UPDATE: Prospect Park and ABC’s Legal Dispute Escalates as One Actor Confirms ‘GH’ Exit

Yolanda Perez/ABC
Yolanda Perez/ABC

UPDATE 8:09 AM ET: In an update to his original Facebook message, Easton says that he wasn’t trying to “upset anybody” with his previously mentioned words, which had sparked outrage across social media networks from fans of the actor and character, who were upset to hear of his pending exit from “.” The actor also says that the matter between Prospect Park and ABC may “take some time and some very bright people to resolve.”

Facebook Message Update

Didn’t mean to upset anybody, was just trying to address the birthday stuff. Honestly not sure what the future holds but I think it’s going to take some time and some very bright people to resolve it. Thank you again for all your kindness and support…


PREVIOUS: 2:19 AM ET: As previously reported, Michael Easton along with and are currently at the center of a legal dispute between Prospect Park and , part of the Disney/ABC Telvision Group, over who has the right to use the characters of John McBain (Easton), Starr Manning (Alderson) and Todd Manning (Howarth)). In one corner you have Prospect Park and “” and in the other you have ABC and “General Hospital.” Unfortunately for the fans, no one is “winning.” According to one of the affected actors, after Friday, February 8, they “cannot be at ‘General Hospital'” any longer.

In a Facebook posting just a short time ago, Michael Easton reached out to his fans to inform them that due to a dispute between both companies, fans who wish to send him trinkets, cards, etc as he gets ready to celebrate his 46th birthday (February 15th), should know that after the 8th, the “GH” studio is not the place to send them. You can read Easton’s message below.

It’s understood that Easton’s last day at “GH” would also likely be the last day for Alderson and Howarth as well, pending a resolution to the Prospect Park/ABC dispute. “General Hospital” currently films three weeks ahead of airdate, which means the actors would likely last air around the end of February or early March, as expected.

Michael Easton’s Facebook Message


I heard a rumor of some lovely people who were going to stop by the studio for a certain riff raff’s birthday. Some others who wanted to deliver a cake. Even more wonderful folks who wanted to send cards and treats and I want you to know I am incredibly humbled by these gestures but unfortunately I will not be around to enjoy them. I’ve been informed, that due to some ongoing legal this and that, I cannot be at “General Hospital” after February 8th and since I know many of you go to great trouble to do something special, I just don’t want to see anybody’s efforts go to waste (especially the lovely person who always sneaks in the fine Irish Whiskey). If it’s not too bold, may I suggest a donation to The American Cancer Society instead. Then some good will have come out of this…

…Miss you guys already.

  • Oh, come on, Prospect Park. Let them stay at GH. We’re going to OLTL anyway.

  • disneyaddict2013

    This is very upsetting news! PP is being greedy! Makes me not want to even watch OLTL!! Now the fans have to suffer! This is not the way to get your viewers back!

  • Ima_Speakonit

    First GHers didn’t want them on GH sucking up airtime but now that PP wants them, suddenly GH can’t do with out them. GMAFB!

    • not all GHers, speak for yourself. I liked them on GH, do not understand why they can’t do crossovers throughout

      • Because doing crossovers will be way too much on these actors as GH is filmed in California, and OLTL will be filmed in CT/NY. Easton, Alderson and Howarth had to make the huge move to California to get work, and had to be uprooted along with their families from the CT/NY area, after ABC made the dumb mistake and canceled OLTL. Now that these actors are finally settled in at GH, they are wanted back at OLTL! WOW! As much as I would like to see the characters back on OLTL, I feel so badly for the actors who play them! They must feel like the rope in a game of tug of war! I hope that ABC & PP will do something that is fair for these 3!

    • JC

      Those fans upset are not the GH viewers who don’t like the “airtime being sucked up” it was those who followed them over. TPTB at GH want to keep them for story purposes.

    • MEfan1249

      I loved having them on GH. It was only the GHers who love to post negative stuff that was usually heard from. They didn’t complain about the other newbies on GH, only the OLTLers. That is not at all rational. It says a lot about the posters.

  • GH is firing actors- ppl!! that is why steve burton left( jason) —he knew his time would be up too—they are firing ppl on y&r too—they let go–debbie morgan and darnell williams- they fired genie francis so now she is back on gh!! gh is wanting the original characters as much as possible- ME and KA & KD and Howarth was being fired from GH—they were just temp actors for gh— i hate gh!! oltl needs john (ME) and starr (kristen) and also kassie depaiva (blair)!! PP is not the greedy one–it is disney being greedy–!!! wake up ppl—-remember it was disney who got rid of amc & oltl in the 1st place!! disney got rid of our 2 soaps on ABC for greed —-they thought soaps were not worth being on air!!!

    • MEfan1249

      If Disney/ABC is being the greedy one then why are they fighting a legal battle with PP to get back the rights to the character of John McBain. YOU wake up. The people who cancelled OLTL & AMC are no longer at the network, except Anne Sweeney, president of the network, and Disney is NOT pleased with her. Disney/ABC may also be fighting to keep the characters of Todd & Starr.

  • Why can’t Michael & Roger go to OLTL and let Kristen stay until her relationship is over or let them float back and forth??

  • Doesn’t PP realize that having cross-over characters on GH RAISES their profile as they try to get their web soaps off the ground? Seems to me having Llanview and other OLTL characters mentioned on newly hot GH would be GOOD for them. They should work it out with ABC and not piss off the soap world before they ever even get off the ground.

    • Easton, Alderson, and Howarth do NOT want to float between the 2 shows as GH is in California and OLTL is in CT/NY. Its too much on these actors.

  • That is BS… Just because they want to air again doesn’t mean you mess with peoples lives. People move and depend on things, and PP is not being fair. I am glad the other shows are coming back, but they should maybe even leave the charactors to go back and fourth to the two shows. They play roles that could be shorter periods on both shows. But if it can’t be both than they should be on GH now where the fans were left with losing their shows, and were able to still see them on GH. Todd is a big part of GH now, and taking him out would be awful. So is John and Star.

    • nancylp

      The characters belong to pp, they paid millions of bucks to lease them, they can’t take the actors obviously but they can and should get the characters they paid for. ABC always knew this was temporary.

  • OLTL fan

    PP is being fair. ABC/Cartini is to blame. ABC are the ones which approached PP and asked to use the characters. They knew that if PP decided to reboot the show, that PP would have the first right to thought characters. Cartini had the option of bringing ME on as a new character but chose a character which PP had the writes to. PP is just collecting on a legal agreement they made.

    • I must agree with OLTL fan. ABC/Cartini didn’t think that PP was able to resurrected the show. It look like they was wrong. I hope that the actor will be able to appear on both of the show.

    • CTwildheart

      PP could have said no.

      • OLTL fan

        Even better, why didn’t ABC tell PP no when PP asked them for an extension in January. PP would have loss the rights to the characters.

        PP did tell ABC yes, they could use the characters. If they didn’t. I’m sure they’d be arguments about PP holding characters hostage when not using them. They allowed ABC to use them under a certain condition, and ABC had the right to refuse those conditions. They however agreed, and PP is allowed to take their characters back.

  • soaper

    Probably would work for crossovers if they were on the same platform but not like this.

    • CTwildheart

      Why would where they distribute this have any bearing on their taping crossovers?

      • Gary

        Well what is it going to benefit — more for GH maybe than Prospect or OLTL. Prospect could run cross promotion ads for GH after the show airs on Hulu. But how is GH going to advertise OLTL without saying make sure to catch so and so on OLTL but please don’t watch it on Hulu while GH is on the air. They are effectively promoting a show that folks could choose to watch online or on Hulu during the hours that GH is on live — a time that GH really needs folks tuning in.

        • CTwildheart

          That almost makes sense. I doubt ABC/D would promote it at all even with crossovers.

  • emtk

    Put John McBain on both GH and OLTL!!!! I can’t get enough of Michael Easton!!

    • I agree with emtk that Michael Easton and the two other actor belong on GH and OLTL. I can’t wait to see how the writer will developed the current murder storyline that is started on GH 1/31/13.

  • jonboyelk

    Much as I liked OLTL I can barely keep up with my DVR so i am definitely NOT going to go through the trouble of folowing this show on some other media. I think the actors shoul have been permitted to stay.

  • Personally speaking Michael Easton can go back to OLTL he was never really a good fit here at GH anyway. But RH and KA need to stay and at the end of OLTL KA was leaving Landview anyway.

  • mike

    Cry me a river. So many out of work actors would do anything to go on even a online series. OLTL was their bread and butter for how many years? GH should have known there was always a chance they would lose them even for a little bit. OLTL does not need these characters forever as long as John/Natalie are resolved and Victor is revealed to be alive. I just hate it when GH fans now want them to stay when they cried foul when they first aired because the show was being taken over by OLTL.

  • I wish they could be on both shows !!!

  • Kathy

    One thing to keep in mind – ABC started this mess and they are just sitting back with their petty revenge enjoying all this arguing among fans. Lets not give them that satisfaction!!! I feel mostly for the actors/actresses involved in the dispute. To fans, they are characters, but this is their livelihood, their jobs and seems unfair to ‘twist them around’ this way for greed or petty revenge on either side. Happy Birthday Michael!!

  • Gary

    I can’t say that I won’t miss the characters on GH. They were 3 of the sorriest characters ever on One Life to Live. If we had to have crossovers to GH then why in the world someone but them. Hopefully they will never return to GH. As far as blame, no one is to blame on this but Cartini. They knew this was a possibility but chose to incorporate them anyway. I am sure they possibly thought Prospect Park was never going to do anything, but they signed with Prospect Park themselves. They knew that PP owned the characters. They were using something they knew they could lose the rights to at any point. And now they have to deal with it.

    • michael easton(john macbain) was the only one of the three to originally sign on to prospect parks version of “one life to live”. kristen alderson(starr manning)and roger howardth(todd Manning) never signed with PP. so get your facts right ppl

      • Gary

        I didn’t even mention anything about who signed and who didn’t. But in the end it doesn’t matter anyway. It is not about the actors but about the characters — you need to get your facts straight. Prospect Park owns the characters. No matter whether all 3 signed with Prospect Park or not PP still owned the characters. They can tell ABC at any time what to do with the characters but not the actors. ABC always knew that. Howarth and Alderson could do whatever they wanted to and just because they didn’t sign before it still didn’t matter. If OLTL had happened it would have went on with a new Todd and Starr or no Todd and Starr at all. If it happened then no matter what ABC did they couldn’t have used the characters of Todd and Starr without PP saying it was okay. They could have hired Howarth and Alderson for GH but they still couldn’t have had them play Todd and Starr unless PP said it was okay to do so.

  • boycott prospect park

  • CTwildheart

    I really just hope this can be resolved quickly and fairly. The actors deserve at least that much…as do the fans.

  • They are making a big deal out if this, They are going to launch OLTL so I’m sure they will go back to GH.. They can have those 3 back on OLTL when they need them.. Not too hard to figure out.

  • disheartenedlifelong viewer

    Seeing as I first saw him as Caleb on the abc soap Port Charles, he was the main one I was glad to see come over to GH. He and Kelly M (Sam) have great chemistry and I was very very excited to see where the show would take them since they would not work with Steve Burton on his desire to move his family and still work. But now Y&R is working with him and he is back to work. Which I am happy for him, but miss him badly on GH. But since Sam no longer has Jason, I was loving the expectation of flames being kindled with John. I loved watching them on Port Charles as well as others. I got worried when they started incorporating the old vampire storyline, and was afarid it wasnt a good sign. But I must say I have been watching the PC episodes on youtube to remind myself of those characters. I desperately wish that someone would work this mess out and keep good actors working, whether its ABC or Prospect Park, someone needs to get it in gear and really think about what the lifelong dedicated viewers want to keep watching.
    And by the way I think the ratings system seriously needs some kind of change, so many households nowadays dvr their beloved shows of all timeslots and channels, and when they watch as for my home anyway if we do not have to watch the annoying commercials we are NOT going to. So if the only way for it to be recoginzed as being viewed is to watch it comm and all well they are out of luck. Too many good shows to watch mean dvr’ing a lot of stuff, so that means lil time to get all caught up and I am not watsing it on the commercials. considering alot of shows seem like more commercial than actual show.
    Hope you can find a way to keep John Mcbain alive and well on GH, because as much as I loved OLTL and AMC I will not be paying for HULU to watch 2 shows. Crazy decision to have it exclusive to HULU, Bad Idea!!

    • mcb

      OLTL will be on the free version of Hulu as well as the pay version Hulu Plus.

      • mplsbill

        BOTH AMC AND OLTL will be on hulu for free, and hulu plus!!

    • mplsbill

      You don’t have to pay hulu to watch, they will be on the free hulu and hulu plus meaning if you don’t pay for hulu plus you STILL get to watch oltl and amc, long comment you posted for being uninformed!!!

  • B_Dogg71 (30yr GH vet)

    Prospect Park vs. ABC! Why PP won’t allow the characters to continue being used by GH is stupid. Allowing the characters to be seen on GH only helps to promote the new OLTL. Story wise, Todd has began burning bridges in Port Charles so I don’t see much conflict in GH giving the character back to OLTL. Although I have enjoyed him on GH over the past year and I’m sure OLTL can come up with a equally devious character to stir up trouble for Blair and the residents of Landview! Star had left Landview to move to LA so why not let her stay in Port Charles which would leave the door open for future crossovers. As for Mcbain, if Micheal Easton wishes to stay with GH then have his Mcbain character return to OLTL after being wounded in an explosion or something that would open the door up for a recast (ie: plastic surgery) and then Easton can remain on GH as Caleb. Minus the Vampire bit hopefully!

  • Way to go ABC Disney!! You started this mess by canceling One Life to Live. No one to blame but yourselves. Now the fans and the actors are the ones that will suffer.

  • mcb

    I don’t see how GH and OLTL can realistically share the characters. It would require the writers of both soaps to coordinate their storylines. Unfortunately, it seems like the characters of John, Starr and Todd must go back to OLTL and PP who owns them, while the actors must stay at GH with whom they are under contract. The solution: Easton plays Caleb who is NOT really a vampire (that was just in Lucy’s head), Alderson plays a resurrected Abby, and Howarth plays Abby’s father.

  • I never watched GH until these 3 characters came on. I do not want them to leave GH!

  • sm

    watching michael easton is awesome!