Robin Scorpio-Drake was suspected of having died in a lab fire on "General Hospital" earlier this year, but as recent episodes have shown, Kimberly McCullough's character is back.
"She's back for a little bit," executive producer Frank Valentini explained on Thursday at the ABC portion of the Television Critics Association summer tour, of the recent return of the much-beloved actress, who grew up on the long-running soap.
Asked by AccessHollywood.com how he wooed her back, Valentini said he cited the legacy McCullough created on the show.
"It's always challenging when actors want to try and pursue a different avenue in their personal life or in their professional life and I think for Kimberly, she had made the decision a long time ago to leave the show, and for the last, I believe the last six or eight weeks we worked together, we kind of had a really nice bond," he said. "She's a really bright, exceptional young woman. Having grown up on the show, I think she's been exposed to so many aspects of the business in such a short period of time.
"She's very interested in being a director and she and I kind of connected because I'm a director as well and I said, 'This is such a wonderful thing that you've created, let's try and keep it alive as opposed to sort of snubbing it out,'" he continued. "And she's open to it and we're going to try and work together and it's also good because she lives in Los Angeles, so it's a little bit easier."
"And who doesn't want to do a story about electric shock?" Jason Thompson, who plays Dr. Patrick Drake, Robin's husband, chimed in, referring to Wednesday's episode which saw medical professionals gearing up to perform the procedure on a restrained Robin.
During the panel sessions, which also featured Laura Wright (Carly), Jane Elliot (Tracy), Anthony Geary (Luke), Maurice Benard (Sonny), recent Daytime Emmy winner Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis), Steve Burton (Jason), Kelly Monaco (Sam) and Michael Easton (John), the actors were asked about the new blood on the show, including Easton, who came in after ABC pulled the plug on "One Life To Live."
"I love that there's new blood," Benard said. "They're bringing, I think, a different element to Sonny that wasn't there before, maybe a little bit more vulnerable towards the way Michael plays it and stuff, and Roger [Howarth]... he can be funny and all that, but I love it, I enjoy it."
As for Easton, whose John McBain character from "OLTL" was given a new life in Port Charles on "General Hospital," he said he feels energized by having joined the cast.
"It's been exciting to come over and get to work with these guys," he said. "It's been a new energy for me. I think we were pretty aware for a year there at 'One Life' that the wrecking ball was right outside the door and we worked at a pretty high pace to have that work, and it's been interesting to come over here and have the same feeling, and I think the only we're going to advance this is we'll do inspired storytelling and recapture the audience that maybe we've lost and try to bring them back and show them that we're doing some things that are exciting and different.
"It woke me up," he added of joining the "GH" cast. "These guys have snapped me out of it. I'm happy to be there, I feel really fortunate."
"General Hospital" moves to the new time of 2 PM ET, 1 PM PT on September 10 on ABC.
-- Jolie Lash
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