For at least the past several weeks, Emmy winner Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) has been involved in contract negotiations. Throughout the contract talks, there have been reports that things were not going well or that the actor was prepared to walk away from the role he's played for nearly 20 years.
Contrary to reports elsewhere, soapcentral.com has learned that Burton will not be leaving the ABC soap. The actor has reached a deal that will extend his stay on General Hospital.
Unlike some other recent high-profile negotiations, Burton seemed to know going into the talks that he'd have to accept a smaller salary. At the General Hospital Fan Weekend held last month, Burton stated that he would be willing to take a pay cut because her understands that money is a lot tighter now than it has been in recent years.
"We are all blessed to have a job right now," Burton told Michael Fairman for Michael Fairman On Soaps.
Last week, TVGuide Canada's Nelson Branco reported that as part of his bargaining, Burton was "trying to convince show runners to let him work two or three days a week" so that he could relocate from Los Angeles to Tennessee.
It is unclear if Burton negotiated a lighter workload or more time off from the show as part of his new contract. ABC, of course, does not comment on contracts.
As for what's ahead for Burton's alter ego, Burton hints that Jason's nights will soon be a lot less lonely. Viewers will be left to figure out exactly who he'll be paired with romantically.
Burton joined the cast in 1990, becoming the third actor to portray Jason Morgan since the character made its debut in 1983. Upon casting Burton, though, Jason was "aged" several years for story purposes. Burton left the show in January 2000 to pursue other opportunities, but returned later than year and the following year for a series of special appearances. He returned to the show full-time in May 2002.
Photo Credit: ABC