(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” fans have reason to celebrate today as a handful of the show’s current cast members, including six-time Daytime Emmy winner Erika Slezak (Viki) have already agreed to make the transition with the show from ABC to online-only distribution with Prospect Park. According to Deadline Hollywood the company, which leased the rights to “OLTL” and sister soap “All My Children” in July, Slezak, along with Kassie DePaiva (Blair), Michael Easton (John), and Ted King (Tomas) will all be remaining with the show after it airs its final ABC episode early next year.
“One Life’s” longest-running cast member, Erika Slezak has been with the soap since 1971. Kassie DePaiva first appeared on the show in 1993. Michael Easton made his “OLTL” debut in 2003, and Ted King joined the show back in February of this year.
According to a statement from Prospect Park, “Pending a final agreement with AFTRA, Prospect Park has confirmed that ‘One Life to Live’ cast members Ted King (Tomas Delgado), Michael Easton (John McBain), Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer) and star of stars Erika Slezak who plays Lord family matriarch Victoria Lord, have agreed to deals to join the company’s new production of ‘One Life to Live.’ This marks the first confirmation of cast members since Prospect Park began planning for the soap production to live on the new online network beyond its finale January televised date on ABC.”
Furthermore, Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva reports 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.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Just another abnormal week for “One Life to Live.”
Last week was an example of just how quickly things can go wrong in Llanview, both intentionally and unintentionally. Two weeks ago the show was riding high on the fallout over the revelation of the real Todd Manning. However, just days later it was as if “One Life to Live” was cursed when a series of unforeseen mishaps and errors disrupted the continuity of the storylines and left viewers scratching their heads and screaming at their TV screens.
First there were the “breaking news” pre-emptions by both the network and local ABC stations covering topics such as the civil unrest in Libya, the East Coast earthquake, and the looming threat of Hurricane Irene. For the most part, each of those interruptions were relatively brief and understandable, although still nonetheless frustrating to “OLTL” fans who believe (rightly so) that news only seems to happen during the 2:00 pm ET hour on weekday afternoons.
Next was the so-called technical glitch that plagued last Thursday’s episode, which just so happened to be Robin Strasser‘s last airdate as the legendary Dorian Lord. As confusing and disprectful to Strasser and the character of Dorian as it drew attention away from what should have been a tearful farewell for her, I have to admit that the situation a little comical. At one commercial break, Viki and Dorian had just realized they were locked in her office together. But a few minutes later when the show returned after a commercial Dorian was setting at a table in the same office enjoying some cake with her Cramer girls (from the previous day’s episode). Then another commercial break, and suddenly Dorian and Viki were back to being locked in her office together.
Which brings me to my next issue. Whether you are a “spoiler whore” like me and have a rough idea of what is going to take place in each day’s episode, or you wish to remain spoiler free, you could not deny that there has just been something really off regarding the past four or five episodes of “One Life to Live.” The editing has been atrocious and choppy in the past few episodes, leading many viewers to wonder what exactly is going on. Rewrites of some of the storylines would be a good assumption, however, most of the things that were already spoiled to happen are still taking place on screen, but just in different episodes than originally planned. And to further compound matters, some scenes seem out of place and out of sync with how things ended in the previous episode. For example, last Thursday’s episode ended with Natalie talking with Clint in the library at Llanfair about his ex-wife Kim returning to town. On Friday, however, Natalie was shown in the cemetery with Rex, who was showing her how the death date on Gigi’s tombstone had been scratched out. But then the next episode (on Monday) picked up where Thursday’s show left off with Natalie and Clint back at Llanfair talking about Kim again.
To add to the confusion, random unrelated scenes have been popping up in places they shouldn’t be in some of the same episodes as well. Like a quick shot of Kim at the cemetery watching Gigi’s grave being exhumed sandwiched in between scenes of Victor and Todd arguing at his office at The Sun, or a short scene of Rex and Shane arguing in the middle of Monday’s episode even though neither of them were seen elsewhere in the episode (outside of last second shot of Rex holding a gun at the end of the show). These are just a few examples of the rushed, sloppy editing that is making this show disjointed, choppy, and rather hard to follow.
And it doesn’t help matters that the writers have begun dropping major storylines for days a time to focus on unpopular plots, characters, and pairings. What ends a cliffhanger one day may not be resulted or shown again for maybe two or three more episodes, adding to viewer frustration. This, combined with unnecessary and poorly defined “newbies” helps make this show its own worst enemy. The cast remains bloated and we forget about half of the characters on the canvas the majority of the time because they are rarely seen or drawn into a storyline. Take Cristian for example, outside of his occasional scenes recently with Shaun and Rama, what purpose does he really serve? The same for James, Nate, Deanna, Baz, and several others. There are too many characters right now (contract, recurring, and dayplayers), and the scenes are often too short for fans to really become invested in any particular characters or storylines, not to mention the fact that the tales are becoming increasingly stupid and idiotic, and long-time legacy characters are turned into nothing more than props and plot points. But yet, I suppose it is still more believable and entertaining than “All My Children,” which has a crazy doctor who has somehow kept most of town’s deceased residents alive and well.
After watching “One Life to Live” all last week with all its interruptions and editing issues, it made me realize that this show never fails to surprise me, whether it be for better or for worse. There is never a dull moment when it comes to Llanview, and finding something to do an article about for SON. Take this column for example. A week ago I had no idea what aspect of the show I was going to write about this go around, and then the show gave me plenty of inspiration and material to work with as I sat down late this evening (as usual) to hammer out a (hopefully) somewhat decent column only hours before my “deadline.” As noted earlier, there is never a dull moment while reporting on “OLTL,” whether it means I am writing about HD cameras and equipment, MMA fights (i.e. Mark Lawson), prom dresses, or High School Musical themed episodes. There always seems to be something to talk about, whether I like what is happening or not. Remember that, just because I write an article about something or someone pertaining to the show, it does not mean that I agree with the decision. I am simply the messenger, so don’t shoot…haha.
Moving on, no one guessed (either correctly or incorrectly) the answers to my trivia questions from last time….although I gave everyone a second chance, so here are the answers:
So here are your questions again: 1. What connection did Lee Patterson (ex-Joe Riley and Tom Dennison) have to legendary comedian Jack Benny? Answer: He was his golf caddy at one time. 2. Tonja Walker is cousins with what famous country music star? Answer: Billy Ray Cyrus. 3. James DePaiva (ex-Max) is a descendant of what former U.S. President? Answer: Andrew Johnson.
So now, let’s try some new trivia questions. 1. What current “OLTL” cast member was the youngest soap star ever placed on contract with a daytime drama back in 2001? 2. In college, what subject did Ted King get his undergraduate degree in and from what school? 3. What foreign language did Erika Slezak grow up speaking before learning English at five-years-old? I’ll have the answers in the September 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 forced to part with something very dear to them. An unexpected person becomes the voice of reason for a troubled individual. Two old flames revisit their past. And one person in particular demands justice be served.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone!
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Less than a week after first breaking the news that Barret Helms had wrapped up filming on “One Life to Live,” Soap Opera Network can now confirm the actor’s final airdate as Tomas Delgado’s (Ted King) long-lost son Baz Moreau.
Helms will last appear as Baz on Tuesday, September 20, exactly three months to the day after he first appeared on the show back on July 20. The actor, who finished taping last month, tweeted on July 21 that he had “just finished one of the craziest 13 week periods of my life!!”
As previously reported, 13 weeks is the length of time since beginning a contract that a soap can drop an actor no matter the initial length of said contract. The actor is not given the same courtesy (they must stay for the full duration).
Fans shouldn’t expect Baz to go out on a quiet note however, as he prepares to leave Llanview to return to Paris to be with his mother. In a tweet on August 22, Helms assured fans that he has “one more really good stint coming up!”
Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming Soap Opera Network interview with Helms along with his former “One Life” co-star Nafessa Williams (ex-Deanna Forbes), where the two discuss their experience on the soap and its cancellation and how the series going online may not be such a bad thing for fans.
(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.”