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News for the week of 19-Mar-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

In 2011, ABC Daytime saw fit to cancel the long-running soaps of AMC and OLTL. After a near-miss, Prospect Park brought the soaps back for an online fit. AMC has already begun filming in its new Stamford, CT studio, with OLTL to follow suit (sharing a rotational schedule). On April 29th, the soaps will air on Prospect Park’s Online Network. Viewers can access the online soaps on, Hulu Plus, and iTunes.

Shenaz Treasury (Rama) will play a heavier role in the new, revamped online OLTL. The recurring actress was recently promoted to a contract.

Disney darling Corbin Bleu/Chad Danforth (High School Musical) landed a contract role as Jeffrey King, a new, hotshot reporter for The Banner.

Without loyal, vocal soap fans, the revival of AMC/OLTL might never have happened. In celebration of them and such a revival by Prospect Park, soap fans the world over are invited to a fun, March 18th rally in front of the Stamford, CT studio, the Connecticut Film Center on 300 Stillwater Ave. The rally, sponsored by Soap Fans United and GLOBE magazine editor Jeff Rodack, is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., to match OLTL’s first tape date. Thanks to Rodack, GLOBE’s “Save Our Soaps” helped campaign to bring AMC/OLTL back when these two ABC Daytimes were killed off in 2011. “Save Our Soaps” kept the demand alive through social media, letters, boycotts, and phone calls.

Soap Opera Network’s been on a roll with exclusive interviews of OLTL and AMC actors lately, getting the lowdown on their reaction to the revival in fine, punchy, journalistic style. Kudos to writer Kambra Clifford for all the hard work and creativity. In part one of two of a March 15th, “Center Stage” interview, Clifford finds out from veteran actress Erika Slezak (Viki) just how it feels to be back since the cancellation. Obviously, it feels great to be surprised like this. Slezak pointed to some pivotal behind-the-scenes players as strong sources of confidence in this online endeavor, people like creator Agnes Nixon, executive producer Jenn Pepperman, and co-head writer Susan Horgan. She knows these people and their professional work ethic. She’s spoken with Horgan at great length prior to taking on her role again. “She emailed me a few weeks ago, and she said, ‘You’re going to love this. This is so exciting.’ I had lunch with her right after she took the job, and we talked for like three hours just about where the show was when it ended, and she already had so many crazy, wonderful ideas, and I thought, ‘This is going to be great.’” Slezak doesn’t have enough praise to heap on the two men who made the OLTL revival happen. But she did try. Prospect Park execs Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank “have made so many people so happy. Not just the actors and the people who are working again, but the fans, who are thrilled — thrilled. And it is only because of them really not taking no for an answer that this is happening. So it’s brilliant.”

Gossip for the week of 19-Mar-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Soap Opera Uncensored’s Nelson Branco went straight to Trevor St. John (ex-Victor/Todd) to see if he would return to the online OLTL as rumored. But St. John told Branco TPTB never asked him back. Still, the actor hoped the revived soap is a great success. “I wish them the best of luck with the show, however, Jennifer Pepperman is a great director and will surely make a great EP.”

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