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'OLTL' actors banned from 'General Hospital'
Reborn soap wants Todd and Starr Manning, John McBain back in the fold
By TVDeeva Deanna Barnert
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The happy news that "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" are back on track for online comebacks has turned into trouble for "General Hospital." With negotiations souring, "One Life to Live" alums Michael Easton (McBain), Roger Howarth (Todd) and Kristen Alderson (Starr) have been barred from working for "General Hospital" after Feb. 8. Their characters will air into March.

"Due to some ongoing legal this and that, I cannot be at 'General Hospital' after February 8," Michael Easton posted on Facebook in a message for fans and friends planning to send over gifts for his upcoming birthday. "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."

As previously reported, "One Life to Live" still has rights to the characters of John McBain and Todd and Starr Manning, who have made new lives on "General Hospital." With all three actors under contract with ABC, "General Hospital" Exec Producer Frank Valentini was feeling optimistic about how this would all play out when he spoke to MSN TV in early January. It looked even more promising for "General Hospital" fans when the characters didn't show up on the early "OLTL" casting release, but it seems things aren't going as well as Valentini had hoped.

"It's turning into a real pissing contest," an insider told Daytime Confidential. "Jeff [Kwatinetz, Prospect Park CEO] went way above Time Square Studios' head. Word came down to Vicki [Dummer, TSS Executive VP] from [Disney CEO] Bob Iger's office for 'General Hospital' to do what Jeff wants. What they don't realize is the actors flat out don't want to do the reboot."

That last part may not be a problem. Prospect Park is looking to recast Starr, John and Todd, according to Soap Opera Digest. What more, in a recent press release, "General Hospital" revealed it was "exploring ways" to keep Michael Easton, Kristen Alderson and Roger Howarth in the fold.

Could they return as three new characters? Stay tuned for more on this story.

"General Hospital" airs weekdays on ABC. "One Life to Live" has resumed production, but has no premiere date.

MSN Entertainment
Edited by bellajewel, Feb 2 2013, 12:36 PM.
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