Jill Larson and Rob Scott Wilson are quickly becoming one of soaps favorite mother/son duos! When TOLN and Prospect Park resurrected All My Children, one of their first decisions was to SORAS the character of Opal and Palmer Cortlandt’s son, Pete. Enter soap opera newbie Rob Scott Wilson, who has become the younger leading man of Pine Valley these days, while mom Opal worries about his burgeoning romance with Celia (Jordan Lane Price), and his business ventures! And Pete’s latest business dealing makes him and Dr. Evil, David Hayward (Vincent Irizarry) business partners, which if you know the history of AMC, makes this partnership a true doozy!
On-Air On-Soaps spoke with Rob and Jill today to find out their thoughts on: fan backlash to the news of Prospect Park dropping the weekly viewing schedule from four new episodes of AMC a week to two, how the upcoming hiatus may help future storytelling for the series, what they think of the faster pace of the episodes where so much action happens in story within a half-hour, and what they think of David and Pete getting entangled in business that can only lead to severe consequences. Here is what they had to say:
Rob, you are on Twitter a lot. Did you get bombarded with tweets and messages from fans expressing their doubt at the rationale for Prospect Park’s decision to reduce the number of weekly episodes? If so, what did you tell them? Or, what would you like to tell the naysayers now?
ROB: You know what? I don’t want people to be scared. As soon as the announcement went out the reaction was, “So wait. Now it’s only two days a week?” It’s a work in progress. Cady McClain, Jill Larson, and a number of people have expressed, “If we knew how to do it at the beginning, we would have done it at the beginning.” Even though it’s now a little bit scary that we are only on a few episodes a week, we are putting out a quality product and we don’t want to bombard the viewer. Usually if you binge watch the show, after a few months, that is a huge amount of episodes to catch up on. So we want to make sure we don’t forget about just the casual viewers, even though we have these hard core fans. We hope they are still going to watch the show whether it be Monday and Wednesdays, or whether it be Monday through Friday.
Being a soap opera newbie, where you were worried about the future of AMC? Did you have an “oh-oh” moment yourself?
ROB: It’s a business move. We are in that kind of business, and Prospect Park would not be doing this if it was going to hurt the show. Obviously, I want to keep the fans calm, so they don’t think we are going anywhere, and obviously we are not. We have a lot more stories to tell when we go back into production in a couple of months. At the same time, the first thing you think of is a negative thing. But in this format, we are in an online network now. If we knew how to do this at the beginning, we would have, and the fans would have been very thrilled that they had two episodes a week, and a recap show, and that the shows were coming back.
The thing of all this is, All My Children moves so fast now. There is so much juicy story to digest within the half hours episodes. So as AMC stands now, they are jam-packed with content!
ROB: I am really glad you brought that, Michael. The main point of this is: each episode we have is so meaty in 30 minutes you can get pretty lost. So if you miss an episode, you may not know what is happening. We need to have the viewers not skip or miss episodes but follow it, rather then having to cram it in. It can be daunting for someone who does not have the time to quickly get caught up and watch 30 episodes – a month’s worth of episodes. I think this is so much better.
JILL: The pace is moving faster than the old AMC. I think it’s a good thing. It’s also one of the reasons I am really glad they are taking a break, because you can only churn out, and I use that word intentionally, that much story in a finite amount of time before the stories become like … throw anything at the wall and see if it sticks! That is what I think we are trying to avoid. So this couple of month break gives them the chance that they did not have before we began, which is really have the opportunity to explore long-term story and character development. We have to remember, this is still a medium unlike any other, in that there is time to do things. It is great that it moves quickly, but don’t give up the real opportunity for real character development and emotional connections, all of the things that this art form is known for.
What did the two of you think when you saw in the script that Pete and David were going to become business partners, after all that David’s mother, Vanessa (Marj Dusay) did to Opal and her relationship to Palmer (James Mitchell), and Palmer’s money!
ROB: I did so much research on this story! Let me tell you, I have had some people come at me. (Laughs) They take it so personally that Pete and David Hayward are going to start a business, that it’s insane. As much as Peter need David in his business and his funds to get things going, it’s amazing to watch and see how snaky David is about everything, and that fine line makes it really fun to play. We are both trying to get something from each other, and we both have ulterior motives.
JILL: My point exactly! Here is a great story. Wouldn’t it be great if the writers had time to write in that history? Opal knows the history. Opal was a part of it. Opal hated David’s mother, Vanessa Bennett .with a passion which is really unmatched. And yet, there is not a place on the canvas for Opal to say, “I want the company to succeed but not with him!” And then she could be doing all kinds of things to get in the way of that. So that is a beat that hasn’t had a chance to be played. But hopefully, there will be some of that down the road! We have got a lot more stories to tell though!
So AMC fans, now that you have read what Jill and Rob had to say about the issues and changes made to continue to build on the success of the shows, what do you think?
Do you think in the long run the two episodes per week, will help viewers stay on point and enable and assit the writing team to develop some additional exciting long -term story that fans will enjoy? What do you think of David and Peter’s story? Share your thoughts!