Wow. With the premiere of Prospect Park’s reboots of All My Children and One Life to Live a little over a week away, the production studio has filed a $25 million lawsuit against ABC for breach of contract.
Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva broke the news, reporting that Prospect claims ABC broke the licensing agreement and is sabotaging their efforts to continue the canceled soaps online. More details have since been revealed, with The Hollywood Reporter publishing a copy of the complaint against ABC.
Prospect argues they entered into a modified agreement with ABC as a “gesture of good will to ABC and the actors playing these roles to ensure that they would have employment and income while Prospect was in pre-production and development of OLTL. The company alleges, among other things that ABC:
- Violated their modified agreement by not consulting Prospect when creating storylines involving the characters “on loan”
- Violated their modified agreement when it killed off characters Cole and Hope Thornhart in a car accident.
- Violated their modified agreement when ABC “effectively killed off” another OLTL character whom they did not have rights to by revealing this “long-standing OLTL character” to be another character on General Hospital.
- Refused to transfer URLS for allymchildren.com and onelifetolive.com
- Significantly altered history and other elements of key characters Starr Manning, Todd Manning, John McBain, Blair Manning, Cole Thornhart, Hope Thornhart and Tea Delgado
- Expanded the role of Todd Manning and made him a central focus on the show when his role was to be “limited” – including transferring Todd’s fictional companies and newspaper to General Hospital
- Damaged OLTL characters (including characters to which they did not have any rights) by, among other things, creating absurd story lines, having characters do things they would never do (and of which Prospect would never have approved), and destroying critical character relationships popular with soap fans. All of this was done without Prospect’s knowledge, consultation and/or approval, and in direct breach of the License.
- Entered into long-term contracts with certain actors without informing the stars that rights to their characters reverts back to Prospect and as a way to prevent them from working for Prospect Park.
- Created new characters for the actors, including Roger Howarth (who agreed to return to PP to film for four weeks), thereby damaging negotiations and intentionally sabotaging the projects. Surmises that Howarth’s new character will appear on-screen on ABC while he’s airing as a principal character on OLTL.
- Threatened to pull Prospect’s OLTL advertisements because they feature Howarth playing the character licensed to Prospect.
Prospect claims it has made “repeated overtures” to ABC to “resolve these issues amicably.”
In July 2011, Prospect Park’s Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank negotiated a multi-year, multi-platform deal with ABC, enabling the studio to continue production of AMC and OLTL beyond their life on ABC. Prospect Park would produce and deliver the two long-running programs to consumers via online formats and additional emerging platforms including internet enabled television sets. Under the terms of the arrangement, the programs would continue to be delivered with the same quality and in the same format and length.
However, in November 2011, Prospect announced it would not proceed with the projects as a result of failing to negotiate deals with the major unions for actors and writers. “After five months of negotiations with various guilds, hundreds of presentations to potential financial and technology partners, and a hope that we could pioneer a new network for the future, it is with great disappointment that we are suspending our aspirations to revive “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” via online distribution. It is now becoming clear that mounting issues make our ability to meet our deadlines to get OLTL on the air in a reasonable time period following its January 13, 2012 ABC finale impossible,” released the company in a statement.
Thirteen months later, Deadline reported the studio revived plans to resurrect the soaps. In January, Prospect released an official statement acknowledging they had secured deals with the major unions and would begin production in the coming months.
ABC has yet to comment.
All My Children and One Life to Live will premiere on April 29 on Hulu and iTunes.
ARCHIVED: THE PROSPECT PARK TIMELINE – OLTL/AMC
- Hot Chelle Rae to Perform New Single ‘Hung Up’ On All My Children
- ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ weekly recap shows will provide several bonuses for fans
- Prospect Park releases new ‘All My Children’ promo
- FX Canada to Air TOLN’s ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life to Live’
- TOLN’s ‘One Life to Live’ Gets Theme Song Produced by Snoop Lion
- Roger Howarth, Michael Easton & Kristen Alderson Returning to ‘General Hospital’ in May
- TOLN’s New ‘One Life To Live’ Trailer: New Footage Galore!
- ‘All My Children’ Recruits ‘Harold & Kumar’s’ Paula Garces
- ‘One Life to Live’ Co-Head Writer Susie Bedsow Horgan Exits Series
- ‘All My Children’, ‘One Life to Live’ Trailer: “We Are a Family”
- TOLN’s New ‘All My Children’ Promo: “Get Ready For The New Season”
- TOLN’s New ‘OLTL’ Promo: “The Best of ‘One Life to Live’”
- ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life to Live’ Launch Official iTunes Pages
- Behind The Scenes Look: ‘All My Children’s’ Opal Gets A House
- Roger Howarth, Kristen Alderson, Michael Easton Returning to ‘General Hospital’ As New Characters
- Hulu Premieres ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life to Live’ Save the Date Trailer
- ‘High School Musical’ Star Corbin Bleu Joins ‘One Life to Live’
- The Online Network Sets Premiere Date For ‘All My Children’,’One Life to Live’
- ‘All My Children’ Cast Does the Harlem Shake!
- ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life to Live’ Cast Lists Revealed
- ‘All My Children’ Casting News: Veteran Returns, Recasts and New Faces
- ‘The Price Is Right’s’ Robert Scott Wilson Cast on ‘All My Children’
- Julia Barr to Reprise ‘All My Children’ Role? Michael Knight Not Returning “Right Now”
- Susan Lucci, David Canary Return To ‘All My Children’
- ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life to Live’ to Begin Production February 25
- Cady McClain Signs on for ‘All My Children’ Reboot
- Prospect Park Statement on Status of ‘One Life to Live’ Characters on ‘General Hospital’
- Michael Easton, Roger Howarth, Kristen Alderson to Cease Work at ‘General Hospital’ on February 8
- ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life to Live’ to Premiere in the Spring on iTunes, Hulu Platforms
- ‘One Life to Live’ Cast, Production Update From Prospect Park
- ‘All My Children’ Cast, Production Update From Prospect Park
- ‘General Hospital’ Characters Todd, Starr and John to Exit, Return to ‘One Life to Live’
- Robert S. Woods and Erika Slezak Sign on for ‘One Life to Live’
- Robin Strasser signs on for ‘One Life to Live’ reboot
- Prospect Park Names ‘OLTL’ Head Writers; Casting and Writing Rumors for ‘AMC’
- Prospect Park and WGA Reach Deal for ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life to Live’ Reboots
- Jerry verDorn Signs on for Prospect Park’s ‘OLTL’; Cameron Mathison, Alicia Minshew to Rejoin ‘AMC’?
- It’s Official: Prospect Park Confirms ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life to Live’ to Begin Production Next Month
- Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams Sign On To ‘All My Children’ Reboot
- ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life to Live’ Creator Agnes Nixon Issues Statement on Prospect Park’s Reboot
- Vincent Irizarry Joins ‘All My Children’ Reboot; Prospect Park Names New ‘OLTL’ Executive Producer
- Prospect Park’s Plans for ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life to Live’ Unveiled
- Susan Lucci In Talks with Prospect Park for ‘All My Children’ Reboot
- Prospect Park Revives Plans for ‘One Life to Live’ and ‘All My Children’
- ‘One Life to Live’s’ Frank Valentini, Ron Carlivati To Take Over ‘General Hospital’ Effective January 2012
- ‘GH’ Shake-Up: Jill Farren Phelps OUT; ‘OLTL’s’ Frank Valentini Named New Executive Producer
- Prospect Park Shelves ‘One Life to Live,’ ‘All My Children’ Online Projects
- More Stars Sign on to Continue With ‘One Life to Live’ Online
- Prospect Park Announces Tentative Launch for TOLN
- Susan Lucci Declines Prospect Park Offer, Will Not Continue with ‘All My Children’
- Four ‘OLTL’ Stars Sign On With Prospect Park
- Prospect Park Negotiating With Unions; Meets With Stars from ‘AMC’
- New Life for ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’
- Ron Carlivati Joining ‘GH’ Writing Team After ‘One Life’ Series Finale
- Brian Frons Reveals AMC/OLTL Cancellation Was A Year In The Making
- ABC Cancels ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’