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News for the week of 15-Apr-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

New York City radio station Z100 is set to host a preview party to celebrate the relaunch of AMC and OLTL April 25 — four days before the first airing of the online episodes. The soaps’ first episodes will be live-streamed from Z100 at 7 p.m. ET in the NYC area before a live audience. After the special preview, fans can stick around for a Q&A with some of the cast. For NYC-based fans to win a chance to sit in that audience, win a walk-on role, and maybe even get one of your questions answered, go to the Z100’s website right now.

For Prospect Park’s co-executive Jeff Kwatinetz, choosing AMC/OLTL—two soaps—to revive online was a no-brainer. Of all the types of shows to choose from, Kwatinetz thought soaps were perfect, because of their unique, built-in audience of “long-term” fans. While he refused to comment on specifics about the financial aspects of resurrecting these two formerly ABC Daytime soaps, he did talk up the advantages of going online for what will become 210 shows a year. “There’s a great advantage to online distribution. For starters, we don’t have to deal with region by region markets for distribution. We also eliminate carriage and distribution fees by going online. Our programs will still reach an extremely large audience, who don’t need to have a DVR to access our programs. Fans can access the content whenever, wherever.” –Forbes interview with Lesleyann Coker, April 10, 2013

When AMC was first canceled in 2011, Cady McClain (Dixie) was one of the few cast members who was not blindsided. She’s kind of savvy about what’s current in entertainment and always envisioned a near-future of online and cable stories to tell, advocating these forward-thinking platforms for soaps. But when it came time for AMC’s resurrection — online no less — McClain wasn’t so sure about her place on the soap. “Oh God, I wondered if they were even going to call me,” she admitted to Mark Brennan Rosenberg for his April 10th Huffington Post piece. “I hadn't been a big part of the show in the 2000s, and didn't know if Michael [E. Knight, who plays Cady's character’s Dixie's love interest Tad Martin] was going to do it because I knew he had been pretty beat up those years when I was gone. I suspected he wanted a breather for a bit. If he didn't do it, I wasn't sure that they'd call me because our characters were so connected. When Ginger [Smith, EP of AMC] called and asked me to come back, I was over the moon. Ginger is an incredible person who knows the show backwards and forewords and really appreciates its history. She told me ‘you're essential to this show and we need you, I can't do it without you,’ which was amazing to hear. I mean, incredibly validating after everything I had been through. I told her, ‘Whatever you want. I'll come back for five hours, five days, five weeks. Whatever you need. I love you.’ Everything has been kind of a whirlwind since then, on every level. But it's great. I believe in the show and believe that Ginger will take care of the show and the characters in a way that makes the fans very happy.”

Paula Garces (Devious Maids; ex-Pilar, GL) joins AMC as Lea Marquez, someone on the right side of the law (probably a cop).

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