & having it all come together! I still have 26 shows to do before the end of ABC run in January.”
Julia Davis (“OLTL” Make-Up Artist): “Good morning! Headed to Llanview. Today will always be remembered. So many wonderful memories… As we turn the pages of time, we discover hidden mysteries and triumphs in each new chapter. Wow! So many Fans outside. And its officially a Good Night & Good bye to Llanview.”
Bruce S. Cooperman (long-time “OLTL” Director): “This is a sad day in television history. No, not for Regis, who will take his millions and walk away into the sunset, but for all the hard working people at One Life to Live. After spending 30 years working on the show, I made some great friendships along the way. Even though I was tossed out after all that time, I too, would like to say what a great way to spend most of my adult life and I wouldn’t change it for the world. There are only some people that I wish nothing but the best in the future and for the others….well I don’t want to sound bitter but ….. As Bob Hope said, ‘Thanks for the memories.’”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Prospect Park decides to move forward with plans for “One Life to Live,” while delaying the launch of “All My Children” for the time being. But why the sudden change of plans?
As Soap Opera Network Editor-in-Chief Errol Lewis expressed over the weekend, recent actions by the upstart online production company have made their decision obvious. To date, pending final agreements with the various unions, 13 cast members have agreed to make the transition with the show from ABC to Prospect Park, compared with only three for “All My Children.” Furthermore, “One Life” will keep its current head writer and executive producer and, at least for the short term, still tape episodes in the same New York City studio.
But what are the reasons for that? Some have argued that Prospect Park is giving “All My Children” some additional time off as a way to preserve it. In this argument, “One Life to Live” is turned into somewhat of a guinea pig, with its failure or success determining if and when Prospect Park would decide to debut a rebooted “AMC.”
Despite being the biased “OLTL” fan that I am, I cannot accept that assumption as a valid argument. First, “OLTL” has been the stronger of the two shows in the months leading up to “AMC’s” final episode on ABC in September. “One Life to Live” moved up in the ratings, routinely breaking even with or outperforming both “All My Children” and “General Hospital.” Creatively, the show was on an upswing as well, luring back fan favorite Roger Howarth to step back into his signature role as Todd Manning.
Also, if “AMC” was supposedly the stronger of the two, why was it’s final ABC airdate scheduled nearly four months ahead of “OLTL,” therefore giving it a momentum-killing hiatus when only a weekend will separate “One Life to Live” from the ABC and Prospect Park eras? The days of “All My Children” being more of a household or brand name are long since gone. Outside of Susan Lucci, who has become somewhat of a caricature in recent years, the show is about recognizable as “OLTL.” And speaking of Lucci, it worth noting that, while she was/is allegedly holding out for more money and fewer hours, “One Life” grand dame Erika Slezak was among the first four cast members to sign up with Prospect Park.
I sometimes wonder if maybe “One Life to Live” was the only soap that Prospect Park really wanted to license from ABC, and the network played hardball with them by forcing them into taking “All My Children” as well. Yeah, I know, probably just some wishful thinking on my part, but stranger things have happened. However, regardless of whatever went into Prospect Park’s decision, as a “OLTL” fan I am excited and optimistic about what lies ahead for the fictional town of Llanview.
From the flood of returning cast members and familiar faces in the coming months, to the show’s upcoming storyline involving the cancellation and fan campaign to ‘save’ “Fraternity Row,” to awaiting the start of the Prospect Park era, I am anxious to see what the future may hold. “One Life to Live” is back in its groove again, and now is beginning to show some (keyword ‘some’) resemblances to the “OLTL” I grew up with back in the 80′s and 90′s.
Moving on, congratulations to “CBRVA83,” who correctly guessed the answers to the trivia questions from the previous column. In case you missed the clues, here there are again with the answers: 1. What small role did Peter Bartlett (Nigel) play in the film “Meet the Parents?” Answer: An employee at an animal shelter. 2. To which magazine has Andrea Evans (Tina) served as a contributor? Answer: Healthy Cooking. 3. What former “Andy Griffith Show” actor did Barbara Rhoades (Irene) co-star with in a 1968 Western, and what was the name of the movie? Answer: Don Knotts, “The Shakiest Gun in the West.”
Now it’s time to shake things up a bit and do some more trivia. 1. What role on “OLTL” did Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan, “AMC”) once audition for? Before taking over the character of Cristian Vega, what small role did David Fumero play? 3. What did Jerry verDorn wear to his audition for the role of Clint Buchanan that disappeared before his first episode aired? I’ll have the answers in the November 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. Unexpected couples lock lips. One family member probes into another’s mindset. Someone learns that things aren’t always what they seem. And an old flame has a few tricks up their sleeves while cozying up to the object of their affections.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone! Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and don’t eat too much turkey!
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…