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Michael Easton

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."

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."

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.

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.

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 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.”
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