On September 23rd, “All My Children” will air its final ABC episode. Prospect Park, the production company that has bought the show with plans of continuing it on-line, has made an initial offer to AFTRA, the actor’s union, outlining a proposed minimum pay scale for the cast. According to Deadline, the company has offered the show’s biggest star, Susan Lucci, a contract similar to the one she has with ABC. Yet no actors have officially agreed to stay with the show. Jacob Young (J.R.)is returning to “The Bold & the Beautiful,” first appearing on the show’s September 26th episode. Debbi Morgan will debut on “The Young & the Restless” on October 7th. However, despite all of the uncertainty, at a recent press junket, many cast members expressed an interest in remaining with the show when it moves to the internet.
Lucci seemed enthusiastic about the idea, though she stopped short of saying she would continue with the show.“I feel like this could be the beginning of something very, very exciting. It feels groundbreaking and visionary. It seems only fitting that this show, with Agnes [Nixon] who has always been such a visionary, that this show should be in this position to forge that new ground. It seems that everybody in Prospect Park, those gentlemen are visionaries themselves. They have a track record. They are substantial people in the industry. It seems that if anybody can make a go of this new move, and this vision, it’s them. I think if we were going to go forward, we’d be in the best of hands.”
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Walt Willey, who has played Erica’s love interest Jackson for over two decades concurred. “This show is responsible for so many groundbreaking social issues being brought to the fore. Why shouldn’t this be the first show to move to the new medium? I just read that Kevin Spacey signed a deal with Netflix to do a web only series. Clearly, there’s some confidence in this medium. So, I think to be in on the ground floor, so to speak, I’m going to take some money from the back end because I figure that it makes perfect sense. I think that this lapse of time between the end, as we’re calling this, and whenever we start there will give us the opportunity to educate people about, ‘Hey, here’s what you do. You go to that other box with the screen, you press this, this and this and it comes up.’ It won’t take long before that transition is a pretty easy one.”
Jill Larson would like to bring Opal to the internet. “I think it’s a very exciting moment and I am thrilled there’s a possibility of being part of what could be a historic moment in broadcasting.” She acknowledged that moving to the internet is a big risk. “For five or six years people have been trying to figure out the way to bring original content to the internet in a financially viable form. Nobody’s quite broken the code yet. Eisner’s been working on it pretty extensively. So, finally we have somebody who has the experience and the history and the vision and I guess the money to do this as a real network. So we’re hopeful.”
Other actors are still undecided. Cameron Mathison (Ryan), has carved out a second career as a host, recently signing on to host a new web series “Ultimate Proposal” for Yahoo, making his decision complicated. “There’s a lot of variables. I definitely would [consider it.] Right now, for me, “All My Children” being on the internet is awesome for the fans. I think it’s awesome for “All My Children.” I’m not really technically involved yet, so I’m sure celebrating that. If I kind of grasp at being involved, it gets a little more agitating for me. So I would love to hear what they have to say, but at the same time, I’m basically considering that the show I’ve been on, my show, ends in three weeks.”
Said Alicia Minshew (Kendall), “I really don’t know. I’m really torn. I love Los Angeles. I love New York. I love All My Children. I’m very open to whatever is going to happen. If something new and different that was fun came to me, I would love that. If Prospect Park said, ‘We want you to [stay on as] Kendall,’ I’d be open to that, too.”
It’s hard to imagine AMC without Tad the Cad, but Michael Knight feels that, for creative reasons, it might be time for him to leave Pine Valley behind. “I think a lot of us are going, ‘We’re going to wait and see.’ If [Tad and Dixie] do get married, it might be best for them to leave, because if you leave those characters on the canvas, you can’t just pay us for nothing and we’re going to be there. I don’t think they’d be willing to pay us that much to be Joe and Ruth, to come out at Christmas parties.” Knight feels that, after decades of angst and multiple returns from the dead, Tad and Dixie may deserve to live happily ever after. “I think maybe it’s more effective to have Tad and Dixie get married and maybe move to Pigeon Hollow, keep them alive, keep them out there. They can always come back if the children are in trouble. But it might be that one thing that you say, ‘Let’s just give the audience this and not mess with them anymore.’”