(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.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On September 26, “All My Children” will be replaced on ABC Daytime by a lifestyle program – with a focus on food – titled (arguably in poor taste) “The Chew.” Early this morning, Entertainment Weekly revealed that CBS Daytime reached out to several actors from the cancelled ABC drama to assist them in some interesting counter-programming beginning on September 26.
During the week of September 26, Jacob Young, Michael E. Knight and Ricky Paull Goldin will make appearances on “The Talk” for interviews about the end of “AMC” and to share their favorite recipes in a segment titled “All My Meals.” Young will appear on the Monday, September 26 installment of the talk-show. He also makes his return to CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful” as Rick Forrester the same day. Knight will appear on the Wednesday, September 28 installment. Goldin will follow on Thursday, September 29.
“The Talk” was created by Sara Gilbert and debuted on October 18, 2010 on CBS Daytime replacing another cancelled daytime drama, “As the World Turns.” In its second season, the talk-show which strongly resemble ABC Daytime’s “The View,” is currently hosted by Gilbert, Julie Chen, and Sharon Osbourne. “The Talk” is currently rotating guest hosts and in talks with personalities to fill former hosts Holly Robinson Peete and Leah Remini’s seats. Check TV Listings for channel and time-slot of airings of “The Talk.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Moments before the announcement that production company Prospect Part had licensed “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” from ABC and saved it from imminent cancellation, it was announced that Debbi Morgan (Angie) had already signed on to “The Young and the Restless.” She will debut on the popular CBS soap this fall. Not too long after that, Jacob Young (JR) announced that he was unable to ignore the call back to “The Bold and the Beautiful.” He returns as Rick Forrester on Monday, September 26. At this moment, Prospect Park is still trying to work out a deal with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) that will allow them to begin negotiating with actors for a hopeful January 2012 relaunch of both ABC soaps. This leaves the actors of “AMC” with free time and a contract with ABC that dissolved earlier this week. In the September 13, 2011 issues of Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly, it is revealed that Alicia Minshew and Chrishell Stause have also both been contacted to join another soap.
Both actresses declined. Minshew, who joined the cast of “AMC” in 2002 as Kendall Hart, apparently would like to remain with the show if it’s feasible. The Emmy nominated actress does not want to make a commitment to another daytime drama without giving Prospect Park a fair chance to iron things out behind the scenes. Stause, who joined the cast of “AMC” in 2005 as Amanda Dillon, is planning to take advantage of being in the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles. The stunning young actress who was scheduled to split ways with the soap in 2010 to go to Los Angeles changed her mind when it was announced “AMC” would be joining her on the West Coast. Stause does not rule out a return to daytime television in the future, but wants to try out different formats of entertainment for the foreseeable future.
Various actor interviews also indicate that red-hot commodity Susan Lucci (Erica), as well as long-time “AMC” stars Walt Willey (Jack), Michael E. Knight (Tad), Vincent Irizarry (David) and expert schmoozer Cameron Mathison (Ryan) share Minshew’s willingness to wait a while longer for Prospect Park to get everything aligned before making any major commitments that could impede the potential to join a relaunch of the soap. Mathison, in the meantime, has taken up one more part-time hosting job. Beginning on October 3, fans can see the “Good Morning America” correspondent hosting a new reality-series, “Ultimate Proposal,” a web-series that will be produced by Yahoo! The star who joined “AMC” in 1997 is also slated to begin filming a Lifetime made-for-television movie, “The Wife He Met Online,” opposite former “AMC” star Sydney Penny (ex-Julia). Lucci, meanwhile, has denounced rumors that she’s going to ABC’s prime-time series “Desperate Housewives” but has admitted to having had a good talk with its executive producer Marc Cherry. While waiting for things to take shape, the stunning 64-year old does plan on taking advantage of the time that has opened up and is pondering a return to the stage.
Production of “AMC” for ABC network airings ended earlier this week. The last episode of “AMC” on the ABC network is scheduled to air on Friday, September 23.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Cady McClain returned to “All My Children” during the Tuesday, May 17 broadcast of the soap despite filming her first scenes just seven days prior (May 10). So why did the show rapidly insert her scenes into already taped episodes of the soap? “AMC” was canceled of course! During fan club weekend last month, McClain spoke with Soap Opera Network about her return, what the cancellation news meant for cast and crew, the reunion of Tad Martin (Michael E. Knight) and Dixie Cooney (McClain) and even how she got to wear sweats to work while filming scenes of Dixie laying in bed.
In January 2007, Dixie “died” from “peanut butter and banana pancakes,” according to McClain, but in soap opera reality Dixie is in fact alive and was being held by Dr. David Hayward (Vincent Irizarry). “It’s all a big mystery,” the actress explains about her return. “Why is David keeping her there, how did he keep her alive? Who’s going to rescue her? How does she get out?”
As for those long time Tad and Dixie fans, who have waited for the two to finally happily reunite, especially with the show coming to a close on ABC, what does McClain think about Tad’s new wife Cara (Lindsay Hartley)? The actress shared that there is “room for a lot of conflict, a lot of torn heart strings for all the characters involved. No one’s a bad [or] mean person, but their in love you know, Dixie’s in love with Tad, Tad’s in love with Dixie, Tad’s in love with Cara, Cara’s in love with Tad. It’s like a new discovery for them.”
For this and more, check out our exclusive interview with Cady McClain below.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “All My Children” is scheduled to last air on ABC on Friday, September 23. Although “AMC” and “One Life to Live” are slated to go on in a different format thanks to a licensing deal between ABC and production company Prospect Park, several events have been organized to assist the actors and viewers in saying good-bye to “AMC” in the format fans have come to know and love it in for the first 41-years of its existence. These events will be held on the East Coast where the soap was produced for four decades before being moved to Los Angeles in January 2010.
The upcoming scheduled events are as follows:
Good Night Pine Valley will be held on Saturday, September 17 from 1:30 PM EST to 4:00 PM EST at Prohibition Restaurant & Outdoor Cafe located at 503 Columbus Avenue in New York City, New York. This event will be hosted by Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake) and Alicia Minshew (Kendall). Expect special guests to drop by as attendees enjoy the company of the hosts, food and an open bar. There will also be a charity auction with prizes that include luxury items and items from “AMC.” Tickets for this event are now sold out.
A Tribute to Pine Valley: A Tribute of the Final Network Broadcast of “All My Children” benefiting A Season of Concern will be held on Friday, September 23 from 11:00 AM CST at Sidetrack Chicago, The Video Bar located at 3349 N Halsted Street in Chicago, Illinois. Attendees will get to watch the last episode of “AMC” with fellow viewers and past and present cast. During the event there will be trivia, a Q & A session and a Meet and Greet. So far the scheduled attendees include Chrishell Stause (Amanda), Terri Ivens (ex-Simone), Jeffrey Carlson (ex-Zarf/Zoey), Brian Gaskill (ex-Bobby), and Matt Borlenghi (ex-Brian), Chris Bruno (ex-Michael). More names to be added in the weeks to come. Talent is subjected to change without notice. Tickets for this event go on sale on August 22. Visit A Season for Concern site, which is linked above, for more details on this event as they are disclosed in the coming weeks.
A Tribute to Pine Valley: Celebrating 41 Years of “All My Children” debuts from Tuesday, October 25 thru Thursday, October 27 at The Town Hall in New York City on Tuesday, the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey on Wednesday and The Theatre of Westbury in Long Island, New York on Thursday. Scheduled attendees for this event include Cameron Mathison (Ryan), Michael E. Knight (Tad), Vincent Irizarry (Jesse), Walt Willey (Jack), Julia Barr (Brooke) and Jacob Young (JR). The event will be held in two parts. The first part is called “Live on Stage” where fans will be able to listen to personal stories from the actors and participate in a Q & A session. This event runs from 7:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST each night. Tickets for this event range from $45.00 to $85.00. The second part is called an “Up Close & Personal” where you get to meet and talk to the actors in a personal setting. This event runs from 9:30 PM EST to 11:30 PM EST. Tickets to attend both events range from $225.00 to $240.00. Tickets are now available for sale for this event.