(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — With only one week left to go until production on its ABC Daytime run is finished, the list of former “One Life to Live” cast members returning to Llanview continues to grow.
Among those rumored to be making their final appearances on the soap before it moves to Prospect Park are Jessica Tuck (Megan), Roscoe Born (Mitch), Susan Batten (Luna), Barbara Garrick (Allison), Ty Treadway (Colin/Troy), and Meghann Fahy (Hannah), many of which were spotted by fans entering and exiting the show’s studios in recent weeks.
Those listed above are in addition to the previously confirmed returns of Catherine Hickland (Lindsay), Fiona Hutchison (Gabrielle), Tonja Walker (Alex), January LaVoy (Noelle), John Rue (Moe), Tuc Watkins (David), and Brian Kerwin (Charlie). Kate Miller is also reportedly coming back for a few episodes as Brody’s (Mark Lawson) sister Nadine Lovett. And, as we previously reported, “OLTL” creator Agnes Nixon will tape scenes on November 17, that will air during the week of January 9. Nixon will play Agnes Dixon, the creator of “One Life’s” infamous soap-within-a-soap “Fraternity Row,” and will be interviewed by Blanca Morales (Carolina Bermudez).
On a related note, Mellini Kantayya, who has played a recurring dayplayer nurse over the years, will also be back in the show’s final weeks. The actress tells Soaps.com that “These last times shooting are bittersweet. I’m sad to see the show go, but I really feel lucky that they’ve had me on so often during the years. I’ve met and worked with so many talented people. It’s been a truly wonderful experience.” Kantayya will tape her final scenes on November 11 and 15.
However, it appears as if two at least three of “One Life to Live’s” most memorable characters won’t be coming home to Llanview for the show’s ABC finale. Judith Light, who played housewife turned hooker Karen Wolek from 1977-83, is reportedly not reprising her role, despite earlier rumors to the contrary.
James DePaiva, who portrayed Max Holden from 1987-90 and from 1991-2003 (and again briefly in 2007), is also not returning. In an interview with TvLine, the actor’s wife and former co-star Kassie DePaiva (Blair), revealed that the show had not approached her husband about returning to the show. “I’m really shocked that they didn’t bring Max back. Jim DePaiva made a huge contribution to the show, and I don’t know if it was intentional, the snubbing… but it doesn’t take [his contributions] away. Women of my generation still think he’s hot, and I’m married to him so I’m the luckiest one here!” DePaiva also talks about the future of Blair and how she hopes that she will reunite with Todd (Roger Howarth). Click here to read the full interview.
And Robin Strasser, who left “OLTL” in August after playing Dorian Lord off and on for nearly thirty years, tweeted earlier this week that “I have NOT declined numerous offers to return. September, I was asked to do 3 shows, I’d just gotten out of hospital. Looked like a wreck.” Strasser also reveals that she has not been approached by Prospect Park about returning yet either.
In addition, Crystal Chappell, who played Maggie Carpenter on “One Life to Live” from 1995-97 is also not returning, despite being spotted outside the show’s studios last week. According to Soap Opera Digest, Chappell “was just visiting good friend (and ‘Venice’ co-star) Hillary B. Smith (Nora). Chappell was in New York for a few days and was sharing Smith’s Manhattan hotel room for some much-needed girl time.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — After months of speculation as to whether or not he will be returning to “One Life to Live” before the wraps production on its TV run in November, Terrell Tilford (ex-Greg) responds to the rumors. But do his comments lead to more questions than answers?
Tilford, who played the contract role of Llanview’s Dr. Greg Evans from 2009-10, teased fans about a possible “OLTL” return in a video posted on his Facebook page back in August, which was recorded while he was on the set of the Lifetime drama series “The Protector.” Two months earlier he told Soaps.com that “I’d love to make a final appearance before it goes off, especially considering some of the stuff coming up story-wise with my little sister (Destiny Evans, played by Shenell Edmonds) and all that. We’re talking about making it happen, so we’ll see.”
Further adding to the speculation, Tilford posted the following message on his Facebook page on September 11, “To Everyone who has asked if I’m returning to ‘OLTL,’ thank you for enthusiasm of me and the return of Dr. Greg Evans. The only truthful answer I will give for now is ‘NO’ so that if it is ‘YES’ then it will hopefully be a welcoming surprise… Stay blessed, amazing & know that I miss my ‘OLTL’ family, fans & friends…”
Around the same time, Greg’s name was mentioned on screen when Destiny admitted to her big brother Shaun (Sean Ringgold) that she had went to visit Greg in Statesville Prison to get his medical opinion on Matthew’s (Eddie Alderson) condition.
“One Life to Live” will cease taping for the show’s television run in November before transitioning to online-only distribution with Prospect Park. The soap will air its final ABC episode 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”…