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‘Bold & Beautiful’ And ‘General Hospital’ To Return As Daytime Soaps Stage Comeback

Nellie Andreeva

What a difference a year makes. Between 2009 and 2012, daytime soaps went from 8 to 4, and by the end of 2012, Prospect Park’s effort to revive two of the departed, All My Children and One Life To Live, had hit a dead end. Then within the last month, NBC renewed its daytime drama, Days Of Our Lives, and Prospect Park got its plan for AMC and OLTL online series back on track. Now I hear that CBS is poised to renew The Bold And The Beautiful, and ABC has no plans to cancel General Hospital (the series is on a perpetual production track and doesn’t need formal renewals if the network wants to keep it on the air). CBS’ Young & The Restless, the highest-rated daytime drama, is two years into a three-year pickup, and casting and pre-production on AMC and OLTL is in full swing. That means that we will likely have more daytime dramas on next fall than we have this season — the first such year-to-year gain in 15 years, since NBC added Passions in 1998.

Related: ‘All My Children’, ‘One Life To Live’ Set For Spring Premiere On Hulu & iTunes

Daytime soaps’ improving fortunes is not a … Read More »

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‘All My Children’, ‘One Life To Live’ Set For Spring Premiere On Hulu & iTunes

By | Friday January 25, 2013 @ 11:12am PST

The online revival of cancelled ABC daytime dramas All My Children and One Life To Live is officially just months away. Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz’s Prospect Park today announced a distribution agreement with Hulu and iTunes that will bring the soaps to fans beginning this Spring. New 30-minute episodes will be introduced each weekday They’ll be available on the free Hulu.com service as well as subscription-based Hulu Plus and iTunes for viewing on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac or PC. “I believe that both Hulu and iTunes have the vision, the reach and the technology to help us launch TOLN in a significant way,” Prospect Park Chairman and CEO Jeff Kwatinetz said in a statement. “We think these platforms are part of history, helping us to transform distribution”. Prospect Park recently cleared the last major hurdle for the soaps’ online revival, reaching agreements with SAG-AFTRA, WGA, and DGA. The company also closed its financing with ABRY Partners and has entered into a consulting agreement with All My Children and One Life To Live creator Agnes Nixon. Prospect Park also recently announced more deals with cast members and production executives. You can read today’s release below:

Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY – January 25, 2013 – In 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.

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Prospect Park Closes More Cast, Exec Deals For ‘All My Children’ & ‘One Life To Live’ Online Revivals

By | Tuesday January 22, 2013 @ 1:34pm PST

UPDATES: Prospect Park has closed more deals with cast members and production executives for The Online Network’s productions of All My Children and One Life To Live. Production is scheduled to begin in February.

Related:
Prospect Park Closes Deal With WGA, Clearing Way For AMC’, ‘OLTL’ Production
‘AMC’, ‘OLTL’ Creator Agnes Nixon Gives Prospect Park Reboots Her Blessing

One Life To Live Cast:
Erika Slezak as Victoria Lord Buchanan
Robin Strasser as Dorian Lord
Tuc Watkins as David Vickers
Robert S. Woods as Bo Buchanan
Kassie DePaiva as Blair Cramer
Jerry verDorn as Clint Buchanan
Florencia Lozano as Tea Delgado
Melissa Archer as Natalie Buchanan Banks
Hillary B. Smith as Nora Buchanan
Kelley Missal as Danielle Manning
Josh Kelly as Cutter Wentworth
Andrew Trischitta as Jack Manning

Read More »

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Prospect Park Closes Deal With WGA, Clearing Way For AMC’, ‘OLTL’ Production

By | Friday January 11, 2013 @ 5:32pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz’s Prospect Park has cleared the last major hurdle in its effort to revive the cancelled ABC daytime dramas All My Children and One Life To Live online, reaching an agreement with the WGA. The company already inked deals with SAG-AFTRA and DGA for the soaps’ production in December. With the WGA taking long to engage, Prospect Park was faced with the prospect of having to work with fi-core writers, which proved difficult. Now it doesn’t have to. The company recently announced that it has secured financing and distribution, entered into a consulting agreement with Agnes Nixon, creator of both All My Children and One Life To Live, signed Jennifer Pepperman as Executive Producer on One Life to Live,  Ginger Smith as Executive Producer on All My Children and Foz McDermott as head of production of The Online Network where the soaps will air. Prospect Park also has started to lock in cast members for a February production start.

Related: ‘AMC’, ‘OLTL’ Creator Agnes Nixon Gives Prospect Park Reboots Her Blessing

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UPDATE: Prospect Park Confirms ‘All My Children’ & ‘One Life To Live’ Revivals, Production To Begin In February

By | Monday January 7, 2013 @ 9:25am PST
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE, 9:25 AM: Prospect Park has sent out a letter from Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz confirming our earlier break. The new developments include confirmed deals with SAG-AFTRA and the DGA — sticking points in previous talks — and inking the soaps’ creator Agnes Nixon to a consulting agreement. Here’s the entire letter, which says a launch date for the anchor programs on the company’s The Online Network will be announced in the coming weeks:

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.

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‘AMC’, ‘OLTL’ Creator Agnes Nixon Gives Prospect Park Reboots Her Blessing

By | Friday January 4, 2013 @ 11:17pm PST

Agnes Nixon, creator of both All My Children and One Life To Live, chimed in tonight with her approval of Prospect Park‘s plans to resurrect the canceled ABC soaps. On her blog and on Facebook, Nixon wrote, “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.” It’s believed to be the first time Nixon has said anything publicly about Prospect Park’s second attempt to bring the soaps back online. “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 for radio.” Prospect Park has secured agreements with SAG-AFTRA and DGA but is expected to forgo an accord with the Writers Guild and use “financial core” writers who opt for reduced membership status. Details remain scarce but AMC alum Vincent Irizarry (Dr. David Hayward) has agreed to return as has Lindsay Hartley (who played Cara Martin). Nixon did not say whether she will play a part in the soaps’ resurrection.

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‘All My Children’s Vincent Irizarry Signs On For Prospect Park Revival

By | Friday December 28, 2012 @ 1:52pm PST

Fans anxious for the Internet resurrection of All My Children by Prospect Park have a bit more to celebrate. Vincent Irizarry, who played Pine Valley’s Dr. David Hayward on the long-running ABC soap, announced on his Facebook page that he has come aboard. “Happy to share that I just signed on with Prospect Park for the All My Children reboot! … A great, big thank you to all the fans for your tenacity”. As we reported earlier this week, talks with cast and production team members of AMC and One Life To Live are continuing with an eye toward beginning production of new half-hour episodes by February in Stamford, Conn.

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‘All My Children’ & ‘One Life To Live’ Revival Update: Location, Format, Fi-Core Writers

By | Monday December 24, 2012 @ 1:07pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

There has been a lot of chatter online since we last week broke the story that Prospect Park has resurrected its plan to continue cancelled ABC daytime dramas All My Children and One Life To Live online. Here is what I’ve learned. Still no firm production start date, but the hope is to begin filming by February in Stamford, CT. Talks are underway with cast members and executive producers though no deals are done. (Last year, Prospect Park had locked in One Life To Live’s executive producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati but they jumped to ABC’s General Hospital after Prospect Park’s initial effort to keep AMC and OLTL alive failed.) Both All My Children and One Life To Live would feature 30-minute episodes with limited advertising vs. 60-minute for their recent run on ABC. (OLTL actually started off in a half-hour format before expanding to 45 minutes and then an hour.) After clinching deals with SAG-AFTRA and DGA, which paved the way to getting All My Children and One Life To Live’s revival back on track, I hear the producers plan to forgo an agreement with WGA and use “financial core” writers, i.e. scribes who have given up full membership in the guild in order to work on the shows. Coincidentally, five years ago it was soap writers (on CBS’ Young & The Restless) who went … Read More »

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HOLIDAY MIRACLE: Prospect Park Back On Track To Revive ‘All My Children’ & ‘One Life To Live’ After Deals With SAG-AFTRA & DGA

By | Monday December 17, 2012 @ 1:26pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

All My Children One Life To Live ReturningEXCLUSIVE: 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 … Read More »

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‘General Hospital’ Producer Says ABC Supporting Show: TCA

By | Thursday July 26, 2012 @ 12:39pm PDT

Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.

Frank Valentini General HospitalThe cast and executive producer of the ABC soap General Hospital appeared before critics this morning at TCA, looking and sounding like people thrilled simply to still have jobs. The fate of most of their cohorts on One Life To Live and All My Children weren’t so lucky, with only a few of the cast members — and producer Frank Valentini — absorbed into GH. It was touch-and-go whether even General Hospital would survive the ax. But it’s back, and as Valentini said, the fact a panel for the show was arranged shows a certain support for the show going forward. “They invited us here, and to me that’s a great sign,” he noted. “They’re behind this 100% and very excited about the 50th anniversary coming up. I’m pretty confident. You just need to watch the show to sort of catch the energy and the momentum that we have, and the network’s a big part of that.” One of the challenges for the show going forward is that it’s being displaced from its longtime 3 PM perch by Katie Couric’s new syndie talk show Katie. But Valentini did his best to put a positive spin on things, calling the time slot change “great” in that it will “shake up the lineup a little bit. And the network is doing a big push to inform the audience about the change.” Read More »

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Four ‘One Life To Live’ Characters Check Into ‘General Hospital’

By | Wednesday January 11, 2012 @ 10:18am PST

With One Life To Live off the air and prospects for a new life online all but gone, four actors from the ABC soap opera have been snatched up by General Hospital to reprise their roles as part of a new storyline. Kassie DePaiva, Roger Howarth, Michael Easton and Kristen Alderson will head to Port Charles when the network’s last soap begins production later this month. The move was announced today by executive producer Frank Valentini, who along with head writer Ron Carlivati are OLTL alums who shifted to the same roles at General Hospital last month. Those pickups came after Prospect Park, which had acquired rights to OLTL and fellow scrapped soap All My Children, decided not to go forward with reviving the series online. “We have a very exciting story planned for the citizens of Port Charles, with Sonny Corinthos at the center of it. I am confident viewers and fans alike will be excited for the arrival of John (Easton), Starr (Alderson), Blair (DePaiva) and Todd (Howarth),” Valentini said. GH will mark its 49th year of broadcasting on April 1.

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Team Of ABC Daytime Show ‘Revolution’ On Potential Backlash From Soap Fans: TCA

By | Monday January 9, 2012 @ 2:00pm PST

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

It’s rare that a new TV show is more notable for what it replaces than for itself, but such is the case with ABC’s The Revolution. The daily inspirational makeover program replaces the long-running One Life To Live, and the soap’s die-hard fans are militantly unhappy. At today’s TCA, the first question to the Revolution panel was about how the show would deal with the backlash and keep the angry fans from switching over to NBC’s daytime drama  Days Of Our Lives, which airs against The Revolution. “We can’t replace that show, but what we offer is something different,” said co-host Ty Pennington, the resident design expert whose long-running reality series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was also recently canceled by ABC. “Extreme Makeover was a show that got canceled too, and that was something that was really, really special to me. It’s about change, and The Revolution is certainly about change.” Read More »

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‘One Life To Live’ Executive Producer And Head Writer Join ‘General Hospital’

By | Thursday December 1, 2011 @ 11:59am PST
Nellie Andreeva

While it is ending veteran soap opera One Life To Live, ABC is keeping 2 of the series’ key players, executive producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati, who will assume the same positions on ABC’s only remaining daytime drama General Hospital, effective January 9. They replace executive producer Jill Farren Phelps, who had been at the helm of GH for the past decade, and Garin Wolf, who joined the soap this past summer. The move comes a week after Prospect Park announced that it was abandoning its plans to continue the canceled All My Children and One Life To Live online. The company had signed both Valentini and Carlivati to continue on OLTL, with Valentini also getting a top executive position. “Frank and Ron’s creativity, passion and outstanding leadership will be a welcome addition to the cast and crew, as well as viewers and longtime fans,” said ABC Daytime president Brian Frons. Reinforcing General Hospital is important because, with Katie Couric’s new talk show launching in the fall, the soap and new ABC talk shows The Chew and The Revolution will squabble over 2 slots for next season. Valentini is a 26-year OLTL veteran and has served as the show’s executive producer since 2002; Carlivati has been with the soap for 15 years, the last 4 of which as head writer.

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ABC Sets Premiere Date For ‘Revolution’

By | Monday November 28, 2011 @ 7:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

With One Life To Live slated to air its final episode on January 13, ABC has set a January 16 launch date for the soap’s replacement, one-hour daily lifestyle talk show The Revolution. The show has tweaked its concept since first being announced in April. It will still chronicle one woman’s personal journey over the course of five months, but its focus will now be on a team of experts including Ty Pennington, Tim Gunn, Harley Pasternak, Dr. Jennifer Ashton and Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry giving viewers tips and tools to transform their lives. The final episode of OLTL was taped on November 18, a few days before Prospect Park announced it won’t proceed with its plans to continue the soap online, so it’s unclear whether the network would make changes to the series’ final episode.

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WGAW & AFTRA React To ‘AMC’ & ‘OLTL’ Not Continuing Online: Don’t Blame Us

By | Wednesday November 23, 2011 @ 3:16pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

‘One Life To Live’ And ‘All My Children’ Won’t Continue Online
The WGAW and AFTRA just issued statements in response to Prospect Park’s decision today not to proceed with its plans to continue to produce canceled ABC soaps One Life To Live and All My Children for online distribution. In its statement, Prospect Park stated that “while we narrowed in on a financial infrastructure, the contractual demands of the guilds, which regulate our industry, coupled with the program’s inherent economic challenges ultimately led to this final decision.” Now the WGA, which represents soap writers, and AFTRA, which represents actors, each put out a statement claiming that their negotiations with Prospect Park were not the reason in the 2 soaps’ demise. Here are the statements:

“We were disappointed to learn that Prospect Park’s financing fell through. Prior to the end of last week, we were close to a fair deal for the writers.”

“AFTRA was deeply disappointed to read that the executives at Prospect Park have decided to suspend their efforts to produce the long-running and popular daytime serials, One Life to Live and All My Children, via online distribution.

Despite initial progress in our negotiations with Prospect

Read More »

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It’s Official: ‘One Life To Live’ And ‘All My Children’ Won’t Continue Online

By | Wednesday November 23, 2011 @ 11:55am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Online Soap Opera Network May Fold Ending ‘OLTL’, ‘AMC’

Sad news for soap fans just before Thanksgiving — One Life To Live and All My Children won’t get a second life online. Prospect Park, the company, which in July signed a licensing deal with ABC to keep canceled daytime dramas in production for online distribution, will not proceed with its plans for an online soap network anchored by the two shows. The decision comes after Prospect Park principals Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz spent the past few months trying to shore up financial backing for their Online TV Network, secure the talent and writers from the departing ABC series as well as sign agreements with the Hollywood unions. Accomplishing all three, especially the last one, on a tight deadline as continuing the soaps would only make sense if they could be relaunched close to their finale dates on ABC, proved impossible to do. Prospect Park’s surprising deal with ABC in July led to AMC producers changing the planned ending for the September finale on ABC so the series could have another chapter. Now their OLTL counterparts will likely do the opposite, making the January ending more permanent. Here is Prospect Park’s statement:

After five months of negotiations with various guilds, hundreds of presentations to potential financial and technology partners, and a

Read More »

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ON THE BRINK: Online Soap Opera Network May Fold, Spelling The End Of ‘OLTL’, ‘AMC’

By | Wednesday November 23, 2011 @ 10:16am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: This is potential very bad news for soap fans who feel thankful this Thanksgiving that canceled ABC series One Life To Live and All My Children may continue online. That now may not be happening. It was considered a bold and risky move when Rich Frank & Jeff Kwatinetz’s Prospect Park in July made a licensing deal with ABC to keep OLTL and AMC alive for online distribution. The transfer from broadcast TV to the Web proved far more difficult than anyone anticipated. I hear that Prospect Park self-financed extensive research and its principals held hundreds of meetings with potential investors and business partners for their Online Network, which was originally slated to launch in the first quarter of 2012. (The latest plan has been for Once Life To Live to go on first, with All My Children put on hold.) They also explored selling a potential second window for the two soaps to cable networks but couldn’t land a buyer. And in a sign of potential guild hurdles, Prospect Park in late July issued a statement that it was “in the process of working out the essential terms of our proposed collective bargaining agreements with the appropriate guilds and unions, which we must do prior to firming up deals with above- and below-the-line talent.” I hear that those negotiations proved … Read More »

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Ty Pennington Joins Upcoming ABC Daytime Show ‘The Revolution’ As Co-Host

Nellie Andreeva

Ty Penningtom had been looking to do a daytime talk show and developed a daytime format last year. Now the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition host has joined ABC’s upcoming daytime show The Revolution, which will replace soap One Life To Live in January. On the show, which explores health and lifestyle transformations, Pennington will serve as co-host alongside Tim Gunn and Harley Pasternak. 3 Ball Prods. is producing.

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‘One Life To Live’ Head Writer, Key Cast Members On Board For Online Launch

By | Friday September 30, 2011 @ 12:50pm PDT

Prospect Park has been busy securing talent in front of and behind the camera for its relaunch of One Life To Live, which it acquired with All My Children after the soaps were given the boot by ABC Daytime. It also has given its online network a name. All of the deals are pending WGA agreement, which is expected, but the company is being careful not to ruffle any guild feathers on the matter. Here’s the release:

LOS ANGELES, CA – September 30, 2011 – Below is a statement from THE Online Network (TOLN) regarding “One Life to Live.”

Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz of TOLN have confirmed today that a deal is in place for “One Life to Live” Emmy®-winning Head Writer and Consulting Producer Ron Carlivati, subject to a WGA agreement, to continue with the show when it moves online at the beginning of next year. Carlivati has been with the show since 1996 and a head writer since 2007.

Pending a final agreement with AFTRA, additional deals are in place for cast members Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan Banks), Kelley Missal (Danielle Rayburn), Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning) and Jerry VerDorn (Clint Buchanan) to join previously announced cast including Ted King, Michael Easton, Kassie DePaiva and Erika Slezak.

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