Fox411.com raised the question in their new feature item out today, which soap stars will stay when All My Children and One Life to Live land in their new home on the web? And, which ones will opt not to stay with the new media model of their respective shows? The piece also sheds some light on the status of two longtime veterans of the town of Pine Valley, Susan Lucci (Erica) and Michael E. Knight (Tad)!
In an article that is seems more pessimistic than optimistic, FOX reached out to several actors from the soaps who preferred to remain anonymous at this time, since they are currently in contract negotiations, with the news that Prospect Park now has the rights to produce and post the shows online. However, Prospect Park told FOX a different side of the coin, that the rumors about salary cuts are not true, and that negotiations have not officially begun.
But according to this report from FOX411, “Media analysts agree there is no way that Prospect Park can produce an online show with the current cast and level of quality without making some cost cuts. Among the high-priced talent is Susan Lucci, who makes $1 million plus annually on All My Children. “I don’t think Susan Lucci should do it. She’s a television star, not an Internet star ,and the money isn’t there,” said Brad Adgate, director of research at Horizon Media Inc. “Of course she could always shoot for the Webby instead of the Emmy.”
Lucci’s camp was vague about her plans. “I know Susan thinks it’s great news for the fans that it seems a deal is in the works so that ‘AMC’ can continue. I don’t have any information at this point on Susan’s upcoming plans,” her rep told FOX411.com. All My Children star Michael E. Knight, who has portrayed Tad Martin on and off since 1982, seems to be leaning toward leaving. His contract with the show ends in August. “Michael is looking forward to new roles and new projects,” Knight’s rep said.
“Everything is going to be scaled down, from the production costs to paying the writers and everyone involved in the show,” Adgate said. “It is going to have to be completely scaled back.” And the business model will need to be figured out. Prospect Park has so far kept mum about how they plan to finance the series online, but their options could include asking loyal viewers to pay a subscription fee, and/or upping the ante on product placements within the shows. If they do figure out how to keep the soaps running and profitable, the upside could be a brave new world for cancelled TV series.”