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ABC Exec Nathan Varni Says No Truth To GH & Roger Howarth Contract Talk Rumors!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Over the last 36 hours takes on a blind item of a “veteran actor” being subject to difficult negotiations from the network in which they appear picked up steam.  It then became rumored to be of fan favorite Roger Howarth (Franco) and General Hospital.  

ABC executive Nathan Varni, who helps oversee General Hospital came forward on his facebook page clearing the air on this by stating: “Soooo you know how sometimes people like to get our loyal GH fans all fired up over nothing? That sadly happened earlier today in regard to the magnificent & talented Roger Howarth. For some reason a certain blogger took a blind item which was posted and fooled everyone into believing it was Roger & GH related. I’m happy to confirm their “sources” perhaps thought today was April Fools Day and decided to completely make up the story without ever reaching out to ABC to ask the question. Perhaps asking for the real answer would take the fun out of reporting inaccurate information. The truth is that blind item had and has absolutely nothing to do with GH or Mr. Howarth. For those who believed it, I’m truly sorry they fooled you and for everyone who loves and watches & supports GH, I say thank you on behalf of one of the hardest working crews and cast I’ve ever been fortunate enough to work with, we can’t tell you how much we all appreciate your viewership!”

So, glad to know that things look to be good between Howarth and ABC?  What did you think of Nathan’s statement?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Margie
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Margie

So…does he have a contract, or not?

Dylan
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Dylan

I am stunned by this man’s unprofessionalism and immaturity while utilizing social media!! A simple old-school “We don’t comment on ongoing contract negotiations” would suffice. He talks in circles and riddles. He invariably insults someone. It always sounds like he is putting spin on something, and always sounds like he has something to hide.

Patricio
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Patricio

Exactly Dylan –

Well said!

Michael A Finney
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Michael A Finney

Then who was or is the difficult contract negotiations about then? That begs the question!

Teri
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Teri

I’ve been reading a lot about stalled contract negotiations with Tyler Christopher. He has also announced a leave of absence. They have temporarily recast Nicholas

Tae
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Tae

Roger is a great actor but yet again he’s not getting good material! Roger is gold but with the material he’s getting is horrible these writers have to use strong actors GH is becoming nothing but Sonny and Carly show with Alexis and Julian. They need to make a change ASAP you have so many talented actors Michelle Stanford, Roger, Maura and they all are just in the back burner.

Rebecca1
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Rebecca1

I so disagree. I LOVE Roger’s Franco. He plays a man who is struggling with himself…to have confidence in his abilities to do right by those he loves while facing the wrath of half the hypocrites in town who have committed crimes as bad or worse. Love how he stood by Carly until she turned on him, how he loved Nina, how he loves Kiki and lil Jake…not to mention that cute goofball, his dad, Scott Baldwin who I also love. Wish we’d see more of him too.

MC
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MC

Usually the official ABC comment is that they have no comment on an actor’s contract status or negotiations. But then Mr. Varni feels compelled to post something on his PERSONAL Facebook page, AGAIN. He did it with Rebecca Herbst during her contentious negotiations too. I do not believe that this is his job description, and if he is speaking officially on behalf of the show, then he should be posting on the official General Hospital Facebook Page, not his personal one. And further by commenting on something that was started on a less than legitimate source, he has just legitimized… Read more »

Tristan
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Tristan

This is the same guy who PMed confidential information about Becky Herbst’s contract negotiations to a fan. He has no credibility whatsoever.

tskyent
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tskyent

I wish they had gave him another character other then Franco. He is a awesome actor, But no one can replace James Franco

Erick
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Erick

No one *should’ve* replaced James Franco. What a stupid story. Very ill-conceived from the start. Should’ve left it all in the past where it belonged.

Rebecca1
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Rebecca1

Basically he’s playing a different character with the same name. Can’t compare James to Roger in the role because the role was different when James Franco played it. I think people have to look at this version of Franco as if he’s a new character.

nyca81
Guest
nyca81

I appreciate the fact that Nathan Varni takes the time to read & respond to some of the thousands of tweets he receives. As for Roger Howarth I think he is talented & I enjoy his acting. He is a little stand-offish with fans which is a shame and I personally do not like him in the role as Franco. Bad choice for him as a character but he certainly gives his all in each performance. If he is going thru contract negotiations I wish him the best!

MC
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MC

Everything that I’ve seen about Roger Howarth from his personal appearances says that he is warm and engaging with his fans.

Harry
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Harry

But that’s just it, NYca81, Varni speands way too much time on social media defending and denying and sometimes it just begs the observation that “me thinks thou protests too much.”

Melissa
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Melissa

Todd/Franco is the only reason I watch G.H. again!!!

MissySnow
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MissySnow

RoHo was brought back as Franco Franks and not Todd Manning which is a failed character on GH.

Melissa
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Melissa

You had to be snarky? Todd will always be, I.e. Franco, the dude from Flash, whatever his endeavors are. Todd came first!!

Rebecca1
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Rebecca1

It’s not a fail for me…I love Roger’s Franco. I love James Franco, but for all intents and purposes they changed the character Franco’s personality so I don’t compare. I love THIS more human, poignant version.

MissySnow
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MissySnow

I was not being snarky, but stating what I see as RoHo continuously playing OLTL’s Todd Manning on GH after PP yanked the character in 2013. Todd Manning is RoHo’s go to role instead of trying something new as a serial killer now trying to live a somewhat normal life.

MissySnow
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MissySnow

Nothing says human like burying your mother.

rebecca1
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rebecca1

Was THAT snarky? Lol…

knitter 1
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knitter 1

That’s a good thing! Love RH as Franco!

Rebecca1
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Rebecca1

Agree

Timmm
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Timmm

Ah Nathan, its May, not April AND so you criticize a blogger for starting a rumor BUT you offer no assurance that Roger will or has signed a new contract! Whose zooming who?

clh
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clh

Yeah cause ABC never lies about show/actor rumors. The only way you know when ABC lies to it’s viewers is when their lips are moving.

Anthony
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Anthony

Exactly!!!

jaybird369
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jaybird369

clh…oh, I agree. As far as I’m concerned, this, uh, latest ‘stunt’ is further proof that ABC/Disney themselves do nothing but lie, manipulate and ‘perform’ all kinds of damage control. When, oh, when will those pinheads at ABC/Disney REALIZE that us soap fans are FAR FROM STUPID?!?!?!?!?! Truly dumb as hell.

davlestev1
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davlestev1

Was that an answer.. Is he running for the presidency.. Geez

Melissa
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Melissa

Me thinks the gentleman protesteth too much! But seriously I love Howarth and I agree with all those who wish GH would write better stuff for him. Somehow they have to get Franco’s history behind him so he can stop apologizing for it or defending it all the time. That’s why I liked the romane with Nina — it was two broken people who made terrible mistakes trying to get life right. I wish they had stayed on that track.

Judith Sekscenski
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Judith Sekscenski

I agree. What assurance to we have that Roger will be sticking around? Why was this man compelled to put something out on Facebook? Seems a bit suspicious to me.
I love Roger Howarth and although he’s doing an incredible job as Franco, he’ll always be “Todd” to me. He’s awesome! One of the main reasons I continue to watch GH.

su0000
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su0000

ahhha soap fans are huge on starting rumors, I paid no attention to and wait for whomever to speak.
I have now heard that is was a rumor, case closed.

Michael (not Fairman)
Guest
Michael (not Fairman)

su0000, seriously? You’re willing to close the case because (gulp) NATHAN VARNI says it was a rumor?

I mean, it might have been. You’re right that the soap community is often one big rumor mill, with people getting their knickers in a twist over ab-so-lute-ly nothing.

But based on the past, I would not believe Mr. Varni if he told me the sun rises in the east.

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

These contract negotiations are suppose to be in private Varni is so unprofessional did the same thing to Becky he needs to zip it.

blake
Guest
blake

Wasn’t it Daytime Confidential that did that with their blind items?

Rodd
Guest
Rodd

Love Roger! Love GH! Hope they stay together for a very long time!

mike
Guest
mike

there is no better actor on daytime

Bobbie
Guest
Bobbie

Nathan has been less than fwd lately and sadly, so haven’t many. You all.leak to the special few and they give us a little. Idk. I care your not utilizing ava, Franco, Lucas, Brad, epiphany, Feliz, etc. You use Roger and Maura wrong. History soap characters,.fool.in abc

Belle
Guest
Belle

I agree with Tae ; it’s become Sonny and Carly’s show with Sonny’s character allowed to run rough shod over everyone Someone needs to stand up to him. The writers have already allowed Michael to forget that Sonny killed A.J. in cold blood ; plus, he only spent a few weeks in prison. It seems as if I’m about to leave G.H. again! My last straw was when Sonny beat Julian in his own house. Julian is always written to be weak to me Give other people in town a backbone. Also, the writers had Anna teaming up with Sonny… Read more »

Celia
Guest
Celia

….Not only that, Belle; but, Carly, who has zero rights to Avery, has the audacity to stick it to Ava.
What exactly makes Sonny a better parent than Ava? And, who, on God’s green earth, crowned Carly queen mother?
We are subjected to watch, ingest and digest the notion that Sonny is now Sir Gawain, in shiny armor? Lawful abider of the law? He is a murderer!!
Enough with all these efforts ( including Anna) to avenge Duke’s death by turning the world on its head. Who, may I ask, is avenging AJ’s death? Disturbing, that!!

Celia
Guest
Celia

PS: forever RoHo. He has been fab, as Franco….he is Franco. The only drawback for me is watching Nina possibly fall apart. By the same token, this break-up may be the making of Nina….find yourself, Nina, and pick yourself up!!

Patricio
Guest
Patricio

Good morning Belle.

As a 30 year plus viewer of GH I have always divided the show into pre-Sonny and Post Sonny.
A far better show before. Sonny should have been a one or two arc character. To make him the center of the show wrong.

Oh, to bring back the late 70s and 89s!

JK
Guest
JK

GREAT ACTOR…….GIVE HIM THE STORY LINE HE DESERVES.

edie bailey
Guest
edie bailey

Totally agree with you! Roger is the sole reason I ever started watching GH in the first place and I hope he and TPTB can iron out a new contract to keep him on the show for many many years to come! Moreover, he deserves a juicy front burner story line that allows him to showcase his amazing talent. He is definitely thee best actor on daytime! It has been heartbreaking to see him betrayed by Carly and to watch Nina break up with him. Now, I am rooting for a lasting romance to blossom between Franco and Elizabeth. Loved… Read more »

tina payne
Guest
tina payne

I’m glad Nathan said something because I’d hate to go through the same misery over Roger than I went through over Michael. I have watched Roger for 24 years and he is as good as it gets, along with Michael Easton. They need to keep the 2 best actors if they want to keep me as a very supportive mega fan!

Erick
Guest
Erick

Reading TVLine’s top article, it looks like it was Tyler Christopher….

clh
Guest
clh

Aaah it’s Tyler Christopher not Roger.

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

Lol MissySnow…Franco had residual crazy when they began writing for him. He also sounded like a 2-year-old half the time. I thought the character at THAT time was imbecilic compared to James Franco’s genius socio_psychopath. But they evolved Roger’s Franco since then. They gave him Nina, Kiki and Scott to love…and had them love him back. They gave him little Jake, who I believe he’s crazy about. So he was redeemed a long time ago for me…
And Heather? She’s too freaky to die!

Belle
Guest
Belle

Celia, I agree with you when you asked who’s avenging A.J.’s death? It certainly isn’t Michael , Dante , or any other law abiding citizen. I also agree that Sonny and Carly act as if they’re holier than thou when it comes to Avery and Anna acts as if Duke was a Sunday School Teacher. G.H.’s writers need to write for all of its fans and not just Sonny’s fans.

General Hospital

Lynn Herring Celebrates 35th Anniversary of Her General Hospital Debut; and ‘We Love Lucy’

Today, April 11th marks the 35th anniversary of the debut of Lynn Herring on General Hospital as Lucy Coe.  And wow, when you look at the road this character has gone on played to the hilt by Herring, it has been one entertaining ride for GH fans along the way.

Lucy started out as a mousy librarian, if you can believe that! And of course, she eventually showed all that she was a bombshell.  She then became quite the schemer and seductress.

Along the way, Lucy was married to Alan Quartermaine (Stuart Damon), was involved with Scott Baldwin (Kin Shriner), Kevin Collins (Jon Lindstrom) and other men in Port Charles.

 

At one point, Herring took the character of Lucy to the now defunct Port Charles where she stayed from 1997-2003,

But this one time gold-digger eventually became the champion of the GH Nurses’ Ball and helped raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS research. Now, year after year, the one thing you can always look forward to is Herring’s hilarious antics and sincerity in her star turn as the emcee of the annual fundraising event.

On Sunday, the GH tweeted posted: “Lucy Coe knows everything about everyone in Port Charles and we would be lost without her. Please help us congratulate TheLynnHerring on the 35th Anniversary of her #GH debut”. 

Lynn responded sharing: “Thank you! Have loved every @GeneralHospital  moment!”

Share your congratulations to Lynn via the comment section below, and let us know your favorite Lucy moment too!

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: “I’m Alexis Davis, and I’m a Fighter, and an Idealist, and an Advocate”; Nancy Lee Grahn Gives Masterful Performance In Special Episode

When you combine superb direction, writing, production, and acting in a special episode of a daytime drama, viewers can see and understand the thought and care that went into it.

This was more than on display during Thursday’s highly-anticipated ‘Alexis-Centric’ episode honoring the 25th anniversary of Alexis’ portrayer, two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Nancy Lee Grahn, on General Hospital.

Courtesy/ABC

In the story, symbolism was apparent and used for dramatic impact and it worked beautifully throughout, and best of all, Nancy received a script worthy of her immeasurable talents, and showed us once again why she remains one of the gold standards of our genre.  If you have not seen the episode DO NOT read any further as it contains spoilers.

It begins with an emotional Alexis looking at her mother’s watch which was still frozen from the time of her death.  While playing one of her mother’s records very loudly, she recalls Mikkos Cassadine kissing and dancing with her mom as a young Alexis (Natasha) looked on from the staircase.  When Sam asks her about it, Alexis shares that she sees the watch as sort of a representation for her own life being frozen over the last three years; which has included Alexis’ battle with booze taking over her life and her being disbarred, when being a lawyer was the way she identified herself and what gave her purpose.

Overwhelmed and anxiety-ridden, Alexis hightails it to Kevin’s office for a therapy session knowing she is going to Pentonville in the morning to serve her sentence.  She says she does not know who she is anymore.  Then, Kevin asks her how she spent her day thus far.  She flashes back to lunch with the good men in her life, Finn, Valentin, Jax and Ned.  Valentin tells Alexis she is proud of her for honing up to her mistakes.

Back at the therapy session, Alexis she was an attorney who stood for something and her life has derailed, and that she was a fighter, an idealist, and an advocate.  She knows she has to find a purpose in prison to make it through the three-year term and asks Kevin to help her find one.

Kevin wants to go back to when she was a little girl and her memories that are flooding back to her of Mikkos and her mother.  Just then, the younger version of Alexis is huddled in the corner of Kevin’s office, an image of her from the past.  Alexis tries to come to terms with her father and the choice of dangerous men and relationships that have marred her own happiness  … recalling Julian holding a knife to her throat like Mikkos did to her mother. She says he was one of the toxic men in her life, but Kevin reminds her all of the men in her life were not toxic.

Alexis starts with Ned as one who was good for her saying he was always stable, but she ruined that by recently sleeping with him and putting a wedge in his marriage to her long-time friend, Olivia.

We then flashback to earlier in the day, where Alexis ends up in an almost confrontation with Olivia.  However, Olivia tells her she misses the Alexis Davis she used to be and to get her back.

Now back with Kevin, a guilt-ridden Alexis relays she feels responsible for Neil’s death.  Kevin interjects she is not, nor what happened with Julian.  When Kevin attempts to bring up Mikkos again, Alexis rejects it and is angry that he is making her problem about daddy issues; like so many other women.  She vehemently shouts that the men in her life do not define who she is.

Then, Alexis flashes back to hurtful memories she has buried of a young Natasha witnessing Mikkos calling her mother a “greedy little bitch”.  She recalls it was on Christmas Eve and that Mikkos stopped by to give them gifts. That is when he presented her mother with the watch.  However, things took an ugly turn when he tried to leave, and she threatened to tell Helena all about her and Natasha. Next, Mikkos slapped her and that is when the watch shattered. As all this was going down, a young Natasha watched from the stairs and was horrified that she couldn’t stop her father from beating her mother and remembers how helpless she felt.

However, Alexis reveals to Kevin she thought this would be the last of Mikkos coming by, but he returned on New Year’s Eve and her mother took him back into their lives.  Alexis is beside herself that she could not protect her mother, but Kevin reassures her to remember she was just a child.

Courtesy/ABC

It is then we come to the crux of the story.  Alexis looks over in the corner and sees her younger self crying. She goes to her younger self and tells her nothing that happened was her fault, and that their father was damaged and cruel. She tells the young Natasha this shouldn’t have been her burden to carry alone, and that she deserves to be happy. Then in the moment of strength and coming full circle, Alexis introduces herself to the young Natasha, “I’m Alexis Davis, a fighter, an advocate, and an idealist … and I will take care of everything from her on out.”  In that moment, Alexis embraced herself, and forgave herself, so she could move on with her life.

Alexis then flashes back to earlier that night, as the Davis girls gather for a faux graduation ceremony so Alexis could see Molly in her cap and gown and they hug. Back in her session, Kevin remarks that Alexis has repeatedly defined herself as a fighter, an idealist, and an advocate, and reminds her she has three daughters who have those qualities, and that all she needs to be is Alexis Davis.

Then, we get a heart-warming montage of Alexis though the years in honor of Nancy’s 25th anniversary with GH.

Courtesy/ABC

As the episode concludes, it is the next morning, and Alexis enters Pentonville and enters her jail cell. There she meets her fellow inmate, who is studying law books to prep for her upcoming parole hearing. Alexis introduces herself as “Alexis Davis” and as someone who can help her.  We then go back to her mother’s watch which now begins ticking at Alexis’ home.  The show fades to black.

Kudos to Daytime Emmy winner, Phideaux Xavier for his outstanding direction, head writers: Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor and script writer, Scott Sickles for the thoughtful episode, EP Frank Valentini and his production crew for putting it all together, and the one and only Nancy Lee Grahn for a performance that will be remembered as a classic.

Share your thoughts on today’s on Nancy’s ‘Alexis-Centric’ episode via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Kin Shriner Talks on Franco’s Demise, Scott’s Budding Romance with Obrecht, and His Enduring On-Screen Partnership with Genie Francis

One of the most beloved actors in the history of General Hospital, Kin Shriner, currently finds his alter-ego, Scott Baldwin, in a new budding on-screen romance with none other than Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati).

This comes on the heels of Scott learning the devastating news that his son, Franco Baldwin was shot and killed, thus writing-off the ABC daytime drama series, for now, popular actor, Roger Howarth.

Photo: JPI

Throughout his now almost 44-year-run on the ABC daytime drama series, Kin Shriner has brought his unique acting chops that helped mold the character of legal eagle Scott Baldwin into the humorous, at times cutthroat, endearing and many times heartbreaking character we have all come to love.’

 

In a brand new exclusive virtual sit-down interview with Michael Fairman on You Tube’s The Michael Fairman Channel, Shriner opens up about his history with GH and the times he stepped away to take on roles on Texas and As the World Turns, and then back again to the town of Port Charles and GH.

Photo: ABC

As well, Kin reveals his reaction to learning the news that Roger Howarth would be exiting the show as his TV son and how he shot the key emotional scene where Laura (Genie Francis) tells Scott that Franco had died.  Shriner shares that he does not see how when Howarth returns to the show in as a yet-to-be-revealed character, that it would be a stretch if the two were some how related, but that he will miss working with the talented Howarth as a scene-partner.

Photo: JPI

As to the women in Scott’s life, Kin addresses each of them from: Lucy (Lynn Herring), Bobbie (Jackie Zeman), Dominque (Shell Danielson), Laura (Francis), Ava (Maura West) – to which the character could never get that close to – and now Liesl (Gati), and working opposite all the powerhouse actresses who portray them.

Photo: ABC

For fans of General Hospital who have watched the series for decades, Kin also shares memories of working with his late TV parents, Peter Hansen (Lee), Susan Brown (Gail) and his friend and former GH castmate John Reilly (Sean), plus backstage stories with his longtime scene partner, Genie Francis.

Watch the entire conversation with Kin below.

Now let us know, are you all for the Scott and Liesl romance? Will you miss scenes between Scott and Franco?  Would you ever want to see Scott and Laura reunite romantically? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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