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News for the week of 21-Jan-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

During an exclusive Daytime TV Examiner interview January 13 with executive producer Frank Valentini and actress Kelly Monaco (Sam) at the recent ABC Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, reporter Phyllis Thomas asked an innocent question that inspired a possible future storyline twist involving the different couple possibilities:

>> Phyllis: What I love about the show is its ability to put any two characters together on any given day, at any given time and it works. There are so many characters that aren't in Sam’s orbit every day. Who would you like to work with that you don’t get to regularly?

Frank: [takes out his phone to make a note] I just got a great idea

Kelly: Sam’s got her mom and her sisters around to lean on but I think Sam needs a girlfriend. Yeah, a girl friend would be good. <<

The EP and head writer (Ron Carlivati) have a bi-coastal business relationship. Valentini oversees production in GH’s L.A. studios, while Carlivati remains in New York writing from his home. The two communicate by phone often, as often as 10-15 times daily, so the cells get a workout for sure, as much as Valentini does at the gym. He said he will get on his phone to Carlivati to talk GH after work and on the way to the gym, just as the head writer is getting ready for bedtime. Good thing Valentini’s in a place that affords him 30 minutes here and there of pure driving and chatting time. However unorthodox, the relationship works, since they’re both “workaholics,” Valentini said.

The trick to turning out a successful, updated soap opera nowadays is to honor the past while always moving forward. Executive producer Frank Valentini has achieved this balance nicely with the mix of veterans he’s restoring to GH and established fan favorites from a younger generation, tied together through character relationship (family and friends). Valentini pointed to the returns of Felicia for Maxie and Laura for Lulu (and Luke) as two main, recent examples of that updated trend. “Everyone that we bring back has a reason and a purpose. We brought back Felicia for Maxie, we brought back Laura for Luke and for Lulu and for other reasons to be determined... We're constantly trying to move the show forward as well as honor its history and I think that can be done. It's a lot of work and I'm blessed with a really smart head writer who's been able to do it.” Genie Francis (Laura Spencer) will return starting February 11 not just for her daughter but for other reasons, mainly because of her own adventures while away. This won’t be just a guest star appearance either, assured the EP. “We’ve hired her, we’ve absolutely hired her.” Access Hollywood, Jolie Lash

Executive producer Frank Valentini isn’t kidding around. He’s already brought back veterans like Sean Kanan (A.J.) for Michael, Finola Hughes (Anna) for Robin and Patrick, and Lynn Herring (Lucy) for everybody, with great success. Now, Kin Shriner (Scott) is next in line to make a reappearance in a week or so, perhaps for Laura and his grown daughter Serena.

It’s only January but already tickets for next summer’s annual GH Fan Club Weekend (main cast event and kick-off cocktails so far) went on sale for members this past Saturday. Ticket sales for non-members continues January 22. Check the GHFC site for more information as it becomes available. The GHFC Weekend is scheduled for July 25-29 at Studio City, CA’s Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel & Event Center.

John Bolger (Mayor Floyd) does modern comedy in an upcoming play about a single mom making ends meet while yearning for the good old, carefree high school days with the love of her life, now a rich doctor. Good People is a witty play by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Lindsay-Abaire. The show runs from January 29 (previews) to February 24, with opening night on February 1, at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, N.J. Ellen McLaughlin, Marianne Owen, Eric Riedmann, Cynthia Lauren Tewes, and Zakiya Young also co-star. After the New Brunswick run, the play will go over to the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Fans living on the East Coast should seriously consider purchasing the $28 tickets at the GSP Box Office, (732) 246-7717. For group discounts – 10 people or more, contact the GSP Group Sales office at (732) 846-2895, ext. 134. E-mail for more info.

GH is casting out for a 20-something blonde babe to play “passionate, complex” for a contract role. Sounds like Serena, Scott’s daughter, to me. –Soap Opera Digest online

Gossip for the week of 21-Jan-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Michael Easton (John McBain), Roger Howarth (Todd Manning), and Kristen Alderson (Starr Manning) like having crossed over to GH just fine. The thought of possibly going back to OLTL for Prospect Park’s Online Network reboot may not be going over very well with the transplanted actors. Prospect Park, back in 2011 when ABC Daytime canceled OLTL, got the licensing rights to the soap’s characters. So theoretically, it could very well call back John, Todd, and Starr for the online series—or recast with younger models. Daytime Confidential’s Jamey Giddens reported January 17 that TPTB on both sides are trying to work out a mutually beneficial agreement that would allow for the popular actors to help launch the online OLTL, then return to GH. A source of his said, “Prospect Park realizes these three characters could initially help draw fans to the new One Life. There are ongoing talks between ABC and Prospect Park about the characters returning to General Hospital at some point, which could be fine with [Prospect Park] as they eventually want to go much younger with their soaps.” While the choice is ultimately up to the actors whether they want to help launch OLTL online or not, purportedly the “people high up on the Disney-ABC food chain want to see these shows succeed online. The network might ask them to do it as a favor.”

Could fans be right about Cesar Faison siring Dr. Britt and assigning her the secret agent task of preoccupying Patrick romantically? They think this could explain why she’s so insensitive about Robin, because she already knows Patrick’s wife remains alive. I don’t think Britt is that smart, though, or the actress that deserving of a pivotal story turn. She’s bringing me down, and making Jason Thompson’s Patrick look like a colossal moron. All the GH extras are threatening to take over, Cartini, watch it.

Was this what executive producer Frank Valentini meant when he promised Elizabeth a good story measuring up to her (legacy) character? This coming week, she serves as the Mother Confessor to extra Sabrina and that moron Patrick. Y’know, instead of enjoying a frontburner love triangle with Carly and A.J., fast proving to be even hotter to watch than Carly and Todd.

Sean Kanan as one of the original A.J.s has been earning his keep on GH lately, driving story with a winsome combination of humanity, humor, and hubris. And his riveting, effortlessly natural scenes with both Connie then Carly at the Floating Rib? Big shot in the arm! It’s no wonder he earned a #6 spot on Daytime Confidential’s December 31st list of the “Top 10 Male Entertainers of 2012”: “Sean Kanan is the only guy on this list who can rightfully claim being hella entertaining on not one, not two, but three daytime soaps in 2012! … SoCal's loss was Port Charles' gain when Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati made the smart decision to invite Kanan back as presumed dead, bad seed AJ Quartermaine on General Hospital. With AJ back, the Q's were finally front and center again in 2012. Kanan fit right in like he never left. Does anyone else notice their television set crackling when he shares scenes opposite Jane Elliot, who plays AJ's aunt and rival for the family fortune, Tracy Quartermaine? Kanan's return as AJ has also accomplished what we previously thought unimaginable, it's causing Chad Duell to relax enough in scenes to turn in solid performances as Quartermaine/Corinthos heir Michael. Jason (Steve Burton), who?”

Lucy brought up Kevin as Livvie’s biological father from the now-defunct PC vampire soap in Tuesday’s episode. Maybe this translates into Kevin (as played by Jon Lindstrom, who’s slated to return soon) being Sam’s real father, which means he would’ve had to have sired her with Alexis — a thought that repulses me to the core.

General Hospital News & Gossip, Copyright © 2018 Carol Banks Weber. Published by / Jeff Jungblut. No part of this page may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher. Opinions expressed on this page are those of the author and may not be representative of or its advertisers. Don't steal scoops.