Steve Burton Checks Out of ‘General Hospital’

Enter James Franco

"General Hospital" is about to get a little safer: Steve Burton, who plays sensitive hitman Jason Morgan, is leaving the ABC soap.

The decision, which Burton says is completely amicable, is a hit — sorry — to "General Hospital" fans who have stadfastly stood up for their soap even as others have fallen to cancellation. Burton told TV Guide Magazine, which broke the news, that he is moving with his family to rural Tennessee.

"My contract was coming up at 'GH' so we put the house up for sale again and it went in, like, eight weeks. That opened the door for me to leave," he said.

He said he is willing to stay past the end of his contract to help wrap up storylines.

Burton also said he is working with "General Hospital" guest star James Franco and Jill Farren Phelps, a former executive producer on the show, on a telenovela.

"Jill will EP it, I'll produce and star in it and so will James. We'll be able to get a lot of great cameos and guest stars because of James' connections. It'll be a fun show to do," he said.

But he told TV Guide he couldn't reveal too much at this point: "Uh… actually I'm not supposed to be talking about it," he said.