If you think riding along during “All My Children’s” transition from network television to its new Internet home has felt a bit like a rollercoaster, you’re not alone. Jill Larson (Opal Cortlandt) agrees that the past few months have been a wild ride. But it’s one she’s enjoyed and would do over and over again. “It’s been very exciting, and I feel so fortunate to be part of something that is really pioneering in the world of broadcast,” she says. “There is an excitement, there is an investment [and] there is a commitment to doing everything we can to… bring these shows back to when they were at the pinnacle of their success.”
Earlier today Paos Revolution (aka: Soap Revolution flipped) announced that actor Ray MacDonnell is scheduled to make a return visit to Pine Valley as Dr. Joe Martin. It was previously stated by Michael E. Knight (Tad Martin), in a recent interview with Soap Opera Digest, that MacDonnell would likely be appearing on the reboot of the soap. “I think the Martins are going to be well-represented with Cady and I hear Ray. I’m sorry if Ricky [Paull Goldin, ex-Jake] won’t be. I’m blessed, personally, that the Martins are going to be represented,” said Knight.
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.
Debbi Morgan, who on Saturday, January 5 announced she was returning to “All My Children” when it moves to the web later this year via Prospect Park, may have let the cat of the bag for one of her co-stars after responding to numerous tweets from excited fans. In response to Tweeter
@irishbangers, Morgan said, “It’s just terrific news, isn’t it?! Darnell is definitely on board, and I think Mike as well, but not quite sure yet…” For those wondering, Morgan is referring to Darnell Williams, who portrayed onscreen love interest Jesse Hubbard and Michael E. Knight, who portrayed Hubbard family friend Tad Martin on the soap.
Aptly titled, “The Cost of the Erection” is a oft-time comedic tale about a wealthy woman who, in an effort to revive her marriage, forces her architect husband (played by Knight) into a face-off against a younger, hotshot architect to design the exclusive Manhattan space she purchases. The Jon Marans play is directed by Daniel Henning and will play at The Blank Theatre Company’s 2nd Stage Theatre in Hollywood. Henning is the founder of the award winning Blank Theatre Company. Joining Knight on stage is Robin Riker (who has appeared on several soaps including “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “Days of Our Lives”), as the wealthy wife, James Louis Wagner, as the young architect, and Kal Bennett.
The play will make its Hollywood debut with preview performances beginning on Saturday, February 4. The official opening night will be on February 11. Performances will continue every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through March 18. Tickets range from $26.00 to $30.00. For more information on tickets, location and the play visit www.TheBlank.com.
In the meantime, enjoy a sneak peek of “The Cost of the Erection” in the video below:
(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.
(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) — This week has been full of well deserved tributes, accolades and goodbyes to a 41-year old television institution, “All My Children.” Lost in the avalanche of interviews with the actors who have contributed their talents to the popular soap opera may have been several of the shows most popular actors sharing if they have been asked to follow it to the internet and if they’re willing to. The production company that has licensed their soap opera, Prospect Park, has recently stepped up talks with “AMC’s” cast members locking in deals with Cameron Mathison (Ryan) and Lindsay Hartley (Cara). Where do “AMC’s” other popular stars, including their biggest star Susan Lucci (Erica), stand on moving to the net? Continue reading to find out.
Fans may have felt a renewed sense of doom when Deadline.com turned up with a scathing report about Lucci and Prospect Park failing to come to terms due to the superstar trying to “gouge” the production company thus endangering the daytime drama’s future. Coincidentally, that report came out in the days following the paperback release of her memoir, “All My Life.” The book contains a new chapter where the respected actress reveals her not so positive true feelings about ABC Daytime’s top brass. This Friday, the stunning 64-year old actress talked to NPR about her career and her future with “AMC.” Lucci revealed that she is still in negotiations with Prospect Park and is currently “waiting for a response” to terms she has put on the table. The popular actress shares that she’d love to continue with the soap that she help put on the map. She asserts that “[her] heart is there with Agnes Nixon, Erica Kane, [the] viewership, [the] fans.”
Michael E. Knight, on the other hand, appears to be settling in for a long break from Pine Valley. Earlier this week, he revealed to Michael Fairman that the men behind Prospect Park reached out to him “hard and fast” early on in the game with a respectful and generous offer for a long-term contract. Knight turned that offer down. The Daytime Emmy Award winner reveals he certainly feels a responsibility to the soap opera he joined in 1982 and to its loyal fans, so he has told Prospect Park executives, Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz, he’d be willing to “go forward on a recurring basis, or short-term, or whatever.” The exhausted actor feels the character of Tad Martin has been put in a corner in terms of storyline and appears to be, respectfully, enjoying having a choice in term of his future after years of dealing with a demanding and demeaning ABC Daytime brass. Knight does not rule out a contract return to the soap at some point in the future.
Frustrated with the writing for her once spitfire character, Greenlee Smythe, Rebecca Budig initially appeared to be ready to jump ship before Prospect Park even imagined extending an offer. This week she revealed to TV Line that she has met with Prospect Park and they’re “still talking.”
As previously reported, one of Budig’s best friends and her former co-star, Alicia Minshew found herself in a similar situation to both Knight and Budig; ready to move on and only willing to remain with the show within a limited capacity. After beginning talks with Prospect Park, though, the actress appears to feel more positive about ultimately being able to work something out.
Prospect Park is currently doing its best to get “AMC” back to viewers through the internet with new content by January 2012. The production company still has to iron out deals with the actor’s union, AFTRA, and work out tentative deals with enough actors to get “AMC” and “One Life to Live’s” ships sailing.