Last year at about this time, reports began to swirl that the actor, who has played Jake since 1996, wanted to leave the show. Reportedly the actor talked to the folks at ABC and convinced them to take his character in a slightly different direction. One of his requests was that the writers explore the relationship between Jake and Tad (Michael E. Knight).
Now we're back to the swirling rumors. Actually, this time it's a definite: Lowry wants out. There's a bit of a problem, though. He's not at the end of his contract period and the network does not have to honor his request. So effectively, Lowry might be forced to stay with the show until his contract expires.
Lowry isn't the first actor to play Jake Martin. Strangely, though, the previous two actors to have tackled the role were also named Michael. Michael Braniard played then-Joey Martin from 1988 to 1991 and then again as brief cameos in 1994 and 1995. Before that, Michael Scaleri had the role for most of the eighties, starting in 1983 and ending in 1988.