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LYNDA HIRSCH ON SOAPS -- GOSSIP

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Prospect Park's online re-boot of "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" is getting closer. On her official website, Erika Slezak (Viki) confirmed the worst-kept secret. "I am pleased to officially announce that, pending the final contract, I am joining the revival of 'One Life to Live,' which will be produced by Prospect Park and aired on Hulu and iTunes on the Internet."

She did offer some new information: "We expect to begin production near the middle of March, and the airdates are yet to be announced. This will be an exciting and groundbreaking adventure, and we hope that you will all join us as we bring back all the characters you loved and possibly some new ones. I will let you all know when a firm airdate is announced."

Behind-the-scenes legal battles mean the three "OLTL" characters — Starr (Kristen Alderson), Todd (Roger Howarth) and John McBain (Michael Easton) — will be off the "General Hospital' canvas by March. They will be gone from the set by Feb. 7.

The actors may not be happy about having to leave Los Angeles for Connecticut, where the show will be produced, but they have no say in the matter. Prospect Park, which owns the characters, allowed the three to go over to "GH" when it appeared plans to take "OLTL" and "AMC" online were kaput.

It is a bit like the old studio system. Film companies had actors under contract. If another company wanted to use them, the owner could put them on loan. This was even done with Marilyn Monroe.

On the other hand, if an actor was dying to do a film at another studio, if he did not get permission from his home studio, he could not take the job.

While it sounds harsh, sports figures are traded back and forth all the time.

On the "All My Children" front, J.R. Martinez (Brot) is not going to be joining the production. His work as a motivational speaker prohibits him from dealing with a soap schedule. It appears that his girl, Cassandra, is being recast. Expect Brot to be portrayed as a no-goodnik.

Alicia Minshew (Kendall) is still in talks. Word is that Susan Lucci (Erica) has too many projects to sign on — for now. Walt Willey (Jackson) says that he has not been approached.

***

So far, Jill Farren Phelps. "Young and Restless'" new executive producer, and new top scribe Josh Griffith are bringing it on.

Using business to bring Chelsea, Chloe and Gloria together is great. Watching the trio work together will be a hoot. The Abbott family coming together is wonderful.

The decision of a fashion line for Jabot is another plus. Fashion is so visual. Jabot's cosmetics line was not visual — all you could see was a makeup jar.

Their turnaround of Sharon by explaining she is bipolar is genius and very real. When Sharon said she missed the old Sharon, that is statement so many bipolars say after they are on the right medications and therapy.

Steve Burton, Jason who? Victor is back to Cadville. I get to hate Victor more. How is that possible? He is plotting to mess with Sharon's meds and interfere with Avery's work in the very important Innocence Project — a real nonprofit agency that fights to get people exonerated who they feel have been wrongly convicted of murder.

The dialogue is crisp, witty and very character-driven. To show how much I love it, I am watching in real time. I haven't done that in almost a decade.

To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators web page at www.creators.com.

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