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Three Actors Forced Off Drama Series for Legal Reasons TVLine

Three actors are being forced to leave a long-running ABC series for legal reasons. TVLine.com reports that actors Michael Easton, Roger Howarth and Kristen Alderson are getting the boot from the daytime drama “General Hospital” -- at least for the time being.

“Daytime TV vet Michael Easton took to his Facebook page on Friday morning to advise fans not to send anything to the ABC soap’s studio for his Feb. 15 birthday, because by then he’ll no longer be hanging his hat there,” the story reports.

Easton wrote: “I’ve been informed that, due to some ongoing legal this and that, I cannot be at ‘General Hospital’ after February 8th.”

The “legal this and that” has to do with the upcoming Hulu/iTunes relaunch of “One Life to Live,” where the actors’ characters originated -- Easton’s John McBain, Howarth’s Todd and Alderson’s Starr.

The report explains: “When the media company Prospect Park announced its new plan to revive both ‘OLTL’ and ‘All My Children,’ it was with the proviso that it owns and thus has first dibs on the sudsers’ characters -- even on those that have since relocated to ‘GH.’

“Though McBain seems fated to return to ‘OLTL‘s’ Llanview, that does not necessarily mean that Easton will be playing him, since the ex-‘OLTL’ actors’ deals are not with Prospect Park but ABC. (Easton’s name was not among the dozen first confirmed for the relaunch, but his leading lady Melissa Archer’s was.)”

The latest word is that the three characters will be recast for the online relaunch.

ABC and “General Hospital,” meanwhile, apparently want to hang on to all three actors, even if it means placing them in different roles.

In a statement, ABC reportedly said: “’General Hospital’ is excited about Michael Easton, Kristen Alderson and Roger Howarth staying on the show, and we are exploring ways to allow that to happen.”

In his Facebook post, Easton said he’s “honestly not sure what the future holds, but I think it’s going to take some time and some very bright people to resolve it.”

michael-easton.jpgMichael Easton