Prospect Park seeking in excess of $125 million in lawsuit against ABC

Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 5:45:53 PM
Prospect Park seeking $125 million in lawsuit against ABC

Prospect Park has amended its multi-million dollar breach of contract lawsuit against ABC, alleging that the network sabotaged its plans to relaunch All My Children and One Life to Live. The filing comes just days after AMC stars revealed that the show would not be returning for a second season.

Prospect Park has amended its complaint in its multi-million dollar lawsuit against ABC. The lawsuit accuses ABC of undermining Prospect Park's attempts to relaunch All My Children and One Life to Live as web-based programs, and seeks more than $95 million in damages for breach of contract and promissory fraud.

The amended filing, first reported by the Hollywood Reporter, comes after both sides engaged in a period of discovery after the original lawsuit was filed in April in Los Angeles Superior Court.

According to the lawsuit, Prospect Park claims that after ABC entered into a license agreement for all of the elements -- including each episode, the setting, characters, characterizations, scenes, themes, premises, plots, dialogues, and general storylines -- of both series, ABC began having second thoughts about canceling AMC and OLTL. When Prospect Park had to suspend its efforts to relaunch the soaps in late 2011, ABC reportedly schemed to convince Prospect Park to allow them to "borrow" several One Life to Live characters for use on General Hospital in a short-term capacity.

From that point on, Prospect Park contends that, unbeknownst to them, at the same time the ink was drying on the Licensing Agreement granting Prospect Park an exclusive license for OLTL through January 31, 2013, ABC insiders "began unilaterally changing key storylines and themes, literally killing some OLTL characters and deeply integrating others into the GH landscape" with the intention of "developing a plan to create a mega-soap through the amalgamation of OLTL and GH," intentionally disregarding Prospect Park's rights. The appearance of One Life to Live characters on General Hospital, according to Prospect Park, "bewildered and alienated longtime OLTL fans."

As Prospect Park secured financing and union agreements to move forward with its attempt to launch AMC and OLTL, the complaint states that "ABC even went so far as to induce the actors who had been playing some of the more popular characters on OLTL to sign secret, exclusive, multi-year contracts with ABC -- all without a word to Prospect Park."

Prospect Park also asserts that ABC blocked attempts to promote the online versions of AMC and OLTL by refusing to run advertisements for the series on the ABC network and that ABC even attempted to sour Prospect Park's relations with third party distributors.

"Confronted with losing its entire investment or trying to pick up the pieces and press on, Prospect Park eventually produced one new season of OLTL and of AMC," the lawsuit continues. "But, the damage could not be undone, nor the fans reclaimed. As a consequence of ABC's fraud and its multiple breaches of both the express terms of the parties' contract and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing included in every contract in this state, Prospect Park has sustained the loss of its investment of over $30 million, as well as the profits that it stood to make had ABC acted as the partner it had held itself out to be."

Many of the claims in the lawsuit seem to be specific only to One Life to Live. Prospect Park contends that AMC suffered "collateral damage" as a result of ABC's actions.

Prospect Park has not officially announced that it is suspending production of All My Children, but several of the show's stars have announced on social media that they've been informed that the show would not be returning. Prospect Park announced earlier this year that production of One Life to Live would be indefinitely suspended pending the outcome of its lawsuit against ABC.

According to the amended filing, Prospect Park is seeking "at least the $30 million in out-of-pocket losses and/or at least $95 million in lost profits." Prospect Park also contends that it should no longer have to pay licensing fees to ABC, but remains entitled to an extension of the license agreement.

Prospect Park is represented by Texas-based trial lawyer James Edward Maloney. ABC is represented by Jeffrey Valle, Susan Klein, and Nuritsa Ksachikyan of Los Angeles firm Valle Makoff.

A hearing in the case is scheduled for early December.


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