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News for the week of 21-Jan-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Amidst rumors that Prospect Park wants Roger Howarth (ex-Todd Manning), Michael Easton (ex-John McBain), and Kristen Alderson (ex-Starr Manning) back on OLTL for the online reboot, ABC made an official statement on the matter January 17, acknowledging there are “ongoing” talks in progress to work out a deal that makes everyone happy: “We have various strategies in place depending on the outcome of these talks and of Prospect Parks’ plans.” Prospect Park owns the licensing rights to the OLTL characters, so execs could call back these three in particular from their work on GH to do the online project. Soap Opera Network, Errol Lewis, January 17, 2013

Prospect Park execs last week appointed Susie Bedsow Horgan (OLTL 1990s) and Thom Racina (GH 1980s, DOOL ‘80s) as the online OLTL co-head writers.

When asked whether she would join the online OLTL bandwagon, Farah Fath (ex-Gigi) tweeted, “No,” last week. John-Paul Lavoisier (ex-Rex) also will not join.

Robert S. Woods (ex-Bo), however, confirmed January 17 he would join to entertainment writer Jeff Giles. Giles is also putting together an oral history of OLTL and has been interviewing past and current cast and crew for “Llanview In The Afternoon…”

Prospect Park’s casting department sent out a call for the recasts of Matthew and Destiny, as contract roles, as well as a character named Billy. Billy’s described in the casting list as white, in his 30s, “ruggedly handsome, charming yet na´ve in relationships, he falls in love first and thinks second. He is a man of strong values who puts family before all else.” This character description has many OLTL fans wondering if it’s a recast of Ryan Phillippe’s gay Billy Douglas? –Soap Opera Digest online

Gossip for the week of 21-Jan-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

With Prospect Park launching OLTL and AMC — ABC Daytime soaps which were canceled in 2011 — for its Online Network soon, some of the main characters appearing on GH could be compromised. Prospect Park owns the rights to all of the OLTL/AMC characters. As such, it can recall John McBain, Todd and Starr Manning for the online reboot. According to Daytime Confidential’s Jamey Giddens, January 17, that time’s coming soon, most likely temporarily, based on his sources. “Per the agreement ABC Daytime made when they originally brought on the three One Life to Live characters,GH has to stop using Todd and Co. now that Prospect Park's The Online Network is prepping to relaunch OLTL,” Giddens wrote. The up side is, Prospect Park may only need these three core OLTL characters to help launch the online soap, which reportedly will skew younger. An inside source told Giddens: “Prospect Park realizes these three characters could initially help draw fans to the new One Life. There are ongoing talks between ABC and Prospect Park about the characters returning to General Hospital at some point, which could be fine with [Prospect Park] as they eventually want to go much younger with their soaps.” If any of this happens, the actors playing John, Todd, and Starr are rumored not to be excited about getting pulled away from their steady day jobs to do the online obligation; however, “there's speculation that ABC—to which they are under contract—could ask them to appear on OLTL in a show of good faith,” Giddens continued. They don’t even have to oblige Prospect Park either — execs would easily recast — said one source, “but people high up on the Disney-ABC food chain want to see these shows succeed online.” None of this is going to happen during GH’s February Sweeps though.

Robin Strasser (ex-Dorian) tweeted January 15 to fans that she is happy to join the Prospect Park reboot party: “#OLTL & #AMC FANS ROCK! It was definite last night I'd be PART (DORIAN AGAIN:) of REVIVAL! Who knew HAPPINESS could make you lose sleep?:)”

Erika Slezak (ex-Viki) and Jerry verDorn (ex-Clint) were also asked by Prospect Park to join OLTL online. They purportedly have contracts lined up, like Robert S. Woods (ex-Bo).

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