Citing a source, Soaps In Depth reports that Francis was informed that she "was being let go for budget reasons."
However, a show source tells Soap Central that money may not have been the only reason for Francis' dismissal. The network higher-ups at CBS were reportedly not fans of Francis' on-screen alter ego, and saw the recent behind-the-scenes changes to the show's writing and production teams as a way to write out the character.
There have been numerous claims floating around the Internet that Francis and Y&R's executive producer Jill Farren Phelps do not have a cordial relationship. Phelps recently refuted those claims.
"I was the music director [at General Hospital] when Luke and Laura got married, so I've known Genie since she was a very young girl — and I was a very young girl," Phelps told Soap Opera Digest. "I think she's a wonderful actress and I'm very fond of her. There is no personal acrimony between us."
In March 2011, The Young and the Restless stunned soap fans by announcing that it had signed Genie Francis to a contract. The casting move dashed hopes of General Hospital fans who had been hoping that the Emmy winner would be headed back to Port Charles. Those same fans are now wondering if Francis might finally be headed "home."
Though she has appeared on All My Children and Days of our Lives, Francis will forever be best-known as General Hospital's Laura Spencer. Francis assumed the role of Laura in 1976. Her on-screen wedding to Anthony Geary's Luke Spencer in 1981 remains the most-watched episode in daytime television history.
A final airdate for Francis has not been announced.
A spokesperson for The Young and the Restless reminds us that it is not network policy to comment on rumors and contracts.