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.
Although her name was among fifteen “One Life” cast members listed in a press release last week from Prospect Park as joining the online version of “OLTL,” Erika Slezak (Viki) confirmed the news today with a statement on her official website. Telling fans that she is “pleased” to join the upcoming online version of the show when production begins “near the middle of March,” the six-time Daytime Emmy winner says the new show will be “an exciting and groundbreaking adventure” and that she hopes fans will tune in.
Described as the love story behind “Doctor Zhivago,” the award-winning play “Lightning from Heaven,” written by “General Hospital” script writer Scott Sickles, will open for a limited engagement at New York City’s WorkShop Theater beginning Thursday, February 14th.
In a short video message on his Facebook page, “One Life’s” new co-head writer Thom Racina vows to fans that he and his fellow scribe Susan Bedsow Horgan will deliver on Prospect Park’s promise to breath “new themes, fresh stars and youthful energy” into the 43-year-old soap, saying “we’re gonna do it!”
Prospect Park’s plan to blend “new themes, fresh stars and youthful energy” along with the familiar actors and writers of yesteryear for its version of Agnes Nixon‘s “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” is beginning to settle in. According to a newly released audition script, the company is looking for a brand new “face” for the “One Life” canvas as the show’s original title “Between Heaven and Hell” becomes all the more real.
On Saturday, February 16, “One Life to Live’s” Ilene Kristen (Roxy Balsom) and Lea DeLaria (Madame Delphina) will be hosting a cocktail party dubbed “Mix & Mingle with Roxy and Delphina” at Prohibition bar and restaurant in New York City. The event, brought to you by Soap Opera Socialite Productions, will run from 12:00 noon to 3:00 PM.
“Both women promise an uncensored afternoon of fun and laughs, as they give you the ‘real low down’ from their stage and television careers, their experiences on ‘One Life to Live,; and recording their studio albums. Be the first to hear selected tracks from Ilene’s unreleased studio album, participate in a Q&A, win great raffle prizes, and get autographs and pictures with your favorite Llanview residents,” reads the event description. Stay tuned as Soap Opera Network is told that in the coming days additional guests will be announced for the event.
What a difference a year makes, huh “One Life to Live” fans? Looking back through the Soap Opera Network archives, I happened upon the last column that I had written. It was November 30, 2011, nearly two weeks after Prospect Park made the now infamous decision to scrap their plans to revive “OLTL” online, just five days after the soap wrapped production on its ABC run. And now here we are just over a year later, with that plan seemingly resurrected and “One Life,” along with sister soap “All My Children,” a month away from resuming production for new episodes on the internet.
Soap Opera Digest is reporting that soap alum Kale Browne will be heard in upcoming episodes of CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” as he portrays the role of a radio DJ on the soap.
The magazine reports that Browne’s voice will be heard on the Tuesday, February 12 and Wednesday, February 13 episodes of the drama series. The actor isn’t expected to appear in the actual episodes.
Browne worked under current “Y&R” executive producer Jill Farren Phelps while the two were at “Another World” and “One Life to Live” in the 1990′s.
Soap Opera Socialite Productions posted a video on their YouTube page from “All My Children’s” Jill Larson (Opal Cortlandt), who shared her excitement in returning to the world of Pine Valley after nearly a two year absence. “We’re all very excited about the possibilites that await all of us, and getting together again and dusting off our old beloved characters and telling new stories that Agnes has been dreaming up since we’ve been off the air,” said the actress.