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'One Life to Live': Divas Viki and Dorian are ready to duke it out

Just like a phoenix -- and Victor Lord, more than once -- "One Life to Live" is rising from the ashes. The axed ABC serial returns Monday, April 29 as a Web soap on The Online Network -- and on Hulu and iTunes, too. The show's revival came as a pleasant surprise not only to fans but also the actors on the show.

David M. Russell

Erica Slezak and Corbin Bleu on "One Life to Life."

Fan favorite Erika Slezak, who's re-creating her role as Victoria Lord Buchanan on the Internet venture, told TODAY.com, "I always kind of hoped we'd be back, but we had our doubts."

It took Prospect Park, the company that's relaunching both "OLTL" and "All My Children," a while to iron out deals with the unions and get the shows up and running, but their efforts are now paying off. "When they called again last November, I said yes without any hesitation," Slezak said.

While fans will meet new characters and see teens Matthew and Destiny grow up, "OLTL" devotees are most looking forward to their daily dose of core characters like Viki, Clint, Bo, Nora and Dorian.

"I've always said that the dynamic between Viki and (her former stepmother) Dorian is the strongest relationship on the show," Slezak affirmed.

The show's new creative team concurs, which is why the two divas will be squaring off in the premiere episode.

"Dorian's gotten herself into a whole heap of trouble in Washington, D.C.," Slezak said. "Being Dorian, she thought she could just take care of it. Unfortunately, she can't. It comes to Viki's attention at [Llanview's newspaper] The Banner. We have to take care of it and, boy is Dorian unhappy! Day one starts with Dorian yelling at Viki."

The Viki-Dorian feud is an "OLTL" staple -- as is Viki's formal diction.

"That started when I played Miss Ginny in the Old West (storyline)," Slezak explained about Viki's refusal to use contractions. "People didn't say 'can't,' 'won't,' and 'didn't' back then. They'd say 'cannot,' would not,' and 'did not.' Somehow that carried over to Viki."

Viewers will have to tune in to see whether Slezak will also revive any of Viki's alters, including trashy Nikki Smith and calculating Jean Randolph.

"Nobody ever leaves Llanview permanently," Slezak said with a laugh. "If Victor Lord can keep coming back, you learn never to say never!"

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