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AMC's Rob Scott Wilson and Jill Larson On Episode Reduction, Faster Paced Storytelling, David & Pete's Dealings!

Courtesy/TOLN

Courtesy/TOLN

Jill Larson and Rob Scott Wilson are quickly becoming one of soaps favorite mother/son duos! When TOLN and Prospect Park resurrected All My Children, one of their first decisions was to SORAS the character of Opal and Palmer Cortlandt’s son, Pete.  Enter soap opera newbie Rob Scott Wilson, who has become the younger leading man of Pine Valley these days, while mom Opal worries about his burgeoning romance with Celia (Jordan Lane Price), and his business ventures! And Pete’s latest business dealing makes him and Dr. Evil, David Hayward (Vincent Irizarry) business partners, which if you know the history of AMC, makes this partnership a true doozy!

On-Air On-Soaps spoke with Rob and Jill today to find out their thoughts on: fan backlash to the news of Prospect Park dropping the weekly viewing schedule from four new episodes of AMC a week to two, how the upcoming hiatus may help future storytelling for the series, what they think of the faster pace of the episodes where so much action happens in story within a half-hour, and what they think of David and Pete getting entangled in business that can only lead to severe consequences.  Here is what they had to say:

Rob, you are on Twitter a lot.  Did you get bombarded with tweets and messages from fans expressing their doubt at the rationale for Prospect Park’s decision to reduce the number of weekly episodes? If so, what did you tell them? Or, what would you like to tell the naysayers now?

Photo Credit: Chapman Baehler

ROB:  You know what?   I don’t want people to be scared.  As soon as the announcement went out the reaction was, “So wait. Now it’s only two days a week?”  It’s a work in progress. Cady McClain, Jill Larson, and a number of people have expressed, “If we knew how to do it at the beginning, we would have done it at the beginning.” Even though it’s now a little bit scary that we are only on a few episodes a week, we are putting out a quality product and we don’t want to bombard the viewer.  Usually if you binge watch the show, after a few months, that is a huge amount of episodes to catch up on.  So we want to make sure we don’t forget about just the casual viewers, even though we have these hard core fans. We hope they are still going to watch the show whether it be Monday and Wednesdays, or whether it be Monday through Friday.

Being a soap opera newbie, where you were worried about the future of AMC?  Did you have an “oh-oh” moment yourself?

ROB:  It’s a business move. We are in that kind of business, and Prospect Park would not be doing this if it was going to hurt the show.  Obviously, I want to keep the fans calm, so they don’t think we are going anywhere, and obviously we are not.  We have a lot more stories to tell when we go back into production in a couple of months. At the same time, the first thing you think of is a negative thing.  But in this format, we are in an online network now.   If we knew how to do this at the beginning, we would have, and the fans would have been very thrilled that they had two episodes a week, and a recap show, and that the shows were coming back.

The thing of all this is, All My Children moves so fast now.  There is so much juicy story to digest within the half hours episodes.  So as AMC stands now, they are jam-packed with content!

ROB:  I am really glad you brought that, Michael. The main point of this is: each episode we have is so meaty in 30 minutes you can get pretty lost. So if you miss an episode, you may not know what is happening. We need to have the viewers not skip or miss episodes but follow it, rather then having to cram it in.  It can be daunting for someone who does not have the time to quickly get caught up and watch 30 episodes – a month’s worth of episodes. I think this is so much better.

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

JILL:  The pace is moving faster than the old AMC.  I think it’s a good thing.   It’s also one of the reasons I am really glad they are taking a break, because you can only churn out, and I use that word intentionally, that much story in a finite amount of time before the stories become like … throw anything at the wall and see if it sticks! That is what I think we are trying to avoid.  So this couple of month break gives them the chance that they did not have before we began, which is really have the opportunity to explore long-term story and character development.  We have to remember, this is still a medium unlike any other, in that there is time to do things.   It is great that it moves quickly, but don’t give up the real opportunity for real character development and emotional connections, all of the things that this art form is known for.

What did the two of you think when you saw in the script that Pete and David were going to become business partners, after all that David’s mother, Vanessa (Marj Dusay) did to Opal and her relationship to Palmer (James Mitchell), and Palmer’s money!

ROB:  I did so much research on this story! Let me tell you, I have had some people come at me. (Laughs) They take it so personally that Pete and David Hayward are going to start a business, that it’s insane.  As much as Peter need David in his business and his funds to get things going, it’s amazing to watch and see how snaky David is about everything, and that fine line makes it really fun to play.  We are both trying to get something from each other, and we both have ulterior motives.

Photo Credit: David Russell/TOLN

JILL:  My point exactly! Here is a great story. Wouldn’t it be great if the writers had time to write in that history?  Opal knows the history. Opal was a part of it.  Opal hated David’s mother, Vanessa Bennett .with a passion which is really unmatched. And yet, there is not a place on the canvas for Opal to say, “I want the company to succeed but not with him!”  And then she could be doing all kinds of things to get in the way of that.  So that is a beat that hasn’t had a chance to be played.  But hopefully, there will be some of that down the road!  We have got a lot more stories to tell though!

So AMC fans, now that you have read what Jill and Rob had to say about the issues and changes made to continue to build on the success of the shows, what do you think?

Do you think in the long run the two episodes per week, will help viewers stay on point and enable and assit the writing team to develop some additional  exciting long -term story that fans will enjoy?  What do you think of David and Peter’s story?  Share your thoughts!

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su0000
Guest
su0000

AMC is outstanding!!
Whatever needs to be done to keep my soaps alive and outrageously awesome with great stories, I will watch them forever, eveyone of the 2 days and wait for more..

I am relieved to hear the words ”quality’ not quanity” that will make our soaps so much more then we have ever had..

charlene
Guest
charlene

no i am not happy bout this and never will be i want my 4 days a week back

Kayla
Guest
Kayla

Weoll for the time being does not appear that is what is best for the show, the actors etc!!! I love that it is even still on no matter how many times it airs

JosiahCooney
Guest
JosiahCooney

Since the first week, I have marveled at the faster pace of both All My Children and One Life To Live. When that crap network cancelled both shows, I contemplated whether or not the soap medium was no longer relevant to today’s society. I decided that one major failing of soaps is the fact that the pace of story telling had not evolved with our shorter attention spans. I have to give it to Prospect Park/The Online Network for taking such a huge gamble and working to redefine how a soap is told. I worried how the writers could possibly… Read more »

Tori
Guest
Tori

I look forward to having All my children and One life to live as much as I can for many years to come. I personally did not have a problem with the four days a week format but if the two days a week keeps the shows running then I will accept it. I am curious to see where David is headed with a partnership with Petey. its kind of funny how most of the town reacts to David considering most of them over the years have done some dirty, nasty schemes themselves.

Kathy A
Guest
Kathy A

I think I am growing weary of PP. They have gone soooooooo far off course of what was originally promised to the fans of these soaps. I am one of the biggest fans of AMC ever. However, I am no longer the demographic they are wanting. I watched the two episodes this week and Monday’s episodes was all about AJ , Miranda, Pete, Celia, and Cassandra. The whole show is and will continue to be wrapped around the children. Thus the name All My Children. These story lines will not keep the original fans happy. I am not going to… Read more »

ron
Guest
ron

The vets get just as much airtime as the newbies. AMC has always done stories with young people. A lot of the legacy characters started as teenagers. Too bad you’re too closed minded to give these talented young actors a chance. And by the way Y&R has a lot of teens now too so good luck.

Kathy A
Guest
Kathy A

I have spent three weeks giving them a try. I actually like Petey, Celia and Cassandra. I just feel like the vets are now the supporting actors and the new young actors are the stars of the show. I am happy that the vets have a job now. I truly hope the shows make it. I will check back from time to time. We need to respect everyone’s opinion. I am who I am and you are who you are. I respect your opinion and you should respect mine. I do not plan on posting anymore so that should make… Read more »

Mitchell1660
Guest
Mitchell1660

I agree with you, Ron. Although I love the vets on the show, AMC has, historically, been about the children, from the very beginning. Yes, storylines about Joe and Ruth were interesting, but what got me into AMC when I was a kid were the youth-oriented storylines involving Tara Martin, Phil Brent, Chuck Tyler and, of course, Erica Kane (who was in high school when the show started). We’ve seen those kids grow up into adults with storylines revolving around THEIR children. I think it’s great, and with the summer coming up, I hope the youthful storyline will generate younger… Read more »

Kat
Guest
Kat

I started watching ANC during the early Tad/Jenny/Greg /Jessie/Angie storylines. Of course, I was a lot younger then, too! But I believe we have to give these new young characters time to evolve. I would like to see more of the legacy characters come back, though . As for the fewer episodes, I was annoyed at first but realize that the writers need more time. There has been an unevenness in the writing and continuity that will likely be smoothed out with the new schedule. The return of Billy Clyde Tuggle, for example, has even handled very clumsily. Probably better… Read more »

Kayla
Guest
Kayla

And each of the young people on AMC is in some way related to the veteran characters, That gives the younger characters a sense of family and a support person. With only the longtime fan base and no younger characters how would you see the show being on for many more years?

Kathy A
Guest
Kathy A

Young characters should be on. I am not saying that they shouldn’t. I am saying that I don’t want to watch them all the time. I want some story lines that only involve the vets. PP is going to do what they need to do to make these soaps profitable. I am accepting that these soaps are going to be youth oriented but why am I suppose to watch something that I find uninteresting. Sorry, but my time is important to me. Downton Abbey is a smash hit and it does not have teens. Dallas is also youth oriented but… Read more »

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

Tired of reading things about All my children and One Life to Live. Enough already!

Mitchell1660
Guest
Mitchell1660

Uhh, isn’t this website devoted to SOAPS, including AMC and OLTL???

Kat
Guest
Kat

Uh…then don’t read this board??

Scott
Guest
Scott

You don’t have to read about them!
NEVER enough.

Susan
Guest
Susan

First off, I started watching AMC from day 1 (as a child), when it was only 30 minutes long. So we have come full circle. Secondly, we were devastated when ABC myopically cancelled it. To this day, we do not watch ANY ABC daytime and most of their nighttime programming. When we heard that the PP deal was moving forward, we were thrilled! Here in Canada, we ordered FXCanada when they announced they would be the only network showing All My Children, daily. We were beyond thrilled. After 3 weeks they pulled it from their schedule because of the decrease… Read more »

heidi
Guest
heidi

I have only started to watch AMC since the reboot after not watching it for many years. I have to say that the actors and characters of Pete and Celia are two of the most compeling new comers on AMC. I always love the characters with careers and businesses and Pete is doing well with that. I like the chemistry between the tow and like the mystery in Celia’s life. Both Rob and Jill’s interview with you was great! I am trying to keep watching and will wait to see if the new writing teams do better. Rob is going… Read more »

Linda
Guest
Linda

I have to say that the cutback in the number of episodes already is disappointing. It was only 25 minutes in length for 4 days a week which was already like 2 hour long episodes. I had settled into watching with my morning coffee and very much enjoyed the new routine. But quickly after establishing the routine, it has been upset. I think it will be more likely to skip episodes since it will not be part of a routine. I have been so excited and thoroughly enjoying reuniting with beloved characters as well as meeting new ones. This does… Read more »

Ihatethechew
Guest
Ihatethechew

First, let me say that I love and will continue to watch both shows. That said, if the shows thrive it will be in spite of, rather than because of moves such as this. PP shows that it has no idea of what it’s doing with every move it has made since it’s first attempt to re-launch the shows. To totally change course in 2 weeks shows that something bad was happening that either couldn’t wait a few months to be changed or was just their own shortsightedness. If the Hulu ratings were so good, why did they need to… Read more »

Samiyo
Guest
Samiyo

I will CONTINUE to SUPPORT both AMC and OLTL. I am HOOKED and I just have to find out how Jesse and Angie will rescue Cassandra. Such, a heavy storyline. that keeps my heart racing… And over at OLTL I am curious to know what Clint is up to and what plans does he have for Viki? Todd and Victor Jr. What will become of these twins? etc. ……..STAY TUNED!!

BradF
Guest
BradF

I feel guilty about my kneejerk reaction when PP switched to two episodes a week. I thought the whole argument about people being able to follow the faster pace of AMC online was pretty specious. I am much more convinced by the points Jill and Rob make in this interview about giving the production team time to write clearer stories and deepen character development. I hope things will progress to a point where we CAN watch more than two episodes a week, but that’s just the wish of a selfish viewer. I also am completely willing to watch the escapades… Read more »

charlene
Guest
charlene

i want my 4 days back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BradF
Guest
BradF

I have to say I agree with you, Charlene! It’s hard to sustain the same interest with only two days. Maybe I’ve gotten too much into binge viewing of series, but I want to see more story each week. Alas, with this new hiatus, that’s not in the cards for us. 🙁

ellabelle
Guest
ellabelle

I love the idea of Pete and David going into business together! Opal is going to lose her mind over that! Here’s hoping she picks up the phone and calls her ‘best gal pal’ Erica to come help Pete. I’d love to see Erica and David sparring again! Plus I’m dying to see Erica interact with Miranda!

Maureen
Guest
Maureen

I hate that we only get 2 days now.. I looked forward to this, I’ve missed AMC and bringing it back 2x a week is better than nothing but I guess you aren’t making a profit at 4 days, so 2 days it is. Its your company, I have to respect that.

charlene
Guest
charlene

i want my 4 days back !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All My Children

WATCH: Kelly Ripa’s Walk Down Memory Lane with the Stars of All My Children & More On Her 30th Anniversary with Walt Disney Company

Today on Live with Kelly and Ryan, the morning show spotlighted Kelly Ripa’s 30-year career with ABC and the Walt Disney Company; which started back in 1990 when she took Pine Valley and All My Children by storm in the role of troubled teen, Hayley Vaughan.

On this special look-back episode of the syndicated talks show many guests from Kelly’s past and present career paid tribute to her accomplishments and remembered their time working with the talented actress and host.

From All My Children, Susan Lucci took part in the special anniversary and group virtual conversation with Ripa along with Eva LaRue, Walt Willey, Ripa’s husband, Mark Consuelos, Cameron Mathison, Finola Hughes and Dondre T Whitfield   Then, Ripa’s former Hope & Faith co-star Faith Ford was part of the festivities.

There were several special moments throughout the episode and you can watch some of them below.   Kelly made her ABC debut on this date, November 5th, 1990!

So, check out the anniversary celebration for Kelly below, and then share your well-wishes and congrats to her via the comment section.

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All My Children

Kelly Ripa to Celebrate 30 Years at Walt Disney Company With Former Co-Stars of All My Children

Soap fans can say they knew her when, and tomorrow on the Thursday, November 5th episode of the syndicated talker Live with Kelly and Ryan, Kelly Ripa, celebrates her 30th anniversary with the Walt Disney Company and ABC.

Ripa started her journey as Hayley Vaughan on All My Children, a role she made her debut with back in 1990.

Joining Kelly for her anniversary with the company and network are former AMC castmates: Finola Hughes (ex-Alex/Anna), Eva La Rue (ex-Maria), Susan Lucci (ex-Erica), Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan), Dondré T. Whitfield (ex-Terrence) and Walt Willey (ex-Jackson).

Kelly stayed with All My Children until 2002, and along the way met her husband, Mark Consuelos who played Mateo on the show.

In 2001, Ripa replaced Kathie Lee Gifford as co-host of what then became Live with Regis and Kelly.  She also appeared on the sitcom Hope & Faith with Faith Ford from 2003-2006.  Ford will also participate in tomorrow’s special episode.

Check local listings in your area to watch Ripa’s anniversary celebration.

Share your favorite moment of Kelly as Pine Valley’s Hayley, or any other moment you loved in her television career via the comment section below.

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All My Children

All My Children Alum Ben Jörgensen Reportedly Dead At 51

According to his former All My Children castmate, Brian Gaskill. there is sad news in the soap world today.  Ben Jörgensen who played Kevin on All My Children and Chris on As the World Turns passed away on Tuesday at the age of 51, apparently via suicide, although unconfirmed as to his cause of death.

Gaskill, who played Bobby Warner while in Pine Valley shared via his Instagram:  “Sad news to report. Ben Jörgensen who played Kevin Sheffield on All My Children has past away at 51 years old.  My understanding is it was suicide.  I have heard he suffered from Bipolar disorder but as I have not spoke to him in years I do not know all the details. I just want to remember the good times we had on the set of All My Children 24 years ago. He was a good guy and had the courage to play a gay teenager on tv back when it was nowhere near as common to have representation as it is today. He was part of an award winning storyline…but mostly we just had some good times back then…my condolences go out to his friends and family. Please everybody hang in there and reach out for help if you need it. ”

Since the time of Brian’s posting, friends, colleagues and fans have been posting tributes and condolences on the actor’s Facebook page.  You can view that here.

 

In this heartbreaking photo below from Steven Bergman, during his time on As the World Turns, Ben is pictured with the late Nathaniel Marston, as well as Jaime Nicole Dudney and Terri Conn.

Photo: StevenBergman

On All My Children, Ben was part of the important social issue storyline brought into the ABC legacy soap opera by the iconic Agnes Nixon, who was always trying to move the needle forward in daytime, as the character of Kevin was a gay high school student facing bullying, ridicule and discrimination for his sexuality.

Share your thoughts on the passing of Ben via the comment section below.    

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Sad news to report. Ben Jorgensen who played Kevin Sheffield on All My Children has past away at 51 years old. My understanding is it was suicide. I have heard he suffered from Bipolar disorder but as I have not spoke to him in years I do not know all the details. I just want to remember the good times we had on the set of All My Children 24 years ago. He was a good guy and had the courage to play a gay teenager on tv back when it was nowhere near as common to have representation as it is today. He was part of an award winning storyline…but mostly we just had some good times back then…my condolences go out to his friends and family. Please everybody hang in there and reach out for help if you need it. #Actor #Filmmaker #BenJorgensen #BenMonk #Life#Death#AllMyChildren #Suicide #sad #rest

A post shared by Brian Gaskill (@briangaskill) on

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