(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:
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Saundra Santiago becomes the latest “One Life to Live” seldom used recurring cast member to finally getting some much needed screen time when her onscreen persona, Carlotta Vega, interacts with a familiar face at the family diner, and a few other new and familiar faces pop up in Llanview.
On Thursday, September 8, Carlotta returns when Cristian (David Fumero) seeks a little motherly advice about his future. As we previously reported, Fumero is leaving “One Life” before the show wraps production in November. Santiago taped her scenes on July 14.
In other news, Helmar Augustus Cooper may be returning as Louie, the homeless man who pulled Todd Manning (Roger Howarth) out of the river last month. At the very least, look for the drifter and part-time police informant to be a hot topic of conversation around the LPD water cooler the week of September 5.
Patrick Allen Cole returns as Rodi’s bartender/manager Jeff (now AKA Adam) on Wednesday, September 21.
Nick Choksi (Vimal) has posted on Facebook that “On Thursday’s [September 1] episode of ‘One Life To Live,’ everything seems to be hunky dory in the Patel household, but a secret will lead to a suspicion which will lead to…inevitable mayhem. I also get to square off with the man who cuckolded me…for about a second…which is the most i can handle. ABC @ 2pm.”
Edixon Caridad appears as a Guard in several episodes in mid and later September.
Look for Victor’s secretary at the Sun to continue to appear on screen during the next few weeks.
Barret Helms (Baz) tweets to a fan that the reason he is leaving “One Life to Live” so early is a result of “Baaad timing.”
For those asking about the song playing during Viki and Dorian’s farewell montage during Thursday’s episode was “Moments” by Josh Auer. That was not the first time the song as been used by the show, however, and was heard most recently in this promo from May 12, featuring John and Natalie.
And a walk on role on “One Life to Live” was among the items auctioned off at the Miracle House 11th Annual “Cocktails By the Bay” charity event in Sag Harbor, New York earlier this month. Miracle House “provides temporary housing, meals and advocacy to caregivers and patients coming to the city for critical medical treatment,” according to its website. Click here to learn more.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — You’ve likely heard of the big September returns like Erin Torpey, Andrea Evans and John Loprieno, but they aren’t the only familiar faces coming back to “One Life to Live” in the coming weeks. A few other minor, but noteworthy characters will also be making appearances as summer turns into fall.
Radio personality Carolina Bermudez turns up again as Llanview’s investigative reporter Blanca Morales on Thursday, September 1, when she looks for a scoop from a Llanview resident regarding a crime.
With the “Tale of Two Todd’s” storyline reaching a thrilling climax soon, you might have thought you saw the the last of Irene Manning (Barbara Rhoades), but you’d be wrong. Look for the mother with a warped sense of reality to try to make a deal with one of her sons on Monday, August 29. Rhoades made her “One Life” debut in the role on Tuesday, August 9.
The Buchanan/Evans drama continues into the month of September as Phylicia Evans (Tonye Patano) and Nora Buchanan (Hillary B. Smith) remain at odds.
Patrick Allen Cole taped scenes for his next appearance as Jeff (also know known as Adam), the Rodi’s bartender and manager on August 2, which will air sometime in September.
Brittany Angley will play a waitress on Thursday and Friday, September 1 and 2.
“One Life to Live” has released a new audition script for the role of “Reny,” which appears to be a minor part.
Alicia Henry played Colleen, the stripper who hit on Rex (John-Paul Lavoisier) on Friday, August 19.
Did the woman in scenes with David (Tuc Watkins) playing his agent Bev Altman look familiar? That was actress Brooke Dillman (sporting a blonde wig), who is a childhood friend of Watkins and has appeared with him on HBO’s “Six Feet Under” and the 2009 online “Funny or Die” video “The Sentimentalist.” Dillman’s other credits include “Nip/Tuck, “The Office,” “Blue Collar TV,” “The Bill Engvall Show,” and “Good Luck Charlie,” as well as the film “Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector.”
Robin Strasser (Dorian) had a little medical crisis earlier this week. On August 15, the actress tweeted that she had been “Hospitalized Monday-blood infection-I can’t spell e coli, how’d I get it? I’m home, gonna rest and be grateful. Sorry for disappearing.”
She may have already left the show, but Nafessa Williams (ex-Deanna) posted this picture of herself and how excited she was the day she landed her “OLTL” role.
It has been rumored that an update to the opening is in the works and that a few actors, including Andrew Trischitta (Jack) and Ted King (Tomas) have taped new shots for it.
In case you missed it, get ready for some more Starr (Kristen Alderson) in the coming weeks. On August 1, Alderson tweeted that “Why does Starr have to be a medical wiz all of a sudden? lol I’ve had so many tough lines to say lately!!” She later added that “I have a late call into work tomorrow.. Can you say SLEEPING IN!? I can. Haha,” and “Seriously Starr…quit saying words like this,” along with this close-up of a big medical term from her script. Later she said “Successful day at work! yay! I had lots of lines but it all went very well. Lots of Starr stuff coming up for ya ; ). Lovely day in Llanview.” She also thanked fans for liking her scenes with Roger Howarth (Todd), tweeting “Thanks for all of the positive feedback on my scenes with Roger that aired today. They were surreal to film.”
“OLTL” Music Director Paul S. Glass tweeted this picture of Alderson in the studio recently recording a single with co-star Barret Helms (Baz). And check out this funny one of her dog Pooka at the recording session.
And Kassie DePaiva (Blair) commented earlier this month that “I’m glad so many of you caught today’s show!!! Awesome huh? I loved it too… It’s great to have Roger back. We watched in the makeup room.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Llanview loses a Todd, Dorian moves on to a higher calling, Kelly makes her next move, and other casting changes for the month of August.
As we previously reported, Trevor St. John (Todd) revealed on his website in June that he would be leaving “One Life to Live” when his current contract ends this summer. We now know his final tape date, which, according to Soap Opera Digest was last Friday (July 22). SOD also reports that St. John treated his fellow cast and crew mates to a catered breakfast, lunch, and snacks on set, and his onscreen daughter Kristen Alderson (Starr) tweeted that she had received “Gorgeous ‘thank you’ flowers from Trevor St. John… Going to MISS him around the studio. Love, love, love him.” Just a few days earlier she also commented that “Trevor made us laugh, laugh, & laugh today!”
According to reports “OLTL” has ripped a page from the headlines to help give Robin Strasser (Dorian) a proper sendoff. Apparently, Mayor Lord will be receiving an offer too good to pass up in the coming weeks when she is called to serve as a Senator after her predecessor is ousted as a result of a scandal that is eerily similar to that of real-life former Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York. Strasser, who last airs on Thursday, August 25, is reportedly leaving “One Life” as a result of back problems.
August also marks a new chapter in the life of another Cramer girl as Dorian’s niece Kelly (Gina Tognoni), who just recently reunited with her old beau Joey Buchanan (Tom Degnan), makes a decision about her future on Wednesday, August 17.
And, just because James (Nic Robuck) hasn’t been seen lately, don’t look for him to be leaving Llanview anytime soon. In fact, look for he and Starr to grow closer in the coming weeks.
In other news…
Meena Nerurkar and Harsh Nayyar play Vimal’s (Nick Choksi) parents from India.
Helmar Augustus Cooper portrayed Louie, the man who pulled the man with the scar (Roger Howarth) out of the Llantano River last Friday.
Austin Peck is still taping scenes as the sleazy porn producer Rick Powers.
Carlos Gonzalez appeared again as Officer Garcia back on Tuesday, July 19.
Look for some courtroom scenes coming up next month as Clint (Jerry verDorn) prepares to face the music for the crimes he recently confessed to. The scenes will also feature a dayplayer judge and Clint’s attorney, however, it is unclear at this time if the Buchanan patriarch hires Morgan Guthrie (Tom Zeman) to represent him, or if he gets someone else.
Kristen Alderson tweeted this picture of herself in her Starr clothes as she prepared to tape scenes on July 19 along with the tweet “All dressed and ready for Llanview! Have a great day everyone!” Later she commented that it was “Nap Time in Llanview. So Cozy..” So keep a watch out in the coming week’s for Starr’s green dress.
Is Barret Helms (Baz) not long for Llanview? Last Saturday he tweeted a fan that “It’s gonna be a while til I work again.” And on June 21 he tweeted that he had “Just finished one of the craziest 13 week periods of my life!!” It should be noted that Helms was cast on April 14, the day ABC cancelled “One Life to Live” and “All My Children.”
David A. Gregory (Ford) has also been MIA from the studios lately. The actor commented on Facebook on July 17 that “I haven’t been in to the studio this month. Going back in soon.”
Check out these adorable pictures of Andrew Trischitta (Jack) hanging out at the “OLTL” studios last week with his onscreen little brother Patrick Gibbons, Jr. (Sam). And here’s a picture of the plaque outside Trischitta’s dressing room which also lists his “roommates” Eddie Alderson (Matthew) and David A. Gregory.
And “OLTL’s” Music Director Paul S. Glass, responds to a question from a fan asking about the name of the song played in the closing montage of the June 11, 2008 episode (where Adriana left Rex for Paris), by tweeting that it was “CARMEN RIZZO ‘Next Life,’ featuring Thomas Hanreich.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — While it remains to be seen if his character is really Todd Manning or an imposter, after nearly a decade in Llanview, Trevor St. John announces on his official blog that he is leaving the show later this summer, stating that “One Life to Live” has chosen not to renew his contract as the show prepares to wind down production this fall.
In a post earlier today, St. John writes that “I want to let you know that my current contract on ‘One Life to Live’ is coming to an end and my last shooting day on the show will likely come the week of July 18th. Although I expressed an interest in continuing to perform on the show beyond the aforementioned date the producers have decided they’d rather press on without me. I don’t think I can adequately express my gratitude to all of you who have supported me for the last eight years. It’s been my great honor and pleasure to play the character of Todd. And I can only hope that I served you well and that I did you proud. I’ve also enjoyed the pleasure of meeting many of you in person through the years and I hope we have the opportunity to meet again as my career progresses. But to all of you who have been there for me in person or in spirit — I thank you. Your’s truly, Trevor.”
How this decision will affect the ongoing “Tale of Two Todds” storyline, which also features the recently returned Roger Howarth (who originated the role in 1992), remains to be seen, however fans can expect the storyline to heat up in the coming weeks as the two “Todds” finally come face-to-face.
A final airdate for St. John is unknown at this time. The actor took over the role of the facially reconstructed Todd Manning in 2003, at which time he also played his double, Walker Laurence, who eventually met with foul play. Or did he?
Soap Opera Network will continue to follow the story and bring you details as they develop.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” goes behind-the-scenes to ask some of Llanview’s leading residents their thoughts on one of the town’s most infamous characters — Todd Manning, only to learn that “he’s a bit misunderstood.” But will they spill on just who is really playing Todd — Trevor St. John or Roger Howarth? You’ll have to watch to find out!
Watch as Joey (Tom Degnan), Cutter (Josh Kelly), Clint (Jerry verDorn), Rex (John-Paul Lavoisier), Bo (Robert S. Woods), Kelly (Gina Tognoni), Blair (Kassie DePaiva), Nate (Lenny Platt), Dani (Kelley Missal), Jack (Andrew Trischitta), and Starr (Kristen Alderson) all talk about the man is Todd Manning and what he has become…with a little surprise at the end.