via Press Release
After five months of negotiations with various guilds, hundreds of presentations to potential financial and technology partners, and a hope that we could pioneer a new network for the future, it is with great disappointment that we are suspending our aspirations to revive “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” via online distribution. It is now becoming clear that mounting issues make our ability to meet our deadlines to get OLTL on the air in a reasonable time period following its January 13, 2012 ABC finale impossible.
We believed the timing was right to launch an Online TV Network anchored by these two iconic soap operas, but we always knew it would be an uphill battle to create something historical, and unfortunately we couldn’t ultimately secure the backing and clear all the hurdles in time. We believe we exhausted all reasonable options apparent to us, but despite enormous personal, as well as financial cost to ourselves, we failed to find a solution.
While we narrowed in on a financial infrastructure, the contractual demands of the guilds, which regulate our industry, coupled with the program’s inherent economic challenges ultimately led to this final decision. In the end, the constraints of the current marketplace, including the evolution and impact of new media on our industry simply proved too great a match for even our passion.
In our opinion, new models like this can only work with the cooperation of many people striving to make them happen, and we would like to thank and praise the numerous people who tried to help and showed us incredible support. We are extremely grateful to the fans and media who showed great support to us through this process, to ABC who did everything in their control to help, and we are especially grateful for the support and encouragement from many of the Soaps’ cast and crew themselves.
We hope that our efforts are not lost, and that we somehow created a dialogue and movement on the feasibility of first run, network quality content online.
Of special note, we would like to thank Frank Valentini (Executive Producer), Ron Carlivati (Head Writer of OLTL), Agnes Nixon, many of the cast of OLTL including Michael Easton, Ted King, Kelley Missal, Melissa Archer, and of course Erika Slezak all of whom signed on quickly and did all they could to help, as well as our own Christine Sacani. Cameron Mathison and Lindsay Hartley also get our sincerest thanks for their support. We feel terrible we couldn’t come through for them and we were very much looking forward to working together.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Looks like another ghostly return for “One Life to Live.” John Wesley Shipp, who played the abusive father of the Ford brothers and ex-husband of their mom Inez Salinger (Jessica Leccia) appears to be headed back to Llanview for the show’s final days on the air. But just what brings the murdered deadbeat dad back to the canvas?
In a lengthy note posted on his Facebook page, Shipp wrote in part that “The ideas for this last week of ‘OLTL’ on ABC truly approach brilliance; when I was told, roughly, what I would be asked to do, it was not what I had thought, and man was I psyched. I tripped on the idea for a week before I ever got the script lol. Kudos to Ron Calivati and his staff, to Exec Producer Frank Valentini whose praises I continue to sing (some show is going to grab him up if they’re not careful) and a technical crew that not only functions with the proficiency that comes from doing this alot of years, but every time you give, they give back, and you feel it.”
Eddie was last seen as a corpse back on April 26 when he was murdered in cold blood by the now comatose Matthew Buchanan (Eddie Alderson). No word on a first airdate for Shipp’s scenes, which were taped late last week, although they are expected to air sometime in early January. It is also unknown if Leccia will be reprising the role of Inez as well.
Click here to read more of Shipp’s Facebook posts about working with the “One Life” cast and crew.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Yesterday afternoon, Soap Opera Digest reported that “General Hospital” has named breakdown writer Shelly Altman as its Co-Head Writer working alongside Head Writer Garin Wolf. Per the magazine’s website Altman’s new role is effective immediately.
In July, Soap Opera Network first reported on Altman’s move to “General Hospital” after 11 years at ABC’s “One Life to Live.” At the time Altman was joined by Tracey Thomson on the breakdown team replacing Meg Bennett and David Goldschmid, who were both fired following the termination of Bennett’s husband Robert Guza, Jr., who Wolf replaced back in May.
Before joining “One Life to Live” in 1999 as an Associate Head Writer, Altman worked at NBC’s “Another World” from 1995-1999 in the same position. She received five Daytime Emmy Award nominations in the category of Outstanding Writing Team. Her last four nominations being at “OLTL” (2002, 2006, 2008 and 2009) and her first at “AW” (1996). Altman won the award in 2008 while at “OLTL” under the writing team headed up by Ron Carlivati and Dena Higley.
In July 2010, Altman wrote a blog for The Writers Guild of America East which can be viewed here.
As Soap Opera Network went to press, a “GH” representative was unavailable for comment.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — October 8, 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of Soap Opera Network, an online magazine celebrating the world of soaps past, present and future.
Soap Opera Network began as an online message board on the then popular ezBoard (now called Yuki) platform by two individuals that wanted to start a more industry based discussion forum for fans of the soap opera genre with the idea that not only could one discuss the comings, the goings or the general news of the day, but have the opportunity to learn more about the names, the faces and the minds of the people that help make daily dramatic serials happen year in and year out. At launch, soap operas “All My Children, “As The World Turns,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital,” “Guiding Light,” “One Life to Live,” “Passions,” “Port Charles,” and “The Young and the Restless” were on the schedules of television networks ABC, CBS and NBC.
In November 2002, Soap Opera Network left ezBoard and became its own .com service.
Thanks to elaborate databases such as a ratings archive (how soaps rated over the years), episode count archive (who appeared in episodes of a soap opera each and every month and year), its end credit archive (who wrote, directed or produced each episode), including a listing of episode writers and directors along with profile pieces on more than 80% of the writers, producers and directors, Soap Opera Network has cornered the market on information surrounding the inner workings of the soap opera format.
Over the course of its ten years, Soap Opera Network has interviewed a number of daytime’s biggest stars and behind the scenes personnel including Susan Lucci, Erika Slezak, Melody Thomas Scott, Maurice Benard, Steve Burton, Sarah Brown, Hillary B. Smith, Robert S. Woods, Ilene Kristen, Ken Corday, Cameron Mathison, Cady McClain, Eden Riegel, Judith Light, Bradley P. Bell, Brian Frons, Maria Arena Bell, Sherri Shepherd, Daniel Goddard, Greg Meng, Marlene McPherson, Darrell Ray Thomas, Nancy Curlee, Melissa Archer, Kristen Alderson, Julie Pinson, Ron Carlivati, Frank Valentini, Linda Dano and many more.
Current Soap Opera Network staff is as follows:
Xavier Toups, Co-Founder
Errol Lewis, Editor in Chief; General Hospital Editor; Days of our Lives Editor
Angela Rosa, Managing Editor; All My Children Editor
Scotty Gore, Managing Editor; One Life to Live Editor
Venus Stone-Cutter, The Young and the Restless Editor
Gehrig Burnett Jr., The Bold and the Beautiful Editor
(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) — 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) — The latest cast changes and other odds and ends for “One Life to Live.”
Is Tonja Walker on her back to Llanview as Alex Olanov. While it has yet to be confirmed if she is referencing “OLTL,” the actress posted the following message on her Facebook fan club page “I am coming baaaackkkk! I don’t know anything else!” Walker last appeared as Alex back in April.
Steph Garcia next airs as a Diner Waitress on Thursday, November 3.
Paul Hickert will play Kentucky Cop #2 on Monday, October 17.
According to IMDb, one of Nic Robuck‘s (James Ford) October airdates will be the 21st.
For those of you wondering the name of the actress who played Victor’s (Trevor St. John) secretary Tracy recently, here is your answer. The young lady was Alyssa Rose, daughter of New York Mets announcer Howie Rose. She also appeared on the show back on July 6 as a “patient representative,” which marked her debut as a television actress.
Although first airdates remain unknown for Kathy Brier (Marcie) and Chris Stack (Michael), Brier tweeted on August 30 that she was “@ OLTL in the Hair & Make-up Room…I will be going back for a bit…and yes I am really preggers!,” along with this picture of herself in the make-up chair. Look for both Brier and Stack to return to Llanview with Marcie and Michael’s little son Gabriel Thomas. Also, ABC SID reports that Brier’s pregnancy will be written into the show.
The magazine also reports that Tina (Andrea Evans) and Cord (John Loprieno) will stick around Llanview for awhile when they return on September 26 and 28, respectively. In fact, Head Writer Ron Carlivati tells the mag. that he has a big fall storyline planned involving the two of them.
Look for some more dayplayer characters in the coming weeks, including a lawyer and a mystery man.
Christopher Stadulis played an Agent on Monday, August 22.
Get ready for a music video to go along with Starr’s (Kristen Alderson) new single. Alderson tweeted earlier this week that “A new song & a music video to go along w/it for the show! Are u dying w/excitement yet?l ol that’s all I can say with out getting in trouble. Such a blast in the recording studio with @oltlmusic today. I can’t wait for you guys to hear the new Starr/Baz [Barret Helms] song!”
On a related note, “OLTL” Music Director Paul S. Glass tweets that “Mixing right now Kristen….sounds incredible! Definitely a blast!! Thanks!” He also said on September 5 that “the Viki/Dorian [Erika Slezak/Robin Strasser] montage was ‘Moments’ by Josh Auer. We had Josh do special version but the original is available on iTunes.” And he responds to fan who asks the name of a song Jessica sang while on the run way back when Erin Torpey was still in the role by tweeting “Wow..that goes way back! That song is ‘I Will Be the Flame’ by a singer/songwriter Sarah Symons.” Check out Glass’ Twitter page for more comments and thoughts on Starr and Baz’s single.
David A. Gregory (Ford) tries to clear up some confusion surrounding “One Life’s” transition to Prospect Park by posting a message on his Facebook page: “Hey everyone. Just wanted to let you know that, as of now, I have no new news about who else is heading to the online show, when the online production begins, where it films etc. Not sure when our last tape date for TV is, although I’m told it’s just before Thanksgiving. Hope this helps. Sorry I cannot answer all questions.”
Is Andrew Trischitta (Jack) making the moving with “OLTL” to online-only distribution? On September 8, the actor responded to a fan who asked if he was interesting in continuing with the show after it leaves ABC by tweeting “I would love to do so.”
And Robin Strasser (ex-Dorian) also chimed in, tweeting on September 5 that “NO, haven’t been asked to participate in prospective Prospect Park ‘OLTL.’ NOR in ‘OLTL’s’ last final months. Diss-appointing? yes-Surprising-no.” And then earlier this evening, after learning that “OLTL” Executive Producer Frank Valentini would be continuing on with the show after it moves to Prospect Park, Strasser added “NO WAY! JUST HEARD: Frank Valentini signed EP Prospect Park ‘OLTL?’ Smart move that, wonder if there’s a chance they’LL call me? prolly SLIM 2 none : (”
(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.
(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”…