With the returns of Roger Howarth, Kristen Alderson and Michael Easton (as new characters whose names are currently unconfirmed by ABC, although at present we’re hearing the character name “Jordan” for Alderson) to the Port Charles canvas and the debut of Maura West as Ava Jerome (first airdate scheduled for Wednesday, May 8), the drama is only getting hotter on ABC’s “General Hospital” this week.
In a new posting on his Facebook page, Michael Easton (ex-John McBain, “One Life to Live” and “General Hospital“) says, “SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS…to my family of friends in their new venture. I know you’re going to be a big hit…” The actors comments are understood to be in reference to the re-launches of both “OLTL” and “All My Children,” which premiere today on Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes.
As previously reported, Easton has signed on to return to “GH” to portray an unnamed character debuting in May.
Shortly after news first broke that Roger Howarth, Kristen Alderson and Michael Easton would be returning to “General Hospital” as new characters, I tweeted, “Hearing Prospect Park won the character battle between it and ABC. More details on this matter forthcoming.” Those details are now ready to be revealed!
Soap Opera Network has learned exclusively that although Howarth will be portraying a new character when he begins filming episodes of the ABC sudser on Monday, the actor will also continue portraying his iconic role of Todd Manning on The OnLine Network‘s “One Life to Live.”
On Thursday, April 11, ABC’s “General Hospital” announced that former “One Life to Live” stars Kristen Alderson (ex-Starr Manning), Michael Easton (ex-John McBain) and Roger Howarth (ex-Todd Manning) would be returning to the soap after more than two months had gone by since they last appeared at the Prospect Studios, where “GH” is filmed. According to sources, the actors will be portraying new characters. Now two of the three stars have taken to their respective social networks to respond to fans who’ve been dying to hear their take on things.
After months of rumors, speculation and back and forth, ABC’s “General Hospital” has announced that Kristen Alderson, Michael Easton and Roger Howarth are returning to the soap. Additionally, sources have confirmed to Soap Opera Network that all three will resume filming at the Prospect Studios next week as new characters with a storyline to kick things into high gear beginning Friday, May 10.
May sweeps are a month away, but it looks like the upcoming onscreen drama won’t be able to hold a candle to the real-life drama brewing between Prospect Park‘s “One Life to Live” and ABC’s “General Hospital.”
After Prospect Park’s plans to reboot both “OLTL” and “All My Children” for the web fell through in November 2011, the company was approached by ABC who was interested in transplanting the characters of Todd Manning, Starr Manning and John McBain to Port Charles as portrayed by their originators Roger Howarth, Kristen Alderson and Michael Easton. The understanding at the time between ABC and Prospect Park was that the characters would be utilized on “GH” until plans to reboot “OLTL” came back into play as Prospect Park didn’t want to hold the Llanview 3 from working. Since their debuts in Port Charles in early 2012, the characters have tested very high with both viewers and focus groups and have played a large role in the overall audience growth for “GH” compared to its 2011 performance in the Nielsen ratings. Unfortunately, things behind the scenes weren’t looking as good.
Last week, Soap Opera Network featured a CENTER STAGE interview with “One Life to Live’s” legendary veteran, Erika Slezak (Victoria Lord). She opened up about the future of “OLTL,” working with the fresh, young faces on the show, and what it’s been like to have show creator Agnes Nixon back at the helm. And this week, we’re revealing how she feels about Robin Strasser (Dorian Lord), what it’s like working with Roger Howarth (Todd Manning) versus working with Trevor St. John (Victor Lord), and who she’d like to see return to Llanview!
Soap Opera Network has learned that during the week of March 18, ABC’s “General Hospital” will be departing the “One Life to Live” characters consisting of Starr Manning (Kristen Alderson), Todd Manning (Roger Howarth) and John McBain (Michael Easton). As previously reported, ABC Daytime and Prospect Park have been in a dispute over the characters and their appearance on “GH” vs “One Life to Live,” which Prospect Park is rebooting for the web along with “All My Children” later this spring. The actors are under contract to ABC, while Prospect Park holds the license rights to the characters.
Michael Easton (John McBain) posted an update for fans wanting to know where he currently stands in the dispute between ABC’s “General Hospital” and TOLN‘s “One Life to Live.” In a Facebook message, the actor said, “THANK YOU…your kind words of support mean the world to me. No word yet on when we might return to work but the fridge is stocked, the bills are paid, and I get to spend lots of precious time with my little girl.”
UPDATE 8:28 PM ET: Easton’s management team tells Soap Opera Network, ”Currently we have no plans to return to ‘One Life to Live.’ The rest is to be determined.”
PREVIOUS 3:13 PM ET: On Thursday, February 14, Soap Opera Network was first to report on Roger Howarth returning to “One Life to Live.” In our initial reporting it appeared that the actor would be returning to the soap full-time, but as the day progressed we soon learned that it would only be for four weeks with Howarth scheduled to begin filming on Monday, March 18, at the Stamford, CT studios for the online reboot of the series, per the actors management. Why the initial confusion? It looks as though Roger’s deal to return to “OLTL” was just being signed as Soap Opera Network went to press, per Howarth’s management, so word of his return to “OLTL” was correct, but length was unclear.