Vinessa Antoine Leaving 'General Hospital' for Historic Canadian Primetime Role, Jordan Will Be Recast

Vinessa Antoine, who joined the cast of General Hospital in 2014 as Jordan Ashford, is leaving the show as she prepares to take on the historic lead role in the upcoming Canadian drama Diggstown.

On Instagram, she wrote, "There are so many people that God put into place who are directly and indirectly responsible for my time at @generalhospitalabc You know who you are. I thank you. I came into this world as an artist. My job is to create and inspire. I hope that I did that a little in playing #JordanAshford. I believe that I have taken her as far as I can. To clarify, as negotiations for #Diggstown were underway, although I am open to stay and play in Port Charles, I was told by my reps that @GeneralHospital felt that my character would be off the canvas for too long for me to continue playing her. With that, we decided to mutually part ways. It’s time to make room for more women of color in prominent roles on television. I’m grateful to assist in that by starting this new chapter in my journey. I hope you’ll all come along. I feel blessed. Be well. xo"

ABC offered some additional inside to Soap Opera Digest: “Vinessa Antoine exercised her pilot out and is choosing to leave the show. While we are incredibly sad to see an actress of her caliber go, we feel that the character of Jordan Ashford is too important to lose and will be recasting the role.”

Antoine will make history as the first black Canadian actress to star in a prime time drama on legacy network television, according to public broadcaster CBC.

“I’m just very excited to be chosen to do this,” said the Toronto-born actress, when she announced the casting to the Toronto Star. “I think it’s something that’s been long overdue. But everything is changing right now and it’s definitely time.”

In Diggstown, scheduled to air in the key CBC fall and winter season, Antoine will play Marcie Diggs, a top corporate lawyer who decides to dedicate herself to a legal aid office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Today in Soap Opera History (July 16)

1981: Alexandra Neil first appeared on Texas as Ruby.
1987: Days of our Lives' Charlotte Ross debuted as Eve.
2001: One Life to Live's Melissa Archer debuted as Natalie.
2004: Kirsten Storms made her last appearance as Belle on Days.
"All true histories contain instruction; though, in some, the treasure may be hard to find, and when found, so trivial in quantity that the dry, shrivelled kernel scarcely compensates for the trouble of cracking the nut."
― Anne Brontë in "Agnes Grey"

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1934: Musical radio soap opera Dreams Come True premiered on the NBC Red network. The show aired three times a week and revolved around vocalist Barry McKinley. Dreams Come True was sponsored by Procter & Gamble's Camay soap.

1953: On radio soap opera Hilltop House, Julie Erickson (Jan Miner) thought it was too soon to judge Gladys' performance. The episode was written by Addy Richton and Lynn Stone.

Wife of Late 'Guiding Light' Star Tom O'Rourke Releases Book About Years of Cheating, Reconnecting After His Death

In April, Marcy O'Rourke, the longtime wife of former Guiding Light star Thomas O'Rourke released a book about his life, "Bedeviled: The Strange Life and Death of Actor Tom O'Rourke".

According to the book, O’Rourke led a double life, secretly cheating on his wife for 35 years. He was a wonderful husband and father, who told himself everybody cheats, but in fact, he had a sex problem that destroyed his career, his happiness, and finally took his life. When he passed away, he could not rest in peace, so he came back to confess his true story the only way he could: paranormally.

O'Rourke starred on Guiding Light from 1977 to 1983 as Dr. Justin Marler, the biological father of Phillip Spaulding and Ross Marler's brother. He died on September 13, 2009, during the final week Guiding Light was on the air.

"This is the true story of the lies, false hopes and suffering of a cheater that had to be told so Tom could rest in peace," Ms. O'Rourke writes in the prologue of the book. "It's so astonishing, it sounds like ficiton, but it's all absolutely true."

Check it out on Amazon here.

Watch some highlights of O'Rourke on Guiding Light below.

Daytime Nielsen Ratings: 'General Hospital' Up in Total Viewers But Hits Record Low in W18-49 Demo

The Live + Same Day daytime Nielsen ratings are in for the week of June 25-29, 2018. General Hospital was up in total viewers week-over-week (+68,000) and year-over-year (+94,0000) but hit a new all-time low among female viewers age 18-49 (338,0000). The Bold and the Beautiful (332,000) also hit a new low in the Women 18-49 demographic.

Check out a breakdown below of the daytime soap opera Nielsen ratings by category:

Total Viewers (versus previous week/versus same week last year)
1. The Young and the Restless 4,137,000 (+16,000/-112,000)
2. The Bold and the Beautiful 3,339,000 (-144,000/-68,000)
3. General Hospital 2,500,000 (+68,000/+94,000)
4. Days of our Lives 2,082,000 (-163,000/+25,000)

'General Hospital' Spoilers (July 16-20, 2018)

Spoiler alert! What's happening on General Hospital during the week of July 16-20, 2018? Check out the day-to-day spoilers and a sneak peek video below to find out.

Monday, July 16
Michael is torn; Jordan is sympathetic; Sonny expresses his frustrations; Ava deflects; Josslyn comes clean.

Carly thinks Nelle is both dangerous and deadly, and interrupts her wedding to Michael.

'Days of our Lives' Spoilers (July 16-20, 2018)

Spoiler alert! What happens next on Days of our Lives? Check out the day-to-day spoilers below for the week of July 16-20, 2018 to find out.

Monday, July 16
JJ takes the fall in order to help Theresa; Abigail reveals to Gabi who is the father of her baby; Theresa and Brady each make one last plea to win custody of Tate; Kayla and Steve eagerly anticipate a meeting about Steve's new eye.