Which All My Children cast members will sign on for Prospect Park's continuation of the series? That seems to be the question on the lips of most soap fans and TV journos these days. While a good portion of the One Life to Live cast has agreed to continue with that series, only Cameron Mathison and Lindsay Hartley have signed pacts to continue on as con artist-turned-father-of-the-year Ryan Lavery and Martin-marrying Latina medico Cara Castillo, respectively.
As we hold out hope that such popular AMC stars as Michael E. Knight (Tad), Cady McClain (Dixie) Alicia Minshew (Kendall), Thorsten Kaye (Zach), Darnell Williams (Jesse), Rebecca Budig (Greenlee), Bobbie Eakes (Krystal), Jill Larson (Opal), David Canary (Adam/Stuart), Vincent Irizarry (David), Walt Willey (Jack), Julia Barr (Brooke), Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake), Chrishell Stause (Amanda) and of course Susan Lucci (Erica Kane) will eventually sign on with the show, the clock she is a ticking!
With only three and a half months before the scheduled relaunch of All My Children, this show needs to book more than two stars, and fast. I think it would be smart for Prospect Park to reach back into AMC's storied, 41-year history on ABC to find other characters and/or stars to consider bringing back, as negotiations with the most recent Mouse House cast continues. Here are 10 (or so) past Pine Valley dwellers I'd love to see make a return visit!
10.) Hayley and Mateo's son Lorenzo Santos wants to spice up Pine Valley
With Jacob Young already back on the soap where he got his start, The Bold and the Beautiful, Prospect Park's version of All My Children will likely begin missing a Chandler (That is, unless they decide to recast!). Why not bring on Adam Chandler's (David Canary) grandson Lorenzo Santos, son of Hayley and Mateo (Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos), to fill the void?
Former General Hospital villain Ignacio Sericchio would be a nice addition to Pine Valley, as a now 20-something Enzo returns to reopen his parents' salsa club SOS to compete with ConFusion. Or perhaps he takes a position at Chandler Enterprises? Enzo's scheming aunt Skye (Robin Christopher) could also pop back up in town to do battle with him from time to time!
9.) Palmer and Opal's son Pete Cortlandt is the new Mark Zuckerberg
I made no secret of my disappointment on this blog and our companion podcast that AMC's writers chose to have the late Palmer Cortlandt (James Mitchell) leave his vast fortune to some cabin-dwelling relation we'd never heard of. Considering Palmer had several children and grandchildren, who had been integral to the ruthless character's decades-long arc in Pine Valley, it was such a waste to bring on newbies Caleb (Michael Nouri) and Asher (Trent Garrett), when fans would have much rather seen Nina (Taylor Miller) or Ross (Robert Gentry) battling it out over Cortlandt Electronics. With Jill Larson having become Pine Valley's heart and soul in recent years, I'd love to see her get more story on AMC 2.0, courtesy of the return of her son with Palmer. Only this time around, only his Mama calls Pete Cortlandt "Petey"!
What if Pete founded a multi-billion dollar social networking site ala Facebook while away from Pine Valley? He could use his newfound fortune to seize control of his father's company, move home to Pine Valley and rebuild Cortlandt Manor, all while plotting to use his loot and status to impress the girl that got away — Colby Chandler (Natalie Hall).
Colby of course would balk at the notion that she would suddenly be interested in Pete just because he's loaded, telling the former geek he has a lot to learn about women. He could retaliate by buying the online media company that is distributing Colby's vlog, creating a lighthearted young adult rom-com adventure for AMC. I'd love to see one of Days of Our Lives' grads Blake Berris or Mark Hapka in the role. What's that they say, the Geeks shall inherit the earth?
8.) Kendall's ex-husband Anton Lang wants revenge
Since Alicia Minshew is now reportedly in talks to continue on as Kendall, I'd give anything to see AMC 2.0 finally give Erica Kane's daughter something to do besides fret over kids, heart conditions and presumed dead husbands. What if the very first Mr. Kendall Hart aka Anton Lang, returned to town, hellbent on revenge against Kendall for ruining his life all those years ago?
Maybe a mysterious hedge fund based in Hungary starts buying up blocks of Fusion stock, alarming Kendall and Greenlee. Imagine Kendall's shock when Dimitri Marick's (Michael Nader) bastard son shows up at a board meeting and announces he has enough stock to demand a director's seat. Anton has endured one disastrous relationship with women after another, due to his inability to trust again following his unsavory, gothic union with Kendall. Anton decides to do whatever it takes to make his ex just as miserable as he's been!
Prospect Park should reach out to the haunting Rudolf Martin, who created the role opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar back in the 90's. Or, if they wanted to go in a slightly different direction, what about wildly popular As The World Turns alum Paolo Seganti (ex-Damian Grimaldi)?
Photo credit: IMDB
7.) Jenny's great love Greg Nelson comes home
If Michael E. Knight decides not to continue on in the role of Tad Martin full-time, AMC is going to need a familiar face from its early 80's glory days to help Pine Valley feel like home for longterm fans. Why not ask Laurence Lau to return as Greg Nelson for Prospect Park's AMC reboot?
The widower could decide to move back to the Valley to teach at the local high school. When a SORAS'ed Jenny Martin, namesake of Greg's beloved, finds herself the target of mean girl bully Emma Lavery (herself secretly tormented that her mother is tucked away in an insane asylum), Greg ends up bonding with Jenny's mama Krystal Carey (Bobbie Eakes). Maybe Tad and Dixie (Cady McClain) could even play matchmakers?
6.) Detective Mimi Frye returns to frisk Jesse Hubbard
Debbi Morgan is one of those rare soap actors who is truly irreplaceable. They tried once and fans still talk about that disaster! Therefore Prospect Park shouldn't even try recasting the role of Dr. Angela Hubbard. However, since Morgan has already found a new gig on The Young and the Restless, AMC will need to find someone for Angie's man Jesse, if Darnell Williams decides to stay with the series.
I'd handle Angie's exit by having the heroine leave town to visit her daughter Cassie in Europe. Following the devastating aftermath of the Chandler party and all she's been through of late, Angie needs a break from the Valley.
While away, Angie contemplates everything she's endured in recent years and decides to separate from Jesse, sending him a "Dear Jane" email. Angie lets Jesse know she was able to get over him letting her believe he was dead for 20 years, while he was off starting a new family, but she can't get past him switching their dead baby and burying her in a public park like a pet bird.
As if that isn't enough for Jesse to deal with, the mayor learns what went down, and brings in Internal Affairs specialist Mimi Frye (Shari Headley) to investigate PVPD. Jesse and Mimi immediately butt heads, which of course on soaps means they will soon be tearing up the sheets!
Headley, who will forever be remembered for her role as Lisa in Coming to America, is a fan favorite and her return to AMC could generate a lot of buzz among the urban glossies. Meanwhile, when and if Morgan eventually returns to Pine Valley, the show could have a steamy, mocha love triangle between Angie/Jesse/Mimi on their hands!
5.) The first Mrs. Joe Martin, Jr. — Emily Ann Sago — wants her man back
Poor, poor Emily Ann (Liz Vassey). As if it wasn't bad enough that her biological mama was a hooker and her daddy was a pimp, her creepy bio daddy Billy Clyde Tuggle (Matthew Cowles)—said pimp—had to flat out ruin Em's young marriage to Joey Martin (now known as Jake)!
I say it's high time Emily Ann was sprung from the funny farm, and came home to Pine Valley. If Vassey isn't available, why not cast As The World Turns' beauty Lesli Kay in the role? Emily Ann could hire Liza Colby (Jamie Luner) to challenge her and Jake's decades ago annulment, on the grounds of her mental instability at the time. Jake's current wife Amanda (Chrishell Stause) knows from crazy, having grown up with Janet From Another Planet (Kate Collins) as a mother, but how would she deal with an unhinged rival? Maybe she asks her mama for pointers?
An arc like this would also provide the perfect opportunity for Candice Earley to reprise the iconic role of Emily Ann's adopted mother Donna Beck Tyler, alongside Vasili Bogazianos as Emily Ann's adopted pop Benny Sago. Of course, things wouldn't be complete without Richard Van Fleet as the love of Donna's life, Chuck Tyler also returning to town as the trio tries to do what's best for a still unstable Emily Ann.
4.) Joe and Ruth's spunky grandaughter Kelsey Jefferson is back for more than a weather report
The last we heard from Tara Martin Jefferson's (Karen Lynn Gorney) daughter Kelsey (TC Warner), she was working as a weather girl in Minneapolis. What if Tad and Jake's niece, now a globetrotting investigative journalist for a 20/20-style newsmagazine, returns to Pine Valley to cover JR Chandler's meltdown?
Kelsey shares quite the complicated history with many a Pine Valley citizen, past and present.. She's the biological mother of Dr. Maria Santos' (recent guest star Eva La Rue) son Sam, who was sired by Palmer Cortlandt's grandson Bobby (originally played as an adult by Brian Gaskill). She also once conspired with Ryan Lavery (Cameron Mathison) to bust up Scott Chandler (Forbes March) and Princess Gillian Adrassy (Esta TerBlanche). If not Warner, why not hire Gaskill's Port Charles leading lady Erin Hershey Presley to recreate the role of Kelsey?
Ryan, harkening back to his WRCW days, could decide he wants to produce the pilot for a national talk show — Kelsey — for the chatty Cathy, er Kelsey, much to his bitchy wife Greenlee's (Rebecca Budig) chagrin. The scheming Ms. Smythe could track down Kelsey's son Sam (General Hospital alum Drew Garrett, anyone?) and lure him back to PV to mess things up for the mom he believes abandoned him. Greens could arrange for Sam to cause a scandal at the advertising upfront presentation for Kelsey, by revealing his mother's sordid past. This proves to backfire on Sam and Greenlee, when the advertisers empathize with Kelsey having been a desperate, unwed teen mom.
Things get even stickier when Greenlee's stepdaughter Emma Lavery, a summer intern at her dad's production company, falls hard for the volatile Sam. Greenlee would realize her only true course of action is to take a page from the Marian Colby Playbook and bed the 20-something hunk herself, in order to keep him away from Emma. I mean, isn't that what any loving stepmother would do? Too bad, Sam decides to blackmail Greenlee into giving him the deed to ConFusion!
Photo credit: TC Warner's Facebook Page
3.) Erica Kane's ex-husband No. 3 Tom Cudahy wants to play ball
One of Erica Kane's (Susan Lucci) many ex-husbands, Tom Cudahy (Richard Shoberg) proved to be one of the most popular leading men in Pine Valley history. What if the former pro football player-turned-restaurateur-turned-gym owner returned to Pine Valley to launch a new pro football team The Pine Valley Panthers, backed by mysterious investors?
Desperate to recruit Kendall and Ryan's star quarterback son Spike Lavery right out of high school, Tom ticks off Spike's parents. They want their hearing impaired son to go to college first, and study to be an audiologist like he'd always planned. Spike counters that his managing to become a football phenom, despite his disability, must mean something.
Imagine all the groovy, 70's flashbacks AMC 2.0 could utilize as Spike's grandma Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) gets in on the action. Not only does Erica side with Tom, but she wants to manage Spike's football career and side entertainment ventures!
Before Kendall and Ryan can say "reality show" or "sports beverage deal," Grand-Momager Kane is booking modeling contracts and cereal box covers for Spike. Newly divorced from lawyer Livia Frye (Tonya Pinkins), Tom can't help but notice how good La Kane has held up over the years, and now neither one has to worry about those birth control pills!
Photo credit: Richard Shoberg
2.) Legacy couple Charlie and Cecily Davidson Brent decide to relocate with their horny teen sons
The paternity saga of Phillip Charles Brent, son of Pine Valley's first supercouple, Phil and Tara, drove story on AMC for the better part of the 70's. What better character to help relaunch the show than a Martin/Brent grandson, who grew up believing he was a Tyler? Hello, that's three out of four of the show's founding families! Oh yeah, and he bedded Erica Kane (like his dad and granddad before him), so he's literally been inside of all four of PV's original clans.
When we last saw Charlie (at the time being played by Kennedy cousin Christopher Lawford) he was leaving town with Phoebe's (the late Ruth Warrick) goddaughter Cecily Davidson (the immensely popular Rosa Nevin). While Prospect Park is still trying to figure out if they'll have Tad and Dixie, or Zach and Kendall, why not reach out to Nevin and Charles Van Eman (Sorry, wasn't a fan of Lawford in the role!) to bring Charlie, Cecily and their brood back to Pine Valley?
After falling in love online, Charlie and Cecily married, moved to Cali and had sons Nick (named for Charlie's granddad) and Phillip, named for Charlie's father. Why not bring the Brents and their now hunky and horny teen sons home, and let them mix it up with a SORAS'd group of teens at Pine Valley High? Just think, Tara Martin's grandsons going to the same school as her high school nemesis Erica Kane's granddaughters...
Photo credit: IMDB
1.) Beloved heroine Nina Cortlandt Warner
Lord knows Nina's (Taylor Miller) marriage to Cliff (Peter Bergman) was never on sturdy ground. When her father Palmer Cortlandt (the late James Mitchell) wasn't coming between them, another man or woman was. Perhaps, after all these years, Nina has given up on ever getting it right with Cliff, much like Jackson Montgomery (Walt Willey) has given up on Erica Kane (Susan Lucci)?
When Nina finds herself back in Pine Valley, and asking Jack to handle her divorce, all sorts of sparks could fly. Especially if PP manages to secure La Lucci. Then, a bit later, why not bring back Cliff, at Erica's hand? The vixen could convince the board of Pine Valley hospital to bring Cliff back as Chief of Staff.
I doubt Bergman would ever ditch The Young and the Restless, but either Guiding Light's Robert Newman or Bradley Cole could play a doctor on TV and on the web!
Whaddya think? Tell us who you'd most like to see return for the All My Children reboot in the comments!
Photo credit: Taylor Miller