Could Kristen Alderson, Michael Easton, and Roger Howarth, the three “One Life to Live” turned “General Hospital” stars currently caught in a tug-of-war between their contracts with ABC, and Prospect Park, the company producing the new online version of OLTL which owns their characters, be headed back to GH in different roles? TV Guide reports that, “ABC doesn’t want to risk any more legal entanglements with Prospect Park, which currently owns the rights to all OLTL characters, and the only way to do that is to have the three stars play characters that in no way resemble the current ones.”
Howarth has already agreed to bring his character of Todd to the new online OLTL for several weeks before presumably returning to GH as Todd. It seemed likely that Alderson and Easton would do the same with their roles of Starr and John. But apparently that fan friendly solution does not work for either company. An unnamed source told TV Guide, “‘Prospect Park has been extremely difficult to deal with on this issue so GH basically said, ‘Screw it! We’ll create all new characters!’”
ABC sources offered cryptic non-denials while OLTL headwriter Tom Racina said, “It’s a very unique situation what with all these legal issues between the [two parties] but we came out of it very happily. You’ll see.”
Soap fans have occasionally accepted the same actor playing a different role on a soap, while recasting of existing roles are a part of the soap genre. However, it’s unknown whether GH fans will accept three actors suddenly playing completely different roles at once and whether OLTL fans will accept anyone other than Easton and Howarth playing the iconic Todd and John. Prospect Park could be harming its relationship with the OLTL fans it needs to tune in before the show even launches. Of course, this whole story could be ABC using the press to put pressure on Prospect Park to relinquish the characters to GH.It also begs the question of why, when Prospect Park agreed to let GH use the characters after its initial plan to produce OLTL online fell apart, lawyers didn’t make explicit in the actors contracts what would happen if OLTL rose from the ashes.
Stay tuned to find out how this real life insane plot twist gets resolved and if characters named Podd, Moon and Bohn pop up in Port Charles.
Catch Up on Friday’s Episode of “General Hospital”: