Michael Easton: “I Cannot be at General Hospital After February 8th”





Fans hoping to deliver goodies to Michael Easton (John McBain) for his birthday received sad news, straight from the popular General Hospital star himself. Easton won't be there to accept any cake, cards or presents, because he will be legally prohibited from being at GH after Feb 8. Posted Easton on Facebook:



 


While this development should come as no surprise to faithful Daytime Confidential readers, I was hoping Disney-ABC (of whom Easton, Roger Howarth and Kristen Alderson are all under contract with) and Prospect Park—the company which holds the rights to One Life to Live and the characters of John McBain, Todd and Starr Manning—would come to some sort of mutually beneficial agreement. I've been told I shouldn't hold my breath, as negotiations between the two parties have turned "contentious".  

"It's turning into a real pissing contest," says one insider. "Jeff [Kwatinetz] went way above Time Square Studios' head. Word came down to Vicki [Dummer] from Bob Iger's office for General Hospital to do what Jeff wants. What they don't realize is the actors flat out don't want to do the reboot."

Apparently Disney-ABC is so geeked about the potential loot they can haul in via licensing fees for Prospect Park's upcoming reboot of One Life to Live, they're prepared to roll over in the negotiations — even if it negatively impacts ratings juggernaut General Hospital. Easton and the character of John McBain are currently at the start of a frontburner murder mystery on the ABC Daytime drama.

 Keep checking back with Daytime Confidential as this story develops. 

37 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Soap_Stud
    Soap_Stud

    I imagine the legal “battle” between Prospect Park and ABC is frustrating for the three actors. They have worked really hard to transition their characters to GH. With that being said, all three had a great time on ABC’s OLTL and don’t want fans thinking they have turned their backs on the soap. It seems so silly to me that Prospect Park wants the characters, when it doesn’t sound like the actors are willing to go. Who wants Todd played by Nicholas Walker? McBain played by Billy Warlock and Jen Lilley as Starr? I don’t. I also think this is going to end up to be bad PR for Prospect Park, even though we all know if ABC had just left OLTL on the air…:)

  2. Profile photo of No Daisy
    No Daisy

    And this was what I was afraid of all along. GH is getting dicked in this PP reboot. While I love OLTL and want to see it return, it shouldn’t be at the expence of what Cartini have done over at GH. Now GH stories will become even more disjointed. And for what? The chance that OLTL will catch on online? Fans can take credit for the turn around but for sure, PP is not doing this for the fans-at all. It’s all about the money.

  3. Profile photo of Mizz O
    Mizz O

    Again, the IIC at both ABC and PP just don’t get it. Soaps have to cooperate to survive – look at Days loaning Wally Kurth to GH as an example. The solution to saving daytime is not to divide and conquer, it’s cooperation in the best interests of saving the genre. I don’t know about any of you but the thought of watching a soap on my laptop vs my HD flat screen…no contest.

  4. Profile photo of angelcris10
    angelcris10

    This is some straight BS!! I am so upset about this. I agree Mizz O, there is no contest watching a soap on a computer than on TV. I am HOPING that Easton will be able to come back soon and for GOOD!

  5. Profile photo of thecourt99
    thecourt99

    Wait a minute…why is PP the bad guy in this?

    If we want to talk about good faith, I would say it was in good faith that PP let GH use those characters in the first place while they worked out a long term plan to bring back OLTL. The GH team used those characters and incorporated them knowing that they were on borrowed time and knowing that it was a risk. ABC extended PP’s license.

    So if anyone is the bad guy here, it is ABC.

    And frankly, I don’t understand why this would be detrimental to GH’s ratings. I don’t recall the introduction of the characters alone increasing the ratings. GH has many things going on that they can build momentum on…and they are leading to the 50th anniversary. I thought Cartini had plans in place for either option….so why is sweeps focused on characters that may be leaving soon?? Or maybe that is a part of his plan. Either way, PP is the one who made the initial good faith effort. Everyone else assumed that they would fail and planned accordingly. Now, PP is looking to reboot OLTL with the characters that mean most.

    Here’s what I don’t get. Why is ME going to be banned from GH? If he doesn’t want to go, he doesn’t have to. OLTL can recast, correct? GH can use ME in another capacity, correct? Or did his contract with ABC have language in it related to PP?

  6. Profile photo of GHFan777
    GHFan777

    Well I for one am pretty depressed about this news. I didn’t care for Starr on GH, but I thought John and Todd were brilliant additions. Todd has actually been the star of this show for me with all his wonderful hysterical one liners…and I LOVE the chemistry between Sam and John. I really hope that FV is able to fix this…

  7. Profile photo of NAN
    NAN

    I’ve never cared much for ME, especially his stone-face style of acting. Never saw what all the big fuss was about him, but his post was sweet, kind, and well done.

  8. Profile photo of No Daisy
    No Daisy

    I must respectfully disagree thecourt99. I think the introduction of John and Todd has had something to do with the GH ratings increase. The character of John McBain is the only thing providing a story for Sam McCall at this point in time. And Todd has brought humor back to the show that it had been sorely missing. Even the addition of Starr has made me not hate Michael as much.

    And, even thogh it was a risk, I don’t hold ABC accountable for licensing characters from PP. No one thought PP would ever get off the ground after lasst year. ABC took a chance and lost, I agree. But it sure feels like the fans are the big loosers here-well except for the ones that refused to accept OLTL characters on GH.

  9. Profile photo of LisaM
    LisaM

    PP sucks and I hope they find a way to bring back ME as Caleb. ME supported PP when it first came on, they dropped the ball cancelled the reboot and he moved his family to the West Coast. He has settled their and probably invested in some real estate why would he be forced to move to CT to work for PP which cancelled on them last year.

  10. Profile photo of angrierblackerman
    angrierblackerman

    Honestly, I think that GH will be fine without them for a while until they figure out how to work this. My only concern is that we don’t have confirmation that the actors even want to go over to the OLTL reboot.

    So this leaves the actors in limbo or unemployed…really raw deal!

  11. Profile photo of thecourt99
    thecourt99

    [quote=No Daisy]I must respectfully disagree thecourt99. I think the introduction of John and Todd has had something to do with the GH ratings increase. The character of John McBain is the only thing providing a story for Sam McCall at this point in time. And Todd has brought humor back to the show that it had been sorely missing. Even the addition of Starr has made me not hate Michael as much.
    And, even thogh it was a risk, I don’t hold ABC accountable for licensing characters from PP. No one thought PP would ever get off the ground after lasst year. ABC took a chance and lost, I agree. But it sure feels like the fans are the big loosers here-well except for the ones that refused to accept OLTL characters on GH.[/quote]

    I stated that the characters didn’t move the needle alone. I do believe that they contributed to the ratings increase, but this was in addition to a new time slot and returns of vets. I believe that while the show is celebrating their 50th anniversary, they should be able to get enough buzz and good story that they don’t lose ratings.

    I agree that John is the only character providing Sam story…and that sucks, but that decision lies with TPTB. They pigeon-holed her when she has ties elsewhere. Todd brought back humor, but so did Lucy, Heather, and Konnie….so I don’t think humor will leave with Todd. Frankly, humor is injected in the scripts for more characters than before. I am not a MiStarr fan, but I think Starr leaving only hurts Michael romantically. He is involved in the tug of war between his parents right now.

    Don’t get me wrong…business is business. It is in ABC’s best interests for PP to succeed…and IMO, if PP asked for an extension, that meant that they had a plan in place. So that tells me, if ABC offered the extension, they should have immediately started thinking about those 3 characters and the impact on GH. They honestly, should have made it a contingency of the extension if they wanted to keep the characters on GH so bad. So for that…I blame ABC for mishandling things.

  12. Profile photo of Forever21
    Forever21

    ABC didnt grant PP an extension. ABC is owned by Disney. Jeff Kwatinez has people in Disney who helped him arrange the extension without ABC’s knowledge. Haven’t you asked yourselves how he got an extension before securing funds for his reboot. Disney doesnt care about soaps or ABC frankly the faster they can get rid of ABC the happier they will be.

  13. Profile photo of chrishntr
    chrishntr

    I totally agree with @thecourt99, very well said. ABC and Frank knew this was a possibility and now they want to cry wolf when it actually happens. Sorry. You should have had a plan in place just in case PP was able to do what they wanted to with OLTL.

  14. Profile photo of liason4real
    liason4real

    This entire thing could have been avoided if ABC had simply kept their soap operas.

    Michael can just as easily be paired up with Serena which would send Sonny and Scotty into a battle to keep their children apart.

    GH needs more hot men, which is why it was a shame that Jimmy Lee Holt did not have children.

    Jax, Johnny, Patrick, Nicholas, Jagger, etc are viable options for the single women of Port Charles.

  15. Profile photo of THEBEST
    THEBEST

    Who gives a flying fig if PP wants the characters for the OLTL reboot when the actors don’t wanna do it? Trying to recast Starr, John, & especially Todd will be a fatal mistake. Let ABC continue to use the characters. They’re not going to make or break the reboot. It would be nice to see Natalie without John & Blair without Starr in their orbits. We went 8yrs without Roger Howarth on OLTL & if they sign Trevor St. John, they’ll be kosher.

  16. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    [quote=THEBEST]We went 8yrs without Roger Howarth on OLTL & if they sign Trevor St. John, they’ll be kosher.[/quote]

    That’s what I think, THEBEST. Let OLTL have Victor and GH have Todd. The crossover potential could be great for the PP shows, and everybody’s happy.

  17. Profile photo of liason4real
    liason4real

    I(selfishly) want to see the Two Todd’s play out on OLTL. However, at the end of the day, here’s hoping that things work out for all involved in ABCD’s latest mess.

  18. Profile photo of sweetiepie
    sweetiepie

    Reboot, continuation whatever. Before TPTB brought the characters of Todd, John and Starr to GH, they should have had a contingency plan in place. It lookers to me like PP owns the characters, with John they are already doing a Storyline with “Caleb”. Why not just try to write a story that explains why Lucy and Allison think he is a vampire and just integrate Caleb into a flesh and blood police detective. As for Todd, I have never been a big fan. Personally I would rather see the smoking’s hot swagger of Trevor St. John come to Port Charles. As for Starr, although I am not a fan of her acting I do hope they can figure a way to keep her.

    The Nurse’s Ball is coming up and we currently have the ELQ battle. I think we can live with McBain and the Manning’s being backburnered until this can be worked out.

  19. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    Y’all are acting as though there was a place for “contingency plans”. PP hasn’t put one second of AMC or OLTL online yet, and I continue to have doubt that they will. And even if they do drain the funds that are being poured into PP, I still don’t see any sign that they will ever make a profit, so this is–at best–one more year of those soaps. Why should any of these three actors lose their tenure at GH for this fly-by-night attempt to make wishes come true?

    Todd, John and yes, even Starr, are GH characters now. These idiots at Prospect Park are still messing with everyone’s heads, and we’re all letting it happen once again.

    Fool us THREE times…

  20. Profile photo of Daniel St. John
    Daniel St. John

    I see this as a case of PP cutting off their nose to spite their face. I understand that they have the rights to the characters but that doesn’t automatically mean the actors are open to doing the reboot. They could have proposed a deal that saw the 3 characters return for a short time to launch the reboot and then return to GH with the door open to future returns. Instead they have played hardball unnecessarily and are now faced with the option of having to recast 3 popular characters which is not something soap fans happily accept under normal circumstances let alone in the uncharted waters PP is in with their production model.

  21. Profile photo of Daniel St. John
    Daniel St. John

    All this talk of contingency plans is ridiculous. How about the plan was that Frank and Ron got it from the horses mouths that none of these actors had any intention of signing on for the continuation and the continuation looked to be dead in the water so they felt safe in using them and the characters they portray on GH.
    I still say the onus for compromise was more on PP just because they have more to lose. Having those characters portrayed by fan favorite actors for the beginning of the continuation with the option of future appearances just seems like a better idea than launching in a new format with the risk that a huge chunk of the show’s stories are going to be built around actors in these 3 roles that are not guaranteed to be successful recasts.
    Hell, if the mantra at PP is just to have characters running around and the actors most identified with them don’t matter than I guess we should be looking forward to new faces appearing as Erica Kane, Kendall and whichever other character on these two shows have portrayed that are not interested in signing with PP.

  22. Profile photo of sweetiepie
    sweetiepie

    PP should concentrate on shoring up AMC. From the looks of things Erica, Kendall, Tad etc have not been resigned so it Looks like the new AMC will revolve around the Hubbards

  23. Profile photo of liason4real
    liason4real

    ME signed on for PP in 2011, but not KA or RH. KA’s family moved to LA to look for work.

    At the end of the day, I’m going to just sit back and wait for the dates that OLTL starts airing online.

  24. Profile photo of Marcelle
    Marcelle

    [quote=TV Gord]PP hasn’t put one second of AMC or OLTL online yet, and I continue to have doubt that they will. [/quote]
    I, too, will have to see these episodes of AMC and OLTL airing online before I believe this relaunch will happen. PP is saying these characters are necessary for a successful OLTL relaunch, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue for them when it comes to AMC.

    They have what, three? four? ‘name’ characters attached to that reboot, and don’t seem too hurried to add anymore integral cast faces.

  25. Profile photo of Joliefan88
    Joliefan88

    Funny You see “statements” saying that the actors don’t want to do the reboot, Yet you have not seen ONE statement made by any of them ((All the statements are made by ABC or a spokesperson for ABC)) saying that they do not want to be a part of it! ME never said that he did not want to be apart of it, he signed on the first time, RH said that he had NO Problem going back for the Reboot but did not want to stay as long they wanted him too. KA IMHO is only needed if they Bring back Cole and Hope! ABC told the actors they could not speak to the media but then turns around and makes “statements” for said actors! If the actors felt that way why keep them quiet ABC???
    ABC is “geeked” because GH is going to get screwed, Well Maybe ABC should have thought about that knowing what the agreement was, instead of doing what they wanted to do! Long term contracts should have never ever been offered to them Actors with ABC knowing that pp can take them back at anytime and I’m sure it was in the agreement, that’s why ABC was ready to “roll over” because they knew they did not abide by the agreement for the “lending” of the 3 OLTL characters! IF ABC had been on the up and up they would have never been prepared to “Roll Over” to a production company! GH fans need to see that this is not PP fault this is ABC’S FAULT and they are the reason why you got invested on Characters they did not own! I am sorry GH fans but you had your show for the last year, We didn’t and now that we get our show back you’s & ABC should graciously step aside and wish the actors and characters the best!

  26. Profile photo of Joliefan88
    Joliefan88

    Well Lisa you must be a close friend of ME to able to speak for him and what he feels and what he bought! I am so sick of you GH fans talking for the Actors like you have some right to do so or like you know these ppl personally! Ya what they say when you ASSume!

  27. Profile photo of Joliefan88
    Joliefan88

    Actually your wrong on that! ABC was the one that gave PP the extension, Disney owns ABC your right HOWEVER ABC makes ALL decisions when it comes to their shows and that was clearly stated by Disney during a Public Share Holders meeting when a question was posed about the impending cancellation of OLTL and it was stated “We have no say in what they do regarding their shows, that is all done by the Network”. Disney still makes money off of ABC if they were going to “get rid” of ABC they would have done it when they lost all those Advertisering dollars when ABC cancelled AMC AND OLTL, Your right Disney does not care about the soaps neither does ABC, HOWEVER ABC is the one you need to worry about not DISNEY! IF Disney was able to “Go over the head of ABC” I think they would have done it to save OLTL whom was the on top of ALL 3 shows at the time!

  28. Profile photo of Joliefan88
    Joliefan88

    OK Gord, So because that is the way you see it that is the way is it going to be! I am so tired of you and your matter of factly attitude that this is going to fail! Boy it is a good thing that you were not in charge of the soaps when they wanted to go from Radio to Television, ppl would be listening to the soaps instead of watching it!

  29. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    [quote=Joliefan88]OK Gord, So because that is the way you see it that is the way is it going to be! I am so tired of you and your matter of factly attitude that this is going to fail! Boy it is a good thing that you were not in charge of the soaps when they wanted to go from Radio to Television, ppl would be listening to the soaps instead of watching it![/quote]

    Apples and oranges. When soaps went from radio to TV, there were only a handful of entertainment options and adding pictures to radio soaps was a definite improvement. Today, there are thousands of entertainment options, and everyone is fighting for our entertainment dollars. And soaps going from TV to the internet is by no means a “definite improvement”.

    As for my “attitude”, I would love to see AMC and OLTL thrive in the new medium, but I’m just as tired of seeing so many of you setting yourselves up for disappointment AGAIN, after Propect Park screwed fans over last year by promising things they couldn’t deliver. My gut just says it’s not economically feasible in the long haul, but if these shows are still running in a few years, I’ll happily admit that I was wrong.

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