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News for the week of 01-Jul-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Oprah Winfrey last week told soap fans that she heard them on Twitter and Facebook pleading for her to save their ABC Daytime soaps. She’s finally doing it, somewhat, by re-airing Prospect Park’s rebooted AMC and OLTL on her OWN network, starting July 15. OWN picked up the Prospect Park/OnLine Network’s first 40 shows and will show them again for a limited, 10-week summer fling special. The episodes air Monday through Thursday, with AMC on at 1 p.m. ET/PT and OLTL, 3 p.m. ET/PT.

Before the Oprah/OWN announcement came a scheduling change from Prospect Park. It would involve rolling out all new AMC and OLTL episodes on Monday, instead of spreading them out Monday through Thursday, starting July 1.

Naturally two OLTL vets, Robert S. Woods (Bo) and Hillary B. Smith (Nora) approve of Oprah Winfrey’s decision to air their and AMC’s reruns on the OWN network. They believe it’s a sound move to put OLTL in the 3 p.m. slot (where GH used to be before Katie Couric took it over on ABC) and AMC in the 1 p.m. slot, with GH moved up to 2 p.m. That way, Smith said, all the soaps are covered in the time slots where they belong. Both Smith and Woods agreed that this will give the non-‘Net-savvy fans a chance to continue keeping up with their stories on a legitimate TV network. “…for those people who don't have Internet, they like that habit. They like going back to the television set. I think it's wonderful to have both platforms working. I think it covers all of the bases and that everyone who can see it will get to see it; who wants to see it can actually access it now,” Smith said. Woods added that Winfrey was an OLTL fan from way back, back to when she first started out at the Chicago A.M. talk show. The irony of OLTL reruns going in the 3 p.m. time slot isn’t lost on Woods either. “Yea, and I'm glad that it's taking the 3 o'clock time slot because of what the big deal was that was going to save network time slot from the demise of soap operas, which were passť, I guess. I don't know. So I'm glad it's 3 o'clock and poor Katie Couric, I hope we bury her.” –Soap Opera Digest online, June 27, 2013

Gossip for the week of 01-Jul-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

For soap fans uptight about Oprah Winfrey first refusing to save OLTL and AMC in 2011, actor Robert S. Woods (Bo) and Hillary B. Smith (Nora) had the perfect answer. “You know, it's dollars and cents. I don't think she was ready to take over the whole production,” Woods said. And Smith elaborated, “To have it on television again and I agree with Woods, I think with Oprah at the time to take on the production and the cost of it, it was prohibitive. But to syndicate it is something else. I think it's going to help her network and we're thrilled that she's doing it. I think she'll be thrilled she did it and also, it's not dead. It's not dead. And the way it ended with ABC, it left everyone thinking that it was dead. We had a year to re-group, re-think and re-attack the show in a new way and I think that also made it new and exciting and something to be looked at. So I tip my hat off to Jen [Pepperman, OLTL's EP], Ginger [Smith, AMC's EP], [PP's] Jeff [Kwatinetz] and Rich [Frank] because they have reinvented ONE LIFE TO LIVE in a very younger and hip way and still kept all of the vets and favorites in a compelling story.” –SOD.com

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