All My Children and One Life to Live’s planned summer hiatus, originally set for June 17, will officially begin tomorrow due to an ongoing labor dispute with the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees – Local 52, the union representing the crew for the soaps.
TheWrap first reported of trouble brewing between the unions and the soaps’ producer Prospect Park earlier this week. The production company is accused of going over budget and violating the labor agreement in place. According to the deal, Prospect Park could pay its members less than the standard rate provided the soap did not spend more than $125K per episode. In addition, Prospect Park’s brief television deal with FX Canada (which has since ended) to broadcast episodes is yet another violation the union cites. Prospect denied the allegations.
Tonight, The OnLine network has announced the soaps will go into hiatus 11 days earlier than intended.
The full statement is below:[textblock style=”9″]As a result of a dispute with the IATSE, The OnLine Network is beginning a long-planned hiatus for both All My Children and One Life to Live tomorrow instead of June 17. The hiatus is scheduled to end on Aug. 12 pending resolution of this labor issue. Right now we have 40 episodes of each show ready to post through September, and if we can resolve this issue by August, we can get back into the studio on time so audiences will enjoy uninterrupted postings of their favorite shows.
We believe we have met all contract requirements with IATSE, and as an internet start-up, and per our contract with the IA, we cannot afford, and our business model cannot sustain, traditional broadcast rates.
The writers, directors, actors and rest of crew have been supportive of the shows and our success. Both One Life to Live and All My Children consistently earn top rankings on both Hulu and iTunes since launch just over a month ago. The popularity of the shows is matched by the continued passion and excitement from the fans. We are committed to these shows, and to the nearly 300 jobs they produce, thus we are exploring every legal and logistical option to maintain our production schedule.”[/textblock]
To further complicate matters, Deadline reports that Prospect Park is considering moving production from Connecticut to another state.
TVSource Magazine will continue reporting on this story as more information is available.