All My Children will mark its 40th year on the air with high-definition episodes filmed in a brand new studio. Those are the only guarantees that AMC fans can be given at this time. Still up in the air is which cast members will make the move and exactly how long those stars have to decide if they'll be moving.
As previously reported
, ABC will move production of All My Children from New York to Los Angeles in January 2010. Though the move will give All My Children bigger studio space -- twice the size of its current space and 40-percent larger than General Hospital's studio -- and the ability to broadcast in high-definition, the move is not without a great deal of uncertainty.
Still unclear is whether or not all of AMC's contract stars will want to uproot their lives and move 3,000 mile away to the West Coast. If a star doesn't want to relocate, how will the show handle the situation? Will roles be recast or written out? There is still plenty of time for the stars to mull over their decisions, but the clock is ticking.
In an interview with the New York Daily News
, Thorsten Kaye
(Zach Slater) reported that the cast was given a week to make up their minds about moving with the show to Los Angeles.
While, Soap Opera Digest
reports that ABC has given the cast "until shortly after Labor Day" to decide if they are going to relocate from the East Coast to the West Coast, soap
has learned that the exact deadline is Tuesday, September 8.
There is about a one-month difference between the two reported deadlines.
Regardless of how long the stars are being given to decide their futures with All My Children, there are also conflicting reports about what will happen to stars who ultimately decide to remain behind in New York.
"If the contract actors don't want to move to LA, they will be let out of their contracts," Daytime Confidential
reported shortly after news of the big move became official.
A network spokesperson, meanwhile, comments, "We honestly do hope that the entire cast moves. If an actor is under contract, their contract applies, regardless of where the show tapes."
Giving the actors until early September to decide if they'll be moving to Los Angeles gives the show's writers ample time to work on writing characters out, if needed. It would also allow the casting department to seek out suitable recasts. If storylines cannot be adjusted in time, actors may be required to commute to and from the West Coast until either their exit can be accommodated or their contract expires.
Several stars have already announced
that they plan to relocate to LA.
The network will also seek to relocate some behind-the-scenes crew members, but not everyone will be making the move. An undisclosed number of positions will be eliminated.
Two things that will not change are the show's production and writing leadership. Julie Hanan Carruthers will relocate to Los Angeles in order to remain on board as executive producer. Charles Pratt, Jr. will also continue on as head writer.
soapcentral.com's Dan J Kroll offers thoughts on the move in a special Two Scoops