ABC Calls Online Soaps Lawsuit ‘Baseless’

ABC Soap Lawsuit: Network Calls Allegations

Prospect Park seeks $25 mil damages from Alphabet net in dispute over dead ‘One Life to Live’ characters

ABC responded to the lawsuit filed last week by studio Prospect Park seeking $25 million in damages — which alleged Alphabet net maliciously killed three “One Life to Live” characters to sabotage its online resurrection of the show — terming the legal action “baseless.”

Prospect Park’s new incarnations of “OLTL” as well as “All My Children” are skedded to premiere April 29 on Hulu, iTunes and company’s own TheOnlineNetwork.com. Studio cut deal for worldwide rights to both soaps with ABC, after net canceled them in 2011.

Under the pact, ABC was to consult with Prospect Park about any story lines using “OLTL” characters on loan to net’s extant sudser “General Hospital.”

Prospect Park now claims ABC violatedthe contract by killing two characters, Cole and Hope Thornhart, who die after their car was forced off a cliff on “GH.” In addition, ABC “effectively killed” a third “OLTL” character, Thomas Delgado, by revealing on “GH” that his actual identity is Lorenzo Alcazar, according to the Prospect Park suit.

“ABC remains very supportive of the online launch of both ‘One Life to Live’ and ‘All My Children,’” the network said in a statement. “With respect to Prospect Park’s lawsuit, we believe the claims are baseless and we will defend them vigorously in court and not the press.”

Prospect Park, in its complaint, said it is paying ABC up to $4 million for the first season alone for the rights to “OLTL.” The lawsuit was filed April 18 in Superior Court of the State of California in L.A.

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  1. john elkington says:

    Another frivolous lawsuit. At least GH kept OLTL alive in some form while Prospect Park held it on the fence, waiting until the 11th hour to move forward with the project. Are they that unimaginative that they can’t work around those three characters?

    • Heather says:

      If PP is unimaginative, what does it say about the idiots in charge of GH right now that they feel they can’t function without three actors?

      Prospect Park didn’t “wait” to move ahead with the project. They had to work on getting union deals in place. It was happening quietly the whole time and they ALLOWED GH to use characters in the meantime so that the actors would have employment until it happened. Do you think they put the brakes on the shows in late 2011 and then just suddenly decided a year later that the project was back on and got it up and running in a month? Get your head out of your ass. It’s not frivolous when ABC very much breached their contract with PP.

  2. JOE S HILL says:

    As i am not a Soap Opera Fan,i am highly critical of ABC-TV’s unwise decision to cancel two of
    its major soapers,because whatever the Ratings said,the audience base is still very large-and
    ABC has foolishly disreguarded its loyal Daytime viewers-and to compound the insult by pulling
    off some script changes,that killed-off its main charecters,before Prospect Park begins airring the
    rivived series,is one of the lowest moves that The Alphabet Network has made,,and it is seriously
    hurting its Daytime programing,because crap like “THE CHEW” and some of their other recent
    replacements,just hasn’t had any kind of success-and viewers right now,are still very pissed at ABC
    for canceling “ALL MY CHILDREN” and “ONE LIFE TO LIVE”,,its out and out Ratings suicide,,and
    they wonder why they’re loosing viewers-this is how to do that! i hope Prospect Park is successful
    with their lawsuit,because the decisions behind this act of stupidity is way more “Baseless” and extremely more Dumber then anything else,including “THE VIEW”,which should also be canceled!

  3. Andrea says:

    Baseless? Really, ABC? It should be simple for PP to prove that ABC violated the agreement they made with PP. The proof is all on videotape, on about 95% of every GH episode since Cartini took over.

    PP couldn’t have bent over any further backwards than they did, because they truly wanted OLTL to live on even if it turned out that they wouldn’t be the ones to do so. In their haste to transition OLTL and AMC to the internet as seamlessly as possible, and their passion for keeping the beloved soaps alive, PP ran into too many obstacles to overcome. Many fans, equally passion-driven (myself included), were angry and felt that PP let us down. After we’d been burned by ABC, we didn’t have much faith in PP when they announced the suspension of their plans.

    So, PP were as reasonable as can be, but ABC, in their usual arrogance, took advantage of them because they thought it would be easy. They thought, “As long as these revivals appear to be going down in flames, we can do whatever we want. To hell with the contract.” This will most likely be settled in a dragged out court case due to ABC’s blatant disrespect to a company they should be cooperating with instead of bullying. It never should have come to this, but I’m not surprised. This is the way ABC operates. They make terrible decisions, then try to deflect the blame on others. ABC can’t worm their way out of this one. Their brand is in the toilet. They have a giant black eye and egg all over their face.

  4. Kathy Felipe says:

    ABC = Already Been Cancelled for a reason. Bad decisions with programming. ABC is a soap killer. They killed two soaps at the same time claiming ratings were bad and replaced them with shows with just as bad and worse ratings. Now they see their error and don’t want any one else to have success with the shows.

    Even General Hospital is being forced to tank by writing stupid stories about vampires, adults fighting over relish, and faces melting over fondue.

    ABC is a sham of a network. I wish a real network would have bought the soaps

  5. jennifer says:

    PP’s lawsuit is such bull. They’re just looking for attention. Think about the timing. Neither ABC or PP are all that great, but I’m sticking with ABC on this one. Clearly, ABC was beyond dumb to cancel AMC and OLTL, but it appears they’re sticking with GH. I would have much rather OLTL and AMC returned to ABC… but that ship has sailed. Whatever. PP is just using the soaps to launch TOLN. The soaps are pawns to them.

    • Heather says:

      They’re both businesses. PP isn’t using OLTL and AMC any more than ABC uses any of their shows. If you think ABC gives a whit about General Hospital beyond what it means for them financially, you are fooling yourself. Yeah, PP’s using these soaps as the launching point for TOLN and would theoretically be branching out if this proves a success, but they have a LOT to lose trying to revive two shows that weren’t exactly ratings blockbusters. The soap audience dwindles every year. There were safer bets to launch TOLN, I’m sure. There have been quiet critical and audience darlings in primetime that have been cancelled with much higher ratings they could have looked at bringing back that probably would have given them bigger short-term success but would, at best, only last a few years and wouldn’t have given them a long-term foundation that something like a successful soap relaunch would.

      They themselves underestimated how difficult it would be and botched their initial efforts, certainly, but they could have just cut their losses and yet they’ve remained dedicated to making this happen despite everyone else, ABC included, thinking the task was insurmountable, they have put in tons of time, money and effort, have recruited on-screen and behind-the-scenes veterans that ABC was more than happy to just throw away in the shows’ final years, and are promoting the hell out of this relaunch in a way that ABC hadn’t promoted either show in years.

      ABC appears to be sticking with GH because their attempt to get out of the soap business entirely was quite the failure. GH is only still around because The Revolution bombed and Katie Couric’s show didn’t pan out to be the hit they thought it would. GH was thisclose to being shoved off to the wee hours of the morning on most if not all major affiliates, which would have KILLED IT, and only got a reprieve because its lead-in at the time was doing so much worse. That’s it. They’re clinging to it for dear life now because it’s their only option.

      And how is the lawsuit “bull”? Some of it concerns behind-the-scenes dealings none of us are privy to, but every claim put forth in that suit that is publicly verifiable at the moment is 100% accurate.

      • Margie says:

        Jennifer, how are assuming that the lawsuit is bull when you clearly have not read it?
        I watched those 7 characters being destroyed and murdered and it’s very clear that if PP has a case. ABC wants out of the soap business? Fine. Don’t sabotage another company and the disappoint the fans again. Pay up. Settle.

  6. Heather says:

    So the claims, which include ABC holding onelifetolive.com and allmychildren.com hostage, are baseless, and yet mere hours after the suit was filed, Prospect Park suddenly had control over the URLs that were to that point still redirecting to ABC’s website? GMAB, ABC. You acted as if Prospect Park not getting the shows into production was a foregone conclusion and you could do what you pleased with property to which you no longer had the rights without any repercussions, you found out you bet wrong, and ever since you’ve been throwing a tantrum. Well, guess what? Kids who get tired of their toys and give them away don’t get to change their minds because someone else is playing with them, yank them out of the new owner’s hands, and kick sand in their eyes without getting a time-out.

  7. Kelly says:

    I’m not taking up for ABC by no means, but the bodies were never recovered. In Soapland, that means their alive somewhere. And Cole was actually written off OLTL & was brought back only for the conclusion. I don’t think ABC or PP are on the up & up. JMO

    • Heather says:

      That’s besides the point. The point is that Prospect Park had purchased the right to tell stories as THEY saw fit, and now they’ll either have to ignore what GH did entirely and run the risk of confusing and alienating some of the viewers who followed OLTL characters over to GH, or they have to write in an explanation. Even if the revelation that they’re alive can be covered in one episode, ABC has made it PP’s responsibility to write an episode that PP never wanted to write and shouldn’t have to. And it’s not just Cole and Hope, or even the Tomas thing. Tea and Victor’s child was killed off in a much more definitive way than Cole and Hope and to try to undo that would take a lot more writing that, again, PP should not have to do to write for characters they paid for. GH ruined the John/Natalie relationship. And say this as someone who isn’t a fan of the couple. But they turned John into a dead-beat dad and to repair that will not only take a *lot* of writing Prospect Park should not have to do, but this period of time where John essentially abandoned his family will never NOT be a part of his or the couple’s history. And PP shouldn’t HAVE to work with that.

      • Cilla says:

        How was John a dead beat dad? Natalie filed a restraining order against him! He fought for Liam but couldn’t get near him. He had Alexis working on the case the whole time he was in Port Charles. ABC messed up when they cancelled OLTL, no doubt. I think they see this now. PP messed up when they tried to rush into reviving them. IMO GH had a chance to keep OLTL alive on the chance PP never could and they took it. Yes, PP is licensing out OLTL but ABC still retains ownership. PP needs to suck it up and accept this as part of the fall out for their first failure. It is what it is. Deal with it and move on. And they really should just let GH have Starr, Todd, and McBain.

      • Margie says:

        Kelly, clearly missing the point of character destruction.

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