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General Hospital

ABC Executive Nathan Varni Posts Heartfelt Message To Jason Thompson and Kimberly McCullough As Patrick & Robin Say Farewell On Today's GH!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Today is the day that Scrubs have waited for, but it will be very bittersweet.  Viewers will see the final performance of Jason Thompson as Dr. Patrick Drake, and as well for now that of Kimberly McCullough (Robin) and Brooklyn Rae Silzer (Emma).

ABC Network Current Series executive for General Hospital, Nathan Varni shared some special “thank you’s” in a heartfelt message to both Jason Thompson and Kimberly McCullough on his facebook page after watching last night the episode fans will see today.  Varni also previewed Scrubs fans will indeed get a montage of Patrick and Robin’s romance through the years as part of the episode.

Varni shared: “Thank you to Jason Thompson for 10 wonderful years playing Dr Patrick Drake on GH and a special thank you to Kimberly McCullough for making this episode possible. Before I started working on GH, I first met Kimberly when she was going through the process of applying for the Disney/ABC Director program. I knew her obviously from watching GH but I found her to be so incredibly warm and personable as I sat on her interview committee in person, I was rooting for her to be accepted into the program and I’m so glad she was as she’s proven to be an amazing director! I’m so fortunate to have reconnected with Kimberly once I started working on GH and I can’t thank her enough with her busy schedule that she still makes the time to return to her family at GH when needed.

Courtesy/ABC

Beyond working on GH, I had the amazing good fortune to work with Jason on our digital series, GH Now! Jason’s amazing positive attitude on set and off was always infectious, one of the nicest actors I’ve met in my career. I’ll always remember Jason having a genuine smile on his face when he would greet me and was always up for anything when it came to pitching him ideas for GH Now! I hope you will join me Thursday in saying goodbye to Scrubs, thank you for the memories and the amazing performances over the years!”

What did you think of Nathan’s message? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, as GH fans prepare for one final episode with the dynamic trio!

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GB
GB

the only thing i can hear in that message is MEMEME!

Maria
Maria

I totally agree with your comments I have been watching GH for 30 years and will discontinue watching after Thursday episode this is anothe Luke and Laura moment
I have had it !

AJQ
AJQ

Lol! Exactly! MEMEME and more ME!

I have never seen a guy so desperate for attention and to be taken seriously. It really is no wonder that GH is where it is.

A manager, self described as there for quality control, basically to keep an eye on the network’s investment, is pitching ideas and doing interviews and PR for the show; making so much of it about him, his fifteen minutes and the minor celebrity he thinks he has with his three thousand Twitter followers.

His accolades and goodbyes to Scrubs are an insult. JT left because he was underutilized and relegated to nothing because the focus of TPTB is to gut GH of its history and legacies for the likes of the continued failures of Franco, Nina, Julian etc. But hey, Varni can get some fans to hashtag Julexis and Nico and show it to Sherwood and Lee as proof they’re popular when the ratings are still terrible.

Today another core/legacy family was dismissed from GH. That’s the bottom line. Not only is Patrick now gone with Robin, but we’ll never see Mac and Felicia again. Why would GH fans want to see them when they can get Howarth & Stafford? When they left OLTL and Y&R respectively, neither show missed a beat, many liking their recasts more, but somehow GH needs them and over popular GH characters like Mac, Felicia, Ric, Ned, Lucy, Kevin and on and on.

There’s nothing heartfelt about Mr. Varni’s goodbye when he makes sure to inform us how important he is and furthers the strategy of dismantling GH.

Tristan
Tristan

AJQ, your assessment of this gentleman’s motives seems spot-on to me. Jamey Gidden’s site is constantly mocking him for pretending to be “the face and voice of GH.” When have we ever known the name of a show runner — essentially the babysitter? And where may I ask were the hosannas for JT, KMc and Brooklyn from GH’s titular head, Frank Valentini? Does he no longer have a voice in the production that bears his name as executive producer? Is show runner Varni now also executive producer and head writer? Who indeed is in charge? And when a show runner works so assiduously to build his own public profile at the expense of the show and its staff, shouldn’t someone at the network be concerned?

Megan
Megan

I could not agree more, that is hilarious –MEMEME! Varni is unrelenting, he is posting on the show on every site that will have him, needless to say it does not include DC confidential. I find his GH unwatchable, I know RC went off the rails by the end, but he was forced to write to meet multiple agendas as well, including those of Geary and others. Varni is one of the problems with the show, he is the next one that needs to exit.

Melissa
Melissa

If he’s so admiring of JT then why didn’t he get GH’s writing staff to write him meaningful, leading man stories rather than placing Patrick on the back burner?

Natalie
Natalie

I couldn’t agree with you more Melissa! GH blew it in not doing a better job to keep JT!

Elite Advisors
Elite Advisors

And now we watch another amazing talent walk out the door….

k/kay
k/kay

I will never understand why they let JFP grab him but they did if RC was still writing they probably would have an exit line where Patrick tells Robin they are headed to Wisconsin. I noticed he is already on the cover of CBS Soaps in Depth with AH.

Natalie
Natalie

I am re-posting a message I just left on GH Facebook in response to Scrubs happily ever after today.

Happy for a Robin and Patrick wedding! I am NOT happy that JT is leaving!!!!! GH you didn’t do enough to keep him! He is a leading man and deserved that on-screen time and storyline! Concerned about your ratings with the actors leaving to work on #1 soap. I do not watch it, but with letting JT go you are giving me less to watch on GH!!!! I am a 30+ yr GH fan, but you are making it sad for me to see less of the GH legacy families and veteran actors!

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Jason made it clear that he was the one who wanted to leave the soap, and after ten years, he wanted to see what else his career had for him. And I do not blame him. I’m sure the soap must’ve made attempts to keep him, but it’s obvious he just wanted to say good-bye to Patrick.

sonniorsolita
sonniorsolita

Thanks for being a voice of reason, Scott (ATWT Fan). Most — not all, of course, but most — actors creatively want a change after a certain length of time in any role. People become actors to try playing different characters. We don’t expect other people to stay in one job their whole life, why should actors be any different? Good luck to Mr. Thompson, and thanks for the memories!

Natalie
Natalie

I am sure GH tried some things, but just wasn’t enough. I read that JT wants to work and provide for his family. You need more screen time to work which usually means bigger storyline. Think back to other GH storylines or this Jason Morgan one and see how much time they get. JT is ready for that and that’s what Y&R offered and GH didn’t. So again I say GH blew it.

Matt
Matt

Jason Thompson had plenty of air time, i am not sure why so much claim that he wasn’t working enough. As others have said Jason Thompson chose to leave he felt it was time to try something different. Even if they offered him to be the main focus of GH and working every day, he wanted to move on. But I guess for some people its easier for to blame the shows producers and writers, and the network then to accept that the actor wanted to move on

Matilda
Matilda

Matt- You should really get your facts straight before you paint viewers as irrational and just blaming TPTB.

You might want to take a few minutes and read the interview that Jason did with Michael Fairman. Michael asked him point blank if Patrick being on the back burner and underutilized played a role in his decision and he made it very clear that it was and that he had several conversations with Frank about that very issue over the past year. That he wanted to have more work, more story, as he said to be trusted with a story and be part of the engine that moved GH forward.

He was clearly unhappy with the role and direction of his character and clearly states that and said it certainly factored into his decision. He even mentioned that he could have possibly waited a couple of more months to see if things changed but he was confident in his decision to leave; he obviously did not see things changing.

So it wasn’t as you say that he wanted to move on and try something different even if they offered him a main focus. It is clear from his words, from Michael’s interview, that wasn’t the case.

Kar
Kar

A bit late for praise. They lost Jason because of how they wrote and treated him.

CeeCee
CeeCee

You’re right, Kar. But, it’s so sad.
Off the theme, but, Felicia is beautiful. Also, there’s no place to say this….methinks Hayden has something slimy and sticky up her sleeve. It foes not bode well for Nik. OOOOOO, something big is ‘gonna’ drop on his head and squash him……at the eleventh hour. It’s a personal animus for what he did to her. She is on to him, yes?

Jonboy
Jonboy

Actors come and go in daytime. Can’t expect them to always be a lifer.

Kate
Kate

Wow. Varni is making this all about himself and HIS experience with the actors. Yeah, it’s great that Varni remembers that JT always had a smile on his face, but why not talk about the tremendous and valuable contributions that JT made to the GH canvas during his 10-year tenure? The addition of JT to the cast in 2005 arguably helped to revitalize hospital stories and the presence of young and upcoming medical professionals on the canvas. Nightshift was a fairly successful and original prime time spinoff that put Jason and Kim front and centre, and Varni doesn’t even mention this? Jason was also one of the actors who tirelessly promoted GH’s 50th a couple of years ago through engagement with the media and other related events. So thanks, Varni, for making this all about yourself instead of about the actor who invested so much in making Patrick Drake a beloved success.

Stephanie
Stephanie

All these people who are complaining that GH “let JT” get away probably have never left a job in their lifetime. People move on, they get burned out, they need new things. JT was going to leave. He was always working but he needed new challenges. Just because one actor stays with a show for 30 years doesn’t mean everyone has to stay that long. That is life and that is show business. You can’t be front burner day in day out for 20 years. I hope JT is happy at Y & R because GH actors there (besides Burton) don’t last very long. And taking on that character which has become a train wreck. Good luck!

Kate
Kate

This is how to do a proper send-off for an actor who made an incredible impact on the show & the network:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVP5PciuK0I

su0000
su0000

hi Kate,,’that was great fun to watch..
very good!
Thanks for sharing !!!!!

Patty
Patty

I will miss Jason as Patrick and Kimberly McCullough as Robin & Brooklyn as Emma and I hope for the best and I hope Gh never replace them also I want best for them and I know Jason will come to Young & Restless as Billy Abbot but won’t be same without him as Patrick Drake and also beautiful singing voice and I really hope he come back gh sometime and I gh keep us spot open in case he decides to come back they all should come back do family thing in nurses ball that be cool. I love Brooklyn singing voice but I hope she comes back as Emma and see her grandma Anna but You always want best but sad though that today their last scene and breaks my heart. Patrick & Robin & Emma perfect family I will always love that family and miss them.

Timmm
Timmm

That was a nice send off by a net excec. Nothing near that for the departure of Tony Geary from ABC? Maybe he was a pain in the azz after all? Ahh, still miss Luke!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Jason and Kimberly are class acts and thorough professionals–they appear to check their egos at the door unlike Tony Geary–marked difference. I admire Jason and your interview with him, Michael, proved him worthy of my admiration. And Kimberly–what can I say? After all her tragedies this summer, she came back for the storyline, for the fans, for her fellow actors. Classy lady. I wish them both much success. I’ll miss their warmth–and their great love story following the legacy of GH’s most worthy love stories. And TPTB allowed Tony Geary to singlehandedly dismantle the Luke and Laura love story. Boo! Hiss, to you, Tony Geary!

Timmm
Timmm

I love Tony but now I’m seeing with P&R how to leave a show! Someone posted a suggestion I love. Have Laura drift into a montage of L&L and put it to rest and lets let her move on with her “Spanky Buns kind of love like Luke did!”

Wendelyn Sullivan
Wendelyn Sullivan

That was a very nice heartfelt thank You to Jason and Kimberly. I myself as a fan of all three actors. Jason, Brooklyn, and Kimberly will miss them very much. They are all So talented. Brooklyn is So Gifted. Will miss Her Sweet smile on GH. Wishing All much success in Their next Acting Gig. Thank You All. A Devoted Fan.

Lois Welch
Lois Welch

I will miss the scrubs. I wish them the best in the future.
Emma is so beautiful. She has a great future.
Good luck to them all. Goodbye

Fanny
Fanny

For the loyal viewers it is always difficult to see a beloved character leave…
Their a part of our daily life, we become selfish in our need to hold on to
them. As actors it’s only natural that they need to explore different roles as
to become better at their craft…That’s the whole point of being an actor…
their chameleons at heart.

Melissa
Melissa

Very lovely send off today. Weird jumps from the wedding to scenes with Laura and Nik and Tracy, though.

Elaine
Elaine

There send off was sad. I loved all three of them.I think they will all be missed. Wishing them all much happiness with what they choose to do next. I hope they are blessed and have a wonderful great future.

Kathryndenise63@gmail.com
Kathryndenise63@gmail.com

I am NOT a scrubs fan, couldn’t care less about them not the way I am a JOLIE (JOLIAM) FAN!!!!!! GOOD LORD I MISS THEM SOOOOOOO, SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!

CeeCee
CeeCee

I have no idea who or what JOLIAM i, Kathryn. I do not fare well with acronyms associated with couples. Lol. Is it John and Natalie? (OLTL) if so, I’m with you. I still mourn their ‘passing’, and wish them happiness somewhere in the cosmos.

General Hospital

GH’s Roger Howarth Chats On Shifting From Franco To Drew & The Stunning Story Twist

In one of the most intriguing plots of 2019, General Hospital’s Franco Baldwin was morphed into Navy SEAL Andrew Cain following a harrowing mind-mapping procedure. In all went down thanks to Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and Dr, Cabot (Time Winters), taking the life and memories of Drew (Billy Miller) from his flash drive and transferring them into Franco’s brain, wiping out his past and his present.  That followed the tearjerker moment, when Franco sacrificed himself to free his kidnapped stepson, Cameron (William Lipton) from the twisted procedure; that could have left the teenager with Drew’s memories or even in a vegetative state.

The recipient of this storyline – and who would be taking on another persona in his storied daytime drama career – is none other than Roger Howarth.  The Daytime Emmy- winning actor is no stranger to changing fictional identities on GH.  Howarth, played OLTL’s Todd Manning over in Port Charles, later switching to Franco (previously played by James Franco) following the legal dispute between ABC and Prospect Park.

Last week, viewers got their first glimpse of Howarth taking on the traits of Drew circa 2012, and in short order, it has caused emotional upheaval for Franco’s wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), Drew himself, Jason (Steve Burton), and Kim (Tamara Braun)… and that’s just for starters.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Roger as he started his journey transforming his work from playing Franco to Drew and the challenges it presents, plus the ripple effect the change will have on the canvas for many of the characters.  In addition for One Life to Live fans, Roger chats about his appreciation for his time on that iconic series in a candid, self-effacing, and special conversation.  Here’s what Howarth shared:

Courtesy/ABC

When you were told that they were going to put Drew’s memories into Franco, what was your initial reaction to learning that news?  Did you think it was a great twist?

ROGER:  Yeah, I think it’s a great idea.  I really do.  Good story needs a lot of things, and this checks a lot of the boxes.  It brings people together; it provides obstacles.  There are a lot of places this could lead to.  I just think it’s really smart and interesting.  I look forward to it a lot, and I can already tell by what I have shot thus far that it’s going to be fun.

If this story is written well, what has happened to Franco will be life-altering and crucial to so many people’s lives in Port Charles.

ROGER:  What I like about it, and this isn’t lip service, is that it’s a great story because it affects a lot of people.  Those are the good stories.  Elizabeth has got to deal with this, the boys have to deal with this, Scotty’s (Kin Shriner) got to deal with it, Jason is confused by this information, and now this person in interacting with Drew, and Kim, and Shiloh.  All of the sudden, the canvas is interacting completely differently.  So, I think the writers are having fun with this as well.

Photo: ABC

Then, there is also the character of Kim played by Tamara Braun, who Drew shares a past with.  It will be interesting to see how that relationship plays out, we already witnessed Franco’s Drew instantly smitten and attracted to her.

ROGER:  Yes, the person in this body is running under a certain set of assumptions that no one else shares.  So, yes, it’s confusing to everybody, I am sure, including Kim.

Do you see Franco eventually flipping back and forth, and having personality traits of both he and Drew?

ROGER:  No.  One hundred percent, no, and that provides a real obstacle with a couple like Franco and Elizabeth.  They are always looking for obstacles to prove to the audience that these two people really do care about one another, and that’s the purpose of a story like this.  I’m guessing and hoping that it will provide the character of Elizabeth with a particular objective because it would be nice to see Becky be able to play all of those beats.

Right, and to have to fight for something…

ROGER:  Yes, it’s very tragic.  This is a character that is accustomed to tragedy, and to see Becky play the role of Elizabeth dusting herself off, trying to get what she wants is going to be really cool.

Courtesy/ABC

The tragic twist had Franco saving Cameron from winding up with Drew’s memories and being the vessel for Shiloh to use.  What did you think about how Franco sacrificed himself in order to protect Elizabeth’s son?  It was quite heroic.

ROGER:  I think the other beautiful part of this is that this was motivated by love.  I don’t see it as heroic.  I think as an actor, you’re always looking for the heart of the story, and the writers made it really simple.  He does this because he loves this kid.  Yeah, they’ve had their ups and downs, and they are struggling to figure out how they can get along, and they have a lot of things that they feel about one another, but push actually did come to shove, and I think that the character of Cameron is going to be deeply affected by that.

Courtesy/ABC

This now puts Franco deep within Shiloh’s storyline and past with Drew, because Shiloh desperately wants a key piece of information locked in Drew’s memories.  So, in theory, this kind of ranks among one of the better stories you’ve probably ever gotten to tell in your daytime career.  Everyone is hoping that it lives up to its expectations in the execution of it on-air.

ROGER:  It is certainly a high concept story.  It’s asking a lot of the audience.  So far, we’re all in.  It’s a good cast.  I work with really good actors, so I’m not worried.  It is asking the audience to suspend disbelief for sure.  The good stories do.  I think Erika Slezak (Viki) on One Life to Live, getting to play Dissociative Identity Disorder as Niki and Viki that was a large ask.  She never blinked.  She did everything that was asked.  I’m trying to follow her example.

Exactly, and she played more characters.  She had more alters after that.

ROGER:  (Laughs)  Yeah!  She’s better at this than I am.  I’m having trouble with the one. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

What do you think about how Scott and Franco’s relationship will be affected, now that he is in essence “Drew”?

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ROGER:  There’s no part of that relationship that hasn’t changed because there is no Franco.  Franco is not around … Franco has left the building.

He is a completely new person for all intent and purposes.

ROGER:  For sure.  This soldier doesn’t appreciate being called by somebody else’s name.  He is not compassionate to the people who mistake him for this somewhat tortured art therapist that he no longer is.

Photo: ABC

What is also interesting is that this should put you right into conflict and scenes with Steve Burton, because now you are essentially playing Jason’s twin.

ROGER:  Yes.  For me, as an actor, to get a chance to work with Steve, and to play a like-minded person, is intimidating frankly, but it’s exciting.

Also, the audience knows how Franco and Jason are such enemies, and now, he is really in his mind his twin.  

ROGER:  Yeah, Franco sees in many shades of gray and other colors, and from what I can tell, Franco as Drew sees the world much simpler.  He thinks more clearly, he finishes his sentences, he thinks before he speaks, he knows what he is going to say.  His point of view does not waiver.  He is determined.

Courtesy/ABC

That’s got to be so exciting for you to get to play after all of Franco’s psychological baggage and issues.

ROGER:  I’ve got to say, it’s been a bit of a challenge for me to play someone with a different set of speech patterns and who stands differently.  Because Drew thinks and feels differently about everything; his body is the same, but his body is behaving differently, and it speaks differently, and he thinks at a different tempo.  They’ve been very patient on set giving me chances to do it badly, so far. (Laughs)  It’s not uncommon for me to get halfway through a scene and to have to start over.   I am essentially figuring it out as we go along.   I am very appreciative of the fact that they have been giving me a few extra takes to try and figure out how this guy stands.  He relates to people with a different set of space and time.  It’s cool.  It’s a cool set of puzzles.  It’s been really fun.  I’m a lucky guy.

When I first learned of the story twist, I was like, “Oh! Roger will be great in this.”  

ROGER:  I don’t know, man.  I could be stinking it up pretty badly. (Laughs)  I think there’s a trap as an actor who has been asked to play twins, and the trap is that this guy is only acting the way that he acts.  The trap is frankly to act too much because the audience is being told that he is a different person.  If I go too far to try to demonstrate that he is a different person, then it slips into parody or overacting.  Over the years, I have definitely been guilty of overacting, so, I’m a little frightened of it. (Laughs)  I don’t like the way it feels.  I know how it feels to go too far.  I have been getting notes like, “You could pull it back a little bit.”  (Laughs)  It’s pretty funny.

Courtesy/ABC

In the past, I have heard you say you’d rather go to work and feel unsettled about what you are asked to play.  Does that still hold true?

ROGER:  For sure!  I’d rather go to work and leave my job knowing that it was terrible and that I get to come back the next day and make it a little better.  The best thing about daytime is how much it will stretch you and pull you and ask as much of it as you are willing to put in.

Now speaking of Franco, what did you think about the wedding reception on the yacht with Elizabeth?  Did you think that was a nice payoff for Friz fans? 

ROGER:  Yes, for sure.  I thought it was a really sweet culmination to a sweet story about these two people finding one another.  I’m glad they incorporated a large part of the cast.  It was a really good idea.

Photo: ABC

What did you think of how all of Elizabeth’s boys (Cameron, Aiden and Jake) performed a song for Franco and their mom at the reception, and how Franco relates to all of them?

ROGER:  I think it was a really important story point, and it was nice, and it was easy to play.  They’re really good kids, and they’re also terrific people.

Franco really stepped up as a stepdad to Aiden, who had been bullied at school.  I loved the cooking scene, where Franco was baking with Aiden.  What do you think about their relationship?  I love that Franco is being very understanding.

ROGER:  I think he’s trying to be understanding.  I don’t think he’s really great at it.   I think he’s a human being just trying to figure out how to make the best use of his time here, just like the rest of us.

Photo” ABC

General Hospital needed a big jolt with an umbrella story like this that turns the canvas a bit upside down.  How does it feel to be at the epicenter of it?

ROGER:   I really don’t think I’m the center of the story.  I’m not even kidding.  The story is that this piece of information is worn on the shoulders of Franco, but the people who are most effected by that piece of information are Kim and Elizabeth.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction is like from the GH audience.  You’re not on social media.  Will you check out what they are saying … or the feedback?

ROGER:  I’m not on social media.  But, I believe there is a guy whose job it is to track that initial criticism/support.  I think it is kind of cool that we will get real-time reviews, you know what I mean?  I actually thought about that because with the character of Franco, it took us a while to figure out who the guy was.  There was a lot of blonde hair and some missed cues, and we weren’t sure which relationship would be featured, whether it would be Franco and Ava (Maura West), or whether he would wind up in Carly’s (Laura Wright) arena again.  It took a while to figure out the best way to put that guy in the canvas, and I imagine that it will happen again.  I didn’t dye my hair for this, but I did cut it. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

How was working with Billy Miller in this storyline twist?  Were you there on his last day on set?

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ROGER:  Yes, I worked with Billy not on his last day, but on his last show.  He was remarkable with dignity and with class, and I wish him all the best.  He did a great job.  He is a good actor.  I’m sure he will find somewhere to go be an actor.

Throughout your soap career, has there been a story that you initially pooh-poohed, but when you did it, you thought, “Oh, this is great!”

ROGER:   There was a story when Carly and Franco were together, and they wrote a story where Franco gave Carly a gift that wound up being a camera…

Photo: ABC

The evil-eye necklace!

ROGER:  Yes, this small seeing rye.  I just thought, every time Franco would come in and say something like, “Oh, you’re wearing the necklace.  It’s so beautiful,” while we were doing it, I was like, “Wow.  The audience is really going to hate this.” (Laughs)  However, my real-time Twitter is the subway, and while it was airing, I got on the train and sat next to this really amazing fan, who just told me how much she loved that story, and I was honestly surprised and pleased.  I am often wrong, and it doesn’t surprise me now when I am wrong  … because I was really wrong then.

You mentioned Franco with Ava which was a potential pairing. I think you and Maura West have always had great chemistry together on screen.

ROGER:  Yes, she’s a pretty great actor.  She’s great with everybody.

She is.  You knew Maura’s work first when she was at As the World Turns, while you were there, also?

ROGER:  I didn’t know her well at As the World Turns, but I knew who she was.  She’s a hard worker, and Jack (Michael Park) and Carly always had a lot to do.  She was pretty focused when she was there, but I spoke to her.  I didn’t feel like I got to know her until I got to work with her on GH.

Photo: JPI

Last month on July 15th would have been the 51st anniversary of One Life to Live. I saw a lot of people commenting and remembering the show on social media that day. I put together four photos on a post I made about that show featuring some of the remarkable actors who were a part of it.  From there, I received hundreds of comments of how people were just missing the series, the characters, and actors they loved in it, including you.  When you look at the list of people from yourself to Judith Light, to Robin Strasser, Bob Woods, and of course Erika Slezak – it’s such an unbelievably talented group who spent time in Llanview.  Do you ever think about what an incredible experience that was, and how the fans still miss that show so much?

ROGER:  All the time.  I mean, I’m a lucky guy.  I think it really was a special building to work in, and the people who we are talking about: Erika (Viki), Bob (Bo), Robin (Dorian), and Phil Carey (Asa), and Clint Richie (Clint), and John Loprieno (Cord), the people who made it possible for me to work there set an environment and a tone that made it a really special place.  It was a really good cast, like you said, and there was a lot of opportunity for them to write a really cool story.  I wasn’t a part of the AIDS quilt storyline, but to realize that they told a story like that and incorporated that into our show was wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Such an amazing story and One Life was telling socially relevant and important issues of our time, always.

ROGER:  I can’t say for certain, but I do believe that the original concept of the Todd, Marty (Susan Haskell), and Powell (Sean Moynihan) storyline was kind of supposed to be initially an effort to bring awareness to a horrible, violent crime.  That was a long time before the #MeToo movement.  I think it was a show where the writers had a social conscious as well and really brought awareness to a lot of different things.  That’s a great legacy and something that show should be very proud of.

Once the character of  Todd Manning took off on One Life, and how they found ways to redeem him, and how it spoke to how much the network, the show, and the audience responded to your performances, did you ever feel you had a bit of a safety net as an actor, or were you like, “I’m going to be fired tomorrow?”

ROGER:  This is truth: I am so grateful to have a job, and I don’t take anything for granted.  I don’t think anybody is safe in this business.  I just don’t.  I just don’t think anybody gets to say that they’ve arrived.  I just did a roundtable, and I shared this with people who have a lot more clout and opportunity than I do – that actors are by nature, the good ones, are aware that every day that you get to go to work is a privilege, and don’t waste it.

Photo: JPI

In soaps, for the most part, when someone is stepping into someone else’s role as a recast, or actor who played one role is changing to another, there seems to be this reactionary period of adjustment, and then, there is acceptance from the audience over time … unless you really stink it up  … as you say. (Laughs)

ROGER:  Here’s the thing, and this is why I think this is such a great idea, it’s not about me playing this part, it’s about how Elizabeth, who has been on this show for twenty-something years gets to react to it, and giving her the ball.  It’s flashy that Franco is Drew, but it is really and Elizabeth/Kim story.  I may be the one overacting and stinking it up, but it’s theirs. Do you know what I mean?  It’s not my story.

Photo/ABC

What do you want to say to the fans about this new “role” you are taking on at General Hospital?

ROGER:  I want to say that I really do appreciate the fans.  Here is the thing, they’re down for everything.  I hope they’re down for this.  It’s a big ask, but I really hope that they like it.

So, what do you think of Roger as Andrew Cain thus far and how the storyline is beginning to take shape?  Are you excited to see how Franco becoming Drew (through the mind-mapping procedure) shakes up the canvas? Do you hope Drew returns to be Franco sooner than later? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Franco Looks In The Mirror … And Believing He Is Drew Kisses Kim

This week on General Hospital, viewers have seen that when Franco (Roger Howarth) awoke from his mind-mapping implantation  (thanks to Shiloh and Dr Cabot) he woke up saying that he is “Drew Cain”.  Thus, as far we know, Franco now carries the life and memories of Drew from 2012 and back, and as of now, has no trace of Franco’s memories.

When Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) and Drew (Billy Miller) try to make Franco understand in his confusion what transpired,  Liz brings a mirror to Franco to see his face, which makes this all the more terrifying for him.  Liz insists to him that she is wife, but he tells her that he is sorry but he does not recognize her.  Franco insists he is going to leave town and Drew asks him to please stay put, as Liz promises that they can reverse what happened to him.  But can Liz really promise that?

Later, Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) fills Sam (Kelly Monaco) and Jason (Steve Burton) in on what happened and how Franco now was implanted with Drew’s memories, which leaves them stunned.  That means Franco, who is one of the people Jason loathes most in the world – now believes he is Jason’t twin brother.

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Meanwhile, as Kim (Tamara Braun) and Julian (William deVry) prepare to leave Port Charles for Manhattan and start live anew, (so Kim can not be haunted by her life in Port Charles from the recent death of her son, Oscar) things are about to make a shocking turn … for her.

Back at GH, Liz is upset when Franco decides he must get out of his hospital room.  Liz is scared he will just skip town knowing he feels he has no ties there.  Drew reassures her that because he is a version of him, the pull will be way too strong for him to exit Port Charles.

Courtesy/ABC

Kim is now at the hospital getting ready to turn in her resignation letter and runs into Franco.  He recognizes her and calls her “Kim!” You can tell he is quite smitten with her.  Kim is not sure why Franco is acting that way.  She announces she is leaving Port Charles to which he says he is going to come with her. She sees he has a hospital ID bracelet on, so she thinks something has happened.  Just then, Franco tells her about the first time Drew Cain and her met up! This shocks Kim  … and the next thing you know … he moves in for a major kiss and lip-lock as Drew and Liz look on.

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So, what do you think of the story turn thus far that has Franco now with Drew’s memories and with no trace of Franco? Share your thoughts on the twist via the comment section below!

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Breaking News

Constance Towers Returns To GH As Helena Cassadine … But Just How Does She Appear?

Now, any General Hospital fan knows that if there is skullduggery and evil going down, Helena Cassadine (whether dead or alive) is usually somehow involved when it comes to the lives of certain people in Port Charles.

And … some major storyline news from TV Line reveals that on next Monday’s August 19th episode of the ABC soap opera, Constance Towers reprises her role as the evil one herself … Helena!

Apparently, look for Helena to appear in a flashback with none other than Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and about Drew Cain’s time in Afghanistan.  That scene might hold a key to just what Shiloh wants now that he has implanted Drew’s memories into Franco (Roget Howath), thanks to Dr. Cabot’s work.  But could what is revealed also relate to the story that will see Billy Miller (Drew) exit the canvas later this month? Stay tuned.

Viewers last saw Helena alive in story until November of 2016, but then she was part of Jake’s hallucinations that were a part of the chimera storyline that climaxed at the Nurses’ Ball back in May of 2017.

So what do you think Helena’s presence in a flashback will reveal? And, who is ultimately having that flashback? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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Recent Comments

  • Adrienne As tencil: “I agree, of Franco + Elizabeth DON'T get together within 90 days, my patience will dissolve and I likely Will…
  • Rena Atkinson: “Enough is enough, it was good for awhile. Now you can please bring Franco BACK!!!…
  • Janet: “You could see immediately he had the soldier persona. The way he spoke and stood. I really didn't want the…
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