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Erika Slezak on Prospect Park's dumping of OLTL, Alternate Finale Ending & Brian Frons!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Six-time Daytime Emmy winner and the “face” of One  Life to Live, Erika Slezak (Viki) answered many burning questions from her fans in her latest newsletter on her website. Part of the Q&A happened prior to the final tape date of the series and the other part are new questions posed to Erika since Prospect Park decided not to continue in their attempt to move One Life from ABC to its then proposed Online Network.

Below is what Erika had to say about Prospect Park, if there was an opportunity to go back and shoot an alternate ending for the soap, and if there was an alternate version already shot in the can, and her thoughts on Brian Frons.  Plus, she addresses Valentini and  Carlivati’s move from Llanview to Port Charles.

Erika on Prospect Park’s decision to abandon bringing One Life to Live online: “I had great hopes that this would happen. In the beginning, after they announced that they were licensing the shows, they seemed to have everything in place. They were moving forward, they had money, and they were making deals with the actors, and had wonderful hopes for the show. Unfortunately, as time went by, they were unable to reach speedy agreements with the necessary parties and I believe their financing fell apart and that was the end. No money, no show! I feel that they were overly ambitious, because they really had no sense of what it takes to produce a daytime drama, 5 days a week, fifty two weeks a year. It is far more complicated than producing a night time show, where you are dealing with possibly 13 or 26 episodes.”

Erika on if OLTL filmed an alternate ending to the show finale in case things did not work out with Prospect Park, and if the show had an opportunity to go back into its ABC studio, once the news broke that Prospect Park was no longer going to bring the show online. “No, I don’t think alternate endings were taped, except one, which in this case now, will apply.  We are done with ABC – the studio has been emptied, the sets are stored, the lights are gone, the cameras are gone, and the studio is being refurbished for another show – I heard Millionaire, but don’t know if that’s true.”

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Erika on if she feels Brian Frons is the one to be completely held accountable for the cancellation of OLTL and AMC: “Regarding Brian Frons, this was not his decision. Ok, he is the head of daytime, but he answers to a lot of people – he answers to Anne Sweeney, and Anne answers to Bob Iger. So, whereas he may have been in favor of it, this was not his decision entirely.”

Erika’s thoughts on Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati moving to General Hospital as their new EP and head writer: “I am absolutely delighted for Frank and Ron and I’m sure that they will do a brilliant job for GH. I spoke with both Frank and Ron this afternoon and told them how very pleased I am for them both and wished them all the best and offered my congratulations.”

So what do you think of what Erika had to say? Let us know!

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jp
jp

Thank you Erika for being part of OLTL all of these years. I truly believe you and the rest of One Life cast who agreed to sign to the online version would have continued the legacy of OLTL. It is still so hard to believe there are only a few more weeks left to see Llanview and all of our beloved characters. You will be missed terribly.

Donna
Donna

I will miss Ms Slezak and Viki Lord! She is a class act. I was very hopeful that OLTL would move to online and thrive; but it was not to be. Thank you lighting up my TV screen and hope to see you in the future soon.

Maxine
Maxine

Erika Slezak is one the of the classiest ladies in the world. I admire her for being the lady that she is. She is the best in my book.

Torrey
Torrey

A class act through and through….I love and am going to miss Erika (aka Viki).

arlyne zinstein
arlyne zinstein

A CLASS ACT!!! always kind words about everyone, the matriarch of llanview for all these years..6 TIME EMMY WINNER…….ENOUGH SAID…..

Linda Dowell
Linda Dowell

I’m sure she’s correct about Frons – he was answering to execs who wanted cheap cheap cheap (because they’re chicken sh@ts lol) – but I still loathe him, and will loathe him forever.

😀

I still wonder why they don’t continue the soaps as once a week night time shows – they’ll keep an audience, they’ll keep people employed, it would mean change, yes, but it could be done – and they could start them in the opening of a season and they’d have immediate, enthused audience and I have to believe they’d have easy advertising…was this ever thrown on the table?

If I were running the world, lol, Soapnet would have soaps that could be cable viewing soaps, in other words, maybe not XXX, but XX for sure…..

LD

Louise Kahler
Louise Kahler

Continuing the show at night, once a week would be great with me.
I’m sure some of the actors would not be interested, but hopefully the main
actors would give it a try. I’m sure that would attract advertisers.
‘Revenge’ is an evening soap and has great ratings. I don’t see why OLTL
wouldn’t succeed.

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

Wow, that’s a GREAT idea, but once aweek would not be enough to keep up the MASS appeal of a long running soap with demanding fans. Twice a week at night would certainly be entertaining for the the actor’s, knowing they could get a new demographic of fans….. And 3 times of week would be GREAT, that way the actors could have a life. They give up alot to memorize ALL those lines, although it is rewarding with their opulant life styles BUT still…..time in that studio 12 to 16 hours, and then time that they MUST TAKE at home studying for a BIG storyline on a Monday, Still Great idea on your behalf. Even Oprah could do it 3 days a week, during he week day on her network, if BUDGET was of her concern, cast, crew. wardrobe, space, business administration, etc…..

Brian
Brian

As always, Erika Slezak shows and has, the most class of any actress I can think of. Never, in all of her interviews that I have read, has she shown anything less. I will miss seeing Ericka and “Viki”, but am very greatful for all the entertainment she has given over the last 42 years. The highest regard to you, Erika Slezak !

Jim
Jim

Erika has played Viki for a long time. I am excited to see what other characters she can share with us. As far as I’m concerned she is acting royalty, and is the Meryl Streep of Daytime. I remember when she started and assumed the role from Gillian Spencer. She has been class personified, even when she had ridiculous storylines. She sold them with flair and panache. She’s just downright brilliant.

Monica
Monica

I agree with everyone – Ms. Slezak is pure class. She was so gracious to answer these questions and be as honest as she could about this whole situation. Devistating for fans, but equally as heartbreaking for the cast and crew of OLTL.

I agree with what she had to say about PP being overly ambitious. They seemed to have all their ducks in a row, but it came down to financing and convincing enough investors that they could continue to produce the show “as is,” while showing they could make money in the process. It’s business – investors want to make money. Period.

Unfortunately fans like myself are deeply disappointed. ABC/Disney’s decision to cancel OLTL and AMC was the reason this all came to be. PP saw an opportunity, but couldn’t fully grasp the enormity of the task.

My hope is that all of these fine actors, who have brought us such memorable characters for all these years, will find other acting opportunities soon, so we can see them in action again!

Brian
Brian

Very well said Monica, very well said.

Heather
Heather

Good luck on your future endeavours Vicki.

Looking forward to see you in one of the other 4 soaps or on primetime. Whichever suits you best.

P,56
P,56

I hope Erika Slazak get her own show . I’l bet you all her Fans will watch her on a sitcom .. I just love her she is a Beautiful Lady

Brian
Brian

very good point… I’m sure that everyone thought of Judith Light after reading your post, and that Erika Slezak could do the same. I would watch Erika in anything she does in the future.

Rob
Rob

I don’t know what I will do without my Vicki. I am a fan for life. OLTL was a show about Vicki and everyone else. I Love you Erika and “THANKYOU” for the many, many years of exceptional work. I will follow you where ever you land and you will land on your feet. Your just too good to pass up. Best of luck on your next Endeavor.

aria
aria

As a GH fan, I would love the great Erika Slezak to come an visit Port Charles, under any capacity, she would be great.

Brian
Brian

hmm… it would be the one thing that would me make tune back in to GH.

Deb
Deb

Thank YOU Ericak for the years of entertainment you brought to me. I remember as a young child the day your show debut. Now we must say ‘good bye’ to a classy actress/character. No matter what the ‘times’ were, you always portrayed CLASS.
I personally love watching the days you are on now, and today, with you and Clint kissing was MAGICAL to me. Do you how long I have wanted the 2 of you to get back together?? lol xoxo

Enjoy your retirement, you worked so hard, you deserve to enjoy this next chapter in your life.

Love & Admiration for you ALWAYS!
Deb

mike
mike

She is one great lady, talent,beauty and class.

Mfarris70
Mfarris70

Attn soap producers: I will watch *any* show that Erika Slezak appears on. She is a star.

Blake
Blake

Great article and great attitude, she is totally a class act! I’m glad she thought to save and invest her money over the years and doesn’t have to worry about working again.
But I will definitely miss OLTL when it’s off next month.

Joan
Joan

I think Frank and Ron should bring Erika and other stars from OLTL and AMC onto the GH canvas in their roles instead of all the newbies who can’t act. We would have one tremendous show!

Deb
Deb

I don’t think Erika would uproot her life and move clear across the country at this point in her life. She had a terrific run on this show, why would she move cross country??

Robert in Jersey City
Robert in Jersey City

Exactly. Port Charles just got a newspaper, Viki should be part of that.

lisa
lisa

The ‘face’ of OLTL for sure and a class act to boot.
We will miss you on our screens and hope we see you again soon.

Linda
Linda

I know that Brian got a HUGE bonus for saving money for ABC,,that is how big companies work. I worked for a large company, the higher ups have the people
fire or downgrade or whatever to save them money,,,then that person doing the
“dirty” work gets a BIG bonus for their effort.

I think Erika over the years, looking at the photos OLTL has been featuring, looks
much more beautiful, softer now and I would love her to be my friend!
Stay healthy and please keep in touch! We love you…Linda in N.KY!

michael
michael

i will you all, and really will viki just love and personilty’s disorder niki tommy jean prenices tori love you i been watching oltl for over 20’s years hope guy’s come back some day make it better then ever.

Digifan23
Digifan23

I knew for the very start that it just was’nt just Brian Frons fault as Erika said “he is the head of daytime, but he answers to a lot of people – he answers to Anne Sweeney, and Anne answers to Bob Iger.”

So in short
it’s not just Brian Frons fault it’s also Anne Sweeney and Bob Iger’s fault for killing AMC & OLTL and ABC’s Daytime no ABC/Disney all togeter

Robert in Jersey City
Robert in Jersey City

agreed.

leah
leah

whom ever is responsible for the demise of the soaps needs to be let go.. I still believe deep in my heart that Brian Frons trashed the shows and then sold the idea of dumping them to the higher ups… and how is it that OLTL could come in under budget-but amc and GH couldnt? It was all a matter of who was managing the purse strings… And Once frons left OLTL alone on the east coast the show took off running… so you know-i love my OLTL stars but I wonder how they could not see what Frons was doing. The man was/is prime evil.
ABC owes a reprieve to OLTL and they need to sell it to people who will put it back on the air… but they will not do that because it will prove the show always was viable. I wish Tory Spelling or Drew Barrymore and Jane Fonda would stand up and flex some muscle and help the soaps out,…… Jobs for actors keep shrinking and soon no one will have a job..

Tally Haugen
Tally Haugen

I have been a fan of Erika’s since I was 14 years old, workig on a Disney mural in my bedroom..Id just been diagnosed w/Type 1 Diabetes and I was workig on something to keep my mind occupied.Viki was about to marry Steve Burke, and I got into her history with her beloved Joe Riley and from then on Ive been hooked!
Over the years diabetes has whittled away at my body in various ways, Ive survived 2 cancers and am nearly 8 years C-free..During recoveries I have had OLTL for very welcome diversion and I owe them very much for that, and a good deal more!
I feel devastated, the same as “:Roxy’s ” reaction to the cancelling today of FRATERNITY ROW..(It was PERFECT!) I love this cast of people and Erika in particular is a credit to her darling father Walter.! I wil never forget her voice, her TALENT, beauty her grace and dignity! I think she likely feels as we all do, but her words are those of the COMPLETE PRO that she is, like they ALL are! I think OLTL will close ON TOP, UNFORGETTABLE and a WINNER! They never ran into the ground like GENERAL HOSPITAL has..I wrote to Kassie D. After 38 years I was fully ready to see 50.. ALL of these good people have a LOT of people they will never know behind them and whatever they do in the future.I look forward to Erika Slezak gracing the airwaves again,..A GREAT ACTRESS and credit to her father, AND profession…

Brian Greene
Brian Greene

Thanks, Erika, For All Of The Fabulous Work & Delighting Us As Devoted Audience Viewers All These Years. I Know That We’ll See You Acting Again Very, Very Soon! 🙂

kay killgore
kay killgore

Finally someone who knows what they are talking about and no name calling. We will miss you Ms. Slezak!

Jenna
Jenna

Brian Frons drove the soaps into the ground with his micromanaging. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

emtk
emtk

I have been watching OLTL for 30 years and am heart-broken. Why hasn’t anyone considered making it a weekly show? We just don’t want these wonderful characters to end.

Robert in Jersey City
Robert in Jersey City

Finally a word from Erika! Not too make you feel old, but I’m 46, and I’ve been watching since I’m 11….the Karen Wolek story…from the time Viki saw her at the hotel….to just last night and you’re in the diner…I’ve been watching you. 35 years, 75% of my life, I’ve been watching you. You were great and did great work. I will miss the show. Enjoy your new life and thanks for keeping me company all these years. From my days as a lonely teenager to my days now blissfully single again. All the best.

kathyj
kathyj

i knew it was to good to be true looks like prospect park tried but couldnot pull through
and about brian frons he had alot input the higher ups listened tohis ideas about getting rid of the soaps and putting on two new shows that would not cost as much
all of our soaps are gone all because of money what has the world come to where is quality tv to me it does not exist any more once the soaps were cancelled they were and always will be quality tv as for erika she is a class act have been watching one life to live for over 30 years loved vikki
she is going to be missed in our house and i am sure in lots of others
so erika god bless you and my family and i wish you much happiness in what ever your next job is we love you

Catherine Climpson
Catherine Climpson

Hi Erika,

I just want to tell you that I will miss you terribly and the whole cast of the show. It breaks my heart to see it go; I wish it would have been on the air forever. I wish you the best, dear Erika, and I know that whatever you do from now on will be successful.
Good luck to you and your family, and God bless you all. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Catherine Climpson. Love you!!!!!!! 🙂

Iakovos
Iakovos

Oh, we will truly miss Erika Slezak and her creation, Victoria Lord… Viki. While I do not expect Ms. Slezak to relocate to the West Coast, it would be lovely to see her be given a strong short-term role on another daytime drama. But if I had my wish, I would want to see Ms. Slezak on the stage, on or off Broadway, in one of the classics. She is among those who defines what it is to be an actress. God love her!

Lianne Meuse
Lianne Meuse

I think she was too forgiving of everyone involved with the cancelling of OLTL and AMC. I ‘d have been mad for myself, other actors and crew. I hope it gets back on air somehow! I really will miss it when it isn’t on anymore! I love Erika!

Diane
Diane

Erika,
I’ve been watching OLTL since the beginning. I can’t believe my Mom let me, but she was hooked too. You have always been my favorite. I consider you family and I think you’re a wonderful actress, a sweet person, and a class act.
I still hope that someone, somewhere will have the sense to bring the soaps back. I think the fans deserve it and the advertisers would be smart to realize it, because believe me, I would definitely buy their products if they were sponsoring my beloved soap operas.
If they come back to tv or the internet, I hope you come with them. It wouldn’t be the same without you. If you don’t, I wish you all the best luck in the world and happiness in everything you do. Love you Erika !!!
Diane

Silas Kain
Silas Kain

Ms. Slezak is a consummate professional. She executes her craft and commentary with elegance and respect. As a devout fan of her late father Walter, I see so much of him in her. Her temporary absence from Daytime television is a huge loss. I remain hopeful OLTL will continue and she will remain a part of the Llanview canvas. The one thing which separates OLTL from the majority of soaps is that this was the little show which never had any expectations or respect. They continued, year after year, viewed as the red-headed step child. As OLTL makes its final run on ABC Daytime, she goes away on top of her game – exceeding any and all expectations! OLTL has always defied the odds and it will do so again in 2012.

gloeevalens
gloeevalens

Ms.Slezak,

You are the perfect example of a class act & when I read Hilary Smith’s article today on Michael’s website, I almost cried..I hope the all wonderful people who gave so much time & energy to a winning show have a wonderful future….whatever that may be…ABC doesn’t seem to recognize quality when they have it right in front of them…that is why unless my soaps get a return I will not watch ABC…guess it’s all about the cash register not quality..Good Luck to all AMC & OLTL cast & crewmembers…

Jared
Jared

Next to the word “CLASS” in the dictionary should be a picture of Erika Slezak’s face. What I will miss most when our beloved ONE LIFE TO LIVE leaves the air is how comforting Erika’s portrayal of Victoria is/was. Erika, you are a true lady through and through. God bless.

Jan
Jan

Women, too petty.
PROSPECT PARK you wont work IN SHOW BIZ again…dumb asses.
I had to say it.

Carly
Carly

Goodbye Vicky, It’s been a very long time (I watched from the very beginning) and you’ve been great. I will miss all of you. My heart was broken when Todd (Victor) left the sorrow only grows as I watch each day. I only hope Ron gave you all a proper ending and swan song. OLTL will always have a corner of my heart.
Carly

Joanne
Joanne

Thank you Erika/Vicky for many happy years of viewing pleasure. You and all of OLTL will be surely missed!!

Elizabeth Owens
Elizabeth Owens

She is such a gracious lady.

countrymom56
countrymom56

I thought that Erika gave a great interview that she gave to us. I have great respect for her as a person and an actress, and will miss OLTL when it comes to an end.

Kelly Crews
Kelly Crews

Ii am writing you with tear filled eyes. I feel like I have lost an entire branch of my family. As I try to get throuh your final episodes without crying I just want to thank you for all the years I have been able to share in OLTL programming. 33 years I have been watching. I guess I have enjoyed you most of all as you charactor Vickie and alternates. You were by far the lead player in this soap. So I wish you all the luck and any program you join I will be there watching as your biggest fan. I watched all abc soaps and OLTL will always be my fav. I will be watching Gh as long as it last but then I will nolonger watch ABC. Good luck with your future and always remember You will truly be missed

Jennifer
Jennifer

Thank your for the wonderful memories that you have brought to my life. Thank you for the hearty laughs, and wonderful story lines. I am very sad to see my ULTIMATE favorite show go off air, I truly hope that whoever can bring OLTL back on air will indeed do so. I’m very sad to see the show go. May God Bless each of you in your futures!

Louise Kahler
Louise Kahler

Erika is always a lady. She is quite diplomatic in her comments. I’m sure she is
disappointed, as are we, the fans.

What about Oprah picking up the show for her failing tv venture?
What about shooting the show 30 minutes a day for the first year or two to see
how it goes then increasing it to 1 hour. That should reduce some of the stress
and costs.
I wonder how much the union played in the demise of the proceedings. The union did not
appear to be putting the actors first, if they did, the union would have been more
helpful and more expedient.
No One that I know of tried to market a ‘pay for view’ type of thing to the public.
I would be willing to pay to view One Life to Live and All My Children,

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

Gosh, on today’s (Friday”s) show, I cried on on the end, BUT I never had THIS experience, I started laughing while crying when Clint had a “Red Fox ” heart attack (My honey does that to make me laugh when something shocking happens) anyway, Clint did the old ” over the heart, heart attack ” thing and positioned himself right down on the floor besides Vicky, I laughed while crying and thought and the same time: The writer’s of this markable show are brilliant…..

Joyce
Joyce

I am so broken hearted over the loss of this great show. Vicki Lord is absolutely the best and I shall miss her. I wish Erica nothing but good things in the future. Thanks for so many years of good TV. I won’t lower myself to watch the crap being offered on ABC. What a stupid move!!!!
RIP – OLTL

Carol
Carol

I CANNOT tell you how completely saddened I was when I watch the last episode of OLTL. If they wanted to take one off the air it should have been GENERAL HOSPITAL

Carol
Carol

I recorded both OLTL and GH because I work. I looked forward each day to seeing OLTL. GH I just whiz through because it JUST BORES ME. Nothing but guns and violence. At least the characters on OLTL seemed so real and interesting and I couldn’t wait to see the outcome. I WILL NOT WATCH THE RESOLUTION, yet another self help show. I want entertainment when I come home from work not something I have to think about and feel bad about myself so they can fix it.
I AM JUST DEVISTATED ABOUT THIS WHOLE THING AND I HOPE THE NEW SHOWS ABC IS PUTTING ON JUST GOES DOWN THE DRAIN

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

Oprah is off the air, and Oprah’s show was about life changing, self help, being in touch with your spirit/ true self, weight loss issues, greed, over-spending, better relationhip with lover’s and families, clutter, health issues, overall living your best life. These shows/ this Revolution and Chew show is about these things. abc is trying to capitolize on Oprah’s message. If she were still on, the soaps would still be on, BC they wouldn’t be able to put these shows before her’s because it would be over sensation. Then, there would be no complaints about the soaps, they would of lived with it, or found different type of programing, and it wouldn’t of been Katie Courie either because, Katie’s talk show, the Chew and Revolution is like a miny Oprah all together. But of course no one can’t be Oprah. When Oprah made her annoucement to leave her show on Friday, Nov 20, 2009 that she would leave her show, abc had 1 year and a half until it ended in May 2011 to RID the soaps and capitaliz on her Change Your Life Message. And they did that with the Chew, Revolution, and celebrity talk show Katie Courie. That’s miny Oprah packaged differently. Had she not left, the soaps would still be on, because what else could they put there for daytime other than a game show., and after having soaps for decades that would surely be a ratings buster. Oprah’s show did everything that the Chew, Revolution and Katie will do. That’s the bottom line folks. abc wants to capture that audience interested in those subjects and lifestyle. So no need to ask why abc canceled our soaps at this juncture.

Tina Fowble
Tina Fowble

Erika is a class act and I cannot wait to see where she lands next. She has already stated she would move to LA if that is what it took so I know she will wind up on my screen again. I will miss her as Viki terribly because she was like a treasured family member to me.

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With the return of the mighty Hughes comes some intriguing romantic storypoints in that: the man who proposed to Anna before she left Port Charles, Hamilton Finn (Michael Easton), has found out that he is a father to Hayden’s (Rebecca Budig) child.  Previously, he thought the child had died, but Hayden lied and thus the two have moved from icy towards each other, to growing closer.

What will happen when Anna finds out what has gone in Port Charles while she was away?

ABC and GH released this week’s promo which teases a moment where Anna announces she has returned while Finn and Hayden are together.  You can check that out below.

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The news of the recast came via TV Line, and Setton is set to make her on-screen debut next Monday on the November 18th episode of the ABC soap.

In story, it looks like Ned and his current wife, Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) welcome Brook Lynn back to Port Charles. The role haas previously been played by Brooke Radding and Adrianne Leon.

In addition to her work as the former Mrs. Clint Buchanan in Llanview, (Kimberly started as a Las Vegas stripper who came to Llanview to help her best friend, Stacy Moraso played by Crystal Hunt) Setton has had numerous primetime roles including: Hawaii Five-0, The Crazy Ones, The Mindy Project, and Gossip Girl.

News of the return of Brook Lynn to GH comes on the heels of the return of Nikolas Cassadine now played by actor, Marcus Coloma.

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Along with GH, the foundation’s seal of authentic representation went to: Netflix’s Tales of the City and Raising Dion, and BBC/HBO’s Years and Years and Audience’s Loudermilk, great company for the ABC daytime drama series to be included with.

Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation expressed in a statement. “By giving credit where credit is due in Hollywood, we hope to inspire a broader, longer-term, industry-wide sea change when it comes to authentically casting actors of all abilities.”

In addition, Frank Valentini, executive producer of General Hospital stated: “Our goal has always been to provide stories that are authentic and relatable for our viewers. Having the opportunity to welcome Maysoon Zayid onto the show was exciting for us. She is an incredible talent and was a perfect fit to guest-star as Zahra Amir. It takes all kinds of people to tell a story; especially those that are rich and entertaining enough to resonate with our audience.”

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