Nelson Branco spoke with All My Children’s Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery) for the new edition of Hello! Canada about the sweeping changes in the daytime landscape that will affect Pine Valley residents and their legions of fans. And during the conversation, he gathered some interesting quotes that he shared exclusively with On-Air On-Soaps! Check out the Mathison interview piece below.
Mathison on AMC’s new life; plus: Is Kelly Ripa returning?
The moral of 2011? Don’t mess with a soap fan, especially if they are an ABC daytime viewer. In a year where we saw General Hospital star Becky Herbst’s firing reversed due to a large public outcry (which rarely ever happens anymore in these post-modern times), mobilized and organized fans roared in fury and disgust after the alphabet network canceled All My Children and One Life to Live on the same day this past spring, but few thought the two venerable sudsers would be saved despite advertiser Hoover immediately pulling ads from the entire net.
And you can include AMC’s top hunk Cameron Mathison in the understandable cynicism. But hope sprung eternal when last week ABC confirmed that Prospect Park Studios have acquired the licensing rights to continue AMC and One Life past their televised finales on Sept. 23, and January 20, 2012, respectively, in a new online network. No other details were available at press time and many industry insiders are still left feeling very skeptical.
However, Mathison is taking the win regardless, enthusing to On-Air On-Soaps: “I was definitely one of the people who didn’t think the soaps would be saved. It’s true: don’t mess with the power of an ABC soap fan! From what I understand, I hear Prospect wasn’t the only game bidding on these brands — there were other offers on the table because the fan reaction really proved how valuable these brands still are. Again, this buzz is all word of mouth but it’s still awesome. I’m really, really curious how it’s all going to work out in an online world.” Having said that, AMC’s depressing TV cancellation still hasn’t sunk in for the Canadian native! “To be honest, no, it still hasn’t sunk in. In my mind, I’m accepting the decision and acting appropriately, but in my heart, I can’t imagine not playing Ryan anymore.”
As for AMC’s future, Mathison tells Hello! Canada in an upcoming interview this Thursday: “I think it’s awesome! I really think this miracle was fan driven. The fans rallied to save these brands. We were all equally shocked with the news that these shows would live on. But it seems legit. I’m not sure how it’s going to work budget-wise because these are expensive shows. I don’t know how they will pull it off. We’re all trying to piece it together. It’s hard to sit in front of a computer for an hour, so maybe they’ll trim down the content. Who knows?”
Adding to the ambiguity is the fact that the AMC studio has been dark for a few weeks. “Everyone’s calling everyone but there are no firm answers yet,” relays Mathison. But that didn’t stop my questions: Will current co-head writers Lorraine Broderick and creator Agnes Nixon pen the online version of AMC? “I don’t know,” he answers. “I do know that Prospect is making calls to the right people. I probably shouldn’t say too much right now. I don’t believe the actors have been contacted yet but they are reaching out.”
But what are the chances that Pine Valley can exist without Erica Kane should Susan Lucci not re-sign? “No, I don’t think they’ve spoken to Susan yet, or any of us,” he relays. “As a cast, we’re all curious about the prospect [no pun intended]. It really depends on whether or not you want to do an online show. There are many variables. We’ll see. It’s too early to tell what will happen but it sounds like they’re really trying to produce this with the same quality has before.”
Could an online version of AMC debut the Monday after its Friday, Sept. 23 finale? “It could,” he hesitates. “But that would be a quick turnaround! They have to renegotiate with everyone. There are no unions online, right? They have to find a non-union crew, but if they can do it, they should.”
Right now, the part-time Good Morning America correspondent is busy with his other day job: he’s currently in New York City taping segments for the morning show – and is interviewing Pine Nuts alum Kim Delaney today for an upcoming TV Guide Network AMC reunion special.
But he’s also gearing up to tape his final scenes in a few weeks before the sudser leaves the airwaves on Sept. 23. “A lot of actors have come back, including Eva La Rue, Josh Duhamel and I think Kelly Ripa is returning as well. I like how they’re wrapping up my character. When I heard Josh was coming back, an idea popped into my head so I talked to Lorraine and Julie Hanan Carruthers. At first they weren’t going to do it, but now they are! I’m really happy with Ryan’s end story. It’s going to be good.”
With online soaps not in direct competition with network serials, would the uber-popular Mathison consider joining a rival soap? “Whatever happens, I’d like to do another soap regardless.”
- Nelson Branco
So where would you like to see Cameron Mathison end up? Continue on as Ryan as AMC moves online? Or, on to another soap? Let us know!