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News for the week of 18-May-2015

by Carol Banks Weber

Tony Geary (Luke) told Michael Logan he was indeed leaving GH for the duration in a May 8, 2015 TV Insider interview. Geary is loathe to call it a retirement (“I don't like that word ‘retirement.’ It sounds like some guy sitting around the pool drinking Mai Tais until his heart gives out, and that's not me”) and executive producer Frank Valentini promised to leave the door open for drop-ins. In fact, Geary plans to continue acting, most likely in Amsterdam where he used to pop in and out. He is selling his home in California and wants to learn more Dutch so he can maybe score gigs there. Geary decided to leave in January and Valentini accommodated him with a brilliant send-off. The actor who recently won another Emmy gave several scenarios for his send-off, but made it clear that both he and Genie Francis (Laura) wouldn’t want a typical one with them riding off into the sunset. And yet, he brought up some concern about the ideas proposed by the writers for the actual send-off. “I had an epiphany shortly after the GH anniversary episode, when I was hearing the writers’ ideas of how Luke Spencer would leave the show and I was not on board with a lot of it at first. But then I realized, you know what? I don’t have ownership of this character. I have deluded myself all of these years that I could bully writers and producers into doing things my way, and a lot of times I bullied quite successfully. I have bullied, cajoled, and subverted! I know how to do all those things well but that has been very costly to me and to others. And so I finally had a talk with myself and realized that Luke Spencer belongs to ABC and to whoever is writing and producing GH. And there was a great weight lifted off my back when I accepted that. I will do my best with the material they give me in these next few weeks and I will fight to make it honorable but, at the end of the day, I am a color on the palette. I am not the painter. And I am finally at peace with that. [Laughs] God, it only took me 37 years on this show to figure that out!”

Amidst rumors that Finola Hughes (Anna) may also bail comes news from Soap Opera Digest online last week that she’ll direct a movie entitled, The Byrd and The Bees, for three months this summer. During this break from GH, her story with Sloane will be on hold.

Jeff Giles of Rotten Tomatoes (and Pop Dose) got head writer Ron Carlivati to talk about something beyond the same old soap stuff in a fun, May 15th interview. In “The 8 Biggest TV Cliffhangers from the 1980s,” Carlivati was game to come up with his favorite end-of-season game-changers. He listed all the good ones, too, from Dallas’ “Who Shot J.R.?” to the Moldavian Massacre on Dynasty, to of course the day Laura came back to Luke on that balcony. But Giles, ever the intrepid soap reporter too, did ask the right questions about what’s next. For Luke, only the best. “I have a little bit of that feeling I felt when I had to bring One Life to Live to its conclusion. We want to make sure we’re able to give the fans what they want — which of course is difficult, because different fans want different things. He’s such an iconic character, and we don’t have a lot of time left with him. When we rested him after his big story that he just had, I think I had 10 weeks to play out his exit. In a way it’s good, because it’s like, ‘All right, there’s no time to waste — just make this story go.’” The other big story, promised Carlivati, is Jason’s memory reveal, which will play out this year a little longer. “We definitely have the faster stories and quick adventures, but for something like this, these are stories that take a year or more to develop, and only on soaps can you have that build. Things that take that long to come together and justify the payoff by ratcheting up the drama. You know when this comes to a head, it’s going to be gigantic. We have a lot of great stories, but I think in 2015, this is going to be the one — other than Luke — that’s the big story.”

Gossip for the week of 18-May-2015

by Carol Banks Weber

What a week! This mob love story is just the shot GH needed. Every actor featured has slayed his/her role, serving the passion and the pathos in the right doses, not too hammy, not underwhelming. Head writer Ron Carlivati finally got out of high school to oversee a smart, fast-paced, gritty, realistic mob story told from the perspective of two respected people madly in love. I haven’t been able to keep my eyes away from the TV screen since last week’s Nurses’ Ball finale. If Finola Hughes (Anna) doesn’t win an Emmy for this next year, we know for sure that awards show is rigged. Read more of my commentary “GH Saves the Mob By Telling a Love Story” at SoapHub.

The May 11th rumor up at Celeb Dirty Laundry sounds completely bogus: Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth) leaving because she can’t stand co-star Billy Miller (Jake/Jason), really? Herbst is a consummate professional who admitted she loved acting with Miller, and I believe her. So what’s up with this soap blog’s baseless rumor? The May 8th love scene wasn’t convincing enough, apparently: “Did anyone else notice how awkward and passionless the sex scene was? For something that had been building for so long, you would have expected fireworks, but it looked like Rebecca Herbst could barely stand to be touching Billy Miller.” Bogus. On top of that, Celeb Dirty Laundry alleged Herbst had planned on bailing before Jake came on the scene, then she “agreed to stay until it was revealed that Jake is Jason.”

Elizabeth might see her family get bigger by this summer, as supposedly tweeted by executive producer Frank Valentini via Mark H Soap on May 8.

Morgan’s gonna spin out of control, which may lead to his exit.

These Addicted To General Hospital Spoilers (plus my additional, informed thoughts) spumors make sense: The groom on the other side of Nina’s hotel room door is Ric. He has an ulterior motive, and part of it could be to pay Carly back (stupid, stupid, Sonny). Ava comes back into town looking like a different (brunette) woman sporting an Olivia accent, but purports to be someone else. The DNA test seems to back her story, too. And, “JJ returns with some other guests,” probably to usher Luke out. If you don’t know who JJ is, watch Nashville. He’s a hit there.

Sloane and Jordan until Anna returns?

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