Why I Won't Be Able to Fully Support Prospect Park's Efforts to Reboot All My Children and One Life to Live Until a WGA Deal is Made



The revolution will be web-ivised. At least Prospect Park principle Jeff Kwatinetz is hoping it will be. The entertainment mogul—who is busy attempting to relaunch cancelled ABC Daytime soaps All My Children and One Life to Live with his partner Rich Frank— gave a brief interview about the endeavor to the New York Times. Said Kwatinetz:

“I know it’s been a long journey, but the timing is actually fortuitous as TV viewing is evolving rapidly in our direction,” Mr. Kwatinetz said in an interview. “The adoption of online TV in the last year has begun to move exponentially as viewers start to realize the immense advantages digital distribution affords. But all of that is unmatched compared to the relentless fan support. Since they didn’t give up, neither did we.”

Kwatinetz is definitely saying all the right things, but I will be much more comfortable in supporting Prospect Park's efforts once a fair and mutually beneficial deal is made with the Writers Guild of America (WGA). In soap opera, story comes first.

According to my sources, Prospect Park didn't even approach the WGA until the Friday between Christmas and New Years, though published reports state they presented the Guild with an offer "a few weeks ago". Why start leaking details when only pacts with the DGA and SAG-AFTRA were secured?

Would PP have even approached the WGA at all, if I hadn't revealed they initially planned to forego negotiations and hire writers with Financial Core status? Now actors are on Twitter pressuring the Guild to make a deal, when from what I understand, PP presented the WGA with a "take it or leave it" option, and said they wanted a response in four days time. Not cool. Strong-arm tactics aren't the way to go.

The people who will be writing the new versions of All My Children and One Life to Live have just as much right to see their pensions, residuals, health benefits, etc. be properly cared for as those who will direct episodes and star in them. Everyone involved is more than prepared to take significant pay cuts from daytime rates, that isn't at issue — a proper deal with the WGA is.

 If PP hopes to go into production next month, someone (preferably a Guild writer) needs to be writing story bibles. Here's hoping Prospect Park can make a go of it this time around, but only if it's done the right way. 


Comments

Member since:
28 September 2011
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Why can't they use fi-core writers until a deal with the wga is made?

TV Gord's picture
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I appreciate SO much that you wrote this, Jamey. Thank you for the pragmatic, level-headed and HEALTHY skepticism.

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missmuffett41 Isn't that what Tyler Perry did?

alstonboy4315's picture
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Eewww.....Stacy Morasco! Sick Sick Sick Sick

J Bernard Jones's picture
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"The people who will be writing the new versions of All My Children and One Life to Live have just as much right to see their pensions, residuals, health benefits, etc. be properly cared for as those who will direct episodes and star in them."

BOOM!

Member since:
22 October 2010
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Thats interesting Jamey, and balanced this whole thing out in my head. With this happening, I dont think PP would think twice to announce they cant go thru with this. They would do it on a dime as the did last year. I would be so happy if it all went down as it sounded, but Im not giving up any of my shows that I have replaced these soaps with.

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Well said!

I'm not sure how you plan a show with no show bible, no scripts. It seems to me backwards that PP would be talking of going into production before they know what they are in fact producing. It worries me that writing is the last thought. After years of decay, soap opera writing is in desperate need of both reinvention and heightening for more sophisticated viewers.

Ditching the WGA would be the first sign in letting all soaps fans know they don't care about quality writing.

Praying to the soap goddesses someone at PP believes soap opera writing is both an art and an art that requires a skill set beyond "who's the baby daddy", "oops my twin stole my life while I was dead" and stories that require viewers to dumb down to their level rather than lifting up viewers.

I'm not optimistic, based on past hiring decisions, that PP knows what good soap writing is much less that they recognize the need for soap opera writing to evolve. Since the creative highs of the 1990's soap writing has regressed and churned out re-hashed versions of the worst soap plots. But I haven't given up all hope. We'll see who they hire. A lot rides on this. Hire a visionary, groundbreaking writer and a producer with the balls to let the writer write, and soaps can really come back from the dead! Hire a hack and the shows will just be soap punch lines.

Member since:
14 June 2011
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Why do I get the feeling that this "second time around" has been handled "a** backwards, much the same as the initial offering? Not to throw cold water on anything but as Jamey has said, it's odd that the concern in approaching the WGA came after the other concerns. That, for me, throws up a red flag that PP doesn't quite have their "golden ducks" in a row... Innocent

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Hey Swan, I think they do things a**backwards, cause they dont care one bit if later this afternoon, or at the eleventh hour, they announce "deal off". No skin off their back. Does anyone remember last year the day before thanksgiving? It was OLTL last day and PP called the whole thing off. The actors were emailed the day before their last day to clear out their dressing rooms and within days the set of OLTL was demolished. Cold shivers down my spine.

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This PP stuff sounds like more of the same BS we got the last time around. They plan on starting production in a few weeks but don’t have a full cast or writers yet. How are they going to get everything together by the end of the month? The worse part is if they fail this may look bad on the soap industry and not PP.

Member since:
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giogio/dsmwmn-Exactly. I so truly would love to be able to support this re-boot of two classic dramas but there seem to be "holes" in PP's "script" the way it's unfolding. Like watching a story where there are a few gaps that leave you going "What? Wait! What the h**l"... Innocent

Member since:
31 January 2010
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Thanks, Jamey, for this great statement!

I'm not a WGA member, but I joined picket lines in New York City during the WGA strike a few years ago to support other writers. Once again the writers from the WGA have my full support.

It is disheartening to read that actors have gone on Twitter to pressure the Writers Guild into accepting what's probably a lousy deal. How will those actors feel the next time THEIR union is on strike if members of other unions in the same business don't support THEM? The actors who made those posts on Twitter are obviously self-serving creeps who don't give a damn about anyone not visible when they look in a mirror.

It isn't just that the WGA soap writers are those who will do the best job in writing new versions of ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIVE TO LIFE. It's also that members of every profession and occupation deserve to be compensated and treated fairly rather than like dirt.

Member since:
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Bob Lamm- very insightful. While I dont want to be negative, I dont want to see this turn in to a dog eat dog kind of a thing. I dont want to see anyone get hurt again. I just hope if its not going to happen, it stops now or if it does happen it gets settled like today. I say today cause if they plan on starting production next month, this should have been like settled yesterday.

thecourt99's picture
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If I remember correctly, when it fell through the first time, didn't they blame the unions?

If so, could one assume that they are setting things up for the blame game again?

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Isn't Agnes Nixon, who has signed on with PP to help with stories, they ultimate show bible?

Would using fi-core writers with Agnes Nixon basically at the helm, for the beginning at least, be so bad?

Wouldn't it be better this way so production could get off the ground so that way it doesn't all fall through again if talks with the WGA don't go according to plan?

And I had another question, but it completely left me...when I think of it, I'll post again. But can anyone enlighten me on my questions above?

And honestly, if this is just another smoke-and-mirrors trick again, and everything falls apart, I'd prefer it for AMC and OLTL just stay dead. Cause if this ends up being BS again, then it's time for the soaps to RIP.

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I could see PP use Fi-core or even non union writers to start writing until an WGA deal is reached. In fact I bet there are non union writers writing now

nysam's picture
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I haven't been happy with WGA soap writers in many years. They are overpaid and under perform. I would prefer to give a break to young writers or someone from outside the TV realm a la Michael Malone from OLTL in the early 90s.

Allow Agnes to beat out the stories and let her mentor younger writers.

I don't see WGA being very flexible. They weren't a year ago so not sure they will be now.

nysam's picture
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Funny that you use a photo of awful Stacy Morasco which was one of OLTL's worst stories in it's last couple of years and it was written by WGA writers.

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would prefer to give a break to young writers or someone from outside the TV realm a la Michael Malone from OLTL in the early 90s.

***
I would love for this to happen too, but once the new talent is found, they can become members of the WGA.

I don't see WGA being very flexible. They weren't a year ago so not sure they will be now.
***
That isn't what happened. The Guild presented Prospect Park with an offer, to which PP thanked them, said they would get back to them, but never did with a counter offer, according to my sources. The next thing the Guild knew, PP had gone to the press and blamed them and Lucci for everything faling apart.

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Jamey Giddens wrote:
would prefer to give a break to young writers or someone from outside the TV realm a la Michael Malone from OLTL in the early 90s.

***
I would love for this to happen too, but once the new talent is found, they can become members of the WGA.

I don't see WGA being very flexible. They weren't a year ago so not sure they will be now.
***
That isn't what happened. The Guild presented Prospect Park with an offer, to which PP thanked them, said they would get back to them, but never did with a counter offer, according to my sources. The next thing the Guild knew, PP had gone to the press and blamed them and Lucci for everything faling apart.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jamey-
Is it possible that PP may hire Non union writers for these reboots until and if a WGA deal is reached?

Member since:
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Jamey-
Is it possible that PP may hire Non union writers for these reboots until and if a WGA deal is reached?
***
According to my sources, that isn't what's happening.

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Jamey Giddens wrote:
Jamey-
Is it possible that PP may hire Non union writers for these reboots until and if a WGA deal is reached?
***
According to my sources, that isn't what's happening.

Ok Thanx

Member since:
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I do want a WGA deal but maybe PP should hire two fi-core writers like James Harmon Brown (AMC) & Michelle Poteet Listani (OLTL) to start off. Then regroup once WGA deal is final?

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James Harmon Brown helped run AMC into the ground! Pass on that, appleridge !

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Well anyone would be better than Maria Arena Bell & I heard she is interested in writing them or at least AMC

hothunk's picture
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this seems to be a go .... agnes nixon even announced.
Surely she would not do that , if it was an iffy situation.. other actors as well, the only deal to reach is wga, I dont see that being an issue.. do you .... seriously people have been contacted and they say its a go ...

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hothunk wrote:
this seems to be a go .... agnes nixon even announced.
Surely she would not do that , if it was an iffy situation.. other actors as well, the only deal to reach is wga, I dont see that being an issue.. do you .... seriously people have been contacted and they say its a go ...

Thats why im wondering if PP & WGA cant come to an agreement soon if they will just go with fi-core or non union writers til a deal is reached

hothunk's picture
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yeah Im sure they will
its a "go" seems like it to me ...
not sure why the others think "not"

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Is PP not allowed to use Agnes Nixon's established bibles for the AMC/OLTL reboot? Would they have to pay a separate fee for them outside of the license?

Member since:
5 July 2008
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No the lisence with PP includes all things AMC & OLTL related including story bibles