Hillary B. Smith, One Life To Live and Tristan Rogers, General Hospital
As you read here first
, One Life to Live
fully intends to rouse its comatose district attorney, Nora Hanen, now that Hillary B. Smith
's contract has been renewed for another year. And no OLTL
fan is more pleased than the ABC sudser's head writer, Dena Higley
"I hate [feeling like] the child of divorced parents," Higley jokingly tells TVGuide.com. "When you've got an actor and the network in some sort of legal battle, you're just sitting there going, 'What do I do?' I have my preferences, but I don't get a vote. It's just so much better now that I can go ahead and burn on [Nora's] story. What a relief!"
So when exactly will Nora wake up? "Late March or the beginning of April," Higley predicts. "I had to wait for the green light [from ABC] and we're writing really far ahead right now. We're planning to give Hillary a showcase for her talent. She is great at playing physical challenges, so we will tell a realistic story of recovery — not just from the brain aneurysm, but from being in a coma for that long.
"I think it's going to be incredibly moving," the sudsy scribe adds. "It's not going to be one of those soap-opera comas where people pop up out of bed and say, 'I needed that six-month rest. I think I'll go play some tennis!'"