'One Life to Live' loses actors to 'General Hospital'

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Image Credit: David M. Russell/Prospect Park

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Image Credit: Donna Svennevik/ABC

Disappointing news for Llanview lovers: Two of its popular denizens won’t be around to celebrate One Life to Live’s new home online.

EW has confirmed that Michael Easton and Kristen Alderson  — who reprised their roles as John McBain and Starr Manning on ABC’s General Hospital while Prospect Park ironed out details for OLTL’s online version — won’t return to their old soap once it debuts April 29 on The Online Network. Instead, ABC is reportedly figuring out a way to keep them on General Hospital, but in different roles, according to a TV Guide report.

GH is apparently looking to do the same with Roger Howarth, who is currently shooting episodes for OLTL as Todd Manning — but for only two and a half months. That’s all Prospect Park could get from Howarth, who was heavily wooed by GH to stay in Port Charles.

Though Prospect owns the characters of John, Starr and Todd, it temporarily released them to ABC –  which in turn kept Easton, Alderson and Howarth employed after it cancelled OLTL in January of 2012. The trio ended up being a popular additions to GH, thereby prompting ABC to release this statement last month: “General Hospital is excited about Easton, Alderson and Howarth staying on the show, and we are exploring ways to allow that to happen.”

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.

Howarth is beginning his second week of work on OLTL. (That’s a recent shot from the set, above).

ABC would not comment.

It’s unfortunate that ABC and Prospect couldn’t come up with a mutually beneficial deal to share the characters, since ABC stands to profit from OLTL and AMC should they succeed online. Besides the $8.5 million it makes from Prospect annually in license fees, ABC is set to earn a cut of Prospect’s profits (should there be any), according to the high-level source.

As it stands, Prospect can’t even use the original websites for OLTL and AMC because ABC hasn’t released them. Anyone who tries to access them is immediately sent to ABC’s daytime hub, which doesn’t make much sense.

For more:

‘One Life to Live’ may share characters with ‘General Hospital’
See first trailer for ‘One Life to Live,’ ‘All My Children’
‘High School Musical’ star joins ‘One Life to Live’

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