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BREAKING NEWS: Prospect Park announces plans to bring OLTL & AMC Online are Dead!

Terrible news today soap fans, and we hate to report this, but as we have been suspecting the efforts of media and production company, Prospect Park to bring One Life to Live and All My Children online have come to a screeching halt!  Prospect Park’s Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank have now come forth after weeks of speculation of what was happening with OLTL’s move online, while announcing AMC was stalled, and the information they have to pass on is not good.  Prospect Park was unable to reach guild deals to make the soaps run on the internet a reality. Arrangements with the unions were also necessary if Prospect Park wanted to also sell the soaps to cable.

What a blow to soap fans everywhere who had pinned their hopes (after ABC Daytime’s devastating decision to dump both shows) with a move online in new uncharted territory.  All the more disturbing is how One Life to Live believed up until last week that they still had a shot at being the first network soap moved to the web with new episodes.

Here is the official release from Prospect Park! “After five months of negotiations with various guilds, hundreds of presentations to potential financial and technology partners, and a hope that we could pioneer a new network for the future, it is with great disappointment that we are suspending our aspirations to revive One Life to Live and All My Children via online distribution. It is now becoming clear that mounting issues make our ability to meet our deadlines to get OLTL on the air in a reasonable time period following its Jan. 13, 2012 ABC finale impossible.

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We believed the timing was right to launch an Online TV Network anchored by these two iconic soap operas, but we always knew it would be an uphill battle to create something historical, and unfortunately we couldn’t ultimately secure the backing and clear all the hurdles in time. We believe we exhausted all reasonable options apparent to us, but despite enormous personal, as well as financial cost to ourselves, we failed to find a solution.

While we narrowed in on a financial infrastructure, the contractual demands of the guilds, which regulate our industry, coupled with the program’s inherent economic challenges ultimately led to this final decision. In the end, the constraints of the current marketplace, including the evolution and impact of new media on our industry simply proved too great a match for even our passion.

In our opinion, new models like this can only work with the cooperation of many people striving to make them happen, and we would like to thank and praise the numerous people who tried to help and showed us incredible support. We are extremely grateful to the fans and media who showed great support to us through this process, to ABC who did everything in their control to help, and we are especially grateful for the support and encouragement from many of the soaps’ cast and crew themselves.

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We hope that our efforts are not lost, and that we somehow created a dialogue and movement on the feasibility of first run, network quality content online. Of special note, we would like to thank Frank Valentini (Executive Producer), Ron Carlivati (Head Writer of OLTL), Agnes Nixon, many of the cast of OLTL including Michael Easton, Ted King, Kelley Missal, Melissa Archer, and of course Erika Slezak all of whom signed on quickly and did all they could to help, as well as our own Christine Sacani. Cameron Mathison and Lindsay Hartley also get our sincerest thanks for their support. We feel terrible we couldn’t come through for them and we were very much looking forward to working together.”

Oh soapers, what can we say?  We are disappointed and upset and sad and mad just like all of you.  Let us know your thoughts!

 

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Brian Greene
Brian Greene

I feel extremely upset by this recent news. Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn!!!!

Lori
Lori

If this is true/Words can not describe the pain that brings me. And all anyone can say is sorry. This is a true shame to daytime T.V. and a fantastic genre.

leah
leah

Donald trump wanted to run for president he talked about jobs and if he cares about new york and creating jobs and decreasing un employment-then let him help this deal out. Someone go to him -tell him about the jobs that would be saved and created from this deal. At the end of the day its not about genera it about dollars… and not only that I would like to see someone show ABC Disney how dirty and foolish they were for killing day time t.v.
Move the shows to cable. Out of all the soaps on abc OLTL is the contender and it should live on.. the writning is hot and would do well on cable..

Carol
Carol

I was always skeptical that PP would be able to pull this off, trying to take the shows online with little change to their present format. But that doesn’t make me mourn the loss of the shows, OLTL in particular. It also angers me that PP supposedly mandated that the show change their plans of giving fans closure in favor of cliffhanger endings which would be better for marketing. And now – too late for change – the viewers will be stuck with what those changes necessitated. How cruel for the fans of these shows to have their hopes raised only to have them dashed once more. And how sad for all the casts and crews of the shows. My heart goes out to all of them.

Iakovos
Iakovos

Are you serious, Michael? Is it true? I cannot even begin to register this disappointment.

I pray there is time for ONE LIFE TO LIVE to craft a finale that is indeed that, and any loose ends are filled with hope. After so many years watching, we need that. Oh, and I feel so very sad with my fellow ALL MY CHILDREN fans that we shall never know how that cliffhanger finale will resolve. That final episode was disappointing.

Indeed, mad, sad, disappointed, upset… I feel all of those emotions.

ethel
ethel

oltl already taped the final episode on nov 18th…………….

mike
mike

This is a lot of bull. The news is released today to get lost in the holiday shuffle. The Prospect Park guys are not what they presented themselves to be. If they hadn’t stepped in another outlet may have picked up OLTL which is still a viable show.

Michelle
Michelle

Time to get back to fighting to save our soaps. It’s the last minute; we need everyone’s help. For starters, participate in the coupon campaign if you haven’t already at sudz.tv Secondly, the Boycott ABC 7 facebook page has determined they will continue fighting to find a home for our soaps. There will be tasks there soon. We need everyone’s help. REMEMBER this is the last minute, there is no time to waste.

Rob
Rob

I give PP major props for at least trying. The unions could have maybe worked at being a tad more amenable so some actors & crew would still have jobs. It pains me to see how far ABC Daytime has collapsed. GH Is as dark, depressing & violent as ever! Garin Wolf has turned out to be a huge failure. Actually, I shouldn’t pin the GH debacle all on him. Jill Farren Phelps has to be the worlds WORST Executive Producer EVER and she has certainly proven that at GH. She has driven a once popular & iconic show into the ground. ABC has in my opinion hired horrible creative people to helm the soaps on purpose. Its so sad and it makes me angry.

Carol
Carol

The unions were willing try. PP had been cancelling meetings and not negotiating with them. Don’t blame the unions for this one.

Sarah StJohn
Sarah StJohn

We can all thank the idiots in charge at ABC for the disrespect they are showing daytime fans with this travesty. They consider us fools, who cannot think, cook, or learn anything on our own, without their supreme “guidance” . They have dishonoured years of tradition, and enjoyment that generations of folk in all stations of life have enjoyed: athletes, housewives, shut-ins,students, educated people, who are quite capable of choosing their own entertainment. Newsflash: Boycotts work. They really do, and we are ready to do just that. Sponsors, network, you pick it, and we will pretend you no longer exist. For, for all of us, you do not. Disney, include yourself.
You will soon learn that we are not so mindless after all!

boes
boes

I am heartsick.

Again.

Jack
Jack

Finally we can put this issue to rest. The news is out….PP did the dirty work of ABC, which was to get us to stop protesting and calling the sponsors. Then, when they had us right where they wanted us, they kicked us between the legs, really hard, and smiled. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Torrey
Torrey

Truer words have never been spoken. PP was something cooked up by ABC to get the heat off their backs…..and now, with perfect timing they release this news that they will be suspending OLTL’s production. What a crock!!!

Deb V T
Deb V T

I agree, it was all smoke and mirrors. I am a 40+yr fan of OLTL. Some Thanksgiving announcement!

Mark
Mark

It does seem very obvious that ABC used Prospect Park to get the fans off of the back of ABC. Doesn’t the lack of communication by PP to the creative people involved look like the same tactics of ABC? I really feel bad for Ms. Nixon to have been jerked around by the actions of PP.

Torrey
Torrey

And for some reason, they don’t think that the fans are smart enough to figure this out. Why even make an announcement that you plan on saving the soaps and putting them in line, if you know you don’t have the financial means to support the task? And ABC is the even bigger jerk, because in the contract they had with PP, Prospect Park was to continue to pay ABC for I can’t remember how long, even after they moved online…..If ABC doesn’t wish to continue producing the show, then cut all ties, and sign over ALL the rights to the show.

Webbie
Webbie

My heart goes out to everyone involved in this sad announcement. It truly shows that there isn’t much hope to keep the genre going.

I’ve been watching soaps since my first EON episode in 1978. It truly breaks my heart to see what has become of these once great shows. I wish the remaining soaps much luck in the rest of their runs, however long they may be.

kay killgore
kay killgore

I had not watched AMC for years but did OLTL this is why 2 months ago I quit I felt all along it was Smoke & Mirrors. Sorry Soap fans, but I am afraid in another year all the soaps will be gone and yes it is sad.

Jack
Jack

Wouldn’t it be great if the cast of GH started messing with ABC and calling in sick left and right, or giving less than stellar performances…anything to sabotage the show. That would show ABC who’s calling the shots, and would be a nice parting shot from the 3 soaps that will eventually cease to exist on ABC.

joseph
joseph

we gotta fight harder to get these soaps back http://petitionbureau.org/bringbackoltlamc SOS (SAVE OUR SOAPS)!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeffrey Moree
Jeffrey Moree

Well i will have absolutely no reason at all to watch abc. Who knows maybe in 20 years there will be a revival of soaps maybe sooner. Univision plays novelas maybe that is what abc cbs and nbc should do have them have a begining and an end that way they will be expected to end and not be so upsetting by their demises.

pj jones
pj jones

What a coincidence that everything has fallen apart.

First came the announcement that there was government funding for this online project. (I hope that any funds that were received will be returned).
Then the plans for AMC were put on hold.
Now that OLTL has finished filming the deal is dead in the water.

Seems to me that that something smells, but it isn’t the cheese. How convenient for ABC and Prospect Park.

Brian
Brian

I first read this story just before leaving work, and came home to watch the Thanksgiving episode, so ironic that we found this news out today… Vicki’s toast to the family was so beautful, and then to have the show end the way it did with Matthew, I just could not hold back the tears… and when Vicki is the Vicki we all know and love so much, she reminds me of my mother who past three ago. Such thanks to all the amazing cast of One Life To Live. Thank you for the most heartfelt show ever.

lisa
lisa

Blah,blah,blah was PP even real ??
Interesting this news comes 3 days after the last tape day.
I just hope that Agnes Nixon and camp will compile a beautiful boxed DVD set of both soaps complete with interviews, it would be a small consolation for the fans who have loved both soaps.

toscanti
toscanti

Karma is a BITCH!!!!!! What comes around goes around. Happy Holidays all.

ALICIA
ALICIA

WHAT???????? SUCH CRAP PROSPECT PARK IS JUST AS FULL OF CRAP AS ABC, LETS BOYCOTT THEM BOTH……SUCH BULL CRAP

Blake
Blake

Mike and Jack, ITA!!!! I also think PP were hired by ABC to be the scapecoat so that ABC avoids the backlash. And also agree that PP released it right at the holidays so that it’s lost in the shuffle. How cowardly of PP.
And of course they got attention from their company. But karma is a bitch and for getting everyone’s hopes up will come back to PP, ABC, Frons and Sweeney. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Blake
Blake

And I send love to the actors, crew, writers and to Frank and Agnes for this horrible news at the worst time.

Blake
Blake
jp
jp

This is indeed a sad, sad day. Words can not express how devasted and heart broken that OLTL will not continue after its January 13th finale. Watching today’s Thanksgiving episode, we got to see the best of the best deliver heartfelt performances. As Matthew died today, so did our hope that OLTL would live on. Thank you OLTL for so many memories.

Jenna
Jenna

What a lovely Thanksgiving kick in the butt for the OLTL cast, crew and fans. NOT!

No matter WHAT, I will continue boycott all daytime programming on ABC EXCEPT for GH. If and when it goes, I will never watch ABC daytime again.

Jennifer
Jennifer

I am so with you on this!! I said I would not watch ABC ever again, and I will not!!!

Helga
Helga

I am very sad about this news. If not on-line then why not allow another network like NBC or CBS to take over these two incredible shows. Shame on ABC for putting so many fine actors, writers, directors, and crew members out of work. Is ABC so insecure in their ability to make money from daytime programing that they would not have considered an alternative since they were no longer interested in producing Daytime Soaps? People are still interested in seeing good drama and not everything is about Reality TV or cooking shows. Also, why would the various Guilds make it difficult for their members to continue working especially in a time when jobs are hard to come by. Somewhat confusing if you ask me.

Heather
Heather

CBS and NBC don’t want anymore soaps on their network.

david
david

Devastating. Heartbreaking. Painful beyond words. Inconsolable grief.

Diettra
Diettra

Seriously how well is The Chew doing what a slap in the face and then that new show The Revolution I mean what a disgrace to our soaps. ABC is failing with the choices they made taking off the greatest soaps there will ever be. What you need to do is bring back AMC and OLTL and get back to your right mind and stop the nonsense with these new shows because I know ABC has lost a lot of ratings. I am so pissed off!!!!!

Chris
Chris

But ABC isn’t failing. The Chew matched the ratings for All My Children during the week of Nov. 7. http://www.tvmediainsights.com/page/5/

david
david

Then canceling AMC paid off for ABC didn’t it? ABC counted on viewers to watch any slop they produced and they were right. Until people develop the discernment and discipline to stop patronizing garbage, the networks have no incentive to produce anything else.

What if The Chew literally failed and got less than a million viewers? Maybe ABC would be rethinking The Revolution.

Doe
Doe

This a travesty! I am now convinced that this was all a sham to deflect the fact that PP and ABC knew all along that puttimg the soaps on line was not going to fly. How could they? OLTL is a class a one soap with sensitive drama played with the best quality of actors on TV. That includes night time. They cancel new shows left and right , pouring money into lousy shows they know won’t make it. Where is the waste in that? We fans of soaps should be outraged for this hoax. OLTL is the show that showed how great a soap could be, great writing, great actors, and great stories. They made us invested and caring for these people in Lanview. I’m sick to my stomach and weeping!……

david
david

One Life to Live literally had only one life, and now it’s gone, it’s dead. I feel like a member of my family died and I never see them again. There’s no hope of an afterlife. It’s depressing that something so beautiful, so uplifting as OLTL could end. I can’t believe 2 million viewers wouldn’t have paid $25 each per year to keep this show going (when Lady Gaga makes $100 million per year).

RIP OLTL. You are so loved.

Jennifer
Jennifer

Amen, and Amen

gloria
gloria

Could not agree more. I feel like I lost my whole family-think of all the good storylines we have going right now that will never be resolved! Tea’s baby! Destiny’s baby! So much good stuff to continue. OLTL always has the best holiday shows-any scene with Viki is a great one. I love Llanfair, I love everything about this show & cannot imagine facing the day on what will be the real BLACK FRIDAY, January 13 (from what I heard this is the last day) Imagine Monday at 1 p.m.-no Llanview. I would have paid plenty to keep this show going.

Eldridge
Eldridge

PP is owned by a former stooge of Disney, it pretty much was a scam to prevent CBS or NBC from possibly buying these shows….

Heather
Heather

Realistically speaking, I doubt CBS and NBC would have picked up All My Children and One Life to Live even if ABC wanted to.

As reflected by their own actions this past couple of years, CBS and NBC are themselves trying to exit the soap opera business just like ABC.

John Russo
John Russo

If people are having trouble with having shows ready for online after jan 2012 then push it back til your ready!! BUT Dont give up just because your not prepared! Loyal soap fans are willing to wait! What you idiots are doing is lying to us and giving up! Get Help if your having a problem! But Dont disappoint millions of soap fans!! As for the new shows THE CHEW IS GONNA CHOKE AND DIE!! No Hymlic maneuver will save it!

nancy
nancy

karma…

Wally
Wally

I said about a week ago after AMC was put on hold by Prospect, that OLTL would go the same way in December. Didn’t think it would happen so soon. I think Prospect intended to put both on in the beginning but saw as the weeks and months went on it was financially impossible.

Rob
Rob

I firmly believe PP bit off more than they could chew and they did it with the best of intentions….

Jennifer
Jennifer

I really am stunned at this news…my son and I who watched faithfully together for many years, both agree this is an extreme blow, made worse by our hopes being raised, and then our hopes completely taken away. It would have almost been better to just have it end with grace, instead of waiting all these months to dash our hopes. I really feel for all of the stars, and will keep them in our prayers. If there is any other way, please someone, lend support!!

JustSaying
JustSaying

I don’t understand something. Please elaborate. The official statement said “we are suspending our aspirations to revive One Life to Live and All My Children via online distribution”.

Suspending a show is not the same as cancelling a show. Is that what they’re officially saying? Because it seems like it’s being suspended for now because of the January deadline. If they need more time, that’s fine. Let them take all the time they need.

Jim
Jim

Let’s give credit where it’s due. Brian Frons’ selection of the last executive producer on AMC still baffles the daytime industry. There was a glimmer of hope with the exec at OLL but even with his optimism, it was an overated asset PP couldn’t take to lenders and ABC couldn’t take to the bank. GH…Good Luck. Even if the Chew and The Revolution don’t make it, I’m sure Brian has ten more in his desk drawer.This man is the Mariano Rivera of Daytime…”The Closer.” Ann Sweeney… either you’re blind or you never cared.

Mary M
Mary M

I am devastated by the loss of OLTL. It’s been a must-see in my household for years. Cannot stand The Chew, and I refuse to watch anything that replaces OLTL. And from reading comments on boards all over the internet, I am not alone. ABC, big mistake!!

rapido
rapido

I was not suprised since all 3 networks are ditching soaps. How was an Internet venture supposed to garner enough revenue? Soaps are dying so fast my head is spinning. Daytime actors are going to have tough sledding. Soap fans know how talented they are but the entertainment industry gives them short shrift. If GH goes down next year there will be 3 soaps left. Seems like yesterday there were 14. Very sad turn of events.

Serg
Serg

I don’t watch OLTL or AMC, but in my heart of hearts, and even though I have no special attachment to either shows, I do not believe Prospect Park was ever going to put these shows back on the air.

All it did was use both legacy shows to draw attention to their budding network and go on a reconnaissance mission to scope out future investors for their online venue. Oprah had said it best when she made her announcement; soaps are expensive to produce. A start up does not have those kind of funds.

david
david

PP has no serious plans for an online network. It’s never had the technical ability or resources. It was a scam from the beginning to lure potential investors, as you suggested. See another story on this site: “AMC’s Cady McClain Sounds Off On Prospect Park’s “Blame Game” & Disappointing Decision!”

mary amos
mary amos

Thanks David.Tired of people blaming the actors on amc.Hell PP didn’t even talk to 90% of them but somehow pp convince people it was there fault and the unions.Talked about how they have millions in this.Then why don’t they have the money for online?Alot don’t add up here

Cakelady
Cakelady

When Glen Beck went off the air, he went to internet programming charging $4.95 per month to subscribe. With the millions of soap fans out there, I would think a nominal fee such as this should generate much of the funds needed to start and keep OLTL going.

I have been watching AMC & OLTL since they started. I cannot watch the soaps during the day, but look forward to seeing them in the evening after a long day’s work. The drama in the character’s lives make the drama in our own lives seem so trivial. Thanks to all the actors who take us away from our own reality. There will be a huge void in my life…

david
david

You are smarter than all the executives at Disney/ABC combined. If less than half of OLTL’s viewers, say 1 million, paid $5 per month that would generate $60 million per year, which is more than OLTL’s current budget. There’s no reason Disney/ABC couldn’t have continued OLTL on the Soap Opera Network or online with the condition that viewers subscribe or else the show dies–to at least test the financial waters–but they weren’t bright enough to think of that.

mary amos
mary amos

Looks like abc put us off 8 months.Never really believed it more then ever when AMC was ready when they promised.Then more excuses and blaming everyone else.I still hope for someone to want the soaps.Reality is so overdown.Everyone is getting sick of paying high prices and only getting crap.Networks need to know these reality,talk and cooking shows are so stupid.That is why they are on cable.

Jan
Jan

I’ve said what I feel, its just disgusting of Prospect Park to take it on giving us hope and then dropping it. Shame on you Prospect Park.

CALLIE
CALLIE

I think if they tried harder this could of worked. And if they would try again and put it online or get a channel to show it on cable. THIS IS VERY UNFAIR. AND IT SUCKS………

flopdoodle
flopdoodle

THIS SUCKS!!!!
I AM JUST FINDING OUT NOW THAT IT WONT BE ONLINE!!
TODAY IS JAN 4 . I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO WATCHING IT ONLINE
LIKE I DONT SEE WHY PEOPLE CANT PAY FOR IT TO WATCH, THEY WOULD MAKE MORE THAN ENOUGH TO RUN THE SHOWW!
THIS REALLY SUCKS
AWEE UGHH . WELL BYEBYE REXY 🙁

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.

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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.

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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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All My Children

All My Children Weeklong Virtual Reunions Kick-Off With Ripa, Consuelos, LaRue and Penny

Beginning this morning, Tuesday, May 26th, a weeklong virtual celebration with the cast of All My Children is on tap for fans of the beloved ABC daytime drama series, featuring a “Who’s Who of Pine Valley”.

The weeklong event is brought to you by EW.com and PEOPLETV.com and starts at 10 am EST/PST.   You can watch it right here.

Featured in the first installments are  the Santos family which includes: real-life marrieds, who met on All My Children, Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley) and Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), as well as Eva LaRue (Maria) and Sydney Penny (Julia).

Episode 2 coming up on Wednesday will feature: Michael E. Knight (Tad Martin), Cady McClain (Dixie Cooney Martin), Jennifer Bassey (Marian Colby Chandler), Jill Larson (Opal Cortlandt), and Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard).

The weeklong event is in support of Feeding America helping those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information and how you can make a donation visit ew.com/allmychildrenreunion

So, let us know what you think of the first installment featuring the Santos clan from Pine Valley as they reunite for a good cause via the comment section below.

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