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ABC Exec Nathan Varni On Genie Francis Status With GH: "What We Want Is A Prolific, Big Story For Laura"

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Courtesy/ABC

On a recent podcast interview with host Carly from the Daytime After Dark Blog Talk Radio series, ABC executive Nathan Varni who manages GH as one of the series under his auspices, shared some words on the hot button issue of Genie Francis (Laura Collins) being taken off contract and the fan outcry that followed.

Varni related: “Hopefully we’ve not lost Genie Francis.”  He also acknowledged that Francis was on recurring status now with the long-running ABC daytime drama series.  Nathan went on to say that GH does want to create a story for the iconic daytime star: “What we want is a prolific, big story for Laura that deserves the many talents of Genie Francis. Our writers are thinking and working on that as we speak. It’s my intention that I hope we can continue to have a relationship as Genie, obviously, is a very important part of GH and the GH family.”

The exec prefaced he hopes that the show could create a “Laura-centric” story that Genie would be interested in playing.

Meanwhile, GH fans saw the tweet from Francis honoring GH’s legacy during last week’s airing of its 14,000 episode.  Genie stated: “Not many shows can claim that!! We have touched the lives of millions. Congratulations General Hospital!

So, do you hope GH can create a major story with Genie front and center?  What do you think a great storyline would be for the iconic Laura? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

This shouldn’t be hard. There are lots of storyline possibilities with Laura.

Rodd
Rodd

Totally agree. It can’t be so hard when they’re able to come up with “story” for actors way less talented than Genie….And I mean no disrespect to the other actors…but come on!…This is Genie Francis for cryin’ out loud. She can make the phone book sound interesting.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Amen to that! She has “proved” her staying power many times over; just look at all the comments–a record number for this blog–that were posted in protest when Genie was taken off contract. And so many of us stopped watching when Genie had her last scenes.
Genie is ageless as an actress; she can do anything required of her re acting–she can be dramatic and elicit sympathy like no other, do comedy with a raise of a eyebrow, and improvise with the best of them. Pray tell, what else does a writer need to be inspired?
She could be a policewoman, an entrepreneur, owner of a nightclub (!), a detective. Genie would love to sink her teeth into a meaty part like that! Why not open a detective agency and let Anna do the leg work–ala Cagney and Lacey.? Genie and Finola would be dynamite together (again!). The first case could be finding her son Nikolas–then Lucky! 🙂 And she could put to rest the never-ending saga of the Cassadine dynasty. Writers–have you not witnessed Genie in action? Have you not looked up her many, many moments of high drama? Have you not seen her comedic, improvisational scenes.? Well, do so! All it takes is for one writer to believe in Genie. Don’t they write stories for Laura Wright and for Finola Hughes? Well, what not Genie? It’s been a mystery to me for oh-so-long.
And, I, who saw the very first episode of GH ,had to quit watching when Genie had her last scene and they “threw her away.” Threw away someone who has dedicated her life to being the best actress she can be on GH and elsewhere.

Why not ask Genie rather than anyone else what “Laura-centric” story she would desire for the character???? Who better to ask, for heaven’s sake, than the actress who played Laura? Seems like a no-brainer to this viewer.
And Genie has spoken on more than one occasion and been very specific about what direction she wants Laura to take. She wants to be a fully-realized woman who no longer answers to anyone, who speaks her own mind, and who has moxie. And she has often talked about wanting to do comedy. Well, she can do it–and has done it on GH! So, hop to it, Chris Van Etten and write Genie a story. You can do it; you have talked about watching soaps, so you know GH–and the character of Laura’s–history. The time is now; I want to be a Genie Francis watcher again–and I want to see her act up a storm on GH! Then watch those ratings go out the roof! I’m waiting–and so is Genie, I’ll bet!

Max Daddee
Max Daddee

They shouldn’t have to recruit rocket scientists to put together a storyline that brings Genie back on a long-term, regular basis. I stopped watching the show based on their decision to drop her from being a key player. I was also tired of Sonny City.

Ned was made mayor, shouldn’t take long for him to screw up and get involved in some corruption and make room for Laura as mayor. The Quartermain family took a big tumble when Tracy left. Time for a new key family to move to town. Such as the Buchanans from OLTL. Bring in Erika Slezak. Tone down the mob.

Nathan Varnie, give me a call when Genie’s back for good. I’ll start tuning in if/when that materializes..

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

NO way …….. ix-nay on the OLTL family. Just takes away more time from GH people we already don’t see enough of.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Me, too!

Luci
Luci

Genie is the best part of GH. She is its heart, its history. She NEVER phones in a performance. She makes you feel every emotion.
There was NO reason to not renew her contract. Genie deserves story, respect and longevity. Many fans can write story after story for Laura and have them be meaningful and worthy of Ms. Francis. Too bad GH can’t figure it out. The fans want her front and center. WAKE UP GH.
#GenieisGH

MB
MB

It shouldn’t be hard? No it shouldn’t. But it is hard because Frank doesn’t value GH and has no interest in producing the show in a way that respects its history, fans and veteran characters. And Varni is complicit. Genie’s situation is just a symptom of a larger problem. It makes no sense, because we see over and over how neglecting, destroying, GH history & vets, continues to put GH in a hole. It’s like Groundhog Day; constantly stuck on the hamster wheel. But Frank doesn’t care. He’s more interested in producing a show for his edification, which means ridding it of Vets and watching his friends take over. And again, Varni and ABC are complicit, Frank’s GH doesn’t work, never has. Removing Vet after Vet, replacing with Pet after Pet. He puts his crew front and center, ratings tank, he brings back a Vet or two like Robin and most recently Jason, ratings go up, he gets a reprieve and then it’s right back to destroying what fans love, putting what he prefers front and center, ratings decline and then repeat. It’s what is happening now. Ratings were in the toilet, so Burton comes back. His presence is a catalyst, GH gains a few hundred thousand viewers, the show mines all that history, all those relationships, things are good for about three months and then it’s back to Frank’s GH and ratings decline; rinse and repeat. And at the time fans came back for Burton, they saw Genie getting a real story with the Mayor’s race and were excited. And in the blink of an eye, Genie is gone andJason is now floundering, nowhere, while Drew, Frank’s hire Miller, an actor from another soap, has everything. Anna has been destroyed, giving birth to Faison’s filth, Franco is back front and center with more backstory when so many people just can’t stand him. But Frank will continue to try and make Howarth happen on GH. I tuned in yesterday for a few minutes, was subjected to his typical scenery chewing, stuttering, overacting nonsense and I tuned out the rest of the show. Same thing with Easton. Frank works over time to try and make him work, find a place for him, when he’s just not needed and taking a spot from a valuable GH veteran actor and character. Then we have the ship nonsense. Sam & Drew are together and thriving, even Jason’s mother couldn’t be happier. And this is driven by the off screen Killy stuff that the actors stoke and Frank thrives on. I don’t ship, I don’t care who is with who, I don’t care about Miller and Monico’s little videos and winks that they are together, I don’t care about any of it. But I don’t want to watch a show where they are winning it all and a veteran like Jason, who lost five years of his life, is kicked to the curb and has nothing. Why isn’t Jason with Kim? Isn’t that the obvious… Read more »

Shay
Shay

Touche’, MB! Very well put…I especially loved the “Removing vet after vet, replacing with pet after pet!” That said it all….

Sassy Duck
Sassy Duck

So. marrying Kevin and running for Mayor weren’t prolific enough stories? There are countless ways that, as Mayor, she could have turned Port Charles on it’s ear, along with it’s townspeople.

This sounds very much like Varni is backtracking and spinning what really happened with Genie as a result of the backlash from fans. Unfortunately, I don’t think many people will believe him.

If the writers can’t come up with creative stories for such a gifted actress, they need to take their efforts elsewhere. With her amazing talent, Genie could read an IRS 1040 form and make it sound as if it’s the most interesting, intriguing and sexy document in the world.

I think that I will just take a ‘wait and see’ position. I’ve been disappointed before.

Sassy Duck
Sassy Duck

Oops. Meant ‘backpedaling’, not backtracking. I still think you get the idea.

Debra m
Debra m

I would love to see Genie back but the way she was treated I wouldn’t blame her if she didn’t want to return. This was no way to treat an icon like her, they never would have done this to Tony Geary. They had a long time to develop a story for her and never did. How could we root for Kevin and Laura as a couple when they were hardly on? I f rumors are true that Tristan Rogers may be returning, how about a story with Laura? I used to love the Luke/Laura/ Scorpio team. Problem is the show and network wants to only concentrate on giving Sonny and Carly all the main stories.

Justin
Justin

That’s exactly the problem, all the producer and writers care about is Sonny, Carly, and Jason.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Genie wants to come back; she’s made that clear. Never wanted to leave in the first place and now…with thousands of signatures in fan support on petitions, I’m sure she’d feel vindicated and proud at how her fans rallied for her. Power in numbers…

With that said, I really DO hope they come up with an interesting story for her because her latest ones were not.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

They began with the marriage to Kevin–a perfect match–against all odds! Was so surprised that someone was enterprising enough to go that far. And then Laura as mayor held the potential for high drama (and was a little backhand to when Luke was mayor!). But she has to be given more time; look at the screen time devoted to Laura Wright, Finola Hughes. What’s the difference? Someone is holding Genie hostage for some reason. Can’t figure that one out!

mary
mary

I have always had the belief that Tony Geary was more important to the producers of GH than Genie Francis. I think Genie also felt that way at one point in time. Laura was always an appendage to Luke Spencer. She was never allowed to be anything else.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

But she has clearly and specifically stated that she wants to be more! Who’s listening?

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Genie and Tristan are terrific together! Tristan needs a meaty role storyline so that he can show off his improvisational skills and his impish personality. The time is now–especially if he is returning to GH–put Finola in the mix and you’ve got a proven acting team. What are you waiting for?

Boop
Boop

You’re right , Debra.

dmr
dmr

This is guys is full of it. You can’t create a “prolific, big story, front and center” for a character that is on recurring status and seen a dozen times a year. This bozo had his chance with the Mayoral race. Many viewers thought that the storyline would have been far more interesting with Laura as one of the candidates. It would have tied into the history of the show-Luke was once Mayor of Port Charles. Instead, what the viewers got was a quick rewrite and a rushed story. #couldahwouldahshouldah Varni has just continued to ruin the show. Go and hire more “actors” in the parking lot who can’t act. #nepotism

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hey dmr…It’s more like he’s backpedaling. They have seen/read the fan outcry; they have received thousands of signatures and they’ve watched their numbers go down. They’re now trying to make it seem like they’re going to bring her back when they have a fantastic story for her.

LOL…I can just envision the writer’s room as they scurry to get something great written for her. Pronto! Well, if they can, kudos to them because thus far it’s been a lullaby…as in the stories they gave her made me verrrrrry sleeeepy.

Harry
Harry

Yes, Rebeeca, he’s back pedaling indeed.
They had a big, pro lific storyline with Laura running for mayor! And there was a cyclical quality to the idea of Laura moving into the Mayor’s mansion seeing that is where she reappeared to then Mayor Luke Spencer when he had given her up for dead (one of the best scenes ever, find it on Youtube if you have not seen it).
However, glad we get to see her again although it does seem her “lease hath all too short a date.”

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

And probably Genie could do those scenes in her sleep! 🙂 🙂

Patrick
Patrick

he’s definitely backpeddling

where is all the brouhaha “over” Steve Burton ? has the trio of lovelorn… gone any where? Steve Burton / Kelly Monaco / Billy Miller…. hell yeah… attach their names to much ado

it’s all about Sonny and Carly – NO ?

Sonny and his dad – WRITERS you mucked this up big time. stretch the story and give Mike ( the superlative Max Gail ) it was so wrong to immediately jump right in with symptomatic alzheimers. this was your chance to flesh out a father / son relationship… GIVE Maurice Benard chance after chance.. to LEAD takeover this show.. and it’s CRAP. snowball affect !!! Sonny has ruined this show. he’s not any more endearing emotional and/or showing any thing with regard to how a son would react. REACT !!!! imagine Sonny leading any story.

Carly – is going ballistic and off the track AGAIN and AGAIN – just loud for nothing mouthing off.. for what ? a chance to be sensitive .. care… reach

what the effin for ? so it’s little sister Nelle … come hither Carly .. COME ON

what a waste of show

i’m so done with these two. huge talented cast

they stink

get that Frank Valentini… Jean , Shelley, Chris

Ric
Ric

True

vinee
vinee

Totally agree…Mayoral story was prolific…and he is full of CRAP!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Laura as mayor was such a promising beginning! But–they stopped that midstream. TPTB don’t know a good thing when it hits them in the face? How can they be so blind?

rose
rose

dmr…Laura being the mayor had another connection to the past besides Luke being the mayor at one point. Both she and Mary Mae Ward worked in the Charles Street community for those less 2% residents. That was another reason Laura would have made a great mayor to balance out what the slimy developer wants to do. As for Ned I don’t think Ned is slimy, but just naive about his idea of how an improved neighborhood would help it’s character,or the residents forced to moved out because of the cost.

And as for Luke, He’s okay but I have never been a big fan, especially after the rape of Laura. Oh I know he could be “cute,” but he always seemed to be involved in something a little shady. And he never really wanted to settle down with Laura in Mary Mae’s house when it became available. Or he just couldn’t settle down…DNA, running from bad guys, just couldn’t help himself? I way prefer someone like Robert. And I truly did not like his last years on GH especially the Fluke story.

So I’m hoping for a good Genie/Laura story that includes Kevin.

dmr
dmr

Rose, I forgot about the Mary Mae Ward connection. I came on board with Luke and Laura in the 90’s when they returned to Port Charles. The hype of Luke and Laura was before my time. I watched the old, classic episodes on YouTube and I can definitely see the magic. It’s hard to recapture that moment in time. I always liked Luke with Tracy. I thought Tony and Jane were a great comedic team. Genie was pushed to “filler” material, there as a listening barrier for her annoying, insipid, immature daughter, and dressed like an old lady. My GOD, Genie looks fabulous. She’s lost 40 pounds, looks amazing, and is treated like “old news.” TPTB have her marry Kevin, run for Mayor, then POOF, no where to be seen from or heard from again.

rebecca1
rebecca1

She’ll be back dmr…too much fan outcry for them to ignore. Let’s hope they give her a modern makeover! Seems like Laura inherited Lila Quartermaine’s hand-me-downs from the 1950s!

Justin
Justin

I’m assuming he’s only saying that because of the fan outrage. I’ll believe a big story for her when I see it. I wouldn’t blame her if she never returned. This is not the first time this show has mistreated her.

Soaphound
Soaphound

I agree, Justin. The time to make this butt-covering announcement was before the debacle of “recurring” Laura. They must think we’re really gullible.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Not to mention, Genie has said she is NOT interested in a recurring role. She has EARNED her contract status. So it’s like Varney came up with a strategy to turn this around and make it on GENIE that she is not on!

C’mon Genie fans, DON’T LET the suits get away with this BS!
Time to double the pressure on the comment lines and Twitter feeds!
#GH #GenieisGH

Carrie
Carrie

Right? Toward the end of 2017, Genie gave an interview saying she would like to see the GH team give her and Kevin a home set. Obviously, they never did. Yet, they give newbie Dr. Kim Nero an apartment set. Ironically, Kevin gets an office set upon Genie’s demotion. Such a shame to not give these veteran characters a home set. They could very easily be centers of the show. The gravitational pull that centers other characters. Such a shame we were only allowed to see them in restaurants and the hospital.

The mayor story: If they had planned on Ned winning all along, I suppose it is easier (for me, as a viewer) to see Alexis lose to Ned rather than Laura lose to Ned.

I would like to see Laura mixed up in something WSB related with Robert like the old days. And if Anna could be mixed up in that too, even better.

I have always wanted a writer who is familiar with early 80’s to write Laura into her old stomping ground of being a WSB accomplice. The younger writers, at best, are only familiar with her maternal Mary Mae Ward days. Which is still better than her just playing grandma I suppose.

My dream is for a current writer to realize she used to be written as a bad-a$$ sleuth/spy when push came to shove. Luke and Robert couldn’t have completed many missions were it not for Laura’s assistance.

Suzie rm
Suzie rm

Totally agree!!! The viewers also begged for a set for Laura and Kevin! They should be the centers of the hospital. This infuriated me to no end

Harry
Harry

Carrie, I wrote about the very same thing. Kim gets her own set instantly and Carly actually has two sets (her own house and her house with Sonny). Other folks with sets, Lizzy, Ava (her apartment and her art gallery), Alexis, Julian (Charlie’s Pub), Sam, Drew, of course the Q mansion, Nina (Crimson and the mansion she shares with Valentin), Dante&Lulu, etc, etc. Before Laura moved in with Kevin she was living with Lulu and Dante.
What happened to Kevin’s iconic Lighthouse? I knew when I saw that Laura continued to be homeless even after she married Kevin that her job security was not rock solid.
If a character does not have their own set it reflects how much the producers value that character.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

What I said, Carrie, in my post! I so agree. Genie, Finola, and Tristan–unstoppable!

dmr
dmr

Ugh, and Kim Nero really grates on my nerves. It seems as though she is in every scene, interacting with most everyone in town, and she’s just so annoying. IMO. What does it take to create a set? You really don’t need that much space to create the allure of a small living room-what?-a door, couch, lamp, table.

Rodd
Rodd

So true, Justin. Shamefully, true.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

You said it!

Andy G.
Andy G.

I saw that tweet too and also noticed in your column a couple of days ago how GH’s ratings decreased by 63,000 in the first week of February, immediately after news of Ms. Francis’ contract status change went public. I related those facts to the GH comment number, 323-671-4583, which I have been calling on an ongoing basis since news of the show’s demeaning, insulting treatment of this daytime icon surfaced (and I urge others who feel similarly to do the same). Hopefully the combination of public outcry and decreased ratings/ad revenue will get their attention!

KansasGuest
KansasGuest

I’m one of those viewers who have stopped watching GH. They won’t care because I’m not in the coveted 18-49 demographic. But, I am a Hulu subscriber. So, chances are they know our viewing habits, and that our household stopped watching after years of loyal viewership via that format.

Andy G.
Andy G.

I stopped watching (on Hulu) too on her last airdate. The least the show could do is give us a list of her upcoming monthly airdates so we could all tune in just for that one particular day and then go back to ignoring the show for the rest of the month. (Of course, I realize they can’t due to the possibility of preemptions, etc.)

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

As I said, so did this viewer who has watched GH since the very first episode!

Mike
Mike

Wait. Didn’t she have a story that was taken away from her and given to another character? And why is it so HARD for them to come up with a story for Laura, that they have to “think” and “work as we speak”, like it’s some major chore? Sonny and Carly and Jason have had front burner stories for years – even ones that are basically rehashes of previous stories. They are never at a loss of screen time or stories written for them. And yet, with Laura they really have to work at it? Yeah.

PR bull-malarkey. The fact that Varni would offer this explanation up as something we are supposed to believe is insulting to the audience and to Genie.

aria
aria

Yes Mike, I totally agree w/ you, Mr. Varni is double talking here, what they need to do is speed things up, get Genie back on contract, and get on w/ her “Big” storyline, she more then deserves it, especially when you consider some of the people they don’t seem to have problem writing for, for crying out loud, her character history is so rich, this should be a piece of cake plain and simple…

Rose Kelly
Rose Kelly

Agreed, she has 41 years of history. Resume and skills to do anything. She should be matriarch of PC. First Luke and Laura were (are ) the Love Story of a life time. But gh decided to trash that. It could be fixed if Genie wants to leave and the writers/Genie decide to do that. Otherwise, it’s got to be the easiest writing assignment in the history of assignments. She works well with everyone. Is connected with everyone. For more than 2 years they’ve started and stopped dozens of stories.. Nik, the disco, Helen’s will, her job, her house, her interest in Charles Street. Does she have friends? Where are her old friends.. Claudia, Tiffany, Robert, anyone she met in France during her exile..
Get Genie back on Contract. Put her front and center.

JMER
JMER

Yes, they are talking down to us and the actors–they still think Frons, JFP and Guza “trained” us.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yes, a colossal insult! Like I said, re the other characters who has screen time–and story lines–all the time–and Genie has been on GH longer than any of them–and is a first-class actor. Something wrong here!

Trish Indigo
Trish Indigo

GH removed Genie Francis from a “big story for Laura that deserves the many talents of Genie Francis.” Laura had a family, a career, a new husband and was running for political office. That was a ” “Laura-centric” story that Genie would be interested in playing” because she was in that storyline. The writers had already thought up this great storyline and someone above them removed the actress.

KansasGuest
KansasGuest

Agreed. Varni is full of crap. TPTB’s actions say a lot more than the drivel spewing from their mouths. The *action* of putting Francis on recurring was directly at odds from what he claims their plans are for the character. I believe Francis’ agent who said it was not the actress who wanted her part downgraded. Making Laura mayor would have put her at odds with her in-laws (Olivia is married to Ned, criminal Corinthos clan) and her wannabee journalist daughter. It was a perfect place to position Laura considering Luke was mayor at one time. But, they ruined it all for her.

Carrie
Carrie

So true.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yeah, wonder how that happened? Guess Varni knows the answer to that one; wanna bet?

Phil
Phil

No! No! No! I want her on contract!!! I still say if GH doesn’t want her in contract, which is a shame considering some of the other people on contract, DAYS should sign her!

Steve
Steve

While in Europe for Spencer’s recuperation, Laura sees a familiar face in a cafe. The man resembles David Gray, who kidnapped her in the early 80’s. David was an expert at hypnosis and mind control. Turns out this man is his brother who taught David everything about mind control.

As Laura (and Kevin) dig deeper, they discover Gray has been working with Valentin to perfect new mind control and memory altering skills. Eventually Gray admits to Laura that he and Valentin have been playing with Anna’s memory to make her believe she had a child with her sworn enemy. Before they can head back to PC to tell Anna, Laura and Kevin are subjected to the memory altering techniques. Kevin is made to question if he is really Ryan. Laura is led to believe she is still married to Scotty.

Eventually Laura and Kevin break through the mind control methods and Anna learns she never had a child before Robin. Gray’s final message to Laura implies that Nikolas is alive, which begins the next adventure…

Jimmy
Jimmy

Someone get Steve a job on the GH writing staff, ASAP

Jacquie Rivera
Jacquie Rivera

Brilliant!

jeanine girard
jeanine girard

Love this!! Why the heck not do this?? Way better than most of the recent story
lines!
Just as this proposed story line is going on (or slightly before?) it’s time for a good old fashioned disaster to wipe out a good 6-7 characters. I’m sure I don’t need to list them. And major characters who need to hit the road. Not the occasional day player/background character, but real front line or almost front line story characters.

Jimmy
Jimmy

Franco, Nina, Nelle, Amy and Kiki can all go and I’d be fine with that!

Shay
Shay

Plus Ava, Alexis and Jordan!!!

Celia
Celia

You’ve got me going, Steve……I believe it !!

Reed
Reed

Steve, you’re hired!

cmp874
cmp874

I hope Mr. Varni reads this thread because you have just made it very easy for both him and the writers, Steve. Now, all he has to do is to offer Genie a generous contract and get the ball rolling on your great story ideas!

Carrie
Carrie

Ok Steve! Writers, make it so! I would definitely tune in!

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Yikes! Are there really that many who don’t like that Anna had a child with Faison? I think it’s brilliant! Instead of the same old-same old adding Peter/Henrik is really fun to me!

It’s not as if she and Faison “made love.” It was a spy-mission gone wrong. And, Anna being Anna wouldn’t abort the baby but makes sense she couldn’t bare to raise him/her either. I look forward to finding out the history, of having Anna and Peter realize their relationship and how it will all unwind. I wouldn’t want this story to be undone…

I think the writers are really trying to give us fresh stories and characters while tying in the vets and their history. I don’t see them as changing history as much as adding to it…which keeps it interesting.

Now if they can find an interesting story for Genie…whether it’s finding out that what’s-his-face developer dude rigged the election and Genie DOES become mayor…or something else…and if they bring back MAC!!!! (I’m glad Felicia’s been on more but the way they dropped Mac was worse for me than them dropping Genie. Mac was on consistantly and they just tossed him out of the police force, he suddenly was a bartender and then he was gone…they need to bring him back, too.

Ellen
Ellen

I’m for it!!!

Harry
Harry

Steve, love your story suggestions!!
I especially love your suggestion that Anna is the victim of mind control and didn’t really have a baby with Beelzebub.

rebecca1
rebecca1

LOL…maybe you’ll get your wish and they’ll realize it’s all been a mistake and he’s her child with Duke (the one they thought they lost) or with Robert. But, if not, as said above I’m interested in the story as it is.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

And they could do a take-off on the “Midnight Lace” movie where Doris Day is gaslighted by her husband Rex Harrison! Kevin (as “Ryan”) could do the gaslighting. High drama, no?

Boop
Boop

Great idea, Steve; however, someone wants Genie out. Could it be Geary?

Sassy Duck
Sassy Duck

Varni. Hire this man, NOW!

Steve your ideas would put GHs’ ratings through the roof!

Jimh
Jimh

I will not tune in until she is on full time…

su0000
su0000

Eugenie Ann Francis
General Hospital — 1977 to 1982 = 5 years then off and on / sporadic

Francis has appeared on Numerous other daytime soaps
Days of Our Lives as Diana Colville
All My Children Ceara Connor Hunter
Y&R Genevieve
Loving Ceara
others???

—then to GH
1993 to 1994
then gone and back and left in 2002
then back to GH
2013= 5 months
then- Y&R– 2011 – 2012 Genevieve
then back to GH 2015

(above (her being in and out) may have errors but not)

Won one emmy
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, which she won in June 2007

Thing is;
Genie was all over the place… spending more time out of GH than in.

I do not get it– the big deal over Genie.. her Laura was off on and on, she was never a solid cast number as many others that have been Solid with GH for decades and decades..

If it wasn’t for a wedding, well…. lol

Anyways– I never cared for Laura, no big deal, I can take her or leave her ..
I liked Tony/Luke and wish he’d return. (he was solid GH from day one never ran to another soap, he was GH till he retired with 8 emmys )

Steve
Steve

Su, you’d have to had watched back in the day to understand what Genie means to longtime viewers. There wouldn’t have been a Luke without Laura.

Genie, combined with Jackie Zeaman (Bobbie), Kin Shriner (Scott) and Leslie Charleson (Monica) all started on GH 40 years ago when the show was teetering on the brink of cancellation. They all deserve credit for its turnaround.

If you asked people who never watched the show to name a GH character, they’d say “Luke and Laura”. Both helped daytime soar to new levels in the 80’s.

Genie left the first time because the executives didn’t want to pay her the same as Geary. The team player, she came back a few years later to help usher Luke off the canvas when Geary decided to leave.

The show was faltering again in the early 90’s after Gloria Monty’s disastrous second run as EP. She introduced the unpopular Eckert family with Geary returning to play Luke’s lookalike cousin, Bill. The character never caught on. Wendy Riche takes over as EP and convinces Genie to return and Geary to resume playing Luke.

She left again when Jill Phelps didn’t value her. Over time, Phelps demoted every actress over 40 (except Nancy Grahn) to recurring. Phelps had her favorites, including Geary, who got the majority of his Emmys during her reign and his extended vacation agreement.

Again the team player, Genie temporarily returned for Luke and Laura’s 25th anniversary. She also returned for Geary’s departure and was finally put back on contract after he left.

Hope this background helps.

Justin
Justin

Thanks Steve. My GH watching is now youtube videos from the glory days. That newer viewers don’t understand is that this show wouldn’t even be on the air for them to enjoy without the contributions of those you mentioned, Genie especially.

Suzie rm
Suzie rm

So totally agree!
#GenieISGH

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Nor I.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

It surely sets the record straight. Thanks for that!

dmr
dmr

The Eckert Family was one of the worst families created on the show-UGH.

Shay
Shay

@Steve….Keeping NLG was probably Phelps’ biggest mistake! And we’re still stuck with the overbearing, neurotic Alexis to this day, whilst beloved GH talents such as Genie Francis and Finola Hughes are misued andf abused!

Dan
Dan

Genie was on GH from 1977-1984, and then from 1993-2002, add in the appearances in 2006, 2008, 2013, and then from 2015-2018, she’s been on the show for over 20 years when you add it all up. Those are the facts.

The reason she doesn’t have the continuous tenure on the show as some other actors, as Steve so eloquently pointed out above, she was jerked around by a number of former executives, add the current executive producer Frank Valentini to the list. They had and have their pet favorites that always got taken care of, Genie was never one of the pet favorites.

But as beloved a fan favorite as there has ever been on GH. Look at the ratings since she got let go, GH is on the verge of being passed by Days, and falling into 4th place out of four soaps. That’s not a coincidence. It’s something you would think Nathan Varni and Frank Valentini would be noticing, and realizing what a terrible mistake they made.

Rose Kelly
Rose Kelly

Suooo,
I started watching GH in 1968. I remember when the character of Laura was introduced. I remember when it was re introduced w/ Genie in 1977 (she filmed in Dec 1976) . I’ve been a big fan ever since. She, Denise, both actors that played Rick, Kin, Jackie, Lester (Patsy/ monica wasn’t there long enough w/Genie) were fabulous.. and then Boom Tony/Luke. If you haven’t watched her over the last 41 years you’ve missed out on the best actress you’ll ever see. The one Emmy you mentioned? The academy should be ashamed. That’s all I’m going to say about that. Tony and his awards, I love him. He knows what kind of actress Genie is. He knows what kind of chemistry they have. He knows. GH knows.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

You said it, Rose Kelly! The academy should be ashamed. And many others!

Shay
Shay

Hey there, Rose Kelly!!! Where have you been? Still holed up in Albany with your stepson, Joe? By the way, your old diner could really use your TLC on their BLT’s…even Heather Webber has stopped breaking out of the nuthouse to vamoose to Port Charles in order to satisfy her once-gargantuan cravings for your formerly famous sandwich!!!!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Ha Ha….
Didn’t even have to see the name on you post and I knew it was Suooo.
Just classic.

Boop
Boop

He was solid because that’s how Geary wanted it. He was behind Genie’s character being off of G.H.

Rose Kelly
Rose Kelly

He is an actor. ABC, The Producers etc made those decisions. The only time I think he had any say over Ms Francis and Laura was his exit in 83 where he wanted her to exit him off show and the return in 93, he wrote it and would only do it with her. The rest of her contracts were business decisions between her and the executives at ABC. If he had great deals with GH.. it was deals he made. If he was making other actors employment decisions behind the scenes then shame on ABC.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Huh!? Oh, Su0000! Where have you been hiding? Not under that rock surely! 🙂

Fanny
Fanny

Some people only understand stats…while the rest of us
lead with our HEARTS. Genie has always been GH’s
sweetheart!!!

Timmm
Timmm

Amen sister!

Amcknots
Amcknots

A Laura-centric story would have been Lesley getting
Alzheimer’s. Years of story there. Great and sad acting!
But no MB has to be front center once again.

Debra m
Debra m

I agree. Leslie and Laura were always so close. What a great story thst would have been for Laura and using history from the show. I think Max Gail has been doing a great job and has really pulled me into the story. I think he even brings out the best in Maurice, who seems to tear up during some of the scenes. But, this could have been Laura’s story. That is the problem with GH. Every new story has to include Sonny and Carly. They don’t realize how wrong they are. This is what is turning away viewers. They need to connect Laura to other characters. She has that hatred toward Valentin. Work with that. Both of them had stated how much they enjoy working with each other. It was never really settled on what really happened to Nicolas. If GH had worked more with Tyler they could have gotten him back on the show. Now he is doing really well on DOOL and ratings are climbing.

KansasGuest
KansasGuest

BINGO!!!! A storyline with Lesley as the one with declining faculties would have been A-MAZING! It wouldn’t have had to include just Laura either. Think of Lesley interacting with Monica, and believing she was still married to Rick when he & Monica were having their affair. That could have been played for laughs, or pathos, or both. So many missed opportunities for really good stories for the Webber family. It’s like the writers’ show bible doesn’t reference any history earlier than before Sonny & Carly came to town. Geez….

Patrick
Patrick

@GH : Laura Wright , Carly , as her usual game…. is going ballistic OVER phone calls from a phone booth ???? she has them all jumping : Jason , Sonny, Dante

MAKE IT STOP

General Hospital : GIVE … another cast member a story

WHY are the dullard Corninthos’ clan on forever .

Sonny and Carly have to go

FIRE

Boop
Boop

I agree , Patrick.

Jimmy
Jimmy

If this story from Varni is true, then it’s a good sign. But it doesn’t make any sense why, when Laura is on the cusp of a great story – becoming Mayor of Port Charles – they unceremoniously dropped her from the show, wrote a lousy quickie exit story, and threw Alexis in her place. Genie Francis deserved way better, and so did we.

That was always a terrible idea, given her torrid history. The only logical outcome of putting Alexis and Ned up against each other was Ned’s victory in the race. I don’t think Alexis was fit to be Mayor whatsoever. Whereas Laura, on the other hand, would have made a great Mayor. And Alexis could have stayed in her specialty, which was proving legal council to Laura. Two powerful women working together against Ned and Jim Harvey would have made a “prolific story” like Varni and Co. want.

So, what’s next? What’s the story going to be? I think it should be one that bring Nikolas back to the canvas, because Valentin and Nina have been relegated to supporting characters and it would be great to start up the Cassadine family feud again. Plus, bringing Laura and Nikolas back to the show would do wonders for the fan base, who, including myself, were very unhappy when both these characters were written out.

Iakovos
Iakovos

Ms. Francis and Laura should be front and center in Port Charles. I would find a story that allows us to put all the Cassadine and sci-fi madness behind and focus on stories that include her family. Restore Lucky, Lulu, and Nikolas to give her all her children and grandchildren. Give us some Lesley Webber! Maybe Laura needs to care for her ailing mother. Amy Vining never died as I recall. Maybe Laura raises her grandchildren. Make her an entrepreneur if not mayor. Have her become the moral center of this series.

Steve
Steve

When the nurses ball returned in 2013, they made it known that Amy Vining died. Big posters of Shell Kepler and Emily McLaughlin were hung during one of the numbers.

Iakovos
Iakovos

Thank you, Steve. I clearly missed that. How wonderful to have friends on here to keep us on the right path.

Rose Kelly
Rose Kelly

They never said how she died. Never a story or a mention of how Laura’s sister died. still shocking to me. Laura’s adopted brother Mike is mia too. Blackie went to prison and Leslie never mentioned him again. They destroyed Laura’s father. They have Lesley living in Italy (completely out of character) Lucky living away from his kids, Mom, sister (out of character). Yes, Laura should be the Matriarch of Port Charles. Her history dates back the farthest. Genie is the longest actor/ Cast member on the show. Character wise Audrey, Scott, Lesley, Laura. Genie started a 8 months before Monica 2 (Lester) and I can’t remember exactly when in 1977 Scottie (Kin) started. Lesley (Denise) and Audrey (Rachel Ames) were the only actresses to play their characters. Neither are on contract or recurring. Back to Genie/Laura. She is/could be connected to everything GH/PC she has historical ties to the hospital, the Chiefs, board members, Heart surgeons, other specialties, waterfront clinics, Social Work program (she ran), volunteer programs (she was part of as teen), the nurse’s (her sister, sister in law, nephews), Housekeeping (Aunt Ruby). Charity for the hospital. ELQ, Deception, Sonny, Nightclubs, Poor apartments.. Yachts/night life, casinos, Spoon Island, Cassidine’s, Money, No Money. Home renovation. Gardening, pie making, WSB, Saving the world. Knows formula for carbonic snow. Has friends in high, low places, knows Taxi co. Bartenders, speaks multi languages, world traveler, swims w/ sharks. gambles, waitress, diner owner Just to name a few things . What other character is this well rounded..flushed out? She has saved Luke, countess times but people always think she’s the one that get’s saved.. She’s the rock. She’s home base. Genie Is GH. I don’t watch when she’s not there. learned that long ago.

Satan
Satan

But if they gave Laura a story, it would cut into their “shove Frodd & Ava down our throats every goddamned day” time.

And yes, those two NON General Hospital characters have been on every day since Genie was thrown under the bus.

Of course I would love to see Genie back where she belongs, but I don’t believe a word that Varni or Valentini say about anything.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Story idea:

Laura starts having “maternal” instincts that Nicolas isn’t dead. She asks for help from Sam, Spinelli, Felicia, Curtis, Anna…all of our GH sleuths…to try and find out what really happened to her son. Intel starts coming in and Laura reaches out to Lucky…together, with Lulu doing the research and perhaps covering a journalistic angle…they go on a search to find Nicolas…

Valentin being a prime suspect, knows Nicolas is alive and perhaps had one of his men fish Nicolas out of the water and away from Port Charles so that, he, Valentin, could inherit everything.

Or…maybe Valentin and Nicolas are working together on something….and Laura was called away to be with Spencer who “supposedly” brokes his legs…only to find Nicolas there and waiting for her…

To be continued….

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

She asks help from Robert and Anna.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Yep; I mentioned Anna but now that Robert’s coming back that’d fit in nicely!

Carla
Carla

It sound like they only want Genie Francis for a small story arc, bring her back appease the fans then let her go again. We want Genie Francis back full time. I still have not watched GH since they let her go and notice the ratings are reflecting a lot of unhappy GH fans. Keep tuning out until Genie is brought back full time. I really do not believe she will be hired back to stay…just my gut feeling. BRING HER BACK NOW!!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Back full time–yes–then I’ll race to watch her.

JasonLovesGH
JasonLovesGH

*eyes roll*
Is this man for real? Genie deserves to be back on contract NOW. If the current writers aren’t talented enough to create a stellar story for her…though the mayoral race indicated that they were before they were forced to squash it by the cowardly Frank Valentini and company…then find some who can. I’ve not felt good watching this wonderful program since Genie was shown the door. I’m still angry about this travesty of a situation. Wakeup ABC!! Fix this mess!!

JasonLovesGH
JasonLovesGH

P.S. Genie, if you read our comments please know that we love you and will continue to make our voices heard. The 14,000th episode, especially, should have featured YOU. If ever an episode should have been Laura-centric it was this one. After all, GH reached this wondrous milestone in large part because of you. Please hang in there and don’t go to another show. Those dingbats that chose to terminate your contract will come to their senses, I’m sure of it.

dmr
dmr

A Laura-centric episode with flashbacks would be perfect, filled with a lot of past characters/family members.

KansasGuest
KansasGuest

Shoulda, woulda, coulda…..pffft. The end result is that they FAILED, big time, to make their 14,000 episode an event. Personally, I hope Genie Francis doesn’t return to GH. The current management has treated her horribly, and frankly they don’t deserve her and the goodwill she brings. If she choses to continue acting, I hope she goes to where she is treated well, is personally fulfilled by the job, and is paid what she deserves. Good luck, Genie!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yes!

Suzie rm
Suzie rm

I’m not believing it till Genie herself says something. This was the most Stupid mistake on all fronts. Sad thing was fans were begging for a story for Laura and for more Laura/Kevin for months. Just as we started getting what looked like a great story she was dropped. Worse, all the stories started for Laura the last 2 years have gone nowhere or ended abruptly . I have not watched since she left

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

You are exactly right. I also have not watched. And I have called several times a week. And gotten into Days.

Celia
Celia

Days is the place to be, right now, Elizabeth…..the problem for me with GH is that no story tells a story. Everything is loosely told…..a beginning but no end.
Nikolas’s presumed death was a debacle….he is alive, and Valentin knows it….I have maintained this since day one. Some kind of scheme was orchestrated between them for some unknown reason which TPTB will concoct at the eleventh hour at their convenience…..or, Valentin is holding him prisoner somewhere ….perhaps, in that infamous Russian hospital?
I am, of course, the least privy to the way ‘things’ were…..but, even I feel Genie’s absence with Kevin looking lost and, it seems, only on call for Franco…..
Now, with “BJ And The Bear” around, more nonsense about Franco’s and Drew’s childhood is rearing its ugly head. I wish they’d get to it, already.

Dan
Dan

Varni is such a double talker, it’s easy to see how he ended up in such a high position at ABC. He’s great at saying what people want to hear, but there’s very little substance behind it. Genie was in a prolific story, they yanked her out of it. Put her back on contract. They have room to keep adding all of these new characters, but they have no room for Genie. I’d love for some interviewer to ask Varni or more specifically Frank Valentini to explain that one.

Michael, you do interviews with Frank several times per year at least, can you not at least get us a quote from him on the Genie situation? He can’t remain silent forever.

dmr
dmr

Yup. They have room to hire the boyfriend of a lead actress in the parking lot, no less, while he was dropping her off at work (talk about riding on your girlfriend’s coattails), but, no room for a legacy actress who actually has TALENT.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Disgusting!

Steve
Steve

You and I have the same thoughts about the guy from the parking lot.

Responding to your agreement about the Eckerts…
I can’t think of another GH family that was disliked as much as them. They killed off the only one (Nancy) who had any spark. Carol Lawrence (who played the caricature of a mother) doesn’t even have GH listed on her IMDB page.

Monty thought the show needed a “working class family”. She dumped the one they already had (Charlene, Colton, Decker) which was built slowly over time. Monty hit gold when she introduced the Quartermaines and Spencers in the 70’s. Her pushing the Eckerts, and letting Tristan Rogers and Finola Hughes go doomed her 90’s comeback.

Melding a new family into a show’s canvas takes time and cannot be forced on the audience.

Shay
Shay

@Steve…..You mean like when the Jeromes were re-introduced to Port Charles? It was all Ava and Julian all the time, with a huge dose of Kiki thrown in for good measure….Yes, I realize they were a previous GH clan back in the day, but given that none of the original players were on board, it really was comparable to “melding in a new family!” (Ala Frank style…)

Reed
Reed

Was this the first public comment on Genie’s situation by Varni? If so, a month plus after the initial brouhaha and this is the forum (an obscure podcast) he chooses to make it? While Varni was gracious with his time, fans would have appreciated a public and candid response when the story of Genie’s contract status broke well over a month ago. Total mismanagement and cowardice then, and too little too late now. Could not have been more poorly handled by ABC and TPTB if they tried and now they’re in total damage control mode to get a “Genie-centric” story going, one that will probably require her to be back on contract again! So, what did they accomplish? Mystifying!

JMER
JMER

Exactly! Well said, Reed. I cannot take them seriously when this is how they handle things.

Nick
Nick

Well, with Scorpio coming back it shouldn’t be hard to come up with a Laura story if they are serious about it.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

I would bet lots of money they think the enthusiasm of having Robert back will drown out the displeasure that Laura is still gone. BUT they are mistaken!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

I can think of 20 right off my head, can’t you? 🙂

davlestev1
davlestev1

We all enjoy being armchair soap writers so ASK THE FANS. Maybe you’re thinking way too hard and that’s GH writers problem. Over thinking good story. So here’s an idea I hope TPTB look at. First and foremost “USE WHAT YO MAMA GAVE YOU”-so to speak. Have Laura return to a strained marriage but not broken. As she and Kevin work on their marriage introduce a young troubled child around Charlotte’s age who has -(surely at one point he surfaces for major drama)-an incarcerated father and drug or alcohol addicted mother. A mother who borders on abuse. Laura meets and feels and falls in love with this child. After battling each other and the parents they adopt her. Perhaps because the mother tries to sell Laura her child. The adoption adds further stain on the marriage as friends and family weigh in. As things seem to settle some introduce the European doctor who cared for Spencer while she was there. He’s fallen for Laura and she’s unaware of it. He’s left his hospital and wealthy family to work at GH and pursue Laura. He has a domineering mother (her family money). .a hen pecked father..a slightly older brother (who’s interested in Laura and Bobbi)..a mama’s boy younger brother with a playboy lifestyle and a mean streak a mile long. .and a younger sister devoted to her put upon father and determined to bring her mother down a peg or two. And thus you have a new but different Quartermaine-esque family. And thus you put the pieces together for romantic angst. .business intrigue (non mafioso)..new family dynamics. .resurgence of the Bobbi /Laura feud and STORY STORY STORY!!! But of course it’s too difficult to simply write.

davlestev1
davlestev1

And have the father fall for Monica. New rivalry with the the domineering socially minded quick tongue mother. Phoebe Tyler-ish at her funny wicked best.

fginaspy
fginaspy

I am with DMR, Mike and Steve. I haven’t been watching since in story Laura withdrew from the mayoral race and was set to leave. I don’t think I saw her final episodes saying goodbye to Lulu. The above article is indeed an insult to Ms. Francis and all her fans including me.

dmr
dmr

Thanks, fginaspy. I have been watching here and there, having the show on in the background. It’s awful and pitiful. Sometimes, I watch old episodes on YouTube (I need a life, ha), and wow, what a difference! For example, I was watching an old, classic episode from when Laura came back and Luke was Mayor. What a classic, timeless era. Now, you’ve got insipid drivel with The Moron being mentioned in every scene. I couldn’t stand Morgan when he was alive, why do I want to hear about him when he’s dead? Nelle and her stupid plot to drive Carly insane. Monotone Sam. Peter who overreaches in every scene. You would think Wes Ramsey was acting on Broadway the way he delivers his lines-he’s awful, and he’s on almost every day. Gotta love nepotism. Oh, and Sonny and Carly, and Sonny and Jason, and Carly and Jason, etc.

blake
blake

Funny timing since GH’s ratings dropped big time when the announcement was out that she was taken off contract.

heidi
heidi

If he is telling the truth… that is FABULOUS! Hopefully Genie will seriously consider coming back! She should be the main character in that show! Have to think about a story line.

Timmm
Timmm

So, there you go “Laura Lovers”, it seems like your tweets helped! To me, I could care less. What story can they come up with? Maybe she will get a job as a reporter like LuLuESS! Look, just like the Quartermaines, until they rebuild the Spencers, its a waste of time. I dont even mean bringing back Luke. Its just that Laura needs a home where Julie Berman and Jonathan Jackson return! THEN move Kevin in there and let the drama begin!

dmr
dmr

Oh, please no, no more insipid Lulu, please, NO! I can’t stand the recast.

Timmm
Timmm

I mean, what has Julie Berman been up to? Pull the switch!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

She does not need Luke! Genie wants Laura to stand on her own–finally!

Timmm
Timmm

I said nothing about Luke.

JMER
JMER

Could they create a Laura-centric story? Yes, absolutely. Will they? Their track record is abysmal. Fans have asked for Genie to be put back on contract and there is no statement about that or why she was taken off. There is no admitting that there were extreme failures by the current PTB in taking her off contract. And there was no admitting that it was done in a way that was of the poorest of taste.

Genie can create buzz without being on the show. Her tweet about the 14,000 ep garnered almost 5K Likes while GH’s (from either the show or producer) could only garner 2K. The show has trouble creating any buzz at all especially without her and other classic 80s vets.

This statement means nothing to me without appropriate action following it quickly–pausing only makes it worse because fans give up after decades of being disappointed.

Ellen
Ellen

Varni is being deliberately vague. Sorry but been down this road too many times. Will believe it when I see it. In the meantime I’ll keep tweeting calling and mailing post cards

Mark
Mark

1. Currently I’m on vacation from General Hospital and likely to continue.
2. I don’t need to see the characters of Sunny and Carly Front and center. I love the remote hit that FF
button.
3. ABC online survey what characters the fans / viewers love or dislike.
CBS have use this format several times with great sesults.

randy
randy

IM SORRY , I LOVE GENIE FRANCIS AND I LOVE LAURA ..BUT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH,,I HOPE GENIE FRANCIS GIVES GENERAL HOSPITAL THE THIRD FINGER AND TELLS THEN TO GO KISS HER A,,
I AM SO SICK AND TIRED OF THE WAY THEY TREAT HER,
THE YEARS OF DEDICATION THIS ACTRESS HAS GIVEN THIS SHOW AND NETWORK IS BEYOND WORDS ,ONLY TO BE TREATED WITH A SPIT IN THE FACE ..EVEN IF GENIE RETURNS TO THIS SO CALLED BIG STORYLINE I WONT TUNE BACK IN,,IVE HAD IT WITH THERE LIL HERES GENIE FRANCIS BACK AGAIN AND THEN ALL YOU GET IS A LIL SCENE HERE AND THERE,,THY USE HER AND THEY USE US ALL AS THERE BIG SUCKERS REELED IN ONE MORE TIME,,,WELL G,H YOU CAN ALSO KISS MY A..

Lucy D
Lucy D

Not one word of what Varni said makes sense. ABC is the one who took her off contract in the MIDDLE of a big story. There’s been massive pushback and still the network stays silent.

Michael, instead of publishing this, which is kind of misleading, can we try to get to the bottom of this? Why did they do this? If money is an issue, why’d they renew MB’s contract for 3 years? It’s not like Sonny is driving ratings?

Satan
Satan

Please stop blaming 20+ year veterans of this show for what the producers (and or network corporate suits) do to other 20+ year veterans (or damn near 40 in Genie’s case, minus a few breaks).

The problem isn’t Sonny or Jason or Carly. The problem is all the refugees from OLTL and various CBS soaps who have no place in GH history, yet are getting all the damned airtime. Frodd & Ava – two completely USELESS characters created by this idiotic Valentini regime – have been on literally every day since Genie’s last air date. And one of those USELESS characters had an entire episode dedicated to her, literally two days before Laura disappeared.

Dump Frodd. Dump Ava. Dump Nina. Dump Val the Bastard. Dump this idiotic new cop and get Jonathan Jackson back (Nashville must be done taping the final episodes by now).

And for the love of all that’s unholy, Dump Frank already. He’s had 6 years to damage this show, and that is more than enough.

Lucy D
Lucy D

Roger signed his new contract LAST spring. Maura’s was also signed a long time ago.

If it is a money issue the dumping of Genie coincided with the signing of SB and the resigning of MB to a 3 year contract.

And if you look at episodes taped, it ain’t Roger or Maura (or Nina, who I detest) sucking up all the oxygen in the room.

Shay
Shay

@Lucy D….Plus the additions of Dr. Kim and Peter Parking Lot, not to mention the perplexing contract renewal of the actress who portrays Jordan….really? That character is utterly superfluous and could easily be replaced in the police commish position by any number of Port Charles players, both past and present! In other words, I’m sorry, but she’s not indispensible and her departure could have freed up Curtis for a more exciting storyline, as well as given Aunt Stella something to smile about, which would have made for a very nice change!

Annie
Annie

ABC really needs to get it right with Genie. She is such an integral part of GH’s canvass and why they put her out on reoccurring status still boggles the mind. She’s an outstanding actress that can do anything. She’s a golden staple so please give her what she (and GH fans) deserve.

Cindy
Cindy

Laura was in the middle of some wonderful storylines, both which were squashed. I loved her adventure with Kevin after Helena’s will was read. Once GF went on vacation, the growing relationship was dropped and then just skipped over the romance to being together. The adventure was all but forgotten about. There was a lot of discussion about Laura’s past that was just forgotten about. Then we had a wonderful storyline wtih the mayoral campaign. Laura was the heart of that story and tied past with present. Now we are just left with another crooked man and bully and the police who do not see through his act. Ned should never have married Olivia, no offense to that character. I remember Laura as Edward’s assistant and very tied into the Quartermaines. How lovely would it have been to have Laura growing fonder of Ned while also loving Kevin. Let’s remember what brought us to love Laura and recreate that magic with something current.

chriss_inak
chriss_inak

It is my hope that fan outcry has made TIIC realize what they have done. “Laura” was in a front burner storyline, first time in years, and they yanked her outta there like she was nothing. They deserve the drop in ratings they got. Genie should be royalty on GH. In my sleep I could come up with stories for her. Whoever made this decision on GF, should be fired. (PS, I have no desire to have Luke back–Genie was here before Luke and deserves to be here NOW.)

#GenieISGH

Rose Kelly
Rose Kelly

What Chris said. If they didn’t give LnL a HEA.. then Laura is who I want to see on the last day, last scene, last frame of GH. Genie Francis is General Hospital.

chriss_inak
chriss_inak

I know….they are still to stupid to know what we want..I like alot about GH right now, but my heart is having a hard time about Genie…Tracy (JE) retired..how long before Leslie Charlston follows.we NEED the seeds of what made GH the show it is…She should be in Matriarch status, period. All shows need one. Tracy is gone. Ava is to new…ect. STUPID ABC OR VARNI or whoever did this.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

You said it !

Lucy
Lucy

Su, I am sorry you feel she is only famous because of a wedding. I have seen you make this comment in the past. It isnt your fault. You were made to believe this because of the media always showing footage of the wedding and how it broke ratings records. …..as if there had not been two explosive years of riveting storylines leading up to the wedding in the first place. Your mind is made up and there is no convincing you otherwise. I would advise anyone else who missed out on that wonderful time period to watch it on youtube beginning in 1978 and 1979 and see for themselves how genie and the impressive cast saved the show from cancellation. Bearing in mind Genie was a 17 year old holding her own against people much older than her. As others have stated in the past, people who dislike modern day Laura can blame the writers, not Genie. Modern day writers know nothing about the pre-wedding Laura.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yes, I watch the youtube episodes during 1978 and 1979 –and following–get that “old feeling” and am simply amazed and “fascinated.”

chriss_inak
chriss_inak

to me see is famous for far more than that wedding, and I watched it…It was awesome..BUT Lauras history with this show is what I want remembered….Luke can stay gone (please) and let Laura move on. I like her with Kevin…I was looking forward to the Mayor story..Alexis does not belong in it in my opinion,and it PISSES ME OFF they have put her there and let Genie go. Alexis is nowhere NEAR the historic character Laura is…PLEASE. GH showrunners are stupid and the ratings show it.

Rodd
Rodd

I find it rather insulting that this malarkey is spewed forth ever time TPTB do something that blows the minds of the audience in a bad way. Daytime audiences are rather savvy nowadays. We’ve seen more than the average prime time viewer has with their programs and we are keen on the media coverage. In a lot of cases, we have some sort of relationship with the actor and actresses on our shows. We tend to get the inside scoop at some point and can sense we we are “being served”.

The shame is that TPTB still tend to believe that if they speak it, it will make it a fact. Well, sorry, but we are not swallowing this. The election story was quickly handed to Nancy (who did an admirable job in a tough situation) and obviously cut short. People seemed to be excited by this over-arching story line with Genie front and center. So many characters were involved and it was great to watch unfold. I’m assuming there’s more to come, but the wind has gone out of the sails. TPTB could have gotten so much more out of this. And there WAS story for Genie! Golly! Could you imagine what further complications were just around the corner as she, as Laura, battled the development of Charles Street?

Heaven help those at the helm to come to their senses and stop kicking this much beloved actress in the teeth! Dear Heavens it is sooo infuriating!

chriss_inak
chriss_inak

exactly….Genie is a treasure..They do not deserve her, but we do…SMH…so much potential lost. She has never been treated well. I would rather they killed Sam off (And I do not hate her) than let Laura go. Sam is like like the food you get at the fast food place. Laura is the nice restaurant….Sam is okay, but Laura should be a LEAD.

Dean Morgan
Dean Morgan

The storyline was taken away from here. This is just PR spin. Sad. I have stated before if I look at GH as a soap that start in the mid 90’s with the arrival of Sonny, I can enjoy it. It just isn’t the same soap that it was prior to his arrival. The focus is different. The core characters that matter to the execs are different. It isn’t about Laura or the Q;s any more… It is about the Corinthos family. I try and support all four soaps, and so for me, it means I look at this as sort of a GH 2. :/

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

What!?

Karen Schneider
Karen Schneider

Absolutely!!!

Trish
Trish

I simply don’t understand the rude and unceremonious way that Genie was dropped. She has been treated like dirt by Gh for years. Laura should have been Mayor and been fighting Greg Evigan tooth and nail. To humiliate her by making her announce that she was leaving to take care of the broken legged Spencer was a disgrace. She deserves so much more. Nathan and Frank, you should be so lucky if she agrees to come back. You certainly don’t deserve her graciousness. Give her a giant storyline that befits her talents and her place in the history of GH. And stop having people sign contracts that you don’t adhere to, it’s rude and smarmy and unprofessional. Give Genie her rightful place, front and center at GH!

Shay
Shay

@Trish…The manner in which Genie was suddenly dumped by GH was beyond cruel and unprofessional,,,,it was PR suicide for the soap and its showrunners! How did they expect a reaction any less fast and furious than the one they received? Surely they cannot be so thick and clueless that this huge casting decision debacle came as a surprise? Moreover, the very notion that the audience would accept such an egregious bait-and-switch of substituting the well-respected Laura with the morally-sullied Alexis in the mayoral race was a complete joke…if anything, the only involvement the latter should have had in this election storyline was as the paramour of yet another of poorly-chosen beau in keeping with her tradition of canoodling with unsuitable men, this time being the slimeball Jim Harvey….given he’s unethical, criminal and sleazy, he was right up Alexis’ usual alley of iniquity!!!

Trish
Trish

Shay, you are 100% right! I hope they give her a gigantic storyline that suits her talent and her experience. Why they stole this one from her is unfathomable. And in such a demeaning way! They better make it right. She deserves nothing but the best. And if she signs a 3 year contract, live up to it please! You spent all your money on Steve Burton, better have your accountants do a better job of allowcating your budget next time. There are other cuts you could make (not mentioning any names).

Shay
Shay

Well, Trish, if the geniuses at GH/ABC haven’t finally figured out they stepped in it big time with this Genie debacle, then they truly are hopelessly clueless! It’s going to require a huge mea culpa and Laura-centric storyline commensurate with Genie’s incredible talent to remedy this mess…however, given the lingering negative reaction attached to this ill-timed decision, the showrunners best be pulling out all the stops for this beloved legacy player’s welcome back to Port Charles in order to once again attract the audience segment that took a hike when Laura boarded her plane to Paris. Having said that, I don’t necessarily agree that Steve Burton’s return is responsible for Laura’s departure…there were a number of questionable contract decisions made after that point which more likely contributed to the cash crunch that sidelined Genie, but you are correct that there are plenty of cast cuts that wouldn’t go amiss and could provide the necessary funds for Laura’s next GH chapter to commence.

Cheryl
Cheryl

I have been watching GH for almost 40 years. In those 40 years I have put up with a lot, including killing Duke for the umpteenth time. But the firing of Genie was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had to leave. I was too angry to even watch.

Now I read Varni’s words. To me they just scream hypocrisy. Genie had a story line that was centered around her. A story line that didn’t involve her kids, didn’t involve Scotty, didn’t involve Luke. Her own story. A story that tapped into a past that she was a big part of. There wasn’t a Charles Street before Laura moved into Mary Mae Ward’s old house. She was running for Mayor. Standing on her own 2 feet. Then The Powers That Be (Frank and Nathan) came along and yanked her from it. Took her away from a major story to go and nurse a character that only makes appearances during the summer. I saw all kinds of flames that day.

Then to add pain to the injury Frank had the audacity to send out a tweet stating “Laura has some shocking news” and actually attached Genie to the tweet. Talk about cold! I didn’t think it would be possible for someone to rub some salt into some wounds. Didn’t think another human being could be so cruel and cold blooded, but Frank proved me wrong.

What I want to know is what will be different this time? Like I said, Genie had a major story only to have it abruptly snatched away and given to another character. Frank didn’t even have the decency to even talk to her about. In my view, General Hospital has not shown Genie the respect that she has earned. My faith in the show has been shattered. My trust in GH is gone. So they have a lot of work to do to even get me to watch GH again. They have to earn my trust back. The first step is actually admitting that they had effed up and not only provide a heart felt apology to Genie, but to the fans as well. I need assurance that this crap will not happen again.

Right now I read Nathan’s words, but all I see is lies. So until I see some action. Until I see actual proof, I will continue to believe that everything that Nathan said is a lie. A lie to spread around so the bleeding could stop.

This year GH celebrates 55 years on the air. What The Powers That Be had forgotten is the fact that GH wouldn’t be celebrating 55 years if it wasn’t for Genie. The show was on the chopping block in 1978. If it wasn’t for Gloria Monty, Genie Francis and Anthony Geary, GH wouldn’t have made it to the 80’s. For them to treat Genie like garbage is a crime in itself.

Like I said, my trust in GH has gone. If you want me back, you had better earn it.

Andy G.
Andy G.

Brilliantly stated, Cheryl, and I agree wholeheartedly.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

chriss_inak
chriss_inak

exactly…my heart and trust were broken.. I can still not believe it. AND, as much as I wish it wasn’t so, If I were Genie, if they came and offered her something, I would want to say KISS MY ASS. (otoh…I want her back) But, dang, if she said that, I would cheer her.
I was getting my granddaugher to watch…age 18….she says that storyline sucked.

AND btw…how rude was that whole thing, anyway

Rose Kelly
Rose Kelly

Excellent Cheryl. There is a time limit too. I haven’t been watching since the Friday I heard (on a podcast) / I’m not watching until Genie is back on screen. The 55th anniversary book is out.. LnL right on Front..Center. They announced Tristan will be coming back, he starts work this month. He didn’t say for how long. Feel salt in the wound yet. The 5 weeks it takes for Spencer’s legs to heal are up.. heard anything about her return? Nope.

Del
Del

with Tristan Rogers coming back? Any Robert and Laura centric story would be amazing, perhaps, David Gray come back and start hounding her again? Robert and Laura deal with it.

Sandy J.
Sandy J.

What a nerve! If Genie is such an important part of the G.H. family, why was she put on recurring status? That’s a hell of a way to show your support of one of daytime’s favourite actresses, ABC (Nathan Varni et al). The writers already penned a great story for her but then TPTB pulled the rug – and story – out from under her. The character of Laura is important to several of the contract actors’ characters, Emme Rylan’s Lulu foremost among them. There is still so little loyalty from the network to its actors, unless you happen to be Maurice Benard, Laura Wright and Steve Burton. Oh, and now Maura West. Genie Who, the network asks? I’m so tired of G.H. execs hiring new actors for new roles and totally ignoring the actors that we fans have always said we want to see on our screens. I sincerely hope that Genie knows how many people want her back on the show and how revered she is.

k/kay
k/kay

Well according to KM & BM closed captioning is required for those two she is a old timer put her out to pasture. Three weeks and I will not come back even if Genie was on because she was only on to prop that daughter of hers. Ugh!

dmr
dmr

k/kay, you are right. The character of Laura was used as a prop to that annoying, insipid daughter of hers-annoying Lulu, and to babysit Elizabeth’s boys. How disrespectful!

Michael
Michael

Genie is one of the reasons GH got to 14000. Let’s not forget it was being cancelled in the late 70’s
And with her chemistry with Anthony Geary the show was the hottest thing on TV in the early 80’s. Bring her back and give her the storyline she deserves.

Sue C.
Sue C.

Yes, I definitely want to see Genie front and center. In
fact, I have no interest in watching GH without her. I’m
tired of the same mob stuff over and over.
With Tristan returning, I’d love to see him and Genie
sharing a story. I’d love to see them renewing their
friendship. It could create conflict for her and Kevin.
Robert could ask Laura to help with a case that could
also cause conflict with Anna. Or Anna and Laura could
get closer. These two powerhouse actresses have shared
very little screen time and I think they’d be great together.
Laura should also be interacting with all the younger
characters. She’s always been great either the younger
set.
I’d also love to see JJ back. Stories for Laura and Lucky
are endless and they’re fabulous together .
I hope they bring Genie back soon with a long term
contract. She is the heart and soul of GH and needs
to be front and center!!

Rose Kelly
Rose Kelly

Agreed. She needs to be on the Front Promo’s, and her name listed in the top billing. She never had her name on the web site as a cast member during the last 3 years. Sad sad management.

Michael
Michael

Hands down,Genie Francis is the best actress on daytime ever. GH needs to hire her back pronto.

Tricia Sheldon
Tricia Sheldon

I haven’t listened to the podcast, but I’m confused. Does Nathan want a Laura-centric story for Genie to play as a recurring character or back on contract? I have every confidence that Chris VanEttan can create the storyline – he was already giving her great scenes in regards to the Charles Street gentrification & mayoral election. Genie was on fire! No doubt in my mind that Genie can deliver the goods IF THEY WRITE IT. She’s given powerhouse performances since she was 16 & murdered David Hamilton. To ask Genie to do it as recurring is a slap in her face. She’s been disrespected since 1981, pretty much fired from AMC to get Laura only to treat her like crap over and over and over.

Story ideas? Come back to PC and continue to fight for social issues. Forget the idiotic rewrite of 2002! Laura could decide to raise funds to reopen a waterfront clinic like her parents ran for years. She could become chairman of the board of the hospital and then have some crisis to bring the hospital back to the forefront where it belongs. Something like the epic Lasa Fever.

They could explore Helena’s curse. So many possibilities with confronting Valentin.

andrew
andrew

I recently got caught up on some of Laura’s scenes with that whole Stavros business and she holds herself quite well opposite such folks as Stephen NIchols and Nancy Lee Grahn. Even then, though, the writers seemed to give more attention to some of the new characters at the time, even though Genie seemed quite up to whatever challenge they gave her. I think the show seems guarded in giving this iconic character some nuance, some contradictory depth–they have seemed satisfactory in making her nice–she could have been more strategic in her attempts to take down Valentin for killing her son, in ways she had been taught by Luke, Robert, Helena, Stavros, her son, etc, at least by osmosis. Try her as a villain for a while (of course, not her ultimate fault, easily redeemable, but a manipulative, dangerous Laura could be interesting. Or how about PTSD over all her kidnappings, rapes, imprisonments making her snap and she starts to endanger the men on the show while Kevin slowly notices the symptoms–and he discovers that in this state she relates to him only if he pretends to be his psycho killing brother. The bottom line is that they don’t want Genie on the show, they feel she slows it down, she doesn’t offer dynamic storytelling, they seem to feel she’s limited as a actress and can’t handle such a story.

Breaking News

Check In To GRAND HOTEL! Premiere Date Announced Featuring Bryan Craig, Richard Burgi, Denyse Tontz & Eva Longoria

2019 is bringing it with some major soapy dramas.  And this one has been much talked about, and looking quite alluring.  It features some former soap opera notables in key roles.

We’re talking about ABC’s Grand Hotel which has finally announced its premiere date, but fans will have to wait till the summer for its debut.  Circle Monday night, June 17th.  Grand Hotel will air immediately following  episodes of the new season of The Bachelorette.

General Hospital Daytime Emmy-winner, Bryan Craig (Ex-Morgan Corintjos) take on the role of  playboy Javi, his sister Paloma is played by former All My Children reboot actress, Denyse Tontz (Ex-Miranda Montgomery).  In addition, soap vet Richard Burgi (last seen as Paul Hornsby on GH) takes on the role of Michael Finn, a charming businessman who spells t-r-o-u-b-l-e for the Mendoza family, and series EP, Eva Longoria (Ex-Isabella, Y&R) also guest stars as Beatriz a former owner of the hotel.

The series loglines from ABC reveal: “Grand Hotel is a bold provocative drama set at the last family-owned hotel in multicultural Miami Beach. Charismatic Santiago Mendoza (Demian Bichir) owns the hotel, while his glamorous second wife, Gigi (Roselyn Sanchez), and their adult children enjoy the spoils of success. The hotel’s loyal staff round out a contemporary, fresh take on an upstairs/downstairs story. Wealthy and beautiful guests bask in luxury, but scandals, escalating debt and explosive secrets hide beneath the picture-perfect exterior.”

In case you missed it, check out the first look trailer for the series first posted in May for the ABC upfronts.   Then let us know, are you excited to see Bryan in his new primetime series?  Do you think this premise has all the making of some juicy primetime soap viewing? Comment below.

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Breaking News

WATCH THE REPLAY: GH Facebook Live With Maurice Benard & Laura Wright

If you missed Wednesday’s GH Facebook Live event featuring Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Laura Wright (Carly) you can watch the replay below.

During the 35-minute broadcast, Michael Fairman chatted with the Daytime Emmy-winning duo about the latest storylines involving Sonny and Carly including: the Alzheimer’s storyline centering around Sonny’s dad, Mike (Max Gail), what will happen with Margaux (Elizabeth Hendrickson) and Sonny’s relationship, and if Carly will figure out that Kevin (Jon Lindstrom) is stashed away at Ferncliff, and that his twin brother Ryan is masquerading as him while murdering people in Port Charles.

In addition, Maurice and Laura talk about memorable scenes and moments throughout their time on the ABC daytime drama series, and episodes that are included in the “Sonny and Carly Collection” streaming now at ABC.com and on the ABC app.  Laura did talk about taking over the pivotal role following in the shoes of fan favorites, Sarah Brown and Tamara Braun.

Maurice and Laura also talked about their upcoming projects.  Laura’s premieres tomorrow night on Lifetime when she is seen in Stalked by My Patient, while Maurice will soon be seen in Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter. 

Check it out below and let us know what was your favorite part of the Facebook live, and what you think will happen in the key storylines involving Sonny and Carly as we move into 2019 via the comment section.

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Breaking News

TODAY: General Hospital’s Maurice Benard and Laura Wright Chat It Up On Facebook Live

In a very special GH Facebook Live, Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Laura Wright (Carly) are set to talk about the relationship between Sonny and Carly, what’s happening in story for the duo at the moment, and the Sonny & Carly Collection featuring 20 episodes throughout the 20-year relationship of this torrid love affair available now via ABC.com and the ABC app.

The action begins at 10:30amPST/1:30pmpst via facebook.com/generalhospital.

Joining Maurice and Laura will be Michael Fairman who will be moderating the live event.

Make sure to send in your questions and they just may be asked on-air during the broadcast.

Now let us know what has been your favorite Carly and Sonny moment throughout the years? Share your thoughts or questions via the comment section below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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