NEW YORK (AP) — There’s heartbreak ahead for some ‘‘General Hospital’’ fans.
Steve Burton, who played Jason Morgan on the ABC soap opera for nearly 21 years and left the show last fall to relocate his family to Tennessee, is joining the cast of ‘‘The Young and the Restless.’’
Burton made the announcement Monday on CBS’ ‘‘The Talk.’’
He said in an interview with The Associated Press that the opportunity came from a recent developing relationship with Sony Corp. where he and actor James Franco (and former recurring ‘‘General Hospital’’ guest star) have been trying to develop a prime-time series.
‘‘They asked if I was ready to come back to daytime and ... what could they do to make that work,’’ said Burton. He said he wanted his family to stay in Tennessee and he needed a flexible schedule to spend time with them.
‘‘I get to have the best of both worlds and fly back and forth’’ from Los Angeles, he said. ‘‘I wasn’t really expecting it.’’
On ‘‘Y&R,’’ Burton will play Dylan McAvoy, an ex-soldier with a secret.
The 42-year-old begins shooting Tuesday. His first episode is slated to air Jan. 29.
‘‘It is a little nerve-racking because I don’t really know who the character is. The cool thing is I know a lot of people who are there already. The soap world is a small world,’’ he said.
Another appeal for Burton is that former ‘‘General Hospital’’ executive producer Jill Phelps is now at the helm at CBS’ ‘‘Y&R,’’ which has ranked as the No. 1 daytime drama for almost 25 years.
Burton understands some of his fans who may have been hoping he would return to ‘‘General Hospital,’’ will be disappointed that he’s joining ‘‘Y&R,’’ but says it was time to do something different.
‘‘To play a character for that long is amazing, but as an actor you want to do something new,’’ he said. ‘‘I get to play a whole new character and a whole different life.’’
One thing he’s not sure will change is the name of his band, Port Chuck, made up of ‘‘General Hospital’’ actors Scott Reeves, Brandon Barash and Bradford Anderson. The name is a play on the name Port Charles, the fictional setting of the soap opera.
Will the band need to incorporate Genoa City, where ‘‘The Young and the Restless’’ takes place?
‘‘Most people who don’t know us anyway are like ‘Pork Chop? What the heck is Port Chop? No, Port Chuck!’ As of now there are no plans to change the name,’’ he said.