Imagine ABC Primetime's Grey's Anatomy with no contract players left donning white coats. I'm hearing General Hospital could find itself in such a predicament if popular leading man Jason Thompson doesn't re-up with the soap opera.
Thompson, who has played sexy neurosurgeon Dr. Patrick Drake since 2005, has been talking about leaving the series for quite some time, according to my sources. His current contract with GH ends soon.
"If he leaves GH, the other three soaps will come calling very quickly," says an industry insider.
One rival soap in particular is looking to yet again recast an integral role on its canvas. At issue for Thompson at GH? I'm hearing it isn't about money, it's about the lack of a solid storyline for his character.
"He's been floating since Kimberly [McCullough] left," said one mole.
Thompson shot to fame as cocky Patrick opposite former soap superstar McCullough, who played beloved heroine Dr. Robin Scorpio. McCullough left the program in 2012 to pursue a directing career. She has returned for sporadic arcs in recent years.
Patrick's subsequent romances with Nurse Sabrina Santiago (Teresa Castillo) and "widowed" P.I. Sam Morgan (Kelly Monaco), while popular, never generated the kind of heat, or storyline potential, Thompson shared with McCullough.
It would be a shame for GH to lose such a talented actor with the soap in a rebuilding phase. Without Patrick, pretty much the entire staff of the fictional hospital would be recurring players, save for Elizabeth Webber, R.N. (Rebecca Herbst). Here's hoping executive producer Frank Valentini can figure out a way to make staying put worth this Daytime Emmy nominee's while.
Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to Jason Thompson as a "Daytime Emmy winner". He is a Daytime Emmy nominee.