Prospect Park Networks, which last year launched new version of soaps “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” online before becoming embroiled in a legal dispute with ABC, announced that it has filed for bankruptcy protection.
Prospect Park, the talent and management company, is unrelated to the PPN bankruptcy filing. Also unaffected are Prospect Park’s TV productions: “Royal Pains” on USA Network, “Wilfred” for FX and “Salem” for WGN America. PPN filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
In August 2013, PPN ceased production on the two soaps. The company has sued ABC — from which it acquired the rights to “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” — accusing the Alphabet net of borrowing “OLTL” characters in order to create a “mega-soap” merging that show with “General Hospital.” Prospect Park Networks is seeking at least $95 million plus punitive damages from ABC.
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Prospect Park Networks said the bankruptcy filing “in no way impacts PPN’s litigation” against ABC. In addition, the bankruptcy filing will give PPN “timing flexibility” to collect on a tax credit from the Connecticut Office of Film, Television & Digital Media, the company said.
“PPN is optimistic that this filing will make it possible to continue to maximize the value of its assets and settlement of past liabilities,” the company said in a statement. “The company is optimistic about the prospects for a smooth transition into bankruptcy.”
Separately, Prospect Park CEO Jeff Kwatinetz last December sued the production company and private-equity firm ABRY Partners, which bankrolled PPN’s production and launch of the two soaps, seeking to have a non-compete clause in his contract ruled invalid. In the suit, Kwatinetz claimed his employment contract under the terms of ABRY’s investment included an “unenforceable non-competition and non-solicitation provision,” which would allow Prospect Park to force Kwatinetz to work for the company for at least five years for no compensation and stipulates a $5 million penalty if the exec violates the non-compete terms.
Kwatiznetz formed Prospect Park in 2008 with former Walt Disney Studios president Rich Frank.