In a bit of drama befitting a soap opera, ABC is being accused of sabotage for killing off characters already licensed out to another company, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Producer Prospect Park, which licensed "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" from ABC and plans to relaunch them as a web series beginning April 29, claims in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court that the network is trying to cause it to fail.
The widespread fan disappointment at ABC's cancellation of the two popular soaps, with a combined history of more than 80 years, led media to describe the event as "Soapocalypse."
Prospect argues that it has been dealing with ABC in good faith, allowing it to use OLTL characters on General Hospital until the relaunch, but ABC actively has caused problems, including refusing to transfer the website addresses for the shows and failing to consult on storylines.
"For over one year, ABC outright failed and refuse to consult with Prospect on any storylines involving these characters, rendering Prospect's approval rights meaningless. [...] In the ultimate act of bad faith, ABC 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 is long-standing OLTL character is in fact another character on 'General Hospital'."
The complaint goes on to say that one unnamed ABC executive responsible for the "egregious" programming decisions "openly declared his desire to see Prospect fail."
The suit seeks more than $25 million in damages. Prospect "has no intention of allowing Soapocalypse II."