Though filled with legal mumbo-jumbo, the court documents filed in the Prospect Park/ABC case are frequently fascinating and occasionally even surreal. For OLTL fans, and GH fans as well, the documents offer some very juicy and intriguing tidbits. After reading the whole thing, here are some of the more interesting passages. All emphasis appears in the original court document. All commentary after the quote is strictly my own opinion. What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section, below.
1. "Exclusivity of all OLTL characters was a key inducement to the license, and to Prospect's willingness to pay enormous license fees (as much as $4 million in the first season alone) and share profits for rights to OLTL." Well, now we have an idea of what ABC is being paid for doing nothing with a product it tried to destroy. It's a neat trick.
2. "As just one example of ABC's unapproved and outrageous behavior, ABC killed off two OLTL characters that were temporarily licensed for use on General Hospital, Cole and Hope Thornhart, by having their car forced over a cliff." Perhaps this wrongful death suit will help Cole and Hope finally find some peace?
3. "ABC eliminated another major OLTL character, Thomas Delgado, who was not even licensed to ABC, by claiming Delgado is really another General Hospital character, Lorenzo Alcazar." Not only was this move gratuitous, it seems to me (and PP is suggesting) that it may have been done, in part, out of spite. Also, in this particular case, isn't this, maybe, a little bit racist, to conflate the two characters so easily? And, it's Tomas!
4. "With regard to the character Todd Manning, after telling Prospect executives that his role on General Hospital would be limited, ABC made him one of the most central characters on that show, and even moved the newspaper he owns, The Sun, from Llanview to Port Charles, where General Hospital takes place." That answers my biggest question at the time, which was, why on earth would PP agree to this? Well that's simple - apparently, they didn't.
5. "In other instances, ABC damaged OLTL characters (including characters to which they did not have any rights) by, among other things, creating absurd story lines, having characters do things they would never do (and of which Prospect Park would never have approved), and destroying critical character relationships popular with soap fans." If nothing else comes of this lawsuit, I am over the moon about the precedent this sets. We can finally sue our soaps for absurd story lines, and for having characters do things that are, well, out-of-character! It's about time, don't you think?
6. "ABC entered into long-term contracts with certain actors known for their characters in OLTL... ABC did so knowing full well that it had short term rights to the OLTL characters, and without disclosing to the actors Prospect's right to get the characters back... at least some of the actors moved their families to Los Angeles not knowing that their characters were on short term loan..." If this is true, wow. Collateral damage. Very ugly... sad, too.
7. "...ABC recently threatened to pull from its network Prospect's OLTL advertisements (for which it paid considerable sums) because they feature [Roger Howarth] playing the character licensed to Prospect." For me, this complaint sums up the whole OLTL-GH-PP-ABC hot mess. I think that, at the very least, I think it's obvious ABC is guilty of trying to hard to have their cake and eat it too. As I see it, either you continue the series, including the history and the characters - or you let it go (and sit back and collect license fees). Try to do both and not only do things get weird - the fans get royally screwed.
8. "Prospect Park hereby demands a trial by jury in the above entitled action." Applause! You know there will be OLTL fans on that jury. Man, do I hope this goes to trial!
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