Two large companies battling to protect their secrets and a woman who works as a pseudo-double agent for both companies. It sounds like the perfect plot for a motion picture or even a soap opera Sweeps storyline.
Not quite. This is real life.
Jensen Buchanan (ex-Vicky, Another World and As the World Turns, ex-Sarah, One Life to Live) is being sued by Televest Daytime Programs and Procter & Gamble Productions as well as the producers of As The World Turns in a breach of contract lawsuit.
Also named in the lawsuit is Buchanan's agent.
The reason for the lawsuit is Buchanan's recent appearances on ABC's General Hospital, where the actress plays Melissa, a woman from Roy DiLucca's (played by A Martinez) past. Buchanan appeared on General Hospital on Monday, January 29th and again in Tuesday, January 30th. Under the terms of Buchanan's contract, according to the Televest suit, Buchanan is prohibited from appearing on a competing program.
According to papers filed in the case, Televest is reportedly afraid that Buchanan's appearances on General Hospital could cause some viewers to defect from As the World Turns. Since February is a ratings-crucial Sweeps period, every ratings point counts. If Televest's fears are realized, As The World Turns could lose thousands of dollars in advertising revenue.
As soapcentral.com reported earlier this year, Buchanan's role on As The World Turns comes to an end this month. For a short time, Buchanan was pulling double-duty and flying cross-country to shoot scenes for As The World Turns in New York and General Hospital in Los Angeles.
ABC avoided further complications by recasting the General Hospital role on February 6th. Sharisse Baker-Bernard assumed the role of Melissa. Upon doing so, Televest dropped ABC from the lawsuit.
In a statement, a P&G spokesperson explained, "Once ABC realized how [Buchanan] and her agent had misrepresented the the terms of her exclusive contract at As the World Turns, the network immediately took action to remove her from General Hospital."
Sharisse Baker-Bernard was cast as Melissa on February 6th, but Buchanan is widely expected to return to the show after the legal wrangling resolves itself.