ABC announced today that One Life to Live‘s Kassie DePaiva (Blair), Roger Howarth (Todd), Kristen Alderson (Starr) and Michael Easton (John) would be crossing over to General Hospital as their OLTL characters. The actors are expected to begin filming on the Los Angeles set of the ABC soap later this month and will begin appearing on screen in late February. The actors follow former OLTL executive producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati, who began their new jobs at GH earlier this week. The move also reunites Easton with his Port Charles co-star Kelly Monaco (Sam) — the pair played supernatural couple Caleb and Livvie on PC. Easton was rumoured to be crossing over for awhile now, but with Ted King (Tomas, OLTL; ex-Alcazar(s), GH)
“We have a very exciting story planned for the citizens of Port Charles, with Sonny Corinthos at the center of it!,” said Velentini in a statement.
While OLTL fans are relieved that they’ll continue to see some of their favourites now that the Prospect Park deal isn’t happening, some GH fans are wondering if the additions could lead to exits of their own favourite characters. Those fans shouldn’t be worried as the show has already announced plans to bring back Finola Hughes (Anna) and Tristan Rogers (Robert) for the forceable future (well past Kimberly McCullough‘s Robin exit storyline).
Other soap fans are experiencing a deja-vu to back when it was announced that Jake, Vicky, Cass and Lila were crossing over to As the World Turns once Another World was cancelled back in 1999. Fans should not that it’s not quite similar as there seems to be a proper plan for these OLTL characters on GH. What was when Tom Eplin (Jake) renewed his contract with AW, he made a deal with Proctor & Gamble Productions that he could move over to another one of their shows for the remainder of his contract in the event that AW was cancelled. Jensen Buchanan (Vicky), Stephen Schnetzer (Cass) and Lisa Peluso (Lila) never had contracts with ATWT, which is why they left and Vicky was subsequently killed off, angering many.
While many seem to think GH is doomed come fall anyway, hopefully a supercouple from the #1 soap that ABC cancelled will bring in plenty of more eyeballs to bring the ratings up.
So where do I side on this? Undecided, I want to be excited, I really do. I’ve been checking out OLTL as it winds down and I’m excited to see if Carlivati and Valentini will make GH watchable again (I haven’t been able to watch in months). While I want some real GH fan favourites back like Lucky (either Jonathan Jackson or Greg Vaughan), Laura (Genie Francis), Emily (Natalia Livingston), Nikolas (Tyler Christopher), Jax (Ingo Rademacher) and Brenda (Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo) back, the Robert/Anna news was the step in the right direction.
Despite casting ploys, what soap fans are really looking for is good writing. When I checked out OLTL, sure I was impressed by the acting — especially from Trevor St. John (Victor/Fake Todd) and Florencia Lozano (Tea), but it was the storytelling that kept me interested and I would have probably invested more time in the show if I knew it was still going to be on in six months.
The next few months at General Hospital will prove to be quite interesting.
One Life to Live airs its series finale this Friday, January 13 at 2 p.m. on ABC and CTV Two. General Hospital airs weekdays at 3 p.m. on ABC and Citytv.