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News for the week of 04-Feb-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Former OLTL stars Roger Howarth (Todd), Michael Easton (John), and Kristen Alderson (Starr) must take a break from GH as of February 8, because of Prospect Park’s and ABC Daytime’s ongoing negotiations over character licensing. Prospect Park has licensing rights to OLTL’s characters and is planning on recasting these roles. In the meantime, TPTB are trying to make it work out for both GH and the new, online OLTL. The OLTL characters will continue on-air at GH through March for sure. After that, it’s up to what TPTB work out. –Soap Opera Digest online, February 1, 2013

According to Prospect Park’s latest announcement about the situation, executives there want what’s best for both the online OLTL and GH. Back when OLTL was canceled in 2011, Prospect Park agreed to lend GH some major characters to keep OLTL fresh in the minds of the audience in preparation for an online launch. However, it was a loan. Now comes the part where both parties have to agree on the nuts and bolts of sharing. Here’s Prospect Park’s actual statement on the matter: “Prospect Park understands that GENERAL HOSPITAL has featured Llanview transplants Michael Easton (John) and Kristen Alderson (Starr) among others while we arranged production of the new version of ONE LIFE TO LIVE. These characters, who we own under our agreement, are obviously essential to our production efforts, and a large reason we licensed the program. We also understand that legions of GENERAL HOSPITAL fans have grown to love these actors and characters in a short time. So even though we are paying ABC millions of dollars to license the shows, we have been, and continue to be willing to equally share the characters with GENERAL HOSPITAL and ABC. It's a win-win for the actors, the shows and fans, who love all of the shows and storylines. We hope to work out these agreements with ABC and the actors.” –We Love Soaps’ Roger Newcomb update, February 1, 2013

Sean Kanan (A.J.; ex-Deacon, Y&R/B&B) and his wife Michele share a blended family of five children and two dogs while living and working in California. Now, they’ll get to share their stories with the radio audience, maybe even have celeb guests on. Their new radio show, Kanan Rules, will air 8 p.m.-9 p.m. PT on the UBN Radio Network with streaming video/audio from Hollywood’s Sunset Gower Studios, starting February 6. “Five years ago I was a bachelor who lived alone in the Hollywood Hills. I came and went and didn’t answer to anyone. Now I am living with a wife, five kids and two dogs. That alone provides enough topics to last the next 10 years!”

Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) leads a battalion of GH stars in the fourth annual GH Fan Build Day for Habitat for Humanity and in honor of the late John Ingle (Edward) February 9, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in L.A. The stars include Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis), Jane Elliot (Tracy), Jason Thompson (Patrick), Dominic Zamprogna (Dante), Chad Duell (Michael), Kristen Alderson (Starr), Kelly Sullivan (Kate/Connie), Kelly Thiebaud (Dr. Britt), and Teresa Castillo (Sabrina), with more to come. Registration is open but space fills up fast. Only registered fans will know the location of the home build, with all of the proceeds going to the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles.

Going to the annual GH Fan Club Weekend July 25-29? Soap columnist/GHFCW staff Katrina Rasbold (Eye on Soaps, All My Writers) has a guidebook for that, only $5.

Casting wants a talented, young black or mixed race actor to take on a new, contract role as a hot but deep GH intern.

Gossip for the week of 04-Feb-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Confused by the Prospect Park versus ABC Daytime haggling over licensed OLTL characters? A DD insider named Happy New Years tried to explain the backstage negotiations, which has gone into overtime. Prospect Park loaned ABC Daytime use of its OLTL characters for a year. ABC Daytime simply wants another year extension. Prospect Park would agree to this deal, if ABC Daytime agreed to loaning out GH characters too to help with the online OLTL launch. For this to happen, the lawyers and the unions have to figure out how to make contracts broader for the cross-overs and cross-promotions between a major network program and an unproven web series. In order to accommodate the unions, there needs to be more time for ABC Daytime, which Prospect Park can ill afford. “…two separate Disney divisions were in conflict because the PP deal runs through the Disney Media Group.” When Disney’s honchos were asked to intervene and end this stalemate, they “undercut ABCD's needs and sided with DIMG/PP. This decision effectively ended ABCD's appeal for time. The character licenses reverted back to PP. To my knowledge, this is the only thing that has been settled this week. … Disney execs simply made it clear PP's success matters to them more than ABCD's needs. As a result, ABCD bitterly unhappy they cannot wield Disney's power against PP and their negotiating position in future talks been weakened. ABCD can posture and leak PR spin all day. But, FV/RC very much want to retain the actors in their established OLTL roles. PP can counter and posture we will recast the characters all day. But there is good reason PP have been seeking to sign as many former stars as possible. Stalemate? I hear the larger framework deal is not completely dead. And, union lawyers still in the mix. Additionally, most everyone in the genre wants PP to succeed. It could provide ‘soft landings’ for daytime talent, and prove a future home for GH, too. Hurting PP's chances is really not in daytime's best interest. However, acknowledging that reality can be hard today when your bosses undercut you and feelings are so raw.”

Happy New Years also hinted at another “bomb” going off next week in the backstage soap within a soap goings on.

What if Sam’s father turns out to be Cesar Faison and Kevin is really psycho twin brother Ryan in disguise? Another DD drop from last week.

Sam may face Faison and be the one to deliver sweet, fatal justice for her beloved Jason.

Carly Schroeder (Serena Baldwin), Scott’s daughter, may show up soon. Serena is the biological offspring of Scott and the late Dominique, adopted by Lucy later on. Daytime Confidential’s Jillian Bowe, February 1, 2013

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