(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — In a new Facebook posting that went up just a short time ago, actress Susan Lucci has taken to the social networking service to clear the air regarding the status of “All My Children” and its move to the internet and plans for her inclusion in the online version of the long running ABC soap.
“I want my fans to know the truth. There has been miscommunications as a result of statements in the press that I am one of the reasons that All My Children is not moving forward. This is simply untrue and not the case. We have been in discussions since Prospect Park first expressed interest in moving the series online, and in correspondence dated September 8th, I made it clear that I would be ecstatic to be a part of ‘All My Children’ in a prominent way if they committed to producing the series for another year. I have not heard back from Prospect Park since then, in fact, I learned of their decision not to proceed with ‘All My Children’ at the same time you did, through the media,” said Lucci in her posting.
“It’s been a privilege and honor to be involved with the ‘All My Children’ family for so many years, from working closely with Agnes Nixon to getting to know millions of devoted and wonderful fans.”
Previously it had been reported that Lucci turned down Prospect Park’s financial offer, which doesn’t appear to be the case per Lucci’s statement.
(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”…
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — It was Tuesday, October 4 when Soap Opera Network first reported on the current status of union discussions between the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and Prospect Park following word back in July that Prospect Park would be launching “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” on the web. Now more than a month later, and with news that “AMC” is being delayed for various reasons, an AFTRA rep tells Soap Opera Network that they are “still in discussions with [Prospect Park].” This at some point could place a damper on the company’s plan of launching “One Life” online in January if a deal isn’t reached in the next several weeks.
The latest the soap could go back into production, following the end of production later this week of its ABC run, would be towards of end of December. This all hinges of course on a hoped for deal with the unions including AFTRA, the Writers Guild of America (WGA), the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and the Producers Guild of America (PGA), among others. Prospect Park previously signed a deal with Disney/ABC to rent out the soaps current New York studio at the ABC Television Center for the programs initial run via Prospect Park’s Online Network (TOLN).
Soap Opera Network will continue following all aspects of Prospect Park, the Online Network (TOLN), “One Life to Live” 2.0 and “All My Children” 2.0 as details become available.
(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) — Unlike the network, which appears to be going out of its way not to promote “One Life to Live” in its final months of its television run, one ABC affiliate is making the canceled soap one its “Top TV Picks of the Week.”
Watertown, New York’s ABC50 (WWTI-TV), lists “OLTL” fifth on a list of seven shows not to miss for the week of November 14. “Since 1968, ‘One Life to Live’ has been an American soap opera staple. ‘One Life to Live’ will air its final ABC episode in January of 2012 and will be succeeded by a new health show ‘The Revolution.’ Tune in on Friday [November 18], and follow the Lord family for the rest of the year to see how it ends,” reads a statement on the station’s website. Click here to see what other shows made the list.
“One Life to Live” will tape its final ABC episode, which will in January, on Friday, November 18, before transitioning to online distribution with Prospect Park.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Art imitates life as “One Life to Live” does what it does best by poking fun at itself for an upcoming storyline. Beginning next month, the show’s once popular soap-within-a-soap, “Fraternity Row,” gets canceled due to sagging ratings, leading one loyal Llanview fan to take drastic action to save her soap. The plot mirrors “OLTL’s” own predicament, having been dumped by ABC earlier this year.
The story kicks off on Tuesday, December 6, when Roxy Balsom (Ilene Kristen) learns her favorite daytime drama has been given its marching orders, and decides to do whatever she can to help keep it on the air. According to the November 22 print edition of Soap Opera Weekly, that includes circulating a petition among the residents of Llanview, including a few surprising individuals, to drum up fan support for the sudser. The magazine even gets a shout out on the air courtesy of fellow soap fan Nigel (Peter Bartlett).
The actress tells SOW that “It’s kind of mirroring our situation [at 'OLTL'] and there’s all sorts of ironies in that. Basically, one of the things that’s been very amazing and really touching is our fan support and that’s really kind of what the storyline is, from Roxy’s point of view, because she represents the fan base of ‘Fraternity Row.’”
According to Kristen, “She [Roxy] goes to Clint [Jerry verDorn] to ask him because he used to produce the show and he’s not particularly interested. Then she goes to Bo [Robert S. Woods]. Then she tries to recruit the most famous Llanview person, David Vickers [Tuc Watkins], because he’s a big movie star! I think the audience is really going to have a lot of fun with it.”
But it doesn’t end there. As we previously reported, “One Life” creator Agnes Nixon will make a special appearance on the show the week of January 9 as Agnes Dixon, the woman who created “Fraternity Row,” when she is interviewed about the the show’s cancellation by Llanview’s hard-nosed reporter Blanca Morales (Carolina Bermudez). Long-time “OLTL” fans may remember that “Fraternity Row” was a major part of the show in the late 80′s and early 90′s.
So will Roxy be successful in her quest to save “Fraternity Row” and, if so, will the soap’s fate mirror that of “One Life to Live” who is moving its production online with Prospect Park? Tune in to find out!
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — John Loprieno who, alongside co-star Andrea Evans, recently reprised their roles as Llanview’s former supercouple Cord and Tina Roberts on “One Life to Live,” talks about his return to the show and what the future holds for both him and Cord.
In a new interview with the Ventura County (California) Star, Loprieno comments that when he was asked to come back to the show before it ends production on its ABC run on November 18, he jumped at the chance. “I said, ‘Yes, it would be fun to see everyone and say goodbye,” he reveals.
Unlike his other returns in recent years, which the actors says “More often than not, [were] either for a wedding or a funeral, and I would sit in the back, and they would kind of pan the camera across me” and only lasted a couple of episodes, his most recent stint has proven somewhat more involved.
“It turned out to be a much bigger cameo than I thought it would be. It was fun. It was great to see everybody and work with (actress) Andrea Evans again,” he states in the interview. Since October, Loprieno states that he has already taped 13 episodes, traveling to “One Life to Live’s” New York City studios from his home in California, where he also teaches acting at Moorpark College. He also will be directing auditions for the school’s rendition of the musical “Chicago,” which he will direct, and has several writing projects currently in the works.
As for his future with “OLTL” when the show switches production from ABC to Prospect Park in the near future, Loprieno says that he is open to the possibility of returning to Llanview once again, stating “It will be interesting to see how it evolves. There were a couple of people who asked me if I’d be interested in going back on, and I said, ‘Hey you never know.’ Sure, depending on the circumstances and my school schedule.”
In the meantime, Loprieno assures “One Life” fans that “Cord and Tina fans will be happy,” with the way the show wraps up the characters latest storyline.
Click here to read the full interview.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — With only one week left to go until production on its ABC Daytime run is finished, the list of former “One Life to Live” cast members returning to Llanview continues to grow.
Among those rumored to be making their final appearances on the soap before it moves to Prospect Park are Jessica Tuck (Megan), Roscoe Born (Mitch), Susan Batten (Luna), Barbara Garrick (Allison), Ty Treadway (Colin/Troy), and Meghann Fahy (Hannah), many of which were spotted by fans entering and exiting the show’s studios in recent weeks.
Those listed above are in addition to the previously confirmed returns of Catherine Hickland (Lindsay), Fiona Hutchison (Gabrielle), Tonja Walker (Alex), January LaVoy (Noelle), John Rue (Moe), Tuc Watkins (David), and Brian Kerwin (Charlie). Kate Miller is also reportedly coming back for a few episodes as Brody’s (Mark Lawson) sister Nadine Lovett. And, as we previously reported, “OLTL” creator Agnes Nixon will tape scenes on November 17, that will air during the week of January 9. Nixon will play Agnes Dixon, the creator of “One Life’s” infamous soap-within-a-soap “Fraternity Row,” and will be interviewed by Blanca Morales (Carolina Bermudez).
On a related note, Mellini Kantayya, who has played a recurring dayplayer nurse over the years, will also be back in the show’s final weeks. The actress tells Soaps.com that “These last times shooting are bittersweet. I’m sad to see the show go, but I really feel lucky that they’ve had me on so often during the years. I’ve met and worked with so many talented people. It’s been a truly wonderful experience.” Kantayya will tape her final scenes on November 11 and 15.
However, it appears as if two at least three of “One Life to Live’s” most memorable characters won’t be coming home to Llanview for the show’s ABC finale. Judith Light, who played housewife turned hooker Karen Wolek from 1977-83, is reportedly not reprising her role, despite earlier rumors to the contrary.
James DePaiva, who portrayed Max Holden from 1987-90 and from 1991-2003 (and again briefly in 2007), is also not returning. In an interview with TvLine, the actor’s wife and former co-star Kassie DePaiva (Blair), revealed that the show had not approached her husband about returning to the show. “I’m really shocked that they didn’t bring Max back. Jim DePaiva made a huge contribution to the show, and I don’t know if it was intentional, the snubbing… but it doesn’t take [his contributions] away. Women of my generation still think he’s hot, and I’m married to him so I’m the luckiest one here!” DePaiva also talks about the future of Blair and how she hopes that she will reunite with Todd (Roger Howarth). Click here to read the full interview.
And Robin Strasser, who left “OLTL” in August after playing Dorian Lord off and on for nearly thirty years, tweeted earlier this week that “I have NOT declined numerous offers to return. September, I was asked to do 3 shows, I’d just gotten out of hospital. Looked like a wreck.” Strasser also reveals that she has not been approached by Prospect Park about returning yet either.
In addition, Crystal Chappell, who played Maggie Carpenter on “One Life to Live” from 1995-97 is also not returning, despite being spotted outside the show’s studios last week. According to Soap Opera Digest, Chappell “was just visiting good friend (and ‘Venice’ co-star) Hillary B. Smith (Nora). Chappell was in New York for a few days and was sharing Smith’s Manhattan hotel room for some much-needed girl time.”
Developing at Soap Opera Network… a number of actors are privately and publicly confirming they will not be joining “One Life to Live” when it goes online via Prospect Park’s Online Network.
Joining Terri Conn, who announced her decision via Soap Opera Digest, are John-Paul Lavoisier, Farah Fath, Nic Robuck, Bree Williamson, David A. Gregory, Kristen Alderson and Eddie Alderson.
More news to come…
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — In an effort to save costs before uprooting the show to more permanent digs, sources have confirmed to Soap Opera Network that Prospect Park and its Online Network (TOLN) division have sealed a deal with the Disney/ABC Television Group to continue filming “One Life to Live” at its current ABC Television Center Studio in New York City located at 320 W 66th Street.
The rental period is expected to last during the early portions of the soaps initial run via theonlinenetwork.com or TOLN.com. The deal goes into effect once the soap completes filming its ABC run, which is scheduled to take place on Friday, November 18, 2011. The soap last airs on ABC in January 2012.
Previously, it had been rumored that the soap would be heading to Brooklyn with “As The World Turns’” former studio, JC Studios, as an option. That studio is still under consideration for the shows permanent home.