With union spat over fees resolved, Prospect Park set to resume production of online soaps Aug. 12
Prospect Park has settled a standoff over fees with several locals of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees on the production of online soap operas “One Life to Live” and “All My Children.”
Sudsers will resume production Aug. 12, after the planned summer hiatus, Prospect Park said. In the dispute, the union claimed members were entitled to higher payments because per-episode production costs exceeded $120,000 cap for digital productions (the studio said it was not going over budget) and because the shows are being distributed on TV in Canada, through the FX Canada network.
Terms of the agreement between Prospect Park and IATSE New York production locals 52, 161, 600, 700, 764, 798 and USA829 were not disclosed. The parties in a joint statement said they have resolved their differences “to their mutual satisfaction.”
“We are pleased that that the parties were able to successfully address their concerns in a mutually beneficial way, which will enable these innovative shows to continue to be produced with our talented crews,” IATSE Local 600 rep David Blake said in a statement.
Prospect Park topper Jeff Kwatinetz said, “We thank the entire IATSE organization for their continued support in bringing these shows to fans, and we especially appreciate the efforts of Chaim Kantor and John Ford and our entire crew for helping us to move forward as a unified team.”
On June 5, Prospect Park blamed the IATSE spat for causing it to break production on the shows 11 days earlier than it anticipated.
The studio, which resurrected the soaps as Internet-only properties after ABC canceled them in 2011, initially ran into union problems with SAG-AFTRA, DGA and WGA before settling with those unions late last year.
The new episodes of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” premiered on Hulu, iTunes and Prospect Park’s TheOnlineNetwork.com on April 29. Two and a half weeks later, however, the company announced it was cutting the release schedule to two episodes per week for each show, down from four — a decision that angered many fans.
Kwatinetz and partner Rich Frank claimed they made the change because viewers were having trouble keeping up with the previous rate. With the slower pace, Prospect Park is hoping to drive up views (and advertising revenue) per episode. The shows are free to watch on Hulu, Hulu Plus and TheOnlineNetwork.com; ad-free episodes are 99 cents through iTunes.