"Big decisions" ahead as AMC cast given one week to decide on LA move

Posted Saturday, August 08, 2009 1:51:38 AM
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Production of All My Children will move to Los Angeles in January, with or without its cast members. The network has given stars one week to decide if they'll be making the cross-country move. Several stars have already made up their minds, but others are still mulling things over. Several former stars may also be returning.

It's been less than a week since Brian Frons, president of the Daytime division of the Disney/ABC Television Group, dropped the bombshell to the cast and crew of All My Children that the show would be packing up its New York-based production and moving to Los Angeles. Surprisingly, cast members have just a few more days to decide if they'll be following the show to California.

During his announcement on August 4, Frons informed the cast that all contract performers, of which there are currently 27 on the AMC roster, would be guaranteed a place on the show when it moves to Los Angeles. Performers were told that they'd have one week to essentially decide if they're staying or going. In this situation, going is the verb fans will want to see attached to their favorite stars' names.

Though their future with the show isn't clear, recurring performers would presumably be invited to continue on with AMC if they foot the bill to travel to Los Angeles when they are needed on the set. Notable non-contract stars include Jill Larson (Opal) and Lucy Merriam (Emma Lavery).

A handful of stars are already said believed to have agreed to fly westward. Melissa Claire Egan (Annie Lavery), Aiden Turner (Aidan Devane), and Emmy winner Jacob Young (JR Chandler) are all on board with the move. It is also widely expected that Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery) will also make the move.

Other stars have yet to make up their minds.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do," Thorsten Kaye (Zach Slater) told Carolyn Hinsey for her column in the New York Daily News. "I'm not the kind of dad who wants to be 3,000 miles away from my kids. And it's not exactly the best time to sell real estate."

Kaye's partner, Susan Haskell, currently appears as Marty Saybrooke on One Life to Live, which will remain based in Manhattan.

In an appearance on Live! With Regis and Kelly, Susan Lucci (Erica Kane) refused to comment on whether or not she'd decided to move to Los Angeles. On at least two occasions, Lucci clarified that "the show" is moving, but she would not commit to saying if she'd be tagging along.

"For everyone involved, big decisions have to be made. I'm a New Yorker and I love, love, love New York. I don't know what I'm going to do. I am trying to wrap my mind around it," Lucci said in a bit of bewilderment. "Clearly, I love All My Children. I want very, very much to be able to... I just don't know how yet. It's all still very new."

In his latest Suds Report, Nelson Branco reports that an unnamed veteran All My Children performer contacted him to discuss a possible uprising by some of the show's senior talent.

"We're all banding together and threatening to quit to keep the show in New York," Branco quoted the star as saying.

Meanwhile, there is also talk that being based in Los Angeles could result in the return of high-profile former cast members. Eden Riegel (Bianca Montgomery) and Rebecca Budig (Greenlee Smythe) are both based in California and left their roles on All My Children at least in part because they didn't enjoy having to commute to the East Coast for work.

One source tells Soap Central that Budig and ABC will reportedly meet in the coming days to discuss a possible return to the show.

Other names being bandied about in the possible returns list are Tamara Braun (ex-Reese Marshall), Robin Christopher (ex-Skye Chandler), Finola Hughes (ex-Anna Devane), and Eva LaRue (ex-Maria Santos).

RELATED STORYsoapcentral.com's Dan J Kroll offers thoughts on the move in a special Two Scoops

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