As previously reported, “All My Children” has named Marlene McPherson and Elizabeth Snyder as co-head writers. What’s so significant about their hiring is that this marks the first time since 2003 that a daytime soap opera has had two females leading its writing team. The last time was with Ellen Weston and Carolyn Culliton co-head writing CBS’ “Guiding Light.” Prior to that was in 2002, when Millee Taggert and Culliton also co-head wrote for “GL.”
Sure it looks generic (and that’s just us being nice) and may not be the final product, but TradeMarkia.com has a posting on its website which shows that Prospect Park Networks, LLC has filed a trademark on the TOLN logo. There is also a posting for TOLN’s more widely known name – the OnLine Network.
According to a posting on his facebook page, “One Life to Live” co-head writer Thom Racina let it slip that the online reboot of the series may hit the web as soon as April. “I sincerely hope you will support us and tell your friends and start watching ‘One Life to Live’ come April!” the writer stated in his message to his followers.
The likelihood of “OLTL” (and sister soap “All My Children”) returning to your screens (albeit computerized versions - for now) is seen as being in line with Prospect Park’s TOLN (The OnLine Network) internet hubs projections of beginning production on both series as soon as next month. With much of “One Life to Live’s” cast and writing team now signed on along with “AMC’s” signings, a two month ahead filming schedule would put both series inline with NBC’s “Days of our Lives,” which is currently the only American daily serial that films two or more months ahead of airdate.
Prospect Park executives Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank have confirmed to Soap Opera Network that the production company has signed “One Life to Live” cast members Tuc Watkins (David), Josh Kelly (Cutter), Florencia Lozano (Tea), and Shenell Edmonds (Destiny) for the online version of the ABC soap pending final Guild agreements.
In a statement, the company said “After the ABC television network finale airs in January, ‘One Life to Live’s’ David, Cutter, Tea and Destiny will be reunited with previously announced characters including Erika Slezak’s Victoria and Kassie DePaiva’s Blair Cramer.”
With the signing of Watkins, Kelly, Lozano and Edmonds, Prospect Park has now signed a total of 13 current “One Life to Live” cast members including the aforementioned Slezak and DePaiva. On Friday, September 30, Prospect Park announced deals with Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan Banks), Kelley Missal (Danielle Rayburn), Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning) and Jerry VerDorn (Clint Buchanan). The company previously announced the signings of Ted King (Thomas Delgado), Michael Easton (John McBain) on Tuesday, September 6.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Prospect Park continues to forge ahead with plans for their new Online Network in preparation of its January launch by signing a new deal with Universal Music Group. As part of deal, music from UMG’s record and publishing companies will be featured in upcoming episodes of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” when the soaps transition to the new online venue early next year.
The agreement will also provide fans with an opportunity to purchase songs used in both shows, as well as access to exclusive online content. According to Prospect Park executives Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, “As we continue to develop programming for our online network, we are taking every facet of production into consideration to create a premium product for our viewers. Previously these programs have not focused on, or had limited contemporary music and artist involvement, and through UMG we can deliver fans from around the world access to some of the world’s most popular music and artists all leading to better production, storylines and program experience.”
In recent years Kwatinetz and UMG have collaborated with “One Life to Live” in episodes featuring Snoop Dogg, One Republic, Mary J. Blige, and Puddle of Mudd.
“This unique arrangement with ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ offers our artists and songwriters a special opportunity for exposure on two of the most iconic soap operas ever. The online network for the programs is an exciting new vehicle for consumers to connect with our artists and their work, and purchase music seamlessly as they hear it on each episode. We look forward to working with Prospect to bring the best music to our shows’ fans,” UMG President & COO, Zach Horowitz stated in a press release.
Prospect Park secured the the rights to “AMC” and “OLTL” from the Disney/ABC Domestic Television Group back in July, as part of a multi-year, multi-platform licensing agreement. Both shows are expected to begin airing on The Online Network (TOLN) in mid-January.
(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) — 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) — After recently signing four of “One Life to Live’s” most prominent cast members, including long-time veteran Erika Slezak (Viki) to continue with the show when it moves to online-only distribution early next year, Prospect Park takes the next step in their commitment to make for a smooth transition for the show. According to Deadline Hollywood, the production company has hired “One Life” Executive Producer Frank Valentini to remain in his current post with the show, along with becoming Vice President of Serial Dramas.
“Frank’s successful track record both creatively and producorially with ‘One Life to Live’ has been stellar and we are honored that he has also agreed to take on more responsibilities at our new network,” states Prospect Park executives Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, whom Valentini will work closely with in his VP capacity to help relauch “OLTL” and sister soap “All My Children” with the company after each leaves ABC.
Serving as “One Life” Executive Producer since 2006, Valentini is known for running a tight ship and helping keep the show regularly under budget. He has also served as producer, director, stage manager, and music composer for the soap. And in 2010 he directed ABC.com’s “What If…” series, where characters from “All My Children,” “One Life to Live,” and “General Hospital” met one another in a series of short webisodes.
Valentini expressed his excitement in remaining with the show, saying “I am thrilled to join the Prospect Park team continuing my role as the Executive Producer of ‘One Life to Live.’ As we enter this new chapter, I must extend a very big, heartfelt thank you to the show’s creator Agnes Nixon who has always been generous with her support of our vision of her creation, ABC for affording me an incomparable experience for the past 26 years at ‘One Life to Live’ and the fans with their unwavering passion determined not to let their shows go away. The cast and crew is my family and I am very proud to have this opportunity to continue working with this talented and dedicated team. And finally, I must extend a huge thanks to Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz of Prospect Park whose pioneering innovation is giving us more life to live.”
With Valentini staying on with “OLTL,” fans may be wondering where this leaves the show’s current Head Writer Ron Carlvati. After it was announced earlier this year that he would be joining the writing staff of “General Hospital” after “OLTL” finishes its network run, and ABC spokesperson would only tell Soap Opera Network last month that plans for Carlivati’s move to “GH” are still in place “as far as [they] know.” You may recall it was announced in September 2010 that both Valentini and Carlivati had been signed to new long-term contracts with ABC for two and three years, respectively.
After wrapping production on its television run in November, “One Life to Live” is scheduled to broadcast its final episode on ABC on Friday, January 13, 2012.
Details are slowly trickling in from Prospect Park, the new production company that will be handling production and distribution of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” once both series complete their runs on ABC.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — It has been three months since we’ve learned that “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” have been canceled and would no longer be seen weekday afternoons on the ABC Television Network or weeknights on SOAPnet. It has been a truly unique period for this industry that has seen fans rallying together to try and help save shows that have become part of their everyday lives. Whispers, rumors and reports were trickling in at a record pace, often times we would find our heads spinning. Weeding through the information that we received here at Soap Opera Network, we aimed to report what we felt had the most backing or we were able to verify through various other sources. Turns out we may have had a big inside source all along.
For the last several months, I’ve had multiple conversations with an individual that claimed to have knowledge of why ABC decided to cancel “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” This source at one point commented that it had something to do with the government and the Ethics committee in Washington, D.C. Sounded nuts, right? Well, it turns out this same person told me on Tuesday, June 28, that “your soaps were saved. They received the grant money they needed before their deadline,” which according to this person was the end of May. Again, I thought what they were saying sounded just a little too far out there, so I decided to leave our conversation at that. In retrospect, maybe I should have listened a little closer.
On Thursday, June 30, I had tweeted that I heard from sources that fans should continue to rally in support of “One Life to Live.” To be more precise, I said “got word today that @ABC has in fact been discussing options to keep #OLTL on the air, but it remains in the hands of fans. Don’t give up. The ‘someone’ you keep hearing about is now several people!” At that point “All My Children” wasn’t discussed as the conversation pertained solely in regards of “One Life to Live.” I had intended on reporting on this news on Tuesday, July 5, but unfortunately I caught the flu and had a high fever for several days. Now on Thursday, July 7, nearly three months to the day since ABC canceled “AMC” and “OLTL,” the network announced the shows would live on…only online thanks to Prospect Park, a television and media entertainment production company that was founded in 2009 and is run by Jeffrey Kwatinetz and former Disney Studios honcho Rich Frank, who also serve as executive producers of the hit USA Network original series “Royal Pains.” In retrospect, what the person I had been speaking with said now makes perfect sense when you put all the pieces together. In return for saving our beloved soaps, the government gives a grant for what could be the next big medium, progression of sorts… Radio > TV > Internet Broadcasting.
Interestingly enough, Prospect Park hired Josh Barry, ABC’s former executive in charge of drama development, back in May to tackle the companies TV division alongside Paul Frank, the son of Rich Frank. According to Barry, his first order of business was “putting together a wide slate of projects.” Could that slate have included the uncanceled soaps?
On Thursday, June 23, we reported that ABC had indeed turned down offers they received to sell the soaps. Knowing what we know now, and putting the puzzle pieces together, it makes sense that a plan was in the works all a long to save the soaps, while also allowing ABC to retain ownership rights to both soap operas and receive millions of dollars in royalties each year from Prospect Park. Hence, ABC comes out a winner either way in this case. They no longer produce the shows, yet still stand to make money off of them as they move into the future. As opposed to selling them outright and watching another network or medium make money off of them. ABC can’t have asked for a better situation.