Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Anthony Geary Leaving “General Hospital” After 37 Years as ABC Slices Budget

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The first death knell of “General Hospital” has wrung: Anthony Geary, who’s played Luke Spencer for 37 years and has won 8 Emmy Awards, is out. He tells TV Guide he’s quitting, but it’s quite obvious that budget slicing finally hit the show’s highest paid actor. The show is bringing back Genie Francis as Laura, Luke’s long time love, to see him off.

And then? “General Hospital” has been on a wild ride since producer Frank Valentini and headwriter Ron Carlivati came from the cancelled “One Life to Live” and saved it. They’ve employed dozens of returned veterans on recurring contracts and balanced a zillion story lines.

But all good things must come to an end. They’ve got two highly paid popular actors– Maura West, who just won the Emmy for Best Actress in that show– and Michael Easton, who are barely seen. They’ve got two more, same situation, Michelle Stafford and Roger Howarth, who cost a lot. Today they’re “killing off” one other legacy character. And so on.

ABC still wants out of soap operas. Pulling the plug on Geary is the best way to destabilize the audience. Geary lives in Holland, is not retiring, and may turn up elsewhere. And I don’t think ABC cares much one way or another. For 10 cents they could have another cooking show and be done with it. We’ll see what happens.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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