The so-called legal "this and that" regarding three transplanted One Life to Live characters continues to escalate. Less than a day after Michael Easton (John McBain) informed fans that he was being forced off the canvas due to the dispute, Prospect Park has issued a statement offering its stance on the matter.
The impasse stems from General Hospital's use of three former One Life to Live characters. Upon the cancellation of OLTL and All My Children, ABC sold the rights to the two shows -- the characters and the shows' histories -- to Prospect Park. Prospect Park's initial attempt to relaunch the soaps on the Internet failed, and the company reached a deal to license the three characters -- John McBain, Starr Manning, and Todd Manning -- back to ABC.
"Prospect Park understands that General Hospital has featured Llanview transplants Michael Easton (John) and Kristen Alderson (Starr Manning) among others while we arranged production of the new version of One Life to Live. These characters, who we own under our agreement, are obviously essential to our production efforts, and a large reason we licensed the program. We also understand that legions of General Hospital fans have grown to love these actors and characters in a short time. So even though we are paying ABC millions of dollars to license the shows, we have been, and continue to be willing to equally share the characters with General Hospital and ABC. It's a win-win for the actors, the shows and fans, who love all of the shows and storylines. We hope to work out these agreements with ABC and the actors."
It is uncertain how the matter will proceed. For now, Alderson, Easton, and Howarth will exit General Hospital on February 8. They will last air sometime in March. Published reports had indicated Prospect Park is prepared to recast John, Starr, and Todd. Meanwhile, ABC, which signed all three actors to long-term contracts, is rumored to be creating new roles for all three actors to play on General Hospital.
"General Hospital is excited about Michael Easton, Kristen Alderson and Roger Howarth staying on the show and we are exploring ways to allow that to happen," an ABC spokesperson told Soap Opera Digest.