It’s getting to the point where you’d be surprised to hear about a bizarre, offbeat project that doesn’t have James Franco involved. The actor/living performance art piece that is Franco has signed on to join Nick at Nite’s original soap opera, Hollywood Heights (formerly titled Reach for the Stars).
The new program is based on the Mexican telenovela Alcanzar Una Estrella, which had a 100 episode run in 1990. Hollywood Heights will star Franco in a multi-episode arc in a story about a young, shy songwriter who rises to fame after winning a competition, and teams up with a rock star she idolizes to live out her dreams.
Even when Franco accepted, and then revived, (and then backed out of, and then backed back into) his eponymous role on the long running General Hospital, few assumed that he’d be making a habit out of soap acting. But clearly he’s got a taste for the genre. It’s not the strangest thing he’s signed on to do lately. Hollywood Heights will reunite Franco with General Hospital producer Jill Farren Phelps.
Franco joins stars Brittany Underwood (herself a soap vet from One Life to Live) and Carlos Ponce (of the moderately soapy 7th Heaven) on the series. Others mentioned as cast members include Melissa Ordway and Cody Longo.