Q and A

By Lynda Hirsch

November 16, 2013 5 min read

Q. Any news about the return of the "All My Children" reboot? — Benjamin of Toluca Lake, California

A. Yes, and it is not good news and bad news ; it is all bad. Prospect Park, which put "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" on the Internet, shut down "OLTL" in August. PP assured fans, cast and crew that "AMC" would start production on Oct. 18th. That date came and went. Last week, Debbie Morgan (Angie) and Cady McClain (Dixie) posted that they have not heard anything from PP but did get calls from their agents who said they have been told that "AMC" would not be returning. Then, the Internet reboot of AMC was starting an actor — who asked not to be named — who had a bad taste in his/her mouth about PP. "I was asked to sign on for the show. I signed a contract. Never heard from them after that." Show business can be that way. Years ago, I had a weekly radio show. I am driving down to the radio station with the radio on, and I hear "starting today at noon, we welcome our newest host." But that was my time slot. Tom Selleck often tells the story of going to the "Young and Restless" set, where he played a recurring character. He was told at the studio gate he was not on the list to be let in. He had been let go. They were sorry they forgot to call him. He was axed because they didn't think he was sexy.

Although they may be out of the soap opera business, PP is not out of the lawsuit business. PP is suing ABC, claiming that the network sabotaged the relaunch of "One Life to Live" by, among other things, killing off key characters.

On Wednesday, Prospect Park filed a new amended complaint with more details of ABC's alleged fraud and a demand for more than $95 million in damages. According to the latest court papers, ABC schemed in a quest for a "mega soap."

Unbeknownst to Prospect Park, at the same time the ink was drying on the Licensing Agreement granting Prospect Park an exclusive license for "OLTL" through Jan. 31, 2013, ABC insiders were developing a plan to create a mega-soap through the amalgamation of "OLTL" and "GH," intentionally disregarding Prospect Park's rights.

The production company agreed to pay ABC $4.5 million per season for the rights to the first three seasons of "AMC" and $4 million per season for "OLTL."

ABC breached these express provisions of the License Agreement and the Amendments in a myriad of ways, including, but not limited to: A) significantly altering the storylines of and/or killing the Borrowed "OLTL" Characters without consulting and/or obtaining Prospect Park's prior approval; B) significantly altering the storylines of other "OLTL" characters not mentioned in the First Amendment without Prospect Park's knowledge or permission; C) signing the "OLTL" actors playing Starr Manning, Todd Manning, Blair Manning and John McBain to exclusive, secret, multi-year contracts with "GH," even though it knew Prospect Park would need those actors for "OLTL"; D) refusing to turn over the URLs for "OLTL" and "AMC" to Prospect Park, even though such URLs were part of the format rights granted to Prospect Park; E) creating "GH" copycats of the "OLTL" characters Todd Manning and Starr Manning to be played by the same OLTL actors; f. featuring the copy-cat character of Todd Manning in "GH" episodes at the same time Prospect Park was airing episodes featuring Todd Manning; and G) even after suit was filed, continuing to create and use copycat characters on "GH."

According to the complaint, executives at ABC "instructed Hulu management not to offer Prospect Park the beneficial terms and arrangements that Hulu was prepared to provide and had provided to other less-popular shows."

You do not have to be a soap opera writer to know that when you tune in tomorrow to hear about the lawsuit, it will be settled out of court and a gag order will be in place.

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