Back in November 2013, Prospect Park amended its lawsuit against ABC by demanding more than $95 million in damages following what it claims was the network’s scheme to create a “mega soap” after ABC utilized characters from “One Life to Live” on “General Hospital.”
According to court documents from the time, Prospect Park alleged ABC convinced the company to allow “GH” to “borrow” certain “OLTL” characters in a limited, short-term capacity. But, as brought to light by Prospect Park’s original lawsuit, the plaintiff said that “even before the ink dried on the parties’ agreement, ABC began unilaterally changing key storylines and themes, literally killing some ‘OLTL’ characters and deeply integrating others into the ‘GH’ landscape, all to create a mega soap of ‘GH’ behind Prospect Park’s back.” Following Prospect Park’s claims, ABC has now filed an official response, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Per the publication, in ABC’s response the network says, “Here, Prospect Park is not asking this Court to resolve an unsettled question by interpreting the Agreement.” They add, “Instead, it is doing the exact opposite: asking this Court to rewrite the contract to unsettle something that parties have already firmly determined — the term of the License.”
Citing Prospect’s claims in its lawsuit that the network was planning a “mega soap,” which resulted in ABC to go “so far as to induce the actors who had been playing some of the more popular characters on ‘OLTL’ to sign secret, exclusive, multi-year contracts with ABC — all without a word to Prospect Park,” which the company says was done to allegedly “limit or prevent the actors’ return to ‘OLTL’ once Prospect Park exercised its options rights,” ABC says Prospect Park never complained. “To the contrary, Prospect Park exercised its Option for both ‘OLTL’ and ‘AMC’ in December 2012, and the parties subsequently entered into two additional amendments to the License Agreement, which each extended Prospect Park’s time to begin production of the shows and gave ABC continuing use of the ‘OLTL’ characters on [‘General Hospital’].”
With much speculated about the terms of said license, the network revealed that its agreement with Prospect Park allowed Prospect rights to both “OLTL” and “All My Children” for up to 15 seasons of 12 calendar months unless the company ceased production for 18 consecutive months. As you’ll recall, production officially ended on “One Life to Live” in September 2013 when Prospect announced via an LA Times report that it would fully concentrate its time and effort (as a result of its lawsuit against ABC) on “AMC.” Sadly, the company unofficially put “AMC” on hiatus as well when in November 2013 actors from the soap tweeted that production had been “canceled.”
Should Prospect fail to produce a new episode of either series after the 18 month period, rights to each would therefore revert back to ABC. THR notes that the network wants Prospect’s lawsuit “ridded of a license extension demand,” which Prospect asked for despite its demand to no longer have to pay any licensing fees to the network during the duration of the lawsuit.
Fore more on ABC’s response, click here.