Daytime TV vet Michael Easton took to his Facebook page on Friday morning to advise fans not to send anything to the ABC soap’s studio for his Feb. 15 birthday, because by then he’ll no longer be hanging his hat there. “I’ve been informed that, due to some ongoing legal this and that, I cannot be at General Hospital after February 8th,” he shared.
UPDATE: SoapOperaDigest.com has confirmed that Roger Howarth (Todd) and Kristen Alderson (Starr) also must leave GH — at least for the time being.
The “legal” matter to which Easton referred stems from the upcoming Hulu/iTunes relaunch of One Life to Live, where John, Todd and Starr originated. When the media company Prospect Park announced its new plan to revive both OLTL and All My Children, it was with the proviso that it owns and thus has first dibs on the sudsers’ characters — even on those that have since relocated to GH.
Though McBain seems fated to return to OLTL‘s Llanview, that does not necessarily mean that Easton will be playing him, since the ex-OLTL actors’ deals are not with Prospect Park but ABC. (Easton’s name was not among the dozen first confirmed for the relaunch, but his leading lady Melissa Archer’s was.)
In fact, Digest is hearing that John, Todd and Starr will all be recast for the online reboot.
GH meanwhile is holding out hope that it can hold onto the three actors, likely in different roles. (Welcome back, Caleb?) “General Hospital is excited about Michael Easton, Kristen Alderson and Roger Howarth staying on the show,” ABC said in a statement cited by Digest, “and we are exploring ways to allow that to happen.”
“[I'm] honestly not sure what the future holds,” Easton added on Facebook, “but I think it’s going to take some time and some very bright people to resolve it.”