Investigation 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.
EXCLUSIVE: Daytime icon Susan Lucci is heading to primetime while staying close to her soap roots. The former All My Children star is returning to ABC with a plum co-starring role in the network’s pilot Devious Maids, a primetime soap from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, in a plum co-starring role. Based on the Mexican format, Devious Maids follows four maids (Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Roselyn Sanchez, Judy Reyes) with ambition and dreams of their own while they work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. Lucci will play one of the employers, Genevieve Delacourt, a beautiful, wealthy woman who is gently crazy. Having spent her adult life attracting one powerful man after another, she’s reduced to seducing the Armenian pool boy, and the vertiginous drop in her sexual status has left her — well, the word is nuts. Unused to having men walk past her as if she were as sexless as a mailbox, Genevieve is feeling suicidal. For the past 41 years, Lucci played her signature role of Erica Kane on ABC’s daytime drama All My Children, the only original cast member to be on the series until its end last fall.
One Life to Live‘s Michael Easton, Ted King, Kassie DePaiva and the cast’s doyen Erika Slezak have become the first actors to sign deals with Prospect Park, the company that in June acquired the rights to continue to produce soon-to-be-canceled ABC daytime dramas One Life to Live and All My Children online. Prospect Park just announcement the pacts with the four actors. (See statement below.)
Meanwhile, I hear that, after a two-week deliberation, All My Children star Susan Lucci has turned down Prospect Park’s offer to stay on the show. The offer was for a salary identical to what Lucci currently makes at ABC, but I’ve learned that she tried to gouge the producers for more money while also asking to work fewer hours and get a commitment for a primetime series. In light of that development, I hear that Prospect Park may reevaluate its short-term strategy for the two soaps and put its muscle behind the higher-rated OLTL, while moving AMC to the back burner. Prospect Park’s original plan was to re-launch both OLTL and AMC online in the first quarter of 2012. Lucci made headlines over the weekend with a leaked new epilogue to her book All My Life, in which she blasts ABC Daytime president Brian Frons over the series’ cancellation.
On OLTL, King plays Tomas Delgado, Easton portrays John McBain, DePaiva plays Blair Cramer and Slezak plays the matriarch of the Lord family Victoria Lord. Slezak has been on the show since 1971 and has won six Daytime Emmy awards for the role, an Emmy record. Here is Prospect Park’s statement on the quartet’s new deals:
Susan Lucci Blasts ABC Daytime Chief Over ‘All My Children’ Cancellation As She Has Yet To Commit To Continue On The Show
All My Children star Susan Lucci has some blistering parting words for ABC Daytime president Brian Frons as her soap ends its 41-year run on ABC this month. In a freshly written epilogue to the upcoming paperback edition of her memoir “All My Life” obtained by the New York Post, she blames the show’s cancellation squarely on “some very bad decisions by” Frons. Among them, according to Lucci, the 2008 hiring of Chuck Pratt as head writer, which led to “subpar” writing on the show (he was let go a year later), the 2009 relocation of the show from New York to Los Angeles, and the pushing out of AMC creator Agnes Nixon. “I watched Brian Frons’ decisions destroy the production of our show and the lives of people on both sides of the country,” she wrote, adding that he has “that fatal combination of ignorance and arrogance.” As for the soap’s cancellation to be replaced by a cheaper unscripted show, “an iconic show was losing out to greed,” Lucci wrote. “I cannot fathom any network executive choosing to alienate millions of loyal viewers in these economic times.” Frons recently told Deadline that the protests over the cancellation of All My Children and fellow ABC soap One Life to Live demonstrate that “we actually did a good job for all of these last 40 years. I …
EXCLUSIVE: She is a daytime institution and the most recognizable star from departing ABC soaps All My Children and One Life To Live. So it would be natural for Prospect Park, the company that recently forged a multi-year, multi-platform licensing agreement with Disney for the two daytime dramas, to reach out to Lucci first. I hear that has happened and Lucci has received an offer to continue on AMC, on which she has been since its inception in 1970 and is the only original cast member remaining. What’s more, I have learned that, despite speculations about potential salary cuts on the two shows as they migrate from broadcast TV to online, Lucci has been offered basically the same salary she currently has at ABC. She is currently mulling the offer. While there will probably be some budget trimming due to the medium switch, it looks like AMC and OLTL‘s’ new producers are stepping up to keep the shows’ biggest stars and fan favorites. AMC and OLTL are scheduled to relaunch online in the first quarter of 2012. Prospect Park is also in talks with cable networks about carving out a traditional TV window.
There will be more of All My Children‘s signature star Susan Lucci on the veteran soap before it fades out in September after 41 years. beginning May 12, Lucci, who has been playing Erica Kane since AMC debuted in 1970, will play dual roles on the series: Kane and her doppelganger Jane Campbell “who will wreak havoc in Erica’s life in every possible way.” On AMC, which was canceled last month, Kane through the years has won a fight with a grizzly bear, staged a prison break, and become a world famous super model, cosmetics mogul and talk show host.
Current and former stars of ABC’s All My Children and One Life To Live are mourning the demise of the long-running soaps. “It saddens me that All My Children is canceled,” the series’ signature star Susan Lucci tweeted. “I’ve loved playing Erica Kane and working with (creator) Agnes Nixon & the incredible people at AMC.”
“This is like losing a member of your family,” said Kelly Ripa who spent 12 years on the daytime drama where she also met her husband, AMC co-star Mark Consuelos. All My Children was more than a job.– it was my family. It was there that I met my husband; it was there when my first two children were born; it was there where I met many of my life-long friends. It was the greatest training ground ever. I feel heart sick.” Other famous AMC alums include Josh Duhamel, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Melissa Leo, Christian Slater and Amanda Seyfried.
In the past couple of years, three daytime dramas bit the dust: CBS’ The Guiding Light and As the World Turns and NBC’s Passions. Despite constant rumors, ABC has been the only network not to pare down its daytime soap lineup, currently running 3 series, General Hospital, One Life to Live and All My Children, as many as CBS and NBC combined. It tested the waters a couple of times, including piloting a potential Aisha Tyler daytime talk show 2 years ago.
Now ABC seems ready to join CBS and NBC in cutting the number of its daytime dramas. All My Children appears to be the most vulnerable for cancellation, and there is speculation that it may be replaced by a a talk show in the fall. All My Children, which is in its 41st year on the air, recently posted two weeks of back-to-back all-time lows in the key Women 18-49 demographic, in which it is dead last among the 6 daytime dramas on the air, drawing paltry 463,000 for the week of March 7, down 34% vs. last year. For the same week, All My Children was also last in total viewers, averaging 2.32 million. (ABC’s One Life to Live did only marginally better with 2.36 million.) One reason for ABC to keep its 3 daytime dramas on the air was the fact that they were getting a second window on sibling cable channel SOAPnet. But with SOAPnet changing …