ABC Daytime and TV Land have joined forces to create an unprecedented network event where characters from “All My Children” and “Hot in Cleveland” cross-over to continue a storyline established on last season’s “Hot in Cleveland.” What makes it really unprecedented is that ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and TV Land is part of MTV Networks, owned by rival media giant Viacom.
“Hot in Cleveland” is one of the hottest scripted shows to air on basic cable, while “All My Children” is one of the most enduring daytime dramas, celebrating its 40th anniversary this month.
The joint story line revolves around Wendie Malick’s character on Hot, Victoria Chase, and her soap opera industry-nemesis, Susan Lucci of the real soap. The two-part Hot in Cleveland episodes will air on TV Land on February 16th and February 23rd at 10:00 pm ET/PT and the All My Children episode will air on ABC at 1:00 pm ET/noon PT on February 24th.
All My Children’s Emmy Award-winners Susan Lucci, Michael E. Knight and Darnell Williams will appear as themselves on Hot in Cleveland and Golden Globe-winner Wendie Malick as her Hot in Cleveland character Victoria Chase will appear on All My Children as Gertie, a housekeeper who ends up moonlighting as a bartender at Confusion after Erica Kane (Lucci) fires her.
“We are thrilled Victoria Chase will join the cast of ‘All My Children’ – there are very few actresses who could pull off a dual role performance as BOTH a maid and bartender. We hope she is up to the challenge,” teased Julie Carruthers, executive producer, All My Children.
Brian Frons, president daytime, Disney ABC Television Network joked, “There is only room for one Erica Kane in Pine Valley and Victoria Chase will unfortunately find that out the hard way.”
On the serious side, Frons went on to say, “This is a unique opportunity to raise awareness of both shows with similar demos and we expect each other’s viewers to follow from one show to the next.”
“We’re so happy that Victoria Chase will finally get to show ‘All My Children’ fans why she is a soap superstar. We’re so excited to partner with ‘All My Children’ to bring to life this classic TV form when television worlds collide,” chimed in Larry W. Jones, President, TV Land.
RBR-TVBR observation: There are always strange bedfellows in this industry. Note the number of series produced by one media giant’s studio but airing on a network owned by another. In this case, since the split from CBS, Viacom no longer has any corporate ties to broadcast soap operas anyway.