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Jonathan Jackson speaks on his shocking departure from General Hospital!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Four-time Daytime Emmy winner, Jonathan Jackson went public today via an interview with TV Guide as to what went down that prompted his decision to leave his beloved role of Lucky Spencer on General Hospital! Citing emotional and physical exhaustion from the continually heavy dramatic circumstances that Lucky has had to endure over the last year and half, and being front and center the entire time in story, was a major factor in Jonathan’s decision to call it quits.  In addition, Jonathan reveals he went to the show’s higher-ups and asked that Lucky and Liz get reunited.  In this interview, he does discuss the conversations that went down behind-the-scene with the powers-that-be at GH, and ultimately how  the decision was made.  Here are some excerpts!

Jonathan on if specifics were discussed to lighten his work load to acomodate his exhaustion in story: “I think — though I don’t know for sure — that they were genuinely interested in figuring out a way to make this situation workable. But ultimately it was decided that, if I was to remain on the show, Lucky is too important of a character to be put on the back burner. The writers have so much to accomplish on a weekly basis that it just wasn’t going to be possible to make a significant change like this.”

Jonathan on how his decision was made and how is exhaustion was affecting creating Lucky’s fictional life:  “It’s a real energy zapper and there are days when I feel like I have nothing left to give. And in this medium where you’re dealing with a pretty insane amount of dialogue, day in, day out, the collision of a heavy workload and increasing exhaustion can make you a little crazy. I love to work hard but I’ve been at maximum capacity in terms of mental and emotional output for months on end and it has become too difficult. I am extremely thankful that they wanted to give me all those storylines with so much depth, but there’s just no balance. Usually, you might get one or maybe two really good and intense story arcs per year. There’s usually a cycle to this stuff on soaps. But this has been nonstop. There was just no reprieve. I have a wife and three kids and other things in life I have to think about. I just knew I couldn’t sustain the schedule at GH and that kind of emotion for much longer. It was just too intense.”

Jonathan on asking for a Liz and Lucky reunion in which the producers said “No”, and how he felt that would regain some balance for the character of Lucky and himself: “I was away from GH for 10 years and came back (in 2009) specifically to work with certain people. Tony Geary (Luke) was a huge reason for me to come back and so was Becky Herbst (Elizabeth).  I absolutely love working with her and love it when our characters are together romantically. Even though things have gotten crazy between Liz and Lucky over the years, there’s still a deep potential for something powerful and redemptive there. So it seemed like a real no-brainer to me. From my perspective, I just assumed they’d get back together. Maybe it’s a timing problem. There have been big changes in the writing team at GH and that may have shifted the timeline for Lucky and Elizabeth to reunite. Or maybe it just wasn’t ever going to happen at all. I don’t know.”

Jonathan will last be seen on-air the week of December 19th! So after reading his comments, what do you think of Jonathan’s decision? Will you miss JJ on your TV screens? On-Air On-Soaps will!

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ethel
ethel

jonathan always puts his whole heart & soul into his acting therefore it had to take a physical & emotional toll on him and i totally understand why he made the decision to leave –
i definitely will miss his presence on gh – i just wish things could have turned out differently for this talented actor……………

Kimberly
Kimberly

I’m sad to see him go, but I understand his perspective. Bring back the hunk Greg Vaughn. Lucky never had enough story with Greg, in my opinion.

Eileen Hargis
Eileen Hargis

I dont believe they cared about Jonathan just that he continued to deliver what they wanted. He had no choice. Good for him. Hia family should come first. He will do well anywhere.

sophia3
sophia3

I stopped watching GH due to the no-talent LISA – (((LOSER))). The only reason I watched was Jonathan Jackson and Tony Geary. I can’t believe Jonathan went back to GH. He is so far above that. Just keep going Jonathan…I see an Oscar in your future. You are the most incredible actor. FYI – quite certain the show wil be cancelled. I don’t know anyone that tunes in anymore.

Aaron
Aaron

I really thought things were going to change for the better with Garin Wolf taking over. However, the show has ABSOLUTELY been all over the place since late summer. The Quartermaines returning, the tease of Jason regaining his memory and Michael working at ELQ lasted all of what, a month? Why bring back crazy Lisa Niles? Now they are introducing “Maggie?” The firing of Lexi Ainsworth was nonsensical, as was the departure of Ingo. Jonathan Jackson just won an Emmy and they can’t find a way to ease his workload? Let’s face it, Soaps are in their dying days and need all the viewers they can get to drive up ratings and show the networks they are still a viable form of entertainment. Why would they let a major character like that walk away?

Joan Brigham
Joan Brigham

I agree 100% with you.

SS
SS

I think JJ is way outta the loop if he thinks WE want another pairing for Lucky & Elizabeth. Personally, I have been disappointed from day 1 with his return… the over the top crying is just to much to bare. And after all these years he just didnt look right with Elizabeth anymore. I am glad he made the decision to move on from General Hospital.

Mitchell1660
Mitchell1660

I don’t watch the show, but on the commercials between OLTL and AMC, I saw enough of Jackson crying and emoting! An incredible actor that I’m sure will find work elsewhere.

myers509
myers509

I like Lucky and Elizabeth together…

Emily
Emily

JJ is so incredibly talented, but I can certainly understand why he needs a break. I do hope that this is what this turns out to be– a break. Hopefully in a few months he’ll be ready to come back & they will be ready to bring him back. Of course that is my wishful thinking! With or without GH, JJ has a promising future. Sadly, it’s a huge blow to GH. I don’t think we need another Lucky recast, & the stuff written for JJ has been some of the best in my opinion. I love Steve Burton but some of the Jason stuff has gotten old. I feel in love with GH in the mid-90s, so I personally would have really liked to have seen Lucky & Liz reunite.

Matt Borlenghi
Matt Borlenghi

Really??? In a business where so few actors are making that kind of money, this guy complains of having to earn it??
Super. Bring in someone who is truly grateful for the opportunity and will gladly work hard for the money to support his family.
I got shafted on my Valentin debut by Franco, and this guy cries exhaustion. Do your job, say please and thank you, go home.

iakovos
iakovos

i would kill for an opportunity as jackson has. many actors would. only he knows his limits and what it is too much. seems one of the bricks weighing soaps down is the lack of faith in audiences to accept recasts. yes, there are actors identified with the role so deeply, but if daytime drama is to go on and on, the storytellers and the audiences alike need to be open to comings and goings. i, for one, do not care for odd story shifts or quicktime storytelling to accommodate a big star. it seems fake. i wish jackson luck as he was amazing on GH. i miss the GH of years gone by. today’s GH is so dark and mob-based.

Joan Brigham
Joan Brigham

It is so sad that the writers would rather lose an actor of this quality than to make some schedule changes, or at the very least some changes in the story line. We would all like to see Elizabeth and Lucky get back together. And for the record, I have watched soaps for 42 years, since the 1st day AMC came on, and OLTL for decades also. Watched characters be recast, come and go, and this young man, Jonathan Jackson is probably the best male actor on daytime. His emotional scenes are second to none. His decision to leave saddens me, but I totally understand that the time and the strain of having to be so good all the time, for at least the last year, would drain him. Good luck, Jonathan, and as the Irish would say, May the road come up to meet you!

Kay
Kay

UGH! Why can’t the writers just reunite couples sometimes. Obviously JJ is exhausted. I think TPTB sometimes drag out a reunion so long that after awhile fans just don’t care anymore. Frankly I wanted to see L&L together because they belong together but the writers sometimes just don’t get it.

michele
michele

I started wathcing Gh again because Jonathan Jackson came back. He for me is the only Lucky but I also was getting a little tired of all the tragedy GH kept throwing at the character Lucky. Missed happy, fun and romantic Lucky which Jonathan Jackson does well also. He is an exceptional actor and will be missed. I think he has the right to but his family and his happiness first. I guess I will have to find something else to do instead of watching GH.

Chantal
Chantal

I don’t think everything was said here. JJ is promoting his music career on Twitter like no tomorrow. It is called Enation and they even won a contest for a board on Times Square. I think he wanted to pursue some opportunities there also. Yes, some actors would kill for his work and time on screen. But, don’t the producers realize that Lucky once a while is better than no Lucky at all???

Monica
Monica

I’ll miss him. He really made me care about Lucky again, but all that crying would be exhausting. There were no lulls, just a constant stream of tragedies for Lucky. I don’t think as much happened to Lucky in the 10 years he was gone, as happened to him over the last year.

jp
jp

I never bought JJ as a cop. To me he always has looked like a boy-even with scruff- and was WAY too sensitive and weepy to be believable as a cop. Best bring back Greg Vaughan. JJ was ok as Lucky as a young man, but not as an adult. IMHO.

Jane
Jane

I’m devastated! Jonathan is the onlyLucky in my eyes. He is fantastic in the role and I can’t imagine a recast that works. We’ve had recasts in this role before and they never brought the emotional depth that Jonathan does, nor do they have the connect with Becky. I don’t know what the PTB are thinking. They must want the show to be cancelled.

Alice
Alice

I can say that I did not watch the show for very long before JJ came back as “Lucky”. His character is what glued me to the show. Since I did not have all the harsh feelings some people have towards “Elizabeth”, I also wanted a reunion. I believe every person is human and makes mistakes; some much larger than others. I probably will not continue watching the show after JJ’s final episode airs. I just don’t see the point after watching it for a year in the hopes of a happy reunion of what to me seemed to be two soul mates. I wish the show well for all the people employed but my tv will not be counted for ratings after JJ is gone.

Sun45
Sun45

I understand Jonathan wanting to leave GH I say its a good career move for him. JJ is a talented actor I can’t blame him for leaving GH its not watchable anymore for me. This show is going to be canceled so as far as I’m concerned his getting off a sinking ship. Good luck to you JJ and thank you for the memories.

Maggie
Maggie

Lucky is one, if not THE,, favorite. He is an absolute genius actor, and I can understand him burning out. He gives so much to his role.

Please tell the powers that be that we would love to see Lucky remain, with better storylines (one of which could be with Liz). I think all the actors are jumpy, waiting to see if GH is cancelled next. I am sure those who get a better deal will take it.

Don’t let the good ones get away, or you will self-destruct your own show.

daniela
daniela

He wasn’t a good actor anyway. Good riddance, too bad he can’t take Rebbeca with him.

Colleen
Colleen

I was just watching some early footage of Lucky and LIz….the PTB sure did destroy one of the greatest couples in GH history! What a waste! I don’t blame JJ and give Becky a break…she is playing a part and only performing what is being written.

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Chase and ‘Janelle’ Two Sides To Every Story?

On Tuesday’s episode of General Hospital, viewers were given more of the back-story between Chase (Josh Swickard) and Nelle (Chloe Lanier) told through a series of flashback from their disparate recollections.

At the PCPD, over the phone, Chase thanks his former police partner, Abby for sending the files he had on one … Janelle Benson.  As he peruses through the files and sees the image of Nelle contained within it, and a postcard from Florida, Chase flashes back to his interrogation room and meeting suspect ‘Janelle’, when he was working as an officer in Maine.  Nelle was being questioned in the drowning of her fiance’ Zack..  Chase asks why the upset ‘Janelle’ chose to vacation in Maine instead of Florida.  She says it was so Zack could put space between him and his disapproving family.  However, ‘Janelle’ does admit going kayaking was her idea.

Next, she cries that she had to make the decision to try to save Zack from drowning, but thought maybe she might die too, so she decided to save herself, and not go in after him, in what was an impossible situation to be in.  Abby questions ‘Janelle’ about Zack changing his will right before they headed off for their vacation.  ‘Janelle’ lets it firmly be known that it was all Zack’s idea to change his will.

Chase believes ‘Janelle’ is innocent, but Abby thinks Janelle is played the helpless victim card.  Chase decides to release Nelle.  Later, Chase remembers traveling to Florida, because Nelle was reportedly being harassed by Zack’s family.  When he got to Florida, he recalls staying in a motel, and was set to meet up with her at a diner.  However, ‘Janell’e surprised him while he was half-naked in a towel and the door of his room.  Next thing you know, things get hot and heavy as she seduces him.  Chase flashes to them hitting the sheets and being in the throes of passion, and promising to take care of everything for her.

Meanwhile, Nelle and Michael (Chad Duell) are talking at The Floating Rib.  Nelle admits to Michael that she has a past with Chase, and her fear of him trying to bring her down now that he is in Pot Charles.  She says that Chase would do anything to get ahead in his career.  Michael asks if Maine was truly the last time she saw Chase.  She says it wasn’t, and says he followed her to Florida.

Now, as there are two sides to every story, Nelle flashes to coming to visit Chase at his motel room; where he is only wearing a towel . In her version, she portrays Chase as the instigator.  She start to cry and tells Michael that in her gut she knew that something was off about Chase, but she felt like she was drowning inside and he was her lifeline. Nelle says Chase became obsessed with her.

Then while alone, Nelle remembers how she was able to get Chase to go out to the store and get her some water after their hot sexcapade.. Once she is all by herself, Nelle calles the police to report misconduct by an officer at the motel.  Meanwhile, Michael has headed over to the PCPD to confront Chase.

So, which version of the story of  Chase and ‘Janelle’ do you believe? It appears Nelle has done a number on Chase. What did you think of Chloe Lanier’s performance where she can go from portraying the victim in a situation, to an evil bitch, with ease?  What do you think of Josh Swickard as the PCPD’s main cop, now that Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) is on his way out of GH?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH Preview – Week of June 18, 2018

This week on General Hospital, as Carly (Laura Wright) is being drugged up with anti-psychotic meds at Ferncliff, it’s Jason (Steve Burton) to the rescue.  Carly’s bff finds a way to infiltrate the state mental institution. Meanwhile, Carly had been talking to Kevin (Jon Lindstrom), who says he will help her through her ordeal emotionally.  But is Carly really seeing Kevin, or is it just a figment of her imagination?

Elsewhere, Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) seeks out her ex Julian (William deVry) as she tries to come to terms with the root cause of her issues with the men she chooses to be in her life.  Julian, who has gotten closer to Kim (Tamara Braun), now has a chance to try to help Alexis and make up for the ways in which he hurt her.  Could this be the beginning of the patching up of Julexis, or the final straw?

Sonny (Maurice Benard) has just learned that Mike (Max Gail) moved the body buried at Croton. Where did Mike take it?  How will this have future implications?

Here are more teasers for the action coming up on  GH:

MONDAY JUNE 18

Obrecht covers her tracks.

TUESDAY JUNE 19

Nelle reflects on her past.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 20

Michael confronts Chase.

THURSDAY JUNE 21

Nina demands answers.

FRIDAY JUNE 22

Valentin’s romantic gesture back fires.

So, what story point are you looking forward to playing out this week on GH? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Breaking News

Dominic Zamprogna Confirms He Is Done At GH

Another General Hospital favorite has left the building.  After much speculation and rumors, it has been confirmed on Thursday afternoon by Dominic Zamprogna that he has left the ABC daytime drama series, and his role of nine years; that of Dante Falconeri.

In a tweet, Dominic shared: “So you’ve been asking. I feel I owe it to you awesome fans to tell you that I’ve taped my final scenes. Going to miss you all and my GH fam. Good things happening tho. More to come ..”

Zamprogna actually had taped his final scenes last month in May.

The character of Dante came on to GH, and it was revealed that he was the biological son of Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and Olivia Falconeri (Lisa LoCicero).

Benard posted a touching photo from on set of himself and Zamprogna on his Instagram account stating: “Always very sad for me when great actors and great friends leave the show Dom was definitely at the top of that list was always looking forward to working with him didn’t happen enough.”

Dominic’s on-screen lady love Emme Rylan (Lulu) shared these thoughts on Twitter:  “I am utterly heartbroken to see you go but also very excited to watch what is coming next for you. I believe in you! Go get em!”

So, are you sad to hear that Dominic has left GH?  What do you think will happen to the character of Dante? Share your thoughts on his departure in the comment section below.

 

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