Just a few days after the cast of “All My Children” were given the news that it would not be returning for a second season, Prospect Park has come under fire yet again. The production company filed a new-amended complaint against ABC seeking $95 million in damages. In April of this year, Prospect Park sued ABC by claiming the alphabet network sabotaged the reboot of “One Life to Live,” and in turn, killed off core characters.
In this new amended complaint, it stated that ABC schemed to create a “mega soap.”
Not long after Prospect Park was compelled to suspend an early launch of the
online series, ABC asked to “borrow” certain OLTL characters for use on ABC’s
remaining soap, General Hospital (“GH”), in a limited and short-term capacity. ABC
promised consultation, script approval, and expressly swore not to do any damage to
the “canon” of OLTL. Yet, even before the ink dried on the parties’ agreement, ABC
began unilaterally changing key storylines and themes, literally killing some OLTL
characters and deeply integrating others into the GH landscape, all to create a mega
soap of GH behind Prospect Park’s back. The changes bewildered and alienated longtime OLTL fans. ABC even went so far as to induce the actors who had been playing
some of the more popular characters on OLTL to sign secret, exclusive, multi-year
contracts with ABC ― all without a word to Prospect Park.
Both “AMC” and “OLTL” premiered on HULU and on iTunes on April 29, 2013. The shows were first announced that they were brought back to life in September 2011, only for it to be pushed back to a 2013 launch.
The amended claim also stated that Roger Howarth, Kristen Alderson, and Michael Easton had signed exclusive multi-year confidential deals with “General Hospital” on ABC, which were unbeknownst to Prospect Park.
Prospect Park requested ABC’s assistance and good faith efforts to help Prospect Park engage the OLTL actors. On January 18, 2013, ABC committed to provide this support. ABC never mentioned that it already had these actors under exclusive, long-term contracts with GH and therefore held the reins to Prospect Park’s success. To the contrary, ABC, through Michael Patterson, painted a much different picture:
“[W]e are under no obligation nor do we have any power to
make the actors available to Prospect Park. That is up to
Prospect Park to make those deals. The actors[’]
availability is between PP and the actors.
ABC/GH will use good faith efforts to help PP hire the
actors to perform the roles on OLTL. We can encourage and
express our desire that they do the PP deal, but ultimately it
is their decision.”