Casting Shuffle ~ AMC's Finola Hughes Soon to Depart

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Show execs confirm Hughes' exit

Finola Hughes (Anna, AMC)Say GoodBye to Anna on AMC

Finola Hughes (Anna) is bringing her stint on All My Children to a close. A spokesperson for All My Children has confirmed that the actress will be leaving the show when her contract expires this fall. The news isn't entirely unexpected — for months there has been speculation that the actress, pictured here amid hordes of ardent fans, wanted to return to the West Coast where she created Anna on GH in 1985.   (Photo:  (c) 2003 Disney Enterprises/ABC)

It was in July 1999 that Hughes made a much anticipated return to daytime television. At the time, landing Hughes was considered to be a major casting coup for All My Children. The identity of Hughes' AMC character was a closely guarded secret and fans from both AMC and GH wondered if Hughes would be reprising her Emmy winning role of Anna Devane, the character she had portrayed on General Hospital from 1985 to 1992.

Finola Hughes (Anna, AMC)Fans of Anna Devane would eventually get to see her resurface - but not until March 2001. For the first two years of her Pine Valley presence, Hughes played Anna's twin sister, Alexandra. Alex didn't quite catch on with AMC fans and GH fans were likewise disinterested in the character. Moreover, some General Hospital fans were outraged that the supposedly-deceased Anna Devane was "resurrected" on All My Children and not General Hospital. Some fans of only All My Children didn't buy into the network's synergy plan - a process in which characters bounced around from one of the network's soaps to another - and were slow to embrace a character from a soap that they did not watch.

Hughes former daughter on the General Hospital, Robin McCullough, has reportively expressed an intrest in returning to the soap, But the actress is said to have preferred a West Coast based soap. All My Children is filmed in New York City, while General Hospital tapes in Los Angeles. Additional casting chatter has CBS's The Young and the Restless wanting McCullough to play the part of Mackenzie Browning.

Having Hughes and McCullough return to General Hospital together would be a significant boost to the show, which is currently ABC's top rated soap. Conversely, losing Hughes could be a very big detriment to AMC, a show that currently hovers in the bottom half of the ratings pile.

A spokesperson for General Hospital would not comment on Hughes and McCullough's possible futures with the show and a final airdate for Hughes has not yet been determined.