Prospect Park Hints at Truce in Struggle Over Rights to Soap Opera Characters

Feb 4, 2013  •  Post A Comment

After news broke that three actors would have to depart an ABC daytime drama due to a competing rights claim to their characters, as we reported last week, a breakthrough in the legal hassle may be in the offing.

TVLine.com reports that Prospect Park, which holds the rights to the “General Hospital” characters John, Todd and Starr as part of its effort to relaunch “One Life to Live,” issued a statement in an effort to shed light on the legal situation and possibly to begin steps toward brokering a deal.

The story reports: “To tee up their statement, Prospect Park explained that in 2011, the company ‘lent characters to “General Hospital” until shooting began for [“OLTL”] so that the characters could stay alive with the fans and also so that the actors could remain working.

“’Everyone at ABC and on the production staff of “General Hospital” understood that this was a temporary arrangement until production started once again on “One Life to Live,”’ Prospect Park said. With ‘OLTL’ now inching towards production on new episodes, ‘Prospect Park needs to, once again, cast these characters,’ meaning possibly with other actors.”

The Prospect Park statement includes this passage, which hints at the possibility of a resolution:

“Prospect Park understands that ‘General Hospital’ has featured Llanview transplants Michael Easton (John) and Kristen Alderson (Starr) among others while we arranged production of the new version of ‘One Life to Live.’ These characters, who we own under our agreement, are obviously essential to our production efforts, and a large reason we licensed the program. We also understand that legions of ‘General Hospital’ fans have grown to love these actors and characters in a short time. So even though we are paying ABC millions of dollars to license the shows, we have been, and continue to be willing to equally share the characters with ‘General Hospital’ and ABC.

“It’s a win-win for the actors, the shows and fans, who love all of the shows and storylines. We hope to work out these agreements with ABC and the actors.”

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