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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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Sonny & Carly Week Of Encore Episodes On Tap For General Hospital

A Carson bonanza is on its way for the week of June 15th -19th when ABCs General Hospital rebroadcasts five pivotal moments in the love story and perils of Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Carly (Laura Wright).

The episodes date back to 2007 through 2016.  One of the emotional highlights is when the duo start to have major marital issue over the loss of their son, Morgan (Bryan Craig).

GH is currently still in COVID-19 production shutdown mode and this week is continuing to airs its encore presentations of the some of the Best of the Nurses Ball episodes.

Here’s what to look forward to for CarSon week:

Monday, June 15 : Sonny and Carly re-declare their love during the Metro Court hostage crisis. (originally aired 2/7/2007)

Tuesday, June 16: Sonny has gone off his meds and begins to spiral. Carly convinces him to resume taking the lithium. (originally aired 9/24/2013)

Wednesday, June 17:  Sonny is in critical condition after being shot. Sitting vigil in the hospital chapel, Carly reads the vows he wrote for her, and remembers their ups and downs. (originally aired 9/14/2015)

Thursday, June 18:  Sonny and Carly get married in the GH chapel.  (originally aired 10/15/2015)

Friday, June 19:  Grieving for Morgan, Carly blames Sonny for their son’s death. (originally aired 10/12/2016)

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So are you looking forward to seeing some of the episodes chosen featuring Maurice Benard and Laura Wright? Comment below.

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On Monday, the two states with the most television and film production in the United States (California and New York) received a plan from many Hollywood studios, producers and the entertainment and production guilds of a plan and outline to be able to rejigger and restart production of your favorite shows and films.  This includes the soaps: General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful and Days of our Lives.

Via Deadline: In an effort to get the industry moving-forward again where jobs were lost or put on hold, and production were completely stalled out-of-the-blue, the guidelines submitted by “The Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force (the “Task Force”) is asking for consideration and adoption for the resumption of motion picture, television, and streaming productions in an environment that minimizes the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19,” says a report for Governors Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York.

Photo: AP

You can read the details of the report here.  While there has been no word from the Governors and their offices if they have seen the report, bets are that several more steps will be needed before anyone would head and report back to a set yet.

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The Best of the GH Nurses’ Ball Continues; Which Is Your Favorite Musical Performance?

As part of its encore presentations, General Hospital is entering into its second week of Nurses’ Ball episodes.

Since the show is currently not in production and ran out of original episodes, viewers are getting to see all the glitz, the performances and the drama that makes the annual ball (which usually airs in May) so fun to watch.

Courtesy/ABC

Look for memorable moments this week from James Patrick Stuart’s (Valentin) when he performed Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes” and Josh Swickard’s (Chase) rendition of Portugal the Man’s hit, “Feel It Still” among others.

Here is a rundown of episodes this week to make sure to catch!

Monday, June 1, 2020 Episode 13565 (OAD: 5/25/16)
Franco gives Jake a helping hand. Carly blackmails Ava. Nikolas stops Hayden from talking to Jordan. Musical performances include: Don’t Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John & Kiki Dee performed by Emma Scorpio-Drake and Eddie Maine, This Changes Everything by Chris Ryan performed by Jake Spencer and Franco Baldwin; a striptease to Demon in Disguise performed by Magic Milo and the Magic Wands -(Felix DuBois, Dillon Quartermaine, Griffin Munro, Curtis Ashford and Milo Giambetti).

Tuesday, June 2, 2020 Episode 13812 (OAD: 5/23/17)
Jake shows Emma and Charlotte the Chimera canister that was sent to him. Jason finds Anna’s Chimera necklace on the floor. Sonny has Morgan’s medication

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Wednesday, June 3, 2020 Episode 13813 (OAD: 5/24/17)
Jake is scared when he sees the Chimera symbol on Anna’s necklace. Valentin tells Anna he sold the Chimera to Helena Cassadine. Michael visits Nelle in the hospital. Musical Performances include: Sara Bareillies’ Brave performed by Emma Scorpio-Drake, Amy Driscoll, Kristina Corinthos-Davis and Valerie Spencer, And So It Goes On by Billy Joel performed by Valentin Cassadine and It’s Not Over Yet performed by Josslyn Jacks.

Thursday, June 4, 2020 Episode 13814 (OAD: 5/25/17)
Sonny and Carly learn that Ava switched Morgan’s pills. Nina takes Valentin back. Anna tells Jason she is looking for a bio-toxin known as the Chimera. Jake sees Helena order him to do his magic trick, featuring the Chimera. Musical Performances include: Faith by George Michaels performed by Ned Quartermaine & Olivia Falconeri, Modern Love by David Bowie performed by Dillon Quartermaine & Kiki Jerome and Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen performed by Epiphany Johnson, Felix DuBois, Bobbie Spencer, Amy Driscoll and Deanna.

Friday, June 5, 2020 Episode 14509 (OAD: 5/17/18)
Curtis proposes to Jordan. Alexis overhears Finn tell Anna he hasn’t stopped caring for her. Sam finds Faison’s lighter in Peter’s office. Musical performances include: Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone performed by GH Nurses’ – Epiphany Johnson, Felix Dubois, Bobbie Spencer, Amy Driscoll & Deanna and Feel It Still by Portugal The Man performed by Harrison Chase.

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So, with this being week two of previous Nurses’ Ball episodes being rebroadcast on ABC, what has been your favorite musical performance of all-time in the ball?

Check out this week’s promo from GH below, and Josh and James’ performances that will also air again this week.  Then, l

et us know your thoughts via the comment section,

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It’s “Villains Week” on Y&R an that means some Sheila Carter, David Kimball, and Isabella Brana, Check out the promo from CBS Daytime here.  Leave A Comment

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Steve Burton as Jason & Maurice Benard as Sonny

General Hospital

Airdate: 5-19/20-2020

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