A labor dispute has brought production of All My Children and One Life to Live to an abrupt halt. The International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees -- Local 52 has expressed concerns that Prospect Park has violated a labor agreement by going over budget in the production of All My Children.
Per the agreement, The I.A.T.S.E would allow its members to be paid less than the standard day rate as long as the per-episode costs of All My Children and One Life to Live did not exceed $125,000. The union has asked to examine Prospect Park's books to verify that Prospect Park has not violated the agreement.
According to The Wrap, if it is found that Prospect Park did go over budget, Prospect Park would "have to shoulder additional costs, such as travel expenses for crew members, that it was able to forgo as a result of its reduced budget."
"As a result of a dispute with the I.A.T.S.E., The OnLine Network is beginning a long-planned hiatus for both All My Children and One Life To Live tomorrow instead of June 17," Prospect Park said in a statement. "The hiatus is scheduled to end on August 12 pending resolution of this labor issue. Right now we have 40 episodes of each show ready to post through September, and if we can resolve this issue by August, we can get back into the studio on time so audiences will enjoy uninterrupted postings of their favorite shows."
"We believe we have met all contract requirements with I.A.T.S.E, and as an internet start-up, and per our contract with the I.A., we cannot afford, and our business model cannot sustain, traditional broadcast rates," the statement continued.
With the uncertain nature of starting an ongoing web-based series, Prospect Park and the various unions representing the on-screen and behind-the-camera talent hammered out new agreements to allow production of All My Children and One Life to Live to resume.
Meanwhile, writers for All My Children and One Life to Live are reportedly conducting business as usual.
"All the writers for both AMC and OLTL have been told to continue writing, and they have been told to write long-term story," Michael Fairman's On Air On Soaps site reported Wednesday evening.
Deadline|Hollywood is also reporting that rumors have surfaced that production of both All My Children and One Life to Live may be moved from its current home in Connecticut.
Both AMC and OLTL were already scheduled to go on a summer production hiatus. All My Children is currently in its off-cycle while One Life to Live taped for five weeks. OLTL will now begin its hiatus sooner than expected.
According to Prospect Park, viewers will not notice any interruption in the broadcast schedule for All My Children and One Life to Live. Both shows were scheduled to take a hiatus that would allow the writers and actors some much-needed time off, with new episodes having already been taped through September. New episodes of All My Children will continue to air on Mondays and Wednesdays, and new episode of One Life to Live will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
It is not known what effect a protracted labor battle would have on the two soaps. Prospect Park, however, reaffirmed its commitment to the two programs.
"We are committed to these shows, and to the nearly 300 jobs they produce, thus we are exploring every legal and logistical option to maintain our production schedule," the company said in a statement.