While Prospect Park’s The OnLine Network (TOLN) failed to re-launch “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to a brand new audience via the internet last year, Corday Productions, which produces NBC’s “Days of our Lives,” has joined with All Screens Media, an international interactive digital media company founded by former Comcast digital media executive Peter Heumiller, to form a new online network dedicated to the soap opera and telenovela format. Per Variety, the production entities have joined together to form NetSoaps Net Novelas LLC (NSNN), which will strive to develop domestic (Net Soaps) and international (Net Novelas) online soap operas for a new generation of soap fans. Net Soaps will be geared toward American and English speaking audiences while Net Novelas will be targeted toward Latin American and Brazilian audiences.
Key executives in charge of the new venture are Corday Productions CEO and “DAYS” executive producer Ken Corday, Greg Meng, co-executive producer of “DAYS,” former “DAYS” actress and online series producer Crystal Chappell (ex-Carly Manning; “Venice: The Series”), the aforementioned Peter Heumiller and international latin producer Rose Ganguzza, who spearheaded the growth of Brazil’s TV Globo network.
The war between ABC and Prospect Park Networks over “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” continues to rage on, but today Prospect Park Networks took an expected step: filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
According to Variety.com, the online production company filed for bankruptcy earlier today in a federal court in Delaware. In a statement released by the company, they explained that “PPN is optimistic that this filing will make it possible to continue to maximize the value of its assets and settlement of past liabilities. The company is optimistic about the prospects for a smooth transition into bankruptcy.”
So what does this mean for Prospect Park? And how does this affect their lawsuit with ABC?
“One Life to Live’s” Robin Strasser (ex-Dorian Lord) is known for being very open on Twitter regarding the cancelation, revival, and then shelving of “OLTL.” While most of the other “One Life” actors have decided to remain more tight-lipped, Strasser has often taken to the social media site to make her feelings known.
Earlier today on Twitter, she revealed that she recently asked Prospect Park Productions to pay out the balance of her one-year contract. According to Strasser, she only worked and was paid for eleven weeks before production was halted, despite signing on for a year. “#PPP sed w/ due respect: NO,” Strasser tweeted. She explained that legally Prospect Park Productions had in their contracts that if the show ceases production, then the company isn’t required to pay out the rest of the agreed-upon salaries. “Ergo: shelved = no dough for many,” Strasser continued.
Back in November 2013, Prospect Park amended its lawsuit against ABC by demanding more than $95 million in damages following what it claims was the network’s scheme to create a “mega soap” after ABC utilized characters from “One Life to Live” on “General Hospital.”
According to court documents from the time, Prospect Park alleged ABC convinced the company to allow “GH” to “borrow” certain “OLTL” characters in a limited, short-term capacity. But, as brought to light by Prospect Park’s original lawsuit, the plaintiff said that “even before the ink dried on the parties’ agreement, ABC began unilaterally changing key storylines and themes, literally killing some ‘OLTL’ characters and deeply integrating others into the ‘GH’ landscape, all to create a mega soap of ‘GH’ behind Prospect Park’s back.” Following Prospect Park’s claims, ABC has now filed an official response, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
According to Law360.com, Allison “Sam” Hall, a former co-head writer of ABC’s “One Life to Live,” is suing the network over what he claims are royalties owed since the soap transitioned to the web via Hulu and iTunes, and broadcast during summer 2013 on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), courtesy of Prospect Park – the company that licensed the rights to both programs from Disney/ABC in 2011. Hall reportedly filed his complaint against American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. (ABC) on Tuesday, January 7, in New York. Hall was named co-head writer of the soap in 1984, and remained with the series until 1985.
“Each week during which such exhibitions by each authorized entity occurred Hall was entitled to be paid the weekly royalties,” reads the complaint referring to royalties owed from characters Hall may have created while working on the soap. “Despite due demand, Hall has not been paid any of the weekly royalties to which he is entitled for the exhibition of the series by Prospect Park Productions, iTunes, Hulu and OWN, which total in excess of $50,000, an amount which is in excess of the jurisdictional limits of the lower courts.”
Out of all the talent behind “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” the one voice missing after news that neither series would be moving forward with new episodes was that of Daytime Emmy Award winning actress Erika Slezak (ex-Victoria Lord, “OLTL”). On her official website, Slezak has broken her silence via her 2013 Holiday Letter for fans. In it, Slezak says, “I loved being back at ‘OLTL’; I loved being back with all my friends on the show and we had a wonderful time although it was short lived. Still, I am very grateful for that brief opportunity to have played Viki once more.”
In a newly released interview with Soap Opera Digest columnist and “Tainted Dreams” blogger, Carolyn Hinsey, “The Bold and the Beautiful’s” Thorsten Kaye opens up about his role as Ridge Forrester on the CBS Daytime soap, but it’s his comments on Prospect Parks’ version of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” that has all eyes open.
On Monday, September 26, 2011, ABC premiered a new daytime talk show that brought food back to the table and into our everyday lives. Now in its third season, “The Chew” is currently enjoying one of its highest rated on record in both total viewers and key women sales demos. As the talk show celebrated its 500th episode yesterday, fans of the ABC version of “All My Children” continued to mourn the loss of their favorite daytime soap opera, which made Susan Lucci, and her character Erica Kane, a household name.
Hosted by celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Michael Symon, and Carla Hall, entertaining expert Clinton Kelly and health and wellness enthusiast Daphne Oz, “The Chew’s” celebratory episode featured a food-filled party that included an assortment of games, on-air memories and a cake to help honor the talkers achievement. Meanwhile, “All My Children” fans are trying to find ways to heal from the recent blow by Prospect Park to not move forward with a new season of its version of “All My Children,” which consistently topped the iTunes and Hulu charts during its 40+ episode run. The production company is suing ABC over claims the network was looking to create a “mega soap” with “Chew” lead-out “General Hospital.” Prospect Park co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz recently decided to take his own company to court over contract matters directly related to “AMC” and sister soap “One Life to Live.”
On her official Facebook page, “All My Children” star Jill Larson (Opal Cortlandt) broke her social media silence after it became apparent earlier this week that Prospect Park was not moving forward with a new season of either “All My Children” or “One Life to Live,” at least “at this time,” according to the actress.
With “All My Children’s” Debbi Morgan confirming that her show (and likely “One Life to Live”) has been canceled after getting word from Prospect Park’s lawyers in the last couple of days, Soap Opera Network once again reached out to Prospect Park to find out if A) Are both shows now officially canceled. B) Is Prospect Park possibly seeking/able to try another reboot down the road. C) How does this cancellation relate to their rights to the shows and D) Do the rights now revert back to ABC.
A representative for the company would only say, “We are not commenting.”