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Panic in Port Charles
The "Big Three"- Tristan Rogers, Finola Hughes, and Ian Buchanan- are all threatening to check out of General Hospital 
by Janet Di Lauro, Daytime Tv 1987?

"Over the past six months General Hospital's ratings have plummeted rapidly! The show that once led the daytime pack is now struggling to hold on to third place. And things can only get worse if actors Ian Buchanan (Duke), Finola Hughes (Anna), and Tristan Rogers (Robert) all make good on their threats to leave GH.

Tristan Rogers has made it known that there's absolutely nothing that could convince him to stay with the show once his contract expires in December. He's not interested in more money or the promise of a blockbuster storyline. What Tristan wants more than anything is the chance to break out of daytime once and for all. He wants to leave Robert Scorpio behind him and start tackling new, challenging roles, and he's anxious to get a nighttime career going.

Rumor has it that the Australian star has been approached about starring in his own primetime series. Wouldn't Tristan be perfect as a suave detective like Magnum P.I.? Fans of GH would, no doubt, follow the talented star wherever he went.

Finola Hughes seems to have had her fill of soap opera, too. After two long years as Anna Devane Lavery, she's ready to throw in the towel. Like Tristan, Finola is also threatening to to in December.

Earlier this year she co-starred in the NBC TV-movie Haunted by Her Past with All My Children's Susan Lucci and Dynasty's John James. Perhaps the project made her itch to move on to bigger and better things even greater. As most devout fans know, Finola has quite an impressive list of credits under her belt- credits she acquired long before ever becoming a soap opera fan. She starred opposite John Travolta in the motion picture Stayin' Alive, and she had the lead role in the TV series The Hot Shoe Show in Londong for a year.

But don't be surprised if Finola eventually is convinced to extend her pact with GH through May, 1988. Why? Because that's how long her Tv-hubby, Ian Buchanan, is slated to stay with the show.

After that, Ian insists he's leaving Port Charles for good! Word is he was less than thrilled with the shabby treatment his character got this past summer. Poor Duke was practically shelved while the GH writers toyed with the idea of putting Anna and Robert back together. Although Anna and Duke were finally reunited and married in a splashy ceremony this past October, it may not be enough to get Ian to sign on the dotted line again.

'Once my contract is up, I plan on moving on. It's time. I need to move on. I want to be free to accept the movie and primetime offers I've had to turn down, because of my commitment to General Hospital,' he says.

Perhaps Ian and Finola could be written off into the sunset together, but fans will only take solace in their happy ending for a while. then, they'll start looking for a new couple to root for. But who'll be there to fill the void as the king and queen of Port Charles?

Although Kristina Malandro is the show's resident 'princess', (remember Felicia's Aztec heritage), her prince is no where in sight. Jack Wagner swears there's no way under the sun he'll ever come back as Frisco Jones. Kristina, however, is committed to GH until August 1988.

'I re-signed with General Hospital because our producer, Wes Kenney, promised me a major storyline over the next few months,' explains Kristina. 'He told me the writers had plans for me with or without Frisco. My guess is Jack won't be coming back. So, I'm ready to go on without him. Right now, I love Felicia's new job working in Robert and Anna's private eye office.' (But Felicia's 'new job' will definately be put in jeopardy if Robert and Anna are no longer on the show!)

One surprising move that might make up for the major cast exodus could be the return of Kin Shriner as Scotty. It was ten years ago that Kin and his leading lady, Genie Francis (ex-Laura), helped bring GH to #1 in the ratings. Their tender love story was a fan favorite.

But can Kin save GH this time around? And who'll be his new leading lady? Genie Francis has made a new life for herself in Salem, as Days of Our Lives' Diana Colville. Rumor is the GH writers may have Scotty's old flame, Bobbie Meyer, stray from her devoted  husband, Jake, in hopes of igniting an explosive lovers' triangle. But a move like that will have to be carefully thought out. After all, Bobbie and Jake are one of the show's most popular twosomes. And at this point GH can't afford to alienate (or infuriate) any of its fans!"


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