Deep Soap: Catherine Hickland Returns To ‘One Life’ After Criticizing ABC

Catherine Hickland arrives to the after party for the ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Benefit on February 6, 2006. (Fernando Leon/Getty Images)

No actor was more outspoken about the cancellation of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” than Catherine Hickland. Hickland, who played Lindsey on OLTL from 1998 to 2009 and is the ex-wife of AMC star Michael Knight, took to Twitter and her blog to blame ABC Daytime President Brian Frons for mismanaging the shows, accusing him of  having contempt for the genre. (Sample passage: ” Six months after you-know-who became our boss, (he was already despised from the get-go) we all thought he was way too arrogant and rude. It was also obvious that he had a significant ageism issue and did not understand us, or our audience at all.”) Hickland even joined fans at an anti-ABC demonstration. Surprisingly, Frons did not seem to hold a grudge; the actress is making a brief return to the show next week. Lindsay, who is serving time for murder, escapes from Statesville Prison along with several other of Llanview’s most dangerous felons — including Mitch (Roscoe Born), Troy (Ty Treadway) and Cole (Van Hughes substituting for Brandon Buddy).  How Statesville’s men and women’s units managed to collaborate will presumably be explained at some point.

Hickland told TV Guide that she felt compelled to speak out about the behind-the-scenes issues that led to the shows’ cancellations, revealing that she learned she was being written off OLTL from a magazine, because nobody at the show or network told her she was being let go. Now making her living as a hypnotist, she is not concerned about burning bridges. “I didn’t really care if I ever acted again so, for me, it was no big deal. Everyone else at OLTL and AMC was under gag order and had the fear of God put into them. There was nothing keeping me from telling the truth… I spent a lot of years at OLTL being told, “Don’t say this. Don’t say that.”… I just felt that the audience was owed simple respect, something we all owe each other — in business and in life.”

She admits that she was a little nervous about returning to the show after airing her grievances with ABC. “I was very suspicious about the whole thing and wasn’t sure I wanted to do it. I thought I’d be facing a firing squad! But I’m glad I went back… There was a lot of love, especially from the crew and [executive producer] Frank Valentini. “

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