One Life To Live Loses Roger Howarth, Michael Easton and Kristen Alderson To GHSo the news has finally settled in now that we’ve seen One Life To Live characters Todd Manning, John McBain and Star Manning be removed from General Hospital a couple weeks ago.

It’s a day we feared thought wouldn’t happen for General Hospital but it did as we were first introduced to the One Life To Live trio early last year. The One Life To Live transplants were welcomed with opened arms into the world of Port Charles as they breathed new life into what was being dubbed as the Sonny, Carly, Jason and Sam show. For the record I’m sure the men & women on General Hospital are phenomenal actors as from what I’ve seen the past year they deliver top notch quality performances. Just can’t help but think the ante was increased when One Life To Live actors Roger Howarth, Michael Easton, and Kristen Alderson came on board. With the promise & failed attempt of One Life To Live and All My Children continuing online through Prospect Park it seemed only right that key One Life To Live actors Howarth, Easton, and Alderson were allowed to not only continue work but doing it as their One Life To Live counterparts. What was suppose to be temporary turned out to last longer than expected. Can’t be stressed enough for folks that aren’t aware that the Todd Manning, Starr Manning, John McBain characters were a loan to ABC & General Hospital temporarily until PP figured out how to successfully reboot OLTL.

Once Prospect Park finally got things in order they came knocking on ABC’s door to retrieve their characters and the actors attached to them. PP have begun production for the new OLTL & AMC reboots so it made sense for them to reach out to ABC & General Hospital. What should’ve been a win-win situation soon turned sour as an intense negotiation battle began that should’ve seen Alderson and Easton head back to the One Life To Live reboot permanently while Howarth would lend his talents to both shows. Bearing in mind that PP will be filming the new OLTL in Connecticut meant the actors would have to relocate once more as they live in Los Angeles which ultimately was the deal breaker for them not signing on for the reboot. Roger Howarth actually had the flexibility to travel to and from and was willing to do both shows but GH execs along with ABC just got too frustrated with the negotiations and decided to create new characters from scratch for the actors so they can get on with business.

I came across this snippet of news from TV Guide concerning the matter:

“Prospect Park has been extremely difficult to deal with on this issue so GH basically said, ‘Screw it! We’ll create all new characters!'” notes one source privy to the situation. “It’s the only way GH can get past the problem and get on with business.”

“I can’t really comment for legal reasons,” says GH exec producer Frank Valentini. “It’s not like I’m trying to keep a secret. [ABC] doesn’t want me to say anything.” ABC Daytime chief Vicki Dummer to commented with a cryptic, “All I can really say right now is…stay tuned.”

Waiting for the fur to stop flying “has been crazy,” says Thom Racina, one of the head writers of the new OLTL. “First it was, ‘Yes, we have these actors,’ then it was, ‘No, we don’t have them.’ I don’t know that any show has ever gone through this kind of thing before. 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.

And with that ends the One Life To Live Todd Manning, John McBain and Starr Manning characters as we saw all three make their exit more than two weeks ago abruptly. It’s been weird to watch General Hospital go into their 50th anniversary without the trio as they largely in part help take GH to new heights and succeed in it’s new time slot (once held by One Life To Live followed by the poorly received show, Revolution). Not to mention from the little I’ve seen so far there’s been no mention of the characters. It’s almost as if they never existed which shows at least in my mind just how nasty things have gotten. Will General Hospital be successful with new characters for Howarth, Easton and Alderson? Only time will tell but as a longtime fan of daytime soaps I’d have to give the edge to Howarth. He’s had experience playing a different character as Paul Ryan on As The World Turns and a long history of small TV roles, parts in movies, etc.

One Life To Live fans will have to ask themselves now where is their loyalty with this piece of news. Will they support the new reboot knowing three of the show’s key actors won’t be reprising their roles or will they stay with General Hospital? It’s already been expressed by the new team of writers for One Life To Life that they want to push the younger talent on the show. Without the leadership and guidance from a Howarth, Easton and Alderson, the series I feel won’t go that far. General Hospital on the other hand continues to be strong despite the road bump and loss of actors Steve Burton, Julie Marie Berman, Scott Reeves and Brandon Barash as they are celebrating 50 years of daytime TV with recent returns of Jack Wagner other GH alumnus.

As fans of soaps I think we learned a very valuable lesson from all this…never loan your created characters to anyone unless you’re selling ownership and relinquishing all rights as things can get very ugly for all involved. ABC & GH got quite to comfortable with with their newest acquisitions and maybe for the right reason as it truly seemed One Life To Live & All My Children drifted into theĀ  sunset. It’s unfortunate that things are ending on a bad note as it would’ve been nice to continue seeing ABC/PP collaborations but after this I feel both will be avoiding each other at all cost. Should ABC drop General Hospital in the future however, look for PP to try to acquire all the rights despite a hefty price tag from ABC. Some may look at this as hardcore bias and favoring GH & ABC but you’re mistaken. What I am focusing in on more is the loaning of the characters and the tangled web that’s spun as result. Just food for thought…

Lee Sanders
Lead Writer, Editor of Enfinity1Productions
Host of The RCWR Show & Impact Showdown Radio

Programming Note: This Sunday at catch a special WrestleMania 29 Post Show by The RCWR Show that airs immediately after the event goes off the air. Join Lee Sanders, Diamond K and Tammy as they cover the fallout from the pay-per-view. Phone lines will be open as we want to hear from you! The call in number is 646-478-3525 to get heard live on the air. We’re giving away awesome prizes! You can also check out the show by clicking here

On the go and won’t be able to catch our WWE WrestleMania 29 and other wrestling coverage? No problem! We’ve got you covered for all your portable devices! Episodes available in the ITunes, Zune marketplaces and on Stitcher