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ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee: "I'm thrilled to see General Hospital rocking and rolling in the afternoon!"

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

This morning at the TCA (Television Critics Association) Winter Press Tour, it was the first day of sessions from the Disney/ABC Entertainment Group to promote their shows and reveal some upcoming programming agendas, as well as talk about the hits and misses of the season, and where things stand with current series on the network.

To kick things off, Paul Lee, President ABC Entertainment Group, addressed the press.  When discussing the success and future of the network’s primetime soaps, Lee gave kudos to daytime’s General Hospital!  According to a tweet from Sara Bibel of Deep Soap, Lee stated, “I’m thrilled to see #GeneralHospital rocking and rolling in the afternoon.”

In addition, according to HitFlix, Lee went on to say that primetime soaps are back citing:  “Soaps is one of the great genres.  I think we do soap operas particular well.”  Lee also made an observation that Latinas love soaps and bring that demo to ABC. 

When discussing the ratings for its freshmen primetime soap Nashville, Lee revealed the network needs to bring in the younger demo to help propel it forward in the ratings:  “Its a big show in 18-34. For 18-49, there may be a barrier to entry. Our strategy in going forward (with ‘Nashville’) is we have the young trendsetters using multiple platforms. That will help to bring an older audience in. We think we can do better.”

Revenge was also a topic of conversation, and according to TV Line, Lee touted the series ratings performance but conceded that the storytelling got a bit too “big” in Season 2. “I know (series creator) Mike Kelley is excited about focusing on our lead characters and their emotional journey,” related Lee.

So soapers, what do you think about Lee’s comment about GH?  Good vote of confidence? And what are your thoughts on when the executive stated that ABC does soap’s particularly well?  Are you watching Nashville and/or Revenge? Let us know your thoughts!

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Tali Smith
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Tali Smith

abc sucks at soaps! I watch GH because of the OLTL crossovers and I do like Nashville. That’s what I’m watching. ABC is really good at canceling the BEST soap they had and destroying the storylines on GH.

Sal Piscioneri
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Sal Piscioneri

great news…………

Jason D. Reese
Guest
Jason D. Reese

I feel more confident GH will last another five years as long as the president of the company likes the way it’s rocking and rolling in the afternoon. Good luck GH.

Lisa
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Lisa

Bring back One Life To Live on ABC. OLTL already had latino characters on it, and of course, there is room for more. OLTL was the most diverse soap on the daytime lineup. Cancelling it was a colossal mistake. The demographic watching it was the group with the most spending money also. This is vital to selling advertising space. I will never watch any replacement shows, and I think that there is a huge portion of the daytime audience that feels this way.

kim
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kim

you do know that they are bringing oltl back but online only~

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

Not online ONLY. They are looking at cable channels for re-airing after their original airing online.

susan M.
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susan M.

This is for CTwildheart.. I didn’t know they were considering cable channels also. I just know about PP making a deal to put it on line. I am very interested to know where you read this about OLTL…..

kim
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kim

yeah me too! i looked and looked and i didnt see anything about that CTwildheart.

Jennifer
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Jennifer

Honestly GH, Nashville and Revenge are 3 of my favorite shows on TV!! Guess I am an ABC girl. Thrilled about the comment about my beloved #GH.

su0000
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su0000

I also the ABC prime time soap; Sacndal

SZima
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SZima

All of those plus Once Upon a Time…and in the non-soapy category, Castle and Modern Family.
The majority of the shows I watch are on ABC, so I could never be a part of the boycott ABC group. 🙂

su0000
Guest
su0000

Revenge is must see for me.. It is a spellbinding prime time soap., luv it! .
Nashville, I can take or leave ..
He was right on, GH is rocking it !!
I have no doubt that GH will be renewed..!!!

Dave
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Dave

Talk about a 360 from last year. Last year ABC told its viewers they didnt have the time to watch soaps. That its viewers wanted and only had time for talk and cooking lifestyle shows!
Crow casserole anyone?

k/kay
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k/kay

My question is does he mean it? Now somebody tell me it is driving me nuts since when did doctors walk in on other doctors uh seperate quarters I was extremely put off concerning the shower scene today between Patrick & Britt. I mean I feel sorry for the patients glad I am not one of them. I mean really this is the only storyline you can come up with for Patrick did we not do this at ad nauseum with the other physco Dr.

su0000
Guest
su0000

It is fictional soap opera .. not real life …
so yah, they will walk in on each other and give a lil sexy ..

SZima
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SZima

Soaps should at least “resemble” real life.

Christine
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Christine

I agree with you, k/kay. I thought the whole thing was disgusting, but then again, so is everything about Britt. I can’t wait until she gets a taste of her own medicine. 🙂 The set-up in the changing area/showers did not seem plausible, but then again, I have never worked at a hospital before. I can see them fooling around in a supply closet – that could happen at any job – but I would think the men and women would have separate showers and changing areas. Maybe the Cassadines need to donate more money to the hospital to get… Read more »

Elhu
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Elhu

It is always nice to hear positive feedback about GH, especially when it comes from someone in a position to decide the future of it, but I will be even happier when I hear that it has been renewed !!!!

CTwildheart
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CTwildheart

It doesn’t need ‘renewing’ as ABC/D owns GH. It is on until they cancel it, no renewal necessary.

Linda
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Linda

I wonder what his thoughts would be if the soap fans didn’t retaliate with the boycott. I still only watch GH on ABC!

Patrick
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Patrick

I’m with you Linda! The last day I watched ABC was January 13th, 2012 . The day OLTL went off the air. I will watch GH as long as OLTL characters are on.

Let’s hope the on-line version of OLTL is a success!

Best-

Patrick

JLH
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JLH

Ditto. I’m enjoying GH but I’m done with ABCD.

SZima
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SZima

I’m sorry for you…you all are missing some wonderful, fun shows on primetime ABC.

Christine
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Christine

Oh Lee can just kiss my butt.

He is a moron.

I learned everything I needed to know about this man last year with his lame comments and now that he has jumped ship we are all just supposed to bow down?! Please.

JustSaying
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JustSaying

Brian Frons basically said the same thing about AMC. He said that All My Children was in good standing and wasn’t going to be cancelled.

Next thing we knew, it was cancelled.

I’ll never fall for that line again. I won’t trust any daytime president on ABC. Or CBS for that matter.

Liz Arnold
Guest
Liz Arnold

So now they like soaps? That’s the ultimate betrayal to OLTL & AMC. They’re really trying to get past the bad PR from canceling our shows. Or all the buzz has made them change their tune because they think soaps are hot now. Either way its too little too late. If they really want us to forgive & forget they need to publicly say that they made a big mistake canceling our shows. They also need to do whatever they can to make sure that Prospect Park succeeds. I am so upset with Mr Lee’s comments. Can he twist the… Read more »

Troy Turner
Guest
Troy Turner

Liz-I absolutely agree. ABC’s comments are schizophrenic at best. The saving graces here are that it appears to be a formality that GH will be renewed for 13-14, and that Mr Lee has no delusions about being a soap actor, unlike Frons

Torrey
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Torrey

Totally agree with you. I want a public apology for canceling OLTL & AMC….it’s so strange how only a year later, ABC now suddenly loves soaps and is ready to stand behind GH. Funny, but they said the same thing after they moved AMC to Los Angeles….then the news of the cancellation came. I don’t trust, nor do I watch ABC daytime anymore. Used to start my day with GMA and go all the way through to GH….I haven’t watch ABC daytime since January 13th 2012….the day OLTL went off the air. Just say it ABC….”We made a big mistake!”

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

So with you Liz! After saying basically the same thing before and then uprooting an entire show from one side of the country to the other side – only to cancel it months later…has left me wary of ANYTHING that ABC/D says. Even with an apology (which NEEDS to happen!) I will never forget. Troy…since ABC/D owns General Hospital, they don’t need to ‘renew’ it. They either show it or cancel it. I have only watched GH since they took AMC and OLTL off the air. That will not change until I hear/read this apology AND see both back on… Read more »

RobertC
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RobertC

I think Disney is starting to realize they underestimated the power of the Soap Opera fans and the replacement shows like the Chew are not getting the ratings that they wanted.

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

After the last three years of ABC/D lying to its fans and employees – I give this no weight. It means nothing to me…except that (maybe) they have realized what a mistake they made. It started with them deciding no one wanted to watch daytime dramas anymore – and they actively worked at killing the shows with terrible writing and alienating actors. It has not ended yet, and my boycott (except for GH) stands.

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

I agree CT. I’m still boycotting ABC – idiots that they are.

su0000
Guest
su0000

ABC/D lied to no-one, they have no need to lie.
They simply do what they do with no explanations to anyone ..
ABC/D is total power and do not care of peoples emotions, they would not even bother to lie, they just do what they decide to do ..

mary
Guest
mary

I saw Nashville once. It’s terrible, These nighttime soaps are not as good or as fun to watch as a “real” soap like GH. I stick with a real soap. GH

susan M.
Guest
susan M.

Happy for GH !!!!!!!! Glad it is ROCKIN N’ ROLLIN!

General Hospital

GH’s James Patrick Stuart in the Cast of Disney Channel’s Super-Villains Pilot ‘Amy From Amarillo’

Casting news was recently announced for the Disney Channel’s upcoming half-hour live-action comedy pilot with a working title of Amy From Amarillo.

According to Deadline, while the series has named actress Isabella Pappas in the title role of Amy, none other than General Hospital star James Patrick Stuart (Valentin Cassadine) is also noted to be a part of the cast.

In story, the project follows a family of super-villains who must go on into hiding in Amarillo, Texas when they fall afoul of the League of Villains and are about to be liquidated.  Production on the pilot is set to begin this month.

Those joining Stuart and Pappas in the cast include: Hilda Spellman, Patricia Belcher, Kayden Muller-Janssen, Malachi Barton, Reed Horstmann and Lucy Davis will plays Amy’s mom, Eva aka Spark, a feisty supervillain who shoots electrical current out of her hands.

Production on the pilot is set to begin this month.  Stuart will be continuing his role on GH as per usual.

Furthermore, James took to Twitter this morning to clarify for inquiry GH fans who were concerned about the status the project might cause for his role on the ABC daytime drama series: “I am currently working on a Disney Channel comedy pilot. We film 15 minutes from the GH stage so, should the show get picked up for series, and while it would create scheduling headaches for some very cool people, I have no plans to hang up Valentin’s dancing shoes any time soon.”

So, intrigued by this pilot and what role James will have within it? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GL Alum Kimberly J. Brown Joins the Cast of General Hospital

Another daytime favorite is coming to General Hospital.  This time its Kimberly J. Brown (Ex-Marah) of Guiding Light fame.  She last appeared on the soaps during her from 1993-1998 and then a brief return in 2006

According to Soap Opera Digest, she will make her GH debut next week in a mystery role.

Kimberly worked with two GH powerhouse actresses during her tine on Guiding Light. 

She noted to SOD about her time in Springfield: Cynthia Watros (Nina, GH, Ex-Annie Dutton, GL) was my stepmom for a bit, and Laura Wright (Carly, Ex- Cassie, GL) played my aunt.”

Brown has appeared in numerous primetime television shows and motion pictures over the last few decades.

Now the question becomes, who will Kimberly play on GH? Share your theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital and ‘H.R. Pufnstuf’s’ Billie Hayes Dead at 96

She was one-of-a-kind, and now actress Billie Hayes has passed away at the age of 96.  Hayes’ family announced her death from natural causes on April 29th at Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

Hayes was best-known for her unforgettable role as Witchiepoo on the 1969-70 Saturday morning live-action children’s classic H.R. Pufnstuf from Sid and Marty Kroft.

However, daytime fans will remember that then General Hospital executive producer, Gloria Monty, hired Hayes to play the recurring role of the street-smart international spy, Brighton O’Reilly, back in the 80’s series hey day.

GH’s Tristan Rogers (Robert Scorpio) took to Twitter to mourn the loss of Hayes on Monday sharing; “My dear wonderful Billie Hayes has died. Sadly I only got to work with her on GH but it was a magical relationship. Right away Gloria Monty saw something unique and ran with it. I cannot tell you how her passing saddens me.”

Photo:ABC

In story, Brighton O’Reilly was shot and killed by Victor Cassadine back in 1981. Billie told Soap Opera Digest back in 2003 about her time as an agent on GH, and her exit from the series: “I asked Gloria why she killed me off, and Gloria said, ‘To tell you the truth, Billie, we really hemmed and hawed at it. But I decided to do it for selfish reasons. I knew if I killed O’Reilly there’d be such an abundance of sympathy and love for Scorpio that his stock would go up. And he’s my new leading man!’ I understand why Gloria knocked me off, but I would have loved to have gone on with it because I feel it could have been developed into a fascinating character.”

Photo: JPI

Sid and Marty Kroft also took to Twitter and expressed:  “Margaret Hamilton (Wizard of Oz) once told us that Billie Hayes was “one of the best witches ever” We couldn’t agree more. Rest in Peace dear friend.”

Billie’s career spanned decades including Broadway, television, motion pictures and voice-over work. In addition, she founded the Los Angeles-based animal rescue nonprofit organization Pet Hope, a cause she had championed since adopting a puppy abandoned in the basement of Broadway’s St. James Theatre during the run of Lil’ Abner in which she was featured in the role of Mammy Yokum.

Share your remembrances of Billie Hayes and your condolences for her family and loved ones via the comment section below.

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