Talks continue for soaps’ adaptations

Prospect Park in discussions with guilds over 'Children,' 'One Life'

Less than three weeks after announcing it would give canceled ABC soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” new life as online dramas, shingle Prospect Park acknowledged that it still has some loose ends to tie up before making it happen.

While soap fans await for details on where and how often the revived soaps will be streamed and which talent will make the transition, Prospect Park noted in a statement that it is in the process of negotiating with relevant guilds and unions — negotiations that figure to directly affect the plan.

It’s understood, for example, that AFTRA has been in discussions with the producers and is setting up meetings with cast members to address any concerns.

Prospect Park’s announcement came on the day that heads Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz met with “All My Children” cast and crew on-set for the first time since publicizing plans for the series. This was the series’ first day back from a previously planned hiatus.

“Since we announced our intention to work with the shows, the fan outreach we’ve experienced over the past few weeks further validates our decision to work to keep them going for years to come,” Prospect Park said in its statement. “However, we also respect the organizations and processes that are in place so that all can apply their craft within the infrastructure that the entertainment industry has set, specifically in this case with the appropriate guilds and unions.

“We are in the process of working out the essential terms of our proposed collective bargaining agreements with the appropriate guilds and unions, which we must do prior to firming up deals with above- and below-the-line talent. We will provide updates as needed.”

Prospect Park announced July 7 that it had licensed the two soaps for air online and on emerging platforms. At the time, the shingle said it would air them for the same length and frequency and with the same production values as on TV, saying that financing would be ad-supported.

Despite statements of support from the soaps’ creator, Agnes Nixon, and Disney/ABC TV Group daytime prexy Brian Frons, skepticism about how Prospect Park would pull this off followed, not the least of which was coming from the soaps’ diehard fanbase. Today’s meeting and statement were to serve as a progress report while aiming to reassure as well.

Questions about which cast members will remain were underscored by the news this month that longtime “All My Children” co-star Debbi Morgan was headed to CBS’ “The Young and the Restless.”ABC will air its last episode of “All My Children” on Sept. 23, replaced by food talkshow “The Chew.” “One Life” will follow with a January exit, succeeded by health-and-lifestyle show “The Revolution.”

Former Disney Studios head Frank co-founded Prospect Park, which co-produces “Royal Pains” for USA and “Wilfred” for FX, with industry vet Kwatinetz.

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