While the news broke early this morning that Michael Easton (John), Kristen Alderson (Starr), and Roger Howarth (Roger) will all now be returning to General Hospital, but in new roles, it’s important to remember the back-story, and to understand some of the reported behind the scenes deal-structure attempts between Prospect Park and ABC, which now gives disappointing news for One Life to Live fans, and in many ways General Hospital fans! (Since the actors can no longer play, John, Starr, or Todd).
It is important to note, that according to a piece today at EW.com, who spoke to an insider close to the situation, “Prospect Park tried to work out a deal to share the characters, to no avail.” According to one high-level executive familiar with the negotiations, Prospect only needed Alderson to work one week on OLTL and then she could return to GH. It wanted Easton for up to four weeks before he would be free to return to Port Charles, as well.”
For soap fans, let’s recall that ABC canceled both soaps in a devastating move in 2011 and licensed the shows to Prospect Park, which in turn means if the One Life and AMC reboots work online ABC stands to make a profit! So why then wouldn’t ABC just be willing to do the character crossovers for the limited time with Prospect Park, who attempted to work a deal out for the good of both entities?
This was also related via EW.com today when they posted, “It’s unfortunate that ABC and Prospect couldn’t come up with a mutually beneficial deal to share the characters, since ABC stands to profit from OLTL and AMC should they succeed online. Besides the $8.5 million it makes from Prospect annually in license fees, ABC is set to earn a cut of Prospect’s profits (should there be any), according to high-level source.”
What is all the more puzzling to this picture is that Prospect Park has done an incredible job of getting the shows back on their feet, while bringing back much of the core original cast members of both shows that were available to them, obtaining new studio space, building brand new sets, and hiring some of the best production talent familiar with the brand of AMC and OLTL, and writers familiar with the shows themselves, to ensure the audience will be satisfied and happy. And, without Prospect Park’s efforts of finding an online home for Llanview and Pine Valley, the audience who fought to have their shows back would have no where to watch them or even seem new episodes!
On-Air On-Soaps recently visited the new studios and spoke with cast members from both shows, who are thrilled and delighted to be back to work, and in awe of just how respectful Prospect Park’s head-honchos Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank have treated them. Kwatinetz and his team have been hard at work firing on all-cylinders to get the shows back to the fans as quickly as possible, while keeping the quality that soap fans have come to expect and even raising the bar higher!
One more note of this picture that should also not be ignored: As it stands Prospect Park, as of this writing, cannot even use the original URL’s www.allmychildren.com or www.onelifetolive.com to build and house the shows official websites to help market their programs, because according to EW.com, “ABC hasn’t released them. Anyone who tries to access them is immediately sent to ABC’s daytime hub.”
So One Life to Live and General Hospital fans there are a few questions for you over this conundrum: After reviewing the comments from EW.com, do you think ABC played fair here with Prospect Park in regards to the actors and characters in question? Or, do you think that ABC may have worked against Prospect Park’s efforts by now locking up Michael Easton, Roger Howarth and Kristen Alderson to play new characters on GH? Do you think that having the three popular actors on the ABC soap is the place you would like to see them most, even if they can’t play the characters you have come to love? Do you feel that Prospect Park did everything they could to help bring back the shows you asked for? It would appear that they have been working tirelessly to bring them back to life. Let us know your thoughts!