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News for the week of 30-Jul-2012

by Carol Banks Weber

Much of the soap industry found GH’s inclusion in the recent Television Critics Association summer press tour and panel promising. The last ABC Daytime soap might still have a shot at outlasting those pesky cancellation rumors. Executive producer Frank Valentini (ex-OLTL) and some of the core cast were on hand to pump up the media there about GH’s chances in light of the September timeslot move from 3 p.m. (Eastern) to 2 p.m., sandwiched between such powerful talk shows. The soap opera’s vets, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) and Tony Geary (Luke) spoke up for their new boss, Valentini, coming in from OLTL to save their sinking ship by sticking with what works, soap standards and traditions, like multi-generational storytelling and character-driven cliffhangers. Grahn praised: “Everyone seems to enjoy cutting edge things, the newest thing, but there's something to be really valued in tradition, making people comfortable and something that is generational and inclusive. That really matters. People have watched General Hospital for 50 years.” Geary added to the chorus: “We were living on death row. I think we were all pretty emotional to get 24 [Emmy] nominations when we were so shaky about a year ago before Frank came on.” Hollywood Reporter, July 26, 2012

Executive producer Frank Valentini appeared confident that GH had a strong chance beating cancellation, despite Katie Couric’s new talk show taking over its 3 p.m. timeslot in September. He had several of his GH cast members, including OLTL’s cross-over hit Michael Easton (John McBain), along for the promotional ride at the July 26th Television Critics Association summer press tour. The fact that GH was invited to the press tour, in Valentini’s eyes, is “a great sign. They’re behind this 100 percent and very excited about the 50th anniversary coming up. I’m pretty confident. You just need to watch the show to sort of catch the energy and the momentum that we have, and the network’s a big part of that.” Deadline.com, July 26, 2012

Kelly Sullivan’s (Kate/Connie) technique for getting into character is getting into a kind of focused meditation, especially for those tough scenes in therapy with Dr. Ewen. She recently told SoapTownUSA’s Dawn that it helps her really let go when it’s time to shoot those scenes. “Thankfully on the set, it’s a very safe environment. I feel very safe there. But it is also extremely vulnerable and exposing to go through something like that but it can be very rewarding. Exhausting, but rewarding that you did that, you allowed yourself to go to places that you never thought in your life you would ever have to experience.”

Chad Duell (Michael) and Kristen Alderson (Starr) are a match made in YouTube video heaven. They’re both goofy (although Duell’s goofier by a hair) and willing to go that extra goofy mile for fans. Their behind-the-scenes GH videos will surely make you laugh and go, What? They started the fun July 25.

On July 27, ABC announced that Kelly Monaco (Sam) – the first winner of Dancing With The Stars – was selected to return for the All-Stars cast. She made the 12 All-Stars cut, with three more vying for a fan vote to make the 13th as a wildcard. A brand new, All-Stars season starts September 24.

Gossip for the week of 30-Jul-2012

by Carol Banks Weber

Ewen is just the start of the mind control story arc that may or may not lead GH to its eventual End Game. Rumor has it that he is merely following orders from on high (Helena, Faison), along with OLTL’s Allison Perkins.

Genie Francis cannot return to GH as Laura even if she wanted to, which she doesn’t, because she’s locked in at Y&R as Genevieve. With former GH executive producer Jill Farren Phelps just hired as Francis’ Y&R boss, maybe those circumstances will change. Phelps supposedly fired Francis from GH, and maybe there’s bad blood.

Forget about John McBain and Sam McCall Morgan turning into siblings. TPTB had been toying with that plot twist, but they’re going with lovers now.

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