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.
UPDATE 2:17 PM ET: Score for Laura Wright! The actress tweeted, ”We are not saying goodbye to Roger, Michael and
@krisalderson - just see ya in a few )))))” and she was right! Soap Opera Network has confirmed with Roger Howarth’s management that the actor is returning to “One Life to Live,” but only for the first four weeks. He will begin filming in March for the Hulu/iTunes aired series before returning to “General Hospital” shortly afterward.
PREVIOUS 12:01 PM ET: Miss a day, miss a lot is the saying, but as the behind-the-scenes drama continues to unfold between ABC and Prospect Park in relation to the characters of Starr Manning, Todd Manning and John McBain and their need on either “General Hospital” or “One Life to Live,” the saying has now become who’s has what and how it affects daytime viewers.
In our last couple of reports, we reported a statement from ABC that said, “‘General Hospital’ is excited about Michael Easton, Kristen Alderson and Roger Howarth staying on the show and we are exploring ways to allow that to happen.” Read More >>
Just a short time ago, Prospect Park released the following statement to Soap Opera Network regarding the latest developments surrounding its discussions with Disney/ABC Domestic Television and the use of the characters Starr Manning, Todd Manning and John McBain.
According to the company, shortly after deciding to postpone production of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” they made an agreement with ABC that would allow “General Hospital” to utilize the characters so that they could “stay alive with the fans and also so that the actors could remain working.” The company also tells Soap Opera Network that “Everyone at ABC and on the production staff of ‘General Hospital’ understood that this was a temporary arrangement until production started once again on ‘One Life to Live.’ Now the time has come to start production and Prospect Park needs to, once again, cast these characters including Llanview transplants Michael Easton (John) and Kristen Alderson (Starr).”
Despite Michael Easton‘s announcement early this morning, where he stated that after February 8th he would be exiting “General Hospital,” along with Roger Howarth and Kristen Alderson, due to “some ongoing legal this and that,” an ABC spokesperson tells Soap Opera Network that all three will remain an essential part of the “GH” canvas for the foreseeable future as the three are under contract with the network and not Prospect Park.
“‘General Hospital’ is excited about Michael Easton, Kristen Alderson and Roger Howarth staying on the show and we are exploring ways to allow that to happen,” read a statement from ABC, which did not provide further input on how the series would accomplish just that. Previously, the network stated, “There are on-going collaborative conversations,” in response to word that Prospect Park wanted to return the characters of Starr Manning (Alderson), Todd Manning (Howarth) and John McBain (Easton) to Llanview after formerly announcing it’s decision to re-launch “One Life to Live” later this spring. The production company licensed the rights to “OLTL’s” characters in July 2011 in a long-term distribution agreement between it and Disney/ABC Domestic Television, part of the Disney/ABC Television Group.
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 “General Hospital.” The actor also says that the matter between Prospect Park and ABC may “take some time and some very bright people to resolve.”
Michael Easton Facebook Message Update
THANK YOU (PART TWO)
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 Kristen Alderson and Roger Howarth are currently at the center of a legal dispute between Prospect Park and Disney/ABC Domestic Television, 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 “One Life to Live” 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.
As previously reported, actor Jimmy Deshler has joined the cast of “General Hospital” in the role of Rafe, who is believed to be the son of Alison Barrington and Caleb Morley – as a result of their sexual encounter occurring towards the end of ABC’s long canceled “Port Charles.”
Deshler debuts on the Wednesday, January 30 episode, which is also the same day Kevin Collins (Jon Lindstrom) returns to Port Charles to try and appeal to his wife, Lucy Coe (Lynn Herring), over her belief in vampires.
With Lynn Herring returning last month as the ever spectacular Lucy Coe, now head of CoeCoe Cosmetics, many were left wondering if her return would solely be for the purpose of resurrecting the Nurse’s Ball on ABC’s “General Hospital.” Thanks to the creative writing of head writer Ron Carlivati and his team, that doesn’t appear to be the case. In a welcome twist of fate it looks as though Lucy’s return has actually helped open up a string of storylines tied to ABC’s canceled “General Hospital” spin-off “Port Charles.”
Prospect Park first announced plans to move “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to the web back in July 2011 after striking a license holding deal with Disney/ABC Domestic Television. Sadly, plans fell through by November 2011 after apparent financing and union discussions fell through. Since that dreadful time period, Prospect Park has resumed work on returning the soaps to your [computer] screens, only this time with financing said to be in place and union deals already signed with the DGA (directors), SAG-AFTRA (actors) and the WGA (writers). With more than a year gone by since “One Life to Live” last aired, we thought it would be a great opportunity to see which stars have (so far) signed on to return to “AMC” and “OLTL” compared to the list circling back in 2011.