Mark Consuelos is returning to his soap opera roots…
ABC is in early development on Pine Valley, a primetime version of the network’s beloved daytime drama All My Children, with the 49-year-old half-Mexican actor and his wife Kelly Ripa executive producing alongside Andrew Stearn and filmmaker Robert Nixon, son of the late AMC creator Agnes Nixon.
In the All My Children followup, written/executive produced by Leo Richardson, a young journalist with a secret agenda comes to expose the dark and murderous history of a town named Pine Valley only to become entangled in a feud between the Kane and Santos families. The series explores all the secrets that come with the Kane and Santos family names.
Kane was one of AMC’s founding families, with Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) becoming one of television’s most popular characters. Ripa and Consuelos, who played Hayley & Mateo Santos on the original series, executive produce via their Milojo Productions alongside the company’s Albert Bianchini. Stearn executive produces through his Andrew Stearn Productions. The company is based at ABC Signature, which is the studio on the project.
Pine Valley will feature a new generation of characters and some old favorites. There are currently no deals in place with original cast members, but the plan is to invite a number of them to make an appearance, with Ripa and Consuelos also possible making a cameo.
Created by Agnes Nixon, All My Children aired for 41 years on ABC from January 5, 1970 to September 23, 2011, originally in a half-hour format before expanding to hourlong episodes in 1977. The series was set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, a fictional suburb of Philadelphia, which is modeled on the actual Philadelphia suburb of Rosemont.
Pine Valley plans to continue the original series’ legacy of tackling difficult issues and being inclusive. AMC was the first series to comprehensively address the Vietnam War and to have a character undergo a legal abortion. The soap also featured a transgender storyline a decade and a half ago.
As it will be in primetime, Pine Valley will have a heightened tone and will wink to the daytime soap genre similar to how the CW’s Jane the Virgin paid homage to telenovelas.