General Hospital star Vinessa Antoine gained a legion of fans after starring in the show for several years as Jordan Ashford. She went on to leave the show after landing the lead role on the Canadian series, Diggstown. The series first came to the United States via BET+, and now, a deal has been struck for Diggstown‘s first season to air on Fox.
Vinessa Antoine used to be on ‘General Hospital’
Antoine was the first actress to portray Ashford, first appearingon the show in the role on March 14, 2014. She played the character until September 2018. After being in cast Diggstown, Antoine said she left General Hospital after the show opted to recast the role instead of letting her appear on both projects. Briana Nicole Henry soon debuted as the recast after Antoine left.
On her exit, ABC told 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 disputes this claim. “Yeah…no. That was not [the case]. I thought that I would get to stay,” she told The TV Watercooler. I”t was quite a shocker for me. I never planned to leave the show. I was hoping to get to do what the other actors get to do…go on a little sabbatical. I knew that we were only going to be gone for the summer, so I thought maybe my character could go away on an undercover mission or fall into a coma. But they had other plans, which was out of my control.
Vinessa Antoine in ‘Diggstown’
Antoine made Canadian television history with her role as the lead of the Diggstown. The series, whose original network is Canada’s CBC, marks the first time that a black woman has headlined a drama series in the country.
According to the official description:
Diggstown follows Marcie Diggs, a star corporate lawyer who, after her beloved aunt commits suicide following a malicious prosecution, decides to reconsider her priorities. Set in the gritty arena of a legal aid office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, the team of lawyers that Marcie works with are a curious band of do-gooders, cynics, and scrappers – messy souls struggling to keep personal disappointment and demons out of their practice. They work directly in the community to find justice for their diverse clients, exploring issues of racism, poverty, and gender bias. Marcie is driven by one thing – to never again allow innocent lives to be destroyed by the justice system.
In an interview with The TV Watercooler, Antoine spoke about her role on the show, stating, “There were two aspects [at the time]. I loved that she was a surfer. I hadn’t really seen a lot of lawyers who surfed on TV before. Especially black women. So that was kind of cool. The second was that I was really interested in telling stories from that narrative of a black woman who lived in Canada. We hadn’t really seen that before. Especially one from Nova Scotia.”
The show’s first season airs on BET+, and now Fox has picked up the broadcast. television rights. Deadline reported the acquisition news. This comes as broadcast networks need more programs on their schedule due to delays of their own shows due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Fox has joined The CW and NBC and getting Canadian shows to air.
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