ABC Accused of Scheming to Create ‘Mega-Soap’ in Lawsuit by Producer

All My Children

Prospect Park now seeking at least $95 million in breach-of-contract suit against Alphabet net

Production company Prospect Park has expanded its lawsuit against ABC — from which it acquired the rights to “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” — to accuse the Alphabet net of borrowing “OLTL” characters in order to create a “mega-soap” merging that show with “General Hospital.”

In an amended complaint filed Wednesday, Prospect Park said it is seeking at least $95 million plus punitive damages from ABC. The producer also argued that it should not have to pay ABC licensing fees for the first seasons of the shows, which debuted in their new incarnations earlier this year.

“Unbeknownst to Prospect Park, at the same time the ink was drying on the licensing agreement granting Prospect Park an exclusive license for ‘OLTL’ through January 31, 2013, ABC insiders were developing a plan to create a mega-soap through the amalgamation of ‘OLTL’ and ‘GH,’ intentionally disregarding Prospect Park’s rights,” the company said in the complaint.

An ABC rep said the network has not been served with the amended complaint and could not yet comment.

SEE ALSO: Online Soaps ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life to Live’ Downshift to Two Weekly Episodes

Prospect Park first sued ABC in April, alleging the net killed off two “One Life to Live” characters and effectively killed off a third character to sabotage Prospect Park’s online resurrection of the show. ABC had previously called the suit “baseless.”

Prospect Park appears to have put the next seasons of “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” on hold pending the resolution of the ABC suit; cast members of “AMC” have indicated on Twitter and Facebook in the last week that the show has been canceled. The company said it has lost $30 million in out-of-pocket expenses in producing the first seasons and/or at least $95 million in lost profits.

Under the agreement with ABC, according to Prospect Park, seven “OLTL” characters were on loan to ABC’s “General Hospital.” Prospect Park claims ABC failed to consult with the studio on “GH” storylines involving them, which included characters Cole and Hope Thornhart dying when their car was forced off a cliff.

Moreover, Prospect Park alleged, ABC had planned to kill off those characters even before approaching the production firm about “borrowing” them for “GH.” Prospect Park also claimed ABC made changes to storylines of “OLTL” characters that it had never been given permission to borrow.

Prospect Park acquired the rights to the shows from ABC in 2011 after the Alphabet net canceled the soaps, which had each been on the air for more than 40 years. After hitting stumbling blocks with union negotiations and lining up financing, the studio began shooting in February at a soundstage in Stamford, Conn.

According to Prospect Park’s filing, the production company agreed to pay ABC $4.5 million per season for the rights to the first three seasons of “AMC” and $4 million per season for “OLTL.”

The new versions of “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” launched in April 2013 on Hulu and Prospect Park’s TheOnlineNetwork, with episodes also available for purchase through iTunes.

According to Prospect Park’s complaint, execs at ABC — one of Hulu’s owners — “instruct(ed) Hulu management not to offer Prospect Park the beneficial terms and arrangements that Hulu was prepared to provide and had provided to other less-popular shows.”

Less than a month after the debut of “AMC” and “OLTL” this spring, Prospect Park upset fans by announcing it would reduce the schedule for both shows from four eps weekly to two. The company said it made the change after viewers said they were having trouble keeping up with the faster pace.

Prospect Park’s lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

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  1. ctwildheart says:

    Well, if abc/d violated the conditions of the contract they signed with Prospect Park – then they deserve to pay the consequences.

  2. Blanca Armayor Galvez says:

    We the Fan’s of AMC & OLTL want our soap. We beg and pleaded. And it was wonderful when we got them on the internet. I hope Prespect Parks stick’s to ABC. I’ve been a fan of AMC since it start in 1970 & I also enjoy OLTL.

  3. Sue says:

    If my choice is NO OLTL / AMC then the Megasoap thing sounds great. I certainly understand that Prospect paid ABC and ABC probably does owe them something but this seems extreme. Especially if Prospect Park plans to win a suit then NOT bring back this programs. I do wish they would come back. I bought a $1200 wireless TV and setup our spare bedroom for viewing, then they only kept it on for 3 months!!! Grrrr.

  4. Louisa says:

    This lawsuit is ridiculous. I hope it is thrown out and ABC brings OLTL and AMC back where they belong!

    • robin stewart says:

      They really don’t want them back…only the fans and the actors want them. I am okay with them online and OWN…let’s just get the Chew off television. As Sister Agnes Marie said to me in the 8th grade…”lady, it’s not good to talk and eat at the same time.” YUCK!!!

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