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19 November 21st, 2011 Wall Street Journal: “Life After ‘Life’ Is A Mystery” – Parting Words from the Set In Llanview!

Courtesy/ABC

The Wall Street Journal was present last week on the set of One Life to Live where several actors taped their final scenes for network television of the 43-year-old-soap including: Robert S. Woods (Bo), Hillary B. Smith (Nora), Eddie Alderson (Matthew) and Ilene Kristen (Roxy).   Today WLS has a feature post titled, “Life After ‘Life’ Is A Mystery” where they discuss the economic downturn that caused the soaps to continually decrease, and the sad state of affairs that after One Life, there is no soap shot in New York City, the place where soaps were a once a thriving mecca!  You can also see some heartbreaking photos as some of the cast and crew said their goodbyes.

In the feature, Frank Valentini, One Life’s Executive Producer explained the significance of this loss for him, the cast and crew, the soap genre, and the city of New York by saying measures had been taken to reduce overhead in recent years—including voluntary pay cuts for several principal cast members—but acknowledged it may have come too late as ratings plummeted and production costs soared up to $300,000 per episode.

Valentini went on to say, “I think our leaving definitely shallows out every facet of the entertainment business in New York because we keep so many people working at any given time,That includes not just our primary cast, but also people who come on in short-term roles. Because we generate so many episodes, we make a lot of money for the city, so this affects everyone, including the local vendors where we buy our props and costumes.”

Robert S. Woods and Hillary B. Smith struggled to say their final lines in their scenes choking back the tears.  Woods revealed his sadness.  “The hardest part is saying goodbye and realizing we may never see each other again. We work so closely here and it’s like a family. I did a lot of other things over the years, like ‘The Waltons’ and ‘Police Story’ and movies of the week, but this show was the job that gave me recognition.”

Ilene Kristen, chocking back the tears told WLS, “Of course I’m sad, but I’m not a depressive person and as an actor you’re always back to square one. The one thing I know is that people stop ironing when they see me, and they don’t run to the refrigerator or put me on fast forward. That I know. I could die as Roxy, and I hope we have the chance to continue it. I didn’t think we’d have to say goodbye so quickly.”

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  1. Heather says:

    After One Life to Live leaves to air, we’ll only have four soaps on the air. To think that only 3 years ago, we had the double of this number of soaps on the air.

    Reply

  2. Torrey says:

    After OLTL leaves ABC, so will I. I have no reason to turn the television to that station anymore. ABC will feel the repercussions of this decision, come January. They think that soaps are a dying genre, well wait until January, they will realize that without the soaps “Daytime Television” is what will die. The talk shows and games shows were always great lead-ins to the soaps….which is what people were waiting around to watch. Well, with nothing to look forward to, people just won’t watch at all.

    Reply

    Iakovos replied

    For fun, I love to revisit those “Love in the Afternoon” clips from the 1970s and early 1980s on youtube. Hear the RYAN’S HOPE theme. Watch some classic scenes. I will never understand how good solid storytelling has become passe in web execs’ views. Really?

    Reply

  3. Danielle says:

    What is up with the ‘goodbyes’? I would be thrilled to hear just one officially released positive word about the continuations of the soaps. What is up with all of this negativity? I anticipate that OLTL & AMC will be up and running on the internet, on demand, and cable as Jeff K. of Prospect Park promised.

    Reply

    Torrey replied

    Think it’s goodbye for some, because not everyone is signing on to the PP deal….but I get what you’re saying. It would be nice if it felt more like, “I’ll see you soon.”

    Reply

  4. Blake says:

    It is very sad, and premature to be axing these soaps. And it is sad that so many people will lose their jobs and like Frank said so many vendors will be losing money also. It is so sad that there are no more New York soaps. Look at the movie Tootsie, it shows how soaps were a big part of New York.
    The only upside is the soaps that are off don’t have to deal with the idiots in charge anymore, it’s just too bad those idiots weren’t replaced instead of the legendary soaps!

    Reply

  5. Brian says:

    Let’s all try to remain positive… and that soon “One Life To Live” will be up and running on Prospect Park. I have not lost my hope yet.

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    jp replied

    Totally agree. I believe PP will have OLTL running on the internet and onto a cable network in the near future. I only wish PP would release some kind of statement. NO news was not good news for AMC fans. The silence is making me nervous a bit, but I remain positive and optimistic. Long Live — OLTL.

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  6. Gloria says:

    I have not had a truly happy day since April 14 when we got the news of the cancellation of OLTL. I have been just sick over it-it was ruining my life! I could barely enjoy watching OLTL knowing every episode brought us one day closer to the end. All I could think of was the bleak January day when OLTL would air for the last time. Then suddenly the fantastic news from PP! They have got to get OLTL up & running & get as many of their cast as possible ASAP & THEY WILL. I cannot, just cannot imagine that show not being on. It has been a roller coaster of emotions since April 14. Has anyone seen the previews for The Revolution? Gag me, it looks just as bad, if not worse that the embarrassing Chew. I caught the tail end of the Chew the other day (turned on the tv a minute too early waiting for OLTL) & the hosts actually had on cowboy hats & were pretending to ride ponies, I guess that’s what the poor things were doing–my mouth just fell open at how stupid they looked, I mean I just could not get over it. I will never, ever watch one second of ABC from the minute OLTL signs off.

    Reply

    Sue replied

    Gloria,
    I feel your pain, have watched for over thirty years, since i was a kid, I never miss an episode. At the end of every stressful day, I can’t wait to sit and watch my shows and have me time. I fed three babies watching these shows who are now grown and one is married. I watched them when I was stuck in bed for 7 months after surgery, they made me laugh and they made me cry and I felt their happiness and their sadness like they were my family. I am saddened and sick to my stomach like you are. It was so hard losing AMC, devastating, but at least we had OLTL and GH. After months of phone calls and emails and collecting coupons, I finally felt some hope with the news of Prospect Park. Now AMC is supposedly put on hold, actors will all find other jobs, I have lost faith we will ever see it again… but I still had my fave, OLTL…. that is not looking good to me and the roller coaster crashes to the ground again. It has been a roller coaster ride for all of us, I am still hanging on, but my hands are getting tired as we hear nothing from Prospect Park, nothing at all… Why is that?? We are the fans, why would they not say something??? We are willing to pay a fee, contact investors, help in any way, why not say something to us??? Smells like another rat to me.

    Reply

    Brian replied

    Like I said in my previous comment.. “Let’s try to remain positive” These are hard financial times for everyone… and I feel Prospect Park is trying to give us back our beloved shows… but can’t help but wonder why they would bother when I read comments like “smells like another rat to me” At least they are trying !

    gloria replied

    When I first read Sue’s reply I thought the same thing-remain positive & I was worried about her smelling a rat comment but Jeez, she was right, damn it to hell. I am sick about this-cannot even sleep-dreading the days to come when there is no OLTL. I mean, every single interest group has a network-science, country music, animal planet, hunting/fishing, ESPN, Hallmark, Lifetime Movies, Game show network, cooking, food, HGTV, on & on-but what the hell? What about soaps? Taking away Soapnet to give to the Disney kids channel? Seriously? I’d take Soapnet with nothing but reruns from the past, i.e., Santa Barbara, Loving, Ryan’s Hope (if we could ever see it thru to the end), Another World, Search for Tomorrow, Where the Heart Is, Love is a Many Splendored Thing-there must be tons of hours of old soaps that would be FREE to run for soap fans. I am so distressed over this situation.

  7. Tali says:

    A friend on another board said “I don’t think Gigi’s message is just to Rex. ”

    So “Don’t Give Up” and let’s hope that somehow, someway One Live will live on…

    Reply

    gloria replied

    IF ONLY, what will it take, what can we do? But if last Friday was the last day of taping at the studio & everyone was told to clean out their stuff but left thinking they were going online in January, then got the awful news Wednesday of the 2nd damned cancellation, I mean has everyone gone to the four winds? People have to move on with their jobs/careers, they cannot sit around forever waiting for someone to rescue OLTL, damn it. I wish I had the money. Seems like something could have been done, go to 1/2 hr. shows, cut the salaries of some of the fat cats who do not need it, i.e. Barbara Walters & Couric to name two.

    Reply

  8. Brian Greene says:

    I will miss OLTL tremendously. Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn!!!!

    Reply

  9. Jophiel says:

    This is the one that really hurts. ABC and Prospect Park really did a number on all of us. ABC so cunningly deflected attention toward Prospect Park, thinking that would take some of the heat off. Well now we are angry at both companies, if indeed they are different companies. I personally think this was all a con. If you think about it, a lot of the boycott advertiser efforts died down after the announcement to move online. I think they wanted to satiate and fool the fans for a few months and undo their boycott efforts. Now they’ve made me angrier, and I call on all fans to boycott ABC and all associated companies for life.

    Reply

    gloria replied

    Agree 100%

    Reply

  10. Jan says:

    ABC is joke.

    Reply

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