TV Guide‘s Michael Logan pulls off another exclusive! In an interview with Steve Burton, the actor reveals that he has in fact decided to leave ABC’s “General Hospital” after two decades at the drama series. First joining the cast in 1991, Burton had portrayed the role of Jason Quartermaine turned Morgan. He left the series in 2000, but returned in 2002, and has remained at the show ever since. He’s also appeared on the “GH” spinoff, “General Hospital: Night Shift,” during the SOAPnet original series’ first season.
According to Burton, it was his contract coming up and his desire to move his family to Tennessee that resulted in him making this important life changing decision. “I’ve been through 21 years of ups and downs with ‘GH’ — regime changes, cast and crew changes, budget cuts, shakeups of one kind or another, and it’s been nothing but a huge positive in my life and for my family. I have no complaints, no negative feelings at all. But it’s time to go. I’m going to take some time off and do nothing but relax, just enjoy life a little bit with my wife and kids,” said Burton to TV Guide.
The actor also revealed that his next career move will be working on a project with James Franco (ex-Franco) and Jill Farren Phelps (former executive producer of “GH,” now at the helm of “Y&R”). “Jill went off and did that telenovela ‘Hollywood Heights’ [at Nickelodeon] and James did a day’s work there. Suddenly he decides he wants to make one of his own novelas through his production company and we’re like, ‘Huh?’ So the three of us collaborated on an idea and came up with a really good one. Jill will EP it, I’ll produce and star in it and so will James. We’ll be able to get a lot of great cameos and guest stars because of James’ connections. It’ll be a fun show to do.”
As for rumors of him possibly joining “Y&R,” Burton says, “Jill is one of my dearest friends. [Laughs] I’m never going to say never because , as soon as I do, I’ll be popping up over there! Here’s the thing: As cool as it was to know I had a nice, cushy place to go every day with ‘GH,’ I think it’s going to be just as cool to not have a nice, cushy place to go every day. I like not knowing what’s next for a change. I’m jumping off a cliff in a total leap of faith.”
Burton is expected to complete filming at “General Hospital” on Tuesday, September 25, but he has informed the show that, if necessary, he would be willing to stay on little longer to help wrap his characters storyline. Whatever the case may be, look for the actor to air through at least the end of October or sometime in November.
UPDATE, 4:40 PM ET: Ian Buchanan is in fact portraying Duke Lavery. In an interview report with TV Guide‘s Michael Logan, Valentini says, “We will eventually find out that the Duke Lavery we saw die all those many years ago was an impostor. This is the real Duke.” So yes, we’re in for one of those storylines, folks.
“In the interim, Luke and Anna will find themselves in a new place with their romance and they will be very surprised by the intensity of it,” said Valentini to Logan. “Anna will, of course, be shocked and conflicted, she’ll run the whole gamut of emotions when she finally comes face-to-face with Duke. She’s going to want a lot of answers and Duke is really going to have to prove himself.”
Buchanan will not be seen on the show again for at least another next five weeks, according to TV Guide.
PREVIOUS, 4:22 PM ET: After promising that today’s episode of “General Hospital” was “not to be missed” as the series has “been keeping a huge surprise under wraps,” executive producer Frank Valentini got some good news today as the big reveal began trending worldwide (see images below) just a short time ago.
While live tweeting along with thousands of others, fans of the daytime drama series learned that actor Ian Buchanan had returned to the ABC soap after a 23-year absence. Of course, Soap Opera Network broke the story on Thursday, August 23.
When we last saw Buchanan on the drama series, it was 1989. His character, Duke Lavery, the love of Anna Devane’s (Finola Hughes) life faked his death and entered the witness protection program only to return to the series with a new face as portrayed by actor Greg Beecroft within the same year. The character was killed off in 1990.
A “General Hospital” representative was unavailable for comment at press time. It is currently unclear as to whether Buchanan is in fact portraying a once again alive Duke Lavery. If he is, does that mean Duke faked his death again? If not, who really died? The Tale of Two Duke’s indeed!
Buchanan had just completed his run on NBC’s “Days of our Lives” on Wednesday, August 22 as Ian McAllister, although the series films three months ahead of airdate, which enabled “GH” to snap the actor up quickly for this “secretive” plot twist.
Shortly after Soap Opera Network reported on Friday, August 24 that Sean Kanan was headed back to CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful” as Deacon Sharpe, the actor himself tweeted “I never said I’m coming back guys. Let’s not stoke the fire of the rumor mill.” While the tweet seemed to contradict our reporting, Soap Opera Network has re-confirmed with the show and Kanan’s management team who assure us that “Yes…he is coming back.” So what happened? It looks like Kanan was not aware that the show was confirming his return to the press, which resulted in some confusion.
As previously reported, a first airdate for Kanan has not been set, but the actor is scheduled to appear on the drama series once more sometime in September. He is currently only scheduled to appear in a couple of episodes, however.
Soap Opera Network wishes “The Young and the Restless” star Christian Jules LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin) a very happy birthday as the three time Daytime Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2005, 2007, 2009) turns 54 years-old today.
Joining the cast of “Y&R” all the way back in 1991, LeBlanc has enjoyed nearly two decades in Genoa City. Although he departed the role in 1993, LeBlanc returned to the CBS soap in 1997 and has remained there ever since. He brought his character from “Y&R” to “As The World Turns” for a couple of episodes in 2005.
LeBlanc appeared in episodes of “In The Heat of the Night,” “Diagnosis Murder,” and “Cheers.” Along with co-star Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor), the actor appeared in a 2009 episode of “Guiding Light” just as the series was coming to a close.
Note: Starting Saturday, September 1, 2012, Soap Opera Network will begin providing soap fans with a new database system that will house actor biographies, birthdays, and much more. Be on the look out.
Soap Opera Digest grants Daytime Confidential‘s Jamey Giddens his wish. On Wednesday, August 15, Giddens had posted a Wishful Casting report shortly after word broke that Kevin Schmidt was out as Noah Newman on CBS’” The Young and the Restless.” The writer figured that Nickelodeon’s “Hollywood Heights” actor Robert Adamson (Phil Sanders) would fit the role perfectly. Today the magazine reported on its Facebook page that Adamson is now heading to Genoa City!
According to Digest, Adamson begins taping at “Y&R” on Tuesday, September 4. His first airdate is scheduled for Monday, October 1.
Jill Farren Phelps and Josh Griffith, the newly installed executive producer and head writer, respectively, at “Y&R” also served in the same capacities at “Heights.”
No word on whether Adamson has been offered a contract. Schmidt had portrayed Noah while on recurring status.
Florencia Lozano will once again be reprising her role of Téa Delgado on ABC’s “General Hospital,” only this time she’ll be popping up in Llanview.
Soap Opera Network has learned that while Lozano is back for an unknown number of episodes, the actress will once again appear on the drama series after an unexpected visitor pays her character a visit on the Friday, September 7 episode.
Lozano’s return is said to coincide with a major cliffhanger the soap has planned that will help entice viewers to tune in for the Monday, September 10 episode, which is when the soap kicks things off in its new timeslot – a slot that was previously held by “One Life to Live” up until it aired its final episode nearly nine months ago to the day.
“General Hospital” moves to 2:00 PM ET/1:00 PM PT/CT beginning Monday, September 10, on ABC. The show will not experience a timeslot shift on SOAPnet.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Ratings Report for the Week of August 13-17, 2012
NOTE: Please do not copy and paste the entire ratings. Thank you.
NOTE: DAYS #s compared to three weeks ago
Numbers are based on Live+Same Day ratings
(Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)
1. Y&R 4,311,000 (-3,000/+203,000)
2. B&B 3,071,000 (-97,000/+102,000)
3. DAYS 2,699,000 (+218,000/+203,000)
4. GH 2,463,000 (+147,000/-235,000)
1. Y&R 3.2/10 (same/-.1)
2. B&B 2.3/7 (same/+.2)
3. DAYS 2.0/6 (+.2/+.2)
4. GH 1.8/5 (+.1/-.1)
Women 18-49 Viewers
1. Y&R 824,000 (+25,000/-60,000)
2. B&B 626,000 (+8,000/+83,000)
3. GH 591,000 (-8,000/-199,000)
4. DAYS 583,000 (+43,000/-84,000)
Women 18-49 Rating
1. Y&R 1.3/9 (+.1/same)
2. B&B 1.0/6 (same/+.2)
3. GH 0.9/6 (same/-.3)
3. DAYS 0.9/6 (+.1/-.1)
Women 18-34 Rating
1. DAYS 0.6 (+.1/same)
1. Y&R 0.6 (+.1/-.1)
1. GH 0.6 (same/-.1)
4. B&B 0.4 (same/same)
Men 18+ Viewers
1. Y&R 921,000 (+10,000/-2,000)
2. B&B 670,000 (-25,000/-2,000)
3. DAYS 584,000 (+55,000/+60,000)
4. GH 497,000 (+61,000/+49,000)
Day-To-Day Ratings – HH/Total Viewers
For the SEASON September 19, 2011 through August 19, 2012
1. Y&R 3.5
2. B&B 2.4
3. DAYS 2.0
4. GH 1.9
Women 18-49 Rating
1. Y&R 1.5
2. B&B 1.1
2. GH 1.1
4. DAYS 1.0
Frank Valentini (Executive Producer, “General Hospital”) is promising that the Monday, August 27 episode of the drama series is “not to be missed” as the series has “been keeping a huge surprise under wraps.” The producer tweeted the message to his 12,000 followers earlier today.
From what we know about Monday’s episode Anna (Finola Hughes) learns the identify of a mystery patient, Jerry makes his demands clear to the people of Port Charles. Joe Jr. promises to protect Tracy and John questions Alexis about what she can remember about the night she was injected.
In possibly related news, Vanessa Marcil (ex-Brenda Barrett) just tweeted a picture to her followers that said “Got Brenda?” Also, “All My Children’s” Rebecca Budig (ex-Greenlee Smythe) was the first one to respond to Valentini’s above mentioned tweet. The actress said “I’ll be watching!”
The things that make you go hmmm…
“General Hospital” moves to a new time period beginning Monday, September 10 (2:00 PM ET/1:00 PM PT/CT). The network promises to thrill audiences in the days leading up to the timeslot switch with lives hanging in the balance and shocking revelations hitting Port Charles. Who survives and who thrives? You’ll just have to tune in to find out!
UPDATE, 2:54 PM ET: Sources tell Soap Opera Network that Kanan is currently only scheduled to appear for a couple of episodes.
PREVIOUS, 1:55 PM ET: Soap Opera Network can confirm that CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful” is about to get a little more Sharpe, Deacon Sharpe that is.
While a first airdate has not been revealed, a “B&B” rep tells Soap Opera Network that fans can expect to see Sean Kanan, who portrays Deacon, back onscreen sometime in September.
In July, Kanan married long time girlfriend Michele Vega in Italy in front of what we’re told included family and a few close friends. ”They were married in Monte di Procida, Naples, Italy. The ceremony and reception dinner took place at the hotel where they stayed called Al Chiar di Luna which is owned by good friends of Sean and Michele, The Mazzella Family,” Kanan’s rep told Soap Opera Network earlier this month.
Kanan returned to “B&B” earlier this year for the first time in seven years. The character had previously been seen on “The Young and the Restless” off-and-on since 2009.
Five years after being taken off contract and placed on recurring status, Jacklyn Zeman (ex-Bobbie Spencer, “General Hospital”) has opened up to Soap Opera Digest in its newest issue about the circumstances surrounding her unexpected departure from the ABC daytime drama series.
“It was like a grieving process when I left the show because it was such a part of my life for so many years. I mean, I played Bobbie for over 30 years, pretty much five days a week. So when Jill Phelps [former executive producer, now EP of 'Y&R'] decided to get rid of the character, I was one totally unprepared and two, totally shocked, because I just assumed that Bobbie would always be there. I had this commitment to the network and I felt that the commitment worked both ways,” reveals Zeman.