The Soaps: Tune In Tomorrow

The Return of the Return of Canceled Soaps

If you have not heard about it already, the plan to reboot "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" is back on. We are guardedly optimistic. You may recall that new-media production company Prospect Park had planned to take the defunct ABC shows to the Internet shortly after they were canceled in 2011, until problems shut the venture down. Now, more than a year after the plan was first announced, producers say the shows will soon air on the Internet via The Online Network (TOLN).

Production will begin in February, but no airdates have been named. What has been announced is the stellar list of actors signed to the new format. More are expected to hop on in the near future, with new players joining almost daily. Additionally, the creator of both shows, Agnes Nixon, will be onboard not just as a creative consultant, but with a hands-on role as well.

For "AMC," among the actors secured so far are: Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams (Angie and Jesse); Vincent Irizarry (David); Lindsay Hartley (Cara); Jill Larson (Opal); Thorsten Kaye (Zach) and Jordi Vilasuso (Griffin). The show's most famous alum, Susan Lucci (Erica), is currently not on the list of those placed under contract. Also missing will be Jacob Young as J.R. The actor is firmly ensconced over at "The Bold and the Beautiful." "AMC" ended on a cliffhanger, with J.R. wielding a gun and endangering the lives of almost everyone in Pine Valley, so it is no surprise that the character will be recast.

Among the actors signed to "OLTL" so far are: powerhouses Erika Slezak and Robin Strasser (Viki and Dorian); Robert S. Woods and Hillary B. Smith (Bo and Nora); Kassie DePaiva (Blair), Jerry verDorn (Clint), Tuc Watkins (David), Melissa Archer (Natalie); Florencia Lozano (Tea), Kelley Missal (Danielle); Josh Kelly (Cutter) and Andrew Trischitta (Jack). Sean Ringgold (Shaun), Shenaz Treasury (Rama) and Nick Choksi (Vimal) have signed on as recurring characters.

One big unknown is what will happen to the actors now on "General Hospital" whose characters migrated over from "OLTL." Roger Howarth (Todd), Kristen Alderson (Starr) and Michael Easton (John) are popular onscreen presences who portray deeply rooted, much-loved characters. Prospect Park says they want to do right by the thespians and their roles, but nothing is worked out yet on this major, outstanding issue. Their characters belong to "OLTL," but the actors are under contract to "GH." Their soap-hop to "GH" has been extremely successful, with the characters solidly integrated into the show. If the characters had to return to their "mother ship," so to speak, it would have great impact to "GH."

The original deal to take these shows to the Internet fell apart for a multiplicity of reasons, but a major facet was that the show had not secured contracts with the various guilds and unions for on- and off-screen talent. This time there are contracts in place. Our hope is Prospect Park is doing other things right as well. It would be devastating to be disappointed yet again. For now, we will wait and see, but, well, we hear Justin Bieber in our head singing "Never Say Never."

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