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Monday, March 11, 2013

Soap Dish: Return to Pine Valley and Llanview on April 29

I never thought it would actually happen, but the beloved daytime dramas, All My Children and One Life to Live (which were canceled by ABC in 2011), are both returning - and here is the latest news via an official press release:
Prospect Park's The Online Network (TOLN) announced today the highly-anticipated online debuts of the beloved long-running serial dramas, All My Children and One Life to Live, for Monday, April 29. With the date confirmed, millions of the shows' fans and new viewers alike can plan to watch broadcast quality versions of two of the most beloved franchises in history with easy access and for free.

"We thank the fans whose tenaciousness to see these shows return made this historical moment possible. We are determined to repay their support by delivering new and creatively groundbreaking episodes that both the fans as well as legions of new viewers will love. These viewers will absolutely embrace the flexibility HULU and iTunes provide to watch their shows anywhere, anytime," said Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, Prospect Park's Partners. "The response and camaraderie of our cast and crew has been inspiring as we have all banded together to succeed in our mission; unencumbered by the creative constraints of traditional broadcast television, to deliver storylines, style and characters that are stronger, with more dimension than ever. Now with our launch date set in stone, we are ready to lead this historic return. To the fans we proclaim, your support counts now more than ever."

Emmy Award winner Agnes Nixon, creative consultant for both programs and a soap opera pioneer, added: "I am so pleased that our dream of bringing these two series back to life is coming to fruition." She added: "I am grateful to Prospect Park for their unwavering commitment to this project and to the amazingly talented casts of All My Children and One Life to Live - their devotion to these franchises has made this moment possible. And to the fans - well, we wouldn't be here without you."

Brand new, 30-minute episodes of All My Children and One Life to Live will be available to stream online weekdays in HD (when available) via the free Hulu service and to the millions of Hulu Plus subscribers watching on connected TVs, mobile phones, tables and PCs. In addition, the iTunes Store will offer both series via iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV and Mac or PC, making these venerable dramas available in a new format that suits the viewing habits of the digital generation. Production began on All My Children on February 25 and shooting will begin on One Life To Live March 18. Both series are filmed in Stamford, CT.

Breathing new life into the storied franchises, Prospect Park and TOLN will blend updated themes and fresh faces with the fan-favorite Emmy-winning actors and writers who made these series must-watch viewing for legions of loyal fans.

Additional guest stars and recurring cast will be announced in the weeks ahead.

All My Children cast members include:

Julia Barr as Brooke English
Ryan Bittle as JR Chandler
David Canary as Adam Chandler
Lindsay Hartley as Cara Martin
Vincent Irizarry as Dr. David Hayward
Francesca James as Evelyn Johnson
Thorsten Kaye as Zach Slater
Jordan Lane Price as Celia Fitzgerald
Jill Larson as Opal Cortlandt
Ray MacDonnell as Dr. Joe Martin
Cady McClain as Dixie Cooney
Debbi Morgan as Dr. Angela Hubbard
Eric Nelson as AJ Chandler
Eden Riegel as Bianca Montgomery
Heather Roop as Jane McIntyre
Sal Stowers as Cassandra Foster
Denyse Tontz as Miranda Montgomery
Jordi Vilasuso as Griffin Castillo
Darnell Williams as Jesse Hubbard
Robert (Rob) Scott Wilson as Pete "Petey" Cortlandt

One Life to Live cast members include:

Melissa Archer as Natalie Buchanan Banks
Kassie DePaiva as Blair Cramer
Robert Gorrie as Matthew Buchanan
Laura Harrier as Destiny Evans
Roger Howarth as Todd Manning
Josh Kelly as Cutter Wentworth
Florencia Lozano as Tea Delgado
Kelley Missal as Danielle Manning
Erika Slezak as Victoria Lord Buchanan
Hillary B. Smith as Nora Buchanan
Robin Strasser as Dorian Lord
Andrew Trischitta as Jack Manning
Jerry verDorn as Clint Buchanan
Tuc Watkins as David Vickers
Robert S. Woods as Bo Buchanan
Shenaz Treasury as Rama Patel

Recurring One Life to Live actors include:

Nick Choksi as Vimal Patel
Sean Ringgold as Shaun Evans

So no Erica Kane on All My Children as actress Susan Lucci is currently filming her new Lifetime series, Devious Maids - but I have a feeling we will eventually see her in Pine Valley again. Also, since I last reported on the AMC/OLTL reboot in January, Julia Barr (Brooke), David Canary (Adam), Ray MacDonnell (Joe), Cady McClain (Dixie) and Eden Riegel (Erica's daughter Bianca) have all signed on as well as the hunky Robert Scott Wilson (in the above pic), who will play Opal Cortlandt's son Pete (he won The Price Is Right's first-ever male model search last year).

As for One Life to Live, actor Roger Howarth is reprising his role of Todd Manning for four weeks before returning to General Hospital. There is no word yet on Michael Easton and Kristen Alderson, whose OLTL characters, John McBain and Starr Manning, have also been appearing on General Hospital - but I'm sure they will end up on one or both of the soaps. And I look forward to returning to Pine Valley and Llanview on April 29!

Below you can watch a recent Entertainment Tonight segment about a special photo shoot with the casts of both soaps. I've also included an amusing video featuring the actors of AMC celebrating their return by breaking into the Harlem Shake - except for actor Vincent Irizarry (Dr. David Hayward) who appears to be sleeping on the couch.

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