(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The final meeting of the year for the National Board of Directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) took place today via video conferences in New York and Los Angeles and one of the key topics of discussion effects Prospect Park and television network contracts including those surrounding daytime soaps.
For a complete understanding of what took place and how it affects daytime programming, read the press release below (highlights in bold):
LOS ANGELES AND NEW YORK (Oct. 1, 2011) — The National Board of Directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO – a national union of more than 70,000 recording artists, broadcasters and actors – met today by videoconference plenary in Los Angeles and New York, and unanimously voted to authorize the AFTRA Sound Recordings Negotiating Committee to take all actions necessary, up to and including proceeding to a strike authorization vote if needed, to secure an agreement with the major record labels.
Negotiations between AFTRA and representatives from Sony, UMG, Warner, EMI, Disney and most of their subsidiary labels for a successor agreement to the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Sound Recordings, the Union’s second largest national contract, commenced in New York on Aug. 15, with an additional round of bargaining held in Los Angeles the week of Sept. 12-16. An additional bargaining date has been set for Oct. 5 in an effort to resolve outstanding issues. AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth serves as Chief Negotiator for the Union.
The Sound Recordings Code covers singers, royalty and non-royalty artists, as well as announcers, actors, comedians, narrators and sound effects artists who work on recordings in all new and traditional media and all music formats, in addition to audiobooks, comedy albums and cast albums. The Code generates more than $140 million annually in AFTRA-covered earnings and benefits for both major artists and session singers around the country.
Board members also unanimously approved the appointment of the 2011 AFTRA Network Television Code Negotiating Committee. AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon will chair the 25-member committee and Hedgpeth will serve as Chief Negotiator for the Union. Negotiations with representatives for the four major television broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) and other producers are scheduled to commence on Nov. 7 in Los Angeles.
The AFTRA Network Television Code is the Union’s largest national collective bargaining agreement, and generates more than $300 million a year in member earnings. The Network Code covers programming in all television day parts, except for primetime dramatic programs on the networks and the CW. This includes dramas in first-run syndication, morning news shows, talk shows, serials (soap operas), variety, reality, contest and sports. Current programs covered by this contract include: “Good Morning America,” “The View,” “The Price is Right,” “General Hospital,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “The Voice,” “Survivor,” “20/20,” “Deal or No Deal,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” among many others.
“The Sound Recordings and Network Television Codes are AFTRA’s two largest and most mature contracts, and for more than 50 years, they have each provided thousands of AFTRA members with strong wages and important benefits,” said Hedgpeth. “But the traditional music, news and entertainment industries are changing rapidly, and the current and upcoming negotiations will provide a critical glimpse into the significant challenges that lie ahead in the 21st century and beyond.
“In order to prevail,” Hedgpeth continued, “professional union talent must stand together and organize themselves through their Union so that together they can secure strong contracts.”
Other business discussed at the Board’s final meeting of the year included a report on the One Union process, and a report on current negotiations with Prospect Park regarding the on-line productions of “One Life to Live” and “All My Children,” slated to commence in late 2011/early 2012.
National Treasurer and Los Angeles member Matthew Kimbrough told the Board that AFTRA has increased its budget for One Union-related expenses by another $115,000 to more than $1.5 million.
In her President’s Report, AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon updated Board members on the progress of One Union discussions with Screen Actors Guild. She observed: “The Labor Movement is facing tremendous challenges all across the country. Union density is declining in both the public and private sectors, and in mature and emerging industries alike. Performers and professionals who work in the entertainment and media industries are not immune from these challenges.
“This is why our work with Screen Actors Guild to build one new union for all of our members is so timely and so important,” continued Reardon. “We are building a bigger, stronger and more expansive union, both in terms of numbers and jurisdiction. The universe of work we cover has changed fundamentally, so this project is not just about our H&R benefits, and not just about two sets of dues. It’s about the industry and the future of the industry and how we stay unionized in the future.”
Phil Denniston, AFTRA National Director of Organizing, advised the Board that the new Organizing Incentive Fund Program, announced at the previous Board meeting in July, is now active and ready to receive applications from Locals. Denniston developed the program to provide AFTRA Locals additional support to continue building organizing programs to increase union density and job opportunities in local markets. A key feature of the program is an annual “matching fund” of $500,000 from the dedicated organizing revenue raised by the 2009 initiation fee increase. The Board today approved an oversight committee of members who will receive, review and approve all applications for matching funds.
Shelby Scott, Union Chair of the Trustees of the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds and AFTRA National Vice President, reported on the status of the AFTRA H&R Funds. The AFTRA H&R Trustees are next scheduled to meet in New York City next week.
Reardon was unanimously elected by the Board to serve as a Union representative on the AFTRA H&R Board of Trustees. Reardon replaces Kansas City actor Dean Vivian, who was elected as a Trustee at the May 14 meeting of the Board, but who subsequently had to step down due to work conflicts.
Longtime National Board member Mitchell McGuire has resigned from Board service after more than 20 years of service to AFTRA as New York Local and National Treasurer, and on many committees throughout the union. His resignation was accepted by the members of the National Board with expressions of gratitude for his years of dedicated and exemplary service to AFTRA members.
The National Board convened its meeting in the memory of more than 26 members who died since July, including New York recording artist Nick Ashford, newsperson Eleanor Mondale from the Twin Cities Local, Ernie Johnson, a sportscaster from Atlanta, actress Frances Bay from Los Angeles and actor Cliff Robertson from New York.
The AFTRA National Board will next meet by videoconference plenary in Los Angeles and New York on Jan. 21.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, broadcasters, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society. Visit AFTRA online at www.aftra.com.
Sometimes you can’t be two places at once. Thankfully, there are people willing to lend a hand. Professional photographer and sometimes writer Thomas Montalto was on hand for the annual Absolute Eden Riegel fan event last month and helped Soap Opera Network cover the event with pictures (see below) and even an interview. Unfortunately, just after this interview took place we would learn that Riegel was being let go from her contract role as Heather Stevens on “The Young and the Restless” before the actress was even told! Twitter broke the story to the actress before she was told by her bosses. In light of the actress completing filming at the CBS soap on Thursday, September 29, Soap Opera Network presents to you one of Riegel’s last interviews before she marks her grand exit from Genoa City in the coming weeks.
by Thomas Montalto
During my last trip out west I was able to cover the “Absolutely Eden” fan event for Eden Riegel held at Maggiano’s at The Grove in Los Angeles. The setting was very intimate. It was like I was joining Eden, who was accompanied by her mother Lenore Riegel, at a family dinner where everyone sat around a big table and chatted. “It went very well, I think everyone had a really great time,” Riegel said after the event. “Phyllis and Mary Beth always organize amazing events. We had a lot of very fun conversations and the food was amazing.”
If you have been following Eden on Twitter (@edenriegel), you know she recently became a mom for the first time. “It’s a huge adjustment. Life will never be the same again. It has been a lot of sleepless nights and stress. From the very second he was born, I was just so worried for him all the time, but he’s doing so great. The joy is much bigger than I imagined.”
It is so obvious from her tweets and after talking with her how much she loves experiencing motherhood and savoring every minute. “I am really loving it, I am really really loving it. I feel very lucky. My little guy is so special. I do feel very very lucky that I get to keep him. It’s just so weird, they let you go home with him from the hospital and he is just mine for the rest of his life. I feel so fortunate and so blessed.”
“I spent a couple of months being just a mommy and that was great and I loved it. It was a tough transition to go ‘oh gosh I have to leave him and spend time away from him’ and that made me very nervous,” she said about her recent return to “The Young and the Restless,” where she currently portrays Heather Stevens, a hard ass attorney. “It is nice to have a little time for myself and to do a job that makes me feel capable and to do work that I am proud of. Also to see other grown ups and talk about grown up things and get my hair done and things like that. Then when I go home to Jack, I feel all filled up and I have so much to give to him.”
She also previewed upon her return Heather would be back at the District Attorney’s office involved in the prosecution of a very high level case involving very important people in Genoa City. She’ll also finds herself battling feelings for someone from her past and having to make a decision on how good of an idea it would be to go down that road again.
As you know, Heather was not Eden’s first role on daytime. It has been over ten years since Eden was cast as Bianca on “All My Children”, the on screen daughter of Susan Lucci. It was no small role either. Bianca would have to deal with being Erica Kane’s daughter and coming out in the spotlight and facing her mothers issues. After Eden decided to move on to “Y&R,” “All My Children” recast the role of Bianca. Christina Bennett Lind would have some mighty big shoes to fill as Eden’s popularity was enormous as she brilliantly portrayed Bianca for the better part of ten years, which involved many groundbreaking storylines.
Although Bianca may no longer be hers to portray, she definitely has kept up with her and has kept a connection to the character and truly admires where Lind has taken the character. “I love her portrayal and I think she is extremely, extremely talented,” said Riegel of Lind’s portrayel of Bianca. “I’m very proud of her, I feel like the character is hers now and she’s doing amazing work. I actually saw the episode where Bianca and Marissa finally make love and I thought it was so beautiful. It actually brought me to tears. I just felt so proud and happy for Bianca, I think they are doing a great job.”
With “All My Children’s” broadcast television run coming to an end soon, Eden did mention she was sad she could not be there to help celebrate the end. “I regret that I could not be part of this big farewell and a lot of my old friends have come back to the show again in the final period of time. I of course would love to be a part of it, but at the same time I’m watching it as a fan and enjoying it in that capacity. It is bittersweet.”
“I am excited that the shows will continue and I think it would be the best for everyone because the fans keep wanting to see more and I think the shows are great and shouldn’t die because there is so much life left in them,” she said of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” moving on to the internet after their runs on broadcast television comes to an end. “There is so much competition on TV now and as long as the shows can continue in any capacity, it is good for everyone. The actors will have work and the fans will get the stories that they love.”
Eden shared some more exciting news about husband Andrew Miller when she talked about his new series “The Secret Circle,” where he is the executive producer, which joins the The CW lineup this fall. Miller is pictured far left, with the “Secret” cast. “I really hope everybody watches it, it’s a great show,” she said of the series. The premiere date is September 15 and it will air at 9:00pm. So, be sure to tune in to help support Eden’s husband out!
Check out Mr. Montalto’s new website aptly named StupidLittleBlog.com.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — In a statement released via Soap Opera Digest, “One Life to Live” head writer Ron Carlivati says, “I am both excited and honored to remain with ‘One Life to Live’ as Head Writer and Consulting Producer when the show moves online. My heartfelt thanks to Executive Producer Frank Valentini, as well as to Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz of Prospect Park for this incredible opportunity.”
“I would also like to express my very sincere gratitude to everyone at ABC Daytime, especially Jill Phelps at ‘General Hospital,’ for supporting me in this decision.”
Back in June it was announced that Carlivati was expected to report to “GH” as a script writer after the conclusion of “One Life to Live” on ABC. In July it was announced that his canceled soap would live on via Prospect Park’s licensing deal with the Disney/ABC Television Group. It was announced earlier today that the writer would join several of his cast as the soap transitions to the web in January 2012.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” isn’t even finished filming its last ABC episodes yet and already the soap has signed deals with “OLTL” head writer Ron Carlivati and several of the soaps cast members. By comparison, Prospect Park has signed far fewer deals with cast members from “All My Children,” which ended its television run on Friday, September 23.
As we reported earlier this morning, Carlivati’s rumored return to “One Life to Live” is now confirmed as Prospect Park made it official in a press release issued just a short time ago. Carlivati joins Frank Valentini, the soaps executive producer, as the second behind the scenes crew member that will move on with the soap when it debuts online in January 2012 on THE Online Network (aka: TOLN). The Emmy award winning writer joined the writing team in 1996 and was named head writer in 2007. The terms of his deal are subject to an agreement between Prospect Park and the Writers Guild of America (WGA). Should it come to pass, it is understood that Carlivati will also be listed as a Consulting Producer for the soap.
For those that know more about what they see on TV than they do behind the scenes, you’ll be pleased to hear that Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan Banks), Kelley Missal (Danielle Rayburn), Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning) and Jerry VerDorn (Clint Buchanan) will be joining already signed Ted King (Thomas Delgado), Michael Easton (John McBain), Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer) and Erika Slezak (Viki Banks) when the show is transitioned over from ABC to the web. Ringgold exclusively confirmed his signing to Soap Opera Network earlier this week.
via Press Release
LOS ANGELES, CA – September 30, 2011 – Below is a statement from THE Online Network (TOLN) regarding “One Life to Live.”
Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz of TOLN have confirmed today that a deal is in place for “One Life to Live” Emmy®-winning Head Writer and Consulting Producer Ron Carlivati, subject to a WGA agreement, to continue with the show when it moves online at the beginning of next year. Carlivati has been with the show since 1996 and a head writer since 2007.
Pending a final agreement with AFTRA, additional deals are in place for cast members Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan Banks), Kelley Missal (Danielle Rayburn), Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning) and Jerry VerDorn (Clint Buchanan) to join previously announced cast including Ted King, Michael Easton, Kassie DePaiva and Erika Slezak.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – Ilene Kristen didn’t debut as Roxy Balsom on ABC’s “One Life to Live” until November 2001, but the actress did learn she had the job on September 10 of that year and began filming on September 27. Ten years later the actress reflects on the days after learning she had gotten the job, and what she is looking forward to when the soap transitions to Prospect Park in the coming months.
“It is ten years this week and it’s been a phenomenal ten years,” says Kristen in our exclusive interview. “It means a lot to me. I was actually told I had the job September 10 and it was very profound. I didn’t really talk to anybody or tell anybody on September 10. I didn’t tell them I had the job until September 20 because of everything that happened,” referring to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. “Acting at that moment seemed insignificant, but September 27 came around [getting teared up], it felt like such a furor to get out to entertain the troops. It was so sad,” she said as she wiped her tears away. “I’ve been on a mission for the last ten years, which is to truly entertain people. I really feel that it is an important thing. I see it as a healing for people and I particularly feel it was a healing for that period of time.”
At the time our interview with Kristen took place, the actress admitted she didn’t watch the series finale of “All My Children,” but she did tape it. “I taped it because I couldn’t bare watching it,” says the actress. “I saw some of it. I was actually at the ['One Life to Live'] studio and they had their cliffhanger, which was a little anti-climatic, but it was good,” the actress revealed. As for ABC’s decision to cancel the soap along with her show, Kristen says “It’s a sad thing. It’s a very sad thing. I think that ABC is making a huge mistake! I think they are going to live to regret it too, I really do. I think the network is perishing, their daytime is completely perishing. I mean who needs to watch news at 4 o’clock,” Kristen questions referring to New York’s WABC airing news at 4:00 PM after 25 years of airing “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in the timeslot. Even so, “It’s a new time and a new day. We’re moving on.”
“One Life to Live” is executive produced by Frank Valentini, a man that is credited for positioning the soap to the top of the ratings heap on ABC Daytime since before the announcement of the soaps cancellation by the network in April of this year. “Frank Valentini has such a deep love of the show, he’s deeply talented and he’s our fearless leader and I think we’re in really good hands,” said Kristen of Valentini. Upon hearing that Valentini would be joining Prospect Park as it takes over production of “One Life” as not just the soaps executive producer, but also taking on the role as Vice President, Serial Dramas, for the production company, the actress said “Well he should! I don’t know how he’s going to do everything, but if there is anybody who is really capable of handling things it’s him. He’s got very good taste and he’s got cutting edge ideas. He’s a modern person and I think they’re really lucky to have him. I just hope he has time for us!”
Unlike Sean Ringgold, who confirmed to Soap Opera Network exclusively that he would be joining Prospect Park when “One Life to Live” joins the web, Kristen has yet to receive an offer from the company. If you would like to see more Roxy on your favorite soap, let Prospect Park know via snail mail to Valentini at:
Executive Producer, One Life to Live
320 West 66th Street
New York, NY 10023
Or you can also email Prospect Park at [email protected]
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — As previously reported, “One Life to Live” executive producer Frank Valentini will be taking over both “OLTL” and “All My Children,” when he begins his new position as Vice President, Serial Dramas, for Prospect Park immediately following the end of production for “One Life” under the guidance of ABC. Now comes word from our friends at Daytime Confidential, who are reporting that “One Life to Live” Head Writer Ron Carlivati will be joining the show when it transitions to the web beginning in January, despite ABC declaring his move to “General Hospital” in June – weeks before it was announced production company Prospect Park would be taking over production of the series from the network along with “All My Children.”
Will the dynamic duo of Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati be reuniting for Prospect Park’s continuation of One Life to Live? That’s the word that recently had actors on the set of the sudser buzzing. According to one source, Carlivati will likely pass on moving over to General Hospital, as had been previously planned, and will continue to write story for our favorite citizens of Llanview, PA., like Kassie DePaiva’s Blair seen above with Carlivati. Keep checking back with Daytime Confidential as this interesting story develops…
A move to Prospect Park’s version of “One Life to Live” would come as quite a shock as it was on August 18, just one month ago, when an ABC rep stated plans for Carlivati’s move to “GH” are still in place “as far as [they] know.” Although they didn’t confirm nor deny anything regarding Carlivati’s status, another ABC rep today informed Soap Opera Network that “If there is an announcement to be made about someone signing with Prospect Park, it will be made by Prospect Park. They have been great about making these announcements.”
Both Carlivati and Valentini had signed long-term contracts with ABC back in September of 2010 that were to hold the duo at the network through 2012 (Valentini) and 2013 (Carlivati) respectively. Clearly, the network has been gracious with allowing both men the possibility of moving on with the show they helped position as one of daytime’s silent heroes.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “All My Children,” aired its series finale on Friday, September 23, 2011 with its largest weekly audience in over four years (since week of August 20, 2007), its largest single day episode in more than 4 1/2 years (since the May 11, 2007 episode) and tied its highest weekly household rating in four years (since week of September 24, 2007). The canceled ABC soap managed to place second in households for the first time in 16 years (since week of July 10, 1995) and placed second in viewers for the first time in nearly seven years (since week of December 6, 2004).
With an average of nearly 3 million viewers watching the final hours of their favorite Pine Valley citizens before the soap faded to black in a shocking cliffhanger ending, “AMC” pulled off a feat that not many soaps have been able to do, which was go out with a bang. According to Nielsen Media Research data, “All My Children” averaged 3.5 million viewers (3.475 in actuals) for its last episode which was its largest audience since its Friday, May 11, 2007 episode, where it also averaged 3.5 million viewers. In that episode Greenlee (
Rebecca Budig Sabine Singh) interrupted Ryan (Cameron Mathison) and Annie’s (Melissa Claire Egan) wedding reception, while Krystal (Bobbie Eakes) took her new-born baby girl Jenny home for the first time and Colby tried to make amends with her father, while JR mourned the death of Dixie (Cady McClain) and Di (Kelli Giddish) learned some shocking news about Ava/Lily (Leven Rambin).
The last time “AMC” averaged a 1.1/7 in Women 18-49 was during the week of March 8, 2010, when 728,000 Women 18-49 viewers were tuned in. By comparison only 689,000 Women 18-49 viewers tuned in for the soaps finale week. The last time “All My Children” received a 2.6 household rating was on Thursday, July 26, 2007, which translated into 3.4 million total viewers. Meanwhile, the last time the soap managed a weekly audience of more than 3 million viewers was the week of August 20, 2007 when the soap averaged 3,020,000 viewers, which at the time was a loss of 120,000 viewers compared to the same week in 2006. The last time “All My Children” averaged a 2.3 in households for a given week was the week of September 24, 2007, the start of the 2007-2008 television season, in which 2.8 million viewers tuned in.
Sixteen years have gone by since we saw numbers like these, but it was also the last time “AMC” was the second most watched daytime soap. During the week of July 10, 1995, “All My Children” ranked second (only beyond “The Young and the Restless”) with a 5.7/18 household rating/share point. The last time the soap was second in total viewers, however, was during the week of December 6, 2004, when the soap averaged 3.9 million viewers and a 2.2/14 in Women 18-49. The week of January 17, 2005 was the last time “AMC” placed second in Women 18-49 viewers when it had a 2.2/12 rating/share and 1.4 million Women 18-49 viewers. During that week the soap averaged 3.9 million total eyeballs. Interestingly enough, “All My Children” took the #1 spot in Women 18-49 and Women 18-49 viewers during the February 2005 Sweeps period. Afterward, the soap never managed to place higher than 3rd in either category until the week of September 19-23, 2011, when it aired its last five episodes out of the more than 10,700 recorded.
What follows is a breakdown of “All My Children’s” final weekly ratings performance since its debut on January 5, 1970:
- Up 36% over its year-ago performance in Men 18+ viewers (596,000 vs 437,000)
- Up 35% over its year-ago performance in Households (2.3/7 vs 1.7/6)
- Up 34% over its year-ago performance in Women 50+ viewers (1,576,000 vs 1,179,000)
- Up 32% over its year-ago performance in Total Viewers (2,990,000 vs 2,270,000)
- Up 29% over its year-ago performance in Women 18+ viewers (2,265,000 vs 1,755,000)
13%25% over its year-ago performance in Women 25-54 rating (1.5/9 vs 1.2/9)
- Up 25% over its year-ago performance in Men 18+ rating (0.5/4 vs 0.4/4)
- Up 24% over its year-ago performance in Adults 18-49 viewers (929,000 vs 752,000)
- Up 22% over its year-ago performance in Women 18-49 rating (1.1/7 vs 0.9/7)
- Up 20% over its year-ago performance in Women 25-54 viewers (919,000 vs 767,000)
- Up 20% over its year-ago performance in Women 18-49 viewers (689,000 vs 576,000)
- Up 20% over its year-ago performance in Women 18-34 rating (0.6/4 vs 0.5/4)
- Up 20% over its year-ago performance in Women 18-34 viewers (217,000 vs 181,000)
- “All My Children” increased in audience by 717,000 viewers from its Monday, September 19 episode (2,758,000) to its last episode on Friday, September 23 (3,475,000).
- “All My Children” was daytime’s most watched program in the key sales demographics of Women 18-34 (268,000), Women 18-49 (824,000) and Women 25-54 (1,049,000) on Friday, September 23, the day it aired its series finale.
- “All My Children” had its biggest week to week gain in total viewers since the week of December 27, 2004, when it gained 521,000 viewers. During the week of September 19, 2011, “AMC” gained 499,000 viewers.
Although ABC canceled “All My Children” along with “One Life to Live” on Thursday, April 14, both soaps were given a renewed sense of life when production company Prospect Park announced on Thursday, July 7 that they would resume production of both soaps as they transition to a new online television network, which was just named earlier this week as The Online Network or TOLN. Soap Opera Network wishes the cast and crew of “All My Children” the best of luck as they transition to the web beginning in January 2012.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Nearly three months after licensing the rights to “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” from ABC, Prospect announces the launching of a new web channel, The Online Network, which will air both soaps along with the upstart company’s other current and future programming.
According to a press release, the new site will launch in January “with the goal of eventually providing viewers with a full programming selection of first-run, long form content on an anytime, anywhere basis.”
“We are creating TOLN to conveniently deliver fans of quality television long-form programming anytime and anywhere. With broadband availability in 70% of US households and the proliferation of internet enabled televisions, DVRs and wireless devices, ultimately we believe that online distribution provides the best platform to access 30 and 60 minute entertainment content. The viewer response to the shows we have licensed has been tremendous, and we have much more in development to appeal to a broad audience base,” adds Prospect Park co-founders Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz.
Furthermore, it appears that Canadian fans of the soaps will be in luck, as ABC Soaps in Depth tweets that our friends north of the border will be able to watch “AMC” and “OLTL” on The Online Network as well.
In related news, TVLine is reporting that “at launch time TOLN will be strictly ad-supported, like most online video hubs,” however that has yet to be confirmed by Prospect Park.
Fans wanting to receive updates regarding The Online Network, as well as its show (including “AMC” and “OLTL”), can register with your e-mail address or cell phone number at www.TOLN.com or www.theonlinenetwork.com.
“All My Children” aired its final episode on ABC last Friday, while “One Life to Live” will last end its network run on January 13, 2012. Both shows are expected to resume with Prospect Park early next year.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The 25th Annual Broadway Fleamarket sponsored by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS took place today and several of daytime’s biggest stars were on hand as celebrity guests including stars from “One Life to Live” such as Kristen Alderson (Starr Manning), Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning), Gina Tognoni (ex-Kelly Cramer), Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Ilene Kristen (Roxy Balsom) and even former cast member Judith Light (ex-Karen Wolek). Also in attendance was former “Guiding Light” actor Ron Raines (ex-Alan Spaulding), who is currently appearing in previews for the Broadway production of “Follies.” Raines’ former “Light” co-star Marj Dusay (ex-Alexandra Spaulding) was scheduled to appear but had to cancel due to illness. Also scheduled was “As The World Turns” actresses Eileen Fulton (ex-Lisa Grimaldi) and Ellen Dolan (Margo Hughes). Soap Opera Network spoke with a few of the stars and learned some interesting tidbits, one of which being that Ringgold received his offer from Prospect Park on Friday and he’s since decided to continue with the show when it moves to the web in January along with “All My Children.”
“You know what’s funny, I was making up my mind cause I got the offer to come over on Friday [September 23] actually and I didn’t give them my response, but after speaking with a couple of hierarchies, I just said ‘you know what? I’ll give it a year!’ Why not? So I’m going to come over to Prospect Park.” As for what the new version of the soap may look like and what fans can expect, Ringgold emphasizes that “There’s going to be more of a free reign to do more things on the internet than you could normally do on network. It could get quite interesting. I’ll leave that open for the imagination.” As for the chance of new faces popping up and where they’ll find their new filming digs, the actor says “I’m sure there are going to be new characters who are going to be brought on and I hope the studio goes to Brooklyn because I live in Queens. Although coming into Manhattan wouldn’t be a bad thing – I’ll miss Manhattan – but to just be able to wake up out of the bed and drive 10 minutes over to the studio. I’ll be in heaven.”
What is Ringgold looking forward to most for his character as the soap transitions from ABC to Prospect Park? “As long as Shaun is there for Destiny, and being supportive of his sister with her decision, whichever way we’ll see how that turns out to be… just to be there for [my] sister and to make sure she’s good and also my mom. They’re going to bring my pops back and it’ll be great if Greg [Terrell Tilford] popped up as well.” Speaking of Destiny, particularly her portrayer Shennell Edmonds, can we expect to hear news of her continuing as well? While Ringgold couldn’t confirm it as fact, he does hope it turns out to be the case.
Lastly with “One Life to Live” being canceled in April by ABC only to be picked up in July by Prospect Park, what happens to the planned series finale that was scheduled to air in January? “I’m sure they are changing the story a little bit because we’re going to continue on with Prospect Park.”
(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.