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General Hospital Set To Reignite The Jason/Franco Feud!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Born out of a conflict between Franco’s (Roger Howarth) growing fondness and time spent helping little Jake (Hudson West) through a tough time in his childhood, and Jake’s real father Jason (Billy Miller), it will prove to be the springboard for a major torque in the story between the bitter rivals on General Hospital. 

According to this week’s Soap Opera Digest on newstands now, GH head writers Shelly Altman and Jean Passanante preview that another event will trigger Jason’s memory of the ruthless encounter between the two men from their past that sums up their enmity with each other.

Viewers can look for Franco to seeingly try to make Jason see he is a changed man, but according to the GH preview on Jason’s memories and the Franco feud, the scribes shared:  “The return of his memories won’t necessarily turn him back into exactly the man he was when he disappeared from Port Charles.  So the real impact of Jason’s memories returning is yet to be felt.  We, the audience should worry, however, that the return of Jason memories causes a tweak in Franco and makes him seem to start obsessing over Jason and Sam … and resenting them … a little too much.”

So, are you glad that GH is reigniting the Jason/Franco feud? Do you want to see an obsessive Franco?  Are you glad that Jason is going to have some major memories back? Share your thoughts on the upcoming story beat!

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Magento
Magento

Zzzzzzz! Can’t they just write good plots anymore? I get Jason getting his memory and all but at this point they’ve dragged that out for so long. I’d like to see some more original storytelling from GH. They have a large enough cast to tell some really great stories and not these endless ramblings.

Natasha
Natasha

I’m happy to see this story play out. It’s about time we see Jason’s POV about Franco’s return and everything he did to him. I never fully accepted the rewrite about Franco’s tumor being the cause of everything because he himself have said those urges go back to his childhood.

I want to see how this plays out, but I don’t want to to be as extreme as it was in the past. Yes, both men are different, but the underlying issues are still there and need to be played out.

Shawn
Shawn

This is an awful decision. Unless Roger is leaving the show and it’s an exit story for him, you can not drag the character of Franco back into this. People are just barely starting to accept him now.

Kevin O.
Kevin O.

I agree with this 100 percent.

Kevin
Kevin

Exit storyline… that was my thought, too. Hopefully not, given all the effort that has gone into evolving the character. However, a lot of fans continue to resist that, so…?

I’m sure Roger will do it justice no matter the outcome!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Agreed!

Soapnexis
Soapnexis

No, a million times NO! It was a horrible story when James Franco was playing it. Roger Howarth is an entirely different character and he should have come on as a different character to start with.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yes, the character is a dead end for sure!

AJQ
AJQ

The Jason/Franco feud can’t be reignited in an acceptable way because of the favoritism that Frank shows Roger. For the story to work, it would need to end with Franco ending, whether he’s dead or he flees for his life. Franco is the villain here.

But that won’t happen. We’ll get conflict but no resolution that will be satisfying for GH fans, it will be the opposite. It will only be satisfying or tolerable to Roger’s fans, people who put him above the character and the show, and they are not the majority. Unfortunately Frank caters to them.

u.
u.

1+

I don’t even like Jason, but Franco is a terrible (as in written, I’m not complaining about his morality or lack thereof) and has gotta go already.

Harry
Harry

Besides that AJQ, Franco and Jason are now cartoon characters. Franco acts like Goofy and Billy Miler, who tends to whistle through his nose, acts like Donald Duck.
These two goof balls trying to reignite their passionate hatred for one another would be akin to Goofy putting a pail of water under Donald Duck’s door.

Harry
Harry

I mean, over Donald Duck’s door.

Timmm
Timmm

Spot on Harry! Why revisit this anyway? Franco’s tumor gives him an excuse to be what he was? Now he is just like you said, a Goof ball! Why not have Jason go after Sonny for killing AJ?

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yeah, Harry–as usual, you say it best!

Tristan
Tristan

Even worse, there are rumours that Franco and Liz are to be paired. Meaning…more fan wars since they will be in “Jasam’s” holy orbit! Did Becky fight to stay, for this?

Matilda
Matilda

Instead of writing quality stories centered around General Hospital characters that General Hospital fans would tune in for, Frank runs GH like a child, baiting fan wars and utilizing his pets to muck up the works.

Whoever is in charge at ABC who allows this nonsense should be fired.

Paula Page
Paula Page

If done right it could be great. Both Roger & Billy can handle the material if the feelings ring true between them. Jason’s transformation to his “new” life hasn’t been fully explored.

elm1951
elm1951

sorry but i am NOT looking forward to this snooze-fest of a storyline…………….

Lisa
Lisa

No,no,no please don’t reignite the feud between these two – there is enough conflict just with Franco being little Jake’s art therapist.
Franco may actually do some good getting to what happened to that little boy at Helena’s hands.
I do have a question though – is Roger channeling Todd Manning ? He seems to be growing his hair out.

Patrick
Patrick

GH is channeling some “big” hair

Griffin
Franco
Carlos

LOL…. WOW

talk about 3 hot diverse GOOD actors

so many layers and intriguing stuff

Patrick
Patrick

I was “almost” going to add “Finn” but his locks are not yet at shoulder length

does any one miss Levi…

Soaphound
Soaphound

Yes, Patrick. I agree, though I liked Franco’s hair lighter (and with far less ‘product’). Now if only they’d let Jason & Michael’s hair growth a little, I’d be very happy.

Patrick
Patrick

“any” way

back to Franco and his untapped energies with Liz and Jake

argh! GH ! forever and day already…. do not lose this

DO NOT lose momentum

why ???? would GH waste more airtime on Jason and Liz… double snore

what ??? now that Jason has laid waste of Nicholas… it’s now… that quickly on to Franco ????

what’s the point? these two characters are being played by two entirely different actors…. Steve Burton and James Franco

I can’t believe I can say this… Jason and Sam… are the only times I CAN FF’d

kinda pisses me off… that it’s quality that’s being wasted vs.. what ??? A lollapalooza sex fest ??? with Jason and Sam…. wow ! dull

Patrick
Patrick

i’m hitting myself…

“…why ???? would GH waste more airtime on Jason and Liz… double snore”

i’m so caustic

that should read… Jason and Sam… double snore

Lucy D.
Lucy D.

What? Why would Franco obsess over Jason & Sam? He neither likes nor respects Sam–and certainly doesn’t want her.

This seems like a convoluted attempt to get viewers (ALL viewers) to root for them–and it won’t work. And if they want those same viewers to view a potential Franco/Liz relationship–this isn’t the way to do it

Patrick
Patrick

thank you @ Lucy… gavel this

the writing for Jason and Sam stinks enough as it is !!!!

does GH really have to cheapen drag down and spiral every body else ! ?

he’s telling Sam… if any one else touches her… he’ll Kill them….

I just cant believe how dull they are…. and this is the enigmatic Billy Miller

GH ! LEAVE Franco and Liz w/ Jake… in their own orbit… mixing and HOPING for what? intrigue ? DRAMA at its best ??? Sam doe eyed bambi cling on much ?

the character of Jason is done… DOA

neatly bow tie the return of ELQ
lay waste to the character of Nicholas

not good news at all….

Lucy D.
Lucy D.

You’re right Patrick. This is only going to make it worse. I’m interested to see where they go with Liz & Franco and I don’t need the deadly dull duo messing with that

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

The “enigmatic” Billy Miller looks disgustingly bored out of his gourd!

Shay
Shay

@nancy dillingham…..That’s probably because he is….as am I! Even reading the recaps as of late has been enough to put one to sleep, let alone actually watching this atrocious bilge!

Lucy D.
Lucy D.

Truly awful.

Carol
Carol

RH is too likable to slide back into bad Franco. I never did care to JF when he played this role. RH should either continue to be redeemed or play an entirely different character.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Hey, here’s a novel idea. TPTB can “kill” off the character of Franco–and bring back RH as a different character! Sound familiar? MMMM–I’m seeing a new doctor with a lizard.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

I dont see this Jason/Franco feud coming to a satisfying conclusion…but i will wait and see before i pass final judgement-would like to see Franco seriously injured rescuing Jake from some dangerous situation and a reluctant Jason saves his life and when praise from Liz and others come in, Jason finally decides to become Dr. Q and he gets his medical degree in just 6 months!!!-lol

Freei
Freei

RH Should’ve been another character period never liked Freako I hope Jason kills him all that his done #Team Kill Franko NOW

Elaine
Elaine

Same feelings here

Timmm
Timmm

I said it before, when James Franco died, thats it, the character should have stayed dead! Roger is and has been wasted on this stupid resurrection!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Amen!

tml
tml

If anyone can play a bad Franco other than the original, it is RH. Remember when Todd was REALLY bad? Oh, it was sooo good. I never could buy that Jason would accept Franco after all he did. Sam too. She should rake his eyes out. As for Jake, too close for comfort. I never could understand how anyone, even Obrect, could allow Franco to be any kind of therapist, even and art therapist with his CRAZY loo-loo background. Only on the soaps!

Dan
Dan

Guess I’m in the minority based on the comments I’m reading here, but I like where this is headed. Anything that gives Billy Miller and Roger Howarth some good stuff to play is fine with me. Neither has really had anything juicy to play in quite a while. For me, crazy Franco is better than art therapist Franco any day of the week. I like that they’re going back to the core of what makes each character, and that Jason is finally delving into more of his past, which is long overdue. There’s only so many scenes I can take of him and Sam sitting around the table talking. So I think they have some good ideas here, and I’m intrigued to see how things play out.

Elaine
Elaine

Yes both actors are talented and would like material that showcases that

Soaphound
Soaphound

I’m going to go with it too, Dan. Nearly every story seems to be in underwater slow motion these days so I’m more than willing to let my two favorite GH actors play some intense scenes. That’s what they do best, not playing house.

rocky83
rocky83

GH is grossly underutilizing RH. He’s been nothing but a second banana in various Storylines. Sparking up the feud will give him the opportunity spread his true Franco/Todd abilities. GH should also rehire Cassie DeP & put her in the mix so she can reignite her insanely wild chemistry that she has w him.

Patrick
Patrick

i’m with you 110 % that Roger Howarth is WORTH MORE material… and good scripts to drive RH acting talent

it’s truly tho… like apples and oranges… OK I bite… Jason and Sam are DULL

if I have to sit… through another story of the cheap weak characters of Jason and Sam Nancy Drewing all of Port Charles, in matching leather jackets sickening me with their lame romance with NO tantalize

FANS have posted wondrously just how much GH should capitalize on a relationship with Franco and Liz…. SPARKS

I really don’t like that fans NEED a character to be redeemed… especially when the writing TEAM may not have the scripts to bring this about. if a character or storyline is not true to form of the history of the show… it happens

I think Franco has been wonderful of late… especially with Kiki… and yeah it’s not making any sense that he is so terse and absolute that he’s not father material… and so ends his relationship with Nina… WHICH i’m OK with.. as GH … ONCE AGAIN… needs to capitalize on Julian and Nina… major sparks

doesn’t it all stem from how GH is focusing solely on : Carly and Sonny… and Jason and Sam any way

NOT A GOOD WAY to produce this show

it’s lacking with … these 4

MissySnow
MissySnow

RoHo should have been cast as any character from GH’s 53 year history NOT named Franco. Otherwise, Franco can die any day now.

kathy
kathy

Poor Roger he should have come on as another character. Franco should have stayed dead. This tumor bull just doesn’t fly and if he reverts back to his obsession with Jason he needs to commit suicide because he hates what is happening to him. This is a death sentence one way or another and would be the best way out and to regain some redemption for this despicable character.

Patrick
Patrick

Franco has the brain tumor
Jason has ??? brain freeze ??? with no taste in women…. Sam gotta go

they’ve both had brain surgeries

at this rate… GH is going to go through their whole cast … trying, and failing.. to prop the two characters they think are all that

Roger Howarth must be cringing… I hope they at least solidify a relationship with LIz… before getting all super hero… with cheap theatrics…

kathy
kathy

Brain tumor bull. What a ridiculous excuse. Jason is doing fine and so is BM. Franco is not working and if you took a poll I guarantee Hate him would win. Franco wasn’t mean to be long term.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yes, what I said!

Tasha
Tasha

It could be terrific of done in the proper way – especially for Jason and Sam. Jason finally getting a chance to understand and acknowledge everything Franco did to terrorize Sam and the pain of believing she was raped and Franco was Danny’s father is overdue. The tumor excuse rings hollow since Franco’s mom is nuts, and his “dark impulses” self-admitted go back to childhood. The problem is Jason would need serious recall with emotions to play this out properly, but I don’t know if the writers are prepared to go there yet. But if/when the memories come, Jason and Sam need and DESERVE a chance to explore and heal what happened after their honeymoon, leading up to the shooting on the docks – ESPECIALLY Jason’s completely OOC reaction. They can go there, but only if Sam, Danny and Jason remain united and largely unscathed. They have lost enough to the fingerprinting psychopath.

su0000
su0000

I gotta say;

The highly dramatic actor, Roger H, has been written as an empty vessel ..
I’ve been wishing Franco would grow his tumor back and blow the top off off GH , with Roger in high gear acting..

I am so sick and tired Jean & Shelly and their climatic dry drab writing..

I want Franco back! This powderpuff pansy Franco, is not Roger or Franco.

Jean and Shelley need to go write for the Waltons and get the H outta my GH ..

su0000
su0000

ohh geez! big big ooops!
to be ” ANTiclimactic writing..

Patrick
Patrick

god… i’ll say… doing some serious eye roll… with

ANTI – (CLIMAX) climactic stuff… that GH focuses

Sonny and Carly
Jason and Sam

NO FUN AT ALL

Elaine
Elaine

do not care for the writers,they are too soft and put their own agendas in the scripts.I want Jason to have all his memories back with full blown feelings.At least give Billy Miller his chance to play the real Jason Morgan not the writers version as this character is an icon and billy is a 3 time emmy winner

Patrick
Patrick

does… any one… wonder… if the writing were up to par… and we finally… get Billy Miller… acting craft bar none… @Y&R would translate to Port Charles ?

if the writing… up to this point… with a 2nd regime… since his debut… would make a difference ?

I don’t see it

the way Jason and Sam are written… and they don’t even “try” to venture in to his being a Quartermaine… that they just don’t have the “right” stuff to showcase and feature.. how dynamic this could be?

they certainly are showing… with Ms. Tracy

so… geez !

he’s been on the show.. for well over a year… I give up

let him snore and dull the senses with Sam… FF time

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Huh?

Vicky Rae
Vicky Rae

lol

Rebecca Zertuche
Rebecca Zertuche

They need to leave Franco alone. He’s not that man anymore and if anyone should understand that, it’s Jason. They need to get Nina, Franco and Kiki together, some family adventures, maybe another woman, but PLEASE not Liz.

Michelle
Michelle

No new fued. I like Franco how he is, and with Nina appearing to crack I don’t need Franco cracking. I like Jason how he is too, no memories.

Harry
Harry

Agreed, Michelle. I loved the scene with Roger and the puppy he named Daisy the other day.
I hated Michelle Stafford’s over-the-top screeching and yelling. I am a dog person and I know from experience that dogs, especially puppies, hate screaming and shouting. Can’t Stafford ever emote without shrieking? That was not just some bad acting, that was animal cruelty.
I will take that four legged bitch over the two legged bitch any day. Franco, please choose the puppy.

Timmm
Timmm

I thought the same Harry, puppies and infants shouldnt be yelled at or yelled around! It was disturbing.

edie bailey
edie bailey

At this point, I would also take the adorable little puppy if I were Franco. Stafford is an Emmy winner but sometimes her acting is atrocious and painful to watch.
I’m rooting for Friz!!! I hope Franco moves on with Elizabeth!!!!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Harry, you crack me up! I loved Daisy too! Dogs aren’t balls to be tossed about.

j9
j9

Too boring for words!! Please move them each on to some other storylines! ZZZZZZZZZZ is right!!

Barbara
Barbara

Hope Jason don’t like that Liz and Franco are becoming close. Think he might realize he belongs with Liz.

Mister Media
Mister Media

This development does not interest nor intrigue me. I have never seen a more wasted opportunity than that of the return of Jason as played by Billy Miller. There is so much complex and rich history which could be mined in the service of the Jason character but it is just not being written. Miller’s immense talent has been squandered. Roger Howarth’s immense talent is being squandered. Watching them squander it together in a pointless plot development with no real payoff will result in a squandering of my time. GH has the most talented cast in daytime but the stories lack depth and often lack a satisfying resolution. Long live GH! PS: What’s going on with the sudden proliferation of outdoor scenes? It’s too reminiscent of Guiding Light’s death throes. Should I be worried?

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yeah, that certain in “a worn path”–if I may borrow a Eudora Welty title.
And I kept seeing that same little house on the hill. Must be a really tiny spot where they filmed–maybe right outside the studio? LOL!

Rose
Rose

Feel bad that Roger inherited Franco. He’s such a talented actor, why couldn’t he have at least got an interesting character like Finn. Never liked the Franco story with what seemed a James Franco omage to himself. It was a dark, dark story, and don’t want to see it rehashed in any form again.

Timmm
Timmm

Rose, we all wanted Roger to be a Cassadine. Why not have Jason kill off Franco and have Roger reboot like Michael Easton?

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Hey, WHAT I SAID!!

toy1975
toy1975

Oh yes please let Jason recall all is memories..EVERYTHING nasty thing Sam has done to Liz and her sons…Let him recall Everything Liz has done to be by his side…IMO NuJason has NOW lost his memories that Liz has done for him since he returned from the dead…

Patrick
Patrick

yeah, isn’t that something… and convenient

altho… Jason , I think was talking with Diane about his estate… or even Liz.. that she and Jake would be well taken care off

it just bites… because.. when he first showed up at GH… plastic surgery and amnesia…

oh… good gosh… we all could have swore… this was blooming big time romance… and was going GOING boom…. gone

had all the trappings of audience want…. Jake/Jason ???? N. Ms. Webber

it was all so innocent and natural… we watched Liz being taken… falling… and heart soar

alas…

his amnesia now includes stupid and MACHISMO being gangly and mobsterish without being…

OK.. I’ve just about had my fill

bye bye Jason and Sam

I’ll take me front rows seats and wait for Liz and Franco

toy1975
toy1975

Nope I do not want Liz romantically involved with Franco (yes he had a brain tumor) but I just can not get over all the nasty things he has done…I understand TIIC had to address Jasluts WHY i dont know since they always forget/drop that ball or rewrite history but for the sake of it…WHY did the BREAK up for Liason be over a LIE when EVERYONE in PC has lied…Liz did NOT lie to HURT anyone…people need to go back and re watch that day Nik told Liz who JAKE way…Liz went out to tell Jake BUT she watched SAMHO kissing Dr Patrick all happy,so she allowed once agaon to put others before what was the RIGHT thing to do/NuJason also told LIZ he didnt care who he WAS he didnt want to know his past he only knew he wanted LIZ and to be with her….BS i tell you BS…NOW NuJason is nasty to Liz/not seeing his son who by the way was hurt very badly BY once again b/c of Samho action….Liz has not home/no NOTHING yet Nujason has a lot of $$$$ BS again…..NOTHING has changed with NuJason….since he was told who he really was ……………….

MT
MT

As long as Jason remembers that Sonny shot his brother AJ

Anthony
Anthony

Always hated the mobster Jason character as played by Steve Burton. The current actor is playing Jason as human with a wonderful Quartermaine connection which was sorely missed with Burton. I sure hope the writers don’t turn the Billy Miller’s Jason into a “cyborg” — it’s bad enough they have stuck him in a storyline with Sam. As for Roger Howath – oh well.

Tami
Tami

I absolutely loathe Jason and Sam paired together. Both characters suffer IMO together. I like RH I wished they had made him Liz brother. I could care less about seeing the Martyrism of Jasam again on this show. Sounds like a snooze fest.

Kevin O.
Kevin O.

I like this idea ONLY if ABC is now allowed to use the Todd Manning character once again. If so, Franco should exit, Roger should be off canvas for a month, then Todd should buy the paper from Julian and make a roaring return to PC.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Hey–sounds like a winner to me!

JUDY K
JUDY K

PLEASE NO……BOTH HOWARTH AND MILLER HAVE SUCH DISAPPOINTING STORY LINES….CANT THE WRITERS DO BETTER THAN THIS? WASTE OF GOOD TALENT. I AM SURE THERE ARE TIMES BILLY MILLER WISHES HE NEVER LEFT Y&R!

Timmm
Timmm

BOTH actors can walk away and be hired immediately! I wonder when their contracts are up on GH and what they plan on doing? They have to be embarrassed over the crap that is written down on paper they call a script!

Tonia
Tonia

I love Roger Howarth. Wish they would leave the old Franco out of this JaSam story. It was bad enough when James Franco played the part.

Aria
Aria

Aren’t Jason n Franco second cousins? Not that it matters at least to Jason, he was horrible and unforgiving to his own brother, still I hope it’s not true that Roger is leaving the show, I’m sure Jason will go crazy n do his bullying and then use his brain damage as an excuse, prob try to set up Franco up for something but Liz will hopefully help Franco out .

Charday
Charday

So over Franco and all Corinthos (except Michael Quartermaine).

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Me too! You start with a flawed storyline–no where to go but to end with a flawed storyline!

Scott
Scott

Please don’t reignite the feud between Jason and Franco. This was played out when SB played Jason and JF was Franco. Jason and Franco have both different people now and I like the new Jason and Franco much more. I’m all for Jason getting memories back but Do Not want him to get mixed up with Sonny and especially Carly! RH is one of the best actors in daytime.

Timmm
Timmm

NO, could care less! SLEEPY Miller and ROHO are not the original two characters. The feud would be like eating a Snackwell when all you really want is a Oreo! This will suck!

Kevin O.
Kevin O.

ROFL!

toy1975
toy1975

Be sure Samho will tell NUJason only her sweet side of her past…..Samho has always SUGAR COATED her nasty.then has the balls to throw crap up to others on what they have done!!!!!

Rodd
Rodd

I’m not sure I really care for this idea. I might be in the minority, but I like Franco. I was’t around to see the other Franco and all the terrible things he did so I don’t have anything but Roger’s interpretation to go off of. I like how they are making him work through all the bad he’s done and the hurt. That’s interesting to me. So Jason, who I can’t hear half the time, getting his memories back only to fight with Franco just doesn’t interest me. I guess every character needs an enemy to play off but I don’t want it to be this big explosive thing where one or the other gets killed. If they HAVE to do it, can’t they just go to Sonny’s gym and duke it out?

dmr
dmr

This storyline sounds boring and rehashed. I liked nu-Jason while he was with Elizabeth. I find Sam to be very boring and I think Sam with Jason is very boring. I would like to continue to see Jason interact more with the Quartermaine’s. I have loved having Ned back on the canvas, always love Tracy, and I’ve enjoyed seeing Monica more and Michael interacting with his family, too. I miss the Quartermaine’s.

Wendy
Wendy

No, I do not want to see trouble between Franco & Jason. That story line was long over. Please don’t start it up again. Let them dislike each other but please no extreme stuff again.

edie bailey
edie bailey

The best scripts for Roger Howarth currently revolve around his surrogate father/daughter relationship with Hayley Erin (Kiki). I was on board for the Franco/Nina romance–but since they left Shady Brook–it has been steadily downhill. The passion is gone and I’m done with the bickering over having kids and getting married.
I sorely miss Todd Manning and wish Roger could be a major mover and shaker life he was on OLTL. His vast talents have been languishing for far too long on GH. At this point, I wish Ron Carlivati would return; he seemed to appreciate Roger more than the current writers.
I guess I’ll withhold any opinion on revisiting the Jason/Franco conflict to see where it goes. I have no frame of reference, because I never saw any of James Franco’s work and don’t know that much about the overall history.
What I definitely do want is for the writers to explore the unmistakable chemistry between Roger and Rebecca Herbst. Hopefully , they won’t waste much time creating romance for these two upon Rebecca’s return.
Bravo to the incomparable Roger Howarth for making the most of the material he is given!!!

Katrina
Katrina

I LOVE both actors! I really hate them being enemies! Roger Haworth is finially getting his bad boy on again and I think it’s hot! I soooooo love his hair long..,,

Vicky Rae
Vicky Rae

Makes no sense to make Franco obsess over Sam – SUDDENLY. The change is too extreme. Perhaps some other kind of trauma could change who he is, but not buying that he could just forget about Nina and all that has happened over something Jason said.

Vicky Rae
Vicky Rae

At least you could show signs that Franco has had enough (we know he has), but show it. Whatever… you know RH will make it great! Just please, take time to make it more believable.

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

  • Not too crazy about the storyline but I’ll keep wa: “Not too crazy about the storyline I think it’s kind of silly. I liked Franco’s character and that he and…
  • Lynda: “Waiting anxiously for storyline unfolding. Have loved Roger's acting since becoming familiar with him on General Hospital.…
  • Tam Taylor: “JI completely agree. Roger is Franco and Drew is Billy Miller. I also truly wish that Billy Miller weren't leaving…
  • Eileen: “I hope the Drew and Franco bit is just temporary although it is fun for a change. I myself I'm…
  • Becky: “I hate it because I’m afraid there will be as many Drew’s as there are Sonny and Carly weddings. And…
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