'One Life To Live' Actress Hillary B. Smith 'Sad' For The Fans After Soap's Cancellation
Hillary B. Smith, or Nora to the loyal fans of "One Life to Live," is moving on to "The Bold And The Beautiful," but she's not done reflecting on her time with the long-running beloved soap.
"I was nervous and concerned about it at first, so it took awhile for a deal to be hammered out," Smith told TVLine about the proposed Prospect Park online revival. "And then when it all went away I was so sad. I was sad for the fans, that they had it cancelled again on them -- that's the hard part."
In April 2011, ABC announced it was pulling the plug on "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," replacing them with lifestyle programs "The Chew" and "The Revolution."
"One Life to Live" star Erika Slezak had choice words for the cancellation. "What really annoyed me about our cancellation was the reason we were given," series star Slezak told TV Guide Magazine. "We were told the daytime audience doesn't want entertainment anymore and that they just want information. Well, that's the biggest load of bull----. People always want entertainment."
"We are privileged to continue the legacy of two of the greatest programs to air on daytime television, and are committed to delivering the storylines, characters and quality that audiences have come to love for over 40 years," Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz of Prospect Park said in July. "'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' are television icons, and we are looking forward to providing anytime, anywhere viewing to their loyal community of millions."
However, the plans never came together. Prospect Park aborted plans to save the shows, citing difficulties in raising enough funds to produce both shows, despite already signing stars, including Slezak.
"After five months of negotiations with various guilds, hundreds of presentations to potential financial and technology partners, and a hope that we could pioneer a new network for the future, it is with great disappointment that we are suspending our aspirations to revive 'One Life to Live' and 'All My Children' via online distribution," Prospect Park said in a statement in November. "It is now becoming clear that mounting issues make our ability to meet our deadlines to get 'OLTL' on the air in a reasonable time period following its January 13, 2012 ABC finale impossible."
Smith told TVLine there was a lot of shuffling behind the scenes as the plans kept changing.
"They had an ending in mind and then Prospect Park bought the rights and they changed a lot of the ending so that it could continue ... So, that was very difficult and was probably really hard for [headwriter] Ron [Carlivati]. And then when the rug got pulled out again [when Prospect Park canceled their plan], they had from Thanksgiving until it aired [in January] to move things around and try to get some sort of closure," she said.
The "One Life to Live" legacy is being kept alive as "General Hospital," the last soap standing on ABC, prepares for the arrival of "OLTL" stars Kassie DePaiva, Roger Howarth, Michael Easton and Kristen Alderson head to Port Charles to reprise their roles.
"General Hospital's" future is in question as the network prepares for Katie Couric's syndicated talk show "Katie." One possible option for the soap is a move to a primetime over the summer. A source told The Huffington Post that ABC is looking at all venues to continue "General Hospital."
Relive the final moments of "One Life to Live" below.