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All My Children

Details On Prospect Park Network Bankruptcy Filing: Guilds, Erika Slezak Among Those Owed!

Courtesy/TOLN

Courtesy/TOLN

More details emerged today on Prospect Park Networks bankruptcy protection filing which cites several personnel and entities that the production company’s  digital division, which produced the online revivals of One Life to Live and All My Children, owes monies to as part of their chapter 11 filing with the federal bankruptcy court of Delaware.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, chief among those listed: “$86,000 to the Screen Actors Guild and about $50,000 to the Directors Guild.”   In addition, Prospect Park Networks owes it series star, Erika Slezak (Viki) of One Life to Live $205,000, and also owes ABC $1.7 million dollars.   Today, Soap Opera Digest is reporting additionally that Tuc Watkins (David) of One Life to Live is also owed $60,000 and that $565,000 is owed to NEP Broadcasting teleproduction services.

What do you think of the latest details on Prospect Park Networks financial situation in trying to bring back One Life to Live and All My Children from the dead after they were canceled by ABC?  Weigh-in!

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Mark
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Mark

After what they did to my beloved OLTL – they owe me!

Dinah
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Dinah

Mark OLTL is gone, Get over it. Time to move on.

Mark
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Mark

Ha ha Dinah. Very funny.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
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jimh(leave it to beaver)

Dinah, Mark has a funny but even serious response…how can you get over it if the subject comes up and we as fans are asked to responed to it? Mark is responding to what we all had to put up with PP and what theyve done with our two once great soaps!!!

gslam
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gslam

Perfect response! Thanks, Mark.

Dee Dzz
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Dee Dzz

LOL! I agree, the stress and the lost of my time searching for everything needed for 6 weeks of torcher. Making me go out and upgrade my equipment to go online, via new television, new DVD and added channels and monthly fees. Now I don’t even use Hula!

Don Hewitt
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Don Hewitt

I had to fight with HULU PLUS to get it cancelled. It took a couple of months, but I finally got it done. I wasn’t using it any more after the PP fiasco.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
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jimh(leave it to beaver)

Me too…lol

su0000
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su0000

HuLu is FREE .. if people paid for the Plus that was their choice 🙂 lol

Lew S.
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Lew S.

I totally agree!!!

rebecca1
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rebecca1

hahahha!

davlestev1
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davlestev1

AND A PRETTY PENNY AT THAT…THOSE BUNGLING STOOGES….ARGHHHH!!!

Robert
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Robert

I am disgusted with the mess they made of the situation! Naysayers predicted this mess. I along with many diehard fans purchase the episodes as well as watch them on the O network in the hopes this will help in making the return of two great shows a success. I like to know what were they thinking? I know in the corporate world, many people believe you need to take big risks for big payoffs but they were messing with the hopes of millions in taking on a project they were not financially prepared for.

Jo
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Jo

When Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz said, We are committed to these shows, it sounded familiar. It sounded like, If you like your health insurance you can keep it. (and you can keep your doctor too). Or, I never had sexual relations with that woman.

Can’t ya just smell the hypocrisy. LOL 😉

lipstickcat
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lipstickcat

True, true, true! I’m tired of all the lies & the liars never have to pay ! No justice !

Lorenzo
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Lorenzo

This is a huge mess. Erika and Tuc should have known better, not to sign with prospect park. I would have asked , the money up front. They were desperate for work. I hope they learn their lesson.

Mo
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Mo

Your compassion is overwhelming.

I don’t think Erika and Tuc just did the series because they were ‘desperate.’ I believe they loved OLTL and their fans and in part, signed on because they wanted the show to continue. How were they to know the company would go belly up? They in good faith signed, did the work, and expected that they would be compensated.

ann
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ann

Of course they were not desperate. Of course they did it because of the fans. They probably had their agents/lawyers review the contract as well. For some entities, apparrently PP a contract isn’t worth as much as a piece of toilet paper–unless of course the actor needed to get out of the contract and then the cry would be, “you can’t get out–you’re under contract”. What a shame decent, hardworking caring people like Tuc and Erika got fleeced in this.

gary
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gary

I agree with you Lorenzo, Mo is just very whiny all the time. Don’t pay attention to him. LOl.

brian
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brian

I agree with you, and I thank them both for being so willing and loyal to the fans to try it… all the respect in the world for Erika and Tuc… and all the others as well.

boes
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boes

Nicely said.
Of course the actors expected to be paid, but they also cared about the fans. Which is a whole lot more than could be said about the network.

Mo
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Mo

Gary, I’m whiny? Huh, never been described that way and I certainly don’t think I am. Thanks for the laugh. 😛

Robert
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Robert

They were not desperate Lorenzo, they did it because they loved the show they spent years working on and for us the fans! I get being bitter about this mess but to attack the actors only shows how classless you and Gary really are!

Sandy Welles
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Sandy Welles

Erika Slezak has portrayed Victoria Lord for many many years. I highly doubt that she was “desperate”, just loved the character and bringing her storylines to the screen. I wish sincerely that things had worked out for Prospect park but the shows were troubled from the start, with no real direction and some weak writing and, of course, a lack of financial stability evidently. I wish that somehow, someway they could combine the characters of OLTL with AMC and come up with one simple soap where the residents of Landview and nearby Pine Valley could come alive once again. Alas,… Read more »

moshane58
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moshane58

Seen on Robin Stasser’s tweeter couple months ago she wasn’t getting paid either. Not surprised since they want out of the five year obligation to investors. Really believe they owe ABC more. Understanding ABC put off the loan to help the reboot. I just want PP gone. They butchered the soaps. They tried drawing in the younger demo and lost a lot of viewers. AMC was okay but OLTL was shot hitting bar scenes and guys lifting weights. A lot of regulars would have come on board. But they said they weren’t ask. I stuck it out with PP hoping… Read more »

Michael
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Michael

The production company did not have the financial means to begin with, and there for should not have taken on more then it could handle. I sincerely hope for myself and the rest of the fans, that another network will pickup both series. It would be a great shame if they were indeed discontinued.

irene
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irene

It is still obvious that ABC is owed the most. I do not think that Disney was ever going to let them succeed. It is what it is. I liked the online versions. They are being panned mostly because they did not succeed. It does not mean they were not good. Mismanagement. I watch most of my shows on hulu plus. Miss them. Down the road more and more people will click to watch tv shows. I stream on my tv screen and cannot tell difference. Disney is not the Disney from the past. I can see how they operate… Read more »

rebecca1
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rebecca1

wathcing online is not the problem. I catch up on a lot of my shows…prime time…that way. but please…OLTL online was not remotely related to the ABC version. to put it oh-so eloquently…it sucked!

dessky
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dessky

I really don’t see how they thought these soaps were . Going to last online. Now there is another one that you have to pay $7 a month to watch over your cable bill

jimh(leave it to beaver)
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jimh(leave it to beaver)

Sounds like PP were never meant to be in the soap business…and i believe they realize this a little too late and are going to ABC with this ludicrous lawsuit just for the money and not because for the way GH wrote the 3 OLTL characters because those characters couldve easily be rewritten with no connection to the GH storylines! They wrote the show with characters that werent on GH and with Victor who wasnt on the show very long and without Jessica who wasnt there at all so they couldve done it the same way with Todd(who did show… Read more »

Cindy
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Cindy

I think it is terrific of them to try to bring these Soaps Back & I hope that they continue. If the actors were ok with not getting paid then why are we upset about it ? Its their lives their choice I think. I don’t care how long I have to wait I just want OLTL back.

Patricio
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Patricio

Thank you for your measured, sensible response.

Rose
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Rose

What a mess. It would actually make a great soap storyline.

Mo
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Mo

A lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes is better than what’s put on-air!

Mark
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Mark

Lol poor Erika Slezak!!

louisa
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louisa

I think the fans need to file a class action lawsuit. I wish we had never heard of Prospect Park! I miss OLTL so much.

Rapids
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Rapids

Prospect park shenanigans are a better soap opera than the shows they failed with.

su0000
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su0000

Prospect Park had good intentions and they tried..
Sheet happens …
No doubt PP is suffering over their failed efforts.
It is sad for all, tragic for everyone, actually..
But for anyone to rejoice in someones tragedies well —— .
gotta let it all go .. It’s done it’s over .. 🙁

Jen
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Jen

I actually really enjoyed the PP “reboot” of OLTL. There were things they did to pull in new, young viewers, and it WORKED. (I know this because suddenly my friends were interested in the show!) What I appreciated more than anything, though, was the multigenerational storytelling and how all the families and generations in Llanview seemed to belong to the same town and their problems reverberated to each other. It seemed better, to me, than the most recent years on ABC. I KNOW there were problems — many of them stemming from the fact that GH had snatched up some… Read more »

boes
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boes

Well said, VERY well said!

Ginny
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Ginny

I totally agree with you, Jen!

davlestev1
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davlestev1

@JEN..While I agree with most of what you say I have an issue with your last statement. Like sending peanuts to CBS and resurrecting JERICHO (a primetime show) in this instance it wouldn’t have made any difference what fans did. ABC was bound and determined just like all the other networks to whittle daytime drama down to the bare bones. 4 million more viewers could have tuned in..which they did for the final airings..and it made no difference. Daytime viewers are fickle..they said..who can count on these numbers in the month to come…they said…Daytime was a done dead deal. Prospect… Read more »

Jen
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Jen

I don’t completely disagree with you. But I do disagree with you for two reasons. 1. I’m not talking about sending peanuts or soap bars or writing fan letters or calling the feedback hotlines at ABC. Yes, that is PARTIALLY what I meant by fans who tried to do something to save these shows, but I am also talking about literally MONTHS of effort contacting sponsors, going to fan rallies at TV stations all over the country, picketing studio offices, boycotting, and rallying at the ABC Upfronts WITH LITERATURE containing proven facts (including the inefficiency of Nielson ratings) to hand… Read more »

davlestev1
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davlestev1

FRANKINETZ created a monster they had no idea of how to control. ABC wouldn’t have cared if thousands of you streaked through NEWYORK to their front door. It wasn’t happening. They ruined those shoes and then gave the BOOT not the REBOOT. You can be snippy and throw blame all you want…IT’S OVER!! SIT DOWN!!!

davlestev1
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davlestev1

SHOWS not shoes lmao. All i’m saying it’s time to move from all this and hope that some network exex one day has a brilliant idea to try another 30 minute soap while at the same time taking the existing ones to that model also. This would clearly work..cut down the investment time..and bring daytime back to daytime.

Robert
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Robert

I agree with you Jen. I actually enjoyed the reboot of both shows. Yes it was a little rough at first but I believe with time they would have worked out. It’s too bad ABC created this mess in the first place by canceling the shows in the first place. The nielsen rating system is flawed and it does not in my opinion actually reflect viewers television choices. Sorry but CBS has been number one for over 25 years…BS! Clearly the number of households that hold a nielsen box has not changed in 25 years. DVR replays should have played… Read more »

AJ
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AJ

Prospect Park needs to give it up, stop the stupid lawsuit.. release the rights of the shows back to ABC.. OTHER COMPANIES ARE INTERESTED IN THOSE PROPERTIES!!! AMC and OLTL were top 10 on Hulu all season long.. these shows work, they just need somebody that knows what they’re doing.. with money. I wouldn’t be shocked to see ABC take the properties back and do something themselves online. And if they leased them out, they’re going to retain some kind of control. I don’t think these shows are dead, altho if they never came back I’d be fine as the… Read more »

Robert
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Robert

True, true, true! Work it out ABC and PP!

Linda Tatum
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Linda Tatum

Fans out there who chose to have the 2011 finales as theirs and not get invested in these 2 failed reboot attempts, it is ok. They have found their peace within. Fans out there who, after 2 or 3 weeks into watching the reboots found them unrecognizable and walked away made their peace. ABC and PP are like oil and water and don’t mix too well.

Mary Moore Fergen
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Mary Moore Fergen

What a mess PP has made of everything! While I appreciate the goal of bringing AMC and OLTL back to life, they handled it very poorly and unprofessionally. They are trying to get out of paying the money that they owe, after killing the hopes of the actors and all of us fans. PP is just as responsible as ABC/D for the demise of these two great shows!

Linda Tatum
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Linda Tatum

I agree with you.

Mo
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Mo

OMG! That is a lot of money Erika and Tuc are owed. I would be so upset if I worked and then wasn’t paid. Unfortunately, since PP filed for bankruptcy, it looks like they won’t get paid.

boes
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boes

It’s all on ABC, folks, not on PP. ABC is the network that murdered both shows – particularly OLTL which had a lot of “life” left in it. And although the shows started out bumpy I think both of them were pretty good by the end. AMC, in particular. ABC put every roadblock in place that they could to see that these shows wouldn’t survive. It would have been major egg on their face if they had, particularly in the new medium of online viewing. And it was apparent from what I saw, and from what we all heard, that… Read more »

Rapids
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Rapids

How in the world is this ABCs fault? ABC did not murder the soaps, the shows died because a few zillion quit watching. The ratings fell sharply when the OJ trial was on, then the ratings fell quite a bit more. Don’t forget how expensive soaps are to produce, not enough profit with bad ratings.

boes
Guest
boes

You’re forgetting that both shows were still showing a profit when they were cancelled, albeit certainly not as large a one as they did when viewing choices were limited and viewing habits hadn’t diversified. it IS ABC’s fault when AMC in particular, under their stewardship, saw the quality of their storylines and their casts decline precipitiously. People at the time accused ABC of wanting the shows to fail so they could be replaced by cheaper shows such as talk shows – and I declined to believe that. But time proved those people right. Don’t forget that OLTL was cancelled when… Read more »

Scott
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Scott

I agree Boes!
I was hoping for some better news than this, but at least they tried.
Being a soap I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some more twists and turns ahead. Hopefully; -)

Rapids
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Rapids

How exactly can a network snap it’s fingers to raise the quality of the writing and cast? IMO the shows ran out of gas, characters aged out, repeated kidnap and back from the dead stories are staples of the soap genre and audiences. The genre just got old and tired.

andrew hass
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andrew hass

Whether or not ABC may have put roadblocks in Prospect Parks’s way this about what PP owes people.Maybe PP should have made sure they had the money to pay people and other things in place before signing or agreeing to anything.I don’t think ABC forced them to sign anything against their will.Plus PP started this mess by suing ABC and now ABC is just returning the favor and that legally binding lease might be all ABC needs to win.So unless that lease says PP only owes ABC money as long as the soaps are in production i think they are… Read more »

Peggy
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Peggy

This never seems to end. I just want PP gone. Period. And shame on them for robbing all of these people of hard earned money they are legally owed by these hacks. That is exactly what bankruptcy is…….robbery.

Mary SF
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Mary SF

Everyone goes into a business venture in the hopes to be successful and profitable. I think PP in good faith honestly wanted to reboot these soaps and get on the ground floor of a new distribution media for entertainment content– the web. They were breaking new ground, Hindsight is 20/20 so it is easy for everyone now, including me, to say what they should have done, but life is about learning, so hopefully their mistakes will be the lessons another company will learn. For others will follow and I do believe someday the soap opera genre will live and thrive… Read more »

AbbyS.
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AbbyS.

I’m a believer that PP could have put on a better product for both AMC and OLTL from the start, even though they were under enormous pressure and were novices in an unknown field. I’m not one who believes that they deserve alot of credit for trying because (1) they weren’t in this for glory, they were in it for “clicks” and to make money, so kudos seem a little hollow to me, (2) their shows needed alot of work, especially out of the gate, and they have admitted as much, and if you don’t get viewers from the start,… Read more »

Travis T Thomas
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Travis T Thomas

Well considering ABC only could make money off the reboots if they were successful, they had nothing to do with the in house failures over at PP. Its time for us to stop blaming ABC for every bad thing that happened. These exes that were running things, clearly didnt do their homework. ABC had nothing to do with the hiring and firing going on in the PP building. ABC had nothing to do with throwing Susan Lucci under the bus, or the way many of the actors were treated towards the end. Even before OLTL went off the air the… Read more »

Karim
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Karim

After OLTL getting nominated for this years emmy instead of GH, I highly doubt it isn’t profitable

Travis T Thomas
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Travis T Thomas

Emmy noms are not based on profits, but on what the shows themselves Submitted to the Emmy nomination & Emmy Voting committee. ANY show can be submitted to the nomination committee, and then after a round of votes by a panel of Industry peers, they are narrowed down to the four. And as far as OLTL getting nominated, they submitted a better episode. Two completely different things. Pefect example is 30 Rock. It won numerous Emmys, but never had more than 5 million viewers. Low rated show, but very Emmy worthy & they won all the time. That’s the only… Read more »

Sandy Welles
Guest
Sandy Welles

I can understand what you are trying to say, “if they had gotten these actors” but remember, they wanted Michael E. Knight and he did not seem overly excited about stepping into Tad Martin’s shoes again. Susan Lucci was not available, and if she had been, I doubt they could have met her asking Price. So, there were many many obstacles standing in Prospect Park’s way. Zach’s storyline was weak with Leah, and the writing was rather lackluster. The actors who were involved certainly gave it their best effort, but even the best of them can’t breathe life into flat… Read more »

Lew S.
Guest
Lew S.

Sorry, but PP is responsible for quite a bit of this mess! You do your home work before taking on a project such as two soaps that will air (originally) four days a week. Agnes Nixon told them the job could be quite an undertaking. I truly feel for the cast and crew who were left jobless twice and not informed when the decision was made to pull the plug on the online versions. Not cool!

Mark
Guest
Mark

General hospital was so dumb today I barely watched half thank God for bold and beautiful and days

SUSAN M.
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SUSAN M.

I always enjoy watching GH and have no complaints about it…

Rich
Guest
Rich

ABC screwed up by cancelling them,then by not letting the characters of Starr & John wrap up thier storylines so they can go back to GH. PP screwed up by not being financially secure enough to properly assemble and produce these shows. They’re both equally at fault

andrew hass
Guest
andrew hass

ABC gave the characters of Starr and John back to PP but the actors who played them reportedly didn’t want to do the reboot even just for a few weeks because that may have meant going back east and figuring out where they would live.Now PP could have recasted Starr and John but they didn’t want to.As for PP they ran into problems with one of the unions last year and that suspension of production for a few weeks and they had to settle with the unions.So that costed them money.As for actors i think they were lied to a… Read more »

Sam_Soap
Guest
Sam_Soap

I do not understand, why so many “FANS” are upset with Prospect Park (PP). ABC killed the soaps. PP hearts were in the right place. ABC, are the evil doers who pulled every trick in the book to make the efforts of PP fail.

Linda Tatum
Guest
Linda Tatum

ABC brought the shows on their network and for over 40 plus years. ABC did not have to do that. Could have cancelled at 10 yrs, 15 yrs, so I am so grateful and appreciative for the decades of keeping the shows on air. I appreciate the years that both shows were renewed. I am not an ABC hater. ABC did not have to put the shows on their network to begin with. PP failed twice. 2 reboot failures and PP needs to man up and own their own part as well as take responsibility for their own massive huge… Read more »

Lisa Z.
Guest
Lisa Z.

Have all of the AMC actors been paid?? If they have, then it always seems that OLTL is treated like a second class citizen. I still blame ABC for most of this. It is quite suspicious that they hired OLTL’s producer, head writer, directors, and actors. If ABC liked these people so much, then why cancel OLTL in the first place? It seems like a form of sabotage for the OLTL online version. Maybe ABC did realize too late that they should not have cancelled OLTL. The obvious question is why do PP and ABC still want to legally fight… Read more »

Jen
Guest
Jen

Now there’s an idea.

Christy
Guest
Christy

and how much have they spent on this lawsuit against ABC? I’m sure they could have a lot of bills with what they paid to lawyers and court fees.

SUSAN M.
Guest
SUSAN M.

I bet ABC has money coming out the wazoo!

Christy
Guest
Christy

I was referring to Prospect, not the mouse. The mouse is rich that is for sure! 🙂

All My Children

‘Strahan, Sara and Keke’ Canceled by ABC; Show Aired In Timeslot That Once Housed ‘All My Children’

No matter a network tries to do, replacing All My Children, which ran for 41 years on ABC has remained as everyone that follows the world of daytime drama knows, problematic.  Now come word via Page Six that Strahan, Sara and Keke has been canceled.

The show hosted by Michael Strahan, Sara Haines and Keke Palmer if you recall, replaced the foodie show, The Chew which ran for seven seasons and was the first show to air in the timeslot that belonged for over four decades to All My Children. 

Back in March of this year, Strahan, Sara and Keke took a break to make way for ABC’s News  Pandemic: What You Need to Know, a daily coronavirus report anchored by Amy Robach, Dr. Jen Ashton and sometimes TJ Holmes.

However, because the show did well in that two-week experimental run it morphed into GMA 3: What You Need to Know.  The new version of the show also talked about hot topics in the current news cycle, as well.

ABC’s Catherine McKenzie began producing the “GMA3” show four months ago and the network officially announced her as Executive Producer of the program on Thursday.

While ABC has yet to officially announce Strahan, Sara and Keke is over, a spokesperson told Page Six: “We’re proud of our teams at ‘SSK’ and ‘GMA3’ and how quickly they transitioned to producing a daily show to give people the news and information they need during an unprecedented pandemic, and conversations continue about how the show will evolve in the months ahead.”

It appears that Strahan, Sara and Keke won’t be returning; the future as many of their staff have transitioned over to ‘GMA 3’ with producers from ABC News Live, (the streaming division), helmed by McKenzie.

As for the futures of Strahan, Haines and Palmer; Strahan will continues to host Good Morning America, and they are all actively under contract with the network.

So, what do you think of  ‘Strahan, Sara and Kek’e being replaced by ‘GMA 3: What You  Need to Know’?  How long do you think that show will last in the timeslot once taken up by residents of Pine Valley? Comment below.

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All My Children

Eva LaRue Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination, And Opens Up About The Loss Of John Callahan

For Eva LaRue, the past two months have been some of the most emotionally gut-wrenching and challenging of her life, following the passing of her ex-husband, father of her child, and dearest friend, John Callahan (Ex-Edmund, All My Children). The outpouring of support she has received not only from her former AMC cast mates, but the soap world in general illustrates just how dear Eva is to all of us, and how many people had special memories of their time with John.

While mourning the loss of Callahan along with their daughter, Kaya, there was some heartwarming and re-affirming news that any actress would love to hear. Eva was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for her work as Celeste Rosales on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, and she is great company as her former AMC co-star Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad) is also nominated along with her for his work on General Hospital.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit our country and world hard, but through it All My Children virtual reunions emerged as fans were engaged by the content, transported to happier times that brought them back to familiar faces in Pine Valley in which Eva participated along with her good friends, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and so many more, thanks to the EW. com weeklong event which concluded on Friday.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Eva in this very candid, at times heartbreaking, and open conversation where she shares details into the final days of her beloved John, her last moments with him, and how she tried to plan a memorial in his honor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For so many of us, 2020 has certainly seen more lows then highs, but in the end for Eva, to receive a nomination now (an award she was last nominated for back in 1997 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Dr Maria Santos on All My Children) couldn’t have come at a better time. Here now is our conversation with Eva.

Photo: JPI

I’ve been thinking so much about you.  I’m glad we could do this, and in the midst of the tragedy of losing John Callahan, and then receiving a Daytime Emmy nomination.  What was your reaction when you learned you were nominated in a category with none other than your former AMC castmate and good friend, Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad, AMC, now Martin, GH)?

EVA:  Oh, I know!  He’s the first person I texted!  I was like, “Congratulations, Michael!  Did you ever in a million years think that you and I would be in the same category of anything?”  Then I said, “And when you win this, can I just borrow it for the weekend just to dress it up and take pictures with it… just want to borrow it, just babysit the trophy for a weekend, please?” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What did you end up submitting that landed you the nomination for your role as Celeste on Y&R?

EVA: I submitted a scene with Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I have been friends for 30 years, if not more, and in all that time we had never worked together.  I met him when I was married to John O’Hurley (Ex- Dr. James Grainger) because John was over at The Young and the Restless at the time.  I went to a Christmas party with John to Peter and Mariellen’s house, and do you know who else was there?  Lisa Rinna (Ex-Billie, Days), and it was before she had gotten Days of Our Lives. She was dating Peter Barton (Ex-Scott Grainger, Y&R) at the time. We both ended up on soaps at the same time.  So, I submitted a scene with Peter, who is amazing, warm and open and such a great actor. Then I submitted a scene with my on-screen daughter Sasha Calle (Lola, Y&R) – I love that girl, and another one with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) who has also been my great friend for a couple of decades. The other scene I put on my reel was with me and Jordi Vilasuso (Rey, Y&R) who I also adore.  He is awesome and such a sweetheart.  I only had two months worth of material to draw upon.  So, I just submitted the scenes that I liked the best, and they all were within story, and all made sense.

Photo: Getty Images

Where is Celeste supposed to be now?

EVA:  She went back to Florida, and that was that. I would never say never to anything, but it was always supposed to be a short stint, and it was great.

So not only is it you and Michael E. Knight, but Jeffery Vincent Parise, Chrishell Stause, and Elissa Kapneck. This Guest Performer category is loaded!

EVA:  I know! I know and love, Chrishell (Ex-Amanda) because we worked together on All My Children, too, right before I left, and she is a doll.  She just might be the sweetest, kindest, girl on the planet.  She literally might be the sweetest person who ever lived!  I don’t know the other two nominees personally.  So, I’m excited for them too.  It’s such a diverse category.  It’s just really fun to be nominated with all of them.

Photo: Hallmark Channel

You were nominated before, though, for your work as Maria on All My Chldren during the emotional baby switch storyline; working opposite Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica) for a lot in it.

EVA:  Yes.  I was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for All My Children, and I was nominated for Best Original Song.  I wrote a song when Maria came ‘back from the dead’ to All My Children, with a producer friend of mine from Miami Sound Machine.

Photo: Live with Kelly Ryan

So, you’ve been doing all of these All My Children virtual reunions, which is so interesting that in this pandemic, people are looking for content, and they dip back into these beloved shows.  Was it fun doing the EW.com Santos Family reunion with everybody?

EVA:  Oh yeah, it was really, really fun.  I only saw in the big picture everybody else’s photo who was a part of it, and the people who I actually do hang out with the most, and see the most, and talk to the most, are Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), and Sydney Penny (Ex-Julia).  I don’t see Sydney as much, but I do see her probably once every two years at least, but Sarah Michelle Geller (ExKendall) I see all the time and talk to all the time.  Kelly, Mark, and Sarah are the ones who walked me through that first week when John Callahan passed.  They literally were on the phone with me, the three of them, almost every day, but I got beautiful outreach, from what seemed like everyone.  This is when no matter how many years have passed since you have been in daytime, that the daytime family as a group – there used to be fifteen shows, now there are four – and people have bounced around and they are on other shows- – but the entire soap opera community reached out,   I cannot even tell you how much that meant to me.  It was overwhelming, and it was really, spectacularly beautiful.

Photo: JPI

I hope it was some solace to you knowing how much people loved John, and also that they love and care so deeply for you.

EVA:  I mean, people who did not even work with John reached out.  Every soap was represented by getting a hold of me, sending a text or a phone call, or if they didn’t have my personal information, they tweeted, or whatever it was… literally from every reach of soapdom.  It was amazing.

And your relationship with John was amazing with all of the ups and downs you went through; that you remained such dear friends.

EVA:  We remained really great friends all the way.

Photo: JPI

I so remember when the two of you first got together and it was this storybook real life soap couple romance.  John was always so sweet to me.  I was so, so sad, and you know, my heart just broke for you.

EVA:  I think it was just such a shock.  I don’t think anybody, and even Kaya were talking about it, because she graduated this week, and her dad is not here.  We’re not having a graduation, because of COVID-19, which sucks on top of it, but we were just kind of talking through the feelings of it.  She said, “You know what’s weird?  I guess I never pictured dad getting old, and I always wondered why, and now I know.”  When I would get on John about his heart or his health, he used to always say, ‘Oh, don’t worry Evala, (he always called me “Evala”).  I’m going to be here.  I’m going to be here a long time.  I’m fine.  I’m going to be here to walk Kaya down the aisle and see her kids and all that.  Stop worrying,” Every time he said it to me, something in my gut said, “I don’t think he is.  I don’t think he is,” but I always just dismissed that.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think John wouldn’t make it to her high school graduation.  He was only 66.

Photo: JPI

I had heard you ended up running to Palm Springs to be near John.  I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

EVA:  The only good thing about this pandemic is that we had been shut down for only two weeks at that point.  Kaya and I got in the car.  John had some heart procedures the day before, on a Thursday.  I called him in the morning before he went in for the procedure.  I said, “Call me as soon as you get out of there.  Call me as soon as you come-to again, and you’re good,” and he said, “Okay, I will.”  I said, “I’m going to send Kaya out to you on Friday for the weekend, just so you have somebody to hang out and watch you, and I might come out too,” And then, I said, “Maybe, I’ll come down too in case you are feeling weak, just to watch out for you for the weekend.”   So, he called me after the procedure.   I said, “I cannot believe they sent you home! You just had some major heart stuff done.”  He said, “Oh no, they said I’m fine.  It was just run-of-the-mill heart stuff, angiogram…”  I was like, “Are you sure?”  He said, “Yeah, I’m fine.  I’m just tired.  I’m going to go to sleep.”  I said, “Do you want me to send Kaya out tonight?” and he was like, “No, no, no.  Send her tomorrow.”  So, in the morning, I called him at 9:00am.  No answer.  I texted him.  He always texted me like Johnny on the spot, and then texts me immediately back.  So, I call him again at 10.  Nothing.  His best friend calls me about a half-hour later, “Hey, I talked to John at about 8:00 this morning.  He said he was feeling really, really shitty and was going to go back to the hospital, and then, I texted him again at like 8:30 to just tell him something, and he hasn’t texted me back, and he always texts me immediately back.”  I said, “Oh my, God, I’ve been trying to get a hold of him for two hours; he hasn’t texted me back,”   I said, “You know what, I’ll call you back.”  So, I called his friend who lives down the street from John, and I said, “Go to his house, please right this second, knock on the door, jump the fence, knock on his bedroom, he might be asleep, I don’t know.”  So, he gets there, nobody is answering.  I said, “Break into the house please.  So, he did, and John was collapsed in the bathroom.  They called the paramedics, and as soon as they called me back and said, “John is unresponsive in the bathroom,” Kaya and I threw everything in the car, and what usually takes us two and a half hours without traffic, we made it down there from Los Angeles in an hour and forty-five minutes.

Photo: JPI

I don’t know how you made it down there in one piece. Thank, God!

EVA:  I drove so fast, like literally broke all land speed records and thank God because we got there just in time.  He was in emergency.  He hadn’t been put up in ICU yet, where we wouldn’t have been able to see him.  They weren’t going to let us in the hospital.  Thank God the person answering the door was an All My Children fan.  She was the one saying, “Sorry, no one is allowed in the hospital, no one can come in,” and I was like, “No, no, no, my ex-husband just came in.”  She said, “Was it Edmund?” and I said, “Yes, it was Edmund!”  She said, “Okay, follow me.”  Thank God for All My Children.  Thank God.  So, we followed this woman secretly, and we get to spend a half-hour with him in Emergency.  He was already on life-support, totally unresponsive, but we got to play John his favorite music, we got to just sit there and hold his hand and talk to him, and tell him how much we loved him.  Sarah Michelle Gellar called right when we were in the hospital in Emergency, and she said, “Put the phone by his ear,” so I put the phone by his ear, and she talked to John too, and she told him how much she loved him.  She used to always call him “GP”, which was short of grandpa, because she came on the show when she was 15, and she didn’t have a dad, and John acted like a dad to her – but she used to always call him “grandpa”, and he hated “grandpa”, so he was like, “You can call me “GP”, but not grandpa,” so she always called him GP.  I just put the phone by John’s ear, and what was crazy is that when she talked to him, his feet started twitching.  He started moving his feet.  Then, when Kaya was talking to him about Yankee season, he started moving his feet.  We were kind of hopeful that something was changing for the better.  We had about a half-hour with him, and then, they took him up to ICU, and then, we knew we couldn’t see him again.  They called us later that night that he had passed.

Photo: JPI

I am just so thankful that you got to see John one last time.

EVA:  I thank God every day that we got to say goodbye, because if we hadn’t gotten there in time to say goodbye, I just don’t know.

It’s very rare that a couple after a divorce, who have a child, and went from romance to dear friends, end up maintaining that relationship so many years later in their lives.  I know so many people who were together at one point in their lives, for years, and they don’t even talk to each other now.

EVA:  Well, you know, like any divorce, the first four years afterwards were super contentious but then, by year five, we kind of had this major breakthrough, and from then on, he was one of my closest friends, and one of the things we always kept alive for each other was we loved to  dance together. We fell in love, I think, dancing because originally our characters on AMC met at this country-western bar, and we had to take country line dancing lessons on the show.  They hired a choreographer for us so that during those scenes where we were falling in love, we would actually be able to do a two-step! So, we went out and practiced at Denim and Diamonds, which was a big country-western place in New York City at the time.  We used to go out with a whole group of us.  It was me, and Teresa Blake (Ex-Gloria) and Kelly Ripa, and her boyfriend at the time, Winsor Harmon (Ex-Del), sometimes Walt Willey (Ex-Jack); we just had a whole crew of us who would go out country dancing.  John and I also loved singing together.  He had the most amazing gravely kind of rockstar voice, but his real talent was harmonizing.  He could harmonize to anything.  So, when he would come over, we would sit in the kitchen and sing, and sing, and sing until the late hours because that’s what we loved to do, and that’s what he loved to do.  That’s one of my favorite last memories of us.  He was just over the month before, and Kaya’s bedroom is near the kitchen, so she came out and was like, “Can you two shut up?”  It was like two in the morning and we were still singing in the kitchen. (Laughs)  John was my dear friend and my confidant.

Photo: ABC

Were you able to have some kind of service during this stay-at-home pandemic we are all dealing with, in order to mourn the loss of John?

EVA:  It’s been so crazy.  We couldn’t even have a funeral.  That’s what made it all the more heartbreaking.  There were less than twenty of us, and we just got on a Zoom call and memorialized John.   I thought we were going to do a big Zoom memorial, but it seemed so overwhelming and so impersonal, it just was rubbing us wrong in every way.  Every way we were looking at it, we were like, “Oh my, God, we just can’t.”  We wanted to invite everybody he had ever worked with, and we were like, “No, we want to do that when everything can open back up again, and invite every person, and have a party” because John was always the life of every party.  Maybe we can do that in the fall or next year.  I kept trying to write something for the small memorial we did do for three days.  I kept coming back to this one song, because John was always the consummate bartender, too.  I sang a song that Bette Midler sang on the very last episode of Johnny Carson.  It was “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” and it’s about a bartender who has got a big personality and a lot to say.   I changed some of the words around a bit just to reflect who John was, and so, I ended up singing for it instead of speaking.  We always talked about that last episode of Carson; how stunningly emotional it was when Bette sang that song to kind of sing Johnny off for of all of his years on the air.  So, that’s what I did and because we loved to sing together, it just made sense.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

I do think you touched upon something, earlier, too.  I don’t think any other genre would have that kind of unbridled camaraderie.  It’s such a family, like you said.  I don’t think you would find that quite like this; certainly in show business. 

EVA:  I really don’t think you can. Even though there is always a good amount of competition in the soaps as well; between the soaps it’s like they are any sports team, but there is always a level of respect, love, and familial connection within the community.  I think that is why they have stood the test of time.  I really do think that is what hooks our audience, that is what keeps them there after all of these years, even though unfortunately the genre is antiquated looking, there is something about it that is nostalgic, familial, and comfortable for people.

Photo: JPI

Every time I talk about All My Children, why do you think everybody go ga-ga for it, when it’s been off the air for several years now?

EVA:  It speaks to people’s childhoods.  It speaks to how we grew up.  You can’t undo nostalgia.  You can’t.  It’s in the way we grew up, the things we loved, the things that we scheduled our lives around, the people we fell in love with on the shows that we watched, who we cared about and loved their storylines. I grew up watching All My Children, General Hospital, and Days of Our Lives.

It must have been a spectacular moment for you when you realized you were actually in Pine Valley and a member of the cast of All My Children then?

EVA:  It was amazing.  I was a fan when I got the show.  I was a straight up fan.  I fangirled walking through that dressing room hallway for the first time! I was trying to keep it in check, but you know … (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

So, in closing, you would say, “Thrilled to be nominated”?

EVA:  Yes.  So fun.  It has really been a rollercoaster of a couple of months here.  That nomination was literally the bright, shining spot in all of this.

So, happy to hear Eva is in the running for a Daytime Emmy? Were you moved by Eva’s sentiments she shared on her relationship with the late John Callahan? Do you miss Pine Valley’s Dr. Maria Santos? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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All My Children

All My Children Reunion with Josh Duhamel, Ricky Paull Goldin, Cameron Mathison and More; Later Debbi Morgan Live

It’s a big finale of the weeklong virtual celebration of the iconic All My Children.  On tap today in EW’s series to benefit Feeding America during the COVID-19, some major names from the history of Pine Valley and who had story with each other participating in the chat, premiering at 10 a. m. EST.

Taking part in the walk down memory lane are none other than Josh Duhamel (Ex-Leo), Ricky Paull Goldin (Ex-Jake), Chrishell Stause (Ex-Amanda), Cameron Mathison (Ex-Ryan), Rebecca Budig (Ex-Greenelee) and Melissa Claire Egan (Ex-Annie).

But that’s not all folks! Daytime Emmy winner, Debbi Morgan will participate in a live virtual chat with EW.com today beginning at 3 p.m. EST/12 p. m. PST.  Now will be your chance to hear from the one and only Angie Hubbard from the beloved ABC daytime drama series.

Over the week, EW.com has posted other virtual conversations with notables from Pine Valley, you can check them out here.

So, will you be checking out today’s one-two punch of AMC favorites? Comment below.

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