Showing that creating a soap opera is almost as dramatic and intense, if not more so, then the real thing, Prospect Park has issued a statement with regards to the development of the One Life to Live characters Todd, Starr and John; actors Roger Howarth, Kristen Alderson and Michael Easton, and their future on both General Hospital and One Life to Live.
Earlier today it was reported that Howarth, Alderson and Easton would cease working on General Hospital at the end of next week, leaving their status with the soap up in the air due to Prospect Park reclaiming the characters.
In response to the controversy, Prospect has issued a statement to the media:[textblock style=”6″]”Prospect Park released the following statement regarding its licensing agreement with All My Children and One Life to Live. In 2011, when Prospect Park decided to put everything on the line to reboot these shows, they lent characters to General Hospital until shooting began for the new programs so that the characters could stay alive with the fans and also so that the actors could remain working. Everyone at ABC and on the production staff ofGeneral Hospital understood that this was a temporary arrangement until production started once again on One Life to Live. Now the time has come to start production and Prospect Park needs to, once again, cast these characters including Llanview transplants Michael Easton (John) and Kristen Alderson (Starr).
Prospect Park understands that ‘General Hospital’ has featured Llanview transplants Michael Easton (John) and Kristen Alderson (Starr) among others while we arranged production of the new version of ‘One Life to Live.’ These characters, who we own under our agreement, are obviously essential to our production efforts, and a large reason we licensed the program. We also understand that legions of ‘General Hospital’ fans have grown to love these actors and characters in a short time. So even though we are paying ABC millions of dollars to license the shows, we have been, and continue to be willing to equally share the characters with ‘General Hospital’ and ABC. It’s a win-win for the actors, the shows and fans, who love all of the shows and storylines. We hope to work out these agreements with ABC and the actors.”[/textblock]
My Take: I am basically the big Prospect Park supporter here. “YOU CAN DO IT!” Tends to be my mantra in regards to their endeavors, and I hope they can work something out. With that said, I have a lot of mixed emotions on this whole story and the statement that PP decided to release. Particularly this line: “So even though we are paying ABC millions of dollars to license the shows, we have been, and continue to be willing to equally share the characters with ‘General Hospital’ and ABC…”
I get that Prospect is paying ABC millions of dollars, but at the same time, they also stand to earn that all back and then some. By leaving the door open for crossover possibilities, they not only have free publicity from ABC, a major national network with television eyeballs to direct to their internet endeavors, but also a more stable landscape. Prospect can seamlessly integrate the characters to and fro, the stories can become MUST SEE TV – look at the ratings for the All My Children / One Life to Live baby switch crossover, yes MUST SEE TV.
I do feel that the characters of John McBain and Todd Manning are essential to re-launching the soap. There are too many dangling threads to simply have the characters missing, and I feel like the only way that this really works is if Michael Easton and Roger Howarth are on board. If they recast, the main reason for bringing the characters back becomes moot. It’s no secret that a major part of a character becoming popular is due to the actor who portrays him or her; Easton and Howarth’s portrayal isn’t easily remedied with a recast.
Hopefully a deal will be struck between the three parties so that the trio can join OLTL for a few weeks, wrap up their loose ends, and then head back to Port Charles for a fresh start. After all, why can’t we all just get along?