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RUMOR REPORT: ABC Nixes Roger Howarth Bringing Todd Back to General Hospital

Sorry, Todd Manning fans.
Austin Holt, General Hospital

Roger Howarth/ABC

Don't expect to see the Llanview antihero fans loved to hate back in Port Charles anytime soon. Sources reveal ABC wasn't keen on a pitch from the General Hospital brass to once again have Roger Howarth bring his popular One Life to Live character Todd Manning to GH.

"The network was worried about bringing on another rapist," says one insider. 

ABC soap fans will remember the character of Todd (who once participated in a gang rape) briefly crossed over from Llanview to Port Charles following OLTL's cancellation. When the soap was resurrected by Prospect Park, Todd and all other OLTL characters had to be written out of GH, leading to Howarth being recast as the psychotic Franco.

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RELATEDRoger Howarth Will Remain on General Hospital

Apparently, one of the reasons cited for the recent killing off of Franco, is the character's association with rape. When movie star James Franco played the role, Franco was written to have sexually assaulted heroine Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco) and also arranged for Michael Corinthos (Chad Duell) to be raped in prison. Once Howarth assumed the role, those plots were retconned to reveal Franco never assaulted Sam and never meant for Michael to be attacked. Additionally, Franco's past as a serial killer was explained away with a tumor.

Unfortunately, those course corrections and a popular-yet-polarizing romantic pairing with Elizabeth Webber (Rebecca Herbst) wasn't enough to get a percentage of the audience to fully warm up to Franco.

"Howarth is definitely staying put but he won't be back as Todd," says a source. "They want a character with less controversy surrounding him so he can be paired with any of the women on the canvas."

Keep checking back with Daytime Confidential as this story develops.