The actors, who last aired on General Hospital at the end of March, were forced to vacate their roles on February 8 as a result of failed negotiations between ABC and Prospect Park, the studio that owns the licensing rights to their characters. Roger Howarth agreed to return to One Life to Live for a short-time; Easton and Alderson declined.
Access Hollywood reports the actors will return to GH beginning May 10. “Kristen Alderson, Michael Easton and Roger Howarth will return to ABC’s ‘General Hospital’ beginning May 10. Exciting storylines full of mystery and intrigue are planned to usher in the return of these actors that will lead to the answer of one of the most asked questions in Port Charles,” said ABC in a statement.
Last month, TV Guide’s Michael Logan reported that GH would create new roles for the actors. “Prospect Park has been extremely difficult to deal with on this issue so GH basically said, ‘Screw it! We’ll create all new characters!'” said a source to the magazine. “It’s the only way GH can get past the problem and get on with business.”
Entertainment Weekly told a different story. Wrote Lynette Rice: “Prospect tried to work out a deal to share the characters, to no avail. According to one high-level executive familiar with the negotiations, Prospect only needed Alderson to work one week on OLTL and then she could return to GH. It wanted Easton for up to four weeks before he would be free to return to Port Charles, as well.”
Now that the brouhaha is over, hopefully fans can stop taking sides in this overblown war between GH and Prospect Park and go back to focusing on what’s really important — the future of the soaps.
General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC, weeknights on SOAPnet and ABC.com. The Online Network’s One Life to Live premieres Monday, April 29 at 12PM on Hulu and iTunes.