The old switcheroo. Four years ago, Michelle Stafford left her role as Phyllis on "Young and Restless." She checked into "General Hospital" to play Nina. Nina was in a coma for over 20 years. At first, she was pretty — pretty evil (Larry David, thank you). Then the character became softer. She was still outspoken and always ready for a fight, but not just for the sake of it. The writers at "General Hospital" made a miracle match. Two misfits, Valentin and Nina, fell in love. The audience loved the match. It was fun, heartfelt, passionate. Gina Tognoni went to "Young and Restless," where she played Phyllis. Both actresses have won Emmys. Each had an interesting take on the character. Stafford was trying to cut a new deal with "General Hospital." The show and the actress could not come to terms.
This has happened to "General Hospital" with several major characters in the past few years. Dante and Nikolas are two who walked instead of signing. This week, "Young and Restless" announced Tognoni was leaving and Stafford was returning. Tognoni appears to have been blindsided by the news. She is a trouper. She took to Twitter to thank the cast, the show and the fans for their support. One of the mainstays was Phyllis' friendship with Michael. That was missing during the reign of Mal Young. It is an integral part for both characters. Here's hoping this connection returns. No word on what will happen to Nina. Is the character recast or written off the canvas? For now, no one at ABC is saying: "Wow. Love it! Interesting."
After three years, Matt Cohen (Griffin) is exiting "General Hospital." His goodbye scene aired last Friday. His character was connected to so many Port Charles denizens — as Duke's son, Anna's stepson, Kiki and Ava's lover. A former priest and surgeon — and beautiful — Cohen says it was his decision to leave. Citing OCD and a desire to direct, he said his mind is always running at fever pitch. He needs different things to divert him. For now, he'll be directing a project he has been working on for the past few years.
It has been a banner year for Kassie DePaiva (Eve on "Days of our Lives"). She remains in remission after a siege of cancer, she loves her role at "Days," and she has been nominated for an Emmy for best supporting actress. So, who broke the Emmy news to her? Like almost everything else, she saw it on Twitter. She was in upstate New York skiing and did not hear the on-air announcement of the nominees. Someone posted a picture of her and Maurice Benard (Sonny on "General Hospital"), who is up for best actor. Her husband, whom she met while they were co-starring on "One Life to Love," is not certain if he will be by her side at the red carpet. It's not that he does not love her. If the show does not spring him for a ticket to the event, he will watch the streaming. For years, actors have been angry that they are not given airfare by the shows. One year, Eric Braeden (Victor on "Young and Restless") was furious when he was told he had to pay his own airfare. It had nothing to do with money; he could not believe the network would not pay the nominees' way to Manhattan. This year, the event is being held in LA. No airfare worries there. DePaiva gives kudos to Eric Martsolf (Brady) and Robert Scott Wilson (Ben). Never one to like watching herself, DePaiva had help from the "Days" public relations department.
The Daytime Emmys are slated for May 5 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. As in the past few years, it will not be televised. Several soap sites will provide up-to-the-minute news. GoldDerby is also a great online resource.
To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.