Finola Hughes' maternity leave will end at the end of January, just in time for the actress to bring her character back for February Sweeps.
In a letter to fans posted on her web site, Hughes says she "spoke to [AMC executive producer] Jean Burke [and] I will be going back [to AMC] towards the end of January and I think you will all enjoy what they have in store. There have been so many ideas as to the disappearance of Alex, and I do think they have come up with an amazing storyline to explain my absence."
Hughes and husband Russell Young welcomed the birth of their son, Dylan Joseph, on Thursday, November 9. The infant weighed in at seven pounds.
The speculation about Alex's whereabouts continues to grow. In a recent WT? On the Spot poll on The AMC Pages, a full three-quarters of respondents felt that some sort of foul play was involved in Alex's disappearance. When asked if they believed Dimitri's initial allegations that Edmund was involved, the vast majority of voters rejected that idea.
Some interesting ideas have surfaced during Hughes' temporary hiatus.
One group of fans notes that since Alex had had relations with both of the Marick brothers, it's possible that she ended up with child. That, of course, could cause all kinds of troubles upon her return to Pine Valley.
In another scenario, other fans wonder if Charlotte, Alex's crime lord mother, will soon be making a return appearance. Though Hughes refuses to say exactly what will happen, she is admittedly fond of working with her on-screen mother. "I would dearly love to see my own bad guy mother, Samantha Eggar, come back on the scene," says Hughes. "It would be fun to work with her again."
And, of course, there are viewers that still suspect that David has something to do with Alex vanishing.
There is no definitive date for Hughes' on-screen return. If the actress returns to work at the end of January as expected, she could be seen as early as the middle of February.