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News for the week of 22-Apr-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

The Online Network’s OLTL doesn’t air its first episode until April 29th, but curious viewers can glimpse a sneak peek into what’s in store for free on iTunes. Called “First Day Of School,” the teaser video shows Téa revealing her fiercely protective mama bear on Matthew after Dani overdoses at Blair and Cutter’s new nightclub, Shelter.

FX Canada will air AMC and OLTL on its premium television cable channel when new episodes begin airing April 29 via Prospect Park’s the Online Network. AMC will air on FX Canada daily, noon EST/2 p.m. PST, with OLTL coming on 12:30 p.m. EST/2:30 p.m. PST.

AMC and OLTL further entice prospective viewers and fans to start regularly watching with extra videos — “Meet the Crew,” “First Day of School” — featuring interviews and snippets at the iTunes store for download.

Prospect Park founders Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz add more relevant content to their two, revamped ABC Daytime soaps by making Fridays Recap Day. Viewers can catch up on their missed soaps, and more, on Fridays in jam-packed, 30-minute segments via and iTunes. Besides recaps, actors will also participate in Skype and Twitter interactions, interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and lifestyle specials (beauty tips, relationship advice, fashion talk) related to the week’s episodes, all with anchor Leslie Miller (former KABC correspondent). Frank and Kwatinetz are excited. “Creating relevant content that matters to our viewers has always been our goal. This series, produced by some of the best in the business, will be anchored by entertaining segments that will be conversation starters and will be another way for our audience to get up-close and personal with these two beloved series.”

AMC/OLTL creator Agnes Nixon has been allowed to creatively consult this time around. It’s an honor she’s thrilled about. She sees this next series as another step forward, similar to when she first started. “Soap operas made history by being the first shows to move from radio to TV. Now they're the first to move from TV to the Internet,” Nixon told TV Guide’s Michael Logan in his April 18th interview. “People say we're being pioneers here, which makes me feel like I'm 150 years old, or that I should be on a coin or something. Somebody had to make the first move. I'm so glad it was us!”

Prospect Park Networks filed a lawsuit against Walt Disney-owned ABC April 18. The breach of contract lawsuit accuses the company of reneging on promises, destroying OLTL characters crossing over to GH, and infringing on licensing rights of said characters. The $25 million lawsuit was filed in L.A. County Superior Court. According to Prospect Park’s people, they licensed the rights to AMC and OLTL July 2011 after ABC Daytime announced plans to cancel these soaps. Last year, ABC asked to borrow about seven OLTL characters for a GH cross-over, which Prospect Park agreed to temporarily. Once Prospect Park got OLTL off the ground online, however, the seven characters were supposed to revert back. Furthermore, according to Prospect Park’s lawsuit, ABC made an agreement to consult with PP on storylines involving the cross-over OLTL characters, but never did. The suit listed the deaths of Cole and Hope, and Todd moving his newspaper to GH’s Port Charles as two major egregious acts. The suit also alleges the following: “In other instances, ABC damaged 'One Life to Live' characters by, among other things, creating absurd story lines, having characters do things they would never do, and destroying critical character relationships popular with soap fans.” The rest of the lawsuit paints an ugly picture of ABC, calling the network “a serial killer … undercutting Prospect Park's efforts so that ABC could save face with soap opera fans. The suit alleged that ABC would be embarrassed if Prospect Park were to find success with their online productions after ABC canceled the shows.” Nasty. –L.A. Times-Entertainment article by Meg James, April 19, 2013

There are a lot of reasons Josh Kelly (Cutter) signed onto the Prospect Park revival of OLTL. There’s the awesome cast and crew. Pilot season was kinda meh. The online aspect explores untouched creativity. And then, there’s the not so small matter of another project Prospect Park’s behind. “Prospect Park is producing this movie called Growl. We are hoping to shoot very soon. That was part of the reason I initially signed on two years ago. They met with me about this movie. It's very important to me,” Kelly told Daytime Confidential’s Jillian Bowe [April 16, 2013]. Kelly must’ve been the only human on Planet Earth never to have watched JWoww’s Jersey Shore. But there you go. He did catch up on JWoww’s “fascinating” spin-off with Snooki on MTV, since co-starring on OLTL’s reboot. He’s been very impressed with JWoww’s hard work, sense of humor, and ability to really listen during scenes, essential to acting progress.

When JWoww, 27, first started working on OLTL, she was “like shitting” her pants she “was so nervous.” She also didn’t take soaps all that seriously, saying it was “pretty hysterical … and I was like, ‘Oh my god, it would be awful,’” but now she’s a believer, totally into all of it. “I want to live, die, get killed, come back as my evil sister.” Or, as her fiancé Roger quipped, she’d be better off mute (or playing dead) — since they both agreed that she has a tough time memorizing all those lines. Luckily, she said she has a good group of veterans to look up to and learn from. E Online

Gossip for the week of 22-Apr-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

According to Farah Fath (ex-Gigi), based on an April 14th tweet, she was never asked to be a part of TOLN’s OLTL. It had nothing to do with her turning any offer down.

Prospect Park’s lawsuit against ABC is coming off as frivolous, as one regular poster on SoapZone’s GH board commented. It also seems incredibly, unnecessarily divisive when soaps need to support one another. Just rewrite the story, or allow two parallel stories; it’s really not that big of a deal. Besides, Prospect Park surely can’t afford lawyers for a lawsuit after finally putting together the necessary funds to go online, can it?

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