Cady McClain (Dixie Martin) will return to All My Children this spring. While fans of the actress will no doubt be jumping for joy at the news, there are a few associated buts that could temper any celebration. McClain's return to Pine Valley is only on a short-term basis - and Dixie is still dead.
"Yes, it's true!" McClain wrote in her personal blog. "I am returning to AMC for a while. As it stands, they have asked me back to play a ghost [..] for a limited amount of time."
McClain, a two-time Emmy winner, made a much publicized exit from All My Children in January 2007 when her character was felled by poisoned pancakes. The exit was hardly amicable. It was widely speculated that McClain's outspokeness about the show's direction contributed to her ouster. The official explanation by the network was that the show's writing team, then helmed by Megan McTavish, had run out of storyline ideas for Dixie. Additionally, nixing McClain's salary was seen as a way to help trim the show's budget. Only days after Dixie was killed off, all mention McClain and her character was abruptly removed from ABC's official web site. The move seemed like a slap in the face to McClain's fans who noted that many dismissed actors remain present in the show's credits for months after their termination.
"I don't think they will ever bring me back, especially if they have removed the Dixie CHARACTER bio from the website," McClain offered at the time. "It's over. It's all done. AMC is going to become something totally different than it once was. It will be all new, all different. Why? I can only conjecture."
While hell might not have frozen over, ABC did reach out to McClain about a return. Julie Hanan Carruthers, All My Children's executive producer, contacted McClain to see if she had any interest in discussing a possible return to the show. McClain listened to Carruthers' offer, noting that it provided an opportunity to "heal something that so many feel went amiss."
"Dixie is back in Pine Valley with a mission: She's reuniting Tad with their long missing daughter, Kate!" a show spokesperson said in a statement. "Now with her angelic hand, Dixie will guide Tad into the loving embrace of their little girl."
McClain confirms that Dixie will return as a ghost, but refuses to rule out that things could change in the future.
All My Children fans know that seeing a character as a ghost or spirit doesn't necessarily rule out that the character could turn up very much alive at a later date. Jesse Hubbard returned to Pine Valley earlier this year, several years after he appeared as a ghost to help usher a slain Gillian Andrassy to heaven.
"Who knows what the future will bring? Right now I take it a day at a time," McClain adds.
McClain joined the cast of All My Children in October 1988 and remained with the show through 1996. She returned in July 1998 before again exiting in February 2002. From 2002 to 2005, McClain appeared as Rosanna Cabot on CBS's As the World Turns. Her work on the show earned her a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress. McClain then returned to AMC in December 23rd, 2005 before her unceremonious exit on January 30, 2007.
McClain first airs on May 2nd.