THE BIG CASTING BUZZ:
The Latest On A Fan Fave’s Comeback!
GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Laura has been off screen for months now, but might a recent lunch date between her portrayer, Genie Francis, and executive producer Frank Valentini mean that the Emmy winner’s return to the canvas is just around the corner? The In Depth Story: When word broke back in January that the soap had bumped Francis from contract status and Laura left town, EP Valentini received the bulk of viewers’ ire. However, after a “lovely lunch” with the soap’s showrunner earlier this month, Francis spoke out in Valentini’s defense, making her first public statement regarding the matter. “It’s been painful for me to see Frank receive so much of the blame for the decision to take me off contract,” she wrote on Twitter. “No one fought harder to reestablish Laura on GH. He has always
been my champion, and I don’t believe he took any pleasure in seeing Laura diminished.”
The news of Francis and Valentini’s lunch comes shortly after Nathan Varni, ABC’s senior manager of current programming, revealed — to the delight of the beloved soap icon’s many fans — on a DAYTIME AFTER DARK podcast that GH’s writers were working on a “prolific, big story for Laura that deserves the many talents of Genie Francis.”
On screen, Laura suddenly dropped out of the mayoral race when Spencer broke both of his legs in a skiing accident. While hubby Kevin has been holding down the fort in Port Charles, Laura has been tending to her injured grandson near his boarding school in Europe. At press time, there was no official word from GH regarding Francis’ contract status or when Laura might be back on the canvas.
“Always great to spend time with the beautiful Genie Francis,” Valentini tweeted of their lunch date.