General Hospital: Freeing Up Cash, But For What?

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Something curious is going on over at General Hospital in the casting department and I'm not sure what to make of it.

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Amidst the headline grabbing demise of legacy characters portrayed by Natalia Livingston (Emily) and Lindze Letherman (Georgie) and off screen coma of Dylan Cash's Michael General Hospital has ever so subtly been eliminating contract roles such as those portrayed by Josh Duhon (Logan) and Jason Gerhardt (Coop) or putting contract roles portrayed by actresses such as Jackie Zeman (Bobbie) and Kent Masters King (Laney) on recurring. This as word has it that several major stars have had or requested to have their daily guaranteed episode counts reduced.

Put the pieces of the puzzle together and it makes one wonder how much money the casting department at General Hospital is sitting on, and more specifically what they may be stockpiling it for?

Of course there is one obvious explanation, but I'll get to that in a minute.

First though, it should be noted that General Hospital brought back Sarah Brown in January, which you just know had to cost a pretty penny. This past October they hired Bruce Weitz as Anothony Zacchara. Of course then there was the Finola Hughes/Young and Restless casting fiasco which forced General Hospital to announce that they had a major storyline for Hughes this summer (which some fans doubt actually existed) to avoid having one of ABC's biggest names jumping to the CBS network. Not hard to imagine that was a hit to the balance sheet.

To be fair, it is entirely possible that in an era of eroding ratings General Hospital may just be tightening its casting budgets so that it can afford to go to the negotiation table with enough cash on hand to be able to keep some of it's bigger name stars such as Maurice Bernard, Jason Thompson, Kimberly McCullough, and Kelly Monaco around. Maurice Bernard just renewed his contract but the other three are all reported to have their contracts come up early this fall. However, I'm not sure I want to be "fair." It's not as fun to be fair, now is it.

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Which leads me to the question. If General Hospital is in fact eliminating all these roles in order to free up cash, for what reason? Could it be to so that it can continue it's gluttonous obsession with CGI? Might it be to help pay for the second season of General Hospital: Night Shift? OR could it be in order to try and seduce She Who Shall Not Be Named back to Port Charles? Rumors abound that it is thisclose to happening.

Needless to say, I'm very curious where all the money General Hospitalis saving by getting rid of or reducing these contracts is going. I know which I'm hoping for. Unfortunately when it comes toGeneral HospitalI rarely get what I want.