Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Prospect Park Asks For More Money In Amended Lawsuit Against ABC; Claims ABC Schemed To Create 'Mega Soap' and 'Copy-Cat' Characters

Last week, Prospect Park informed the cast and crew of ALL MY CHILDREN the show was not going to return in its current form. ONE LIFE TO LIVE had already been shelved, reportedly until the company's lawsuit against ABC was resolved. Prospect Park sued ABC in April claiming that the network sabotaged the relaunch of ONE LIFE TO LIVE by, among other things, killing off key characters.

On Wednesday, Prospect Park filed a new amended complaint with more details of ABC's alleged fraud and a demand for more than $95 million in damages. According to the latest court papers, ABC schemed in a quest for a "mega soap."
Unbeknownst to Prospect Park, at the same time the ink was drying on the Licensing Agreement granting Prospect Park an exclusive license for ‘OLTL’ through January 31, 2013, ABC insiders were developing a plan to create a mega-soap through the amalgamation of ‘OLTL’ and ‘GH,’ intentionally disregarding Prospect Park’s rights.
According to Prospect Park’s filing, the production company agreed to pay ABC $4.5 million per season for the rights to the first three seasons of ALL MY CHILDREN and $4 million per season for ONE LIFE TO LIVE.
ABC breached these express provisions of the License Agreement and the Amendments in a myriad of ways, including, but not limited to:
a. significantly altering the storylines of and/or killing the Borrowed OLTL Characters without consulting and/or obtaining Prospect Park’s prior approval;
b. significantly altering the storylines of other OLTL characters not mentioned in the First Amendment without Prospect Park’s knowledge or permission;
c. signing the OLTL actors playing Starr Manning, Todd Manning, Blair Manning, and John McBain to exclusive, secret, multi-year contracts with GH even though it knew Prospect Park would need those actors for OLTL;
d. refusing to turn over the URLs for OLTL and AMC to Prospect Park even though such URLs were part of the format rights granted to Prospect Park;
e. creating GH copy-cats of the OLTL characters Todd Manning and Starr Manning to be played by the same OLTL actors;
f. featuring the copy-cat character of Todd Manning in GH episodes at the same time Prospect Park was airing episodes featuring Todd Manning; and
g. even after suit was filed, continuing to create and use “copy-cat” characters on GH.
The new versions of ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE launched in April on Hulu and iTunes.

According to Prospect Park’s complaint, executives at ABC "instruct[ed] Hulu management not to offer Prospect Park the beneficial terms and arrangements that Hulu was prepared to provide and had provided to other less-popular shows."

The company said it has lost $30 million in out-of-pocket expenses in producing the first seasons and/or at least $95 million in lost profits.
1. Compensatory damages including lost profits in an amount to be determined at trial, but not less than $95,000,000;
2. Punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial;
3. All costs of suit incurred herein;
4. Pre-judgment and post-judgment interest as may be provided by law;
5. A declaration that Prospect Park’s continued payment of the licensing fees under the Agreement is excused; that Prospect Park is entitled to an extension of the License Agreement; and that the term of the License Agreement is tolled, from the time of ABC’s breach until the breach is fully remedied; and
6. All such other and further relief as the Court may deem to be just and proper.
Read the full complaint here.

- Prospect Park Sues ABC For $25M Over ONE LIFE TO LIVE & ALL MY CHILDREN Licensing Agreement
- LAW SUIT: A View Through the Looking Glass at the Prospect Park vs. ABC Lawsuit
- ABC: Prospect Park's Claims Are "Baseless"


  1. I can't tell if these guys are serious, nuts or just trying to save face.

    1. LOL I think they are trying to not have to pay ABC.

  2. Not sure what to think but GH obviously went out of its way to rub PP's nose in the fact that they had the OLTL3 by creating new and unnecessary characters.

  3. lesson of the day should be dnt cancel SOAPS when you know yu still want them on the air! Prospect park just dont wanna pay..

  4. Amazing how people let ABC off the hook when they were the ones that cancelled the soaps in the first place. ABC had a conflict of interest because of their ownership stake in HULU and I believe they conspired against PP. The bad guys are ABC not PP. Fact is, ABC would have been a laughing stock if the two shows had been successful after ABC had cancelled them for CHEW. I will probably cancel my HULU Plus account and maybe quite watching all ABC shows.

  5. Unfortunately, PP is serious.

    Question is, will they win? I say no.

    Once again, PP is playing 'fast and loose' with facts and it appears some people (some 'fans') buy into it. Kristen Alderson (ex-Starr/now-Kiki) never had a contract with
    PP nor any intention of returning to NYC and OLTL. She signed a contract with ABC and
    GH. PP could not 'force' her to return to OLTL. A recast would have been needed. ABC
    didn't create this. Both Howarth and Easton were willing to work out a situation where they
    could work on both OLTL and GH. They waited for PP to contact ABC, they did not. They
    only issued threats and ultimatums. Howarth forged his own deal and did return to OLTL
    to wrap up the character of Todd's story. Howarth never said he would REMAIN at OLTL
    2.0. His intent was to return for the sole purpose of wrapping up Todd's story. He returned
    to GH in the form of a different character (Franco). As did Easton and Alderson. These
    three performers were under multi-year deals with ABC/GH.

    The only person 'conspiring' to make sure the whole PP deal went south was Brian Frons.
    What he put in motion during his final few months and afterwards caused the tension
    between ABC and PP. The man is poison. People tend to forget him and what he's
    capable of. Since February 2012, when Vicki Dummer took over at ABC Daytime, it's
    been a new day. No games, no B.S. She never had any involvement with the PP deal.
    Also, another fact that goes overlooked, the ratings and demographics for GENERAL
    HOSPITAL don't lie. What Frank and Ron have done at GH is amazing. GH was a Dead
    Show Walking under the final couple years of Phelps and Guza. It's not anymore. Just
    imagine where ONE LIFE TO LIVE would be NOW had Frons not canceled it?

    In the end, let's be honest here. PP's efforts were not bad. They were not great either.
    Both AMC 2.0 and OLTL 2.0 were produced quite well, considering their budgets. My
    hats are off to Ginger Smith (AMC) and Jen Pepperman (OLTL). They should be proud
    of what they did. The problem was the writing. AMC benefited in having scriptwriters who
    knew the characters. The Headwriters (McPherson and Snyder) did not know AMC and
    it showed, but at least, they continued the stories from the ABC AMC finale. OLTL had it worse. The scripts were often juvenile and the stories never ringed true, never 'felt' like MY

  6. PP is not saying KA had a contract with them. What they said was that GH had these characters for a short time. ABC knew this but signed the actors to long term deals. By doing that ABC made it impossible to make deals with KA & ME. PP is saying ABC blocked their talks wuth them and YES networks can do that. if your under contract with them. PP sees this as ABC sabotaging OLTL,

  7. imho - None of PP's claims about the supposed OLTL-GH "mega-soap" (insert laugh) would have anything to do with why AMC failed to work out for them.

    The most serious and actionable claim I see is the one that ABC somehow "discouraged Hulu" from assisting PP with a second season. But there, I notice PP uses the phrase "We believe ...". They will need more than a belief to prove this in court and will need to provide substantive evidence or direct testimony to support such a claim. And apart from "discouragement," Hulu would have had to have actually followed through.

    And due to Item #5 above, I would say there will be no official cancellation notice for the two soaps issued by PP during the duration of this lawsuit. That's why they've let the actors know their status with the shows, but nothing formal to the public.