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ABC News Boss Ben Sherwood Named Anne Sweeney's Successor As ABC Television Group President!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

That didn’t take long! After the much bantered about upcoming departure of ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney, her successor has been named!

ABC News chief, Ben Sherwood will now take over the position of co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group on February 1, 2015, a day after  Sweeney’s exit.

According to Deadline.com, “Sherwood’s appointment comes after a short search, with the news wiz considered an early frontrunner as Disney again looked within ranks for the next top executive hire.  Sherwood will begin the transition as Co-President, Disney/ABC Television Group alongside Sweeney immediately, while also continuing to oversee ABC News until a successor is named.

“Ben is one of those unique executives who combine rich creative experience with great business acumen,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said. “He’s also focused, strategic, and competitive, as evidenced by the success of GMA, the Yahoo deal that delivered ABC News online dominance, and his vision behind our new cable and digital joint venture, Fusion. These reasons, and many others, make Ben the ideal candidate to oversee the future of the Disney/ABC Television Group.”

It is Sherwood’s accomplishments as head of the ABC News division that propelled him to the reins of Disney’s entire non-sports TV portfolio. Among them is leading Good Morning America to No. 1, brokering a successful online partnership with Yahoo to and launching Fusion, a joint venture news and lifestyle network with Univision.

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“Over the years, he has moved from success-to-success, and helped create a more vibrant, collaborative and powerful news division that embraces innovation and risk-taking,” Anne Sweeney said. “Ben’s now set to bring those same attributes to bear for the larger group, and I could not be more thrilled. This announcement simply highlights the fact that our talent and succession planning process works.”

So, what are your thoughts on the hiring of Ben Sherwood?  Will he be a friend to the soaps?  Let us know your thoughts!

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boes
boes

I think it’s irrelevant for soap fans anymore WHO they put in charge. Sweeney and Frons did the dirty work and cleared away the soaps. All that’s left for this guy to do is to put the nail in GH’s coffin – or not.
Guaranteed, whatever he does, it won’t matter a rats behind whether the viewers are happy or not.

Rose Anne
Rose Anne

This is extremely bad news for soap fans. He supposedly wanted the flop that was Good Afternoon America to replace GH.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

He’s probably more interested in news programs than soaps…

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

Probably Interested in their dumb solution to put on more talk & cooking shows.. Which would be a disaster…

Dan
Dan

The only thing I care about is that he doesn’t touch GH. Getting rid of AMC and OLTL was a huge mistake by ABC, and getting rid of their last remaining and most popular soap would be an even bigger one.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Arrrrrgh!!!! Dan…I LOVE GH! But as a viewer of ABC’s OLTL I have to correct you…it was higher in the ratings than GH…GH was NOT the most popular before “the fall.” Don’t get me wrong…I watched GH back then too…loved them both. But OLTL was not cancelled due to poor ratings or lack of popularity.

aria
aria

Here we go again, ok rebecca( I’m rolling my eyes), oltl was accidently incorrectly, wrongfully and mistakenly picked to get cancelled be evil abc and it should of been AMC and GH . happy now? Feel validated? oltl was better(i’m giggling) then GH, it holds the record as the soap with most emmy wins(oh wait thats GH) and record for the most watched episode in daytme history.(oh wait that was GH again), furthermore Time magazine, TV guide listed as the most popular soap of all time( damn is that GH again?) oh and don’t forget it was abc top soap for its entire run on abc,(lol, i sound convincing) so to conclude, OLTL is the best soap ever Cancelled. ooh that sounds good, see? oltl is the best show no longer on the air.

udhoop
udhoop

oltl was higher in the ratings when it left the air due to people watching its final days. it was not higher at the time it was announced they were canceling it. Arrrrrgh….I get so tired of hearing this from oltl fans. Get it straight!

jonboy
jonboy

Relishing in your own sarcasm? If it makes you feel better, I suppose.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Aria…aside from the fact that you’re apparently obnoxious…and you can roll your eyes, lol and giggle with the best of them…I reiterate…

OLTL was not canceled due to a lack of popularity.

At a point close to when it was canceled, OLTL numbers went up slightly (from 2.5 million to 2.6 million). And it was the only soap not to dip in the key demo.

“Two years ago, there were fears that “General Hospital” would be cancelled, like their sister shows “One Life To Live,” and “All My Children.” At that time, the ratings for “General Hospital” was not as high as they are now. In fact, they were lower than “One Life To Live’s” ratings.

Oh, and please shove your snarky arse somewhere else.

aria
aria

rebecca rebecca rebecca, ok, in oltl entire history, they only beat GH in the ratings for an entire season 3 times, 2 of those were in the 70’s and the last time was their final season(2011-2012) so base on that if your an executive at abc and your told we are getting rid of 2 of our 3 soaps and you got to take into account everything from history, to revenue,& prestige (i.e emmy wins) do you really think oltl was their most valuable real estate among their soaps? yes, they were having a creative and ratings upsurge but that happened after abc had already decided on the two soaps they would axed. So by the time Abc decided to cancel Oltl, it didn’t have anything prior to its last season to make abc choose it over GH, and thats the simple fact, its not me making up stats, i’m not exaggerating all those prior years that GH was ABC top soap in the ratings, or was winning emmy as best show, some years even winning 3 years in a row. or for making history for the most single watch episode in daytime history( for luke and lauras wedding) So, hate and blame abc for cancelling OLTL but can all you OLTL fans stop with the GH bashing to pump up OLTL into something that it never was when you put them up to comparison, because believe me, their stats will never add up.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Aria…I truly believe you have a reading comprehension thing going on. Where oh where did I “bash” GH? If you had actually read my “pleasant” first response…I said I had watched BOTH shows…LOVED both shows…and wouldn’t want EITHER one to be cancelled. I would have been equally disappointed if GH had been canceled instead of OLTL. I simply stated that OLTL was still popular, still had decent ratings…and at the time of the fall…was higher than GH.

READ…don’t just gloss over someone’s words. And don’t ATTACK with that smug attitude that you gave me. Learn to discuss/debate…

Aria
Aria

Point taken I can concede that I misread what you said, sorry for offending you, not my intention.

joliefan88
joliefan88

Bravo Rebecca! Your posts were pleasent and absolutely correct. Some people need to grow up

rebecca1
rebecca1

Aria…you need to reread your posts to me and then decide whether it was your “not your intention to offend me.” Because if that was NOT your intention…I can only imagine how offensive you could be if you put your mind to it.

With that said, thank you for the apology. Accepted.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Joliefan88…thanks! 😉

Aria
Aria

I don’t want to directly offend you Rebecca. I was trying to pre empt any attack from OLTL fans towards GH , and yes I was high on sarcasm that day but that’s me n I can take any attack back I just don’t want u thinking it was personal because no one should be attacked personally. I felt justified from a GH fan vs a OLTL fan, although u clearly stated u were a fan of both shows. So will I irritate someone else with the GH vs OLTL ? I surely hope so but it won’t be no personal attack, it’s just not what I’m into. I’m not interested in fighting with anyone about personal taste, if u love OLTL n think it’s the best show ever or dool, y&r or b& b then that’s not something to start a debate or war over but if someone talks shit bout my fave show ( not u Rebecca) then I will feel the need to shower them with my sarcasm, I just over jump the gun with u so sorry again but to ant OLTL fans who wants to throw GH under the bus just to make OLTL look good well be ready cause here I come.

Mary SF
Mary SF

It sounds like this guy has never watched a soap in in his life, so I doubt he will do much for the genre on that network except be the guy who finally kills their last daytime drama.

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

They always put these crappy talk shows & cooking shows which are so forgettable! They have no drama, emotion what so ever and its NOT entertainment..

Marco
Marco

I don’t trust him or abc. He will try, to cancel general hospital. Abc want out of the soap business.

rebecca1
rebecca1

never heard of him…but I’m wary as to what his approach will be to soaps. if he’s that much of a businessman…and is good at turning a profit…he may not want to keep GH on for the long run if it’s not lucrative. risky…

jp
jp

Is he bringing back OLTL to the daytime line on ABC? Otherwise, I could care less who takes over the position.

Kevin
Kevin

But it’s ABC … who cares?!?!?

Maria
Maria

Oh kevin, you are being a smart ass. yes we all care, about gh, we love the soap. If it gets cancelled? I’m done with abc.

Charday
Charday

Hope the ratings stay good!

Ghlover
Ghlover

Could CBS just please buy GH????

Rapids
Rapids

Some of us need to get a grip on reality, soaps are not a priority,. The lack of interest from TV executives is not a vendetta, soaps don’t make much money anymore to justify the production cost. General hospital is on borrowed time and if it is still around two years from now I will be surprised. Regardless of who is running the show.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Rapids…very well said and unfortunately correct. But, this is a soap fan site…so of course the comments voice concern that this guy will bring GH down. Michael asked for reaction to this guy’s hiring…that’s what he got.

dg
dg

People need to face the facts Disney never cared and doesnt care about soaps now. Their bottom line is profits and moving toward the future. Eventually GH will get the ax too. Disney isnt going to shell out any new money to keep it going. It’s only a matter of time.

joliefan88
joliefan88

Disney has nothing to do it with weather or not GH stays on. ABC says what shows they keep and what ones they don’t

dg
dg

You are so misinformed. Disney is ABC’s parent company. They bankroll whatever the network does. They decide where their money goes.

Nancy
Nancy

I do not think that he will replace GH. If he wants to watch ABC get worse than it is then good luck. He will have to find out the hard way. Why do you think Sweeney is leaving? Tanked network. I do not see GH as a threat to try more crap. Obviously he will try GAA again. That is laughable.

dg
dg

Disney doesnt care much for ABC anyway. There bread and butter is not this lousy little TV network. Their bread and butter is the theme parks and movies and tons of other entertainment companies that they have acquired and continue to acquire. Disney is a multi billion dollar conglomerate. Im really surprised they havent sold ABC off by now.

Barbara Weaver
Barbara Weaver

Ben Sherwood, I would like to watch general hospital on the abc app. I’m a big fan of abc. When they interrupted it a special new report. I will miss it. I sometimes watch gh on my ipad. I know that they have on demand show. Can you help me with abc app. Thanks

Aria
Aria

Hey Barbara I too was hoping for the abc apt , it’s so complicated now, u can’t watch same day episode or u have to have permission from your cable provider . It’s a big o mess. I don’t know how bad it is where you’re from with the network or local station interrupting your show for stupid little late breaking news but if you miss one episode then I recommend iTunes it’s easy and the best way to catch up on episode it costs just a few bucks is not bad if you don’t get interrupted all the time.

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

He would like to shove down our throats more talk & cooking shows .. That would really piss me off.. I have been a soap fan for many years and this what I like to watch in the afternoon. Anything else other then the soaps I would NEVER watch. This would be the final straw that broke the camels back…And there are talk shows that were suppose to be cancelled and they are still on. (example: Katie)… Those kind of shows are very forgettable. They can’t compare to our stories in any way.

Edna Barefoot
Edna Barefoot

I have read all the comments Michael & those that want to trash OLTL & want OLTL fans to shut up need to think what would they do if their soap, GH, was cancelled. Fans of OLTL are helping GH stay on. We decided to watch GH even after out beloved soap was cancelled in order to help GH’s ratings. GH would be gone had it not been for OLTL & AMC fans agreeing to watch GH to keep it on TV. I love GH but OLTL was my favorite, as everyone that knows me knows that. I will continue to hope for OLTL to come back even though I believe it is gone because my idol Erika Slezak,aka Viki Lord, made the statement that she didn’t believe OLTL would be back. ABC cares nothing about viewers or OLTL would still be on.

Tony Evans
Tony Evans

It matters not to me who is working over at ABC-TV as far as the Execs go. The damage has been done, it seems doubtful that One Life to Live nor ALL MY CHILDREN could resurface at this point. If the powers at the helm were smart, they would combine the cast members available from each show and make one new soap – All My Children Have One life to live – (kidding about the Title) – utilizing the seasoned talents of Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser, Jill Larsen and others ~ but alas, that will probably not happen.

Jennifer
Jennifer

Time to move on Tony. Erika Slezak will land on another soap. Maybe she can be, the new Caroline Brady on days of our lives. Peggy Mckay needs to retire now.

dg
dg

If Erika Slezak wanted to work in other venues I sure she could have found another job somewhere else by now. Ive seen former One Life stars pop up all over TV not just in the 4 soaps.
I see former soap stars all over entertainment in film and wherever.

dg
dg

People need to give up on AMC and OLTL they are toast. Time to move on like the actors have. In the words of Frozen. Let it Go, lol.

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Lucas Gives Wiley To Michael; While Willow Learns the Devastating Truth

Friday’s episode of General Hospital, brought the highly-emotional moments viewers had been waiting for all-week long; following the year and a half reveal that Nelle (Chloe Lanier) and Brad (Parry Shen) engineered a baby switch with Willow’s (Katelyn MacMullen) dead baby, Wiley being passed off as Michael (Chad Duell) and Nelle’s newborn, Jonah, and Jonah being raised by Brad and Lucas (Ryan Carnes) as Wiley.  Now with the truth out, it was time for two of the heaviest beats of the story to be played out.

When Willow comes to at the hospital with Chase (Josh Swickard) by her side, needless to say she is dazed and freaking out that Nelle took Wiley.  Chase tells her he has some things to tell her and it’s not going to be easy to hear. Willow braces herself and then Chase tells her the story of the baby switch and how her baby died a SIDS death while at Brad and Lucas’ and then how the babies were switched.

Photo: ABC

In a heartbreaking and powerful performance from Katelyn MacMullen (yes, she is our pick for “Power Performance of the Week”), Willow struggles to come to grips with the truth and starts to realize all of Brad’s machinations, as she thinks back to herself how could she do that to her son … to trust him with Brad, only to have the little infant die.  The devastation played by MacMullen, whose Willow, now must realize her baby never lived the full and happy young life she thought, was gut-wrenching.

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Meanwhile, in yet another top-notch performance, William deVry (Julian) showed the pain and the need to unburden himself as Julian talks to his sister. Ava (Maura West) and spills what happened.   He goes so far to admit to Ava that he knew what Brad had done. Ava cannot believe he did not go to Sonny (Maurice Benard) right away with this Intel, but Julian just could not do this to his son, Lucas and rip the baby from his arms.  Julian says he will face-off with Sonny and not leave town, if it comes to that.   Ava says they have to come up with a way to silence Brad … before Brad gives up Julian’s part in the whole baby cover-up.

Photo: JPI

And in yet another masterful performance, we have to give it up to Chloe Lanier.  Who can play Nelle and spin stories and the tears so well, that if you did not know this pathological liar you would think she is telling the truth. When in opposing holding cells at the PCPD, Nelle lays it on about Brad so that the guard can hear them. She blames Brad for being the instigator in the baby switch and taking advantage of her – a distraught new mother, confused and dazed on the route where the baby switch happened.  It works! Brad is moved to a different cell and thinks look very grim for him.  Nelle smiles through her crocodile tears!

Photo: JPI

Then, in what we all knew had to happen, and even so, was still as heartbreaking as ever; Lucas spends his final moments with Wiley as his father in the kitchen at the Corinthos’ along with Bobbie (Jackie Zeman) and Carly (Laura Wright).  Lucas starts to tell his mother and sister, all the things Wiley needs and likes, such as having a story read to him.  All of this brings the tears as they know Lucas has to give the child back to Michael; who has been robbed of a year and half as the baby’s rightful father.

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Michael tells Lucas they will work this out, so Lucas remains a constant in Wiley’s life. He also tells Sonny and Sasha (Sofia Matteson) he feels so badly for Lucas, but they tell him to be happy for this chance to have the son he grieved for.   In the end, a tear-filled Lucas hands Wiley to Michael as everyone watches on in sadness for one father … and joy for the other.  Ryan Carnes was poignant in the scenes; as was Chad Duell.

Courtesy/ABC

So, what did you think of the performances from Friday’s GH featuring Katelyn, Ryan, Chad, William, Chloe and Parry? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Michael Blasts Brad As The Truth About Wiley Comes Out

FINALLY! On Wednesday’s episode of General Hospital, Lucas (Ryan Carnes) memory is jogged just enough that he clearly remembers Brad’s (Parry Shen) shocking words before their car crash; where Brad confessed that Wiley was Nelle (Chloe Lanier) and Michael’s (Chad Duell) biological son.

At the Corinthos home, Lucas stands up and announces to Michael that Wiley is actually his believed to be dead son, Jonah. Carly’s (Laura Wright) mouth drops and then she takes over getting to the root of the truth of the baby switch.

Brad is cornered and left with no choice but to fess up. He explains how Wiley died when he was no longer breathing, and how he was driving with him, when he ended up on the route where Nelle left Michael to die in the car he was driving (Michael recalls this bit of Intel in a flashback).

Then, Brad explains how Nelle appeared with her newborn baby and claimed the whole thing was engineered by Nelle …  and how he was so upset and panicked, that he went along with her plan.

Michael lets Brad have it for all of his lies and machinations, and the pain it has inflicted on so many people for over a year and half.  How on earth could he do that? Carly also lays into him.

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Meanwhile, Sasha (Sofia Matteson) has urgently called Chase (Josh Swickard), who leaves “Wiley” and Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) behind, and heads to the Corinthos’ where he hears the whole sad truth about the baby switch.

With Chase gone, Nelle goes looking for “Wiley” who is with Willow, and the two get into a major throwdown catfight.  Nelle comes out the victor and goes to get her baby ready to leave town with her son.

So, what did you think of how the truth finally came out?  What did you think of Michael’s tirade on Brad? What do you think will happen next? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GH’s James Patrick Stuart Talks on Valentin’s Downfall and Potential Rise to Power

After all his bravado, machinations and lies to keep the woman he loves, and believing he was the rightful heir to the Cassadine fortune, suddenly it all came crashing down for Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) on recent episodes of General Hospital.

Payback can be a bitch, but for Valentin; who’s past has been fraught with numerous physical and emotional tribulations since his childhood, he now finds himself at the lowest point in his life; losing Nina (Cynthia Watros) who’s now taken up with Jax (Ingo Rademacher), realizing he is the biological son of the evil Helena Cassadine (Constance Towers), and not Mikkos, and having all his best laid plans and misdeeds backfire.  (Remember, he shot and “killed” Nikolas, and set up the ruse that led Sasha to pretend she was Nina’s bio-daughter.)  Now, enter Nelle Benson (Chloe Lanier), who could very well hold the ticket, to Valentin’s rise to wealth and power all over again.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with James Patrick Stuart to get the lowdown on: those heavy and emotional scenes opposite Constance Towers, working with Cynthia Watros as his newest Nina, if Valentin might really kill Jax the next time he thinks about it, and what about a potential relationship between Anna (Finola Hughes) and Valentin?

Not many can play bad as good as James in this industry.  He does it so effortlessly and still brings out the humanity in the guy that has t-r-o-u-b-l-e written all over him.  Here’s what James had to share about all of Valentin’s recent dramatic moments, a tease of what’s to come, and much more.

Photo: JPI

Valentin’s world has imploded at the moment.  When did you initially find out that he was going to turn out to not be a true Cassadine heir?

JAMES:  Well, there were some clues dropped by Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) back when we did the gallery auction where Helena’s portrait went up in flames.  Frank looked at me and goes, “Hey, Jack Nicholson it up.  Have some fun!  You’re not going to be feeling pretty good for a while.”  (Laughs)  I’m like, “Oh … what are the plans?”  He pulled me aside and goes, “Yeah, you’re going to lose Nina, but you’re going to try to take over ELQ.  That’s when I started to go, “Wait a minute!  That sounds to me like Valentin’s losing his money.”  (Laughs)  With the character of Nikolas (Marcus Coloma) coming back; it’s pretty great.  I think the writing was on the wall there.  I put it out on twitter the other day.  I said, “Look what they’ve done to my boy.”  Somebody chimed in, “They gave him a storyline!” (Laughs)

Who doesn’t love to see you, James Patrick Stuart, play tortured soul?  They audience loves to see you get the opportunity to go to those depths in your performances.

JAMES:  It’s been really interesting for me.  I’ve had a lifetime of playing bad guys because the line was always shorter. (Laughs)  Everybody wants to be Tom Cruise, but the Alan Rickman’s of it all, to me, were what was so interesting.  Early on, you play one dimensional kind of twisting of the mustache, tying a woman to the train tracks.  After a while, you start to watch the truly great actors.  They start to take you on a ride.  If you’re paying attention, you start to feel what it would be like to be that damaged, and that’s why you do it.  Then you start to see the vulnerability. To me, I thought, “This is a great time in my life because I’m ready to do that.” A lot of people say, “I don’t understand.  I feel like that makes no sense. because why would I root for a person who behaves like this?” and that to me, I feel is the greatest compliment of all.

So much happened recently to Valentin in one fell swoop; he overhears Nina telling Ava (Maura West) she kissed Jax, then he envisions shooting Jax and then he is drinking himself into oblivion and he gets a “visit” from Helena!  But … the scenes between Valentin and Helena really summed up the bitter truth for him, wouldn’t you say?

JAMES:  Yes.  In the “Helena” scenes, it all basically is revealed.  It all comes down in a moment where he “sees” her.  I think he realizes with the DNA test; he’s not the person he thought he was, but he certainly had no idea that he had her blood in his veins.  The truly tragic moment of the evening is when it dawns on him that he has a daughter with Helena’s blood in her veins.  Now, he would kill her a thousand times over in that moment.  He can’t do it.  He’s fighting phantoms.  That’s the bottom below the bottom, and things got worse than he ever thought they would get.

Courtesy/ABC

Does Valentin have any idea then, who his biological father could be?

JAMES:  I don’t think so.  I don’t believe so.  I know I don’t.  I think once he realizes that Helena is in fact the mother, I think he’d rather just go into oblivion.  I think at that point, he’s out of answers.  Enter Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) …which is wonderful because I think the world of Nancy, and she saves the day.   Alexis basically talks him out of hurting himself, telling him to count his blessings that he is not a Cassadine, etc, which was a really sweet moment.

I assume, when you have this kind of material to play, it must be exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time?

JAMES:  I think that’s exactly right.  As an actor, I think you want to do this stuff.  Maura West and I compare notes all the time.  I think it can be kind of emotionally draining.  You do feel it, and I felt it when I had spent a lot of time with Nina and Valentin, and when the actresses changed, and we brought Cynthia Watros in.  I worked twice as hard to make sure that Cynthia’s landing was as easy as possible, and I really grew attached to the Nina and Valentin connection.  So, when Jax steps in, Cynthia’s love life means nothing to me, I don’t care about that, but Nina’s love life means a lot to me!  And it bums me out, and I don’t know that I’ll actually be watching any future love scenes between them as much as I love them both!  I have a deep attachment to the Valentin connection to Nina.  So, the lines get burred because we just play these characters so long.

Photo: JPI

What was it like sharing those tough scenes with Constance? No one can play icy, evil villainess like her … and yet in real life, she is such a gracious and kind-hearted woman.

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JAMES:  In real life, Constance is such a sweetheart, and she’s so grateful to be there.  She was so ready to work, and rehearse, and play, and find the stuff, and she was great.  I’d been in scenes with her before.  Last time, we didn’t really talk to each other.  I was with the hump.  I was being Valentin pre-surgery.  It was some sort of moment in a graveyard, but this time we actually got to interact with each other.

You look at Valentin, and he’s not had the greatest life.  Do you bring his entire back-story into your performance; such as when he was deformed with the hump and how he had to literally reconstruct his life both in the physical and in emotional ways for many years?

JAMES:  Absolutely.  It’s the brokenness that he’s making choices from.  He was never truly and authentic person to begin with which is why his love fell apart.  He’s always been faking.  He’s always been putting on a show.  That’s not sustainable in matters of the heart.  It was unbelievably easy for Jax to swoop in, because it was inevitable that things were going to fall apart.  Of course, that anger and that brokenness were what lead him to want to kill Jax.  There’s no question.  He was prepared to do that.  If you look in the eyes in the fantasy sequence in the shooting, he just wanted to watch him die.  He wanted to watch the light go out in Jax’s eyes.  He was so furious … and even more tragic is … that was all he could think of, and somehow, he realized in that moment that wouldn’t work, because he’d lose his daughter.

Photo: JPI

Anna and Finn (Michael Easton) just kind of busted up.  Do you think Anna and Valentin will hookup? There is a connection and a history between the two of them whenever they seem to be in proximity of one another.

JAMES:  Personally, I’m waiting for that.  I hope so!  There is a finesse and elegance to that woman, and not only that, there is an effortless to the connection between Valentin and Anna, if one can say that about one’s own coupling.  I love to look at it!  I think we go together like a wink and a smile.  I just find that chemistry really great.  I think that’s mostly Finola, though.  She can probably have chemistry with most anything.

Valentin was going to leave Port Charles with Charlotte (Scarlett Fernandez), after Nikolas revealed all and the fallout began.  Interestingly enough, it was Anna who came to Valentin’s side and tried to talk him down from fleeing with his daughter and showed such compassion for him!

JAMES:  Wasn’t that great?  She was the one who got him.  She was the one who was able to calm the beast.  There was no one else he would have listened to.  In the moment in the police station, after Charlotte had been kidnapped, and there is that moment where Anna has that bruise, I thought it was such a tender moment.  I just said, “If I kiss my finger and touch your wound?” and she’s like, “Do it.”  It was just this moment where we had been bitter rivals and enemies for so long, but he just adores her so much it’s undeniable that he sees her wounded and wants to make it better.  It’s floating out there waiting to be done.  I know that everybody knows it.  It’s just a matter of what the right away to go about in the writing would be.

Photo: JPI

So, you’ve worked opposite two acting dynamos in the role of Nina – Michelle Stafford and now, Cynthia Watros.  Was the transition difficult for you when Cynthia came to GH?

JAMES:  It wasn’t.  It was scary because Michelle Stafford wasn’t just one in a million, I mean, she is one of a kind.  The last thing in the world that I would ever want to consider doing myself was recast that actress.  So, my deal was (and I’ve said this to Cynthia) I said, “I have no control over this.  All I can do is make the landing as easy as possible for Cynthia.”  We did a lot of photoshoots together, and I had flowers waiting for her, and I did everything possible to make sure that she knew that she had a friend and that she had somebody that was going to make it as easy as possible.  It was rough because a lot of the trolls on social media were just awful to her… just brutal, and she goes, “I have thick skin.  I can take it,” and then a week later, she goes, “I’ve closed all my social media accounts!”  (Laughs)  It’s been fun to watch those guys turn around and go, “You have a really special person.”  That wedding stuff was just incredible!  She came so prepared and she knocked it out of the park.  Cynthia has been wonderful.  I love them both.  I love her the reddest, and I love Michelle the bluest, and together I love them the purplest.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s interesting that all the women in his life such as Anna and Nina, all have a soft-spot for Valentin; even though they don’t necessarily want to be with him.  These ladies are just drawn to this dysfunctional guy.

JAMES:  Don’t you think?  Is it that you want to help him, you want to fix him, you see the potential, you want to help him despite himself?  I think that’s what it is.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think Valentin’s still going to try to win Nina back, or is that done? 

JAMES:  I don’t know.  I do know that the Valentin I know will never shake Nina, and when he loves, he loves forever.  He can be simultaneously in love with Anna whenever she’s near.  I don’t believe he ever truly got over Nina hearing his story and his brokenness and still loving him twice as hard.  Years ago, there was a moment where he said to her the stuff that he’s never said, and Michelle beautifully kissed my tears away and said, “You’re beautiful” to me.   I think in that moment his fate was sealed.  I think he knew that this was his woman forever.  So, I just don’t think that that goes away.  I think he will always carry a torch for Nina, for sure.

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Do you see Valentin becoming darker and darker now that he had found out he is Helena’s offspring?

JAMES:  Well, yes and no.  I remember watching these scenes and we’ve done a lot of this stuff, and you know how easy it is to sort of go, “Let’s go dark, let’s go dark, let’s go more dark,” and after a while, I go, “You know, maybe he does learn something.  Maybe there’s hope for this guy after all.”  Of course, more bad stuff will happen to him, and he will do more bad stuff, because that’s just who he is.  A leopard can’t change his spots, and those are his survival instincts, but there are some new colors, and it’s all a direct result of all of just these horrible things that have happened to him… mostly learning that he is part Helena and he can’t undo that.

Photo: JPI

We saw that Nelle (Chloe Lanier) called and then goes to see Valentin, because she wants to sell her shares of ELQ.  So, obviously he has the potential to become really rich here which is what would give him his power back.  How do you think that will go over with the rest of the Quartermaines? (Laughs)

JAMES:  (Laughs) A lot of the Quartermaine actors have been asking me that in the hallways of General Hospital!  Isn’t that interesting how he’ll just sort of switch families? (Laughs)

Of all the people, just as Valentin’s life is in the gutter and he is at his lowest, who should show up with a sort of lifeline, Nelle! How will he go about attempting to gain control of ELQ?

JAMES:  Valentin knows he has to get the majority shares to gain a control of the company, and he has to do it fast before people see that he’s doing it.  So, that’s where Michael E. Knight (Martin Gray) has been.  He’s gallivanting the states rapidly accumulating shares.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s been so fun seeing you and Michael Knight on-screen and on a daytime soap together again, as so many remember you as Tad Martin and Will Cortlandt on All My Children.  How has it been getting the chance to work with Michael?

JAMES:  My God, are you kidding me?  He taught me!  He’s the guy who taught me.  I didn’t know how to do this.  Nobody instinctively knows… this is a very unique art form.  It’s more Jazz than anything else, and he showed me how to do it!  Walt Willey (Ex-Jack, AMC) showed me how to do my hair, and Michael Knight taught me how to break down a script!  And, what’s so funny is he is still doing it.  In a scene on GH, when he threw in that line, “From now on, you pay in advance,” I just about fell on the floor!  I thought, “There he is!  That’s the Michael I’ve always known and loved.”

Photo: JPI

Who would have thought that you guys would get to share scenes like that again on soaps?  You just never know in this life who may be wind up back in your orbit.

JAMES:  It’s incredible.  That’s what we say all of the time… “Who would have thought?”  You could never plan something like this and that we’d still be doing it at this point.

Now with Lulu (Emme Rylan) learning that Valentin is not a Cassadine, and Nina apparently moving on to a relationship with Jax, what do you think it will mean for their relationship in raising their daughter, Charlotte?

JAMES:  I think in the short-term, Valentin’s shelved any ideas of getting her out of Charlotte’s life.  He’s sort of putting out the fires in his own personal life.  Charlotte needs a mother in her life, and he’s quite willing to share custody as they always have been.  She seems to be looking at this as an opportunity to paint him as an unfit father, and she wants full-time custody.  So, we’re back to that again.  It looks to me like Lulu is kicking Valentin while he’s down.

Photo: JPI

It was so nice to see you, and some of your GH co-stars such as: Steve Burton (Jason) and Maurice Benard (Sonny) show up for Y&R’s Eric Braeden’s (Victor Newman) 40th anniversary on set celebration at CBS.  It was quite the event; speakers galore, and so many from our industry and beyond in attendance.

JAMES:  It was pretty profound.  Eric has always been kind to me.  I only worked with him on one movie, a western, called The Man Who Came Back, and that was probably 12 years ago.  He has been so complimentary of me in interviews and in his book.  So, if he does that with me, I can only imagine how many dear, dear friendships he has.  So, the fact that everybody showed up like that from the president of CBS Entertainment to local councilmen, and that they were willing to do be there for 2 hours was really proof of how much they love him.  Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I don’t even think was working that day, came in for it and spoke at the event. There was so much respect shown for Eric and what he has meant to this medium.

Photo: JPI

Your album The Apple Tree was so well-received, and everyone always loves seeing you get the opportunity to sing on General Hospital as well.  Will you continue to put out more music in 2020?

JAMES:  Yeah, that’s the plan.  I have another one that I’m working on.  I have a bunch of songs.  I’m in no rush to get it out.  Unfortunately, I lost Glen Roven, who wrote the cello part for Book of Love, passed away right after the Nurses’ Ball where I played Book of Love, which is really heartbreaking, and then, Michael Sherwood, who helped me with a number of songs on the record passed away right after The Apple Tree came out.  So, I’m a little gun-shy.  But, I’m planning on having something out by December for Christmas.

In closing, what would you say the fans should look forward to in the weeks ahead from Valentin?

JAMES: Look forward to that moment where Valentin is so low that there’s nowhere to go but up!  The comeback is going to be one for the books.

So, what do you think of how Valentin’s life hit rock bottom?  Do you think he will ever win Nina back? Do you think he will takeover ELQ? Share your thoughts on James’ recent performances and his thoughts contained in this interview via the comment section below.

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