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GH is playing hardball with Roger Howarth & my heart can't take it

Kristyn Burtt is an LA-based entertainment reporter who has covered everything from 'Dancing With the Stars' to the Oscars. If she’s not on the red carpet, she’s at home in yoga pants watching Netflix and eating potato chips.

What is going on with General Hospital stalling on actors’ contracts?

What is General Hospital doing to the fans? The latest rumor that the soap is playing hardball with another actor has me in heart palpitations.

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A recent issue of Soap Opera Digest included a blind item about an actor who was struggling with his current contract negotiations with ABC. The rumor was apparently solved by the Facebook group Soap Fans United, which confirmed Howarth's identity on social media.

Roger Howarth is beloved by daytime viewers because of his longevity in the TV genre. He started his career with a short-lived role on Loving, but he made his mark as Todd Manning on One Life to Live, winning a Daytime Emmy Award in 1994.

After the cancellation of the show and many years of soap-hopping, Howarth landed on GH in May 2013 as Franco, a role originated by James Franco. Now that he’s comfortable at his home in Port Charles, why is the network stalling again?

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ABC has already put us through the tug-of-war in signing Rebecca Herbst to a new contract earlier this year. That public relations disaster even got Nathan Varni caught up in the gossip of the negotiations.

I know I am not the only one who is frustrated with the constant difficulties behind the scenes, especially since Howarth’s character is integral to current storylines. Many other fans are also weighing in on Twitter.

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While the outcome will most likely result in a new contract for Howarth, what is happening behind the scenes that makes this process so difficult? Are there budget cuts on GH we aren’t aware of? Are the producers offering up contracts that are less-than-ideal for actors like Howarth and Herbst?

Whatever the answer is, ABC needs to figure it out because my soap-fan heart can’t take it anymore.

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