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



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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So…does he have a contract, or not?

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.

Exactly Dylan –

Well said!

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

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

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.

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.

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 it.

If Mr. Varni were my employee he would be fired for his lack of discretion. What a mess.

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

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

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.

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.

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!

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

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.”

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

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

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

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.

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.

Nothing says human like burying your mother.

Was THAT snarky? Lol…

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


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?

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.


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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

there is no better actor on daytime

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, abc

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 . What a mess!

….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!!

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!!

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!


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 how he literally caught her backstage at The Nurses Ball. When he came to Jake’s rescue to do a little bit of a duet, I melted. Leaping into action to instill confidence in the little boy was so sweet.
I have followed Roger on OLTL, ATWT and GH for over 20 years. I enjoy and appreciate his captivating performances so much.
Finally, I think it is an abomination that he hasn’t collected his so richly deserved share of Lead Actor Emmys!!

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!

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

Aaah it’s Tyler Christopher not Roger.

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!

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

Eva LaRue Makes Her ‘General Hospital’ Debut: What Were Your First Impressions of Natalia Rogers-Ramirez?

On the Monday, February 26th episode of General Hospital, former All My Children favorite, Eva LaRue (ex-Maria Santos), made her first appearance in her new recurring role of Blaze’s (Jacqueline Grace Lopez) mother, Natalia Rogers-Ramirez.

In key scenes, as Kristina (Kate Mansi) and Blaze are happy after spending the night together, Kristina is in for a shock when she is still in bed and the door opens and Blaze’s mother, Natalia strolls in seemingly oblivious to walked she just walked in.

Natalia announces, “Alison, Mommy’s here!” Then, Natalia looks over and sees Kristina in bed and both women are a bit startled. Kristina introduces herself to “Mrs. Rogers-Ramirez.” However, Natalia corrects her and says it’s “Miss.”

Photo: ABC

Next, Blaze walks into the room still in her robe. She is very shocked that her mother arrived in Port Charles much earlier than expected. Natalia wants an explanation of just what she walked in on. It is then, Kristina concocts a story and explains they had a girls’ night, and it got late so Alison let her crash.

Natalia seems to buy into Kristina’s lies. Blaze starts to argue with her mother over the non-vegan sandals her mother brought her from Puerto Rico and her grandmother’s pudding, which she has told her in the past she dislikes. Kristina pipes in that the reason Alison doesn’t like it, is because of the texture and the same goes for avocado and flan. Natalia says she thinks she knows her own daughter.

Photo: ABC

Then, Blaze gets more upset and asks Kristina to stay and be by her side. Blaze announces that she and Kristina are more than just friends. We already know that Natalia is from a very conservative background, so we anticipate on tomorrow’s episode of GH, she won’t approve finding out her daughter is gay. Stay-tuned.

So, were you happy to see Eva LaRue back on daytime and now on General Hospital? What were you first impressions of her new character Natalia Rogers-Ramirez? Share your thoughts in the comment section, but first, check out the scenes from her arrival below,

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s William Lipton to Star in Music Drama Series ‘The Runarounds’ From ‘Outer Banks’ Creators

This sounds like a perfect starring vehicle for the multi-talented William Lipton (Cameron Webber), who recently made a brief return to General Hospital for his best friend, Spencer Cassadine’s (the exited Nicholas Chavez) gravesite memorial service.

Now comes word that Lipton is set to star in a new series in the works entitled The Runarounds. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because The Runarounds is the name of the band seen in season three of Netflix’s popular series, Outer Banks. 

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Amazon has given the green light to an eight-episode, straight-to-series order for The Runarounds which premise features the story of a post-high school band as they try to make it big.

Photo: IsiahPate/Lipton IG

The fictional drama is inspired by the real life band of the same name and will star its group’s members: William Lipton, Axel Ellis, Jeremy Yun, Zendé Murdock and Jesse Golliher.

The Runarounds will be set and film in Wilmington, North Carolina, where Outer Banks was also shot. Skydance Television is the studio behind the series. Outer Banks creators Josh Pate, Joshua Pate, and Shannon Burke will bring this project to life.

Lipton took to his Instagram on Monday, once the news of the series was revealed, expressing, “Where are we going, fellas? To the top, Johnny!” Immediately GH co-stars past and present shared their congratulations to William including: Sydney Mikayla (ex-Trina Robinson) and Enzo De Angelis, who plays Lipton’s brother, Aiden on GH.


In a statement, Vernon Sanders, head of television at Amazon MGM Studios, expressed: “When we first met with Jonas and Skydance about The Runarounds, it was immediately clear that they brought us a special show featuring an incredibly talented cast and real-life band. We are very much looking forward to sharing the exhilarating journey of The Runarounds with our global Prime Video customers.”

The Runarounds were actually formed as a band back in 2021, when Jonas Pate issued a casting call looking for a group to appear on Outer Banks. The group first performed together when they played for Pate ahead of appearing in season three after being selected from a more than 5,000 musicians who responded to the call.

No word yet on when The Runarounds will be released.

So, excited for this opportunity for William Lipton to star in this music drama? Hope he returns to GH down the line? Comment below.


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A post shared by William Lipton (@williamlipton)

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Breaking News

Daytime Stars We Lost Remembered in 2024 SAG Awards In-Memoriam Tribute

On Saturday night at the 30th annual SAG Awards streaming on Netflix, several stars from the world of soap opera were remembered in a very moving In-Memoriam segment.

Honoring those actors we lost this past year, and set to the song “How do I Say Goodbye” by Dean Lewis, the screen was filled with so many heartbreaking losses.

Those who were remembered in the tribute included: Bill Hayes (Doug, Days of our Lives), Ellen Holly (Carla, One Life to Live), Nicolas Coster (Lionel, Santa Barbara et al), Tyler Christopher (Nikolas, GH, Stefan DAYS), Billy Miller (Billy, Y&R and Drew, GH), Sharon Farrell (Flo, Y&R), Arlene Sorkin (Calliope, DAYS), Kamar de los Reyes (Antonio, OLTL), Jeffrey Carlson (Zoe/Zarf, AMC) and Mark Goddard (Ted, OLTL).

Photo: ABC

Other notable stars who passed away and were included in the tribute were: Chita Rivera, Andre Braugher, Suzanne Somers, and Matthew Perry.

Before the video package was played, actress Naomi Watts took to the stage and shared, “We have lost so many extraordinary actors in the past year, but because they touched the world with their talent, we all share their loss. To those of us who worked with them, alongside them, we feel their loss and their absence deeply.”

Photo: Netflix

She added, “Of course their memory will live on in our recollections of the precious time we shared together — and through their work, their performances captured in countless frames of images, ever ready to dance across the screen and come to life again, if only for a while.”

What did you think of the In-Memoriam Tribute at the 2024 SAG Awards and seeing a lot of familiar faces being included who represent the soaps? Comment. below.

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