OLTL favorites Hillary B. Smith (Nora) and Robert S. Woods (Bo) talked to the press about the show and the big news about OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network picking up AMC and OLTL for a "summer fling" beginning July 15. To see what the duo had to say — and how they feel about going up against Katie Couric's talk show — check out the transcript from the chat:
The news came out yesterday about OWN, are you excited that OLTL is getting back on the air?
Woods: I was on the Amtrak when I got a call about it. I was headed down to the city.
Smith: Yep and I was walking on Block Island.
Woods: I think it means a lot [to the viewers]. It means a lot to me because I know that Oprah used to watch the show many, many years ago when I first met her. She was doing the local Chicago A.M. talk show and she was so excited because she had watched ONE LIFE for so long and I think it's great that maybe somebody that doesn't have a computer, hopefully they have cable and then they can watch it too.
Smith: Yeah, it's really nice because especially with ALL MY CHILDREN going into a 1 o'clock time slot, which was its time slot, and then we're going into the 3 o'clock time slot, which was typical for the GENERAL HOSPITAL time but they're in the 2 o'clock, so we're not going to be competing against GENERAL HOSPITAL, but we are taking over that time slot where people are looking for that daytime soap. They really still are. And for those people who don't have Internet, they like that habit. They like going back to the television set. I think it's wonderful to have both platforms working. I think it covers all of the bases and that everyone who can see it will get to see it; who wants to see it can actually access it now.
Woods: Yea, and I'm glad that it's taking the 3 o'clock time slot because of what the big deal was that was going to save network time slot from the demise of soap operas, which were passé, I guess. I don't know. So I'm glad it's 3 o'clock and poor Katie Couric, I hope we bury her.
Smith: I think it's justified. People were saying "It's old, it's done, it's a has-been." Well, no it's not. People are watching it. People want to watch it and now OWN wants to carry it because people watch it. It's going to bring eyeballs to OWN, it helps bring eyeballs back to The Online Network and Hulu. I think it's the resurgence and people want their stories, they want their family. They want it and they've always wanted it. For some reason they decided they had to reinvent the wheel. Well, guess what? The wheel is round and it works best when it's round.
Woods: Very good Hill, that's good, I'm writing that down right now. [laughs]
In response to Oprah's video where she explained why she wasn't picking up the shows after ABC canceled them:
Woods: You know, it's dollars and cents. I don't think she was ready to take over the whole production. And actually, you know, my dad always said, "As rotten as it gets, everything happens for the best. You're going to leave this unpleasant thing at least learning something." And it's gone full circle. I think the fact that we're on the Internet now. I think that's probably the future of the way people get their entertainment. I'm sure it's going to all kind of link together at one time and it's going to have a lot to do with Internet and less to do with broadcast television.
Smith: Now you can get your Internet and your television or cable … coming from the same source. And on your phone, whether it's Verizon FIOS or Time Warner or Comcast. It's only natural that it all comes from the same source and it's just a matter of the platform that you're viewing it on. But to have it at a set time, it's just perfect. I think it's just perfect what it's come back to. To have it on television again and I agree with Woods, I think with Oprah at the time to take on the production and the cost of it, it was prohibitive. But to syndicate it is something else. I think it's going to help her network and we're thrilled that she's doing it. I think she'll be thrilled she did it and also, it's not dead. It's not dead. And the way it ended with ABC, it left everyone thinking that it was dead. We had a year to re-group, re-think and re-attack the show in a new way and I think that also made it new and exciting and something to be looked at. So I tip my hat off to Jen [Pepperman, OLTL's EP], Ginger [Smith, AMC's EP], [PP's] Jeff [Kwatinetz] and Rich [Frank] because they have reinvented ONE LIFE TO LIVE in a very younger and hip way and still kept all of the vets and favorites in a compelling story.
Woods: What's funny is we're so far ahead and I keep waiting for the Man of the Year. But I guess that's further down the line, right?
Smith: That's way down the line, don't give anything away.
Woods: I don't think I did. At least I hope I didn't. Yeah, they're giving an award to Brian Frons.
Smith: [laughs] I can't even be secret about it. I really really hope that this is such a huge success on OWN as well as in the Internet because it would be a very sweet occasion.
Woods: We have a lot of fun at work. And I know that's not why you're supposed to go to work, but a lot of it is the atmosphere. It's the same kind of family feeling that we had when we were at ABC. It's just a great group to be around.
Smith: Yes, really great.