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.
As expected, ABC has issued an official statement on the matter of Starr Manning, Todd Manning and John McBain, characters currently being seen on the network’s “General Hospital,” as it pertains to the license of the characters originally from the soon to be rebooted “One Life to Live.”
According to a report by Daytime Confidential, ABC’s “General Hospital” will be temporarily losing the characters of Starr Manning, Todd Manning and John McBain as Prospect Park has exercised its right to utilize the characters for its online reboot from the agreement the production company signed with the Disney/ABC Domestic Television Group, part of the Walt Disney Company, back in July 2011.
Soap Opera Digest is reporting that Marshall Hilliard will appear for eight episodes as a new officer at the Port Charles Police Department. “I call him Officer Marshall,” the actor joked to Digest.
“I’ve shot eight episodes so far and I’m working with Michael Easton [John McBain],” Hilliard said. “And let me tell you, they run a great production over there. Frank [Valentini, executive producer] is so artistic.”
Last seen in 2011 as Dylan on NBC’s “Days of our Lives,” Hilliard is probably best known as Hart Jessup #4 on CBS’ “Guiding Light” from 1995-1996. He was soon replaced by actor Frank Grillo, who held the role until 1999. Hilliard appeared in a 2010 episode of TNT’s “Hawthorne.” His first airdate on “GH” is scheduled for Thursday, August 30.
With anticipation high for the recently introduced TNT Original Series “Major Crimes,” The Huffington Post compiled a list of the 30 Best and Worst TV Spinoffs Ever. “Port Charles” was listed as one of televisions worst.
“Despite the fact that the ‘General Hospital’ spinoff lasted more than six years, ‘Port Charles’ — which took ‘GH’ characters Lucy Coe, Kevin Collins, Scott Baldwin and Karen Wexler — broke all the TV soap rules, and not for the better. It dropped the open-ended writing style of other daytime dramas and spent way too much time in the hospital,” the Post cited as its reasoning for placing the daytime drama series on the list.
Premiering on Sunday, June 1, 1997 as a 2-hour primetime television event, “Port Charles” was the first spinoff of ABC Daytime’s “General Hospital.” As a daily soap opera, “PC” launched on Monday, June 2, 1997. It ended on Friday, October 3, 2003 after airing 1,633 episodes.
Shortly after its conclusion, ABC shifted Kelly Monaco (ex-Olivia “Livvie” Locke Morley) and Michael Easton (ex-Caleb Morley) to “General Hospital” and “One Life to Live,” respectively. Monaco currently portrays Sam McCall, while Easton left “OLTL” (upon that soaps cancellation) and transferred his character John McBain to “GH.”
To find out what other shows made the best or worst list, click here.