(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) — Even though his character recently wound up on the wrong end of a gun, Trevor St. John is reportedly returning to “One Life to Live” to make one last appearance before the show wraps production on its television run next Friday.
According to Daytime Confidential, St. John, who left “OLTL” in late August when his character Victor Lord Jr. was murdered only weeks after realizing his true identity following eight years of mistakenly believing he was his twin brother Todd Manning (Roger Howarth), will “make some kind of a return appearance to ‘One Life to Live’ before the show goes off the ABC airwaves [in January].”
It remains unclear how Victor will return to the canvas (in the flesh, as a spirit, or figment of someone’s overactive imagination), or when St. John’s next airdate might be.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — ‘One Life to Live’ updated comings and goings for November and other odds and ends.
Jonathan Earl Peck returns later this month as Agent Malcolm Baker, the hired hand of Todd’s (Roger Howarth) late mother Irene Manning (Barbara Rhoades). Look for Baker to team up with someone unexpected.
Remember the recent audition script for the role of Dr. Fascinella? While the name of the actor cast in the recurring role is unknown, except the plastic surgeon and his receptionist to first appear in mid-November when several Llanview residents head to the doctor’s office in Brazil, where one of them makes a surprising discovery.
Frankie Faison is back again as Richard Evans. On October 13, Sean Ringgold (Shaun) posted a picture of himself with his on-screen father and sister Destiny (Shenell Edmonds), along with the comment “Hey guys about to shoot some scenes with my Family . Heads are going to Roll LoL.”
Did one of those Kentucky cops look a little familiar last month? Isaac Hirotsu Woofter, who played a member of Rick Powers’ (Austin Peck) porn film crew back in April and June, portrayed Cop #1 on October 17. Cop #2 was played by Paul Hickert.
Starr is about to make some more music. Kristen Alderson tweeted Thursday that she “recorded a song with @oltlmusic ['OLTL' Music Director Paul S. Glass],” who tweeted “Great work today Kristen!! Hard to believe all we’ve done over the years! You’ve been a superstar since day 1!!”
Alderson also tweeted back on October 17 that her and her “OLTL” cast mates “Just got our wrap party invite! I’m so f*ing excited for this party! Going to be filled with laughs,tears,& DANCING.” The show ends production on its ABC run on Friday, November 18.
Lenny Platt (Nate) tweeted on October 27 that “Today’s workday may go down as the smartest/weirdest/most meta episode in the genre. #OLTL”
And David A. Gregory (Ford) has posted his November airdates on his Facebook page. Look for him on the 3, 4, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, and 23, for a total of 8 out of 20 new episodes airing during the month.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Casting changes for “One Life to Live” for the month of November.
As we previously reported, Tonja Walker is returning to “OLTL” as Alex Olanov. Yesterday the actress posted her upcoming airdates on her Twitter page. Fans can be expect to see her on November 17, 18, 21, and 22, and for Alex to have a surprising connection to Cutter (Josh Kelly).
Kathy Brier has posted a few of her upcoming airdates as Marcie McBain on Facebook. Look for her again on November 1, 3, and 8.
Looks like he’s not dead after all. On Friday, November 4, homeless man Louie (Helmar Augustus Cooper) has an encounter with Todd (Roger Howarth) after having escaped from Irene’s hired goons, who have been holding him prisoner.
Speaking of Irene (Barbara Rhoades), look for Todd to have another vision of his dead mother on Thursday, November 10 when she pushes him to do something drastic.
Matthew Conlon is back as Tomas’ (Ted King) friend art dealer M. Claude Calmar on Tuesday, November 8 when the two have a visit.
Patrick Gibbons, Jr. and Stephanie Schmahl next appear as Sam Manning and Bree Brennan on Monday, October 31.
Although she has been MIA recently, Destiny (Shenell Edmonds) returns next week.
Kearran Giovanni appears again as Dr. Vivian Wright on Friday, November 11 when she and Sean (Shaun Ringgold) have a difference of opinion regarding their future together.
Peter Barlett will be making at least a couple of appearances as Nigel next month, including Tuesday, November 1, when he relays an important message to Clint (Jerry verDorn). On a related note, verDorn talks about Prospect Park’s takeover of “One Life” in a recent interview with Soap Opera Weekly.
Kristen Alderson (Starr) and David A. Gregory (Ford) are reportedly in negotiations with Prospect Park about continuing with the show after it leaves ABC.
Doggie David Vickers (Tallulah Bean) will continue to play a role in an important storyline in the coming weeks.
And check out this cute picture of Andrew Trischitta (Jack) helping Patrick Gibbons, Jr. (Sam) out with his math homework during a break on set, and this one of Roger Howarth (Todd) posing with “OLTL’s” Make-Up Artist Julia Davis.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” casting odds and ends for the month of October and beyond.
Tonja Walker shares more details into her upcoming return to “One Life” as Alex Olanov, tweeting “so far I’m told I have a story, but I’ve only shot four episodes. Hope its only the beginning!” She also says that she “was happy with the way they [the writers] wrote Alex this time,” but that she can’t discuss her scenes with Farah Fath (Gigi/Stacy) and Josh Kelly (Cutter). Walker also tweets that her scenes will air in November and promises to post her airdates soon.
As we previously reported, Paul Hickert will appear on “OLTL” on Monday, October 17 as “Kentucky Cop #2.” Yesterday, the Murray (KY) Ledger & Times posted an interview with Hickert, who played football for Murray State University from 1984-87 on their website. The Clearwater, Florida native, who now calls New York City home, spoke about his upcoming guest spot on the soap, notes that he will have several lines on “OLTL” as a cop, although he couldn’t say much about why his scene takes place in Kentucky, only that one of the show’s major characters finds their way there. Hickert also has a small role as an FBI agent the movie “Tower Heist,” debuting in theaters on November 4th. The film, directed by Brett Ratner, stars Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, and Matthew Broderick. Click here to read a related interview with Hickert from the Murray State Athletics Official website.
According to various sources, including the actress’ Facebook page, Teresa Patel will be joining the cast of “OLTL” in mid-October in an unnamed role. At this time it appears to be a minor role, however, that has yet to be confirmed.
Miss hearing Trevor St. John‘s (ex-Victor, Jr.) voice? If so, then you may be in luck. On Monday, October 17, John asks Téa (Florencia Lozano) if she wants to hear the voicemail Victor left Shaun just before he was shot. Also, in the same episode, Todd (Roger Howarth) has another vision of his late mother Irene (Barbara Rhoades).
Sara Oliver booked an Under 5 role on “OLTL” earlier this month.
“One Life to Live” recently released a new casting call, this time for the role of “Jill.”
Farah Fath (Gigi/Stacy) tweets that she will be taping scenes every day this week on “OLTL.”
Here comes the judge. Look for the dayplayer roles of a judge and assistant district attorney to appear in scenes in late October.
ABC Soaps in Depth clears up a little confusion among “One Life” fans, tweeting that “For those asking, although it didn’t sound like him, that WAS Michael Easton doing the voice of baby Liam last week!”
Looks like there is about to be another catfight on the show. Last Thursday on her Facebook page, Shenaz Treasury (Rama) posted this picture of herself in make-up while on set with a scar on her cheek.
Sean Ringgold (Shaun) posted this picture of himself on September 30 with his onscreen girlfriend Kearran Giovanni (Vivian), showing their characters all dressed up while taping scenes for “OLTL.”
Get ready for some big Starr and Todd scenes soon. Kristen Alderson (Starr) tweeted on October 6 that she had “Filmed some classic Starr/Todd scenes today! You guys are gonna love it. Roger and I had so much fun filming. =)”
On October 1, Austin Peck (Rick) tweeted “I’m having so much fun with Mr. Rick Powers. He maybe a sociopath…but like in the best possible way.”
Shenell Edmonds tweeted that she returned to “OLTL” on October 3 after being on vacation.
And Julia Davis, the show’s make-up artist made several tweets last week on her Twitter page about cast and crew having several long days filming on set.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Talk about mommy issues. On Monday, October 3, Todd Manning (Roger Howarth) shot and killed his mother Irene (Barbara Rhoades) in cold blood after she threatened to blow up his family. But even death can’t stop Irene from making her son’s life miserable.
With Irene now six feet under, her reign of terror on the citizens looks to be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean that Todd will be living happily ever after. Beginning today, and lasting off and on through the coming weeks, the not so dearly departed will continue live on in her son’s mind as she continues to taunt and tease Todd in his fractured state of mind.
But will Todd be able to overcome his mother’s hold on him? Tune in to “One Life to Live” to find out!
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “All My Children’s” television run comes to an end, “The Chew” debuts in its place, and “One Life to Live” asks fans to sample Ford’s wiener.
Despite not having regularly watched “AMC” since childhood, I made it a point to watch the show’s final episode on ABC last Friday. And, while I was out of touch with most of the recent storyline (like how or why Dr. David Hayward kept many of Pine Valley’s supposedly deceased people alive for several years), overall I enjoyed watching that episode. And it made me hope and wish that when “OLTL” airs its final episode on the network in January that it would get similar treatment.
However, that optimism came to a screeching halt when I watched the first episode of “One Life” the following Monday on a post-”All My Children” ABC Network. What a major disappointment to see episode begin with Ford in a hot dog food asking bystanders in Angel Square to “sample his wiener.” At first it made me wonder if the writers were trying to be clever by throwing the scene in right after the first episode of “The Chew,” an infamous new show all about food, had just aired. But I seriously don’t believe they are smart enough to do something like that, especially considering that its not the first (or probably the last) time Ford has been seen in that very same hotdog costume.
I suppose those scenes involving a meat packing Ford (ha!) and troubled Buchanan twit Jessica were more likely to appease the pair’s dozen or so fans. Yes, nothing says love like an heiress flirting with the guy who raped her when she was suffering from a mental illness, while he is dressed up as a giant wiener. And what a nice follow-up by showing a carefree Jessica then jumping rope with three middle school-aged girls. Just warms your heart doesn’t it? I know it does mine. When I watched those scenes all I could think of saying was “well bless her heart.”
But I suppose it can’t compete with the classics like Todd leaving Téa naked out in the cold, and her hitting him in the back of the head with a shovel. Or Victor Jr. (back when he still thought he was Todd) falling in love and sleeping with an amnesiac Marty Saybrooke, the same woman Todd raped years back. Love is many splendored thing, I suppose.
I find refreshing to see just how far “One Life to Live” has come over the years. In 1968, the show was filled with controversial stories such as interracial couples and drug abuse, prominently featured poor and middle class families, and characters representing different ethnic groups and religious backgrounds. Now, forty-three later, we have a man prancing around town in a hotdog outfit, a guy helping his brother’s ex-girlfriend find her long-lost mother by making a porn flick with her, three shirtless brothers frequently hanging out in a sauna, a paranoid idiot receiving notes and “visits” from his dead girlfriend, and a little boy holding a grown woman hostage against a motel room door armed with only a Spiderman costume and a can of silly string. You’ve certainly come a long way Llanview! Stay classy!
However not everything is negative on the show right now. There is still some good on “One Life to Live.” Cord and Tina are a site for sore eyes and so is doggie David Vickers. I think he is much cuter and smarter than his namesake. Todd (yes the same one I mentioned above) cracks me up. Roger Howarth does rather well with comedic material in my opinion, and the majority of his scenes always put a smile on my face and leave me chuckling a little. And I always enjoy it when Natalie knocks Princess Jessica down a few pegs. I mean it’s not as if she doesn’t deserve it every now and again.
Moving on, no one guessed (either correctly or incorrectly) the answers to the trivia questions from last time. So I’m going to give you a second chance to place your answers. In case you missed the clues, here there are again: 1. Kassie DePaiva (Blair) appeared on what game show before joining “OLTL” and who was the daytime celebrity (and future co-star) was she paired up with? 2. What two wars did the late Phil Carey (Asa) serve in? 3. What is John-Paul Lavoisier‘s (Rex) real last name? I’ll have the answers in the October 15 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. Someone is threatened. One family member extends an olive branch to another. An unlikely couple grows closer. And one man comes up with a new scheme to get what he wants.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone! Stay safe and enjoy the beautiful fall weather.
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — With the Prospect Park era about to begin for “One Life to Live,” the show appears to be in better shape than its sister soap “All My Children.”
“OLTL” fans have reason to be optimistic about the show’s future after it leaves the ABC Daytime line-up in January. Ratings for the show continue to be solid and holding steady above “AMC” and “General Hospital.” Casting wise, the soap is an upswing. Hot on the heels of Roger Howarth‘s return to Llanview, comes word that several others, including Andrea Evans (Tina), John Loprieno (Cord), Kathy Brier (Marcie), Chris Stack (Michael), and possibly Tonja Walker (Alex) are on their way back as well. Rumors are flying that Prospect Park may be focusing more on “OLTL” than “AMC,” something which “One Life” never really experienced under ABC. And four of the show’s leading stars, including grand dame Erika Slezak (Viki), have already agreed to remain with the show when it transitions to the online distribution company in a few months (the others being Kassie DePaiva [Blair], Ted King [Tomas], and Michael Easton [John]).
Meanwhile, “All My Children’s” future seems less certain. Aside from strained negotiations between Prospect Park and “AMC” leading lady Susan Lucci (Erica Kane), there have thus far been no confirmed reports of any members of the show’s cast either being in serious talks with the company or signing on the dotted line to continue with the show. Furthermore, it appears increasingly more apparent that “AMC” may get the same treatment from Prospect Park that “OLTL” has gotten for years now from ABC.
Speculation on the matter was fueled last week by two separate incidents. First, Deadline Hollywood‘s Nellie Andreeva reported that “I hear that Prospect Park may reevaluate its short-term strategy for the two soaps and put its muscle behind the higher-rated ‘OLTL,’ while moving ‘AMC’ to the back burner.” That was followed up by a Soaps.com interview with “All My Children’s” Vincent Irizarry (David) who commented that “As far as I know, no, there hasn’t been. I’ve spoken to numerous actors from the show over the last few days and nobody from our show has been in contact with them. Except for Susan [Lucci, Erica], which we all assumed that awhile ago. So, that’s basically it. They’re moving [forward] with ‘One Life to Live’ right now and that’s certainly their right. That’s what they’re doing and for whatever reason that’s how it happened.”
Furthermore, unlike “One Life to Live,” “All My Children” will have a nearly four month gap between the airing of its last episode on ABC and its first episode of Prospect Park. “One Life” on the other hand, is said to be debuting on Prospect Park the Monday after its airs its final ABC episode on Friday, January 13, therefore maintaining the status quo for “OLTL,” while leaving “All My Children” fans in suspense and impatiently waiting for weeks for their show to return.
Personally, I find all of this extremely interesting, especially since there seems to have been a complete role reversal between the two shows. “One Life to Live” has always reminded me of “The Little Engine That Could,” endlessly trying to make its way up the hill to the top of the mountain (i.e. ratings), while all the more powerful engines (or in this case, the better known soap operas) just keep passing them by until one day when the little engine finally made it to the top after years of chanting “I think I can.” In a sense, it is uncharted waters for many “One Life” fans who aren’t used to their show doing so well. It makes me proud of the soap I have grown up watching for more than two decades now.
However, its one thing to get to the top, but it is quite another thing to stay there. And with the show’s writing, production, and directing crews under Prospect Park still up in the air, it leaves me feeling somewhat concerned, especially given the fact that current head writer Ron Carlivati still seems on track to join the writing staff of “General Hospital” once “OLTL” up production of its TV run in November. Granted, Carlivati isn’t exactly daytime’s best scribe considering “OLTL’s” overabundance of useless characters in idiotic storylines (e.g. the Nate/Deanna/Rick porn plot), and treatment of women characters, but he must be doing something right for the show to be climbing in the ratings as it has been. But like him or not, he does bring stability to the show and often draws upon the soap’s rather rich history (even if he usually twists it to fit his own agenda) when penning tales. Throwing in someone new, especially if they are not very familiar with the show could cause problems. The same can be said for Executive Producer Frank Valentini. For several years now, he has managed to keep “OLTL” under budget while running a tight ship. Finding a suitable replacement may prove difficult.
That being said, I think the show is in good hands with Prospect Park, and believe that it will continue to do rather well. Even so, I am well aware of the potential risks involved in moving an established 43-year-old soap opera from a television slot it has held for more than 30 years to the uncharted waters of online-only distribution. If it works, then wonderful, soaps will have found a new way to live on. If it fails, then at least soap fans can say they tried, and “OLTL” and “AMC” will be remembered for going where no other soaps have gone. Either way, it gives new hope for the daytime serial genre, proving that there may still be some life in the old “stories” yet.
Moving on, congratulations to “CBRVA83,” who correctly guessed the answers to my trivia questions from last time. In case you missed the clues, here they are, along with the answers: 1. What current “OLTL” cast member was the youngest soap star ever placed on contract with a daytime drama back in 2001? Answer: Kristen Alderson. 2. In college, what subject did Ted King get his undergraduate degree in and from what school? Answer: Business from UC-Santa Barbara. 3. What foreign language did Erika Slezak grow up speaking before learning English at five-years-old? Answer: German.
Now it’s time to shake things up a bit and do some more trivia. See if you know the answers to these questions about some of the current and former cast members of “One Life to Live.” 1. Kassie DePaiva (Blair) appeared on what game show before joining “OLTL” and who was the daytime celebrity (and future co-star) was she paired up with? 2. What two wars did the late Phil Carey (Asa) serve in? 3. What is John-Paul Lavoisier‘s (Rex) real last name? I’ll have the answers in the September 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. Someone turns up dead. One man risks his life to save others. An unlikely person is put in jail. And one sister makes a shocking discovery about her sibling.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone! Stay safe!
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Three years after her character uttered the words “Goodbye Llanview, I’m gonna miss you … but you have not seen the last of Tina Lord Roberts, that I promise you,” Andrea Evans returns to “One Life to Live” as Tina attempts to reconcile with her estranged family. However, it isn’t exactly love of family that brings Tina back home.
On Monday, September 26 look for Tina, along with her beloved canine companion David Vickers (presumably still played by Tallulah Bean), to travel back to Llanview, where she arrives just as the estate of her deceased, long-lost brother Victor Lord, Jr. (Trevor St. John) is being settled.
Once back in town, she is reunited with fellow siblings Viki (Erika Slezak) and Todd (Roger Howarth), along with a few other family members. Unfortunately for Tina, however, things don’t go quite as expected for the Lord heiress, who has has a run of bad luck. As for doggie David Vickers, look for him to make an important discovery, which could place several lives in jeopardy, including his own.
But how will Tina take the news, and just how will she react upon learning that her late mother Irene (Barbara Rhoades) is still very much alive? And with Cord (John Loprieno) also returning, will the old flames rekindle their relationship? Tune in to find out!
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — With his character murdered only weeks after finding out he was really Todd Manning’s (Roger Howarth) twin brother Victor Lord, Jr. and not the reformed rapist himself, Trevor St. John taped his final scenes on “One Life to Live” on July 22 after eight years on the show. Now that he has already left the canvas, aside from some possible flashbacks scenes, his former “One Life” co-stars take a few moments to wish him well and recall what they learned from him over the years.
Kristen Alderson (Starr), Kassie Depaiva (Blair), Kelley Missal (Dani), and Andrew Trischitta (Jack) all took part in the video send-off for St. John, wishing him well and recalling what they have learned from him over the years.
You can watch the video below: