Friday, July 08, 2011

Interview: Keeping Up With Thad Luckinbill

Fans of “The Young and the Restless” know Thad Luckinbill from the 11 years he portrayed J.T. Hellstrom. It was there that he met his wife, Amelia Heinle, who plays J.T.’s now ex-wife, Victoria Newman. But Thad has been keeping busy with other projects before, during and after his tenure on “YR”; his most recent being the Hallmark Channel original movie “Keeping Up With the Randalls,” which premieres July 16 at 9/8c. I spoke with Thad recently about the movie, as well as some other projects.

Daytime Dial: One of the things I liked about “Keeping Up With the Randalls” is that although it’s a family film, it also has some sassiness to it. What were some things for you that initially drew you to the movie and to the character of Will?

Thad Luckinbill: First off, I’ve known Kayla (Ewell, who plays Alicia) for a while, and I’ve always wanted to work with her, so that was a draw for me. Also, I like a lot of who Will is — in a big stretch of imagination it is kind of how I grew up and a little bit of my background in a way. I grew up in a small town with a lot of the focus on family, and playing sports was something I grew up with. I’m an outdoorsy guy, so all of that was just really fun, to be honest with you. When we were doing that stuff, I didn’t feel like we were working at all. There was a big, fun element to doing that, and also getting to work with Roma Downey and Marion Ross and everyone else was just a treat.

DD: Were the rest of the actors excited to play all those sports and get to mess around outside a lot, or were some a little hesitant, like Kayla’s character, Alicia?

TL: Everybody had a good time with the sports and the games. I had a blast the day we got to kayak on the lake. That kind of stuff is fun. Everybody just seemed like they were having a lot of fun doing it. It was a great cast. That whole cast got along so well. Hallmark does such a great job of getting people together and making it easy. It was just an easy shoot, and everybody got along really well and had a lot of fun together.

DD: What are some qualities that Will possesses that you both have in common?

TL: Obviously, the physical aspect. I grew up in a really loving family; my parents are still together. It’s kind of a small-knit community, so I brought a lot of that personal experience into that role because it just matched up so well. Will’s determination was something I decided to try to bring out, because I really do think he loves Alicia, and he really wants to make it work. That determination is definitely something that he and I share.

DD: I was thrilled to see you featured last season on “Nikita” on the CW. Will we see your character, Nathan, next season? It was left kind of open for his return.

TL: I think that’s yet to be determined. They were honest about it and told me that they weren’t sure exactly what to do with it, so that is why they left it open. It’s like anything, I think if the story’s right and it matches up to bring him back, then that would be great. I would love it. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I think it would be a good twist if they decided to bring him back. It was really a fun group to work with and a really cool show. I love how stylized that show is. I think that was what I was most impressed with. Not just the way they shoot, but the way it looks. It’s just a really pretty show.

DD: I remember you had a pretty long run on the sitcom “8 Simple Rules.” What was it like working with a comic genius like the late John Ritter?

TL: I know you shouldn’t say this, but that was my favorite job I ever had. Just because of John. I love sitcom work anyway, but to be able to work with that guy was pretty magical. He just had a way about him of making everybody feel good. He would come in the morning and just make everybody laugh. We’d be sitting down at the table waiting to read or start rehearsing, but he’d be talking to all the crew guys and the camera guys and the craft service guys, and making them laugh. He used his gift to make people feel good about themselves, and he was such a likable guy and so good at what he did. I’m sure when I look back at my career as I get toward the end of it, I’ll still have that at the top, because it was such a neat experience to work with him.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

AMC and OLTL Live on Via Prospect Park




BURBANK, CA – July 7, 2011 – ABC has licensed its iconic soaps, “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to Prospect Park, it was announced today by Brian Frons, President, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group & Janice Marinelli, President, Disney/ABC Domestic Television and Rich Frank & Jeff Kwatinetz of Prospect Park.  The exclusive multi-year, multi-platform deal enables the soaps’ stories to continue beyond their finale dates on ABC.  ABC will broadcast its final episode of “All My Children” on Friday, September 23rd and will air the final episode of “One Life to Live” in January, 2012.

The licensing agreement, brokered by Disney/ABC Domestic Television Group, enables Prospect Park to continue production of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” beyond their life on ABC. Prospect Park will produce and deliver the two long-running programs to consumers via online formats and additional emerging platforms including internet enabled television sets. Under the terms of the arrangement, the programs will continue to be delivered with the same quality and in the same format and length.  Additional details of the new productions and tune-in will be forthcoming from Prospect Park. 

“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. ‘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,” said Frank and Kwatinetz. “Technology changes the way the public can and will view television shows.  Now that there are so many devices available in addition to television sets, viewers are taking advantage of watching shows wherever they are and on any number of devices.  The driving force in making the switch and attracting new audiences is to have outstanding programs that people want to watch. We believe that by continuing to produce the shows in their current hour format and with the same quality, viewers will follow the show to our new, online network.”

All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ are iconic pieces of television history that captivated millions of fans since their beginning over 40 years ago,” said Frons. “Each of the shows have made an indelible mark on our culture’s history and informed our consciousness in their own way.  We are so glad Prospect Park has assumed the mantel for these shows and that they will continue for the fans.” 

Marinelli continued, “From the time the shift in the daytime strategy was announced, our hope was to find a new home for these treasured shows.   We are thrilled to license them to Prospect Park so the stories of life in Pine Valley and Llanview can continue to be told for the passionate and loyal fans that enjoy watching each day.”

“I’m just so happy that ABC found a home where the legacies of ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ can continue.  I’m excited for their future with Prospect Park,” added Agnes Nixon, creator of both “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.”  “It takes a lot of living to make a soap opera a serial, and the wonderful teams on both shows have done just that. Together, we are a big family that keeps going, and I’m looking forward to working alongside these wonderful people as we ensure that the shows will continue with all the love and excitement we’ve always had.  I also am so happy for our loyal fans, whom we love so much, and who have been so supportive over the last 40 plus years.”