Q: Any more news about the resurrection of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live"? — Ashley in Richmond, Va.
A: No new news from Prospect Park, the company that is set to resurrect the two iconic soap operas. Last year, the company did a public relation blitz. They were going to put the shows on the Internet. In Hollywood, it is all about image. Prospect Park wanted the image of the soap savior. In Hollywood fashion, the deal fell through. It can take George Clooney six years to get a movie made. One miss-start is nothing in LA-LA Land.
While Prospect Park is keeping mum, everyone else in the industry is blabbing. Next to making entertainment, show business's second favorite business is gossip.
In the last few days, lots of information has been released. SAG/AFTRA, the actors guild, has come to the table and made a deal. The WGA has not come to terms. That actually does not matter. Unions have an out called FI-CORE.
In the 1960s, a union member was upset when he learned part of his union dues were going to support a candidate he did not back. He felt he should not have to pay full dues. The Supreme Court agreed. Anyone in any union can pay reduced dues. They get the benefits of the union without being a full member. You can also take non-union jobs. Five years ago, FI-CORE became the focal point of the writer's strike.
Soaps needed scripts cranked out. Many writers went FI-CORE. Union member felt they were line-crossing scabs. The FI-CORE writers were told they would not work after the strike. All have worked since. Once you go FI-CORE, you cannot change your mind.
With unions no longer a problem, Prospect Park has been talking to actors from "OLTL" and "AMC." Yes, that includes Susan Lucci.
There will be some changes in the show's format. It will have the first run over the Internet. The company is looking for a cable network to do second runs. The shows will air original half hours episodes Monday through Thursday. Friday will offer the episodes that aired that week in a block.
Rumor has it that sets are being built. Not in Hollywood or New York, but in Stamford, Conn. Permits have been pulled. The reason for Stamford is the tax incentives the town has offered the production company. Manhattan did offer some tax relief, but not enough. As for Hollywood, it is losing lots of business because it does not offer tax breaks to production companies. For a long time, Vancouver, Canada, was Hollywood, Northwest. The American dollar was worth more than the Canadian buck.
Tax breaks were immense. Cities across the U.S. decided to give breaks so they could lure film and television production.
Executive producers have been hired for both shows. Ginger Smith will helm "AMC." Jennifer Pepperman will top-line "OLTL." Each has a long history with their respective shows.
Now for the characters. Several "OLTL" character are now on "General Hospital." Prospect Park allowed "GH" to bring over Todd, Starr and occasional visits from Blair, Tea and Tomas. No word on where they will wind up.
It looks pretty good that almost all the other "AMC" and "OLTL" characters will wind up on the Internet. With February the target date, that would be the best Valentine's Day gift of all time.
To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.