As "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" prepare to make their online debut, production company Prospect Park has filed a lawsuit against ABC, alleging that the network has been sabotaging their attempts to relaunch the long-running soaps online and failed to comply with the terms of their licensing agreement.
According to Deadline, Prospect Park is suing ABC for damages of at least $25 million, since "ABC did not deliver what it promised, Prospect did not get what it paid for, and Prospect is now entitled to recover millions of dollars in damages for ABC’s egregious conduct."
In a statement given to The Huffington Post, Prospect Park founders Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank said, "Prospect Park has been and continues to be committed to creating and delivering exceptional episodes of 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live.' We have overcome each and every obstacle in an effort to make this dream become a reality. Over and over again our effort to bring these shows to audiences has faced challenges, and yet we along with the actors, the writers, producers and the directors as well as our fans have confronted and then overcome these challenges, and we have every confidence that we will prevail again. We look forward to our April 29 launch now more than ever."
Tensions between the two companies have been mounting for months. In a copy of the suit obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Prospect contends that they allowed ABC to "borrow seven 'OLTL' characters to appear on a limited basis in ABC's competing soap series, 'General Hospital' ... as a gesture of good will to ABC and ... the actors playing these roles, who would otherwise be unemployed while Prospect was ramping up for production."
Although the suit says that ABC allegedly agreed to consult Prospect Park on "General Hospital" storylines and confirmed that Prospect would have "express 'approval' rights over ABC's use of 'OLTL' characters," ABC reportedly failed to consult the production company on said storylines. "In the ultimate act of bad faith, ABC inexplicably killed off two 'OLTL' characters on loan to 'General Hospital' by having their car forced off a cliff. ABC effectively killed another major 'OLTL' character, who was not even licensed to ABC, by revealing that this long-standing 'OLTL' character is in fact another character on 'General Hospital,'" the suit argues.
The suit also alleges that an ABC executive "has openly declared his desire to see Prospect fail," and that the network has not transferred ownership of the websites onelifetolive.com and allmychildren.com to Prospect, which were also reportedly part of the rights that Prospect paid for.
Still, the production company apparently plans to go ahead with the relaunch on April 29. "These shows will go forward, and Prospect will address its rights in Court," the suit says.
A request for comment from ABC was not immediately returned.