Table for three? Right this way! ABC has announced that ousted General Hospital stars Michael Easton, Roger Howarth and Kristen Alderson, who left the soap several weeks ago due that contract mess with Prospect Park, will all return on May 10. No plot deets are available yet, but it does have us wondering who will remain on this gloriously over-stuffed show, especially now that the 50th anniversary craziness has peaked, and the Nurses Ball is a camptastic memory. What's to become of Laura and Scotty and Bobbie and Lucy? Is looney-tunes Brenda on her way out? Is Frisco too pissed to come back? And will Blackie Parrish ever get out of the slammer and return to Port Chuck? TV Guide Magazine got the 411 from head writer Ron Carlivati.
TV Guide Magazine: Luke and Laura have bonded strongly during this latest Cassadine crisis, so where will this leave the Laura-Scotty romance? Even if it doesn't work out, will Genie Francis and Kin Shriner stay with the show?
Carlivati: There's still a lot of story to tell with Genie and Kin. When this latest Luke and Laura adventure comes to a conclusion and they're back home in Port Charles, we'll explore whether or not Laura still wants to marry Scotty. Is she now more bonded with Luke because of what happened on the island? We'll keep that triangle very much alive for a while but it will be resolved. And even after that there's still much to play out with Laura and Scotty. I don't see either one leaving us anytime soon.
TV Guide Magazine: What about our beloved Nurse Bobbie?
Carlivati: It's been so great having Jackie Zeman back on the show but she will be going away again, but not without a wonderful capper on her visit. It's a lovely little payoff, something the audience will be very happy with. We've had great response to Jackie and she's a real part of the family. Bobbie should have been around for many important events over the past few years. She'll definitely be back.
TV Guide Magazine: And Lucy Coe?
Carlivati: She's sticking around. I adore Lynn Herring. She brings humor and warmth and so much heart to the show, so I don't want her to go anywhere. [Laughs] Besides, I think Lucy is already planning next year's Nurses Ball! There are still some lingering matters for her, including the question of where Rafe will live. And she's a good listening ear for Scotty, someone he can confide in while struggling over Luke and Laura. In the meantime, I'm figuring out Lucy's next adventure.
TV Guide Magazine: Felicia kicked Frisco to the curb. Is that the last of Jack Wagner?
Carlivati: There's nothing more for him right now. Felicia made her choice very clear and Frisco was pretty bitter about it. But Maxie is still having that baby in a few months, so it's always a possibility we'll ask Jack to come back. If so, hopefully he'll be open to it.
TV Guide Magazine: Speaking of bitter, what have you done with Brenda? Out of nowhere she's a star-spangled psycho bitch! Is Vanessa Marcil staying or going? And, if she's staying, will Brenda need some damage control? Also, what's Ingo Rademacher's status?
Carlivati: Carly finding Brenda in bed with Michael wasn't my original story plan. We had Jax figuring into things in a much bigger way but things changed when Ingo got Dancing With the Stars. That forced us to have Carly dismantle the Jax-Brenda engagement in about five minutes, but I'm really thrilled with the 180 turn we took by adding Michael to the Jax-Brenda-Carly-Sonny quadrangle. Vanessa will remain with us at least through the resolution of this arc. I have a real soft spot for that character, even when she's gone too far. She's needy and broken and she loves Sonny so deeply that it drives everything she does. She can't help herself. I think she absolutely truly did love Jax but she was hoping Sonny would say, "Call it off! Stay with me!" Deep down, that's what she wants, so we'll see where that takes us. As for Ingo, I'm very open to having him come back. We love that guy.
TV Guide Magazine: And the much-discussed return of John Stamos? He went on Jeff Probst's talk show and seemed pretty insulted that you only wanted him to play drums at the Nurses Ball. He said he'll only come back to GH if he's given something meaty to do. Will you bite?
Carlivati: There has been a long series of miscommunications with John. I asked to have him at the ball — along with Demi Moore, Ricky Martin and a hugely ridiculous wish list — but then reality set in. We heard back that John was unavailable or uninterested. Then came word that he was indeed interested but at that point the Nurses Ball had been written. We tried to write in a cameo that had him in one episode of the ball, but it was never as simple as just having him play the drums. John said he wanted to do something more, something where he could really act, so I came up with an arc that had his character, Blackie, getting out of Pentonville Prison and having to adjust to life on the outside. But, at that point, John seemed to be committed to a lot of other projects so it's dead, at least for now. But I still have hope it will happen. We plan to keep celebrating our 50th anniversary all year and there are many more returns in the works. It certainly ain't over!