Wednesday, July 24, 2024

ABC Soaps May Have One Life Left to Live — Maybe


Soap fans are exulting this afternoon because ABC has licensed “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to Jeff Kwatinetz’s Prospect Park. The newish company says it will produce the shows for the web in some kind of Hulu configuration. I tried Kwatinetz today and was referred to a PR company. But just a little background: in some circles, Kwatinetz (who’s partnered with former Disney exec Rich Frank) is a bit of a soap character himself. The short back story: a brief engagement to the now deceased Brittany Murphy, a short and fiery run with a no longer in business agency called The Firm, and a shorter, even worse management advisory of Kelly Clarkson, who escaped with barely her career intact. He also managed Britney Spears for a month. In particular, The Firm — which managed rock musicians–burned brightly for a short time and then went out in a blaze of defections and chaos. Kwatinetz, who’s Harvard educated, has had more press than actual achievements over the last decade. How exactly he’ll handle the soaps is still a mystery since the shows–particularly “AMC”–are being written now for ABC finales. Some major actors–most pointedly Robin Strasser of “One Life to Live”–are already gone from their shows. And as much as fans hate ABC Daytime, at least they had experience dealing with the major, major egos of the soap production people. If Kwatinetz thought rock stars were difficult, he ain’t seen nothin’ yet. As for the soap actors, I wouldn’t start popping Champagne corks any time soon.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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