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"The great and the least,
The rich and the poor,
The weak and the strong.
In sickness and in health,
In joy and sorrow,
In tragedy and triumph,
These are all your children."
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News, Cast Updates and Scoop(News section last updated May 20, 2013)
FX Canada axes AMC and OLTL(tv.msn.ca) FX Canada has announced that they will be axing broadcast of revived soaps All My Children and One Life to Live.
Prospect Park announced last week that they were scaling back airings on Hulu.com and iTunes to 2 episodes a week from the 4.
While online availability in Canada hasn't been announced by Rogers Media (who run FX Canada), they did release the following statement:
Due to changes in production beyond our control, FX Canada will no longer be airing All My Children and One Life to Live. Beginning Monday, May 20, back-to-back episodes of critically-acclaimed series 30 Rock will air from noon to 1 p.m. ET on FX Canada.
Canadians who'll be missing out on their favourite soaps (once again) to reach out to FX Canada and Prospect Canada via social media:
Update: All My Children and One Life to Live have been added to iTunes Canada, retailing at $1.99 per episode or $9.99 for a 20-episode combo pack.
Soaps Done at FX Canada?With this weeks news of the switch to 2 new episodes per week for All My Children and One Life To Live, FX Canada (http://www.fxcanada.ca/) seems to have removed all signs of the soaps operas on their schedule page and the seperate show pages no longer exist on their website.
Jordan finally front and center in 'Fruitvale'Before "Fruitvale Station," Michael B. Jordan (ex-Reggie, All My Children) was glimpsed sporadically in supporting roles on TV shows like "The Wire" and "Friday Night Lights," and in films like "Chronicle" and "Red Tails."
That changes emphatically with "Fruitvale Station," a Sundance hit that premiered Thursday night at the Cannes Film Festival. In the film, he plays Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old victim of the infamous 2009 police shooting on the Oakland, Calif., transit system.
To humanize Grant, first-time filmmaker Ryan Coogler fashioned the movie around his last day: Jordan hardly leaves the frame.
"When I first saw it, I was like, 'Man, can we cut to something else? I'm tired of looking at myself right now,'" Jordan said in an interview by the beach off the Croisette. "That's when it really sunk in that this is sink or swim. Sink or swim. Hope I'm swimming."
Not only is the 26-year-old Jordan swimming, he might as well be doing swan dives along the Riviera. He utterly commands "Fruitvale Station" with star-quality charisma and an honest naturalism.
"I wanted to show that I could carry a movie," he says. "That's the next step. I want to do films. I want to be a leading man. A lot was riding on this."
"Fruitvale Station," which was simply called "Fruitvale" before the Weinstein Co. picked up the film for release July 16, won both the Grand Jury prize and the Audience Award for a drama at Sundance. Cannes has a tradition of cherry-picking the best of Sundance. Much as "Beasts of the Southern Wild" did last year, "Fruitvale Station" is playing in this year's Un Certain Regard section.
Jordan, who says he was merely hoping the film would make it into Sundance, was excitedly enjoying himself at Cannes on Thursday. He's planning to stay at the festival a few days longer than necessary, "to drink a little more, stay up a little later."
"It's electric," says Jordan. "It's like March Madness. It's that time of year where everyone's just in it, talking about movies."
But he's also trying not to get ahead of himself.
"I don't want to be that ignorant American who comes over here and expects everyone to love it: 'Oh, you got to love it because it's hot over there,'" he says. "I want people to be excited about it because it really affects them."
"Fruitvale Station" has certainly been doing that, with raves for the film continuing at Cannes. Its power owes much to Jordan's performance, as he slowly — through a routine day of running errands, fighting to keep a job, trying to live down an earlier stint in prison, and caring for his daughter — fleshes out Grant beyond the simple posthumous photo in a newspaper.
"Something me and Ryan really wanted to show is spontaneity," he says. "It's about the humanity. It's about how people treat each other, regardless if they're black, white, orange, from wherever, whatever social background, how much money you got — it doesn't matter."
Coogler, a native of the San Francisco Bay area where the film takes place, had Jordan specifically in mind for the part. A moment after meeting him, the director knew he had the magnetism of the sociable Grant.
"In everything that he was in, I wished the camera stayed on him," says Coogler. "He would be in a scene, and on TV, it leaves and goes on (to another character). I would be like, 'Man, we should be following that guy.'"
Jordan has had some memorable roles, including as the tragic, young, drug-dealing Wallace in the first season of "The Wire," and as Vince Howard, the troubled but good-hearted quarterback of "Friday Night Lights." The show, Jordan says, was the first time he got the material to "show what I can do."
The actor says he was "drooling at the bit" to play Grant. But perhaps the greater challenge to seeing his name atop the call sheet every day during shooting "Fruitvale Station" was that Jordan would be playing a real person, one whose family was intimately connected to the production.
"His daughter is going to have to watch this movie one day," he says. "I didn't want to let anybody down. I didn't want to see me up there. That was the biggest thing: I didn't want to see Mike up there."
Jordan has been in talks to play the Human Torch in Twentieth Century Fox's "Fantastic Four" reboot. He acknowledges the possibility, but says, "That's not real yet." The film is to be directed by Josh Trank, who cast Jordan as one of three high school friends who gain superpowers in "Chronicle."
If Jordan were to be cast in "Fantastic Four," he would be the rare black actor to assume a superhero role. Jordan acknowledges that some will prefer the continuity of the Human Torch remaining white, as he is in the comics. But he thinks the character's most identifiable qualities have little to do with race. (Jordan's character in "Chronicle" was also originally scripted as white.)
"I'm all about breaking barriers and changing stuff," says Jordan. "It's 2013. We've got a black president. Times have changed."
But whatever is to come for Jordan, it's clear he has big ambitions: "I want a career like Leo," he says. "I want a career like Ryan Gosling."
Smiling, Jordan says: "It feels good. It feels good to get to a place where I can be creative and selective about certain things I do. I'm really curious to see what's next."
Michael B. Jordan: World is ready for black Human TorchThe internet has been abuzz about Michael B. Jordan's (ex-Reggie, All My Children) possible casting as Johnny Storm, aka the fiery Human Torch, in director Josh Trank's reboot of The Fantastic Four, due out in 2015.
One item of note for fans of the original comic: Johnny Storm is white, while Friday Night Lights star Jordan is African-American.
Jordan is at the Cannes Film Festival where his widely praised role in Fruitvale Station is being shown on an international stage and talked with USA TODAY about the possibilities of taking on the role.
"Things change and time goes on, it's 2013 right now," Jordan says of the Torch talk. "The characteristics of the Human Torch are his name is Johnny Storm, he's charismatic, and he's a playboy. That's it. You know what I'm saying? That's all there is."
Chris Evans played the role most recently, in 2005's Fantastic Four and 2007's Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, both directed by Tim Story.
Rest assured Jordan has the goods to take this on. He makes clear that right now the casting is all talk. But he starred in Trank's superhero drama Chronicle, and the two are good friends.
"Nothing is real. Everyone knows we're good friends. It's something that if it happened I would be ecstatic," says Jordan, giving a big wink. "I'd love to be a part of it."
"That wink was off the record," he then laughs.
Superhero movies have been part of a genre that has seen colorblind casting in the past: The late Michael Clarke Duncan played the Kingpin, a caucasian supervillain, in Daredevil (2003), and in this summer's Man of Steel, Laurence Fishburne takes on the role of newspaper editor Perry White, the gruff old white guy from decades of Superman comics.
There have been critics of Jordan's possible casting. "I think all these people have a continuity problem," the actor says.
But he believes most people are more than ready to accept the proposition, and the self-confessed comic-book/graphic-novel geek says he's getting a lot of love on Twitter about the talk.
"I get a lot of support and a lot of love from comic-book geeks. I love it," says Jordan. "If you go looking for negative things you're going to find it. You never go through a girl's phone. If you're looking for trouble, you're going to find it. But we'll see where this all goes.''
Why AMC and OLTL Are Cutting Back!(abc.soapsindepth.com) Fans were shocked to learn that starting Monday, May 20, ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE, which had been airing via Hulu.com four days a week, would now be airing twice a week. (AMC will air Monday and Wednesday, with OLTL filling the Tuesday and Thursday slot.) We went to Prospect Park head honcho Jeff Kwatinetz for details on what led to the surprising move.
Soaps In Depth: What does this mean for the future?
Jeff Kwatinetz: It's good. We've been getting millions of views. We're off to a great start. The data is pretty clear. People aren't watching like they watched it before. We should have expected this. We thought it'd be a lot...I don't know why, but our initial instinct was that people were going to watch them like they watched them on ABC. But the truth is they're watching them more like they watch shows on-line, and people are just falling behind. They think that there are too many episodes, and they don't like missing shows or getting behind. [Another factor has been the fast paced-nature of the episodes themselves.] We don't want to slow them down so people feel like it is okay to miss a show. People are telling us - and you have your own experiences - that if they miss one of our shows they feel like they have to go back, they can't just pick up.
In Depth: How does switching to two days a week impact the pacing of shows that are already taped? If you had a Tuesday show that's now a Wednesday show -- and you're not getting another one till next Monday -- how does that affect the viewers? What about cliffhangers and holiday shows, themes that were going on?
Kwatinetz: That's a really good question. Luckily, our stories weren't dependent on things like holidays or times of year. But that's part of why, once we saw that people were watching the shows more like they do other on-line shows, we realized we needed to do something quicker and [not] end up with the kind of issues you're talking about.
In Depth: Once you've gotten a chance to see how this new schedule does, might you consider going back to a four-episode week down the line?
Kwatinetz: Of course! We always said that we're going to adjust to the audience. This give us more time to work with you guys about marketing the show and making the show its own event. The last thing we wanted to do is slow down the pacing because everyone loves the shows themselves. I have not been involved with TV that has gotten such great reviews. We don't want to screw around with the content. We just wanted to make sure that people can keep up.
Jeff Kwatinetz Explains Change To AMC/OLTLIn an interview with Digest, Prospect Park chief Jeff Kwatinetz explained the rationale behind cutting AMC and OLTL back to two new episodes a week from the current four. "Every day, tens of thousands of people start with episodes one and two and we want those people to keep doing it," he says. "What happens to the viewer on June 1 who goes online because they're hearing the shows are good and they're seeing that there are 30 episodes of each show? What are the odds that that person is going to say, 'Oh, I'm willing to watch 30 episodes?' We started to see very clearly that people were going to be daunted by that and we don't want to turn off new viewers. It's important that we build the viewership and we want people to feel that the shows are accessible, which is kind of the whole point why we're doing this online to begin with." He admits that he did not anticipate the move. "We were surprised when we saw that people were watching it a lot more like online viewing instead of the way they watched the soaps before," he notes. "Looking back now, it seems kind of obvious to me, but we obviously thought that the way we were doing it was the right way. But now that we see how people are watching them, we don’t want to ignore it; we want to react to it." For the full interview, check out an upcoming issue of Digest.
Important Announcement about All My Children and One Life to Live Show Schedule(Propect Park/TOLN Press Release) For close to two years we have been working passionately to bring first run premium content to an online platform with the creation of brand-new versions of the two iconic series, All My Children and One Life To Live. There was no precedent for this effort- we had no history-no barometer for how our fans would respond. We always knew there would quickly be new insights into how audiences would respond to our shows and this new platform, and that our ability to adapt quickly to audience needs would ultimately determine the long-term success of the shows and our mission. This is a new medium, a new time and we have always planned to make changes quickly by listening to you, our fans and customers.
Today it is clear these shows have resonated, as many millions of views have been logged since our April 29th debut, a mere two and a half weeks ago. We've consistently been in the top ten shows viewed on Hulu and viewers and critics alike have told us how impressed they are with the quality of both programs. The past two weeks have been invaluable in terms of learning about how you watch and when you watch our shows on this new platform. We have gained enormous insight through our actual viewing data and our research. And our research has revealed the following:
In the past these shows had their vast majority of views within the first 24 hours. Instead, our shows are primarily consumed on different days then when they originally air. Primarily, fans have been binge viewing or watching on demand, and as a result, we feel we have been expecting our audience to dedicate what has turned out to be an excessive amount of time to viewing these shows. (As an example, for the substantial audience only watching on the weekends, we are currently asking them to watch five hours of programming to keep pace with our release schedule).
On ABC the shows shared a large percentage of their viewers with each other. Yet, the majority of our viewers are watching one show or the other, not both, and they aren't viewing the shows when they did before. Part of the reason for choosing between the shows may be that the largest viewing takes place either between 12PM and 1PM (when people generally can only fit one episode during lunch time) or between 5PM and 7PM (when the vast majority of competing shows are a half hour long). We are finding that asking most people to regularly watch more than a half hour per day online seems to be too much.
During their ABC runs,viewers watched only 2-3 episodes on average a week and picked up with whichever day'sepisode it was. Our viewers seem to primarily start with the first episode and then continue forward episode by episode. Like with primetime serialized dramas as opposed to the traditional slower pacing of daytime, people feel lost if they miss an episode. People are starting from the beginning; the shows are designed for complete viewing from episode one. Yet starting from the beginning with the amount of episodes we are releasing is asking too much for viewers who need to catch up.
The clear conclusion is that while somewhat mixed, these viewing patterns resemble more closely the typical patterns of online viewing rather than how one would watch traditional television. This leads us to believe we are posting too many episodes and making it far too challenging for viewers to keep up. When it comes to online viewing, most of us are just trying to find time to watch series comprised of 13 to 22 episodes a season-so asking viewers to assign time for over 100 episodes per show is a daunting task.
Therefore, we have chosen to revise our scheduling model beginning this Monday, May 20th by introducing two new episodes from OLTL and AMC each week- new episodes of AMC will now run on Mondays and Wednesdays, and fresh episodes of OLTL will post Tuesdays and Thursdays. MORE, our behind the scenes series, will run as a single show on Fridays. This allows us to introduce a new episode of quality television every Monday through Friday and gives the audience a chance to catch up as we continue to build awareness and excitement around these new shows. Because Hulu agrees with our findings, for the meantime they will keep all of our episodes on Hulu.com for free to give viewers the opportunity to find us and catch up.
We know our most dedicated viewers will be upset as they would probably prefer more shows to less (we personally wish there were more episodes of our favorite shows; we would love 50 episodes a year of Homeland, Mad Men or The Simpsons). We apologize to these viewers and ask them to please understand we are trying to ensure our shows succeed and not meet the fate they experienced previously. We need to devise a model that works for all viewers and follows how they want, and are actually watching, online. When it comes to online, as with all new technology, it's adapt or fail. We feel fortunate to be an online company and to have such an opportunity to adapt. Of course, we will continue to evaluate all the data that comes in and will be vigilant about revising our strategy as needed.
We want to be clear that this will in no way impact our feverish pace of production - we will be filming new episodes through mid-June, continue editing throughout July and until we go back into production in August. It's a frenetic schedule but all of us are up for the challenge and excited to continue to deliver great shows.
As a new venture we felt obligated to address the needs of our viewers head on and to make adjustments that we think will work for our viewers. And as always, we thank you for your continued support and encouragement.
Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz
Video: Go Behind the Scenes of All My ChildrenWhat does a typical day on the set of All My Children look like? Chaos, apparently.
In the exclusive clip below, AMC fans can get a glimpse at the frantic behind-the-scenes work that goes into churning out four 30-minute episodes (available on Hulu and iTunes) every week. With the show's five weeks on, five weeks off production schedule, it's no wonder things in Pine Valley are a little hectic.
Check out the video to get an idea of what it's like on set and to see stars like Cady McClain (Dixie Cooney) talking about their rigorous workdays.
Soap Stars Hit PrimetimeThe networks recently revealed their upcoming primetime plans, and there are quite a few daytime alums who will be gracing our TV screens in these new series!
Natalie Hall (ex-Colby, ALL MY CHILDREN) will be featured in STAR-CROSSED, a new CW drama set in a world where an alien race have landed on Earth and been forced to live in an internment camp. But things get interesting when an alien boy and eight others of his kind are integrated in a suburban high school, and a romance develops between him and a human girl.
AMC's Sarah Michelle Gellar (ex-Kendall) and ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Amanda Setton (ex-Kimberly) will be appearing in CRAZY ONES, a new CBS comedy set in the world of advertising and starring Robin Williams.
Wendy Moniz (ex-Mayor Finn, OLTL; Dinah, GUIDING LIGHT) is in the cast of BETRAYAL, a sudsy-sounding drama that also stars James Cromwell and Henry Thomas.
And two of AS THE WORLD TURNS' former Lucys have new primetime gigs: Spencer Grammer will be in NBC's crime-drama IRONSIDE, based on the '60s series, and Peyton List will be starring in The CW's THE TOMORROW PEOPLE, a sci-fi adventure based on a UK series from the '70s about teenagers with powerful psychic powers.
MICHAEL NADER REPRISES ROLE AS DIMITRI MARICKIt's been more than a decade since actor Michael Nader's 'Dimitri Marick' stepped foot in Pine Valley, but thanks to Prospect Park's The OnLine Network, longtime fans can look forward to reuniting with Nader's brooding character when he returns to the beloved series on June 3rd. 'Brooke English,' played by actress Julia Barr, has offered 'Dimitri' a job as head of one of Chandler Enterprises new divisions - Chandler Media - which he gratefully accepts. How will Pine Valley residents react to 'Dimitri's' return after all these years?
Dog With a Blog: All My Children's Miranda Helps Avery With Her First Crush(Photo) This Sunday on Disney Channel’s Dog With a Blog (8/7c), when tweenage Avery stutters and stumbles through meeting the boy of her dreams, her gal pal Nikki — played by Denyse Tontz aka All My Children‘s new Miranda Montgomery — does her best to smooth things over.
In “Avery’s First Crush,” new classmate Dustin leaves Avery (played by G. Hannelius) speechless, so Salvadoran Nikki acts as an “interpreter” of sorts. As the episode unfolds, Avery learns that to win Dustin over she’ll need to lean on his idol/her brother Tyler, who in trade wants his sib’s help getting closer to Nikki.
Where’s Erica Kane when you need a proper wingman…?
Soap star Jordi Vilasuso 'flips the script' and creates a 'Perfect Day' for fans(wnypapers.com) Actor, producer, founder and father. These are just a few of the many accomplishments soap star Jordi Vilasuso has achieved.
"All My Children's" Dr. Griffin Castillo is back in Pine Valley after the recent re-launch of the soap opera. On this day, however, Vilasuso is in Atlanta - and it's sort of to treat a patient like his character would on "AMC."
But Vilasuso won't be acting. Rather, the actor is introducing his newest venture: Creating a "Perfect Day" for soap fans. "Perfect Day," a new Web series, profiles soap actors and their biggest fans.
"We saw what was happening to the genre of daytime television. We came up with this idea ... to cater to the fans. Our whole motto is to flip the script. With everything that has happened with the fans, it's the reason 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' came back to the air. The fans were the reason with the campaigns. We want to give back," Vilasuso said.
"Perfect Day" also helps support local charities. It raises awareness of learning disabilities, genetic disorder and illnesses such as autism, Down syndrome and breast cancer.
Jeff Dockweiler, on-set coach for "AMC," John Homa, on-set coach for "General Hospital," and Vilasuso created a production company called Paos Revolution (literally soap spelled backwards). After extensive researching and planning, Vilasuso and Paos Revolution launched "Perfect Day."
"We get a daytime star and a charity they believe in, and why this charity story needs to be told, and how it contributes to society and to making life better. Then you have a fan, and them giving the fan a perfect day," said an enthusiastic Vilasuso. "The fans will get to see another side of the daytime stars they haven't seen before."
What made Vilasuso create such an inspiring idea? In conjunction with acting and spending time with his newlywed and daughter, he enjoys giving back. In his spare time, the actor attends many charities and various events that give back to society. One of his main goals is to contribute and make a difference in the world.
"When I started getting some kind of exposure, I started getting all these events and fundraisers and what have you. They were great; have some drinks, dance. But I never felt like me, myself, I made a difference and contributed," Vilasuso said. "If I can make it to charities, I try to go. I love to help out and there's so many. As a person who has some sort of privilege of influence, I feel I should do that. So I felt like this model, this show, will excite and inspire the audience.
"If I watch movies, I like it to be intriguing. When I watch something, I know I've got my money's worth when I laugh and cry. When the idea for 'Perfect Day' came up, I thought, 'Wow, this is something worth perusing,' rather than just showing up to charities. I feel like this kind of vehicle puts exposure on a whole other level."
The pilot episode features the actors giving fan Jane Rosko (Dockweiler's sister) a perfect day for her son, who has autism. Vilasuso's focus for the pilot was Jacob's Ladder Center for Autism in Atlanta. His goal was to give super mom Rosko a perfect day, and flip the script to indicate she is the star of the show. Vilasuso said Rosko is a huge fan of "AMC," and was thrilled to hear of the webisode.
"Whether it's a great restaurant, spa or local attraction, we will highlight the local charity. We're interested on shining light on smaller charities. Jacob's Ladder Center is a great one," Vilasuso said. "Jane was a great choice, because she is our partner's sister and she is a huge fan of mine. I've had some phone conversation, and she's been a fan of mine since I starred in 'Guiding Light.' Jeff has seen what she's gone through and he thought it was the perfect match. We feel, for this episode, it worked out perfectly. We're giving back, and it's something she has a very intimate relationship with."
According to Vilasuso, fans can expect the show to have an "Extreme Makeover" feel to it. Both shows focus on giving back to society and charities while utilizing a few celebrities in the process.
In this case, whether it is go-cart racing, playing baseball, etc., fans can anticipate to laugh, cry and learn more about their favorite soap stars.
"It's a feel-good reality show," Vilasuso said. "We're going to use somebody who had some sort of celebrity status. We're going after the soap fans. Soap fans are very loyal. We want to engage it and let the story be told and how it contributes to society and making life better. I'm so passionate about it, because there's a lot of good reality TV, and we want to promote a good product fans will enjoy to watch."
Paos Revolution anticipates great results and fan responses from the production and the pilot episode. Vilasuso expressed his excitement about highlighting autism, because May is Autism Awareness month.
In each webisode, 10 percent of the funds raised will go directly to the charity of choice.
"It will exist for all the right reasons. It's not just some reality show. People ask 'What are you doing in your down time when you're not acting?' It took me years to figure out what am I doing. I am so passionate about this project. ... It's fulfilled me," Vilasuso said. "I contacted everyone on my Facebook and Twitter and said, 'Hey, please check this out.' I've never spent the amount of work doing this. The replies and messages I got back on Facebook amazes me and made me think, 'Wow, this is really relevant to our society. It's going to make a difference.' "
"Perfect Day" will air this summer. Fans can watch the pilot episode and purchase DVDs at paosrevolution.com. To help contribute and make a difference, visit indiegogo.com and click "make a contribution." The set goal for the summer is $25,000.
To watch Vilasuso on "All My Children," visit hulu.com.
Susan Lucci's PEOPLE Magazine Cover Look Gets in the Smithsonian(people.com) (Photo) It was a PEOPLE magazine cover to honor Susan Lucci's first Emmy victory, and now it will be on display forever at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
On Thursday, Lucci was on hand in Washington, D.C., to officially sign over the pink satin dress and pink bejeweled Manolo Blahnik heels she wore for the June 7, 1999, issue celebrating her win after 19 consecutive nominations. Also donated was an original copy of the magazine, and Lucci completed the offering with an autographed copy of an original All My Children script from when she played TV vixen Erica Kane.
"When this PEOPLE magazine came out, the people at All My Children blew it up right away," Lucci told PEOPLE. "It was framed in the hair and makeup room from the day I won, until the day All My Children went off the air at ABC."
"And they also put one outside of my dressing room, so that it said my name and then there was the cover," she said. "It's a very big deal to be a solo cover on PEOPLE magazine. It was at that time and it remains that."
What Lucci remembers of the Smithsonian-worthy dress: "I bought it at Bergdorf Goodman. I don't remember who it's by. I just know that I loved it and it's French."
"Although I'd still love to wear this dress and these shoes," Lucci added, "I'm so honored that the Smithsonian would like them."
But it will take some getting used to.
"I don't think that I have wrapped my mind around [seeing my things at the Smithsonian] quite yet," she said. "I picked up my shoe and they said, 'No, from now on you can't touch anything unless you are wearing white gloves.' There's a lot that goes with this. It's an honor. It's a place I have visited with my own children. The Smithsonian is a big deal in our collective American mentality."
Now that the Smithsonian has partnered with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences – simultaneously accepting a donation from Jeopardy host Alex Trebek – her family has an even bigger reason to visit.
"They probably won't be impressed at all because they remember it," Lucci said. "But my own children are very impressed. My son called me on the way here to say, 'This is such a big deal, mom! Tweet how you feel.' And I did, I tweeted that I was thrilled!
Lucci's only other wish: "That my father, a history buff, was here today to see me in the Smithsonian."
Jason Derulo Swings By Pine ValleyThe OnLine Network continues its string of musical guests for its soaps, this time with multi-platinum recording artist Jason Derulo making a special appearance on ALL MY CHILDREN.
"I was thrilled to stop by Pine Valley to perform my new single for ALL MY CHILDREN," Derulo says. "It's such an iconic show and it's cool to be a part of its revival online. I have nothing but love and respect for the cast and series and had a blast on set."
Derulo was on the Stamford, CT, set Wednesday, May 8, taping the episode where he'll be performing his new single "The Other Side" as part of a gala hosted by Julia Barr's Brooke. Look for the episode to air on Wednesday, July 3.
Lucci, Trebek donate TV objects to SmithsonianThe Smithsonian Institution is adding relics from soap operas and game shows to its national entertainment collection to tell the story of daytime television.
On Thursday, actress Susan Lucci from TV's "All My Children" and Alex Trebek from "Jeopardy!" visited the National Museum of American History to donate objects from their shows. They were joined by the creators of "Barney" to show the range of daytime TV programs.
The new artifacts range from show scripts and props to original artwork. Lucci donated the pink gown and shoes she wore for a national magazine cover when she won an Emmy in 1999.
The museum is launching a three-year initiative to collect more objects to tell the story of daytime television. It is partnering with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Susan Lucci: I Hope to Return to All My Children(tvguide.com) Attention, All My Children fans: you may not have seen the last of Erica Kane.
Asked whether she would be making an appearance on the revamped online version of the soap, Susan Lucci tells TVGuide.com, "I hope so. We're trying."
Lucci, who starred on All My Children for more than 40 years before it went off the air in 2011, admitted that she hasn't had a chance to watch the online version, which airs on Hulu and iTunes, but plans to do so. "I've wanted to," she says. "I just got a new iPhone, and I had the link on my old iPhone but it got lost in the translation. I can binge. I can catch up."
TVGuide.com spoke to Lucci at the A&E Networks upfront presentation in New York City Wednesday, which she attended to promote her new series, Devious Maids, which premieres on Lifetime in June. Created by Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, the series revolves around a group of four Latina maids and the secrets they overhear while working for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills, Calif.
"I think Devious Maids fits into that Downton Abbey /Upstairs, Downstairs /The Help mode in a very, very contemporary way," Lucci says. "Our Latina population in this country is exploding and has grown tremendously, and should be represented, and is represented in Devious Maids. Something that I love, that I would say is the takeaway from Devious Maids, apart from how much fun it is to watch, is that we are, none of us, defined by what we do or the size of our bank accounts."
And that's not the only project that's been occupying Lucci's time. She's starting work on Season 2 of her Investigation Discovery show Deadly Affairs next week. But in the middle of everything, she hopes to return to Pine Valley at some point.
"When they started shooting, I was smack in the middle of doing Devious Maids," she tells TVGuide.com. "And also they have a challenging schedule themselves. They're five weeks on, five weeks off. So we're trying to fix it somehow. It's something we want to do and we hope to achieve it."
Would you like to see Erica back on All My Children?
Susan Lucci talks 'All My Children,' Erica Kane cursing(latimes.com) "Is there a lot of cursing on 'All My Children' now?" Susan Lucci asks in bewilderment (clutching her pearls, in our imagination).
The legendary soap opera actress, best known for her role as conniving vixen Erica Kane on "All My Children," was well into our phone interview Wednesday morning when the topic came up. Had she heard the defunct ABC soap had gotten a little foul-mouthed in its online revival?
We assured her the cursing was at a minimum -- though, still jarring for some viewers. Such is the creative freedom when you move from broadcast to online. "All My Children," along with fellow long-running soap "One Life To Live," was canceled by ABC in 2011 -- only to get brought back to life on the Internet, via Hulu and iTunes, by production company Prospect Park. Both series made their online debut last week.
But could Lucci, who did not make the online transition (instead, she'll soon appear in Marc Cherry's "Devious Maids" on Lifetime), envision Erica using profanity?
"Well, I don't know, it would all depend on what they wrote for me and how organic it would be," she said playfully. "Erica Kane seemed to get her point across pretty well without cursing!"
Touché. Still, it got us wondering what might be the biting character's favorite curse word.
"I don't know," Lucci said. "I've never thought about it. Maybe I'll have to think about it."
Let that serve as a glimmer of hope for those interested in seeing Lucci reprise her role on the soap. The actress, who keeps a busy schedule, what with the new Lifetime series and her Investigation Discovery series "Deadly Affairs," says both sides are trying to make it happen. "All My Children," which is produced by Prospect Park's The Online Network, is on a five-weeks-on, five-weeks-off production schedule.
"We are going to be meeting in the next couple of weeks, all in the same room to put our books on the table and see what we can come up with."
Billy Clyde Is Back! Matthew Cowles Returns To AMCOne of AMC's most legendary baddies, Matthew Cowles's Billy Clyde Tuggle, is slated for a return to Pine Valley. As longtime watchers know, the character was presumably killed in 1990 during a confrontation with Tad (Billy Clyde had rigged the bridge on which they were struggling with explosives in an attempt to off his rival). May 16 will mark his first episode. According to a show rep, the super-villain now runs an escort service and will be involved in Angie and Jesse's quest to find her missing daughter, Cassandra. Expect Billy Clyde to also interact with Dixie, who had been the unwilling object of his deranged affection.
Soap-Opera Veteran Peter Bergman on the Future of Daytime Dramas(time.com) It’s been an exciting few days for veteran soap-opera actor Peter Bergman, who, since 1989, has played Jack Abbott on The Young and the Restless on CBS. (He’s been working in daytime dramas since 1980. If his face looks vaguely familiar to you non-soap fans, it might be from his appearing in those Vicks Formula 44 commercials from the mid-’80s in which he advised viewers, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV…”)
On May 1, he learned that he was nominated for yet another Daytime Emmy. It’s his 19th; he’s won thrice, most recently in 2002. He knows that the world of soaps has changed since he earned his first nod in 1983: “It’s a slightly different animal now; back then, there were 11 different soap operas—and now there are four.” And that change is only highlighted by the fact that his first nomination—30 years ago—was for his work on ABC’s All My Children, the daytime drama that has also had an exciting couple of days. Last week, the show (along with One Life to Live) made its move from network television to online-only.
TIME caught up with Bergman, who appeared on All My Children from 1980 to 1989, to get his take on the changes.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in daytime television who isn’t cheering them on,” says Bergman, of the new Web-based soaps. “I hope it is a massive success and I’m one person who’s going to buy Hulu Plus and check it out.” (Though the first episodes of AMC and OLTL went live on Apr. 29, Bergman said he planned to watch later in the week—one of the advantages of online viewing.)
Much of that good will comes from being part of that small community of daytime-drama vets: Bergman has friends who are still on both shows But another part of it is less feel-good: he still believes that ABC pulled the plug prematurely on the two long-running series.
“Like all of television—daytime, nighttime, news, morning programming—the ratings have been in freefall for a very long time,” Bergman acknowledges. “I think some young suit walked in and said, ‘How about if we change the whole paradigm, what if we put on a show that had half the viewers that All My Children had but only cost one-third what All My Children did, wouldn’t we come out ahead?’ And no one in the room said, ‘What are you talking about!?’ Networks aren’t idiots but I just think too many bean-counters got in there.”
Bergman says that he never believed the network would actually cancel the shows, but knows that the salad days of soaps have long passed. “I got to ride the crest of the wave back in the ‘80s,” he says. “It was an extraordinary time. It was a national phenomenon, this daytime thing. Those days were heady days and they’ve passed, but what’s there now is still really significant.”
As evidence, Bergman points to successful primetime soaps (he likes Downton Abbey) and, yes, the rise of online television. Plus, with fewer soap operas on TV, he says the ones that remain have seen a boost in their ratings. (He cites a figure of 4 million daily viewers for The Young and the Restless, which he wouldn’t have thought much of for a soap opera in the ’80, but thinks is boast-worthy today.) While it makes for a concentrated Emmys race—three of the four actors in Bergman’s category are from The Young and the Restless—it’s good for those who are worried about the genre.
“The state of the soap opera is actually healthier than it was a year ago,” he says. “This may be the perfect time for All My Children and One Life to Live to launch online. And I’d love to see it be a giant success and for ABC to be really embarrassed by it all.”
Brooke Newton & Jason Pendergraft Join Online Soap 'All My Children'(deadline.com) The Online Network announced today that Brooke Newton is taking on the role of Colby Chandler, described as the spoiled entitled daughter of patriarch Adam Chandler, and Jason Pendergraft is checking into Pine Valley Hospital as new character Dr. Anders, an all-business physician. Newton’s episodes begin streaming May 16, and Pendergraft’s episodes begin running May 27. Newton’s TV credits include Gary Unmarried, CSI, Glee, How I Met Your Mother, Mad Men, Happy Endings, and Suburgatory. She also has appeared in the feature films Natale a Miami, Real Premonition, Sydney White, Little Fish, Strange Pond, and RoboDoc. She currently stars opposite Rob Lowe in the feature Knife Fight and appears in the films Jake Squared, Hamlet’s Ghost, Jet Set and A Leading Man, all set for summer release. Pendergraft’s TV credits include Law & Order, As the World Turns, CSI: New York, Gossip Girl, Army Wives and White Collar. On the film side, he’s appeared in When Will I Be Loved and Frat Brothers Of The KVL. New 30-minute episodes of All My Children are streamed Mondays-Thursdays on TOLN partners Hulu and iTunes.
All My Children Weekly Recap: Who Died and Who's Still in Mortal Danger?(tvguide.com) The sexed-up version of All My Children made its online debut this week and it answered the question longtime fans have been waiting almost a year and a half to know: Who did JR shoot? Read our recap to get all the dramatic details:
In the five years since JR descended upon the Chandler party, many Pine Valley residents have struggled to move on. Brooke is still tormented by nightmares, for which her (now hot) teenage son has no sympathy. AJ is too focused on his best friend Miranda, who in turn is infatuated with high school bad boy Hunter. When Hunter eventually asks Miranda out, her over-the-top excitement — and sexy outfit — push AJ over the edge, causing a minor rift between the longtime besties. Miranda's happiness is soon extinguished when she discovers that Hunter only wanted a threesome because he thought she would be a "freak" like her mother. Overflowing with testosterone, AJ punches Hunter right in that pretty face of his. (Get it, boy!)
Meanwhile, Opal is bursting with joy at the thought of her dear Petey coming home again. He thinks it's just for a brief visit, but if she has her way, he'll never leave her side again. As a way to make him stay, Opal begs Pete to revive his father's company Cortlandt Electronics, something he only agrees to once he meets the stunning Celia. (What better reason to stick around than a pretty girl?) Of course, Celia has her own issues to deal with.
Though she's 18, Celia's life is dominated by a controlling (and conservative) mystery guardian. After a brief rebellion, Celia agrees to try and live by his rules — until he forbids her from volunteering for Brooke at the Miranda Clinic. Even though it means getting financially cut off, Celia throws caution to the wind and ignores his demand. Maybe her new, rich suitor Pete will be able to help her out a little?
While the younger Pine Valley residents are overwhelmed by lust and puppy love, the older residents have more serious issues to fret over. Jesse had planned the ultimate surprise for Angie: a visit from their daughter Cassandra. Worried when Cassandra doesn't show up or answer her phone, Jesse secretly investigates and discovers that she's been kidnapped by the Russian mob, which wants to get a piece of Zack's casinos. Afraid of upsetting Angie, Jesse refuses to let his wife in on their daughter's perilous situation.
Jesse isn't the only one to get an unpleasant surprise. At the hospital, Cara is shocked to see that David is out of jail (all thanks to Angie, who spoke at his parole hearing). In the past five years, Cara never visited David and only wrote one letter, telling him that she lost their child. But things might not be so simple. Cara's hiding a big secret from David that he's set on finding out. Could their child be alive?
But before he can get the answer, David has something else to take care of: JR! The man who wreaked havoc at the Chandler party is now in a coma. David considers pulling the plug, but decides that a coma is more of a punishment. That all changes when David notices JR's fingers twitching and immediately reaches for this throat. While many Pine Valley residents would decry David's attempted murder, we're sure there's one who wouldn't mind JR dying: Bianca Montgomery. It turns out, as JR and David struggled with the gun five years ago, the stray bullet struck her partner Marissa Tasker and killed her.
Teasers/Burning Questions for Next Week
JR wields power over Cara's future, while David attempts to get back into medicine. Things heat up between Celia and Pete when they go on an adventure together. Meanwhile, Opal receives a surprise visitor and AJ gets a present that may change everything.
Now that we're a full week in, what do you think of the revamped All My Children? Will you continue to watch?
Grey's Anatomy Grandma Jennifer Bassey Teases Owen/Ethan 'Tear-Jerker,' Possible AMC Encore(tvline.com) Tonight on Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 9/8c), Dr. Owen Hunt’s paternal leanings will be further reignited as he considers the fate of young Ethan, whose mother has just died while his father lay in a coma.
When last we tuned in, Ethan’s grandmother Nancy — played by All My Children alum Jennifer Bassey — had arrived on the emotionally fraught scene. And while she might appear to be the logical fallback guardian should her son never regain consciousness, “There are a lot of twists coming up,” Bassey tells TVLine.
As her three-episode arc continues, “I’m in terrible fear that my son is never going to wake up, so my grandson Ethan and I have a lot of tension between us,” Bassey shares. “Our relationship will really be tested in this next episode.”
One thing we know is that an “incident” happens this week, causing Owen to question Nancy’s ability to care for Ethan. Might Owen — who longs to be a father (despite Cristina’s anti-kids stance) — somehow wind up with a wish fulfilled? “There are actually two curveballs coming up,” Bassey teases, adding, “It’s heavy-duty…. They write real tear-jerker stuff!”
Directing Bassey in her second episode was scene partner Kevin McKidd himself — an impressive feat considering Owen’s prominence at this instant. “I said to him, ‘Did you know that you were going to have such a heavy storyline when you directed this episode?’ And he said, ‘No, I didn’t!’ she relates. “He was like a whirling dervish, running back and forth so much.”
Even so, Bassey — who connected with McKidd while discussing her past travels to Scotland — reports, “The Scots wear their hearts on their sleeve, and that’s how Kevin is. He’s very outgoing and full of good cheer… a lovely human being.”
At the time we spoke to Bassey, she had just gotten done checking out the first two online episodes of the resurrected All My Children — a former stomping ground she would love to revisit.
“I’ve got to tell you, it’s the best writing I’ve ever seen on that show,” she raves. “When I emailed the producer, Ginger Smith, to wish them good luck, she wanted to know if I’ll be in New York for the summer, so there’s a chance” for Marion Colby Chandler to resurface in Pine Valley. “So we’ll see!”
Flashback! Kelly Ripa Posts Wedding Photo in Honor of 17th Wedding Anniversary(Photo) Congrats are in order!
Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos are celebrating their 17th wedding anniversary today and in honor of the special occasion, Ripa posted a photo from her wedding day back in 1996.
The flashback photo, which features the couple gazing into each other's eyes on the alter, is too adorable for words.
Ripa is wearing a sparkly spaghetti-strap dress, while her hubby is shown wearing a black dress shirt.
Both of the former All My Children stars look like they haven't aged at all!
Ripa also tweeted: "I love you @MarkConsuelos happy anniversary! 17 years feels like 17 days. X"
Happy anniversary to the sweet married couple!
SightingsSUSAN Lucci celebrating her cover of The Resident with editor Christopher Pape in Garden City.
Prospect Park revives soaps 'All My Children,' 'One Life to Live'(latimes.com) Nearly two years after being canceled by the ABC network, soap operas "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" have been brought back to life on the Web.
The two daytime dramas made their online debut Monday on the video site Hulu and Apple's iTunes store. In a sign of the shows' persistent appeal among fans, the soaps quickly bubbled up in the rankings of most popular TV shows offered by the two services.
ABC canceled the programs in 2011 because they were becoming too expensive to produce, particularly as the median age of the audience marched past the 55-year mark, and advertisers became less interested in the format. The increasing use of digital video recorders also hurt. The devices allowed legions of loyal fans to watch their favorite stories, even if they worked during the daytime, but enabled the viewers to fast-forward through the commercials.
Enter Prospect Park, a Los Angeles-based production company headed by Rich Frank, a former chairman of Walt Disney Studios, and ex-talent manager Jeff Kwatinetz. The company secured rights to make Web versions of the show in a bet that the passion of the audience for such legacy programs continues to have financial value.
So far, such high-profile actors as Susan Lucci (the temptress Erica Kane of "All My Children" fame for four decades) have yet to sign on for the new versions. To entice younger viewers, Prospect Park introduced younger characters including Jenni "Jwoww" Farley from MTV's "Jersey Shore" as a bartender on "One Life to Live."
The challenge for Prospect Park will be to recruit advertisers and younger viewers while still delivering compelling stories about veteran characters that a majority of the audience grew to love. In addition, many older viewers are not as technologically savvy and might be less inclined to make the leap to Internet services.
Soaps Using Innovative Marketing for Online Revivals(hollywoodreporter.com) The relaunches of "All My Children" and "One Life To Live" on Hulu and iTunes are being supported by promotional campaigns that mix new and old media.
“You took my children and I want them back.”
That was the cryptic message on a billboard along Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles last month that was part of a multi-million dollar marketing push for the online revival beginning Monday of soap operas One Life To Live and All My Children.
Both had been staples of broadcast TV for more than four decades before they were canceled by ABC in 2011. Now the marketing challenge is not only to bring back their mostly female audience and attract new, younger viewers, but also to convince them to watch the programs on Hulu or buy them in iTunes.
The billboard was a tease intended to build buzz and signal this soap opera revival was different. And it did just that, says executive producer Jeff Kwatinetz, who with partner Rich Frank runs Prospect Park, the privately held management and production company that licensed the shows from ABC and has reinvented them as four times a week half hours (on ABC they each ran for one hour).
“The billboard didn’t provide an immediate connection to All My Children but we think it was fun and it showed some attitude,” says Kwatinetz. “And people began to immediately tweet pictures of the billboard and began writing about it.”
The effort to make these soaps pioneers in the switch from old to new media has been innovative not just in the distribution model but also in how they have been selling it using a robust mix of old and new media.
The traditional part of the plan has included the purchase of print ads in Parade, TV Guide, US Weekly, Soap Opera Digest and Soaps In Depth. There has also been a national campaign of radio advertising along with on-air promotions and contests on pop stations like Z100 in New York City with prizes including a walk-on role in one of the soap operas, set visits, and trips to New York for a screening of the soaps by I Heart Radio and a red carpet premiere on the NYU campus held earlier this week.
They have also bought time on cable TV and digital channels. In addition, they have generated publicity by sending stars from the soaps (many of whom were on the ABC version) to appear on Entertainment Tonight, Wendy Williams, Access Hollywood and elsewhere. The marketing plan has also seen ad time bought on TV networks although they ran into resistance from some.
The real innovations have gone beyond the traditional however. The show's makreting has expanded into new media, social networking and grassroots marketing, which has included in person visits to night clubs, college coffee shops, book stores, Laundromats, restaurants, beauty parlors and elsewhere, where randed t-shirts, post cards and other materials have been handed out.
“I believe we’re the first premium television launching online in an ad-supported way,” says Kwatinetz. “HBO, Showtime and Netflix have done it but we believe we’re the first mainstream content that is advertiser based and online to do this.”
“[The shows are] innovative conceptually and overall,” adds Kwatinetz, “and a lot of our advertising is innovative as well. Until now no one has really done what were doing.”
Digital and social media have been integral to the re-launch. Cast members have been encouraged to post on their Facebook pages and to tweet. The marketing has incorporated an aggressive plan involving Instragram, Tumblr, Get Glue, Google and YouTube -- where Prospect Park has posted promotional and behind the scenes videos from the production.
From the first day of production in Connecticut, crews shot background footage and did interviews, which were edited and presented.
“Our plan was to go viral,” says Kwatinetz. “We’ve done that by constantly putting up good content, whether its stories about what’s going on or lots of pictures from the set. We have created a number of special pieces just for social media.”
The All My Children Facebook page went up February 6 and now has almost 8 million users a week. All My Children and OLTL have about half a million “likes” each on Facebook.
The cast has also made numerous visits to Google Hangouts, answering questions from fans and sharing stories. They have also created original videos meant to be comedic such as “Goats Screaming Like Humans For The Return of One Life To Live” and “Suzy F****n Homemaker: How To Use Hulu Tutorial.”
Members of the cast also flew to Dallas in March to attend a conference of “mommy bloggers” as part of outreach to a range of lifestyle bloggers, mostly female.
To give the marketing materials a high-end gloss, Prospect Park hired fashion photographers for cast shoots, and engaged celebrity stylist George Kotsiopolous (a regular on E!’s Fashion Police) to modernize the look and set the tone.
Hulu is the official online distributor of the shows, and has also been doing a month-long promotion for the shows leading up to the premiere, as has ITunes, which is the exclusive retailer. Most of the video clips released on Hulu have made it onto their “most popular” clips chart, alongside those from Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Fallon.
The marketing plan has also included stunt casting. There are cameo appearances by Jersey Shore’s J-Woww (playing a bartender in OLTL), rapper Riff Raff (who tweeted about it to his 367,134 followers), punk rock boy band Hot Chelle Rae, Cover Girl models, Nervo (a music source with about 200,000 Twitter followers) and most visibly, Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg), who wrote the new theme song for OLTL (which he tweeted about to his 10.7 million followers).
Riff Raff in his cameo played a shady art dealer from Florida whose name was Jamie Franko, playing up a recent controversy with the actor James Franco over his portrayal of a shady rapper in the recent movie Spring Breakers (a character Riff Raff claims was based on him, a claim Franco has denied). That garnered unpaid press coverage in Entertainment Weekly, Vulture, Pitchfork and hip hop magazines XXL and Complex.
“We are marketing to the television watching audience many of which already watch online as well,” says Kwatinetz. “Many don’t however. So we are doing TV and radio ads and billboards and not just relying on social media and online networks because we’re trying to reach the television viewer overall. I think that is innovatiive.”
Soaps 'One Life to Live' and 'All My Children' now online: Will they revolutionize TV?(washingtonpost.com) In Soap Opera Land, a character who dies isn’t always dead. Just think of Bobby Ewing on ’80s nighttime soap “Dallas” whose demise was just a bad dream of wife Pamela after actor Patrick Duffy announced he wanted to return to the show.
And so it appears to be with two popular soaps, “One Life to Live” and “All My Children.” ABC pulled the plug on OLTL last year and AMC in 2011, after each program had run more than 40 years on network daytime television.
Now the shows are back, resurrected on the Internet as the debut offerings of the Online Network. It took months of legal wrangling over licensing agreements, but production company Prospect Park persevered, and today you can return to Llanview and Pine Valley, the fictional towns made famous by soap creator Agnes Nixon.
New 30-minute shows of each program will premiere Monday through Thursday, with a recap offered Friday that features interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. You can watch for free at Hulu.com on your computer or, if you subscribe to Hulu Plus, on other devices, or buy the shows from iTunes for download.
What time are the shows on? Anytime. That’s the beauty of online television. Touted as “anytime” soaps instead of daytime soaps, the shows offer a flexibility for viewers who no longer have the freedom to sit down each day at a regular time for “my story.”
My great-aunt Alice stopped everything at 11 a.m. Central Time each weekday to watch her story, “The Young and the Restless.“ I got hooked on “The Bold and the Beautiful” early in my freelancing career, taking a 30-minute break to eat lunch and escape to the world of the Forresters at 12:30.
Judging from the response on Twitter, fans of OLTL and AMC are thrilled to have their stories return. Only four soap operas are left on daytime television; reality shows and talk shows are said to be cheaper to produce.
“As few as five years ago, this move of an established TV series to online exhibition would have sounded like folly,” Jim McKairnes, a former CBS executive and now TV consultant, college professor and author told me. ”But in today’s quickly changing world of pipelines and platforms and new-business-models, of ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Hemlock Grove’ and ‘Arrested Development’ on Netflix, of content rather than programming, it seems merely to represent the next phase of storytelling,” McKairnes said.
The challenge, of course, will be the bottom line: Will these shows make money? “I’m loath to use the word, but monetizing is still being figured out,” McKairnes said.
“The way to ensure that this is going to work, because we’re really totally advertiser-supported, is that we’ve got to get the eyeballs to be watching this,” Prospect Park studio co-partner Rich Frank told Soap Opera Digest. “It’s just a matter of rallying the troops and getting them to watch.”
Soap opera fans may be the most loyal television fans on the planet, so somehow I don’t think that will be a problem. And it seems fitting, somehow, that soaps — maligned as “fluff” and “women’s entertainment,” despite the fact that they often address serious issues prime-time shows won’t touch — will lead the charge in the digital revolution on television.
A Soap Opera Goes Digital: On the Set of the New (Online-Only) 'All My Children'(time.com) Someone has scribbled a word, in purple ink, to the sign that greets visitors to the All My Children production studios in Stamford, Conn. — it no longer reads just Welcome, but Welcome Home. It’s a sentiment that surely applies to countless soap opera fans for which Monday, April 29 will be long remembered: the day that the much-loved soap opera — which started in 1970 and was among the dozen daytime dramas that were recently scrubbed from afternoon TV schedules — returns, after almost 19 months off the air. And this time, on the Internet.
The idea of a homecoming also hits home to actress Cady McClain, who began playing the character Dixie Cooney on All My Children in 1989 and is now back on set in Stamford, in a large dressing room where her dog has free rein and the cast and crew she’s worked with for years are just around the corner.
“It’s like going back to your favorite grandparent’s house that you thought had burned down and you walk inside and everybody that you ever loved is inside,” she says. “I guess that’s heaven.”
The metaphor works, but that would be quite a house: below a floor full of offices, craft-services tables, lines of desks for production assistants and dressing rooms in various stages of decoration, is the sound stage. The massive space is a labyrinth of sets, used for both All My Children and One Life to Live, which is making its big return at the same time. (The walls and props can be moved around to help a room switch between shows.) Here’s a hospital room and hospital hallway. Here’s a coffee shop. Here’s a lavish hotel room. Here’s a police officer’s desk, currently surrounded by cameras and monitors, their focus trained on the scene in front of them.
* * * *
And the “house,” as it were, has been remodeled. All My Children—once a traditional hour-long network daytime soap—is now a half-hour show releasing solely online, via a dedicated website, iTunes and Hulu. (One Life to Live has the same arrangement.) It’s an experiment that has been a long time coming: after AMC was cancelled and aired its last episode (a cliffhanger, natch) on ABC in September of 2011, a production company called Prospect Park purchased the rights, hoping to make a go of it as an online show, but early attempts to make that hope a reality faltered. Until today, that is. Now AMC begins the next challenge, a grand experiment that is perhaps the biggest in the genre since Guiding Light moved from radio to television—and it won’t be long before fans and those behind the scenes find out whether it worked.
Jeff Kwatinetz, one of Prospect Park’s founders, is confident that this is only the beginning. He lives in New York and Los Angeles but has been spending his time lately in the corner office of the Stamford studio (which he found through Ice Cube, with whom he works and who shot Are We There Yet? in Stamford). “I think that online distribution is the future of television. I can’t imagine it going in a different direction,” he says. “We saw the record companies trying to force people to get in their cars and go to record stores and that didn’t work so well.”
But at the same time, while he’s sure that online television can be successful (he points to House of Cards as evidence), he’s aware that it won’t be immediately clear exactly how successful his attempt at it will be. A lot of people were watching AMC when it was cancelled—but a TV network can only show one thing at a time, unlike the internet, says Kwatinetz, and the network didn’t care about the soaps; no love is lost between Prospect Park and ABC, though Kwatinetz can’t comment on the ongoing lawsuit between the two—but some of those viewers may have given up and some may be frightened off by the move online. Though there are a few other potential revenue streams for Prospect Park, most of the money they make will be from ads viewers see when they watch the shows on Hulu, and ads depend on viewership numbers—but, unlike television soaps viewers, the new viewers aren’t expected to watch episodes on the day they’re released. It could take weeks for Kwatinetz to know exactly how many people are tuning in.
The show’s executive producer, Ginger Smith, says she hasn’t been told how many eyeballs Kwatinetz wants, but she’s not worried: “I think we all know in our heart of hearts that we’re going to succeed,” she says. In the mean time, she’s more concerned with keeping those eyeballs glued to their screens than attracting them in the first place. Smith was with the show for 23 years—starting as an intern and working her way up to producer—until production moved to L.A. in 2010; she decided to jump the storyline forward five years when she was asked to return as executive producer for this incarnation. Aging the characters who were children would enable them to carry their own stories. Those stories will, she hopes, attract a younger audience—people who might not have time to sit down and watch an hour of television every day, but will have time to stream two and a half hours a week on their own schedules—and provide a springboard for stories that can draw on old-favorite plots. “I think we’re going to get numbers from everybody curious to begin with. My concern was that I can’t let the momentum of the story drop,” she says, “which is why you might see some other people introduced onto the canvas who the audience didn’t expect. That will be my gift to all of them if they stick around.”
* * * *
The time jump isn’t the only change long-time viewers might notice, say the cast and crew. For one thing, the show will return to socially conscious stories like those that Agnes Nixon, the show’s original godmother, made waves with in decades past; Cady McClain says upcoming episodes will deal with how the millennial generation is unique and newcomer Sal Stowers (who joins the cast as Cassandra Foster) hints that her story is so intense the production team sent her flowers to acknowledge how difficult it had been for her.
For another, the show’s pace will be different, and not just because the episodes are shorter. Both Smith and Kwatinetz said that the average TV soap viewer watches only two episodes a week, so every plot point has to be reiterated. On the Internet, they’ll assume everyone watches everything, so there will be no filler and stories will move faster. On the Internet, you can also explore stories that might seem too risqué for TV, and use language that wouldn’t cut it on a network. (Not that there are no standards: a line about Satan’s testicles was cut, during filming, from the scene being taped in the police station set. It was replaced with something milder.)
The show’s mood is a little different too, says McClain: more naturalistic, more intimate and without soap-opera markers like “tags,” the extended pauses at the end of scenes. The mood is different backstage, too—Ginger Smith says working at the old ABC set was “like, uh oh, doom is coming, it’s the end of daytime drama, it’s the end of soap opera” and that every meeting felt like the axe was about to fall—and the audio and visual quality have also improved to make sure they work on different kinds of devices. Kwatinetz adds that the budget for fashion and music has also increased.Even before today’s premiere, one person was excited about those improved production values: new cast member Eric Nelsen, who plays AJ Chandler. He and his dressing-room-mate Robert Scott Wilson (who plays Peter Cortlandt) have a ritual of watching the trailer before filming, to get pumped up. “It’s like, look how good that looks!” he says. “We have to make every scene look that good!”
But what really matters, says Cady McClain—who has passed on her soap knowledge to Nelsen, teaching him tricks like how to do a proper soap hug so that the camera catches both faces—is that the online version of All My Children sticks to why people watch soaps in the first place. “This is what it is,” she says. “We tell stories and we tell them well.”
'All My Children' & 'One Life To Live' Top Digital Streaming Charts(deadline.com) Hours after the premiere of the rebooted All My Children and One Life To Live, the online-only (for now) soaps have climbed to the top of the two digital platforms they’re available on: iTunes and Hulu. On iTunes, the soaps are No. 1 and No. 3 in the TV seasons category, sandwiching the current sixth season of AMC’s Mad Men. Among episodes, AMC and OLTL currently rank as No. 5 and No. 6. On Hulu, the AMC and OLTL premieres are the two most viewed TV episodes today. The AMC and OLTL debut comes on the heels of the soap’s producer Prospect Park filing a $25 million breach of contract lawsuit against ABC, claiming the broadcast network had sabotaged the soaps’ revival. That litigation is ongoing.
'One Life to Live' and 'All My Children' rise online from their TV ashes(zap2it.com) Pine Valley and Llanview are open for business again ... in a much different place.
Fans of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" will recognize the names of those fictional locales immediately. Proving the seemingly impossible can happen, the former ABC daytime serials return with fresh weekday episodes in a new and very contemporary home Monday, April 29. They'll be used to launch The Online Network on iTunes and the Internet platforms Hulu (for free) and Hulu Plus (by subscription).
Many actors are back for the new iterations. "All My Children" again features Vincent Irizarry (alias that show's David), Debbi Morgan (Angela), Thorsten Kaye (Zach), Lindsay Hartley (Cara) and Darnell Williams (Jesse). The "One Life to Live" cast reunion includes seven-time Daytime Emmy winner Erika Slezak (Viki), Robert S. Woods (Bo), Robin Strasser (Dorian), Kassie DePaiva (Blair), Roger Howarth (Todd), Melissa Archer (Natalie), Hillary B. Smith (Nora) and Jerry verDorn (Clint).
Prospect Park, which also makes "Royal Pains" for USA Network and "Wilfred" for FX, is the production company behind the two soap revivals. Co-founder Rich Frank - a former president of Walt Disney Studios and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences - and his business partner, previous talent agency chief Jeff Kwatinetz, drew on their connections with "our friends at Disney" to acquire the rights to the serials after Disney-owned ABC canceled them.
(Prospect Park recently filed a $25 million lawsuit against ABC, claiming the network broke aspects of the licensing agreement the parties reached.)
"I couldn't think of anything more dramatic to start a network with than these two shows, which had 40 years of history and were each doing between 3.2 and 3.8 million viewers every day," Frank tells Zap2it. "And these were passionate viewers. After the ABC cancellations, when you called there, (the answering message) said, 'If you're calling about the soaps, press 1. If you're calling about anything else, press 2.' "
"All My Children" co-star Irizarry tried to downplay his hopes of returning, especially after Prospect Park's first run at the idea was suspended. "We were all a little gun-shy," he admits. "We didn't know if they'd really be able to pull this off. I have to say that if there was one thing I had confidence in, it was that if anybody could do it, it would be (returning 'AMC' producer) Ginger Smith. She was with the show at ABC for almost 25 years, and she is beloved by all of us."
For "One Life to Live" veteran Slezak, one of the genre's true legends, giving Victoria "Viki" Lord an online rebirth was a no-brainer. She reflects, "I thought, 'What a brilliant idea.' My son is a child of the Internet, and he said, 'Mom, this is awesome. That's where everybody gets their information, their content, everything - and it's only going to go farther and farther.'
"Jeff called me after the whole thing had died the first time and said, 'I just want to thank you for being such a supporter.' I said, 'I'm just so sorry it's over.' And he said, 'Well, maybe it's not. We're going to keep trying.' Then I didn't hear anything until last November. And I thought, 'Wow. It actually is going to happen.' It's so smart. This goes deeper into what everyone is going to be using for their entertainment communication."
While "All My Children" is advancing five years in its stories, "One Life to Live" also resumes at a significant point past where it stopped.
"Numerous complications were taken care of by moving it forward like that," Irizarry says of the "AMC" jump. "Some (actors) didn't come back by their own choice, so you couldn't expect that every person who was in that room when the gun went off (in the cliffhanger that closed the ABC run) was going to be able to be there. But everything is answered. I'm really impressed with the writing."
Frank maintains the aim is to stay true to the earlier fan base while also appealing to new viewers, partially by adding such newcomers as Corbin Bleu ("High School Musical") and Jenni "JWoww" Farley ("Jersey Shore") to "One Life to?Live."
"And we're doing stories that are very contemporary," Frank notes. "Agnes Nixon (who created both serials) broke ground on subjects like abortion and interracial marriage, and we're going to do that. We're going to talk about things that are in the newspaper every day."
The two soaps are now being made - in high definition - in Stamford, Conn., owing largely to the state's tax incentives for film and television production.
"It looks the same," Slezak says of the sets constructed for the shows, "so we're all very comfortable. It's not like we have to act differently for the Internet. And the schedule is brilliant; it's five weeks on, five weeks off. My agent said, 'Do you want vacation?' And I said, 'Are you crazy? I get five weeks off every five weeks!' "
Of course, a huge "All My Children" question is whether Susan Lucci will reprise one of the most iconic characters in daytime drama history, Erica Kane.
"We haven't been able to figure out dates," Frank says. "She didn't know this was coming along, and she had other commitments, but she's already gone on (ABC's) 'The View' and said, 'There's nothing I'd rather do than come back.' We're crossing our fingers that it'll work out."
The initial commitment to the "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" revivals is for one year.
"When the numbers for May and June come in and hopefully start to build, we'll know where we're going to be," Frank confirms. "We didn't say, 'Let's do a pilot, or do 13 weeks.' When it comes to soaps, you have to hire the people and write the scripts and build the sets. It's a big process."
So is determining other programming for The Online Network, and Frank cites the success Netflix has had with this year's "House of Cards" as one barometer.
"We could buy (shows) from someone," he reasons, "but our business in television generally has been the development of something that we go and sell to somebody. That's where the financial (profit) really comes from, but there's no reason we can't add a comedy or a drama, or maybe somebody will produce another soap we want to put on. There are all kinds of shows we can do."
AMC and OLTL Stars Reveal What's New - and Improved - About the Resurrected Dramas(tvline.com) In the 40 years since he made his daytime-TV debut, Vincent Irizzary had seen nothing like it — a non-Emmys red carpet event to kick off an evening celebrating soap operas, namely two that had been plucked from the ashes and given life anew.
Irizzary plays David Hayward, a highly duplicitous doctor on All My Children, which like fellow former ABC serial One Life to Live was reborn this week on Hulu and iTunes, via Prospect Park’s The Online Network. The actor calls the dramas’ return, in a new medium, none too small a miracle.
“When [new AMC showrunner] Ginger Smith called me, two months before we started production, they had nothing in place. No writers, no story, nothing,” he told TVLine at the shows’ aforementioned premiere party. “I was like, ‘Really? Are you serious?’ But I signed on because I know Ginger, and if anybody could pull it off, it’d be her.” And the end result, he raved, “is nothing short of miraculous.”
OLTL favorite Melissa Archer, as she made her way down the red carpet, cycled through all manner and iteration of adjectives trying to qualify her excitement at playing Natalie again, in this new format. For returning players such as her, was it like riding a bike (save for the new production base in Stamford, Conn.)? “It’s better,” she shared. “It’s like riding a bike that has jet packs on the back. We’ve just been having so much fun!”
Though the settings — Llanview for OLTL, Pine Valley for AMC — and many of the faces are the same, some elements are different. In addition to adding new cast members/characters, and the canvas-altering repercussions of AMC‘s five-year time jump from its ABC cliffhanger (in which J.R. Chandler let loose with a gun at Adam and Brooke’s engagement party), those who cue up Hulu or iTunes will observe cosmetic changes as well. Archer says her favorite “shiny new” set piece is Llanview hot spot Shelter, “because I can just dance every time I’m in there.” (Plus, Nat’s new apartment “is frickin’ gorgeous,” she boasted.)
Behind the scenes, meanwhile, things are also different — and also for the better, says Thorsten Kaye, who segued from his recurring run on NBC’s Smash to reprise his role as AMC’s Zach Slater. “I like the ‘open door’ policy that we now have” with the creative staff, he said, “where if something doesn’t work, it’s a team trying to work it out, instead of somebody [on high] saying, ‘No, this is what I want.’ I think that’s going to make for better story.”
Storyline-wise, Kaye said, “Things are good” for Zach, though, he quipped, “He’s now older, and slower, and he can’t remember his lines as much!” And with previous scene partner Alicia Minshew only back for one episode thus far, “Zendall” fans shouldnt expect much closure on that front. But as Kaye noted, “That’s part of the fun.”
Elsewhere on AMC, Irizarry said, “What happened at the engagement part has had a huge impact on all of the people of Pine Valley — and David is no exception.” But make no mistake, this doc is still bad medicine. “David always has an axe to grind,” his portrayer noted, “and that hasn’t changed.” (And what of the baby he and Cara were expecting when AMC’s ABC run ended? “You will find out very soon the truth about that,” Lindsay Hartley told us. “Drama’s good!”)
AMC vet Cady McClain — who is using the occasion of her soap’s return to try out a new acting technique — said her character “is more like the Dixie from the ’90s that everybody remembers — she’s very connected to her family, trying to keep them together.” Dixie also has a new job (one which McClain said she approves of), but nothing is happening on the romantic front. Yet. With Michael E. Knight reportedly interested yet not yet signed on for this reboot, “Tad is still very much a part of Dixie’s life, but he’s just not on screen at the moment,” the actress explained.
One Life, meanwhile, has no time jump to smooth over any casting wrinkles, and as such will need to address, among other things, the absence of John McBain (since Michael Easton will be staying on with General Hospital, as a new character). “Natalie has been going through so much turmoil ‘off camera,’ on ‘another show’ — and they address that,” Archer said of the breakup handled via GH. “John is a big part of Natalie’s life, the father of her child, so absolutely” he is talked about. But as he remains MIA, “It’s kind of nice to see where Natalie is going,” her portrayer offered. “She wants to be a good mom and a good worker, but she also wants to be something different, maybe what she didn’t get to explore for several years — an edgier side, maybe a more dangerous, Old Natalie side.”
That prospect, and the OLTL/AMC resurrection as a whole, has Archer again searching for new ways to express her enthusiasm for the new but familiar venture.
“It’s not just, ‘Oh yay’ but ‘Oh YAY!’ — with a capital Y, capital A, capital Y and an exclamation point,” she said. “I’m just ridiculously excited.”
Two Classics of the Soaps Are Heading to the Web(nytimes.com) On Monday the soap operas “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” will start their second lives, and Jeffrey Kwatinetz and Rich Frank will start to find out if they’re right.
The two men have poured money and nearly two years of their time into an Internet revival of the soaps. They’ve done this because they believe, as Mr. Kwatinetz puts it, that “this is the inflection point for online television.”
Even if it’s not, Mr. Kwatinetz and Mr. Frank’s odyssey reveals much about how some shows get made and why some shows don’t. The production company owned by the two men, Prospect Park, snapped up the rights to the two soaps shortly after ABC canceled them in 2011.
Prospect Park originally wanted the shows to end on ABC on a Friday and resume online on a Monday. But “that was an unrealistic goal,” Mr. Kwatinetz said, blaming himself for the artificial deadline. The company couldn’t cut the necessary deals with the unions that represented actors and writers on the shows. It couldn’t get financing, either. In the minds of many investors, “soaps are just not sexy,” Mr. Kwatinetz said.
A whole year passed. And then the company found a new, slightly less ambitious, way forward. Some fans have set their alarm clocks for 5 a.m. Monday, the precise time when the shows will have their premieres on Hulu and iTunes — and complete the closely watched transition from TV to the Internet.
“Once again, soaps are right at the front of a change in the culturally dominant medium,” said Abigail De Kosnik, an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a co-editor of “The Survival of Soap Opera.” “Just as soaps moved to TV when TV started to become more dominant than radio, soaps are now moving to the Internet as the Internet is becoming more dominant than TV.”
The great unknown is this: the number of viewers who will move with them.
Mr. Kwatinetz, the former head of a Hollywood talent agency, and Mr. Frank, a former president of Walt Disney Studios, don’t need every single one of the three million viewers who watched “All My Children” or “One Life to Live” on ABC to watch online.
By some estimates they need only about one-sixth the viewers, or 500,000, to break even. That’s because the episodes cost far less to produce than they used to; ads on Hulu can be much more targeted than ads on television; and some viewers will pay out-of-pocket, either through iTunes, where episodes will retail for 99 cents each, or through the $8-a-month Hulu Plus service. (The most recent episodes will be available through the free version of Hulu, while the whole library will be on only Hulu Plus.)
Mr. Kwatinetz said he expected the audience to come from two camps: longtime fans and “younger people who are already watching most of their TV online.” (To entice the latter group, the new shows are faster-paced and racier than the ABC versions.) Still, Ms. De Kosnik said, some former viewers could be “confused by the thought of trying to find TV shows online.”
Prospect Park has taken out print ads and bought television airtime (though CBS, NBC and ABC won’t carry the ads for a rival, according to The Hollywood Reporter), and last week it hosted a red carpet screening with stars and fans in New York. It has also garnered press attention with the $25 million breach-of-contract suit the company filed against ABC on April 18. The suit accused ABC of repeatedly undermining Prospect Park’s revival plan, including misusing characters from “One Life to Live” on the only soap it still televises, “General Hospital.”
ABC, a unit of the Walt Disney Company, is fighting the suit, and said in a statement, “We believe the claims are baseless.”
Meantime, the companies remain in business together, since Prospect Park is paying an $8.5 million annual license fee for the shows and ABC will share in any profits made by “One Life to Live.” Prospect Park also owns the rights to “General Hospital” in case ABC ends that one, too.
Mr. Kwatinetz said 2012’s break in production was, in retrospect, probably necessary. “I think that it got the unions to reconsider,” he said. “I think they became a lot more motivated to get their people back to work.”
First, though, he sought more than $25 million in funding. Hulu, which has been hungry for more original programming, was a pivotal partner: it guaranteed a minimum amount of ad revenue to Prospect Park — the companies wouldn’t specify how much — that in turn helped the producers get financing late last year from ABRY Partners, a private equity firm based in Boston.
Having the funding helped “to get the unions to take us seriously,” Mr. Kwatinetz said. Many of the cast members from ABC are part of the revivals, with the most notable exception being Susan Lucci, the biggest star on “All My Children.” She has said she is hopeful about returning.
On ABC the soaps had an hourlong format — roughly 40 minutes of storytelling, 20 minutes of commercials. Each episode cost about $175,000 to produce. Prospect Park has cut that down to about $80,000, partly by switching to a half-hour format, with 25 minutes of story. Paying actors a weekly rate, rather than per performance, and filming both soaps at the same studio in Connecticut, which provides a 30 percent tax incentive to producers, has also helped pare costs.
“The gold standard online is the combination of a passionate, engaged fan and a show they love and want to watch day after day. That combination means great results for viewers, content owners and advertisers,” said Andy Forssell, the acting chief executive of Hulu. “You can’t find a better example of this than ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life To Live.’ ”
Vincent Irizarry brings evil Dr. David back to life(today.com) Every soap needs a sexy villain whom viewers love to hate, so it's no surprise that Vincent Irizarry's evil Dr. David is a part of the new "All My Children." The former ABC soap opera is relaunching Monday on The Online Network as well as Hulu and iTunes.
The Emmy-winning actor told TODAY that the show's revival was fast and furious. "I got a call from (executive producer) Ginger Smith in December, and she told me the show was coming back," Irizarry revealed. "They put everything together in two months! It's nothing short of a miracle, frankly. This couldn't be more surreal."
Viewers saw a more reformed David when "AMC" concluded its broadcast run over a year and a half ago. (Helping revive all those presumed dead characters earned him some goodwill.) But audiences will discover that the events of the finale -- when J.R. took aim at the good citizens of Pine Valley -- still play a big role in David's life five years later.
"That moment took on significant impact in David's life," Irizarry said. "We're going to see the effects of that (based on) what took place that night at Brooke and Adam's party. That event continues to propel David forward in the weeks, months and years ahead. He's going to be that character that viewers know and love to hate."
Can anyone touch David's often-cold and calculating heart? "There are definitely a few who bring out his better side," Irizarry noted. "Angie (Debbi Morgan) is one of those people. It's not romantic between them, but David and Angie grew closer during her ordeal of being blind. She challenges him to be a better person."
Another of Irizarry's co-stars may surprise you -- it's none other than Agnes Nixon, the show's creator (now consulting on its reboot). Nixon portrayed a hospital patient in "AMC" during its final days on ABC.
"Agnes is one of the great storytellers of our time," Irizarry praised. "I have enormous respect for her. She was magical in our scenes, so natural and beautiful on camera. She's a storyteller, not an actress, but you could see her talents in those scenes."
After running on ABC for more than 40 years, two classic soaps find new life online(nydailynews.com) 'One Life to Live' and 'All My Children' will be available through Hulu and iTunes with new episodes four days a week
“ONE LIFE To Live” is all set for life number two.
The popular soap opera, which ended a 43-year ABC run on Jan. 13, 2012, springs back to life Monday — along with “All My Children,” which ended its own 41 years on ABC on Sept. 23, 2011.
This time, however, they won’t be on broadcast television.
They will be available through Hulu and iTunes, which means viewers can watch them on computers or mobile devices with an Internet connection.
If this sounds like we’re looking at pale, low-rent echoes of the original productions, that might have been true a few years ago.
Today, while the productions will be trimmed back to four original 30-minute episodes a week, the producers say little has been sacrificed.
“When viewers tune in for ‘One Life to Live’ on Monday,” says “OLTL” executive producer Jennifer Pepperman, “they will see 17 members of the former cast. We will take the questions left unanswered a year ago, address and answer them. It will be the show everyone remembers.”
While a few stars didn’t make the jump, most did.
The “One Life” cast will include Melissa Archer, Josh Kelly, Robin Strasser, Erika Slezak and Hillary B. Smith. Jennifer “JWOWW” Farley from “Jersey Shore” will have a recurring role as a bartender, a move that’s hardly accidental.
Part of the problem for broadcast soaps in recent years is the perception their viewers are all 125 years old. JWOWW screams, “New blood! Young blood!”
“This is a multigenerational show,” says Pepperman. “We’re absolutely expecting younger viewers to find us.”
“All My Children” won’t have Susan Lucci, but it will have Vincent Irizarry, Cady McClain, Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams, among others.
Original episodes of both shows will air Monday-Thursday, with wrapup/recap shows on Friday that will enable fans to talk about the show and interact with cast members on social media and Skype.
“It’s really the fans who deserve all the credit here,” says Pepperman. “These shows came back because the fans wouldn’t let them die.”
The actual savior is the production company Prospect Park, whose partners Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank bought the rights to both shows.
Prospect Park also set up The Online Network (TOLN), which will distribute the shows through Hulu, iTunes and others outlets.
Pepperman says this will be a model for the future, since it enables viewers to watch the shows on their own schedule.
She also says she isn’t concerned about one of the biggest unknowns: whether people who have watched their “stories” on regular TV for years will want to or be able to start doing it on a computer or an iPad.
“These fans are tremendously loyal,” she says. “They’ll find a way. They’ll ask their granddaughters, who will tell them, ‘Gram,this is so easy.’
“It’s like a few years ago when you had to watch some of your favorite shows on cable instead of broadcast TV. People learned.”
Online-Only Soap Ads Won't Air on NBC, ABC, CBS(hollywoodreporter.com) Producers behind the revived "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" hoped to buy ad time during broadcast soaps, but the major networks didn't want to tout the competition.
Canceled TV soaps All My Children and One Life to Live are being revived online beginning April 29 by producer Prospect Park, but don't look for ads touting them on the major broadcast networks. Sources tell THR that CBS, NBC and even ABC, which licensed the shows for a web revival, won't be running spots for the shows.
CBS, which has run ads for digital outlets Netflix and Hulu (which is distributing the revived soaps), declined comment. But a source tells THR the network views the digital re-launch as a direct competitor to its popular daytime dramas, including The Bold and the Beautiful.
NBC also declined to comment as did Prospect Park. However, a source says NBC refused to carry ads during its only remaining daytime soap, Days of Our Lives. The network was open to primetime spots, which Prospect Park declined to pursue. NBC did, however, sell ads on several of its cable networks.
A source close to the network said Prospect Park's buying agency made a preliminary request for information on budgets and availability, but never followed up. That source insists NBC never turned them down for ads because there was never any actual request, and no creative work related to possible ads was ever shown to them for approval by their standards and practices department (which would be necessary before they an ad could run).
If that sounds like as much of a soap opera as the shows themselves, it is just the beginning. The real drama has been between Prospect Park and ABC.
ABC licensed AMC and OLTL to Prospect Park, run by Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, in a deal sources say is worth more than $8 million a year to the network, plus an annual royalty. The relationship hasn't gone smoothly, as Prospect revealed in a $25 million lawsuit filed April 18. The suit claims ABC breached its contract by failing to cooperate on the relaunch and by improperly using characters on General Hospital that were to be shared.
One of those actors is Roger Howarth, who played Todd Manning on the old OLTL. With Prospect's permission, he played the same character beginning in March 2012 on ABC's General Hospital but eventually was written out. GH now plans to bring him back as another character, while he also is set to co-star in the revived OLTL.
Meanwhile, Horwath also shot scenes in Connecticut for the revival of OLTL as Manning. Those scenes will be parceled out throughout the first season.
ABC sources say the network was willing to accept ads within GH because of the licensing relationship, but on April 17 when Prospect submitted an ad for OLTL that included Howarth prominently. ABC refused it -- on the grounds that it would confuse the audience.
Prospect, after spending considerable time preparing the ad, balked at making changes shortly before it was to run. They did not want to take Howarth out of the ad and, already upset about its dealings with ABC, filed suit the next day.
Notes analyst Brad Adgate of Horizon Media: "The overriding reason to refuse is if they think it's a threat or something that's going to siphon off viewers from them, then they don’t think whatever they charge them would be worth it "
The CW Network did accept ads for the online soaps, which began running in such shows as Hart of Dixie and 90210 last week. Fox, according to a source, also was open to running the ads, but Prospect Park decided against running ads there because the network has only primetime programming and no history with soap operas.
But the ads are visible other places. Prospect Park placed them on numerous cable TV networks and Web sites, as well as social media.
Canceled soap operas come back to life online“All My Children” and “One Life to Live” are coming back to viewers digitally via iTunes and Hulu. Stars of the show join TODAY’s Natalie Morales to talk about the return: Video.
5 Things to Expect From the New All My Children(tvguide.com) It's been a year and a half since All My Children went off the air, but much like Jesse Hubbard, the popular soap is back from the dead! On Monday, the serial drama will return exclusively online, with new episodes premiering on Hulu and iTunes four days a week, Monday-Thursday, at 5 a.m. ET. And with the series' timeline jumping ahead five years, now is the perfect time for new viewers to join the fun that is Pine Valley.
Here are five things to expect from the resurrected All My Children.
1. Fresh faces When AMC returns, it will feature a variety of new characters, including Francesca James (who previously played Kelly and Kitty Tyler) as Evelyn Johnson, Daniel Covin as high school bad boy Hunter and Heather Roop as coffee shop owner Jane McIntyre. The time jump and hiatus between seasons has also resulted in many old characters being recast, most notably the role of JR Chandler, who will now be played by Ryan Bittle. "All I can do is do what I see and my interpretation, and be honest with who I am and what I can bring. And hopefully fans are going to be able to relate to that and understand that," Bittle said of replacing Jacob Young.
2. Heightened sex appeal "It's a little more risqué now. There's a lot that we can do [online] that we couldn't really do on daytime television," said Paula Garces, who plays crime-fighter Lea Marquez. So will we see Garces show some skin this season? "Yeah ... I mean, come on. I work with Zach Slater!" she said, hinting at a possible future romance. But Garces won't be the only one showing off her sexy side. Before the premiere's opening credits even roll, two characters may get down and dirty — and at work, no less!
3. A balance of old and new Longtime fans have nothing to worry about. The influx of new characters won't displace the vets to supporting roles. Angie and Jesse Hubbard, David Hayward, Brooke English and all the returning favorites will feature heavily throughout the season. Jill Larson, who plays Opal, has faith that the age range within the show will translate to its audience, as well. "As is true to our reputation, we are dealing with some tough, contemporary issues, as AMC has always been known for," Larson said. "It could still be the kind of material that brings generations together, that kids can talk about with their parents and their grandparents. They'll just be watching it independently, rather than around the same TV."
4. The (possible) return of Susan Lucci Though the former AMC star has yet to sign on, the door is always open for Lucci to return. "I think she's definitely gonna return," said Garces, one of Lucci's co-stars on Devious Maids. "I've had conversations with her off-set and she's so in love with the show." Though Lucci and Garces haven't shared any screen time on the upcoming Lifetime drama, the soap alum did share some words of advice with the young actress. "She was like, 'Just breathe, go with it, trust your instincts. There's going to be bad days where you're going to be completely overwhelmed and not remember any of your lines, but people are going to help you out.' And it's been exactly that," said Garces.
5. Of course, tons of drama! With one returning character vowing revenge, one in a coma and another in a life-threatening situation, AMC's premiere proves it's as over the top as ever (in all the right ways). But thankfully with only slight exposition, it's easy for new viewers to follow the story lines without missing a beat. "It's going to be AMC, but it's going to be invested with a lot of new energy," said Julia Barr. Unfortunately for returning viewers, they'll have to wait just a little bit longer (well, at least until the end of the first week) to find out who bit the dust in the last season finale.
Any guesses as to who JR shot?
Watch a behind-the-scenes video with returning cast member Francesca James: Video.
AMC & OLTL Will Be Eligible For Emmys In 2014!While there won't be any ONE LIFE TO LIVE actors nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award when the contenders are named next Wednesday -- even though the show did have three weeks of eligibility from the 2012 calendar year before their final ABC broadcast last January, none of their stars made the pre-nomination list -- castmembers from the soap, as well as ALL MY CHILDREN, will be able to compete next year!
David Michaels, senior executive director of the Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards, tells Soaps In Depth that the beloved soaps (set to relaunch on Monday from The OnLine Network), will be eligible for consideration in 2014... it's just a matter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences deciding in which category to place them! "In May, we have an awards committee meeting. We're going to start discussing that now," Michaels reveals. "There are a bunch of different ways to go. They are obviously going to be eligible for the contest; we're just trying to decide how they should be eligible."
Nominations for the 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be announced on Wednesday, May 1 and then tune in to the live broadcast on Sunday, June 16, on HLN to see who takes home the gold.
Back from the dead, two soap operas woo viewers online(news.yahoo.com) The biggest drama in soap operas these days isn't who's cheating, fighting amnesia, or waking up from a coma. It's whether the backstabbing and love triangles that hooked afternoon TV viewers will work on the Internet.
In a bold wager to revive canceled ABC soaps "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," a pair of Hollywood veterans are taking the 40-year-old dramas online, remaking them for lifelong fans and a younger, Internet-savvy audience.
Starting Monday, new 30-minute episodes will appear each Monday through Thursday on the free Hulu.com website and the paid monthly subscription service Hulu Plus. Fans can also buy episodes in Apple Inc's iTunes store.
The producers, former Walt Disney Co TV chairman Rich Frank and talent management veteran Jeff Kwatinetz, hope to ride a wave of interest in first-run series online, highlighted by the recent buzz for Netflix original drama "House of Cards" and its coming revival of one-time Fox comedy "Arrested Development."
The trick will be to entice the soaps' older and not always Internet-savvy viewers while luring a younger crowd with faster-paced storylines, modern music and contemporary actors next to the shows' longtime stars.
"The challenge and opportunity for them," says Stephanie Stopulos, digital director for media buying firm Starcom USA, "is how to continue to engage the people that are so passionate about it, and also use it as an opportunity to grow."
To beckon new viewers, the producers cast "Jersey Shore" star Jenni "Jwoww" Farley as a bartender on "One Life to Live." Paula Garces from the wacky "Harold & Kumar" movie franchise has joined "All My Children." Snoop Lion, previously known as rapper Snoop Dogg, wrote and sings on the theme song for "One Life to Live," and will play himself in some episodes. He made cameo appearances when the show was on ABC.
The soaps' rebirth will test whether older-skewing audiences will migrate online, and reverse a trend that has seen viewership decline by more than one-third since 2000. When it ended its TV run, "All My Children" attracted an average audience of 2.5 million viewers with a median age of 57, according to Nielsen data provided by Horizon Media.
To appeal to both older and younger viewers, the online soaps will have the same suspense, heartbreak and betrayal, though plots will move quickly and avoid the more outlandish storylines from the soap operas of the past, Kwatinetz says.
The shows "won't be bringing people back from the dead," he says. "There won't be people rescued from aliens. The stories are grounded, the storytelling is quicker paced. It's more relevant."
The online soaps need to attract new generations to survive long term, says syndicated columnist Lynda Hirsch, who has written about soaps for more than 30 years. "You can't have your base die off," she says. "You've got to get younger people."
"All My Children" and "One Life to Live," once hour-long afternoon dramas, were stalwarts in what Time magazine once called "TV's richest market." The big advertising dollars from the daytime soaps supported prime time schedules during their heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, when Luke and Laura's 1981 wedding on "General Hospital" attracted a massive 30 million viewers on ABC.
Soaps thrived because they had a lock on one of TV's most sought-after demographics, stay-at-home moms, who couldn't get enough of the hunky doctors, evil twins and juicy cliffhangers. As the numbers of women in the workforce increased, soap operas' popularity faded, the audience aged, and network executives had trouble making the economics work.
In April 2011, Disney-owned ABC announced it was canceling "All My Children" and "One Life to Live." At the time, producers Frank and Kwatinetz were building a studio called Prospect Park with cable TV hits "Royal Pains" and "Wilfred," and taking note of online video's growing popularity.
Internet distribution offered a direct route to younger viewers in the 18-to-34 demographic, a group that watches video whenever they choose on cell phones and tablets. Having episodes on demand also meant viewers didn't need to be home during the day, or to even be near a television, to catch up.
Prospect Park is backed by funding from private equity firm ABRY Partners. The studio will receive a majority of the ad revenue collected from episodes on Hulu, a person familiar with the arrangement said, and a percentage of the sales from iTunes. Content providers typically keep 70 percent of iTunes sales.
Each soap has its own Facebook page splashed with glitzy, Vanity Fair-style cast photos, and they have already registered more than 1 million "likes" combined. Stars tweet and field questions via video chats. The studio is also running print, television and radio promotions, including an ad in Parade magazine, a weekly that draws readers over age 50.
Soap expert Hirsch believes fans will embrace the shows, if they understand the new platform. Some longtime viewers don't realize they can watch for free on Hulu.com, she said. "There is so much confusion. No matter how many times you write this, they are not getting it."
Soap operas One Life to Live, All My Children bubbling up online next Monday(theprovince.com) Taped to a wall at the entrance to the Connecticut Film Center in Stamford is this greeting: “Welcome (back) to Pine Valley.”
Pine Valley, of course, is the mythical setting of All My Children, a daytime drama that ran on ABC for nearly 41 years until it was snuffed in 2011.
But now, in one of those plot twists so common to soap operas but so rare in the real world, All My Children has been raised from the dead.
Was its cancellation just a bad dream, from which the show is now awakening? In any case, AMC will be back starting Monday with much of its august cast intact (including David Canary, Julia Barr, Jill Larson, Debbi Morgan and Cady McClain, and perhaps even Susan Lucci eventually returning to the fold), along with shiny new actors to add more pizzazz.
But this time, AMC will not be on a broadcast network. It will be online.
So will One Life to Live, another venerable soap cut down by ABC after 44 seasons. It, too, will spring back to life on Monday. (Welcome back to Llanview, everybody!) Returning fan favourites include Erika Slezak, Robert S. Woods, Robin Strasser and Hillary B. Smith, each of whom has logged decades on the show.
Each serial will unveil four daily half-hours per week, plus a recap/behind-the-scenes episode on Fridays, with 42 weeks of original programming promised for the first year.
They will be available for streaming on computers on the Hulu website. Subscribers to Hulu Plus can watch on a variety of other devices. And the episodes will be available for purchase on iTunes.
This resurrection could reverse the doomsday plot that has plagued soaps for decades as their viewership withered and their numbers sank (there are only four left on the broadcast networks; there were a dozen in 1991).
And it is somehow fitting that TV’s oldest genre, carried over from radio, should now be making the transition to a 21st-century online platform complete with Agnes Nixon, who created both shows, as a digital pioneer. It’s a potentially restorative move that could prove the TV medium failed soaps, not the other way around.
Reflecting a new age of viewing patterns and business strategy, AMC and OLTL will be the first offerings of The Online Network, an ad-supported outlet for first-run entertainment delivered online.
“What better way to start than with two shows that have been watched by fanatical fans for as much as 40 years?” says Rich Frank, a partner of Prospect Park studios, which owns The Online Network.
He notes that even as ABC pronounced death for these two soaps, AMC was averaging 3.2 million viewers a day and OLTL had 3.8 million viewers. He sets the threshold of success for his new venture at “a very conservative percentage” of that broadcast audience.
“Being online is going to draw people in,” predicts Jennifer Pepperman, OLTL executive producer. “You can click on it and watch it any time you like.”
Meanwhile, the drama will adapt to its new medium.
“We don’t want to totally reinvent the wheel, but we want to make the wheel turn better and turn quicker,” Pepperman says.
AMC executive producer Ginger Smith echoes Pepperman from her office a few steps away at the just-moved-in-looking, bustling headquarters the two shows share.
“We want to keep the core,” says Smith, who has risen on AMC from production assistant in 1988. “I still want escapism and romance, but we’re going to have stories that are sometimes a little darker and edgier than we did on ABC.”
As she is speaking, AMC is wrapping its first weeks in front of the cameras. Then OLTL takes over the 27,000-square-foot sound stage to start production. In this back-and-forth arrangement, each series will tape 210 episodes in the year ahead.
“But these are not webisodes,” Frank says. “We are shooting television as everyone knows it. This is traditional TV storytelling distributed a different way — and it’s a superior way.”
Frank is a veteran entertainment exec who headed The Walt Disney Studios and served as president of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. With his Prospect Park partner Jeff Kwatinetz, he produces TV series including USA network’s Royal Pains and FX’s Wilfred.
But even as their company was doing business with traditional networks, Frank envisioned an online network delivering content to devices not limited to TV, and sidestepping traditional cable delivery.
Then ABC cancelled those two soaps.
“They fell into our lap,” says Frank, though minimizing the lengthy process of licensing them.
“These two shows come with 40 years of advertiser relationships and a diehard fan base,” says Kwatinetz from across the partners desk he and Frank occupy in their shared corner office.
Kwatinetz’s resume includes running The Firm, a talent management company whose clients included the Backstreet Boys, Jennifer Lopez and Kelly Clarkson.
“I saw the digital revolution coming in the music business,” he says, “and now, in television, it feels the same. My experience in the entertainment business tells me that what people want more than anything is convenience. Now television, by going online, is so much more convenient.”
STICK TO FUNDAMENTALS
So everything old is new again, and the fundamentals still apply: These two shows have retained a most profound link with soaps’ glorious past: Agnes Nixon.
Now 85, Nixon was mentored by the grande dame of the soap opera genre, Irna Phillips, back in the radio age.
She was writing for a TV soap — Search for Tomorrow — as early as 1951.
Then, in the late 1960s, while married, raising a family and serving as head writer for The Guiding Light, she created AMC (as she puts it) “in my free time.”
She wrote a Bible sourcebook for this prospective new series. But the show was turned down by CBS and the sponsor, Procter & Gamble.
Next she breathed new life into NBC’s flagging Another World, then was approached by ABC to create a new serial. Believing there was something “wrong” with AMC — after all, CBS had rejected it — Nixon started over and created OLTL.
“It its first year, it had good ratings,” she recalls during a recent interview at her Manhattan pied-a-terre. “So ABC said to me, ‘How about creating another for us?’
“I said to my husband, ‘I can’t think of another one.’ He said, ‘How about All My Children?’ So I opened the desk drawer and took out the Bible and sent it to ABC. They said, ‘Boy, that was fast work!”’
Maybe not THAT fast, but Nixon did work swiftly, often voicing dialogue straight into her Dictaphone.
“I would just empty my mind,” she says, “and hear them talking. That’s the good thing about being a writer: You get to play all the parts.”
Nixon doesn’t write these days, but she’s been involved on a daily basis as the series resume life. And she’s heading up what’s become a grand reunion.
Says AMC exec producer Smith, “With every former member of the cast, staff and crew, when I called them they said, ‘We want to get in the trenches with you.’ When I called Cady McClain, she said, ‘Where do you want me and what time do you want me there?”’
The 43-year-old McClain first played the role of Dixie Clooney in 1988 and has since had a stormy history with villainous Pine Valley tycoon Adam Chandler (played by David Canary).
When Chandler’s wife, Brooke, couldn’t present him with a male heir, he had an affair with Dixie, which produced his son, “then he got rid of me. He put me in an insane asylum.”
“The baby,” McClain adds, “was this guy here.”
Seated beside her in this rehearsal room is Ryan Bittle, newly cast as Dixie’s all-grown-up, soap-opera-handsome son JR Chandler. And as McClain spins out more history of her character and his, Bittle listens with great interest: Much of it is news to him.
“I’m not familiar with the show at all,” he confesses, “and I’m still trying to piece everything together.”
What can Bittle look forward to? More history unfolding, soaked in plenty of emotion.
“I was crying all day yesterday,” says McClain. “Crying again today.”
But undergirding the essential turmoil, hope springs eternal on daytime dramas — and for the people reviving two venerable soaps.
“This is a second chance,” says Jennifer Pepperman as a new day dawns. “It is a wonderful gift.”
How To Watch FREE Episodes of "All My Children" & "One Live To Live"(Video) You can watch FREE episodes of "All My Children" and "One Life To Live" on HULU. Watch then go to HULU to watch FREE episodes of "One Life To Live" and "All My Children" beginning May 29th.
Visit Hulu to watch FREE 30 minute episodes of "All My Children" beginning April 29th: http://www.hulu.com/all-my-children
Visit Hulu to watch FREE 30 minute episodes of "One Life To Live" beginning April 29th: http://www.hulu.com/one-life-to-live
Old soap operas bubble up online(usatoday.com) Former ABC soaps 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' debut on the Web next week.
Will fans flock back to Pine Valley and Llanview?
Those fictional Philadelphia suburbs, home base for former ABC soaps All My Children and One Life to Live, are looking for more visitors Monday when the shows migrate online.
Both will be available Monday in a shortened half-hour weekday format at Hulu and iTunes from the Prospect Park studio's The Online Network, which licensed the rights to both shows in 2011 as part of a push into original online programming.
Many returning cast members, including OLTL's Erica Slezak and Robin Strasser and AMC's Darnell Williams and Debbi Morgan, will be joined by younger newcomers including AMC's Corbin Bleu (High School Musical). But AMC's biggest star, Susan Lucci, won't be part of the initial series. And three of seven OLTL characters that were "loaned" to ABC's General Hospital will be back, though the untimely demise of others led Prospect Park to file a lawsuit last week, which ABC dismissed as "baseless."
"Soaps have gone from radio to TV and now online," says Williams. "What an honor to be at the forefront of this brand new day." More pointedly, says Morgan, "it was great to be offered a job again."
Their characters, introduced in the late 1970s as the first black couple on a daytime soap, were dreamed up by Agnes Nixon, 85, the creator of both series who got her own start on radio serials and remains a consultant as they move to a third medium online.
"People say, 'How does that make you feel?'" Nixon says. "It makes me feel like the planet's oldest person." But she's grateful that both series were "rescued" after ABC dumped AMC in September 2011 and OLTL four months later, after more than 40 years, due to low ratings.
They were meant to stay in production seamlessly, but contractual disputes with Hollywood unions hurt financing efforts and delayed the shows' return.
"The silver lining was that in the year we were delayed, many more people started watching more online," says Prospect Park partner and former Walt Disney Studios chief Rich Frank. That leads him to believe that even older, less tech-savvy viewers "are going to be able to type in hulu.com and find it." (Or, says Nixon, "they'll have to ask their grandchildren how to use a computer.")
Episodes will be available there free for 10 days; they can also be viewed anytime with a Hulu Plus subscription for $7.99 a month or downloaded on iTunes for 99 cents apiece or in 20-episode batches for $9.99.
Though they have fewer commercials, the new versions are "in some fashion the shows that they were," Frank says. "We have a history that we watched and followed them for 41 or 44 years. On the other hand, the story lines are a little more contemporary, and the shows are much quicker-paced, because we do them in a half-hour form."
The online home also allows for racier dialogue, Williams says, especially in early episodes.
Prospect Park has obtained financing for a year, committing to 42 weeks of originals. Regular episodes will be posted Mondays through Thursdays, while Fridays feature recaps and behind-the-scenes footage from production in Stamford, Conn., where both are taped in alternating five-week cycles. Whether they extend past that will be determined by viewership and ad revenues, just as on TV.
But the studio pulled out all the stops, staging a splashy red-carpet premiere in Manhattan Tuesday night attended by hundreds of fans, unheard of in the soap world. "We kind of felt like real actors for a minute," Williams jokes.
Check Out a First Look of Marc Cherry's Devious MaidsDesperate Housewives lives — sort of.
Marc Cherry, the man behind our favorite former Wisteria Lane residents, will soon debut Devious Maids, a new Lifetime series that tells the stories of a group of maids — played by Ana Ortiz, Judy Reyes, Roselyn Sanchez, Dania Ramirez and Brianna Brown — who work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills.
The series is an adaptation of a Mexican telenovela, which was actually inspired by Desperate Housewives. In a fun bit of crossover, Sanchez's Maids character actually made a cameo in the Housewives series finale.
Check out a sneak peek via ET Online of the new series, which also stars Susan Lucci, among others: Video.
Devious Maids premieres Sunday, June 23 on Lifetime.
Video: Six Days Until The ReturnOne Life To Live & All My Children | Six Days Until The Return - April 29th: Video.
Grey's Anatomy - May 9Jennifer Bassey (“All My Children”) And Justin Bruening (“All My Children”) Guest Star
“Readiness is All” – The doctors of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital prepare for a super storm heading towards Seattle; Owen’s desire to be a parent gets stronger as he becomes closer to Ethan; and one wrong move puts the lives of Meredith and her baby in jeopardy. Meanwhile, Jo looks to Alex for help in a moment of crisis, and one doctor gets the shock of her life, on “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, MAY 9 (9:00-10:02 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
“Grey’s Anatomy” stars Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd, Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang, Justin Chambers as Alex Karev, Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey, James Pickens, Jr. as Richard Webber, Sara Ramirez as Callie Torres, Kevin McKidd as Owen Hunt, Jessica Capshaw as Arizona Robbins, Jesse Williams as Jackson Avery and Sarah Drew as April Kepner.
Guest cast includes Hilarie Burton, Jennifer Bassey and Justin Bruening. Other guest cast TBA.
“Readiness is All” was written by Bill Harper and directed by Tony Phelan.
ABC Responds To Prospect Park LawsuitABC has issued a statement in response to the lawsuit Prospect Park filed last week seeking damages from the network, which it claims has undermined its efforts to successfully relaunch AMC and OLTL. “ABC remains very supportive of the on line launch of both ONE LIFE TO LIVE and ALL MY CHILDREN," it reads. "With respect to Prospect Park’s lawsuit, we believe the claims are baseless and we will defend them vigorously in court and not the press.”
The In Depth AMC & OLTL Viewing Guide(Soaps InDepth) Soap fans are excited for the returns of ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE on Monday, April 29, (us included!) but some of them are still a little hazy on how exactly they'll be able to watch their shows. Don't worry, we've got you covered with a handy viewing guide that should answer all your questions! Just make the jump and we'll break it all down for you...
AMC and OLTL will debut on Monday, April 29. According to the shows' official Twitter feeds, online episodes are scheduled to be posted around noon EST Monday through Thursday, and will run 30 minutes. On Fridays, The OnLine Network will be producing a special recap show with additional content.
In the United States, there are going to be three ways to watch AMC and OLTL: Regular Hulu via Hulu.com on your computer, Hulu Plus on any number of other devices, and through iTunes on your iPod, iPhone or iPad. Now let's look at each one in more detail...
Regular Hulu is absolutely free, just like when the shows were on regular television. Of course, you'll have to sit through ads, but again, just like regular television. All you have to do on Monday, April 29, is go to Hulu.com on your computer and search for the show you want to watch. Or you could just bookmark these links to the AMC and OLTL pages. Every day, you can visit the site and click play on the day's episode. Keep in mind, however, that free Hulu only stores the past five episodes, so you'll want to be sure not to fall more than a week behind on your viewing!
Hulu Plus is a subscription service that costs $7.99 per month. The advantages over the free Hulu service is the ability to stream Hulu onto more than just your computer and having the full archive of episodes available to you at any time. With Hulu Plus, you'll be able to watch Hulu programming such as AMC and OLTL on your smartphone or tablet, or use a device like Roku or a gaming console to stream the shows directly onto your TV. And if you've got an Internet-ready smart TV that can already run Hulu Plus, you're all set! For a full list of Hulu Plus-enabled devices, click here. And as we mentioned, Hulu Plus will archive every single episode of AMC and OLTL so you can watch any one of them at any time.
You can also use iTunes to download each episode onto your computer, iPhone, iPod or iPad. The advantage to this method is that you'll be able to watch the downloaded episode even when you don't have Internet access (which you'll need to stream from Hulu/Hulu Plus). An official pricing structure has not been officially announced, but it is believed that episodes will cost $.99 each. Often, iTunes will have a discounted season pass option, but at this time, nothing is known for sure about that pricing tier.
For daytime fans in Canada, you'll be able to watch AMC and OLTL on FX Canada. Episodes will air the same day as they are uploaded to Hulu/Hulu Plus and iTunes, and AMC will air at noon EST and OLTL at 12:30 EST.
Now you're all set to take the next step into the future of soaps on Monday, April 29!
Northwestern students write for 'All My Children'(chicagotribune.com) Two decades after she honed her writing skills at Northwestern University, Chicago native and soap opera pioneer Agnes Nixon created “All My Children.” It ran on ABC from 1970 until it was cancelled in 2011, but it relaunches online next Monday thanks to the efforts of longtime Hollywood talent manager and TV producer Jeff Kwatinetz, yet another of the school’s alums.
Fittingly, a trio of Northwestern undergrads will be involved in an upcoming episode.
Prospect Park (Kwatinetz’s production company) has commissioned three finalists from Northwestern’s annual playwriting festival (named in Nixon’s honor) to write a future installment of the soap, likely to stream in May or June. New episodes will be available next week on Hulu and iTunes.
In addition to real-world television experience, the students will each be paid $1,500 for their efforts and receive a professional writing credit on the episode.
New AMC/OLTL Video On HuluA preview of both relaunched series is now available for fans on Hulu. And if you haven't watched the two "catch-up" videos for AMC and OLTL, be sure to check those out by clicking on the links.
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Soaps Producer Sues ABC for Allegedly Sabotaging Online Relaunch(hollywoodreporter.com) 'One Life to Live' and 'All My Children' producer Prospect Park claims in a $25 million suit that the network is hurting its efforts to relaunch the series online.
A $25 million legal brawl has broken out over the transition of soaps from ABC to online.
Producer Prospect Park, which licensed One Life to Live and All My Children from ABC and plans to relaunch them as web-only series beginning April 29, claims in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court that the network has sabotaged the relaunch and is trying to cause it to fail.
Read the complaint here.
Prospect argues that it has been dealing with ABC in good faith, allowing it to use OLTL characters on General Hospital until the relaunch, but ABC actively has caused problems, including refusing to transfer the website addresses for the shows and failing to consult on storylines.
"In the ultimate act of bad faith, ABC killed off two OLTL characters on loan to General Hospital by having their car forced off a cliff," the complaint states.
While Prospect says its current legal action will not impact the planned re-launch of the soaps, the suit seeks more than $25 million in damages for breach of contract.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to ABC for comment.
Prospect Park Sues ABC For $25M Over 'All My Children' & 'One Life To Live' Licensing Agreement(deadline.com) One week before Prospect Park is set to launch online soaps All My Children and One Life To Live, the production company today filed a breach of contract lawsuit against ABC, which licensed the shows two years ago to Prospect Park, the company of Jeff Kwatinetz and former Walt Disney studios president Rich Frank. In the complaint, which was filed today with the LA Superior Court, Prospect Park claims that ABC has been breaking the licensing agreement and sabotaging Prospect Park’s efforts to continue AMC and OLTL online. Requesting a jury trial, the suit seeks damages of at least $25 million from Disney-owned ABC. ABC had no comment.
The lawsuit won’t derail plans for the AMC and OLTL re-launch April 29. “These shows will go forward, and Prospect will address its rights in Court,” the suit said. “Regardless of how successful Prospect may be, the fact remains that ABC did not deliver what it promised, Prospect did not get what it paid for, and Prospect is now entitled to recover millions of dollars in damages for ABC’s egregious conduct.”
The lawsuit follows a couple of months of building-up tensions and threats of legal action between Prospect Park and ABC over the OLTL actors who had been starring on ABC’s General Hospital since the cancellation of OLTL by ABC. Prospect Park attempted to get them back, which created a stand-off with ABC. The last straw came last week when ABC announced that OLTL‘s Kristen Alderson, Michael Easton and Roger Howarth will return to GH on May 10, presumably as new characters. According to the lawsuit, after taking over AMC and OLTL in 2011, Prospect Park, in “a gesture of good will”, allowed ABC “to borrow seven OLTL characters to appear on a limited basis” on the network’s soap General Hospital for the actors playing them can have employment. The suit says that, despite having the characters on a temporary basis, ABC signed the actors playing them in long-term deals, making their return to OLTL difficult and “effectively removing any incentive for them to do so.” (Howarth recently made a short-term deal with Prospect Park to do a stint on OLTL before returning to GH.) Prospect Park claims that in the arrangement with ABC, they retained “approval rights over ABC’s use of the OLTL characters. But “for over a year, ABC outright failed and refused to consult with Prospect on any storylines involving these characters, rendering Prospect’s approval rights meaningless.” With that, “in the ultimate act of bad faith, ABC inexplicably killed off two OLTL characters (Cole and Hope Thomas) on loan to GH by having their car forced off a cliff. ABC effectively killed another OLTL character Tomas Delgado, who was not even licensed to ABC, “and made it near impossible to keep him without alienating the fans” by “claiming” that this long-standing OLTL character is in fact another character on GH.
Prospect Park also claims ABC breached the two sides’ licensing agreement by refusing to hand over to Prospect Park the URLs for the two soaps the company had purchased, onelifetolive.com and allmychildren.com. “These URLs are not only critical to establishing public awareness for the re-launch, but they are part of the rights paid for by Prospect. The lawsuit also claims that ABC recently threatened not to air ads for OLTL because they feature an actor who is now playing a new role on GH. Prospect Park claims that it made “repeated overtures” to ABC to “resolve these issues amicably,” which were rebuffed by the network.
Despite the fact that ABC retains some ownership in AMC and OLTL under the 2011 licensing agreement, Prospect Park argues that ABC is trying to sabotage the two shows. The complaint claims that “at least one ABC executive” involved in the decisions to how to handle OLTL actors on GH, “has openly declared his desire to see Prospect fail” and suggests that the network’s actions may be driven by “a basic fear of embarrassment if Prospect succeeds.” The company still hopes that the sides’ dispute can be settled.
Prospect Park is represented in the suit by Michael Weinsten and Daniel Gutenplan of L.A. firm Lavely & Singer.
Talk Show AppearanceThe View (ABC) - THURSDAY, APRIL 25 - Vincent Irizarry, Thorsten Kaye ("All My Children") and Erika Slezak ("One Life to Live").
Lind Dances With The Mob... And A President!If you are in the Connecticut area and looking for something to do this weekend, check out soap alums Christina Bennett Lind (ex-Bianca, ALL MY CHILDREN) and Paul Anthony Stewart (Danny, GUIDING LIGHT) in their last few performances of Ride The Tiger at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven. Written by William Mastrosimone -- who spent a year interviewing Frank Sinatra to write the Golden Globe-winning television series SINATRA -- the play is based on a revelation made during one of their conversations and explores the theory that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was at the hands of the Mob. Stewart takes the stage as the beloved crooner, and Lind plays Judith Exner, who had a two-year affair with JFK while simultaneously dating Chicago Mob boss Sam Giancana. "She was basically an unwilling go-between between the two men," explains Lind. "They used her to relay messages between them."
While Exner is the first historical person Lind has played, she didn't find a whole lot of background information. "I did some research on-line, but there's very little of her. She wrote a biography about her experience with this situation about 15 years later, which I read," she says. "But she denied knowing a lot about what was going on with these men at the time... likely protecting herself. She was afraid to be caught, especially by the Mob."
The more that Lind found out about Exner, the more intrigued she became by the person she's been playing. "Before I auditioned, I didn't know who this woman was. I've heard of JFK, but I've never heard of this woman, who was very influential and possibly linked him to some very bad men who did some bad things. The media did a very good job, at the time, of protecting JFK from any kind of flaws," notes the actress. "Judy was sleeping with JFK while he was married to one of our most well-known and iconic first ladies. A lot of people would look at her as weak; she could have been considered someone who was climbing her way up, and trying to influence all these powerful men. But the way I see it, look at all these incredibly powerful men who fell for her! What kind of power did she possess that we don't give credit to? She was a powerful, beautiful woman who was able to play ball with these men."
For tickets and more information on Ride The Tiger, visit www.longwharf.org. Performances run through Sunday, April 21.
All My Children Alum Chrishell Stause Joins Days of Our Lives(tvline.com) Things will undoubtedly heat up in Salem this summer when All My Children alumna Chrishell Stause surfaces on NBC’s Days of Our Lives.
Sources confirm for TVLine that Stause, who played AMC‘s Amanda Dillon Martin from mid-2005 until the serial’s broadcast finale in September 2011, has been cast on the Peacock’s long-running sudser in a contract role.
Given Days‘ lead time (the show is currently taping about three months out) and the fact that Stause just reported to the set last week, details on her role are hard to come by, but this much we have learned: She A) is playing a new character and B) will likely first air sometime in early August — maybe perhaps possibly for my birthday, on the 1st of the month?
In addition to her AMC run, Stause’s credits include a guest spot on ABC’s Body of Proof and the web series Luke 11:17.
WME Signs 'Fruitvale' Star Michael B. Jordan(deadline.com) Just as his breakout film Fruitvale was announced this morning in the Un Certain Regard category of the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, actor Michael B. Jordan (ex-Reggie, All My Children) has changed agencies moving from UTA to WME. Jordan plays Oscar Grant in the Ryan Coogler-directed fact-based drama about a troubled young man who tries to remake himself into a responsible citizen for the sake of his child, and who was gunned down by cops on a San Francisco train platform. The film premiered at Sundance, where it won the Grand Jury Price and Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic Film. It was bought there by Harvey Weinstein. TWC has retitled the film Fruitvale Station and will release the film July 26.
Jordan has been doing strong work since he was a kid. That includes the softhearted drug dealer Wallace in HBO’s The Wire and QB Vince Howard on the NBC series Friday Night Lights. He then starred in the Fox sleeper hit Chronicle and returned to TV for a season of the NBC series Parenthood. He recently filmed the comedy Are We Officially Dating?, the Tom Gormican-directed pic that also stars Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Imogen Poots and Mackenzie Davis. Jordan continues to be managed by The Schiff Company and lawyered by Gregory Slewett.
Can Agnes Nixon Woo Susan Lucci to the New All My Children?(tvguide.com) Anticipation is running high for Prospect Park's reboots of All My Children and One Life to Live — premiering April 29 via Hulu and iTunes — but nobody's more excited than the creator of both soaps, the legendary 85-year-old Agnes Nixon.
"I'm thrilled to tears that I'm still here to witness this," Nixon tells TV Guide Magazine. "Soap operas made history by being the first shows to move from radio to TV. Now they're the first to move from TV to the Internet. People say we're being pioneers here, which makes me feel like I'm 150 years old, or that I should be on a coin or something. Somebody had to make the first move. I'm so glad it was us!"
Nixon, who serves as creative consultant on both soaps, recently paid a visit to the set of OLTL, which will feature such returning faves as Erika Slezak, Roger Howarth, and Robin Strasser, plus a sea of fresh faces. "It's so lovely to watch the veteran actors mixing with the exciting young newcomers," Nixon says. "And it's so special for me because, in a way, this is like my homecoming to OLTL. I had to step back from the show soon after it hit the air to put my full attention on AMC."
Thorsten Kaye, Julia Barr and David Canary are among the former AMC stars coming back to Pine Valley but, so far, there's no sign of Susan Lucci. Are we surprised? Not really. Lucci, currently shooting the Lifetime series Devious Maids, had a very public dustup with Prospect Park when the company first tried to revive the soaps in the fall of 2011. The Prospect execs put out the word, via Deadline.com, that Lucci was trying to gouge them for money, perks and a primetime series in order to continue her role as Erica Kane. This same report also intimated AMC was being put on the back burner because the negotiations with Lucci had gone south.
The furious actress fired back at Prospect via a Facebook letter to her fans, claiming the accusations were utter bull. Sources close to Lucci say she's still irked by the incident and if she ever does agree to appear on the new AMC it will only be as a personal favor to Nixon. But, realistically, what are the chances she'll pop up?
The eternally optimistic Nixon says, "Susan has so many other commitments these days but I certainly see her in our future. She is such a talent and a dear friend. I remember the first time I saw her when she auditioned for AMC. I thought she was too beautiful to be a good actress. I was so happy to be wrong! I do hope with all my heart that Susan will be free enough to come back to us for a while." Adds the scribe with a laugh: "You know me. I always have a great story in mind for Erica Kane!"
Video: Suzy HomemakerAll My Children's Cady McClain as Suzy Homemaker: Video.
Hot Chelle Rae Makes Music On AMC(Photo) RCA recording artist and American Music Awards winner Hot Chelle Rae stopped by the set of AMC to sing their new single "Hung Up." In the scene, AJ asks the band to make a special stop to Pine Valley as a surprise for his best friend Miranda. The episode is slated to stream on Thursday, May 9. "We're pumped to be performing on 'All My Children'. It's such an iconic show that bridges our parent's generation with ours. Now that the show is online, we can reach even more people with our music. All of our fans have been loving the song, and it's cool for these characters on the show to represent our fans," said lead singer/guitarist Ryan Follesé.
Pregnant Fergie and Hubby Josh Duhamel Go Nursery Shopping(Photo) Josh Duhamel and Fergie have a baby room to prepare.
The expectant parents have begun nursery shopping after they were spotted at Cisco Home Furniture store in Los Angeles yesterday; a source told E! News that the couple appeared to be looking at eco-friendly, chemical-free furniture for the arrival for their little baby.
Sounds like they're already thinking like good parents.
The couple looked at couches and bed, and at one point pregnant Fergie decided to take a little rest on the couch (obviously to test it out) while Josh continued to shop.
The source added that the pair looked happy but didn't make any purchases, though an employee wrote a few things down for them. After visiting the store for a little less than an hour, the duo left, taking a brochure just in case.
Duhamel, being the gentleman that he is, opened the car door for his lady, and they reportedly went to Restoration Hardware, another furniture shop that has a baby line and nursery decor.
The Online Network Offering Weekly Recaps For 'One Life To Live' And 'All My Children'(deadline.com) MORE One Life To Live and MORE All My Children will be available beginning Friday, May 3rd, The Online Network announced today. The weekly half-hour installments will feature exclusive behind the scenes footage and one-on-one interviews with the series’ stars. Fans will also be able to interact with the cast in real time via Twitter and Skype. Both shows also will feature original lifestyle segments, ranging from fashion to beauty to relationship advice that draw on the storylines of the prior week’s content. Former KABC correspondent and anchor Leslie Miller will host. Tomorrow Productions’ Marc Victor exec produces. Original episodes of the revived serial dramas will debut Monday, April 29th on Hulu and iTunes.
Cady McClain Video PostKids Watching AMC (New AMC Cast members): Video.
Prospect Park's Rich Frank's Message To FansProspect Park co-chief Rich Frank tells Digest that a big advertising push will help attract viewers to the relaunches of AMC and OLTL on April 29th ("You'll see ads in print and on television") but hopes that fans will help spread the word, as well. "We would hope that all of them would call their friends to make sure they watch them! The way to ensure that this is going to work, because we're really totally advertiser-supported is, is that we've got to get the eyeballs to be watching this. They've done it before; it's just a matter of rallying the troops and getting them to watch. That's all I could ask them to do at this point. We're going to try to give them the best we've got and if they will support us and tweet and Facebook and use all the social media and everything just to make sure that everybody knows that on the 29th, we're going to be back, that would be great."
Previews Of Online Soaps 'All My Children', 'One Life To Live': VideoThe Online Network has released “first look” previews of the revived ABC serial dramas All My Children and One Life To Live. Both are set to make their debut on Hulu, HuluPlus and iTunes on April 29th. Check out the videos below:
All My Children: Video.
One Life To Live: Video.
More AMC & OLTL Preview Videos!The OnLine Network has released another pair of videos previewing the Monday, April 29, debuts of ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE, and this time they're going back to school! The two clips, titled "First Day Of School" are available on the iTunes pages for both AMC and OLTL for download. Just click those links to get them for yourself.
They're just shy of three minutes apiece, but each behind-the-scenes video offers some emotional scenes of the casts and crews of both soaps coming back together for the first time in over a year and filming the very first scenes for the new shows. And we defy you to not get a little emotional yourself watching these!
FX Canada To Air AMC & OLTL(newswire.ca) FX Canada pumps up the drama, the passion, and the scandal with the exclusive Canadian broadcast of brand-new, 30-minute episodes of beloved serial dramas, All My Children and One Life to Live. Breathing new life into the popular series with an edgier and sexier spin, both programs reignite the classic franchises with modern themes, fresh new faces, and the return of fan-favourite characters. The long-running serial dramas premiere Monday, April 29, airing weekdays starting with All My Children at noon ET/2 p.m. PT, followed by One Life to Live at 12:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT, exclusively on FX Canada. (check local listings.)
FX Canada is the only television network in North America to offer the new, re-imagined All My Children and One Life to Live series to subscribers. Produced by Prospect Park's The Online Network (TOLN) All My Children and One Life to Live will be available in the United States through online stream via www.hulu.com, to subscribers through Hulu Plus, and for purchase on iTunes.
FX Canada is the exclusive broadcaster of critically acclaimed and envelope-pushing hit series such as American Horror Story, Louie, Wilfred, and The Americans.
"All My Children and One Life to Live are a unique addition to FX Canada's slate of provocative and critically-acclaimed dramas," said Scott Moore, President of Broadcast, Rogers Media. "As the only television channel in North America broadcasting these new series, FX Canada continues its commitment to deliver exclusive, premium content to its viewers."
"Our partnership with Rogers answers an overwhelming demand from viewers in Canada to access our transformed All My Children and One Life to Live programming, and incrementally furthers our footprint across all of North America. We have the fans to thank for forging this partnership, and bringing their shows to Canada," said Prospect Park's Rich Frank. "We are grateful to the team at Rogers Media including Keith Pelley, President, Scott Moore, and Malcolm Dunlop, Executive Vice-President of Programming and Operations for sharing our vision and empowering our network to reach this very significant audience."
Once more set in the fictional East Coast suburb of Pine Valley (All My Children) and fictional town of Llanview, Pennsylvania (One Life to Live), new faces join Emmy-winning actors and writers who made these series must-watch viewing for legions of loyal fans.
About Prospect Park: Prospect Park is a media and production company founded in 2009 by entertainment industry veterans Jeffrey Kwatinetz and former Disney Studios head Rich Frank. Along with successful film and music divisions, the company's television group has numerous shows in development and breakout network hits airing including Royal Pains and Wilfred.
About FX Canada: FX Canada is a digital specialty channel that delivers critically-acclaimed dramas and hit comedies, including FX original series American Horror Story, Wilfred, The League, Lights Out, Terriers and Sons of Anarchy. Delivering compelling entertainment to Canadians, FX Canada's unique content also features movies and original Canadian programming. FX Canada is a part of Rogers Broadcasting Limited, a division of Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX: RCI and NYSE: RCI) which is a diversified Canadian communications and media company.
GREY'S ANATOMY: Do You Believe in MagicGuest Starring Hilarie Burton ("White Collar"), Jason George ("Sunset Beach") And Jennifer Bassey ("All My Children")
"Do You Believe In Magic" - The doctors reach out to Bailey but she continues to shut everyone out; after an incident with Ethan's grandmother, Owen fears the child could end up in foster care; and a new craniofacial specialist (Hilarie Burton) arrives at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital to work on a young patient; meanwhile, a magician's assistant is rushed into the ER after a magic trick goes terribly wrong, on "Grey's Anatomy," THURSDAY, MAY 2 (9:00-10:02 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
"Grey's Anatomy" stars Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd, Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang, Justin Chambers as Alex Karev, Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey, James Pickens, Jr. as Richard Webber, Sara Ramirez as Callie Torres, Kevin McKidd as Owen Hunt, Jessica Capshaw as Arizona Robbins, Jesse Williams as Jackson Avery and Sarah Drew as April Kepner.
"Do You Believe In Magic" was written by Dan Bucatinsky and directed by Kevin McKidd.
AMC Star Lands Off-Broadway RoleALL MY CHILDREN's Alicia Minshew (Kendall) will be performing in My Big Gay Italian Wedding from May 4-11 at St. Luke's Theatre in New York. The play is produced by the AMC's Supervising Producer, Sonia Blangiardo. Minshew is also starring in the Blangiardo-created Web soap, TAINTED DREAMS with My Big Gay Italian Wedding creator Anthony Wilkinson this summer. For more information about the play, visit BigGayItalianWedding.com.
Cady McClain InterviewEmmy Winner Cady McClain on the Return of All My Children. Read the Huffington Post interview here.
Jeff Kwatinetz Interview (CEO of Prospect Park)Resurrecting the Soap Opera with Internet Distribution: Read Forbes' Exclusive Interview with Jeff Kwatinetz here.
New AMC/OLTL Sneak-Peek VideoAs Hulu and The Online Network gear up for the return of AMC and OLTL on April 29, they've released a new behind-the-scenes video with interviews of the cast and crew. Watch "We Are a Family" here!
Paula Garces Joins AMCPaula Garces, best known to daytime fans as GL's Pilar Santos, will appear on Prospect Park's relaunch of AMC as Lea Marquez, described by the show as "a smart, savvy, beautiful woman who's devoted her life to a career of fighting crime and bringing down the bad guys. Lea’s career takes up most of her days and nights, which leaves little time for a personal life. That is, until a man challenges her safe, controlled existence and threatens to open up the part of her she'd long since put to rest, her heart." The actress, who has appeared in the Harold & Kumar films, will also be seen on Lifetime's upcoming DEVIOUS MAIDS, co-starring AMC vet Susan Lucci (ex-Erica).
Chrishell Stause Nabs Mystery Soap RoleOn Twitter, Chrishell Stause, known to AMC fans as Amanda, revealed that she has landed a new soap gig. "Sorry I can't tell u what show yet. Just wanna let u know how much it means when u guys say u will be watching no matter the show. SO NICE!" She added, "I have NO CLUE when they plan on announcing, but I'm guessing very soon...."
Lifetime's 'Devious Maids' Debuts June 23Lifetime‘s soapy mystery dramedy Devious Maids, executive produced by Desperate Housewives‘ Marc Cherry and Eva Longoria, will premiere on Sunday, June 23, at 10 PM. The project, originally developed and piloted by ABC last season, stars Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Roselyn Sanchez (ex-Pilar, ATWT), Edy Ganem and Judy Reyes as five maids with ambition and dreams who work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills, where murder and mayhem collide in the mansions of some of the wealthiest and most powerful families. Inspired by the hit telenovela, Ellas Son La Alegría Del Hogar, Devious Maids is produced by ABC Studios. The series was created by Cherry and is executive produced by Cherry, Sabrina Wind, Longoria, Paul McGuigan, Larry Shuman, David Lonner, John Mass and Televisa USA’s Paul Presburger and Michael Garcia.
The series also stars Susan Lucci (ex-Erica, AMC) and features other soap faves Matt Cedeno (ex-Brandon, DAYS), Grant Show (ex-Rick, RH et al) and Brianna Brown (ex-Lisa, GH).
Kendall's Back!Well, at least for a little bit. As reported in Soaps In Depth's print edition, Alicia Minshew will be reprising her role as Erica Kane's firstborn for one episode when ALL MY CHILDREN returns on the Web starting Monday, April 29. (Minshew's exact air date has yet to be announced — so keep watching!)
"I am so impressed with Prospect Park at how hard they worked to make this come together," Minshew tells In Depth. "I'm so happy for the fans especially! They are so loyal and helped make this a reality!"
Will Minshew be making additional appearances — or will her beloved Zach eventually find love elsewhere? "I can't say what the future holds," the actress responds. "I am still in talks with Prospect Park trying to work out scheduling, so we will see what happens. I am hopeful!"
Josh Duhamel Surprises Pregnant Fergie in BrazilHusbands of the world, take note.
Josh Duhamel scored some major hubby points over the weekend when he surprised his pregnant wife, Fergie, in São Paulo, Brazil, where she was due to receive the Award of Inspiration at the 2013 amFAR Inspiration Gala.
Better yet, E! Brazil reports, he made his presence known by popping up to present her with the honor!
"Shocked in a great way," the Black Eyed Peas singer tweeted about her lover's arrival.
When Duhamel wasn't making his better half (and the rest of us) swoon over his romantic ways, the duo went out for a stroll in the trendy Jardins neighborhood, where fans couldn't help but flock to the happy couple. The actor posted a photo of them in front of the eager crowd, writing, "Outside our hotel. #SãoPaulo #Brazil @Fergie #LoveThisPlace."
Fergie first arrived in Rio de Janeiro to attend a Hugo Boss event on Wednesday at the brand's Rio store, which was followed by a party in her honor at a private mansion. But her jaunt to South America wasn't all about enjoying the lavish nightlife.
The mama-to-be also made time to spend some time with the kids at Solar Meninos de Luz, a youth-focused philanthropic institution that provides educational, health and support services to indigent children and their families.
Talk about Inspiration.
GREY'S ANATOMY: Sleeping MonsterGuest starring Jennifer Bassey ("All My Children") as Nancy Dawson
"Sleeping Monster" - Bailey finds herself at the center of a CDC investigation surrounding the death of several of her patients, as Jackson and the rest of the board members argue over how to address the crisis with the public. Meanwhile, Cristina teases Alex about his unspoken feelings for Jo, and Owen continues to take special care of Ethan as the condition of his parents remains uncertain, on "Grey's Anatomy," THURSDAY, APRIL 25 (9:00-10:02 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
"Grey's Anatomy" stars Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd, Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang, Justin Chambers as Alex Karev, Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey, James Pickens, Jr. as Richard Webber, Sara Ramirez as Callie Torres, Kevin McKidd as Owen Hunt, Jessica Capshaw as Arizona Robbins, Jesse Williams as Jackson Avery and Sarah Drew as April Kepner.
"Sleeping Monster" was written by Browyn Garrity and directed by Bobby Roth.
TOLN Videos Recap All My Children and One Life to Live - What Are Your Favorite Moments?(tvline.com) As we draw closer to the April 29 relaunch of both All My Children and One Life to Live — via Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes — producer Prospect Park’s The Online Network has released “catch-up” videos that hit you with some highlights from life in Pine Valley and Llanview (at least as is relevant to the casts/characters they have in place).
First up, here’s the AMC refresher, which opens with an old-school Leo/Bianca that’ll give you goosebumps, before segueing into the infamous coming out of Erica Kane’s daughter (played by Eden Riegel, who’s on board for the reboot). You’ll also get gobs of David Hayward beat-downs, then warm-fuzzy Jesse/Angie and Tad/Dixie times: Video.
Meanwhile, grand dame Erika Slezak narrates the look back at OLTL‘s greatest hits, including the Viki/Dorian rivalry, a deftly edited Clint Ritchie-free primer on the Buchanan family patriarch, and then much T’n'B goodness: Video.
AMC/OLTL Unveil BillboardsALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE are gearing up for their returns later this month. The shows tweeted photos of billboard signs that have been put up in Los Angeles by The Online Network and Hulu adding, "Look at our little surprise! We're coming back! 4.29.13." Check out the photos here: AMC, OLTL.
Kelly Ripa on Marriage to Mark Conseulos: It's Fine to Fight SometimesAfter nearly 17 years of happy marriage to Mark Consuelos, one thing can still really set off Kelly Ripa.
"I am openly hostile when Mark leaves the toilet seat up," Ripa, 42, told PEOPLE Tuesday at a private dinner in New York to honor her pal, Bravo star Andy Cohen, and his partnership with the retail site Gilt Man. "I don't think you get past the little pet peeves."
"Mark never puts the toilet seat back down, and it irritates me," she continued. "We still fight about it. But it's OK to fight about things. We're secure with each other. I don't feel like if we have an argument, it will be the end of our lives."
Although the Live! With Kelly and Michael host would prefer her husband, 42, to kick his habit, "I really do worship Mark," she said. "I love everything about him, even his annoying habits."
"He is the person I was meant to be with forever, and I think he feels the same way," Ripa said. "We really do have quite an allegiance to one another. No matter what, we support each other in everything we do."
Consuelos Is All Suited Up!If you thought Mark Conseulos was hot playing ALL MY CHILDREN's Matéo, you haven't seen anything yet! Tune in to the Friday, April 5, episode of the scintillating Web series, BLUE (on the YouTube channel, WIGS) to catch him as an out-of-town attorney that comes looking for a good time from the show's namesake call girl (Julia Stiles). Click here for a sneak peek at the duo's sexually charged first meeting. The episode posts at 9 a.m. EST at www.youtube.com/wigs.
Additionally, Consuelos is currently in production alongside Sebastian Roché (ex-Jerry, GENERAL HOSPITAL) on A Walk Amongst the Tombstones. Based on Lawrence Block's book series, the film is about a private eye (Liam Neeson) who's on the hunt to find killer of a drug kingpin's wife. Next, Consuelos goes for the laughs opposite funny men Bill Murray and John Goodman on ALPHA HOUSE, an Amazon Studios comedy pilot from about four senators who are sharing a rented house. When completed, the pilot will be made available for free viewing on Amazon Instant Video, and customer feedback will help determine whether it will be made into a series to air on Amazon Prime Instant Video!
Josh Duhamel Talks Wife Fergie's Pregnancy: "It's a Beautiful Thing"Josh Duhamel is itching to be a father.
The soon-to-be doting dad dropped by Chelsea Lately today where he gushed over wife Fergie and their baby on the way. Clearly, the adorable hubby of the Black Eyed Peas' babe could not be more excited.
"Yes, we are over the moon about it," he said with giant smile. "We've been trying for this for quite a while."
After revealing he and Fergie had been trying for "the last year or so," Handler couldn't help but ask if the Safe Haven star planned to brave the baby delivery in the doctor's room with his wife.
"Uhh, I will be there," he said. "She says that I can't be anywhere below right here," he said, gesturing to his face. "Because, you know, some women get nervous about that."
Although Chelsea reminds the 40-year-old star some men "never recover" from the experience, Josh only has feelings of excitement towards the imminent birth of his first child.
"For me I think it's a beautiful thing. Why not?" he confesses.
And if that's not enough reasons to love the soon-to-be dad, Josh continues to talk about his expectant wife and future child.
"'Until you actually go through it yourself, because you know all my friends have told me about it, they've said, ‘You know, it's the most amazing thing you've ever been through; wait until you hold the baby for the first time,'" he said. "And then you actually look at her and you see that there's an actual baby inside of there. It's unbelievable."
Hey Fergie, can you help us find another guy just like that?
New Show Descriptions For AMC And OLTL On iTunesAs the online returns of ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE draw ever nearer, the show's iTunes home pages have new descriptions of what fans can expect.
Here is AMC's: "Love, excitement and suspense return to Pine Valley with the Chandlers, Cortlandts, Martins and Hubbards. Revisit the lives of core characters who’ve inhabited the landscape for decades along with a younger generation that promises twists and turns of its own. Follow JR as he comes to grips with his past and meet his teen-aged son, AJ, who might just break the cycle of dysfunction that has plagued his family for years. Follow Pete Cortlandt as he falls in love with a girl named Celia who has a dark past even she doesn’t know about. Get re-acquainted with Angie and Jesse and see them tested by tragedy and loss. Witness the return of Zach and David and follow the emotional journey of Bianca’s daughter Miranda, whose own mother lived in the shadow of the great Erica Kane but who is determined to forge her own path, on her own terms. All that and more begins on April 29th…"
And here is the synopsis for OLTL: "Intoxicating, character driven drama One Life to Live is back with all new must-see episodes. One Life to Live is filled with action, romance, comedy, and pushes the boundaries of entertainment by exploring cutting edge social issues. Viki, Dorian, Todd, Blair, the Buchanans and the Lords — all the icons of Llanview — are joined by gorgeous, hot stars of tomorrow in the all-new One Life to Live. At the start, Viki’s sexy, young reporter Jeffrey King uncovers a scandal that ends Dorian’s senatorial career. Of course, Dorian blames Viki, reigniting and exploding their feud to epic proportions. Meanwhil e danger follows Todd to town in the form of a mysterious, evil organization signified by a sinister tattoo…and a deadly agenda. Blair and Cutter’s popular new club Shelter places Llanview on the map with DJ’s, singers and cameo roles played by the biggest names in show business today. The new One Life to Live has beloved characters from the show that ran on network television for 43 years plus the contemporary look, feel and style of an edgy new hit."
Online Soaps an Intriguing Prospect for Daytime Emmys(variety.com) Agnes Nixon’s socially relevant serials “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” were groundbreaking in content when they debuted on ABC over 40 years ago.
Now, those same programs, which the Alphabet net canceled in 2011, stand poised to chart new territory — as business models for online programming — when they return with fresh episodes starting April 29.
Production company Prospect Park has licensed the serials from ABC and will be presenting them on Hulu Plus, iTunes and Prospect Park’s own network, dubbed the Online Network.
“A while back, Jeff (Kwatinetz, my business partner) and I started to believe that the world was about to change in terms of how viewers receive their programs,” says Rich Frank of Prospect Park. “Almost 20% of college graduates don’t buy television sets. Today, there’s the ability to feed anything to anybody’s screen — TV, iPad, or telephone — and give them programming that they want.”
While the two canceled serials were no longer wanted by ABC, Frank and Kwatinetz felt that the programs could serve as the foundation for an entire online network.
“At first, we had trouble explaining what we were trying to do, and we couldn’t make the deals,” Frank says. “After a year of (people) being out of work, there was a lot more openness to it. The guilds worked with us.”
There’s buzz that the new versions of ‘Children’ and ‘Life’ will outpace their broadcast counterparts in terms of provocative material, in order to capture new and younger viewers.
“We are going to be a little hotter and sexier,” Rich says. “That doesn’t mean we’ll be doing anything that’s offensive. We’re trying to be contemporary and have storylines that are relevant to people’s lives.”
But online soaps may find it challenging to do doing eye-grabbing material that’s more timely and provocative than what broadcast serials are already providing. For example, “The Young and the Restless” recently told a cyberbullying storyline with some of its teen characters; “Days of Our Lives” is telling an ongoing gay teen love story that has shown two young men kissing and in bed together.
“Nobody tunes in for the bells and whistles,” says “Days” co-exec producer Greg Meng. “This genre’s all about the written word.”
Steve Kent, senior exec programming veep of Sony Pictures Television (which produces “Restless” and “Days”) says he isn’t sure that the Prospect Park endeavor is a true gamechanger.
“This is an evolution of the viewing mechanism,” Kent says, “People have long predicted the demise of network television, but it still exists and will for the foreseeable future.”
As for potentially racier content, Kent says, “If they turn ‘All My Children’ into porn — and I’m sure they won’t — then nobody is going to watch. Soap audiences are more traditional.”
Kent hastens to add, however, that the definition of what’s traditional is “constantly changing.”
No matter what, the industry will be tuning in (logging on?) to see if this venture succeeds both creatively and financially.
“We all have our fingers crossed that this is successful,” says Meng. “(But) these shows won’t be competitive with us.”
Says Frank: “If we’re right, we’ll have started something. If not, then we’ll have spent a lot of time seeing if this would work. But we’re very confident that this will happen and that people will come to us. This is just the start. After we’re up on the air and running we’re going to look at doing other things.”
All My Children Q&AEden Riegel Talks Returning To Play Bianca Montgomery. Read the Access Hollywood interview here.
Hot All My Children Video: Check Out Pine Valley's New Look - and Opal's New Home!Just as All My Children had to be resurrected from its daytime TV grave, so too did the fictional town of Pine Valley — which was long ago sent to deconstructed-set heaven. But as you’ll see in the following behind-the-scenes sneak peek, the famed fictional town has since been rebuilt from the ground up — and received a bit of a facelift along the way.
Bowing April 29 on iTunes and Hulu, the revived soap will feature all new sets, including quirky Opal’s snazzy new home. “In soap operas, when you have your own house, it’s a big deal,” suds vet Jill Larson gushes of her alter ego’s digs — and she’s not the only one.
Press PLAY below for a glimpse at the remodeled Pine Valley, which includes a massive house for Angie and Jesse (they used to inhabit a condo) and a swanky patio area where the youngins can hang.
Hulu Board IDs Possible Buyers: ReutersOwners News Corp and Disney (Comcast also has a stake but can’t have a corporate role) have been mulling what to do with the online service. Earlier reports said News Corp wants Hulu to focus on its subscription service, while Disney prefers the ad-supported business model. Now Reuters is reporting that one might want to buy out the other, in addition to the Hulu board contacting other potential buyers recently to gauge third-party interest. An internal strategic review has resulted in several possible suitors, though it’s unclear how many were contacted and a source says no formal offers have been received. Jason Kilar, the CEO who is leaving the company at the end of the month, said in December that Hulu would end 2012 with about $695M in revenue, up 65% vs 2011. Its paid streaming service, Hulu Plus, has more than 3M subscribers, double the number from the previous year.
Josh Duhamel Matches Pregnant Fergie! Check Out His Fake Baby Bump and Leopard Dress(Photo) Fergie sure looks hot flaunting her baby bump in a tight leopard dress, and it's no wonder Josh Duhamel wanted in on the fun!
On Sunday, the dad-to-be tried on his own version of his pregnant wife's sexy ensemble.
"Have I no shame?" the 2013 Kids Choice Awards host captioned the Facebook photo. And while Fergie looked sexy in sleek black pumps, Josh opted for blue sneakers to go with his daring look.
It's a tough call, but we're gonna have to say Fergie wore it better. Maybe next time, Josh!
Baby On The Way!Congratulations are in order for THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL's Jacob Young (ex-JR, All My Children) and his wife, Christen! The couple -- already parents to four-year-old Luke -- are expecting their second child in September.
Josh Duhamel Talks Fergie's Pregnancy: "It's Something We've Wanted for a Very Long Time"Josh Duhamel's (ex-Leo. All My Children) got kids on the brain these days—in every possible way.
The star, whose wife Fergie is expecting their first child, is set to host the Kids' Choice Awards on Saturday, and it looks like he's all prepped for slime time.
E! News caught up with the 40-year-old Safe Haven actor this week to chat about both his upcoming hosting shindig and fatherhood, and the star couldn't be more psyched to welcome the latest addition to his and his ladylove's growing family.
"It's something that we've wanted for a very long time, and this was the right time for us," he says about Fergie's pregnancy, which he described as the most amazing experience.
"She's handling it beautifully," he explains, giving props to his missus, "and we're both just over the moon about it."
Impending parenthood has also prompted the star to look back on his own experiences growing up, and he gamely shared one of his earliest memories as a child—and some very important life lessons imparted by his mother.
"My oldest memory as a kid is I stole a toy form Kmart," he frankly admits. "I was probably 4 years old, it was one of my first memories."
Of course, his mom, who was with him, was none too pleased. "I remember she got so mad at me. She drove us back to Kmart and made me go and hand it back to the people behind the counter."
Sounds like the guy could use some slime time!
Daytime Collection Headed To The Smithsonian!The Smithsonian Institute has partnered with the National Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) to bring some of the most iconic daytime television memorabilia to the national museum! A rep for the museum tells Soaps In Depth that it is still in the planning stages, but the Smithsonian hopes to eventually showcase a collection that features costumes, props, scripts, awards and much more!
First Look: All My Children Returns on the Web((tvguide.com)) (Photo) Yes, soap fans, it's really, truly, finally happening. New 30-minute episodes of All My Children and One Life to Live — cancelled by ABC back in 2011 — will premiere April 25 on The Online Network (available via Hulu and iTunes). These long-delayed, buzzed-about reboots are "a new and really exciting way of telling soap stories," says AMC's Thorsten Kaye (who plays Zach, seen here with Debbi Morgan's Angie). AMC will leap some five years into the future to help explain why certain characters have vanished from Pine Valley (hello...Erica?) and others are suddenly grown.
"Our little ones are now teenagers in order to make them more dramatically viable," Kaye says. "I mean, how interesting is a 7-year-old?" Some have sprouted even more, like the former "Petey" Cortlandt, who is now "Peter" and being played by strapping The Price Is Right model Rob Wilson (shown below with Jill Larson's Opal).
How's it going so far? Ever the realist, Kaye says "It's been terrific getting back to work but we're definitely experiencing some growing pains. This is a huge undertaking. ABC did it for 40 years. For a company that's new to soaps like Prospect Park, it's a whole other ball game. We ask the fans to bear with us. It will take a bit of time to get it right but I do believe we can!" (Photo)
Marlee Matlin Wants Tv Bosses To Make Soap Opera Deaf FriendlyThe Oscar-winning actress, who has been deaf since she was 18 months old, wants executives at Prospect Park to add subtitles to online episodes of the long-running series so fans with hearing impairments can enjoy them.
In a post on her Twitter.com page, Matlin writes, "I'd love to encourage All My Children to offer new, online episodes with closed captions. So many fans of show are deaf and crave access!"
All My Children/One Life to Live Relaunch: Your First Teaser PromoAs All My Children and One Life to Live inch closer to their April 29 resurrection date — via Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes — producer Prospect Park has released a first teaser.
The Online Network Unveils New Logos, Storyline Details For 'All My Children' And 'One Life To Live'(deadline.com) The Online Network has released new logos for the revived ABC daytime dramas One Life To Live and All My Children. TOLN also confirmed today that the premiere episode of All My Children will be set approximately five years later from the time setting of the last episode, while One Life To Live has advanced in real time. Both are set to premiere April 29th on TOLN partners Hulu and iTunes. (AMC Logo, OLTL Logo)
Ricky Paull Goldin Joins The Bold and the Beautiful(tvguide.com) Here comes trouble! TV Guide Magazine has exclusively learned that former All My Children and Guiding Light great Ricky Paull Goldin will hit The Bold and the Beautiful May 15 as Jesse, the badass dude who fathered Maya's child. According to a B&B rep, the baby daddy "will arrive on the scene, see Maya with Rick and immediately get jealous." The hyper-busy Goldin, who is exec producer and host of the new HGTV series Spontaneous Construction, reports for work at the CBS soap this week. The gig, while non-contract, could have serious potential.
"I've pretty much put acting on hold but when the Bell family asks you to do a role, it's not that easy to say no!" Goldin tells us. "I worked for them many years ago on The Young and the Restless and it was a wonderful experience. I'm so honored to be back with them."
Truth be told, Goldin also jumped at the chance to play a villain. "I've always been cast as the hero with a few flaws," he says. "Jesse is a really dark guy with a lot of potential layers and that's very attractive to me. How long will he be around? That Fifth Harmony song from The X Factor keeps going through my head — 'Anything Can Happen!'"
Goldin, who declined an opportunity to revive his Jake Martin role in the upcoming AMC reboot, has established his own TV production company, GoldLine Entertainment, and has recently sold projects to MTV, TLC and the Style Network. Spontaneous Construction, a delightfully dizzy concept that mixes social networking, flash mobs and extreme home makeovers, had a soft launch on HGTV in February and will officially premiere on the cable channel in April. (Check out the sizzle reel here.
"It's a show that's all about love," Goldin says. "People have been smashed so hard by the economy and one weather crisis after another, so we're putting a hand over the picket fence and helping out our neighbors. There are a lot of tears and a lot of laughs and a whole lot of learning. It's been a beautiful experience."
Batman Actor Malachi Throne Dies at 84Malachi Throne (ex-Morgan Rutherford, All My Children/ex-Edgar Daniels, Ryan's Hope/ex-Ted Adamson, Search For Tomorrow), a character actor known for his roles on Batman and Star Trek, died Wednesday. He was 84.
Throne's agent, Annette Robinson, told to The Huffington Post the actor had succumbed to cancer and that he died peacefully in his sleep.
Supernatural star and one of Throne's friends, Jim Beaver, was one of the first to report the news. "My good friend Malachi Throne died last night. One of the finest actors and finest people I've been fortunate enough to know," Beaver wrote on Facebook.
Throughout his five-decade career, Throne appeared on more than 90 television shows. He is best known for playing Batman villain False Face in a two-part episode in 1966 and Robert Wagner's boss on It Takes a Thief. He also provided the voice for Talosian leader The Keeper in the Star Trek pilot. He went on to play Commodore Jose Mendez in the series' only two-parter, as well as work on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II.
All My Children and One Life to Live Cast Photos!See Exclusive All My Children and One Life to Live Cast Photos at usmagazine.com!
‘ALL MY CHILDREN’ AND ‘ONE LIFE TO LIVE’ SET FOR HISTORIC ONLINE DEBUT MONDAY, APRIL 29THTwo Beloved And Long-Running Serial Dramas Changing Landscape of Broadcast-Quality Television Online - Coming Free to Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes
Los Angeles. CA – March 11, 2013 – Prospect Park’s The Online Network (TOLN) announced today the highly-anticipated online debuts of the beloved long-running serial dramas “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” for Monday, April 29. With the date confirmed, millions of the shows’ fans and new viewers alike can plan to watch broadcast-quality versions of two of the most beloved franchises in history with easy access and for free.
“We thank the fans whose tenaciousness to see these shows return made this historical moment possible. We are determined to repay their support by delivering new and creatively groundbreaking episodes that both the fans, as well as legions of new viewers, will love. These viewers will absolutely embrace the flexibility HULU and iTunes provide to watch their shows anywhere, anytime,” said Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, Prospect Park’s Partners. “The response and camaraderie of our cast and crew has been inspiring as we have all banded together to succeed in our mission; unencumbered by the creative constraints of traditional broadcast television, to deliver storylines, style and characters that are stronger, with more dimension than ever. Now with our launch date set in stone, we are ready to lead this historic return. To the fans we proclaim, your support counts now more than ever.”
Emmy Award winner Agnes Nixon, creative consultant for both programs and a soap opera pioneer, added: “I am so pleased that our dream of bringing these two series back to life is coming to fruition. I am grateful to Prospect Park for their unwavering commitment to this project and to the amazingly talented casts of ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ – their devotion to these franchises has made this moment possible. And to the fans – well, we wouldn’t be here without you.”
Brand new, 30-minute episodes of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” will be available to stream online weekdays in HD (when available) via the free Hulu (www.hulu.com) service and to the millions of Hulu Plus subscribers watching on connected TVs, mobile phones, tables and PCs. In addition, the iTunes Store will offer both series via iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV and Mac and PC, making these venerable dramas available in a new format that suits the viewing habits of the digital generation. Production began on “All My Children” February 25, and shooting will begin on “One Life to Live” March 18th. Both series are filmed in Stamford, Conn.
Breathing new life into the storied franchises, Prospect Park and TOLN will blend updated themes and fresh faces with the fan-favorite, Emmy-winning actors and writers who made these series must-watch viewing for legions of loyal fans.
Additional guest stars and recurring cast will be announced in the weeks ahead.
“All My Children” cast members include:
“One Life to Live” cast members include:
Recurring “One Life to Live” actors include:
Hulu is easy to use. Viewers can go to www.hulu.com on a PC and click on a video to watch right away. Videos are available for unlimited streaming, for free (users only need a Flash-enabled computer and an Internet connection to enjoy). Viewers can watch their favorite “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” episodes and clips over and over again for free. Hulu Plus is an ad-supported subscription service that offers exclusive streaming access to full current and past seasons of shows to connected devices for $7.99 monthly. Hulu is available on devices including smart TVs, gaming consoles, mobile phones and tablets and more.
About Prospect Park
Prospect Park is a media and production company founded in 2009 by entertainment industry veterans Jeffrey Kwatinetz and former Disney Studios head Rich Frank. Along with successful film and music divisions, the company’s television group has numerous shows in development and breakout network hits airing including “Royal Pains” and “Wilfred.”
Julia Barr InterviewAll My Children's Julia Barr on Pine Valley Revisited and the 'Really Good' Stuff Ahead. Read the interview here.
Alicia Minshew Set for All My Children Encore - But There's a Catch(tvline.com) Get happy-ish, “Zendall” fans — Alicia Minshew is on board for All My Children‘s Hulu/iTunes reboot, TVLine has learned exclusively.
The catch: Sources tell us that Minshew is at this time set for just a one-episode cameo as Kendall, taping this week — though the actress remains in talks to return in a short- or long-term capacity. (Prospect Park, which is producing the relaunched AMC, could not immediately officially confirm Minshew’s encore.)
A reliable insider tells us that Minshew is shooting scenes with, at the very least, her TV sis Eden Riegel (Bianca).
Minshew’s Pine Valley love interest, Thorsten Kaye (Zach), is among the “new” AMC‘s ensemble of series regulars.
Production on AMC (and One Life to Live) episodes began on Feb. 25 with an eye on a springtime premiere on Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes.
Since AMC wrapped its broadcast run on ABC, Minshew has completed two independent films: Lies I told My Little Sister and Desires of the Heart (where she plays the female lead). She is next slated to costar in the film Here and Now, playing the grand dame of a small town’s community theater.
Thorsten Kaye On New AMCFan fave Thorsten Kaye (Zach, AMC) spoke with Soap Opera Digest columnist Carolyn Hinsey about the first week of filming in Pine Valley. The actor addresses the absence of Alicia Minshew's Kendall and talks about appearing simultaneously on SMASH. For the full story, go to: carolynhinsey.nycbrandproductions.com.
The ALL MY CHILDREN Cast Harlem Shakes It!The Internet phenomenon known as the Harlem Shake has spawned a new video, this one featuring the reunited cast of ALL MY CHILDREN (with a cameo by Mr. Peanut, beloved pooch of Cady McClain, Dixie). The video is officially sanctioned by AMC's new home, The Online Network. Check it out here: Video.
Revived Soaps Celebrate with Sexy Photo Shoot(etonline.com) (Video) Revived soap operas One Life to Live and All My Children launched their new chapters in style with a sexy photo shoot. ET caught an exclusive glimpse at the photo shoot and caught up with the shows' stars.
After over 40 seasons on daytime television, both soap operas had been canceled in the past two years due to declining viewership. However, the shows have now been given a second chance thanks to Prospect Park, now being produced for The Online Network (TOLN) to be available on iTunes, Hulu and Hulu Plus in April.
"It's an emotional day," Kassie Wesley DePaiva (Blair Cramer) said of getting back together with her co-stars for the photo shoot. "The last time we got together for a press junket for 'One Life to Live,' we were saying goodbye to it. Today we're celebrating a rebirth and it's really amazing."
The news this January that the shows were being revived after their recent cancellations was not only a pleasant shock to fans but also to the shows' actors.
"We did a soap opera event a couple of months ago and someone said, 'When's 'One Life to Live' coming back, and I said, 'Look: It's never coming back!'" One Life to Live actor Tuc Watkins (David Vickers Buchanan) recounted. "...[But] here we are. We're back together again and we get to move into the future together."
Although the appetite for soap operas has decreased due to the overwhelming emergence of reality television, the shows' actors are confident that their loyal viewers will continue following their shows on the online platform.
"I think the fans never left," said All My Children actor Thorsten Kaye (Zach Slater). "They enjoyed the way we told stories back then, and I got a feeling this might be even better."
"I think that Prospect Park is very smart to do this because they understand that these are shows that already have a huge and passionately loyal audience," said Jill Larson (Opal Cortlandt), who has acted on All My Children for 22 years. "If anybody's going to be able to build an audience in a new form, it will be these shows."
Watch the video for more from the photo shoot, including One Life to Live stars Robin Strasser (Dorian Lord), Erika Slezak (Victoria Lord) and Josh Kelly (Cutter Wentworth) -- and All My Children actors Debbi Morgan (Harmony Hamilton), Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard) and Rob Scott Wilson (Pete Cortlandt).
One Life to Live and All My Children have both resumed production and the shows will debut in late April on Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes.
'One Life to Live,' 'All My Children' casts confirmed for spring returnsThe Online Network's revivals of ABC's canceled soaps "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" have revealed their returning cast members, but there are still a few big names missing: including Susan Lucci.
There's a chance more familiar faces will be added as the shows ramp up production for a spring launch, but the newly confirmed cast members assembled for a promotional photo shoot are...
"All My Children":
"One Life to Live":
"One Life to Live" was already far ahead in the casting game having already announced the return of Erika Slezak (Victoria Lord Buchanan), Robin Strasser (Dorian Lord), Tuc Watkins (David Vickers), Robert S. Woods (Bo Buchanan), Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer) and Jerry verDorn (Clint Buchanan), as well as Florencia Lozano (Tea Delgado), Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan Banks), Hillary B. Smith (Nora Buchanan), Kelley Missal (Danielle Manning), Josh Kelly (Cutter Wentworth) and Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning). Plus three actors set for recurring roles: Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Shenaz Treasury (Rama Patel) and Nick Choksi (Vimal Patel).
"All My Children" had previously announced seven cast members: Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard), Debbi Morgan (Dr. Angela Hubbard), Vincent Irizarry (Dr. David Hayward), Lindsay Hartley (Cara Martin), Jordi Vilasuso (Griffin Castillo), Jill Larson (Opal Cortlandt), and Thorsten Kaye (Zach Slater).
AMC Adds Another Youngster!Day two of filming for ALL MY CHILDREN, and the casting news keeps on coming! A few hours ago, Daniel Covin has announced on Twitter, "Hyped to let you know I just booked the role of Hunter on the all new #AllMyChildren! I start filming on Thursday!"
The Fully Faded clothing company owner is described as an "aspiring actor" on its Web site (check out fullyfadedco.com), but has seemingly landed his first gig. Congratulations!
Original AMC Cast Member Returns!Ray MacDonnell, who played the role of Dr. Joe Martin from the show's ABC premiere in 1970 until he retired in 2010 (and made two return visits in 2011), will be seen on the Prospect Park reboot.
TOP MODEL Winner Is AMC's New CassandraSal Stowers, who won Cycle 9 of AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL (fans will remember her by her full first name, Saleisha), is AMC's new Cassandra. The role was previously played by another vet of ANTM, YaYa DaCosta, in 2008.
Meet Miranda!Although initial speculation that Jordan Lane Price had been cast in the role of Miranda Montgomery -- even Eden Reigel (Bianca) claimed her as her "daughter" on Twitter -- Jill Larson (Opal) tweeted this afternoon that actress Denyse Tontz has been cast in the role. The actress/singer began her career as a child model for Mattel and Target before moving on to roles in teencoms like BIG TIME RUSH, PAIR OF KINGS, DOG WITH A BLOG and SHAKE IT UP.
There's been no official confirmation from The Online Network regarding Tontz' casting as Miranda, or which of the Pine Valley teens Price will be playing.
Two Teens Cast For AMC!Although there is no official word on the roles they'll be playing, Dorell Anthony and Natasha Tax have been cast on The Online Network's revamped ALL MY CHILDREN, according to a Facebook post by their management company, CP Talent. No doubt the newcomers will be part of the Pine Valley High School crowd, which a source shares will be a big focus of the rebooted series.
AMC Casts New JR And AJ!More news from the brand-new set of ALL MY CHILDREN! When the show picks up -- from what our sources are sharing, it will be five years after JR fired that gun -- the character will now be played by Ryan Bittle according to Soap Opera Network. The actor played Todd on SWEET VALLEY HIGH as a teen, Jeff on 7TH HEAVEN and Eric on DAWSON'S CREEK. Last year, he appeared on THE NEW NORMAL and THE CLOSER, as well as starring in the Hallmark Channel movie Operation Cupcake. And how about this for a strange coincidence: In 2010, Bittle appeared on AMC as Logan, Madison's date... and when the casting call originally went out for the character of JR, it was under the name Logan!
And remember how we told you that the revamped soap would have a focus on a new crop of teenagers? Look for Eric Nelsen to be in the center of it all as JR and Babe's son, AJ. Jill Larson (Opal) shared the news of his casting on her Facebook page! One of the first television roles for Nelsen, who will be working with Liam Neeson in the upcoming movie A Walk Among The Tombstones later this year, was as Kevin Marler on GUIDING LIGHT back in 2006. Late last year, the actor shared the stage opposite Gretchen Mol in the Off-Broadway production of The Good Mother, and he'd previously starred on Broadway in the teen-centric 13 The Musical.
The Online Network has yet to confirm the casting of either actor.
All My Children Casts Opal's SonActor and model Robert Scott Wilson is joining the online reboot of All My Children as Opal Cortlandt's (Jill Larson) youngest son, Pete, The Online Network announced Monday.
Wilson first gained fame after winning The Price Is Right's male model search in 2012. He has appeared in movies including Friends with Benefits and The Social Network, and his TV credits include The Middle, Entourage and The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
The Online Network, a division of Prospect Park, has begun filming new episodes of All My Children and One Life to Live, which will begin airing in 30-minute installments online later this year.
Susan Lucci Eyes AMC Relaunch(tvline.com) With Prospect Park’s All My Children revival about to launch, fans are eager to know if Susan Lucci will reprise her role as Erica Kane.
“I so hope that I can return,” the suds icon shared Monday on The View. “I want with all my heart to return to All My Children. I just don’t know the answer yet — but what I do know is that all of us are working so hard to make that happen.”
Lucci — who can next be seen in Lifetime’s new Marc Cherry dramedy Devious Maids — went on to explain that her “heart is certainly with [AMC creator] Agnes Nixon” and that she’s confident the upcoming iTunes/Hulu revival is “going to be wonderful.”
Eden Riegel Set For Guest Arc On 'All My Children's Online Revival(deadline.com) Prospect Park has announced that Eden Riegel (ex-Heather, Y&R) will reprise her Emmy-winning role as Bianca Montgomery as a cameo guest arc in the online revival of the ABC daytime drama All My Children.
Video At The AMC Set!(Video) Jill Larson (Opal, AMC) offered a sneak peek of the new studio where AMCis days away from taping the first episode of what the actress calls "ALL MY CHILDREN, the sequel." Check it out here below. She also posted a picture of herself with David Canary (Adam/Stuart), calling him "my favorite guy...after palmer of course." See the snap here.
Julia Barr to Return to All My ChildrenJulia Barr will return to All My Children, The Online Network announced Friday.
Barr will reprise her role as Brooke English, the character for which she earned two Daytime Emmys for Best Supporting Actress and eight nominations. Barr will join Darnell Williams, Debbi Morgan, Vincent Irizarry, Lindsay Hartley, Jordi Vilasuso, Jill Larson and Thorsten Kaye on the rebooted soap.
The Online Network announce plans to revive All My Children and One Life to Live earlier this year, with production beginning Feb. 25. Both soaps will premiere in the spring, and each new episode will be available to stream online through Hulu, in addition to The Online Network. Viewers will also have the option to purchase episodes through the iTunes Store.
Mathison's The Man With The MicThere are lots of options for where to get your Oscar coverage this Sunday, but ALL MY CHILDREN'S Cameron Mathison (Ryan) just might have the most unique perspective. He's co-hosing the Emmy Award-winning Oscar second screen experience, BACKSTAGE PASS, on Oscar.com and the official Oscars app. "I believe this is the only opportunity to see things backstage, as it's happening!" Mathison enthuses. Clad in his favorite Gucci tuxedo, he'll be taking viewers along for those breathless first moments with the award winners. "You can see them crossing off the stage, going in to the cameras where they thank the people they forgot to thank, taking photos with their Oscars, being interviewed by the press... you get all of that!" Mathison reveals. "I think it's a very unique opportunity, and a fun way to spend the evening." Add in the fact that he'll be trading quips and behind-the-scenes observations with funny lady Sherri Shepherd (THE VIEW), and it's sure to be an extra good time. BACKSTAGE PASS will be available for the first time on Android, including Samsung's Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Note 10.1, and Galaxy SIII.
He's Primed For A Fright Then, set your DVRs to Saturday March 2, in order to catch Mathison in the Lifetime Original, The Surrogate. In it, he plays an author who together with his wife (Annie Wersching, ex-Amelia, GENERAL HOSPITAL), wants to start a family. However, the woman who steps up to carry their baby is actually a diabolical fan. "She's a complete whack job, and it turns into a nightmare," Mathison grins. "And because she's carrying your child, basically you'll do whatever she asks you to do." Things are about to get tense, and for Mathison's character, that means real trouble! "I was chained in a basement to a big post and in order to break out, I had to find a saw," he previews. Tune into Lifetime at 8 p.m. EST to find out how he gets out of it!
The Miracle Man Next, the actor stars in The Carpenter's Miracle on GMC TV. In this inspirational story, Mathison portrays a very private man who gets dragged into the limelight. "He's a carpenter who tries to rescue a boy who's fallen into an icy pond, but the boy dies in his arms," Mathison reveals. "But when he later comes back to life, it looks like it's the result of something the man did." Whether or not it's a miracle is something to be seen, as is Mathison's performance in this very different role. "I'm used to playing charming, confident leading men like Ryan, and this guy is not at all like that," the actor explains, adding that he enjoyed the new challenge. "He has a tough time making any kind of eye contact; he's very shy and introverted. It was fun for me as an actor." The movie airs Easter weekend (both Saturday, March 30, and Sunday March 31) at 7, 9, and 11 p.m. EST.
Might Mathison, who also continues his work as a correspondent on ABC's GOOD MORNING AMERICA, find time in his schedule to reprise Ryan on Prospect Park's AMC? Pick up the upcoming issue of Soaps In Depth to find out!
PP Taps Veteran Soap ProducerProspect Park continues to shore up its production ranks. Vivian Gundaker has been named Coordinating Producer of both AMC and OLTL, according to her LinkedIn profile. From 1995-2010, she worked for P&G as producer at both ANOTHER WORLD and AS THE WORLD TURNS.
Y&R Star Engaged!Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea, Y&R/ex-Annie, All My Children) is a bride-to-be! The actress got engaged to longtime beau Matt Katrosar over the weekend. "Said yes!" she reported in the caption of a photo featuring her new engagement ring.
Details Emerge On AMC And OLTL Taping SchedulesSoaps In Depth has heard exclusive details about the taping schedule for the revivals of ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE. According to a source close to the productions, AMC will tape first for two weeks at the Stamford, Connecticut studios. Then, OLTL will shoot episodes for five weeks. Next, AMC will return and tape for five weeks. "They'll be alternating back and forth until each show has completed 17 weeks of taping," says a source. "Everyone is looking forward to seeing each other again."
As previously reported, Prospect Park has announced that production will commence the week of February 25.
AMC Names Supervising ProducerTAINTED DREAMS creator Sonia Blangiardo has been named Supervising Producer of ALL MY CHILDREN, coming this spring from Prospect Park, reports Digest columnist Carolyn Hinsey on her blog, http://carolynhinsey.nycbrandproductions.com. "I am so excited to go back to my AMC roots with this talented group of people," enthuses Blangiardo in a statement on her own website, NYC BRAND PRODUCTIONS. "Ginger Smith [executive producer] has some big plans, which long-time fans are going to love."
'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' revivals have a fan in 'The Young and the Restless' Peter BergmanPeter Bergman believes what's good for one soap opera is good for all soap operas.
That's why the actor -- who has played Jack Abbott on the CBS weekday staple "The Young and the Restless" for 24 years, winning three Daytime Emmy Awards for the role -- is rooting for the former ABC shows "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" to succeed in their new form as online offerings, with production on them set to resume at the end of the month.
"We have lamented the loss of that crazy wave of fascination with soap operas," Bergman tells Zap2it, "but the things that are hot now in primetime, from 'Downton Abbey' to 'Mad Men' to the rebirth of 'Dallas,' are serials. I'm hopeful this will go on for a while, and the reason these shows do go on is that when people tune in, they know who they're going to see.
"They're not going to be asked to be part of a giant transition. When people tune into our show, they'll find Jack and Nikki and Victor and Katherine ... and I'm very lucky to be playing one of those names."
Bergman is more than a casual observer of the revival of "All My Children," since he spent nearly a decade on that drama as Dr. Cliff Warner before starting his long tenure on 'The Young and the Restless." He muses, "As a fortune teller, I have been an abysmal failure" when it comes to predicting whether his current show -- which marks its 40th anniversary Tuesday, March 26 -- could have a similar afterlife in the online world.
"When the first rumor came that they were taking 'All My Children' off the air, I told everyone at work, 'Oh, please! There's no way that's going to happen. ABC owns those shows.' So, as for my prognosticating about where 'Y&R' might or could go, who knows?
"I'll tell you this, though," adds Bergman. "There's not a person working in daytime television today who isn't cheering on every one of those people on 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live.' We're hoping they are a giant success."
Michael E. Knight On Joining The AMC Reboot(Soap Opera Digest) In the wake of Cady McClain's announcement that she is reprising the role of Dixie on Prospect Park's AMC reboot, and with Jill Larson (Opal) already signed, Digest went straight to the source behind the man so pivotal to both Dixie and Opal — Michael E. Knight, whose Tad was Dixie's fiancé and Opal's son — to see where he stands on the subject of reprising his beloved role of Tad "the Cad" Martin. "Where I stand is, I consider it a blessing that the Martins are going to be represented," he enthuses. "I mean, the news is that I think Jill is incredibly underrated as an actress. I think she's brilliant. I think the Martins are going to be well-represented with Cady and I hear Ray [MacDonnell, ex-Joe, who was an original cast member of ABC's AMC]. I’m sorry if Ricky [Paull Goldin, ex-Jake] won't be. I'm blessed, personally, that the Martins are going to be represented. With me, personally, it was simply an issue of timing, period," he states as to why he won't be present for the debut of the relaunch. "I consider [Executive Producer] Ginger Smith to be, actually, one of my oldest and dearest friends, in that industry and in life. And I had asked her for patience with me because as I like to put it, I didn't say no, I just said, 'I can't do it right now.' I love the fact that the interest is there and I firmly believe Tad is going to be walking through Pine Valley in short order at some point." The actor is particularly pleased that Smith will be at the helm of the reboot. "I applaud Rich [Frank] and [Jeff Kwatinetz, the runners of Prospect Park] for having the vision to do what they’re doing and I have a lot of respect for them for having the innate intelligence to go to Ginger. Let me just say, they've got the right horse in the race." Knight appreciates ongoing audience interest in him and his Pine Valley alter ego. "I just want to reach out and express my personal and heartfelt thanks to the audience for even caring enough to wonder where the hell that Tad guy is [laughs]."
Lucci And Canary Back To AMCGreat news! Soaps In Depth has heard from multiple performers connected to the re-launch of ALL MY CHILDREN that Emmy-winners Susan Lucci (Erica) and David Canary (Adam/Stuart) will be part of the soap's new version set to debut online later this spring. As of now, Lucci, alas, will appear in just one episode while Canary will be seen on an ongoing basis.
Storylines are being kept under wraps, but In Depth also hears that AMC will have a heavy emphasis on a group of high school characters and that the series will be set five years from the moment JR readied to start shooting beloved Pine Valley citizens in the broadcast finale. Speaking of JR, In Depth also hears that the re-launched AMC will be start off with Adam and Dixie's son waking up from a coma...
Prospect Park could not be reached for comment.
Prospect Park Press Release: Start Dates For AMC, OLTL AnnouncedLos Angeles. CA – February 11, 2013 – The Online Network announced today that production will commence on the highly-anticipated revivals of the beloved long-running serial dramas “All My Children,” and “One Life to Live,” beginning February 25. Principal production for both series will take place in Stamford, Connecticut with new episodes of “All My Children” and “One Life to Life” set to debut later this spring.
In an announcement earlier this year, Prospect Park’s The Online Network revealed its plans to re-introduce the beloved vanguard franchises, through a groundbreaking content deal that will bring premium first-run, broadcast-quality programming to a mass market audience via the Internet. Brand new 30-minute episodes of both “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” will be launched each weekday and available to stream online via the free Hulu.com service and to subscribers of Hulu Plus making these venerable dramas available in a new format that suits the viewing habits of the digital generation. In addition, the iTunes Store will offer both series via iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV and Mac or PC.
Breathing new life into the storied franchises, Prospect Park and TOLN will blend updated themes and fresh faces with the fan-favorite Emmy-winning actors and writers who made these series must-watch viewing for legions of loyal fans.
Previously announced “All My Children” cast members include: Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard), Debbi Morgan (Dr. Angela Hubbard), Vincent Irizarry (Dr. David Hayward), Lindsay Hartley (Cara Martin), Jordi Vilasuso (Griffin Castillo), Jill Larson (Opal Cortlandt), Thorsten Kaye (Zach Slater).
Previously announced “One Life to Live” cast members include: Erika Slezak (Victoria Lord Buchanan), Robin Strasser (Dorian Lord), Tuc Watkins (David Vickers), Robert S. Woods (Bo Buchanan), Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer), Jerry verDorn (Clint Buchanan), Florencia Lozano (Tea Delgado), Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan Banks), Hillary B. Smith (Nora Buchanan), Kelley Missal (Danielle Manning) Josh Kelly (Cutter Wentworth), and Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning). Recurring actors include: Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Shenaz Treasury (Rama Patel), and Nick Choksi (Vimal Patel)
Additional casting details will be announced in the coming weeks.
More Casting Calls For AMCAMC is seeking to fill two recurring roles: Vlad, who is described as a 30-something, Easter European-looking man who is "willing to get down and dirty to get what he wants" and the "brawn behind a covert operation", and Yuri, the powerful, confident businessman behind Vlad, who is in his 30s/40s.
Be A Part Of Benard's Movie!Any fan of Maurice Benard (Sonny, GENERAL HOSPITAL/ex-Nico, All My Children) knows how excited the star is about the new movie he's currently filming, The Ghost And The Whale. And now there is a chance for Benard's fans to be a part of this special project!
Fans are invited to make a pledge on the movie's Kickstarter page to help create this very special film. And for making a pledge, donors will receive some very special thank-yous, including a lunch with Benard, a visit to the movie's set, special thanks in the movie's credits, and more!
To be a part of the project, visit The Ghost And The Whale's Kickstarter page here.
Can the Internet Save Soap Operas?(time.com) It seemed, at first, like a love that would last forever. After so many years together, what could go wrong? But, as does often happen, the thrill began to wane. A last attempt at rekindling that romance ended in tears. Until, a year later, they tried again—and found that love as strong as ever.
Sound like a soap opera? It is. Two of them, actually. For nearly four decades, sudser staples All My Children and One Life to Live were afternoon television constants. When—after years of sliding ratings and high costs—they finally went off into the Great Cheesy Set in the sky (in September 2011 and January 2012, respectively), longtime fans were devastated.
But there was a mysterious stranger waiting in the shadows. A few months before the shows left the air, the L.A.-based production company Prospect Park had struck a deal with their network, ABC, getting a license to both shows and promising they would continue “with the same quality and in the same format and length,” but on a new platform: the Internet.
Of course, the road to love is treacherous and bumpy. After months of will-they-or-won’t-they and a year during which it seemed sure that the shows would never actually make the move online, Deadline broke the news in December that Prospect Park was trying again. This time it was for real. Starting this spring, new episodes will be available via iTunes, Hulu and Prospect Park’s website The OnLine Network.
Production on the revamped shows—they’ll still have new episodes every weekday, but each will last 30 minutes rather than an hour—begins this month. And, despite the year-long vacuum and the perils of the platform transition, soap-opera experts are cautiously optimistic that this plot line will have a happy ending.
It’s All About the Fans
It wouldn’t work without fan excitement—and that excitement is justified, says Carolyn Hinsey, a soap-opera blogger and veteran columnist for Soap Opera Digest. “How can you not be positive? If you could bring someone back from the dead and they might be a little sick for a while, wouldn’t you still rather have them back?” Hinsey told TIME, likening the experience to visiting an old friend. “And then they’ll get better and better, and hopefully they’ll be totally healthy and you’ll get to go hang out with them again.”
Hinsey believes that the concerns expressed by some fans in the comments sections of soap-opera fan sites—Will the casual fans have found something else to fill their free time? How will fans with slow internet connections watch the show now? What about fans with no internet access?—should not hinder the shows’ success. Many of the cast and crew from both shows (and One Life in particular) are returning for the new incarnations, after all, and prime-time soap Dallas succeeded in coming back (albeit to TV) after a hiatus lasting more than two decades.
As for the logistics of online viewing, she believes that truly devoted fans will always figure out a way to watch. “A lot of viewers didn’t have cable either, and when TV started going in the direction where you needed a cable box, they got cable. My grandmother had the antenna with the Reynolds Wrap on the end of it but if she was alive when you needed cable to watch soaps, she would have gotten cable. So I think a lot of older people will figure out a way to watch it online,” Hinsey says. “And they don’t need 3 million viewers to be possible, as a half-hour internet soap. If you get a million viewers you’re one of the biggest internet hits around.”
And the much-trumpeted end of the soap opera, she believes, was just a self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuated by network brass, who hastened to make real the demise of the genre by failing to promote or embrace shows that still had strong ties to their viewers. Her evidence? Over Christmas week this past year, the remaining ABC soap, General Hospital, reached a two-year high for viewership.
Another potential reason for fan-engagement, as befitting the genre, is revenge. Hinsey says many soap fans felt insulted by ABC’s decision to replace soap operas with lifestyle shows like The Chew and The Revolution. That resentment is on full display online: soap-opera activists like Y.B., better known as “Screw the Chew” (a 34-year-old from California who has been a soap fan since age 7, and wishes to remain anonymous), took to Twitter and Facebook to lash out at the network, organize boycotts of ABC and its sponsors, and plan live protests at events like ABC’s May 2011 showcase. The outcry was strong enough to influence Hoover to pull its vacuum ads from the network and—although both ABC and Propsect Park would not comment on the matter for this article—the fans believe their activism is at least partially responsible for the show’s return.
So a successful online version will be a poke at the network they feel abandoned them, although it’s not as much of a win as a return to television would have been. “We’re definitely going to watch online. Even if it’s not exactly the way we wanted it, we’re still going to support it and watch,” says Y.B. “We proved to everyone else that we wanted them back and they came back. It does feel good to prove them wrong.”
History on Their Side
There’s also cause for hope based on the history of the soap opera. That’s even if the decline of the genre isn’t just in TV executives’ collective imaginations. C. Lee Harrington, an editor of the 2012 book The Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Era, says that the drop in interest has been real—General Hospital‘s recent viewership numbers notwithstanding. After reaching a high point in the 1960s, there was a steady decline in ratings that continued until a sharp drop in the late ’90s. “When Guiding Light was cancelled [in 2009, after 57 years on television and another 15 on radio], it seemed like ‘anything can be cancelled,’” she says, “just because of its longevity.”
Fewer women were spending their days at home, and cable television and internet provided alternatives for those who still did. Then, in 1995, the trial of O.J. Simpson dominated daytimes airwaves and disrupted long-established viewing habits. Reality television came along, offering a cheaper-to-make alternative for networks looking for content. And soap operas, as a concept, didn’t seem to make so much sense anymore. “As the pace of life got quicker and quicker,” Harrington says, “the idea of investing in something that you needed to watch every single day just became less and less relevant to how people are living their daily lives.”
The New Model
But that doesn’t mean soap operas are done. To the contrary: Soaps once made the transition from radio to television, why can’t they make the transition to internet? They already have, in some cases: Harrington cites Venice—which stars soap vet Crystal Chappell and won a 2011 Daytime Emmy in the “special class format” category—as a successful early version of an online soap model. “There’s an audience out there looking for a different way to consume soaps. In some ways, this could be going back to the early days of radio, when you had 15-minute installments,” she says. And even compared to five years ago, the Internet is very accessible to soap fans, who already populate and contribute to a wide array of message boards and forums.
“The merging of television and the internet isn’t far away, whatever that might look like,” she says—but whatever it does look like, it will include soap operas. “This is a really ancient form of storytelling, the serial narrative. At the end of one installment, you want to know what happens next. We’re seeing it less on daytime television, but that form of storytelling will absolutely continue.”
And she’s got a point, because there’s another reason viewers will have an incentive to tune in, especially with All My Children. They need to find out what happens. The show’s finale ended—naturally—with a cliff-hanger.
Cady McClain Joins AMC Reboot!Looks like the new AMC will be whistlin' Dixie! Cady McClain has confirmed in a blog post on her website, www.cadymcclain.com, that she is finalizing her deal to reprise the role of Dixie. She wrote:
"Since word got out that AMC/PP contacted me, I thought it was best to wait a bit until I confirmed it out of respect for the fact I am still sorting out the details of the situation. However, I feel confident in telling you that I will be a part of the AMC Internet Re-boot. I am very excited about the possibilities for the show in this medium and want to help give it every chance at success.
As you probably know by now, I am fascinated with all the many possibilities for creative expression that the Internet has to offer. I have a feeling the show will find many new opportunities for connecting with fans and I look forward to being a part of that as well.
I am also thrilled that Ginger Smith, who has worked on AMC for as long as I can remember, is finally getting the chance to helm the show. There are few people that know and love AMC as much as Ginger. I know for a fact she is doing everything in her power to make the show as wonderful for the long time fans as she possibly can.
Thank you all so much for your well wishes and support."
Jacob Young Talks AMC's JRCurrently under contract with Bold & The Beautiful Jacob Young thinks that Prospect Park will probably recast the role of JR Chandler, saying to (michaelfairmansoaps.com): “From what I understand, they are going to be moving the show forward a year, so they can get past that point. They told me every time they try to write the story, JR obviously would come into the picture. They also told me whether I could or could not do AMC; they were going to continue on with the character regardless.”
AMC Starts Taping February 25Production is set to begin on the new AMC from Prospect Park. AMC's Debbi Morgan (Angie) tweeted, "Almost 3 more weeks & we'll be back 2 taping new episodes of 'AMC' on the 25th of this month! Sooo excited!"
AMC's Martinez Turns Host!ALL MY CHILDREN alum J.R. Martinez (Brot) has been a soldier in the U.S. Army, a motivational speaker, an actor, an author, and a DANCING WITH THE STARS champion. And now he can add talk radio host to is resume with his new job as he takes over the Sunday evening shift from 6-8:00 pm on KFI AM 640!
"He's so inspirational and dynamic," says program director Robin Bertolucci. "He filled in for Bill Carroll during the holidays and I just had to have him join our line up! I'm thrilled he jumped at the opportunity and I'm excited to see what he will do with his own show."
Martinez began his new gig this past weekend, but you can catch his show every Sunday evening from 6-8:00 pm on KFI AM 640 if you live in the Los Angeles area, or you can visit their website to listen through iHeart Radio. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons why the actor won't be returning to the online revival of AMC. "Complicated with my current schedule," he tweeted recently. "Maybe we'll find out who JR shot!"
Join Ricky Paull Goldin At His Premiere!Ricky Paull Goldin (ex-Jake, AMC/ex-Gus, GL/ex-Dean, AW/ex-Gary, Y&R) has a new show coming out on HGTV on February 15 — SPONTANEOUS CONSTRUCTION — and you can celebrate the premiere with him and his soap pals. On February 10, from noon-2:30 p.m., the actor is hosting a premiere party/fundraiser at Guy's American in NYC and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to ASPCA in Hurricane Sandy Zone and Operation Smile. Scheduled to attend the bash are Rebecca Budig (ex-Greenlee, AMC), Beth Ehlers (ex-Harley, GL), Thorsten Kaye (ex-Zach, AMC), Alicia Minshew (ex-Kendall, AMC), Debbi Morgan (Angie, AMC), Ron Raines (ex-Alan, GL), Gina Tognoni (ex-Dinah, GL) and more. For all of the details, go to www.rpgeventsonline.com.
AMC Stars' Prospect Park UpdateThree more stars have updated fans about the chances of them joining Prospect Park's version of ALL MY CHILDREN. J.R. Martinez (ex-Brot) wrote to fans, "All My Children fans: I won't be joining the online version. It's Complicated w/ my current schedule. Maybe we'll find out who JR shot! Love Brot." Jamie Luner (ex-Liza) revealed on Twitter that she hadn't been contacted by the company but said, "would love to join AMC....we"ll see!" Finally, Jennifer Bassey (ex-Marian) teased on Twitter, "News. there will be some wonderful surprises in the next few months on AMC. Thats all I can say right now. Sworn to secrecy."
Mathison Gets "Hot"It's a well-known fact that ALL MY CHILDREN's Cameron Mathison (Ryan) is "hot." But he's especially HOT IN CLEVELAND! This coming Wednesday, January 30, Mathison heads over to the TVLand hit show to play Bill, a restauranteur and potential love interest for Jane Leeves' Joy. Like all of Joy's paramours, there is something a little off about Bill -- he has the annoying habit of shortening words in nearly every sentence that comes out of his mouth. He says it's more "expedish!"
"When I read the character, I thought, 'Oh, man. This is going to be hysterical!'" Mathison smiles. "It's one of those roles that when you walk in, it's all laid out for you. With the little experience I've had with comedy. The more you kind of own it and be dead serious about the ridiculousness of it, the funnier it is. For a role like this, especially surrounded by such talent -- these people are SO funny -- the more you downplay and be serious with it, the funnier it is when it comes out. "
Being a man surrounded by all those talented women -- including Leeves, Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli and Wendie Malick -- was a tad intimidating for Mathison. "I felt like I was back in high school," he jokes. "I sort of kept quiet and just watched and listened and enjoyed them. I was a lot more quiet than I usually am. It's not that I couldn't get in a word; it's that I didn't want to! I just loved, LOVED my week there. I wanted to beg to come back, but I don't want to sound so desperate!"
AMC And OLTL To Hulu And iTunesIn a groundbreaking move that brings premium first-run, broadcast-quality programming to a mass-market audience via the internet, Prospect Park’s The Online Network (TOLN) announced today that the Company has reached an agreement with Hulu and the iTunes Store to distribute all-new episodes of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” Through the Hulu distribution agreement, the hugely popular daily dramas will reach tens of millions of fans via the free Hulu.com service, as well as millions of Hulu Plus subscribers watching on connected TVs, mobile phones, tablets and PCs. iTunes customers can enjoy viewing on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV and their Mac or PC. The announcement was made today by Prospect Park Chairman and CEO, Jeff Kwatinetz.
“I believe that both Hulu and iTunes have the vision, the reach and the technology to help us launch TOLN in a significant way,” Kwatinetz said. “We think these platforms are part of history, helping us to transform distribution. Hulu’s reach, platform and advertising prowess are best in class, and iTunes provides an incredible way to buy TV shows that is second to none. Through both of these partners, we hope daytime drama fans are absolutely delighted to be able to watch their favorite programs in a broadcast-quality HD format wherever and whenever they want.”
Separately, Prospect Park has closed its financing with ABRY Partners, one of the most experienced and successful media-focused private equity investment firms in North America. Since 1989, ABRY has completed over $36 billion in leveraged transactions and other private equity investments involving approximately 450 properties.
Brent Stone, a partner at ABRY Partners, stated, “We are excited to be partnering with Jeff Kwatinetz and the rest of the team at Prospect Park, and we strongly believe that they will continue to be a leader in their innovative approach to content creation.”
Kwatinetz continued, “We are privileged to the have the backing and partnership with Brent and his team at ABRY, who are proven, brilliant investors, and will help us reach our ultimate goals.”
Starting this spring, viewers can stream the beloved serial dramas “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” on the free Hulu.com service and the Hulu Plus subscription service. New 30-minute episodes of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” will be introduced each weekday. This innovative content deal will re-introduce these venerable daytime hits in a new format perfect for the viewing habits of the digital generation. Prospect Park and TOLN plan to blend new themes, fresh stars and youthful energy with the familiar actors and writers who made these shows must-watch afternoon viewing for legions of loyal fans.
The agreement with Hulu also allows brands and marketers to connect with a highly desirable and engaged audience. Hulu will manage the advertising sales for both shows, and package integrated sponsorship opportunities. TOLN will also offer ecommerce and other digital marketing programs to brands and entities looking to tap into Hulu’s mass market demographic. Additionally, Hulu will promote both series across its subscription and free-to-view platforms.
Under the leadership of Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, Prospect Park in 2011 forged a multi-year, multi-platform licensing agreement with Disney/ABC Domestic Television Group to continue production of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” Prospect Park has also entered into a consulting agreement with Agnes Nixon, the creator of both series, guaranteeing her active involvement in their continued production. “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” ended their runs on ABC Television in September, 2011 and January, 2012, respectively.
Earlier in this month, Prospect Park announced guild agreements with Hollywood’s major labor groups, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the Directors Guild of America. The company also finalized a deal with the Writer’s Guild of America.
Will Cameron Mathison Rejoin AMC?The list of actors who have signed on to the new ALL MY CHILDREN isn't particularly long yet, with Prospect Park still making deals, but what is the likelihood of Cameron Mathison bringing Ryan back to Pine Valley? Not good, as it turns out.
"They contacted me," he tells Soaps In Depth, "and they were great. But I'm in Toronto right now shooting a movie and I've got some stuff going on in L.A. It just wasn't possible for me to shoot AMC in Connecticut right now."
However, all hope is not lost, because the key words there are "right now." Mathison says that while his schedule is currently booked up, they're "leaving it open" as far as a future return to AMC.
THE ONLINE NETWORK PRODUCTION UPDATE FOR “ALL MY CHILDREN”Los Angeles, Calif and New York, NY – January 22, 2013 – Prospect Park announced today that it has closed the following deals with cast members and production executives, with more deals expected to close in the coming weeks, for The Online Network’s production of “All My Children.”
Casting Director Confirmed for Online 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live(backstage.com) The long-rumored reboots of daytime dramas “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” are finally becoming realities. Production company Prospect Park, which is shepherding both properties from television to the Web on its Online Network, has announced that the soaps will return this year in a new format for online viewing, after being canceled by ABC in 2011.
“We thank the loyal audience and new generation of fans of both shows who have demonstrated that passion and exciting story lines are not just reserved for traditional television,” Prospect Park heads Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz said in a statement Jan. 7.
Alison Goodman is the casting director for both series, Prospect Park confirmed to Backstage. The company declined to provide additional comment.
Production is scheduled to begin in February in Stamford, Conn. Premiere dates have not been announced.
Prospect Park has not revealed which of the shows’ cast members will be rejoining their online revivals. But before the productions were officially confirmed, “All My Children” star Vincent Irizarry announced on his Facebook page that he would be reprising his role as Dr. David Hayward. Jordi Vilasuso and Lindsay Hartley are also heading back to “AMC,” and Robin Strasser will return as Dorian Lord on “One Life to Live.”
“Soap fans are remarkably loyal,” C. Lee Harrington, acting chair of the Department of Sociology and Gerontology at Miami University and co-editor of the book “The Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Era,” told Backstage via email. “I think viewers are open to an iteration that is different from what they enjoyed on ABC, and understanding that their favorite actors or characters might not elect to return. An ‘AMC’ without Susan Lucci or a ‘OLTL’ without Erika Slezak is a viable program. In fact, the yearlong interval might help with viewers’ willingness to adjust.”
“I’ve spoken to actors who just really want to see these shows come back, and they want to be a part of it,” said Crystal Chappell, a star of “Guiding Light” and “Days of Our Lives” who launched her own online soap spin-off, “Venice the Series,” in 2009. “At the end of the day, you need those familiar faces, but the story is what’s important.”
Prospect Park has hired Foz McDermott as the head of production for the Online Network, with Jennifer Pepperman on board as executive producer on “One Life to Live” and Ginger Smith as executive producer on “All My Children.” Pepperman is a former coordinating producer for “One Life to Live” and an Emmy- and DGA Award-winning director of both “OLTL” and “As the World Turns,” and Smith was previously a producer on “All My Children.” “AMC” and “OLTL” creator Agnes Nixon will be a consultant on both projects, as well.
“I’m reassured that experienced daytime experts are helping to launch this,” Harrington said. “It signals that they are invested in storyworld continuity, that they are respectful of the genre as a whole and of these particular fictional communities, and that they want it done right.”
The pair of defunct daytime dramas nearly found new life online once before, but financing and deals with the talent guilds fell through. This time around, however, financing for the Web series is now secured, and the company reached agreements with SAG-AFTRA and the Directors Guild of America in December and just signed a pact with the Writers Guild of America.
There’s hope for the future, as well. After “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” premiere online, there is potential for one or both programs to return to television, or to find distribution on streaming services like Netflix. The four daytime TV soaps that remain on the air—“The Young and the Restless,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “General Hospital,” and “Days of Our Lives”—have all shown improved ratings over the last year.
“Serial storytelling is obviously a very old form, and both primetime and daytime TV are currently doing a great job at it,” Harrington said. “Web soaps offer a new option. Hopefully they’re an enhancement rather than a replacement.”
Strasser Signs On For Online OLTL!The Prospect Park casting news keeps coming! Robin Strasser (Dorian, OLTL/ex-Rachel, AW/ex-Christina, AMC/ex-Hecuba, PS) has announced via Twitter that she'll be reprising her beloved role as Dorian Lord for PP's online version of ONE LIFE TO LIVE. "PROUD & HONORED I promised if DEFINITE-YOU'd know! GIFT offered & ACCEPTED:)" she beamed. "#OLTL LIVES AGAIN thanx to FANS & PP I'm IN & GRATEFUL TY:) "
Jordi Vilasuso Joins The New AMCJordi Vilasuso will reprise the role of Griffin, on-screen brother of previous Prospect Park signee Lindsay Hartley (Cara), on the online version of ALL MY CHILDREN. "Can't wait to start AMC reboot! Looking forward to getting Castillos back in action. Thx WGA for joining. Thx for all your love and support!" he posted on Twitter.
Soap Stars Weigh In on the Prospect of All My Children and One Life to Live's Revival(tvguide.com) If soap opera characters can come back from the dead, why not the soaps themselves? After a highly hyped false start in 2011, production company Prospect Park is closer than ever to resurrecting ABC's All My Children (which went off the air in September 2011) and One Life to Live (which wrapped its run January 2012) and present them on a new Internet site, the OnLine Network.
If it all comes to pass — no launch date has been announced — expect slashed budgets and shorter episodes (30 minutes, four times per week) but, on the upside, lots of familiar faces. Stars already signed on include AMC's Vincent Irizarry (David), Debbi Morgan (Angie), Darnell Williams (Jesse), Lindsay Hartley (Cara) and OLTL's Jerry verDorn (Clint). Agnes Nixon, the legendary 85-year-old creator of both soaps, will serve as story consultant.
The news has triggered excitement, plus understandable skepticism. After all, Prospect Park signed up actors, writers and producers for these reboots more than a year ago, then scrapped the deals when it couldn't raise enough money. "We all thought we had jobs, and they pulled the rug out from under us like thieves in the night," says Irizarry, who was nonetheless gung-ho to sign up again. "I totally understand the difficulties here. It's a Herculean effort to pull off this move to the Internet and it's all due to the fans. They stayed loud and tenacious and never gave up hope."
But some of the actors did. "When I read that Prospect Park was trying this again, I thought, 'Yeah, right, what fan is making up this insane rumor?'" Morgan says. "I was completely shocked to find out it's really a go. This is such a historical thing, like when soaps made the move from radio to television. I guess there are all sorts of positives and negatives to being in on the ground floor, but I'm game! Will [these reboots] succeed? With soaps, it's all about the story and the characters."
And that's where things could get ugly. In licensing the two soaps from ABC, Prospect Park has the rights to all characters, including the three from OLTL that are currently enjoying huge success on ABC's General Hospital: Starr (Kristen Alderson), John (Michael Easton) and Todd (Roger Howarth). Prospect wants those characters back, and that has the GH brass in a tizzy. Complicating matters: The actors are under contract to ABC, so theoretically Starr, John and Todd could go away, but the people playing them would stay with the network.
"There are ongoing collaborative conversations [with Prospect Park]," says an ABC spokesperson. "We have various strategies in place depending on the outcome of these talks." How will this royal mess be resolved? It's the ultimate soap cliffhanger.
Prospect Park Makes AMC/OLTL Relaunches OfficialSoap opera fans rejoice! Prospect Park has announced that long-running soap operas "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" will return with new episodes on the company's The Online Network.
Prospect Park heads Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank announced via press release that production on the two soap operas would resume in February 2013. Agnes Nixon, the creator of both "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," has joined with the production company in the revival and has a consulting agreement.
The confirmation of the soap operas' return -- which has been a possibility since Prospect Park gained the licenses for the shows in 2011 -- hinged on guild agreements, financing and the hiring of a production staff. The new press release makes it clear that all of these particular hurdles are in the past.
There is no word yet about whether or not the soaps' stars will return to the new productions. Similarly, the online site planning to air the two shows -- The Online Network -- currently consists only of a signup page so that fans can receive future updates.
The full press release from Prospect Park follows:
"We are pleased to confirm that Prospect Park is reviving the beloved soap operas, All My Children and One Life To Live as the anchor programs on The Online Network (TOLN). Today we are also pleased to confirm that Prospect Park has: 1) signed guild agreements with both SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) and the DGA (Directors Guild of America); 2) entered into a consulting agreement with Agnes Nixon the creator of All My Children and One Life to Live guaranteeing her active involvement; 3) hired Foz McDermott (coordinating producer Heroes) as TOLN's head of production, Jennifer Pepperman (Director, One Life to Live) as Executive Producer on One Life to Live, and Ginger Smith (Producer, All My Children) as Executive Producer on All My Children; and 4) arranged the necessary financing to begin production in February on both All My Children and One Life To Live.
We thank the loyal audience and new generation of fans of both shows who have demonstrated that passion and exciting story lines are not just reserved for traditional television. Their enduring support encouraged us to move forward each and every day. We look forward to sharing more details including our launch air date and additional specifics in the coming weeks.
Please encourage fans to visit www.theonlinenetwork.com to subscribe to updates.
Debbi Morgan To New AMCDebbi Morgan reports on Twitter that she has signed on to the Prospect Park reboot of ALL MY CHILDREN. The popular actress, who played Angie, wrote @damedebbi920, "Ok, I can finally announce how thrilled I am 2 B on board w/the "All My Children" re-boot & Prospect Park! Agnes Nixon, you're my HERO!!! Of longtime co-star Darnell Williams (Sarge, Y&R; ex-Jesse), she revealed, "Well Darnell is definitely on board as well, sure you'll hear about many others as soon as next week!"
Nixon Confirms AMC/OLTL RelaunchAgnes Nixon, the creator of ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE, has released a statement regarding the future of her two beloved series, which will be relaunched by Prospect Park. She first posted it on her Facebook page on January 4, with additional comments of gratitude to the shows' fans. Here is the text in full:
We of the One Life to Live and All My Children families are thrilled to bring our beloved viewers new, ongoing stories from Llanview and Pine Valley.
I’m overjoyed that so many actors you love have voiced their desire to bring their characters back to life.
I’m especially grateful to Prospect Park for deploying the power of you, our fans, to enable this exciting transition to dramatic production for the Internet. It's a historic moment, comparable to how life was changed when television took over from radio.
We hope this wonderful opportunity will be embraced by all as our creative teams gear up to bring our beloved serials back to our daily lives.
Agnes Nixon January 4, 2013
Crystal Chappell's The Grove The SeriesThe cast includes Beth Maitland, Bobbie Eakes, Christian Leblanc, Harrison White, Jessica Leccia, Jordan Clarke, Judi Evans, Linsey Godfrey, Mark Hapka, Michelle Stafford, Nadia Bjorlin, Peter Reckell, Robert S. Woods.
UPDATE: PP Hires Second In Command For AMCDaytime Confidential has updated its item about Carol Shure, who was reportedly given the No. 2 job at AMC. Shure, whose producing credits include AS THE WORLD TURNS, ANOTHER WORLD and ALL MY CHILDREN, is indeed working with Prospect Park for the planned relaunch of ALL MY CHILDREN, but has not been named senior producer. The company hopes to get the show into production this month.
'All My Children' Revival Secures First Returning Cast Member(hollywoodreporter.com) The defunct ABC soap, poised for possible online resurrection with "One Life to Live," has signed one longtime alum.
Following news that defunct soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live could soon resume production, one of the former ABC daytime dramas has locked down a key player.
Vincent Irizarry, who played Dr. David Hayward from 1997 until All My Children's end in 2011, announced his plans on Facebook.
"Happy to share that I just signed on with Prospect Park for the All My Children reboot," the actor wrote Friday. "Excited to bring dastardly Dr. David back to life, as he did for so many others, and to see my dear friends in Pine Valley once again. A great, big thank you to all the fans for your tenacity in keeping the hope alive. You’re awesome!!! Let’s all keep our fingers crossed together that it becomes a reality."
As far as becoming a reality goes, producers at Prospect Park (which secured the rights to both series in 2011) have reached deals with SAG-AFTRA, the DGA and the WGA to resume production on both series as soon as January.
If the stars continue to align and more cast members sign on to reprise their roles, All My Children and One Life to Live could be airing online next year -- as was originally planned in 2011.
Vincent Irizarry Signs On For AMC RebootVincent Irizarry (ex-David, AMC et al) has inked a deal to join the new AMC under Prospect Park. "Happy to share that I just signed on with Prospect Park for the 'All My Children' reboot!" he posted on Facebook. "Excited to bring dastardly Dr. David back to life, as he did for so many others, and to see my dear friends in Pine Valley once again. A great, big thank you to all the fans for your tenacity in keeping the hope alive. You’re awesome!!! Let’s all keep our fingers crossed together that it becomes a reality."
'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' Will Return With New Format, Hire Fi-Core Writers(aceshowbiz.com) Following report that Prospect Park is back on its plans to resurrect "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" online, details on the revival of the soap operas emerge. According to various sources, the plans are for each show to air four half-hour episodes a week with limited advertising.
A recap show will be streaming on Fridays, and the shows will air 42 weeks a year. No production date is set for both soap operas, but the filming is expected to take place in Stamford, Connecticut starting February.
Talks with actors and executive producers are still underway. "AMC" has secured longtime producer Ginger Smith to serve as an executive producer for the online revival, but "OLTL" is still looking for a new exec producer after Frank Valentini jumped to another soap on ABC, "General Hospital".
Moreover, both shows will likely use financial core writers since Prospect Park plans to forgo an agreement with WGA. The fi-core writers are scribes who have given up full membership during the last strike.
New EP For AMCAdding further credence to the notion that Prospect Park's reboot of AMC will soon be up and running, Daytime Confidential reports that Ginger Smith, who has held a variety of production positions at AMC stretching back to 1988, has been tapped to serve as the new AMC's new executive producer. An AMC actress told Digest last week that she was "very encouraged" by Smith's appointment, saying, "It's wonderful! She knows and loves the show." See the full story here: daytimeconfidential.zap2it.com.
Susan Lucci Has Been Contacted for “All My Children” Revival(showbiz411.com) Don’t get excited just yet. I have been told by a very good source that Prospect Park Productions has contacted Susan Lucci, aka Erica Kane, about a revival of “All My Children” online and maybe on cable. There have been reports in the last couple of days that Prospect Park, whose license with ABC on “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” is trying to re-activate the much-missed soap operas. A friend of Lucci told me yesterday: “There have been some talks, but the word wasn’t supposed to get out yet.” Hmmmm….
Prospect Park — run by controversial manager Jeff Kwatinetz, late of the Firm, and Rich Frank, late of Disney–had gotten a license from ABC to put the canceled shows online. At the 11th hour, however, everything fell apart. If the deals had gone through, Prospect Park would have had the shows up and running last January 2012. “OLTL” went off the air then, and some of its characters, its executive producer and head writer, transferred to ABC’s “General Hospital.”
Lucci was at a loss by then. There had been talks with Prospect Park in 2011 prior to the September conclusion of “All My Children,” but they mysteriously stopped, she told me. Lucci more than any other actor from either show would have to be included or it simply wouldn’t be worth it. She and “OLTL” star Erika Slezak are linchpins of their respective shows.
Another key “OLTL” player, Robert S. Woods, told me yesterday that he’d heard rumblings about Prospect Park’s renewed interest, but that he had not been contacted yet. “They may not know how to find me,” said Woods, who’s been kicking back in upstate New York after 30 something years of service to “OLTL” as leading hero Bo Buchanan.
There have been reports, though, that Prospect Park has finally made deals with SAG-AFTRA and may be closing deals with the other guilds.
Reviving the shows could be done, but it’s tricky. Pieces of “OLTL” live in “General Hospital,” which is having a ratings surge. For “All My Children,” it’s harder. Lucci has made other deals since “AMC’ ended. Plus, that show was in tatters thanks to ABC’s mismanagement of it for years. In either case, creator-writer Agnes Nixon would have to be brought back as well, since she has the secret sauce recipe that made the shows a success.
And then again, it’s possible Prospect Park is just faking it to extend their license arrangement. ABC might like the shows back now considering their alternative programming has failed. “General Hospital” is booming. And really, the only thing network execs know is success. Soaps, which they trashed for years, are looking good again. If Procter and Gamble were smart, they’d look to a revival of their own shows, “As the World Turns” and “Guiding Light.”
We’ll wait and see if this is just another cliffhanger with no pay off…
HOLIDAY MIRACLE: Prospect Park Back On Track To Revive 'All My Children' & 'One Life To Live' After Deals With SAG-AFTRA & DGA(deadline.com) Here is a great holiday gift for soap fans: I’ve learned that Prospect Park has revived its plan to continue cancelled ABC daytime dramas All My Children and One Life To Live online. I hear the company behind USA hit Royal Pains has inked deals with SAG-AFTRA and DGA for the soaps’ production, eyed to begin in the first quarter of 2013. UPDATE: Reps for DGA and SAG-AFTRA have confirmed to Deadline that the unions have reached agreements with Prospect Park.
Rich Frank & Jeff Kwatinetz’s Prospect Park made a licensing deal with ABC in July 2011 to keep OLTL and AMC alive for online distribution on their Online Network, which was slated to launch in the first quarter of 2012. But after difficult negotiations with the guilds, the company last November pulled the plug on its plans, despite securing a slew of OLTL and AMC actors to reprise their roles. While the online venture was formally dead, I hear Frank and Kwatinetz never lost hope, and had been quietly working since the summer on putting their plan back together and had been talking with the guilds, resulting in agreements with SAG-AFTRA and DGA. (The status of talks with WGA is unclear.) I hear there are preliminary discussions with actors from All My Children and One Life To Live to rejoin the revived shows. Prospect Park refused to comment.
The news comes at a fortuitous time, as the four remaining daytime soaps on TV are having strong ratings showing, all up from last year.
ATWT's Craig & Rosanna Are Engaged!AS THE WORLD TURNS' Craig and Rosanna had quite a tumultuous relationship, but portrayers Jon Lindstrom (ex-Mark, Santa Barbara/ex-Craig, ATWT/ex-Kevin & Ryan, PC/GH) and Cady McClain (ex-Rosanna, ATWT/ex-Dixie, AMC) certainly didn't! The pair have even just announced their engagement! Make sure to check out an upcoming issue of Soaps In Depth for more from McClain about taking the next step. Best wishes to the happy couple!
Investigation Discovery Renews ‘Deadly Affairs’ With Susan Lucci For Season 2Investigation Discovery has greenlighted a second season of Deadly Affairs for summer 2013. The series hosted by Susan Lucci premiered in September to a 1.22 HH rating and 3.5 million total viewers, the second-best series debut in network history. Deadly Affairs, produced by Sirens Media, tells real-life tales of passionate love affairs-turned-crimes of passion.
Martinez: Full of Heart(amazon.com) An inspirational journey from tragedy to triumph
In 2003, nineteen-year-old Private J.R. Martinez was on a routine patrol when the Humvee he was driving hit an antitank mine in Iraq, resulting in severe injuries and burns on his face and more than one-third of his body. Out of that tragedy came an improbable journey of inspiration, motivation, and dreams come true. In Full of Heart, Martinez shares his story in intimate detail, from his upbringing in the American South and his time in the Army to his recovery and the indomitable spirit that has made him an inspiration to countless fans.
J.R. Martinez always had a strong spirit. Raised in Bossier City, Louisiana, and then Hope, Arkansas, by a single mother from El Salvador, he was well known at school for his good looks and his smart mouth. At seventeen, showing an early determination and drive that would become one of his trademark qualities, J.R. convinced his mom to move to Dalton, Georgia, where he believed he would have a better chance of being recruited to play college football. His positive attitude earned him a spot on a competitive high school football squad, but when his college dreams collapsed, he turned to the U.S. Army. A few months later, he found himself serving in Iraq.
When J.R.’s humvee hit a mine and exploded—just one month into his deployment—he was immediately evacuated to a San Antonio medical center, where he spent the next thirty-four months in grueling recovery. Seeing his disfigured face for the first time after the accident threw him into a crushing period of confusion and anger. His spirits were low, until he was asked to speak to another young burn victim. J.R. realized how valuable and gratifying it was to share his experiences with other patients and listen to theirs. He’d found a calling.
His fellow soldiers, along with the local and then national media, soon latched onto J.R.’s spirit and strength. His resilience, optimism, and charm were also noted by Hollywood and scored him roles on All My Children and Dancing with the Stars, where he was the season thirteen champion.
Today, J.R. tours the country sharing his story and his lessons for overcoming challenges and embracing hope, lessons that abound in this book. Full of Heart is an unforgettable story of a man who never gave up on his dreams.
After being injured in Iraq, J.R. Martinez became a motivational speaker, actor, and winner of season thirteen of Dancing with the Stars. Martinez lives in Los Angeles.
Order the new book Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit by J.R. Martinez (ex-Brot, All My Children): here.!
'Devious Maids' Brings Susan Lucci and Marc Cherry to LifetimeMarc Cherry is going from Housewives to Maids. The creator of Desperate Housewives will be coming to Lifetime in 2013 as the network has picked up his new drama Devious Maids.
The show, originally developed for ABC, is based on a popular Mexican telenovela and centers on the maids and housekeepers for rich and powerful Beverly Hills families. It stars soap icon Susan Lucci as wells as Scrubs' Judy Reyes, Ugly Betty's Ana Ortiz, Heroes' Dania Ramirez and Without a Trace's Roselyn Sanchez.
The large ensemble cast of Devious Maids also features True Blood's Mariano Klavano, Pretty Little Liars' Drew Van Acker and Melrose Place's Grant Show.
Devious Minds marks the second show this year that ABC has passed on to be saved by a cable network (TBS rescued Cougar Town from cancellation).
It's a good fit for Lifetime, since the network already has reruns of Marc Cherry's Desperate Housewives. Devious Maids will join Lifetime's increasingly big line-up of scripted shows in 2013.
'Days of Our Lives' Star Files for Divorce From 'Smallville' Husband"Days of our Lives" star Lindsay Hartley (ex-Theresa, Passions/ex-Cara, All My Children/ex-Arianna, Days of Our Lives) has filed for divorce from "Smallville" actor Justin Hartley (ex-Fox, Passions)... TMZ has learned.
Lindsay filed the docs in L.A. County Superior Court, citing "irreconcilable differences."
The couple met back in 2003 while both starring on the soap opera "Passions" -- and were married a year later. They have a 7-year-old daughter.
Since "Passions," Lindsay has starred on "All My Children" and "Days of Our Lives."
Lindsay is asking for joint physical and legal custody. So far, no word back from Justin.
Fun Horror Movie FactBefore inking Friday the 13th, Victor Miller wrote for soap operas “All My Children,” “Guiding Light,” and “One Life to Live.”
AMC Alum Reveals Original EndingOn Twitter, Chrishell Stause (ex-Amanda) shared what was in the never-aired footage she filmed for the last episode of AMC: "To those wanting to know the original ending vignette I filmed for AMC (we had filmed BEFORE the Prospect Park offer).... Amanda &Jake walk into Oak Haven with Trevor & their new adorable boy they adopted, where Janet greets them. U see them hug & visit. Family. Each family was gonna have their own sweet vignette & music playing over. Makes me sad only a few were filmed & none will be seen."
Final Month RecapRecap of the final month of All My Children on ABC: Read it here!
Knight Says FarewellPine Valley favorite, Michael E. Knight (Tad, AMC), has penned an heartfelt article entitled "Goodbye to My Soap Star Life" in the Daily Beast. Check it out here.
Susan Lucci on Erica KaneSusan Lucci on Early Erica Kane, All My Children Without Agnes and Sarah Michelle Gellar: Earlier this year, when Susan Lucci was in New York, signing copies of her just-released memoir, All My Life, a man came up with his book ready to be autographed and said to her, "You know, Susan, they tell us that cotton is the fabric of our lives, but really, it's All My Children."
However sweet, if hokey, the line was, Lucci has been thinking a lot about how true it's been for her. Just hours after she performed her final scene as All My Children's indomitable Erica Kane — perhaps the last time ever she fills those heels — and staring down the show's end-date, the 64-year-old actress couldn't be more grateful to have spent her last 41 years in the role. But putting that legacy into words does not come easy. "To have started in 1970 and have the passion from the audience now is just thrilling. There really are no words," Lucci tells TVGuide.com. "I have nothing to compare it to."
One thing she can say is that Erica Kane, in all her biting, entitled glory, was on the page from Lucci's very first audition. "I remember thinking she had the possibilities to be a modern-day Scarlett O'Hara," she says. "[Series creator Agnes Nixon's] characters from the get-go were flawed, all of them. Erica was a troublemaker."
Her first scene revolved around a 15-year-old Erica and her mother, Mona, arguing about — what else? — a boy. Recalls Lucci: "Erica is getting ready for her math tutor to come over. He was somebody's else's boyfriend of course, and very cute, and Mona kept saying, 'Erica, shouldn't you be studying math to get ready for your tutor?' and Erica just wanted to put on her mascara."
Lucci was one of four actors hired to play teenagers (she was 23 at the time), and credits Nixon for being ahead of her time in giving younger actors "something good and real" to do on television. "That was visionary for her to write a show where each generation had major story lines. The only parts for somebody playing a teenager then were The Rose Tattoo or A View From the Bridge or The Glass Menagerie, really," Lucci says. "And here was Agnes, writing a show on network that involved every generation including the high school kids."
From her earliest days, Erica knew she was destined for fame outside of Pine Valley — and didn't mind making that plain for all to hear. "Because I was supposed to be the naughty girl in town who wanted a glamorous life, they kept teasing my hair up to enormous heights and put a full set of false eyelashes on me. I was too shy to say anything, but I kept thinking, 'Wow, I'm supposed to be 15 and I've got all this going on! Also, I was getting a big headache from those false eyelashes."
"But you could always see what was driving her. She wasn't petulant for its own sake."
Since then, Erica has gone on to model, own a disco, serve as editor-in-chief for a glossy magazine, host her own talk show, found her own cosmetics line and write three memoirs. She also lived through rape, had an abortion — the first legal one to be portrayed on American television — went head-to-head with a bear, overcome drug and alcohol addictions, dealt with the coming out of her daughter Bianca, survived attempted murders, car accidents and tornadoes and, making recent headlines, gotten involved with a much younger man. She's been married 11 times and gave birth to three children.
It's a life that's made Eric Kane the most recognizable, iconic name in soap operas — and well outside — which is why Lucci is still processing how it could be coming to an end. "It is an incredible legacy, and I don't know that I can break it down. What I saw in my scripts inspired me. I'm going to guess that the audience saw the same thing," she says. Meanwhile, All My Children fans remain vocal about their disappointment over the series' cancellation. "I did an online radio show called Soap Central a few weeks ago and the host, Dan J. Kroll, gave me a bound booklet of what he said was just 1 percent of the response he had received after he announced I was coming on," she says. "In one week, he said he received 500,000 e-mails ... It's amazing, the outpouring, the passion from fans."
It's for that reason that Lucci is also feeling a lot of anger. On Tuesday, the paperback edition of her memoir will be released, and it will include an epilogue the actress says she "worked very hard on" and in which she blasts ABC daytime executives for making creative decisions that she feels killed the show — namely, pushing Nixon out in favor of new head writers who were more interested in crazy plotting than character.
"I wasn't alone in thinking that. I mean, the fans were very upset about it because they didn't recognize any of the characters [from the way they were being written]," Lucci says. "I think that it was clear from the focus groups and the falling ratings that the show was in the hands of the wrong head writers. If you could listen to the focus groups, you'd know something was off. I felt it was allowed to go on too long," she says.
But with Nixon and veteran writer Lorraine Broderick back in control for the past few months, Lucci is eager to report All My Children will go out on top. "Even now, they're pushing the envelope in storytelling, we were getting scripts that were a little different structurally, propelling character forward..."
She's also enjoyed having veteran actors come back to reprise their original roles on the show for a final time, in particular David Canary and Julia Barr, who played Adam and Stewart Chandler, and Brooke English, respectively. "They were the was most exciting for me. They're people I worked with so much and who I adore and who I know the audience always loved ... Their presence has been so missed," she says. There was also her scene with Carol Burnett, whom she hadn't worked with before. "Carol was the first real outspoken celebrity fan of All My Children," Lucci says. "I would find myself looking into her big blue eyes, like 'Oh my god, I'm doing comedy with Carol Burnett.' It took my breath away."
And, for the record, Lucci wanted to do one last scene with Sarah Michelle Gellar, who originated the role of Erica's daughter Kendall Hart and with whom she reportedly had a long-standing feud. "I never had any idea where that came from. I don't know anything about it," Lucci says. "I really was hoping that she and Alicia Minshew [who has played Kendall since 2002] and I would have something to do together. That would have been funny." (Gellar did return, but was written into a scene opposite Eva La Rue, who tweeted this pic from the day and also revealed details of Gellar's new character.)
Asked about what her plans are for the day, her first not going to set, Lucci pauses. "You know, the emotions come over you when you least it expect it," she says, recalling the teary tribute the cast had for Nixon the night before. Later in the day, she'll make her final goodbyes at the wrap party before flying back to New York with her husband for good. She still needs to pick a dress for the occasion.
"We didn't have to say goodbye last night. We could say, 'See you tomorrow.' So that felt good," she says. "Tonight, we plan to celebrate."
ABC will air All My Children's broadcast finale on Sept. 23. What will you miss most about Erica Kane? Do you hope Lucci changes her mind and decides to continue with the show online?
Lucci unloads on soap-killer“All My Children” star Susan Lucci unleashes her fury about the cancellation of the long-running ABC soap in a blistering epilogue just added to the paperback edition of her book, “All My Life: A Memoir.”
Lucci, who has played Erica Kane since 1970, blasts ABC Daytime head Brian Frons and describes how she personally berated him, saying, “I think our being in this position is the result of some very bad decisions by you.”
She claims Frons installed a new head writer in 2008 who oversaw writing that was “subpar,” ordered the show moved to LA from New York and pushed out the soap’s creator, Agnes Nixon.
Lucci says Frons told her in April that “All My Children” would be replaced by a food show cheaper to make. She writes, “An iconic show was losing out to greed ... If Brian Frons could show his bosses that he could save the network 40 percent ... he could keep his job even if the rest of us lost ours.” She continues, “I watched Brian Frons’ decisions destroy the production of our show and the lives of people on both sides of the country.”
Lucci said Frons appeared “self-congratulatory” delivering the bad news to the cast, and he “has what, for me, is that fatal combination of ignorance and arrogance,” adding, “I cannot fathom any network executive choosing to alienate millions of loyal viewers in these economic times.”
She was even tempted to call ABC and leave the message “F.U. -- and your little dog, too,” but never did.
One industry source responded, “Is she bitter, or is this to get more attention for her book? Susan has done extraordinarily well from playing Erica Kane. She has had an amazing career for 41 years. It is too bad it doesn’t end on a high note.” An ABC rep said, “We have all the respect in the world for Susan, and are sorry she felt the need to write this epilogue to an otherwise incredible career.” Lucci’s rep declined to comment.
Susan Lucci on All My Children’s Last DaySusan Lucci on All My Children’s Last Day, the Big Cliffhanger and Her Future Online: Susan Lucci is not in denial. She knows Tuesday was her last day filming All My Children as it exists now on ABC.
At the same time, she said, "it just didn't seem real."
"Walking out on to the set for my first scene yesterday morning, I have to say, I started to feel it," the actress told TVGuide.com Wednesday, just several hours after the entire production wrapped its storied 42-year-run on broadcast television. "I had to rein my emotions back in because I had to work ... but the setting was spectacular! Perfect for the last day of shooting."
Even if it might be the last time Lucci, 64, steps into the formidable shoes of daytime's most recognizable diva, Erica Kane? "That is what went through my mind," she said. "And yet, somehow, I couldn't believe it. I mean I have spent my entire adult life in this collaboration with [series creator Agnes Nixon] and playing this amazing character."
"There are a lot of feelings," she continued. "There's pride and excitement and gratitude and joy and celebration — and still a cloud over us because we don't know." In April, ABC announced that it was pulling the plug on the soap, which is set to end on Friday, Sept. 23. Online startup Prospect Park is planning to re-launch the series on the Web in January, though deals with the cast and crew have yet to be signed.
Until then, Lucci is giddy for longtime fans to see the final episodes. Without giving the ending away, she says they can rest assured: It's classic All My Children, thanks in large part to the return of Nixon and veteran head writer Lorraine Broderick.
But by classic she means it ends with a big ol' cliff-hanger! Will that satisfy longtime fans who might be bracing to grieve the show's ABC ending? "Oh, I think it's spectacular," Lucci says. "To me, knowing how Agnes writes, it was not shocking that she would do that. Like any great novel, when you put it down you say, 'Well, then what?' I knew she wouldn't tie it up in a neat bow, and she really didn't. There are several cliff-hangers."
In a separate interview with TVGuide.com last week, Nixon said there was no question that the stories of Pine Valley's finest should not draw to a close so much as leave you wanting to know more. "Wrapping up the run on ABC wasn't as important to me as keeping the show interesting!" she said with a laugh. "We did not wrap everything up with people fading into the sunset with happy endings. It's a continued story and the last episode, we think, will make people want to come back very much to get some answers!" (Viewers can, however, count out another natural disaster hitting Pine Valley. "Oh, no, no, no," Nixon said. "True to what I feel has been part of the character of All My Children is that the cliff-hangers are related to characters and personal emotions. I don't hanker after tornadoes!")
Says Lucci, who just finished a wild arc casting her as both Erica Kane and a crazed fan who had undergone facial reconstruction so she could pose as Erica Kane: "What blows me away is that I am involved in this show where Agnes and Lorraine, even at this later hour of the show's broadcast on ABC, are so creatively, passionately working forward." For those not up-to-date, villainous genius Dr. David Heyward (Vincent Irizzary) has just literally resurrected several of Pine Valley's most beloved, among them Dixie Martin (Cady McClain) and Zach Slater (Thorsten Kaye) — and more could be on the way! "The characters are so rich and the scripts were so much fun to work on because the characters are there — they're back! And I know the audience is going to have fun watching, and that is making all of us very happy," Lucci said.
As for the reported offer she's received to continue with the show when it moves online, Lucci said, "I can only say that we're in conversations. We are in conversations. That's where we are."
But she does hope to continue. "My heart is there," she said. "I think it's a very, very exciting possibility. I think that Prospect Park, the men involved there, have a wonderful, successful track record ... It could be very exciting, especially with Agnes and Lorraine."
Nixon's participation, in fact, is "critical to going forward as far as I'm concerned," Lucci said. "I mean, it won't be All My Children if she's not doing it."
What do you think? Would you prefer the show wraps up its story lines or do you like the idea that things are ending with a cliff-hanger? Will you watch the show online if Susan Lucci isn't part of the deal? Let us know in the comments below, and check back next week to read more about Lucci's memories of her early days in Pine Valley, the show's not-so-good years, and her lasting legacy.
Josh Duhamel: 'All My Children Was The First Time I Ever Felt Accepted'Hunky actor Josh Duhamel lights up the big screen these days starring in the blockbuster hit Transformer movies, but he says that his role on a soap opera was the first time he ever "felt really accepted."
In an exclusive interview with Soap Opera Digest Duhamel discusses his return to All My Children as con artist Leo du Pres.
"Being on All My Children, it was the first time I ever really felt accepted and that people felt I was good," Josh said about his role that started in 1999. "So much of my life was trying to prove to people that I was worthy, that I was good, that I could do a good job, because up to that point, I was shut down a lot."
"It was just tremendous, the amount of education that I got from that show and the amount of experience that I got. What I think really helped me on that show is that you either have to sink or swim.... I will always be grateful to people like [Casting Director] Judy Blye Wilson and [former Executive Producer] Jean Dadario Burke."
His character, in true soap opera fashion, went over a waterfall trying to save his love, Greenlee, but his body was never recovered. He returns on the August 4 show, which should impact the romance between Greenlee and Ryan, played by Cameron Mathison.
"Cameron was great," Josh said about his buddy. "I mean, a lot of guys wouldn't be as sort of accepting of Leo coming back, but he was really cool about it. Cameron's always been a good friend of mine and he was always very supportive of me, too, on the show, right from the beginning. There was never any jealousy or anything; he was always really, really cool. It was a good experience."
Check out the new issue of Soap Opera Digest on newsstands Friday to find all the juicy details about Josh's exciting return to All My Children.
ABC cancels "All My Children", "One Life to Live"ABC television said on Thursday it was canceling its long-running daytime soap operas "All My Children" and "One Life to Live".
The final episodes of the two shows will air in September 2011 and January 2012 respectively, ABC said in a statement.
"General Hospital", the second-most popular show in daytime TV, will remain on the air, the network added.
ABC said the two soap operas would be replaced by new programing focused on "transformation, food and lifestyle", saying that audience research had shown that these issues were of more interest to viewers.
"All My Children", about the lives of resident in fictional Pine Valley, made its debut on ABC in 1970. "One Life to Live" set in the fictional town of Llanview, began airing in 1968. Both shows have won multiple awards, including daytime Emmys, and earned praise for tackling social issues including alcoholism, AIDS and illiteracy.
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Thank You Agnes Nixon and The Cast & Crew Of All My Children (1970 to 2011)Heartbreak. That's how it feels to say goodbye to Pine Valley. The final television episode of All My Children opened on a brilliant note, echoing the show's title with a montage of births. While I've not been a big fan of many of the stories leading to this finale, it was a beautiful thing to see Stuart brought back to life, reunited with Scott, Marian, and Adam. The show, and the fans suffered greatly with the loss of that character, never mind the pure joy of watching David Canary play twins, I always loved the moments where they would switch places, and Mr. Canary would let little tells slip through, so it really did feel like one man impersonating another. Then, with Tad's tearjerking speech, AMC demonstrated the thing so very unique to soaps, where characters don't just grow and change overnight (not counting rapid aging syndrome) but evolve over decades, in Tad's case, little by little he moved from abused boy, to a cad sleeping with mothers and their daughters, to a grown man so responsible that it made perfect sense for him to deliver the most important toast in the town's history. Of course there are some quibbles, like a party that's declared a rebirth yet with some quite funereal looking fashion. And there was that "ending." The nod to Gone With the Wind was really clever, and so apt for Erica, and the shot ringing out a classic soapy cliffhanger, but none of us know whether Susan Lucci will transition to the internet, or if we'll personally have access to see where that shot landed, so who knows whether to feel frustrated or think, wow, that was a really cool beginning to the next chapter. It must be the most thankless task figuring out a way to close a show that shouldn't be ending, that means so much to so many people after so many unforgettable years of tackling tough subject matter like Vietnam, AIDS, abortion, and so many other topics that television otherwise was afraid to go near. There's so much to love and miss about All My Children. The one and sadly, probably still only African-American supercouple, Jesse and Angie. Leo and Greenlee. Lily's autism. Erica working as a waitress. Phoebe toting around her little dog, long before Paris Hilton. Tad rescuing Dixie from the loony bin. Billy Clyde Tuggles. Jack's son, Reggie, so brilliantly played by Michael B. Jordan. Cluck-cluck's. That loveable old goat Pete Cooney. The bear that wouldn't dare eat Erica Kane! Zach's obsession with the Red Wings. Nico Kelly. Janet from another planet. Myrtle. Kelly Ripa in a black wig with her Uncle Porkchop. Julia's Cinderella nuptials with Noah. Ryan and Gillian. Laura's death. Santa Claus. Brot. Jake and Amanda. Erica Kane's many, many weddings, especially the beautifully shot one in Florida, with Jackson. Those are just a few of the memories I have from my years of watching AMC, never mind the stuff I wish I'd seen like Cliff and Nina, and Jesse and Jenny in New York. It's horrible to think that come Monday, a man in orange crocs will actually attempt to fill Erica Kane's pumps. Please, show ABC that it can't be done. Switch to Days, or B&B, or turn off your tv until OLTL's timeslot. AMC's ending may not have satisfied everyone, but The Chew, crashing and burning would make us all feel better.
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