ANTONIO SABATO, JR. AND TRISTAN ROGERS JOIN THE CAST OF SOAPNET ORIGINAL SERIES "GENERAL HOSPITAL: NIGHT SHIFT"
Legacy Characters Jagger Cates and Robert Scorpio Will Be an Integral Part of Show's Second Season;
Actors Billy Dee Williams, Kimberly Mccullough, Jason Thompson and Sonya Eddy Return;
Other Key Roles Cast
Brian Frons, president, Daytime, Disney ABC Television Group, today announced that two award-winning actors, Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Tristan Rogers, will reprise the roles they created for "General Hospital" of Jagger Cates and Robert Scorpio, respectively, for the second season of "General Hospital: Night Shift." The SOAPnet series, which is the network's most-watched of all time, follows the lives of doctors, nurses and patients as they embark on journeys of self discovery, love and heartache. The season premiere is TUESDAY, JULY 22 at 11:00 p.m., ET/PT on SOAPnet.
In other casting news, Billy Dee Williams (Touissant Dubois), Kimberly McCullough (Dr. Robin Scorpio), Jason Thompson (Dr. Patrick Drake) and Sonya Eddy (Epiphany Johnson) will be back for the show's sophomore season. In addition, other members of the cast include Adam Grimes as Dr. Kyle Julian, Carrie Southworth as Dr. Claire Simpson, Ethan Rains as Dr. Leo Julian (he is taking over the role from his real-life brother, Dominic, who was unavailable for Season 2) and Azita Ghanizada as Dr. Saira Batra.
In storyline, Jagger will return to Port Charles after a 13-year absence with his five-year-old son, Stone, in tow. He will reconnect with Robin (Kimberly McCullough), meet some new residents � including Robin's boyfriend Patrick (Jason Thompson) � along the way and, most importantly, face a difficult internal struggle as he grows emotionally as a man and a father. As for Scorpio, the super spy will have to face the fact that he is getting older and his health is failing. Upon his arrival in town, he'll check into the hospital as a patient where his daughter, Robin, will be providing his care. Father and daughter will struggle to figure out their relationship as grown adults.
"It is very exciting to kick off the second season with casting two accomplished actors who will undoubtedly bring their A-game to the series," said Frons. "Because of their own histories with the original top-rated show, the audience will be able to immediately connect with them and their characters' upcoming storylines."
On the casting of Sabato, executive producer Lisa De Cazotte adds: "I couldn't be happier to have Antonio Sabato, Jr. join us this season, as he will bring so much to this season because of Jagger's complex character and for the obvious natural charm he brings to the screen." Head writer Sri Rao continues, "Antonio is a true star. We are proud that he can trace his roots to �GH' and see it as befitting for him to return to Port Charles in the legendary role that helped propel his career."
As for Rogers, Rao enthusiastically says: "I am thrilled that Tristan will be returning to reprise his iconic role, and I can guarantee fans that they will not be disappointed. Robert's storyline will be heartfelt, funny and robust." De Cazotte continues, "Tristan's return to Port Charles will come with an important story for his character and for his daughter, Robin, that promises to be compelling and touching."
Mr. Sabato originally created and played the role of Jagger Cates on ABC's top rated daytime drama, "General Hospital." After leaving the show in 1995, he continued work in a variety of different projects for film and television, including "Bold and the Beautiful," "Melrose Place," "Charmed" and "Becker," and is currently seen in the successful summer series "Celebrity Circus."
Mr. Rogers originally created and played the role of Robert Scorpio on "General Hospital" over two decades ago. An accomplished actor, other appearances in his acting career include feature films and television series "Opportunity Knocks," "Family Law," "The Wild Thornberrys," "V.I.P." and "Bold and the Beautiful."
In its freshman season, "General Hospital: Night Shift" was record setting, ranking as the net's most-watched original series of all time in Total Viewers, Women 18-34 and Women 18-49. "General Hospital: Night Shift" is the successful primetime spin-off of ABC's top daytime drama which recently celebrated its 45th anniversary and has won a record 10 Emmys for Outstanding Daytime Drama.
SOAPnet offers same-day episodes of popular daytime dramas including "All My Children," "Days of our Lives," "One Life to Live," "General Hospital" and "The Young and the Restless" at night for convenient viewing. In addition, the network provides original programs, including "MVP," "Relative Madness," "General Hospital: Night Shift," "The Fashionista Diaries," "I Wanna Be a Soap Star" and the biography shows "Soapography" and "1 Day With..." Wrapped in a 24-hour environment, SOAPnet also offers primetime classics including "The O.C.," "One Tree Hill," "Beverly Hills 90210," "Melrose Place" and "Dallas," as well as former daytime series "Port Charles" and "Ryan's Hope."