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AMC's Jill Larson on What Went Wrong with the Actors Contract Talks with Prospect Park!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

All My Children’s Jill Larson (Opal) spoke with Soap Opera Digest in the new issue on newsstands now about the dissolution of the contract talks between the actors of All My Children and One Life to Live along their union AFTRA, and Prospect Park, the company that was to bring the two soaps to the Internet, especially One Life,  shortly after they aired their last episodes on network television.

Larson detailed that after a few contract go rounds, and Prospect Park coming back to the actors offering them a New Media contract, with different lawyers representing them,  the Union wanted to make sure the actors were protected. Eventually, talks petered out.

Jill revealed: “Things came to a head around the holidays.  When the new attorneys, the new representation came in, they were sort of pressuring us.  We had to call an emergency meeting two days before Christmas.  They were still trying to push it through, one way or the another for One Life.  So we all gathered together a conference call with people from the two shows, and that was when they put forth the new media contract, which is really a very temporary contract that’s cobbled together, mostly for people who want to do these independent webisodes and stuff like that – you know, pay no money up front and $ 50 an episode, if it goes anywhere, that kind of a thing.

This was kind of an insult, really, but we addressed it as sincerely as we could and were told that the reason that we had to have an answer back to them within three days is that their option on the shows ran out on January 1.  So we did one round back and forth with them and they never got back to us and we all kind of knew,  “Well, they’re not going to make it.”

What a frustrating story for the actors, who were trying to make this new production model work, for the legacy of the these two legendary ABC soaps, and for the fans.

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angela
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angela

I think the whole thing was planned from way start. ABC cancelled the shows, saw the heat they were getting from the fans (which they probably never anticipated) when they saw how outraged the fans were they dreamed up the PP story. Think about it these guys buy the rights to 2 shows and they have no money, no backing but these 2 shows need $40,000,000.00 a year to produce! (and that’s low balling it from what I’ve read). So the fans are “somewhat” happy definately hopefull, but still pissed at abc. So abc then makes an announcement that Frons… Read more »

Julie Gold Phillips
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Julie Gold Phillips

EXACTLY …WE were manipulated and “handled” at every step . PP needed some start up money and Buzz, and ABC gave them both.

Now I treat ABC the same way they treated me.. like dirt !

Tony M
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Tony M

Totally agree. ABC just wanted to shut the fans up and give some false hope and someone else to blame besides themselves. I think we should scream even louder and let ABC know we are not happy with our soaps gone!

Trapper
Guest
Trapper

Thanks for the article, Michael! It sounds even more as if PP was never really serious about showing either show, and that this was just posturing to deflect the fans wrath at ABC/Disney.

Debbie
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Debbie

Trapper, I so agree with your comment.

barbara t
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barbara t

I was so happy that PP was going to move the soaps to the net but I never forgave abc/disney for cancelling them and everyday I called, e mailed, and signed petitions I still do ,I wanted my soaps to stay on t v.So I never gave up on my quest to fight abc/disney ,after what they have done to the soaps.If general hospital gets canceled I will never for any reason watch anything there network has to show, Im through, the way abc/disney treated the soap fans even to this day with lies ,head games ,the game they are… Read more »

Jen
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Jen

It’s shameful the way these actors and crew were treated. What did PP think, they would just give away their craft for free so they (PP) could make money on a new experiment? Just like ABC, they lied and lied, right up until the end. Instead of a formal notification the day before T-giving, which is what the actors and crew deserved, they got a “clean out your dressing room by the end of the day.” Nice.

Jon Jensen
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Jon Jensen

Ok so PP lost their option on One Life to Live? ABC once again has the rights? Why don’t they sell the rights to AN or to others who were supp interested. I understand abc must know they made a huge mistake with OLTL and would not want someone to air it as competition. There must be a way before it is too late.

terri k
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terri k

i agree, all about money and greed. i hate to think our beloved shows are gone; it looks abcd and pp just wont let go. even at the risk of losing many devoted fans.

Julie
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Julie

ABC has ALWAYS been involved. PP was made up of former ABC people and in my mind PP is just the facade put up to deflect the fans and the ultimate plans of ABC not even considering to listen to us.

kim
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kim

i agrree 100%… i bet abc/disney paid PP to say they were doing this and never planned to.

barbara t
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barbara t

agnus nixon should not have to buy what she created,but even if she did want to buy them back those bastards at the rat channel wont do it because they dont want all my children and one life to live to be successful on any other network unless they get more money,abc/disney cares for the almighty dollar more than having descent programming and there disposal of the soaps prove that,and I believe that p p was a plant to keep the soap fans less quite about the cancellations,but It didnt work and shame on abc/disney for being low life scum… Read more »

Diane
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Diane

Barbara, I agree with you 100%. I now hate ABC, I really do. I’ve been boycotting them (except for GH) since May,2011. I’ve missed a couple of shows I really like but I don’t care. I want my soaps back. I’ve been watching them since almost the beginning and they are good television, not like these stupid reality shows. I really believe that ABC is dangling strings and we’re the puppets. I can live without ABC and the stupid mouse and long as need be. Hope you can too.

Heather
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Heather

I’m not a fan of ABC or PP, but if Agnes Nixon wanted the rights to her shows, yes she SHOULD have to buy them, as they don’t belong to her. She SOLD her ideas to ABC decades ago, as creators usually do. It’s the way the industry works. Please get real.

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

Heather I agree with you that Agnes should have to buy them back. Most of us realize they will not be ‘given’ to anyone. But ABC/D has not offered to sell them, they would rather no one have the rights than to see it go back to Agnes and prove them wrong.

Jewell
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Jewell

I wonder if Prospect was in on it with ABC? I feel sorry for the actors and the fans.. I wouldn’t be so bitter about it if they handled it better.. They made the actors move to LA and everything thinking the show was going to last a few years. Not once has ABC said thank you to the fans for the years of support.

holly
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holly

I would not be surprised to find out that “Prospect Park” is acutally a second phone line at the desk of Anne Sweeney and what’s his face head of Disney personal assistants. The whole Prospect Park thing smelled like a rat from day one. ABC/Disney was feeling the heat from the soap fans, so in order to get us off their back and out of their faces, they invented Prospect Park, made it look like the soaps were saved. A lot of us backed off. I know I did. I am guilty of drinking the Prospect Park KoolAid. Then at… Read more »

angela
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angela

BRING BACK OUR SOAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sheryl
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Sheryl

Thanks for the article that is really terrible to treat such talented actors like that and crew. How does that old saying go what comes around goes around, now they deserve what they are getting and maybe someone will wake up and put our soaps back a do the right thing for everyone .

Debbie Hamilton
Guest
Debbie Hamilton

Well Jill & All I take it like this; ABC and Disney and Prospect Park and whoever the powers that be are have had it in their pipes all along to cancel out our soaps. We never had a snow balls chance in hell of ever reaching an aggreement to where our shows would be continuing. All the emailing, calling and addressing these higher ups was a total lost cause and a waste of time.. I for one am cancelling my ABC programming off of my sattillite programming package along with all Disney programing. I am not watching any shows… Read more »

Linda
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Linda

Debbie I totally agree with you. In fact I do not need to respond to this article at all because you said it all and with perfection. I miss OLTL so much. The characters became family and I am still mourning them. Star and Todd seem out of place in Port Charles. I dvr GH because I can then scan through all the Sonny/Jason crap. But it is bye bye abc/d once GH goes away.

Marcia
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Marcia

I hear you on missing OLTL. What OLTL stars have moved to GH seem out of place; with the heavy focus on crime and violence on that show, the heart and humor and drama that OLTL had just doesn’t seem to have a place in GH alias Sonny mob land. They’d need somebody like Viki and Clint Buchanan to move into town, build an empire there, add some new backbone to Port Charles, take the focus off the boring mob stuff. With some strong, backbone forces like them, a new feel could be given to GH, which is much needed.… Read more »

Edna Barefoot
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Edna Barefoot

I am so angry with ABC. They tried to blame everything on Prospect Park whenthey have the rights. We fans know ABC could put OLTL back on. They would be ashamed to admit they were wrong. That’s why they don’t. Well, suck it up and put OLTL back on and everything will go back to normal. If not we will continue to BOYCOTT ABC. Mr. Walt Disney would never have allowed them to hurt the fans like this. He is turning over in his grave. Grow up Mr. Iger & Ms. Sweeney. Act like adults & at least talk to… Read more »

Michellesnj
Guest
Michellesnj

I negotiate contracts for a living and something smells really fishy here. I’ve never heard of an interested party agreeing to negotiate for one round and then suddenly just stop negotiating UNLESS #1 they received a better offer elsewhere or #2 had ulterior motives for even entering the contract negotiation to begin with. VERY obvious that PP never intended to negotiate. Pretty apparent that PP was used as a stall tactic to temporily pacify the public outcry against the cancellations of OLTL and AMC. ABC/PP dragged out the “negotiation” JUST long enough to get The Revolution and The Chew up… Read more »

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

it smells alright,I dont know anything about contracts other then they can be broken.and PP was put in place to keep us soap fans quiet ,It didnt work for me because I have been boycotting abc/disney since all my children went off the air ,when that happened I only watched one life to live and general hospital now I am down to one soap and I hope this isnt the end of our stories from port charles,but like you I dont trust abc/disney and something does stink, they know what there doing and they know right now whether they are… Read more »

Christy
Guest
Christy

i’m no legaleze… but people have been brought to court, sued for much less – I want to know why no one has brought legal action to PP or any ABC-Duhs involved! maybe get ABC-duh to give the rights for the shows to someone who does care about the actors, crew and fans!

Keith
Guest
Keith

You are right, people have been sued for less, but there has to be demonstrable damages. In this case there are two possibilities. The Disney shareholders may have a case of lost income for ABC not selling or licensing AMC/OLTL, one time valued at $200 mil, to a company like Sony. ABC is already in financial trouble. And a class action suit under the Federal Communications Act which charges broadcasters to act “in the public interest.” Either action needs an expert attorney, know anyone?

MBmomof3
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MBmomof3

Totally agree with you that PP was b.s. from the get go. Still boycotting abc/d.

Yoyo
Guest
Yoyo

EPIC FAIL from the very beginning!

Pam Anderson
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Pam Anderson

I hate ABC/D how can a network choose to fall in the nielson ratings they are at or close to the bottom almost every day they use to be a network leading the pack. The only show that I will watch on ABC is GH if they cancel GH than ABC will never be on my tv again. ABC needs to let the 2 soaps go so they may find another home.

Nancy Wizner
Guest
Nancy Wizner

I still say it was all a big fat plan on behalf of ABC to stall out the fans. Best words for it? “Dirty Play!” I never felt comfortable anymore about PP from the day I learned that these two guys (whatever their names are) were once employed by ABC. Once? Come on! They were probably ALWAYS employed by ABC! Sorry ~ no more ABC on my TV. Not ever again, and I don’t miss it one bit! On to bigger and better things. My new favorite will be Dallas beginning on Wednesday, June 13th at 9 p.m. Oh and… Read more »

Flo DiBona
Guest
Flo DiBona

Thank you so much for this interview, Michael! Jill is one class act! What I found very interesting about this interview was Prospect Park telling the actors they would lose their option to the shows on Jan 1st. Is this the truth or another Prospect Park blatant lie they told the casts? The bottom line is Prospect Park acted with zero respect for anybody or anything to do with these shows. Prospect Park’s business acumen looks like a page out of the Keystone Cops playbook. This company will go down in well-deserved flames and I for one will be sitting… Read more »

Debbie Hamilton
Guest
Debbie Hamilton

I have read that Agnes Nixon gets the rights back in Sept if PP has not found a way to have
our soaps put back in production. Now I am wondering if then our shows will start up again.
All we can do at this point is hope and pray…

Christy
Guest
Christy

would be nice to know there was a timeline built in somewhere that the rights go back to Ms. Nixon… tho I think it would be a while before she could get shows back into production, first she’d have to find a different network!

Heather
Guest
Heather

I’m skeptical about this story Debbie. ABC still owns the soaps and only leased them to Prospect Park for one year.

Never did I read anywhere or heard anything about Agnes Nixon getting the rights back should PP fails to bring the soaps back.

David
Guest
David

Agnes Nixon never had the rights to either show. When she sold the ideas to ABC, ABC became the owner. ABC still technically owns the soaps. They were leased to Prospect Park for one year.

ethel
Guest
ethel

when disney bought abc their main goal was to get rid of all three of the daytime soaps – it was the agenda from the beginning and they have just about finished what they started……….

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

I wonder how much money abc/disney paid pp to keep the games going ,I was suspicious a few months into the con game,there werent that many soap stars signing on ,but most of all we heard nothing from pp if they were really into it why didnt they talk straight to the fans ?they didnt because it was all lies and abc/disney knew it and they broke our hearts not once but twice,and not once did abc/disney say anything ,thats because they are cowards and they are all RATS that work for a network that use to be grand but… Read more »

del amendola
Guest
del amendola

J.R.EWING would b proud as PP is a dummy corporation 4 ABC.

MistyV76
Guest
MistyV76

When ABC/D gets rid of the whole soap genre and their ratings tank they will be begging actors to come back and do the shows. If they don’t have ratings, the sponsers will drop them. No sponsers, no money and that means they will have to come up with something else to provide revenue. We soap fans are banded together and if you think that ratings on ABC are bad now, just wait. PP was and is a joke, trying to bargain great actors and actresses with $50 an episode? That was a slap in the face and the biggest… Read more »

Rosemary Kimmel Waldron
Guest
Rosemary Kimmel Waldron

Mr. Fairman, thank-you for making us aware of this interview with Jill Larson, in “Soap Opera Digest.” What she had to say about PPark from her perspective, certainly didn’t sound like they made the actors a fair offer, even if it was a “real” offer. And after reading many of the comments here one wonders if it was all “smoke & mirrors.” If so, that is very discouraging. But, I do not think all the hard work & time that many of the soapfans have put into the cause & CONTINUE to put into the cause is never a waste… Read more »

Cathy
Guest
Cathy

It is beyond ridiculous that ABC is wanting to become an all talk show network during daytime. Prospect Park is a joke as well as ABC/D – we need to put more pressure for them to sell back to Agnes Nixon so another netwok can take over. There has to be a way to force ABC to give it up already!!! This is ridiculous.

Soaps Support
Guest
Soaps Support

We can get All My Children & One Life To Live back on the air. It’s going to take us as fans to do it! These actors came into our hearts and homes everyday. We have an idea for putting both shows back on the air but, we need supporters/fans help. If you are interested, contact us and become a friend on our facebook page, if you want to take part on getting both soaps back on the air. Add friends to our page and help support AMC & OLTL, and let start working together on airing our 2 favorite… Read more »

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Thank you for the article. I adore Jill, met her twice. She’s a straight shooter from my aquaintance I remember. I’m inclined to believe she is telling exactly what happened. No further comment. Tired of going through the same subjects over and again. Thank you for the article, Thanks Jill for further perspective.

shana
Guest
shana

Short and sweet I believe the Media & TPTB weren’t aware of how large a fan base the shows HAVE and how we rally!

Johanna
Guest
Johanna

I think originally, PP had honest intentions. ABC on the otherhand, Knew PP would run into issues thats y they leased to them instead a production company that was established and could profit. In the end (out the mouth of an actor) PP wanted actors to drop union & work for peanuts while they rake in the $ hand over fist airing shows on cable. In the end its all about greed and screw the people.

Karen
Guest
Karen

ABC was playing games with us from day one. I remember early on someone saying that ABC was going to feed us some malarky to keep our mouths shut. That is exactly what they pullled. They had no intention of saving the soaps in any capacity. I truly believe they duped us and have every intention of getting rid of General Hospital when the time comes. The best thing the fans can do is continue their boycott of ABC and Disney. We have already hit them hard in the pocketbook with the tanking of “The Revolution”, and other programs coming… Read more »

Rena
Guest
Rena

I want ABC to bring All My Children back!

lynn
Guest
lynn

I am so sick of ABC shows. I have watched AMC,OLTL, AND GH ever since I was in jr high after school with my aunt. I grew up loving these actors! They are so much better, So much more talented than these awful, replacement shows. I cant even stand to see commercials for “the spew” or “revulsion” ugh!! Now you cant watch GH without seeing the nauseating commercials for gcb and the b in apt whatever!! What is up with the b word and disney?? I’m sick of these annoying, crappy shows. Soaps were like diamonds, this stuff–dirt. Oh yeah,… Read more »

Tristan
Guest
Tristan

I think PP and ABC treated the cast and crew horribly. ABC tried to save face with PP; PP tried tos ay they were doing all they can and then blaming Susan Lucci for AMC’s failure – the actors were wondering why PP didn’t meet with Lucci personally and why they weren’t talking to Lucci seriously – they didn’t continue negotiating. Now it is rumoured or more than rumoured that ABC is thinking of picking up a night time soap called Devious maids and guess who they cast – Susan Lucci. I think she was to be just a co… Read more »

All My Children

Rebecca Budig in Cast of CBS Holiday Movie ‘Fit For Christmas’

Daytime favorite Rebecca Budig (ex-Greenlee, AMC, and ex-Hayden, GH) will be seen in the upcoming CBS holiday movie, Fit For Christmas.

The movie also stars The Talk’s Amanda Kloots and she also serves as one of the executive producers and also co-wrote the project.  Budig joins Kloots along with When Calls the Heart favorite, Paul Greene in the holiday charmer.

In story, Fit For Christmas tells “the tale of Audrey, an enthusiastic Christmas-obsessed fitness instructor at a beloved, financially beleaguered community center in quaint Mistletoe, Mont., who begins a holiday romance with a charming, mysterious businessman, complicating his plans to turn the center into a more financially profitable resort property.”

Fit for Christmas is slated to premiere on Sunday, December 4th (8:30 ET/8 PT).

So, will you be watching Rebecca, Amanda and Paul in the holiday film? Do you somehow wish GH could bring back Budig as Hayden? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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All My Children

Kelly Ripa Talks On Her New Memoir ‘Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories’

Talk show host and All My Children alum, Kelly Ripa (ex-Hayley) is opening up about her life and times in her highly-anticipated memoir available now, Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories.

Ripa chatted exclusively with PEOPLE who got some of intel and dish on what’s included in the book.

Kelly told PEOPLE, when she landed the gig as the new co-host of Live with Regis and Kelly, with the late Regis Philbin back in 2001, she felt like she was “getting shot out of a cannon.”  Ripa was also appearing on All My Children at the same time.

She tells the story of when her agent called with the offer, Ripa was told: “They want you to know who your boss is. It was very ominous, and it did not feel good.”  Her agent also said the show didn’t want her, “bringing an entourage.” She brought two people. “I came with hair and makeup,” Kelly says. “It was not an unusual thing for people on a television show to show up with.”

She added that Regis greeted her with executive producer, Michael Gelman, saying: “Uh-oh, Gelman, it’s got an entourage.” It?!  Kelly expressed that she “felt horrible.  He was probably trying to be funny, but at the same time it felt like a pile-on.”

As for Philbin’s attitude at the time, Kelly shared, “I understand that probably he didn’t want a co-host, but the network wanted me to be the co-host and I didn’t think I should pass up that opportunity. I don’t think it was fair to him. But it was also not fair to me.”

Photo: JPI

The actress-talk show host-producer also talked on her marriage to Mark Consuelos (ex-Mateo), whom she met while both were on All My Children, sharing that they were, “too young to get married! On paper it should not have worked and when it didn’t work, we really worked at it. We fought for our marriage when it would have been easier to quit and throw in the towel.”

According to the book publisher, HarperCollins:  “In ‘Live Wire’, her first book, Kelly shows what really makes her tick. Whether recounting how she and Mark (Consuelos) really met, the level of chauvinism she experienced on set, how Jersey Pride follows her wherever she goes, and many, many moments of utter mortification (whence she proves that you cannot, in fact, die of embarrassment) Kelly always tells it like it is. Ms. Ripa takes no prisoners.”

So, will you be ordering your copy of Kelly’s memoir? Let us know in the comment section below.

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All My Children

Eva LaRue’s Stalker Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison

In a harrowing situation spanning 12 years, a man who threatened former All My Children, Santa Barbara, and Y&R favorite, Eva LaRue (ex-Maria, ex- Margot, ex-Celeste) and her daughter, Kaya was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

James David Rogers, 58, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt for over a decade of threatening letters and phone calls about torture, rape and death to LaRue and her daughter.

Rogers had pleaded guilty in April to two counts of mailing threatening communications, one count of threats by interstate communications and two counts of stalking.  According to court documents, all of this began in March 2007 until Rogers eventually was arrested in November 2019.  At the beginning of his stalking spree, LaRue’s daughter, Kaya was only five-years-old.

According to Deadline, Eva gave a “tearful victim impact statement, telling the judge in L.A. federal court that she has undergone therapy since the harassment began in order to deal with feelings of fear and paranoia.”  She added, “We didn’t know if he would show up on our doorstep. We will think about him for a lifetime. The fear is with me forever.”

Photo: JPI

The judge has ordered Rogers to self surrender on October 12th to begin his sentence at a federal prison in Ohio.

Eva won a Daytime Emmy back in 2020 for her guest star turn on The Young and the Restless, and is best-known to primetime viewers for her role in CSI: Miami.

Share your thoughts on Eva and Kaya’s heartbreaking real-life experience via the comment section below.

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