Terry Morrow: Genie Francis finds career rebirth with more 'Notes'

Actress Genie Francis is getting her second chance.

“I thought my career was all but over,” she says of her life shortly before doing 2007’s “The Note” for the Hallmark Channel.

After years of success on ABC’s “General Hospital,” where she played Laura Spencer, Francis shifted gears to marriage, raising children and running a shop in Maine.

Ten years ago, she saw her career — or at least the biggest years of it — behind her.

Then, came along the Hallmark Channel and “The Note,” a family piece with Ted McGinley.

“The Note,” which premiered in 2007, introduced Francis as Peyton MacGruder, a newspaper columnist working on the mystery behind a note she finds in a bottle. The 2009 sequel, “Taking a Chance on Love” (3.3 million viewers), has Peyton contemplating marriage. Both films were among the highest-rating films in the channel’s history.

So, naturally, that led to “Notes from the Heart Healer,” the third movie and one in which Peyton confronts her own mistakes from being a parent.

“Healer” airs 8 p.m. Sunday on the Hallmark Channel and is shaping up to be another ratings record- breaker for it.

“It’s fun. It’s turned into a little franchise,” says Francis, 49.

“It’s so nice to have something like this come along so late in my career.”

Francis, who’s now on “The Young & The Restless,” never expected “Note” to spin-off into more films, though the producers had it in mind.

“The audience for Hallmark is older, and the idea of second chances — finding love on your late 40s — is something they like to believe can happen,” she says.

“They’d like to think they could find love at that time in life, and it would all work out.”

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