It’s a Sophie's choice situation in the soap opera world right now. The news that Steve Burton is exiting The Young and the Restless at the end of his contract in December brings up questions about whether he would entertain a return to General Hospital.
Burton played Jason Morgan on GH from 1991 through 2012. When he departed the show, the role remained dormant until 2014 when Billy Miller took over the role as a part of the character’s return to the show.
Miller won over most of the GH fans even though Burton is still seen as the “real” Jason by longtime viewers. Both talented actors brought their own interpretation to the character, so this latest twist in the soap world leaves us wondering if Burton will return to GH if Miller’s current contract negotiations don’t work out with ABC.
Here are a few hopeful signs that might have us seeing Burton back on GH.
Let’s be honest, it’s been a tough year for actors on General Hospital when it comes to contract negotiations. Sometimes it works out, like in Rebecca Herbst's case, and sometimes it doesn’t — just ask Tyler Christopher. If the Miller contract talks go south, will the network just swoop in and offer the role back to Burton?
Jason Morgan is definitely a legacy character on GH. There are some fans who only see Burton in the role no matter how great Miller is at his job. Sometimes a show will take the opportunity to get the original actor back as a part of that legacy.
The timing is curious, isn’t it? Burton announces his departure at the end of his contract around the same time Miller’s contract is up. Maybe we are fishing for something that isn’t there, but it sure does raise a few eyebrows.
Burton’s departure also comes at a time when Y&R has a new executive producer and a new head writer on staff. Former executive producer Jill Farren Phelps lured him over to CBS. Now that she’s no longer in charge, maybe he felt like it was a good time to jump ship?
Miller has successfully straddled his time on GH while also continuing to work in primetime television and in major motion pictures. He has appeared in Suits, American Sniper, Bad Blood and Urban Cowboy during his time on the ABC soap. We’ve recently seen quite a few actors explore their careers beyond daytime TV. Could Miller be looking to do the same thing?
As we all know, anything can happen in the soap opera industry, and viewers have seen plenty of shifts in the last 18 months. We will have to see what Burton’s next big step is, but one can always hope for a GH return.
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