News - Soap Buzz

50 March 16th, 2012 AMC’s Jill Larson on What Went Wrong with the Actors Contract Talks with Prospect Park!

Courtesy/ABC

All My Children’s Jill Larson (Opal) spoke with Soap Opera Digest in the new issue on newsstands now about the dissolution of the contract talks between the actors of All My Children and One Life to Live along their union AFTRA, and Prospect Park, the company that was to bring the two soaps to the Internet, especially One Life,  shortly after they aired their last episodes on network television.

Larson detailed that after a few contract go rounds, and Prospect Park coming back to the actors offering them a New Media contract, with different lawyers representing them,  the Union wanted to make sure the actors were protected. Eventually, talks petered out.

Jill revealed: “Things came to a head around the holidays.  When the new attorneys, the new representation came in, they were sort of pressuring us.  We had to call an emergency meeting two days before Christmas.  They were still trying to push it through, one way or the another for One Life.  So we all gathered together a conference call with people from the two shows, and that was when they put forth the new media contract, which is really a very temporary contract that’s cobbled together, mostly for people who want to do these independent webisodes and stuff like that – you know, pay no money up front and $ 50 an episode, if it goes anywhere, that kind of a thing.

This was kind of an insult, really, but we addressed it as sincerely as we could and were told that the reason that we had to have an answer back to them within three days is that their option on the shows ran out on January 1.  So we did one round back and forth with them and they never got back to us and we all kind of knew,  “Well, they’re not going to make it.”

What a frustrating story for the actors, who were trying to make this new production model work, for the legacy of the these two legendary ABC soaps, and for the fans.

Tags: , , , ,

  1. angela says:

    I think the whole thing was planned from way start. ABC cancelled the shows, saw the heat they were getting from the fans (which they probably never anticipated) when they saw how outraged the fans were they dreamed up the PP story. Think about it these guys buy the rights to 2 shows and they have no money, no backing but these 2 shows need $40,000,000.00 a year to produce! (and that’s low balling it from what I’ve read). So the fans are “somewhat” happy definately hopefull, but still pissed at abc. So abc then makes an announcement that Frons is leaving (if you think that wasn’t planned then you’re really ignorant) So they slowly leak these stories about who had signed on to go to the internet. Now the fans are thinking that everything just might work out. AMC wraps-a short time after that we find out that PP probably won’t be bringing AMC to the web. Going forward OLTL wraps on November 18 and 5 days later on the 23rd we find out the whole deal is dead! The timing was just too coincidental on all fronts. As far as GH is concerned I want GH to survive more than I can put into words BUT I can’t help but wonder if abc bought Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati in to work the magic that they did with bringing OLTL to a close. I have watched the 3 soaps since 1970 I don’t trust ABC anymore, I just hope they have enough brains after all that has happened to leave GH alone…..But I’m not so sure they will.

    Reply

    Julie Gold Phillips replied

    EXACTLY …WE were manipulated and “handled” at every step . PP needed some start up money and Buzz, and ABC gave them both.

    Now I treat ABC the same way they treated me.. like dirt !

    Reply

    Tony M replied

    Totally agree. ABC just wanted to shut the fans up and give some false hope and someone else to blame besides themselves. I think we should scream even louder and let ABC know we are not happy with our soaps gone!

    Reply

  2. Trapper says:

    Thanks for the article, Michael! It sounds even more as if PP was never really serious about showing either show, and that this was just posturing to deflect the fans wrath at ABC/Disney.

    Reply

    Debbie replied

    Trapper, I so agree with your comment.

    Reply

    barbara t replied

    I was so happy that PP was going to move the soaps to the net but I never forgave abc/disney for cancelling them and everyday I called, e mailed, and signed petitions I still do ,I wanted my soaps to stay on t v.So I never gave up on my quest to fight abc/disney ,after what they have done to the soaps.If general hospital gets canceled I will never for any reason watch anything there network has to show, Im through, the way abc/disney treated the soap fans even to this day with lies ,head games ,the game they are playing now with our feelings about general hospital there making us all wait wondering what there next move will be ,its wrong they know it and they dont care.

    Reply

  3. Jen says:

    It’s shameful the way these actors and crew were treated. What did PP think, they would just give away their craft for free so they (PP) could make money on a new experiment? Just like ABC, they lied and lied, right up until the end. Instead of a formal notification the day before T-giving, which is what the actors and crew deserved, they got a “clean out your dressing room by the end of the day.” Nice.

    Reply

  4. Jon Jensen says:

    Ok so PP lost their option on One Life to Live? ABC once again has the rights? Why don’t they sell the rights to AN or to others who were supp interested. I understand abc must know they made a huge mistake with OLTL and would not want someone to air it as competition. There must be a way before it is too late.

    Reply

    terri k replied

    i agree, all about money and greed. i hate to think our beloved shows are gone; it looks abcd and pp just wont let go. even at the risk of losing many devoted fans.

    Reply

    Julie replied

    ABC has ALWAYS been involved. PP was made up of former ABC people and in my mind PP is just the facade put up to deflect the fans and the ultimate plans of ABC not even considering to listen to us.

    Reply

    kim replied

    i agrree 100%… i bet abc/disney paid PP to say they were doing this and never planned to.

    barbara t replied

    agnus nixon should not have to buy what she created,but even if she did want to buy them back those bastards at the rat channel wont do it because they dont want all my children and one life to live to be successful on any other network unless they get more money,abc/disney cares for the almighty dollar more than having descent programming and there disposal of the soaps prove that,and I believe that p p was a plant to keep the soap fans less quite about the cancellations,but It didnt work and shame on abc/disney for being low life scum bags that were very dishonest to the soap fans,Im glad Im through with your crappy programming.

    Reply

    Diane replied

    Barbara, I agree with you 100%. I now hate ABC, I really do. I’ve been boycotting them (except for GH) since May,2011. I’ve missed a couple of shows I really like but I don’t care. I want my soaps back. I’ve been watching them since almost the beginning and they are good television, not like these stupid reality shows. I really believe that ABC is dangling strings and we’re the puppets. I can live without ABC and the stupid mouse and long as need be. Hope you can too.

    Heather replied

    I’m not a fan of ABC or PP, but if Agnes Nixon wanted the rights to her shows, yes she SHOULD have to buy them, as they don’t belong to her. She SOLD her ideas to ABC decades ago, as creators usually do. It’s the way the industry works. Please get real.

    CTwildheart replied

    Heather I agree with you that Agnes should have to buy them back. Most of us realize they will not be ‘given’ to anyone. But ABC/D has not offered to sell them, they would rather no one have the rights than to see it go back to Agnes and prove them wrong.

  5. Jewell says:

    I wonder if Prospect was in on it with ABC? I feel sorry for the actors and the fans.. I wouldn’t be so bitter about it if they handled it better.. They made the actors move to LA and everything thinking the show was going to last a few years. Not once has ABC said thank you to the fans for the years of support.

    Reply

    holly replied

    I would not be surprised to find out that “Prospect Park” is acutally a second phone line at the desk of Anne Sweeney and what’s his face head of Disney personal assistants. The whole Prospect Park thing smelled like a rat from day one. ABC/Disney was feeling the heat from the soap fans, so in order to get us off their back and out of their faces, they invented Prospect Park, made it look like the soaps were saved. A lot of us backed off. I know I did. I am guilty of drinking the Prospect Park KoolAid. Then at the last mintue, both shows are shelved and the deal is dead. Coincidence? I think NOT! Just another perfect example of Disney and the sneaky backdoor dealing underhanded lengths they will go to, to make a buck and dictate to the viewers what we will watch.

    Reply

  6. angela says:

    BRING BACK OUR SOAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  7. Sheryl says:

    Thanks for the article that is really terrible to treat such talented actors like that and crew. How does that old saying go what comes around goes around, now they deserve what they are getting and maybe someone will wake up and put our soaps back a do the right thing for everyone .

    Reply

  8. Debbie Hamilton says:

    Well Jill & All
    I take it like this; ABC and Disney and Prospect Park and whoever the powers that be
    are have had it in their pipes all along to cancel out our soaps. We never had a snow balls chance in hell of ever reaching an aggreement to where our shows would be
    continuing. All the emailing, calling and addressing these higher ups was a total lost
    cause and a waste of time.. I for one am cancelling my ABC programming off of my sattillite programming package along with all Disney programing. I am not watching any shows on ABC ever again. I am positive I am not the only fan that thinks this way.
    ABC doesn’t give 2 hoots about its fans and they are very sneaky and they lie thr their teeth. They say The Revolutions rating is increasing. LOL What a joke; its ratings are continuing to fall each week but they won’t say that; they won’t admit they were wrong in replacing our soaps. All I can say is, I’m done done done! Goodluck to all actors on our soaps. You were much loved for over 43 yrs.

    Reply

    Linda replied

    Debbie I totally agree with you. In fact I do not need to respond to this article at all because you said it all and with perfection. I miss OLTL so much. The characters became family and I am still mourning them. Star and Todd seem out of place in Port Charles. I dvr GH because I can then scan through all the Sonny/Jason crap. But it is bye bye abc/d once GH goes away.

    Reply

    Marcia replied

    I hear you on missing OLTL. What OLTL stars have moved to GH seem out of place; with the heavy focus on crime and violence on that show, the heart and humor and drama that OLTL had just doesn’t seem to have a place in GH alias Sonny mob land. They’d need somebody like Viki and Clint Buchanan to move into town, build an empire there, add some new backbone to Port Charles, take the focus off the boring mob stuff. With some strong, backbone forces like them, a new feel could be given to GH, which is much needed. The Sonny and Jason and Carly stuff is just too recycled to be of interest.

  9. Edna Barefoot says:

    I am so angry with ABC. They tried to blame everything on Prospect Park whenthey have the rights. We fans know ABC could put OLTL back on. They would be ashamed to admit they were wrong. That’s why they don’t. Well, suck it up and put OLTL back on and everything will go back to normal. If not we will continue to BOYCOTT ABC. Mr. Walt Disney would never have allowed them to hurt the fans like this. He is turning over in his grave. Grow up Mr. Iger & Ms. Sweeney. Act like adults & at least talk to the fans.

    Reply

  10. Michellesnj says:

    I negotiate contracts for a living and something smells really fishy here. I’ve never heard of an interested party agreeing to negotiate for one round and then suddenly just stop negotiating UNLESS #1 they received a better offer elsewhere or #2 had ulterior motives for even entering the contract negotiation to begin with. VERY obvious that PP never intended to negotiate. Pretty apparent that PP was used as a stall tactic to temporily pacify the public outcry against the cancellations of OLTL and AMC. ABC/PP dragged out the “negotiation” JUST long enough to get The Revolution and The Chew up and running with little fanfare and kept the public at bay. You can already see the same sneaky scenario playing out with Katie Couric’s recent press release about wanting GH to be her lead in, followed by the “Katie” show press release which conveniently announces her show but has NO mention of the fate of GH. It feels like ABC is incrementally bracing the public in bits and pieces and is waiting to the absolute last second to announce (quietly as possible, as an afterthought)….oh yeah, GH is cancelled but hey, you already knew that. If ABC intended to keep GH on board, they typically advertize the bejeebus out of a show. I mean, just watch yesterday’s GH episode and HOW MANY times did they rerun the same Ads for the shows “Missing” and “Scandal”. How many times do we see ads for Modern Family, Greys and GCB? Something is rotten in Denmark!

    Reply

    barbara t replied

    it smells alright,I dont know anything about contracts other then they can be broken.and PP was put in place to keep us soap fans quiet ,It didnt work for me because I have been boycotting abc/disney since all my children went off the air ,when that happened I only watched one life to live and general hospital now I am down to one soap and I hope this isnt the end of our stories from port charles,but like you I dont trust abc/disney and something does stink, they know what there doing and they know right now whether they are keeping general hospital.I hope you are wrong .but your right that ,something is definitely rotten in denmark.

    Reply

    Christy replied

    i’m no legaleze… but people have been brought to court, sued for much less – I want to know why no one has brought legal action to PP or any ABC-Duhs involved! maybe get ABC-duh to give the rights for the shows to someone who does care about the actors, crew and fans!

    Keith replied

    You are right, people have been sued for less, but there has to be demonstrable damages. In this case there are two possibilities. The Disney shareholders may have a case of lost income for ABC not selling or licensing AMC/OLTL, one time valued at $200 mil, to a company like Sony. ABC is already in financial trouble. And a class action suit under the Federal Communications Act which charges broadcasters to act “in the public interest.” Either action needs an expert attorney, know anyone?

    MBmomof3 replied

    Totally agree with you that PP was b.s. from the get go. Still boycotting abc/d.

    Reply

  11. Yoyo says:

    EPIC FAIL from the very beginning!

    Reply

  12. Pam Anderson says:

    I hate ABC/D how can a network choose to fall in the nielson ratings they are at or close to the bottom almost every day they use to be a network leading the pack. The only show that I will watch on ABC is GH if they cancel GH than ABC will never be on my tv again. ABC needs to let the 2 soaps go so they may find another home.

    Reply

  13. Nancy Wizner says:

    I still say it was all a big fat plan on behalf of ABC to stall out the fans. Best words for it? “Dirty Play!” I never felt comfortable anymore about PP from the day I learned that these two guys (whatever their names are) were once employed by ABC. Once? Come on! They were probably ALWAYS employed by ABC! Sorry ~ no more ABC on my TV. Not ever again, and I don’t miss it one bit! On to bigger and better things. My new favorite will be Dallas beginning on Wednesday, June 13th at 9 p.m. Oh and by the way ~~ it’s on TNT!

    Reply

  14. Flo DiBona says:

    Thank you so much for this interview, Michael! Jill is one class act! What I found very interesting about this interview was Prospect Park telling the actors they would lose their option to the shows on Jan 1st. Is this the truth or another Prospect Park blatant lie they told the casts? The bottom line is Prospect Park acted with zero respect for anybody or anything to do with these shows. Prospect Park’s business acumen looks like a page out of the Keystone Cops playbook. This company will go down in well-deserved flames and I for one will be sitting with popcorn and marshmallows enjoying the view.

    Reply

  15. Debbie Hamilton says:

    I have read that Agnes Nixon gets the rights back in Sept if PP has not found a way to have
    our soaps put back in production. Now I am wondering if then our shows will start up again.
    All we can do at this point is hope and pray…

    Reply

    Christy replied

    would be nice to know there was a timeline built in somewhere that the rights go back to Ms. Nixon… tho I think it would be a while before she could get shows back into production, first she’d have to find a different network!

    Reply

    Heather replied

    I’m skeptical about this story Debbie. ABC still owns the soaps and only leased them to Prospect Park for one year.

    Never did I read anywhere or heard anything about Agnes Nixon getting the rights back should PP fails to bring the soaps back.

    Reply

    David replied

    Agnes Nixon never had the rights to either show. When she sold the ideas to ABC, ABC became the owner. ABC still technically owns the soaps. They were leased to Prospect Park for one year.

  16. ethel says:

    when disney bought abc their main goal was to get rid of all three of the daytime soaps – it was the agenda from the beginning and they have just about finished what they started……….

    Reply

  17. barbara t says:

    I wonder how much money abc/disney paid pp to keep the games going ,I was suspicious a few months into the con game,there werent that many soap stars signing on ,but most of all we heard nothing from pp if they were really into it why didnt they talk straight to the fans ?they didnt because it was all lies and abc/disney knew it and they broke our hearts not once but twice,and not once did abc/disney say anything ,thats because they are cowards and they are all RATS that work for a network that use to be grand but has slowly gone downhill,there greed took over anything decent about that network and I will never watch them again,There are many good networks out there to watch with good programming so Im not missing anything special on abc/disney.

    Reply

  18. del amendola says:

    J.R.EWING would b proud as PP is a dummy corporation 4 ABC.

    Reply

  19. MistyV76 says:

    When ABC/D gets rid of the whole soap genre and their ratings tank they will be begging actors to come back and do the shows. If they don’t have ratings, the sponsers will drop them. No sponsers, no money and that means they will have to come up with something else to provide revenue. We soap fans are banded together and if you think that ratings on ABC are bad now, just wait. PP was and is a joke, trying to bargain great actors and actresses with $50 an episode? That was a slap in the face and the biggest insult, for me, to date. News flash ABC, this is the year 2012 not 1980, there are more programs on the boob tube these days and we don’t have to watch whatever you think someone should watch. Get a clue and bring back One Life to Live and AMC, stop the Jekyl and Hyde experiments. They are unwatchable and toruture for anyone who has to hear that non sense while they are waiting in a doctors office.

    Reply

  20. Rosemary Kimmel Waldron says:

    Mr. Fairman, thank-you for making us aware of this interview with Jill Larson, in “Soap Opera Digest.” What she had to say about PPark from her perspective, certainly didn’t sound like they made the actors a fair offer, even if it was a “real” offer. And after reading many of the comments here one wonders if it was all “smoke & mirrors.” If so, that is very discouraging. But, I do not think all the hard work & time that many of the soapfans have put into the cause & CONTINUE to put into the cause is never a waste of time, as some in frustration have said. Standing up for what you want & believe is right is never a waste of your time. And the camaraderie we’ve all gained has been invaluable! Don’t give up yet!

    Reply

  21. Cathy says:

    It is beyond ridiculous that ABC is wanting to become an all talk show network during daytime. Prospect Park is a joke as well as ABC/D – we need to put more pressure for them to sell back to Agnes Nixon so another netwok can take over. There has to be a way to force ABC to give it up already!!! This is ridiculous.

    Reply

  22. Soaps Support says:

    We can get All My Children & One Life To Live back on the air. It’s going to take us as fans to do it! These actors came into our hearts and homes everyday. We have an idea for putting both shows back on the air but, we need supporters/fans help. If you are interested, contact us and become a friend on our facebook page, if you want to take part on getting both soaps back on the air. Add friends to our page and help support AMC & OLTL, and let start working together on airing our 2 favorite soaps at http://www.facebook.com/groups/soapopera1

    Reply

  23. 1loveabcsoaps says:

    Thank you for the article. I adore Jill, met her twice. She’s a straight shooter from my aquaintance I remember. I’m inclined to believe she is telling exactly what happened. No further comment. Tired of going through the same subjects over and again. Thank you for the article, Thanks Jill for further perspective.

    Reply

  24. shana says:

    Short and sweet I believe the Media & TPTB weren’t aware of how large a fan base the shows HAVE and how we rally!

    Reply

  25. Johanna says:

    I think originally, PP had honest intentions. ABC on the otherhand, Knew PP would run into issues thats y they leased to them instead a production company that was established and could profit. In the end (out the mouth of an actor) PP wanted actors to drop union & work for peanuts while they rake in the $ hand over fist airing shows on cable. In the end its all about greed and screw the people.

    Reply

  26. Karen says:

    ABC was playing games with us from day one. I remember early on someone saying that ABC was going to feed us some malarky to keep our mouths shut. That is exactly what they pullled. They had no intention of saving the soaps in any capacity. I truly believe they duped us and have every intention of getting rid of General Hospital when the time comes.
    The best thing the fans can do is continue their boycott of ABC and Disney. We have already hit them hard in the pocketbook with the tanking of “The Revolution”, and other programs coming back with low ratings. ABC is no longer the #1 television station. Do not buy products from their advertisers.
    It bothers me that they thought the actors would work for dirt to continue the genre on line. What an insult to those hard working people.

    Reply

  27. Rena says:

    I want ABC to bring All My Children back!

    Reply

  28. lynn says:

    I am so sick of ABC shows. I have watched AMC,OLTL, AND GH ever since I was in jr high after school with my aunt. I grew up loving these actors! They are so much better, So much more talented than these awful, replacement shows. I cant even stand to see commercials for “the spew” or “revulsion” ugh!! Now you cant watch GH without seeing the nauseating commercials for gcb and the b in apt whatever!! What is up with the b word and disney?? I’m sick of these annoying, crappy shows. Soaps were like diamonds, this stuff–dirt. Oh yeah, happy endings?? Have you ever been able to watch 5 min of this horrid thing??DON’T!! CBS thank you!! Happily watching your shows now. See jacob young from amc at least, and NORA from oltl!! Yea

    Reply

  29. Tristan says:

    I think PP and ABC treated the cast and crew horribly. ABC tried to save face with PP; PP tried tos ay they were doing all they can and then blaming Susan Lucci for AMC’s failure – the actors were wondering why PP didn’t meet with Lucci personally and why they weren’t talking to Lucci seriously – they didn’t continue negotiating. Now it is rumoured or more than rumoured that ABC is thinking of picking up a night time soap called Devious maids and guess who they cast – Susan Lucci. I think she was to be just a co star as she is not one of the maids who appears to be the focus but I think ABC is realizing if this show gets picked up they probably at least to start with need to use Lucci’s name. She may be “only” daytime but I think many would argue though there are some nighttime stars Susan really is still a if not the marquee for the show.

    Reply

Leave a comment