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Anthony Geary Returns To General Hospital In November!

Courtesy/ABC

Finally, some wonderful news for those who are looking forward to the Fluke/Luke story playing out on GH!

Today, General Hospital executive producer Frank Valentini informed the press at an ABC press Junket today in New York City, that none other than seven-time Daytime Emmy winner, Anthony Geary (Fluke/Luke) is back from his medical leave and will be seen on air in November!

Valentini told Soap Opera Digest,”We’re so excited to have him back. He has such unbelievable talent and there’s a lot of amazing stuff to come with Luke and Fluke.”

Then, GH head scribe Ron Carlivati added: “We’ve revved that story up, but now with Tony back for real, it’s about to get a little nuts!”

No airdate for when viewers will first see Fluke back in the saddle and ready to cause havoc for the rest of Port Charles, but November is getting very near!Are you excited to hear the news that Tony Geary will be back on screen on General Hospital?  And having had more time to ponder the question … what is the true identity of Fluke … what is your current theory?  Share your thoughts below!

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Lew S.
Lew S.

I hope they wrap up this storyline very soon.

rachie
rachie

i agree

linda
linda

I will be glad when the wrap up the fluke storyline to but it is fun

Carol
Carol

Me too….I am so over it.

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Me too.

I love gh
I love gh

I agree. I am ready for real Luke & Tracy to deal with the fallout.

dmr
dmr

I’m with you, Lew S.! I absolutely love Tony Geary; but, I like him best when Luke is scheming, battling with the Q’s, and I always love his scenes with Laura Wright-as his niece “Caroline.” I’m not interested in “nuts” type storylines; I want to see friendships, hosptial romances, relationships, and somewhat believable drama. I don’t believe in or buy into Ron’s villains-they are too unbelievable, too cartonnish-not scary, at all. (Now, Ryan Chamberlain was frightening)!
What I do love is seeing the Quartermaine’s-even if in small doses. I have such fond memories of watching the Q’s battle and scheme in the Quartermaine living room. I hope that Jake remembers his past as Jason Quartermaine. I am liking Billy Miller. I think he is very talented. While resurrecting Jason, I hope that the writers resurrect the Quartermaines.

Elite Advisors
Elite Advisors

They have had plenty of time to write an incredible story for tonyG…. that’s what he wanted to begin with, also the reason he almost left last year…. I hope it will be twist after twist….

Iakovos
Iakovos

And I am with you, dmr. I too want to see that somewhat believable drama again in Port Charles. Son Ron C if you are reading this… maybe give us some balance?

Ces
Ces

I agree. And it is just me but does Jane Elliot seem to be screaming all her lines lately? I never bought them as a couple either.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Yeah, Jane screaming is just too much. Particularly when one compares it with the little falsetto voice she used all the time when she first played Tracy. In any event, if the Fluke story just turns into complete camp I think a lot more viewers will simply give up.

Ces
Ces

Oh, I’m so glad to hear that someone else agrees with me!! The Fluke story isn’t much fun when Tony Geary is out on leave. This whole story is pretty lame. I think Tony needs a new love interest and Tracy can scream elsewhere. Oh yes, she did speak much softer back in the day, didn’t she? I do recall!

Andrew
Andrew

I kinda loved this storyline when it started but it’s kind of lost momentum. No one’s fault, it must have been challenging to maintain when you don’t know when your star will return. And the show has done a good job of filling in. But I’m ready for it to end and if anyone can juice it back up in what is hopefully the last chapter of the 2 year “kingpin of Port Charles” story, it’s Geary.

KansasGuest
KansasGuest

If only more fans were as understanding as you. IIRC, Geary & the writers thought his recovery would be the same length as his previous breaks. So, they wrote him a story that could build to that point and include many PC characters. They’ve dealt very well with his unexpectedly prolonged absence IMO.

Nick D.
Nick D.

Very excited for this – love this story and they’ve done a good job of keeping it going while Geary has been off. Glad Tony’s feeling well enough to work – he has been missed.

tskyent
tskyent

It is a Damn shame that this show changed so much because the writers has dragged the stories out so bad it sucks .Today Ned was in a fist fight, when did Sonny kill Aj? Franco,all of it is terrible.The Best Actors in the world with the worst writers 🙁

k/kay
k/kay

Oh geeze can we write a storyline so TG can get another emmy? Please put us all out of our misery go home to Amerstdam and stay! So overrated!

Elite Advisors
Elite Advisors

I am not sure how long you have been watching this show, but this actor is one of the most talented actors in daytime…if not the most talented. While ovr the years I have not always “liked” his character or his choices, certainly there is no question of his talent and ability.

Actors get bored and they get stale… he said he was tired of playing backburner with the same story over and over for decades! He deserves an opportunity to sink his teeth into a meaty story…. the man has EARNED it.

Lets just hope the writers are up to the task….would LOVE to see Robert back with Luke playing like they did in the 80’s ….with Tristens contract in question with the new writers, maybe he will be free to come back to GH!

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

Yes, GH needs Robert and so does Anna…let Lucy have her Duck…i mean Duke…lol

rebecca1
rebecca1

LOL, k/kay. AG may not be the most dynamic actor on GH these days…but he’s still one of the last remnants of its past. Nice to have some continuity…if only he’d revert back to his mischievous, snarky but lovable Luke…joined by some ol’ pals like Scorpio and Sean Donnelly. Sigh…you can’t go back home…. 😉

k/kay
k/kay

Hey nothing against Geary just worn out of him winning an emmy every time he is nominated. I can think of at least three times when he did not have the best reel and even soap columnists who want to be honest would agree. Not everybody drinks the TG kool-aid that would be like me standing on a cliff and jumping just because the majority said jump.

Dan
Dan

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, although k/kay, unless you’re on the panel that votes for the Emmys, how are you aware of what the best nomination reels are in a given year? The soap media used to publish a written synopsis of the Emmy reels, but only in the past two years have we the fans actually gotten a chance to see the reels.

There may have been a year or two where TG won the award based on his name, but in my opinion, he was very deserving in the vast majority of the years that he won.

And unlike some other actors on other shows, he doesn’t submit his name for the Emmys every year whether he does quality work or not. The last time he won was in 2012, and in 2013 and 2014, he didn’t submit his name for consideration. To me, if an actor does good work, he or she deserves recognition, regardless of how many times they’ve won.

I respect him even more for having the class to step aside and let others have a chance on the years when he didn’t do Emmy quality work.

jaybird369
jaybird369

k/kay…A-M-E-N!!!!! I agree!!!!!

Dan
Dan

Looking forward to seeing Tony Geary back and raising hell on GH again, as only he can. Very intrigued to see what they have up their sleeve for the Fluke story, now that Jerry Jacks is back on the scene, and in cahoots with Helena Cassadine.

The show has been on fire the past few weeks. Michelle Stafford has been knocking it out of the park every day as Nina, loved her scenes with Donna Mills, the scenes with Franco and Heather at the prison were a riot, you have the Ava baby drama, all the planning for the big Halloween wedding. It’s setting up some major stuff for November sweeps!

su0000
su0000

I really am excited for the Fluke/Luke story to get ”revved;; up!!
It’s good how they kept the story on hold yet alive for so very long waiting for Tony to recover from his operation etc..
Tony is the best of talents, and it was worth the wait for him to return!!

Welcome back, Tony!!!

Mike
Mike

The Luke/Fluke story has been stuck in neutral for months. At least they can now shift it into another gear and get it moving.

Geena
Geena

I have missed TG very much. I can’t wait to see him again and finally wrap up this Fluke story!

Hideo Itami
Hideo Itami

Fluke is clearly Casey the Alien. Sonny and Jason took over the mob on planet Lumina.

aria
aria

F I N A L L Y ! I cant wait, it will be must see tv.

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

Glad he is better…hope now the show will finally reveal who fluke is…to RC: the show is already a little ‘nuts’ and so are some of us fans waiting for the unmasking of Fluke…lol

Timmm
Timmm

He looks great and I hope that November and sweeps =daily drama with a resolution to the Fluke story line and a recast of James/Nathan. {Sorry, had to get that plug in!]

Jimmy
Jimmy

RE: recasting Nathan – YES! Thank you! Ryan Paevey is like a block of wood, he has gotten slightly better since he first came on the show but I would MUCH prefer another actor in the role, especially one that has to go up against the likes of Liesl, Madeline and Nina.

CeeCee
CeeCee

Oh, Jimmy…you are breaking my poor heart! LOL. We have yet to see what Nathan has to offer as he takes his stance, lance in hand and runs these formidable women through….he will show his magnificence….!!!!! ….I thought I’d add a little drama there…LOL.

Timmm
Timmm

If he was acting with TJ he would be fine but those three actress’s you mentioned just blow him out of the water!

rebecca1
rebecca1

nononononononnnnooooooooooooooooo! LOVE Ryan Paevey. he has the most gorgeous face…the sincerest of eyes…radiates goodness and owns the role of studly do right! adore!

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

I love Ryan Peavey/Nathan. I known his acting needs work, but he seems like he has worked hard to improve his craft. I agree that he seems so sincere. It is endearing.

Patrick
Patrick

I was sold on the wooden “nature” of said actor…. till I read @Becca and MB assessment… and it’s true

he does have a sincere quality in the eye

I too, think he’s “burgeoning” : ready

LOL

Ok… he’s easy on the eye(s)

i will say tho… as much as I think Nathan and Maxie are the nuCOUPLE and “dream” team…. a part of me thinks Kirsten deserves a better partner… as she’s so solid… without even trying…. how enigmatic can she get

it’s a lucky thing… Nathan is paired with the likes of Dr. O, madeleine, Nina… and Maxie to boot

heck… even I pause for his presence

Timmm
Timmm

Now rebecca1 this isnt MAGIC MIKE!

rebecca1
rebecca1

Timmm…LOL…have you SEEN Ryan’s modeling portfolio???!!!! ’nuff said. 😉

CeeCee
CeeCee

Ugh…I know, I know, this is the beloved Luke, and I will get bashed…..I will take that chance. I recoiled each time he appeared…..I detest both Luke and Fluke….I shudder…yuck. I ask, why is he so popular with those rheumy, flat eyes? The sun ‘don’t’ shine in those orbs.

soapbaby
soapbaby

I couldn’t agree with you more! Luke Spence has been a waste of character for over over a decade save Genie Francis’ return as Laura in ’06. The character should be”put out to pasture.” Also, Tracy is no longer great when with Luke. Tracy is viable, fun and attractive but the Fluke s/l depends on her being beyond dumb and desperate. Now, Tracy is trading ELQ for Luke? After months of being duped and actually believing that Kiki Jerome (eww) was making sexual advances toward Luke?! (Double eww.) Jane Elliott and the audience deserves better! I wish Joe hadn’t been killed off after being made a rapist_ Joe and Tracy had great chemistry.

I think Tony Geary is a terribly overrated actor and has at least 3 undeserved Emmys (not that Emmys mean much…the great Beverlee McKinsey never received one at all.)

Timmm
Timmm

What has happened to the CeeCee I know and love! How dare you! Just kidding, it is your opinion. Sometimes fans get upset when he leaves for long periods of time. He earned it. He is old and is semi retired. This time it was his health or I think the Fluke story would have already wrapped. He has never been a heart throb and even he with his frizzy hair from the 70’s and 80’s admitted he could never have won the heart of the young and pretty Genie Francis in real life. I like Luke because he is connected to so many characters and he can really act. Him and Jonathan Jackson were pure magic together. Having said all this, I watch soaps for the stories and in those stories I hope that actors can act and make me believe what is written. Would you rather have an old bag of bones who can act his way into any Emmy conversation or have an actor with abs of steel and a magical smile such as James/Nathan who shouldnt even be acting in a high school play!

CeeCee
CeeCee

I think, Timmm, it is because I only know Mr, Geary as Fluke. I did not know him as Luke. Therefore , I have preconceived ideas. He is just creepy to me. It has nothing to do with his age.
I love John Aniston as Victor, for example. It’s just the Fluke character, I guess.
Perhaps as Luke springs back into his ‘real’ character , I may warm up to him….Lol….love you too, Timmm. Later.

jaybird369
jaybird369

CeeCee…girlfriend, you are not alone here…I am in full agreement with you about Luke/Fluke!!!!! H-o-n-e-y…I T-O-T-A-L-L-Y got over The Luke Mania YEARS AGO!!!!! And, besides, I’ve always been more of a Scott Baldwin fan than a Luke Spencer fan (lol). And…now…this Luke/Fluke stuff is for the birds!!!!! No Thank You. BTW, your ‘The sun ‘don’t’ shine in those orbs’ comment made me LMAO…GOOD ONE!!!!! And true.

Take care, CeeCee.

A-C-E-S!!!!!

dmr
dmr

CeeCee, you know that I feel this way about another actor on the show, ha-
Tony is considered daytime royalty, most-likely from the Luke and Laura fans. I wasn’t born yet to watch much of Luke and Laura. I’ve watched a little on YouTube. I’m a fickle Luke fan, myself. Love it when he is in scenes with Tracy-always comedic. Love how he bickers with his niece “Caroline” over most anything. I did not like a few years back-that he was thought of as an alcoholic that ran down Jake. Around that time, he looked worse for wear. The material was too dark. I can’t say that I completely disagree with your opinion. When Laura returned in Winter 2013-the magic was no longer there with this duo, IMO. Of course, it’s what, 30+ years later.

su0000
su0000

dmr
you said– ”Tony is considered daytime royalty, most-likely from the Luke and Laura fans.”

–Tony Geary has received record seven Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor !!

Luke and Laura was not all of the great Anthony Geary..!!..
Tony is a soap gawd, by all standards.. 🙂

CeeCee
CeeCee

All you you great fans that have become my ‘soap friends’ have an advantage over me. I started watching GH when Kiki was Starr and she had just lost her baby. I wanted to hold on to OLTL and I followed John McBain, Starr and Todd to their new home of Port Charles.
I wish I were older than I am so that I could reminisce along with all of you. I enjoy reading all the comments every single one of you makes…I thank you !

su0000
su0000

CeeCee..
I I recoiled at times too .. I love it!!!
For Tony to give us those eyes, ohh those eyes! is great talent..
I love Tony as Fuke and most of all Tony loves his Fluke character thats why he perfected the dude, it is fun for him, go figure..
I missed Fluke he has an eye way of creeping me and I like that LOL ..
I can’t wait for Fluke to be back on my screen.. He is like the cherry on top!
Tony is spectacular!!

CeeCee
CeeCee

I know, Su…he is a great actor, I can’t deny that……still has scary, obsidian eyes, though…I am watching EXTRA right now…GH is presently discussed and many of the actors are on…especially mouthwatering Ryan and William.
It seems that GH is the front runner right now. Carlivati warns us to buckle up…we’re in for the ride of our lives. Really? All I want for Halloween is for Carly and Sonny to get theirs….LOL….Later

Patrick
Patrick

geez! CeeCee : Nice Press, on GH

“…we’re in for the ride of our lives. ” “Really”

in hindsight… for all the clamoring of ones favorite soap…. I have to give prop to a poster who said…. best actors with aimless writing; he/she was referring to GH.. whilst I press DAYS

it’s all cyclical…. and it’s coming on to a sweeps month… so have at it

I adamantly soapbox… I still feast

LOL … Later

Rodd
Rodd

I agree that this story has been stretched to its limits. But I also understand that Mr. Geary’s health problems prolonged things. What are you going to do? You can’t blame anyone for that; you just have to be patient. I trust that when things get rolling again, the story will be very exciting. GH has such a wonderful way of playing beats, making us wait, picking it back up and then hitting it out of the park. I’m looking forward to seeing Mr. Geary return.

Nick D.
Nick D.

Love the way Ron plays the beats. You always know such and such story will pick back up and climax but in the meantime there’s other interesting stuff going on the front burner.

su0000
su0000

It is awesome how RC and team kept the Fluke story alive, waiting for Tony’s surgery and his recovery to continue on with the Anthony Geary/Fluke story, there are none better than the great Tony, well worth the wait.. ..
I’m excited for this story to continue!!!

Patrick
Patrick

“… I trust that when things get rolling again, the story will be very exciting. ”

this last story arc… for AG’ Luke and Fluke

clearly, was the one story I acknowledged AG character… so… I’m still looking forward to how this plays out

inasmuch as, we the audience, are asked to shelve and distend our belief in serial recipe…. ie: think Mob, espionage, corporate takeover…. out of my realm

I just wish for once that AG character Luke.. would deal with a relationship…. fans clamor for Laura… but that’s in the past… I absolutely, LOVED Luke with Skye…. that was the one burgeoning relationship.. that I, at last… accepted … Luke… that was a dream team recipe… that I’d feast

Tracy and Luke.. the actors… are at the top echelon of criterion of audience

the quips and spar at times run it’s course.. but they spool more goodies to let on how abundant they dig

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Meh. Glad he’s feeling better so he can wrap up this story and retire on a high note. I’ve been over Luke for years.

Patrick
Patrick

honestly… press be damned

It’s crossed my mind that this is AG’ Luke swan song

and it’s GOOD…. from where we all last left off

I cried… ???? over Luke ?

the grandson he’s never seen
his daughter gave birth
wanting Tracy to know… it’s not him
the living inside himself… not able

his immediate family…. he’s spitfire

he doesn’t care what all of Port Charles thinks… he want’s that close knit back

so… I’m with…. I think he’ll retire on a high note

janet
janet

Personally I have shut the show off. off my tv and off my dvr. Luke is done stick a fork in him. Sonny, yuck! Stick three forks in him .here we go again. drag out he shot AJ in cold blood beginning for his life for nothing , nothing except for the fact that AJ won’t roll over he kept fighting for his son and this time he was winning. Now the end for me. Sonny will get away with another murder , he will be exonerated and someone else did it.. What about the fact he is plotting to kill two more people ? TIIC of this show are just re-roning the garbage. Luke is not Luke the mob rules Snarley is ???I don’t know, and the worse thing they make Sonny who can hardly mumble and remember his wo5rds and make a talented actor and make him a serial killer with a tumor? I can’t , I just can’t. I don’t and I won’t

CeeCee
CeeCee

Your reply, Janet? Well, it is PERFECT. Why couldn’t I say it like that?…stick a fork or three, but who’s counting…love it…so funny.

Patrick
Patrick

the thing that surprised me… was Ava telling Morgan and Kiki that Sonny shot AJ

where do they go from this?

how will Ava be exonerated for killing Connie

I just have to put out their… how much Maura West, Carly brings to the show… and how I’m just not that caught up in Sonny and Carly, and MIchael, and Kiki…. ’nuff on that

I don’t know how the GH writers will deal this

I just know… that Ava is a much more viable commodity to the GH canvas than Sonny

they can send Carly and Sonny off in to the sunset for all I mean

but… I thnk they’ll relegate Sonny and Carly to supporting and filler….

it’s time to move Franco… to Nina

phonda
phonda

i want the good luke back..and hurry up and get the story over with..

Justin
Justin

Genie Francis is also has “unbelievable talent”, too bad she was never appreciated enough to be brought back to the canvas.

k/kay
k/kay

Ditto

k/kay
k/kay

Instead we get flinging our arms repeating our lines over and over!

Allen Saint James
Allen Saint James

How has the story been dragged on too long? Its cool to see a character being held hostage , in captivity etc for longer than a few days and not have them rescued immediately. Im anticipating Luke getting himself together and kicking major butt as he has always. I think the story really about to go into overdrive.

Jimmy
Jimmy

It’s been pretty rough having Tony off canvas because it’s forced the storyline to drag out, but recently it’s gotten very intriguing! Now that Jerry Jacks is in on it and working with Helena, this looks to be a very interesting November sweeps story. I’m really happy Tony is back and feeling well, and I’m really looking forward to the conclusion of this story, and to see who Fluke really is.

Patrick
Patrick

GH production was so smart in bringing back Jerry Jax… isn’t he the cats meow… and sexy to boot with accent… and ACTS … pull out all the stops…

I like him , ALOT

Charday
Charday

Looking forward to his return, and also the wrap-up of this long, dragged-out storyline.

Michele
Michele

I’m glad Tony Geary is coming back, cause this has to be on GH worst story lines. Terrible.

Julie Merritt
Julie Merritt

It is good to have him back.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnn….

venus
venus

enough of the Luke stuff stop watching GH for awhile because of this silliness…

General Hospital

Real Andrews Returns As Marcus Taggert On General Hospital

Well, well, well! Looks who’s back in Port Charles!  A major surprise occurred during Thursday’s “Next-On-General Hospital” teasers when viewers saw Sonny’s former nemesis Marcus Taggert, and Sonny himself, in a clip from a scene.

Turns out that today on Friday, January 17th look for the return of Real Andrews to his role as Taggert!  Andrews took to his Twitter and Instagram account to confirm the casting news.

Maurice Benard tweeted: He’s Back!!! Bigger and better than ever. On General Hospital. You don’t want to miss it.”

While, Andrews tweeted: “It is going to be a great ride.”

Real played the role of Marcus from 1996-1997 and then again from 1998-2003.   He was last seen on the soaps on Days of our Lives back in 2016 and 2017.

In real life, Benard and Andrews are good friends.

Now the question is, could Taggert’s re-emergence tie in to the new case that Jordan (Briana Nicole Henry) is working on, and somehow the return of Nikolas Cassadine to the canvas?  Years ago, Taggert’s sister, Gia was involved with the dark prince, leaving fans speculating that perhaps Nik and Gia had a daughter, who could turn out to be Trina played by Sydney Mikayla.  Hmmm.

So, give a big “welcome back” to Real as Taggert hits the screen today on GH via the comment section below.

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GENERAL HOSPITAL: Nelle Is A Free Woman … And Shiloh’s Widow

Wednesday’s episode of General Hospital brought with it the pick-up of the oh-so-soapy and delicious moment when Shiloh’s widow reveals herself at the memorial in his honor.  Taking off her HUGE black veil/hat, all the attendees are stunned to see it none other than Nelle Benson (Chloe Lanier).  And it was the perfect set-up for naughty Nelle when she had so many of her enemies all in one place as her captive audience. Clearly, she wants revenge on all of them.

At the ceremony, Nelle explains that she and Shiloh while in prison had a small ceremony and “Dawn of Day” devotee Daisy was their witness, which Daisy confirms.  Nelle goes on to say that she shares Shiloh’s wishes to be part of little Wiley’s life, and since he is no longer among us, she will makes sure she is a part of it!

Of course, throughout her statements, Michael (Chad Duell) is looking less than amused and cuts to the chase and asks her what she really wants.  And with something that all viewers of the ABC daytime drama series, let out a collective, “uh-oh”, Nelle replied “What belongs to me.”   As we know, Wiley is Michael and Nelle’s biological son, and with Lucas (Ryan Carnes) in the hospital, it would seem the perfect time for her to make her move to get closer to the child she gave to Brad (Parry Shen).

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Next, Chase (Josh Swickard) arrives on the scene and says to all that what Nelle is saying is true. She is not only Shiloh’s widow, but she is no longer behind bars! Nelle explains how after being “stabbed” by Ryan Chamberlain (Jon Lindstrom) and the ensuing circumstances she was able to be granted a get-out-of-jail card!

To take the set-up of this story to even another level, Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) admits to Chase that she took the job as Wiley’s nanny!  Chase does not think it’s a good idea for her to care for Wiley’ and then eventually have to leave him with Brad and Lucas, once Lucas is recovered.  Willow assures Chase she can handle it.  As for Nelle, she has it out for Willow now, and be rest assured, she is not just going to stand by and let Willow move in on her bio-son.

Jason (Steve Burton), who was present at the memorial, heads to Carly (Laura Wright) to tell the bad news; that her enemy Nelle is out of jail, and running around free and is Shiloh’s widow.  Carly as expected is very distraught and unhappy to hear the news.

turns out, Nelle is not done with her day yet! Next, while the Quartermaines conduct an ELQ shareholders meeting in their living room; Ned (Wally Kurth) says the first order of business is the late Oscar Nero’s ELQ shares.  As the Q’s begin discussions which dissolve into bickering, in walks Nelle! Yup, since Oscar left his shares to Shiloh and she is his widow, well, she is now going to have her say … probably in everything!  Fade to black.

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What a fun return for Chloe Lanier who played Nelle’s shocker to the hilt!  Got to love a good bad girl on daytime who stirs the pot!

So, what did you think of Nelle being Shiloh’s widow? What do you think Nelle’s next power play will be? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Sean Kanan, Tristan Rogers & Timothy Woodward Jr. Talk On The Making Of New Digital Drama ‘Studio City’ & Respect For Soaps

Just as we closed out 2019, the world of digital dramas saw the debut of a riveting new show, Studio City.  The series initial season can be binged watched in its entirety on Amazon Prime, which follows the life of Hollywood actor Sam Stevens and the cast of “Hearts on Fire“, America’s number two daytime drama, as they navigate the chaotic world of soap operas and their own messy personal lives.

Studio City was co-created, executive produced, and stars longtime daytime favorite, Sean Kanan (Ex-AJ, General Hospital, Ex-Deacon, B&B).  In it, Kanan plays Sam, who plays a doctor on the soap-within-the show, and whose life off the set provides the back-drop for much of the drama and heart and soul of the series.

Kanan has surrounded himself with quite the acting company which includes: Carolyn Hennesy (Diane, GH), Sarah Brown (Ex-Carly and Claudia, GH, Julia, ATWT, Madison, DAYS and Agnes, B&B), Patrika Darbo (Ex-Nancy, DAYS and Ex-Shirley, B&B), Scott Turner Schofield (Ex-Nick, B&B) and the one and only, Tristan Rogers (Robert, GH, Colin, Y&R).   In addition, feature film director, Timothy Woodward Jr. (who turns out to be a soap fan and appreciates the genre), is the man behind the camera directing the story and the cast through the ups, downs, laughs and tears of the story in Studio City,

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Kanan, Tristan Rogers, and Woodward to find out: how Studio City all came together, what their hopes are for it in the future, and about the tears (those who have watched the series have shed in episode 6) and pivotal moments portrayed by Sean, Tristan, and Patrika Darbo that have helped create a buzz for the show.  Check out what these gents had to share below.

Photo: Studio City

Sean, in the stellar cast are many daytime notables including: Carolyn Hennesy, Sarah Brown, Patrika Darbo and Tristan. Did you reach out to them individually… and tell them what you had cooking with Studio City?

SEAN:  (Laughs) Did I reach out to them?  I had to beg them.  When you do a project like this, nobody is getting rich yet.  This really was a favor and a labor of love.  Patrika and I have really worked on more projects together than I can count.  Carolyn was on my radio show.  There was nobody else I wanted for their parts then Carolyn, Patrika, and Sarah. The idea of Tristan came a little bit later because I had written the character, but the character was actually very different.  He was actually a homeless guy.  He was a guy who had been a doctor and had been strung out on Vicodin, and had had a mishap in the operating room, and lost his license and then became homeless, but he was sort of this homeless sage poet who was giving Sam these bits of wisdom.  Ultimately, through meetings and compromises, it evolved into what it is now, and then, once that happened, I was like, “There’s no reason Tristan can’t play that,” and everyone signed on after a lot of coaxing, but they all did it for me.  I’m so grateful for that because it wouldn’t be what it is without those wonderful people in the series.

TRISTAN:  What happened was he said, “Will you do this part?”  I said, “Yeah.”  Sight unseen.  I figured Sean is an actor with relatively good taste (laughs) so he’s not going to give me a piece of s**t to do.  (Laughs)   Then, he sends me over some copy, and the copy is really good.   So, we set the week up, and that week turned out to be three weeks from hell for me because of my schedule!  I was doing General Hospital.  Then, I had Young and the Restless come in on top of that.  Then, I was doing The Bay, and somewhere in all of this I was doing Studio City.  So, I’m trying to figure out how I am going to do all of this.  In the meantime, Studio City said, “No, we’ve got to do it at a particular time because of the location.  We can’t get it at any other time, but these times…”  I said, “Okay,” and I’m thinking to myself, “God, how the hell am I going to make this work,” because I wanted to do everything, and I didn’t want to have to cancel anything.  I wanted to do it all because all of the projects were so good.  The Young and the Restless project was just an absolute joy to do working with Jess Walton (Jill).  We got Y&R all done in one day   So, I liked that.  After I finished that, was the day I started Studio City, and we were shooting  in a high rise where Sean and his wife Michele were living at the time.  They shot in a vacant apartment next door.  Right away, I was totally impressed with what was going on.  The level of production was really high.  I got the dialogue as I walked on set, and I had to sit down quietly because it was about a page and a half monologue, and I had to think, “Okay, what am I going to do with this guy?  How am I going to play him?”  Timothy Woodward is just fantastic.  He came along, we had a chat together, and he sort of said, “What are you going to do?” and I told him how I was going to play it, and he said, “Okay, go.”  We got it all in one take.  Bang.  I love that.

Photo: Studio City

SEAN:  There was a lot to do obviously, but we shot Studio City over five days.  We literally shot this at almost a soap opera pace.   I don’t think too many other actors; except for daytime actors could have pulled this off.  So, we were really blessed to have a bunch of pros.

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TIMOTHY: Every one of them were extremely talented in their roles.  Patrika blew my socks off.  Tristan did what he did, I mean, he’s amazing.  Sarah was great.  Carolyn Hennesy was great   I do a lot of feature stuff, and you know, we are shooting only 4 or 5 pages a day.  Sometimes 6.  So, it’s not often that I am handing someone a 7-page scene and saying, “Hey, go,” especially the day before, and they’re nailing it every single time and being able to deliver every single time, and hitting their marks, which makes the editing process so good.  They’re able to do it, especially when you keep the writing grounded on the side of it that’s about behind the show, but it still has dramatic moments.  You’re giving the actors a lot to chew on, but they all performed the material so well.

Tristan, in story, you play Sean and Sarah Brown’s step-father. There is a major scene in episode 6 between Patrika and Sean where Sam learns about his biological father, and then there is a scene with you and Sean in the aftermath of that.

TRISTAN:  Yes, they are my adopted kids.   Sam is going through a low part in his life, and my character has to kind of sit him down and go, “Listen, kid.  You’re a good guy.  Don’t ever be told that you’re not a good guy.  You’re my son, and I love you, and there’s not a day that goes past that I don’t love you.”  When you’re on the set at the time, it was an extremely emotional scene.  Very, very emotional, and the fact that we got it right the first time, made the intensity better.  If I had had to go back and do that again, it would have been slightly different. That’s the way I work.”

Photo: Studio City

Had you worked with Sarah Brown before; given you both have worked on General Hospital in your careers?

TRISTAN:  Never.  That was a great thing.  I had two scenes with her, and I loved them both, and I thought she was terrific,  What Sean and Timothy have done is  put together a really interesting bunch of people to totally dig and are part of the daytime scene, who are totally familiar with it, and know what it is all about, and make it different.  The only other show I can compare this to is GH: Night Shift.   We were never allowed to develop it, but that was where we were at.  I think we are making the same kind of broad steps here that we were doing back then.  Hopefully, we are given more of a chance to develop the concept of it. 

What can you say about working with Timothy? He obviously loves the soaps too!

TRISTAN:  He’s a good guy.  I mean, they couldn’t have gotten a better person to do the directing and put that side of it together.  He was the perfect choice: having an understanding of the background of daytime and basically liking it for what it is.  He was ideal!

Photo: Studio City

Timothy, you were a fan of The Bold and the Beautiful, correct? How did you come into Sean’s orbit?

TIMOTHY:  Yes … when Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) was with dad, Eric (John McCook), or something right before that. (Laughs)  That’s how long ago that was.  I started telling Sean all that stuff, and he sent this cookbook to my mom, and then, he called me.  We stayed in contact and started talking about a few things, and then he contacted me about being in the book he was doing, Success Factor X, and he wanted me to be in the book, so I said okay.  So, we just stayed in contact, and then, I called him about another project. Later, Sean said he had an idea for a show and he’s been working on it for a while, and said, “Here’s the idea.  What do you think?”  I said, “I think it’s something that I could be interested in,” (because I’d always watched soaps back in the day, and it’s something that my mom is a huge fan of) and you know, I could get down with doing it.”  So, we kind of met, shook hands, and said, “Let’s make it happen.”

Did you tell your mom you were working with Sean Kanan?

TIMOTHY:  I did!  She loved it.  Sean actually sent her a video to her phone wishing her a merry Christmas last year.

SEAN:  This guy is a feature-film director. Tim was like, “I think that would be a really interesting challenge.  I’d like to do a digital series,” and then it comes to pass that this sort of tough-guy film director from North Carolina, is a total closet soap freak! (Laughs)

Photo: Studio City

Timothy, in Studio City, when Patrika Darbo has this very emotional monologue about what happened to her and about Sam’s father.  Sean also delivered a powerful performance in the scenes, just through his reactions to her heartbreaking story. I just thought the way he played it was so moving.  You obviously did a great job directing that scene.

TIMOTHY: I said, “Sean, I’m seeing behind the camera.  I’m telling you man, you’re telling so much with your eyes.  You don’t have to say anything.  Don’t tell her it’s okay during the scene,” because his initial reaction was, “It’s my mom.  I want to tell her it’s alright.”  I was like, “No.  Don’t.  I don’t want you to do anything.  You need to absorb this; you need to be in that moment of where you just don’t even know what to say.   You feel for her, but you also have this self-inflicted pain yourself, and you just need to listen.  Just listen to her.  Zone out of everything else and listen to her.”  That’s what he did, and he did it really well.

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SEAN:  I remember that Patrika was incredibly generous because once we got her take; she was willing to go through all of that pain again so that my reactions would be as informed as it was.  Honestly I would like to tell you that it was me reaching into my big bag of actor tricks, but all I had to do was shut up and listen.  How can you not be moved by hearing that?  So, I just sort of shut up, didn’t have to hit my mark because I was sitting, and listened, and she did all of the driving on that, and she was just terrific and Timothy captured it beautifully.

Sean, when you envisioned the part of Sam for yourself; were you pleased about how it came across on screen?

SEAN:  Listen, the character is very close to who I am.  This guy is sort of a heightened version of me, but I am very much playing myself in this.  I’m playing myself in some situations that I have never had to deal with.  I was like, “If this is going to succeed or fail, it’s going to happen with me being my most authentic self, and it’s not someone else’s idea of who I am.  I’m going to show you who I am in this.”

Photo: Studio City

Trans actor, Scott Turner Schofield also appears in Studio City.  In part of his story, you are tackling a timely social issue of the plight of African-American trans individuals who are being murdered.  How did you come to the decision to include this arc in the series?

SEAN:  I felt it was important that we told a story that was LGBTQ and trans-centric.  I wanted Scott to be a character on the show that everybody knew was trans.  I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but maybe the character Scott plays is going to have a conflict with production and say, “Listen, I’ve got to be a trans character on the show because I need to sort of be a beacon to all of those people out there.  I’m living that life off-camera. ”  When you see him in his group and everything, and I think he is going to kind of stand up for himself, and that’s going to probably alter his story.  I thought it was important to be like, “My character knows he’s trans.  He’s my buddy who happens to be trans,” you know what I mean…. rather than it being this huge big thing.”

Was the goal to get Studio City released right at the end of 2019 to quality for Daytime Emmy consideration in the Digital Drama categories? 

TIMOTHY:  It was definitely something we think could get more eyeballs on the show, more attention to it if you will, in order to get it to the next level.  So, I think that’s important. Do this and get it even bigger … make more episodes and make them longer.  Sean keeps saying this series, is a love letter to soaps, and that’s what he told me he wanted to do.  You know what Sean is talking about.  There is somewhat of a disrespect level in our industry of, “Well, he’s on a soap,” and these people are so talented.  I mean, some of these daytime soaps have better ratings than a lot of the primetime shows.  You just read mainstream media or something about soaps, and you may think, “What?  There’s nobody watching it,” and then, you start looking at ratings and two and a half million viewers during an episode?  This is every day.  That’s a fan base.  There are dedicated people watching it.

SEAN:  It always bothers me when I see that; treating soaps like that because we work really hard, and there’s a lot of talented people involved with it.  It doesn’t always need to always be that whenever you see soap operas represented in “main series” projects, that they’re kind of the butt of a joke.  I was like, “That’s not going to happen because that’s not what they’re about.”

Photo: Studio City

Sean, you make things happen for yourself doing various projects whether it be: stand-up comedy, acting, books, etc and are one of the hardest working guys I know. Why do you think you have continually come back around, and in front of the daytime soap community all of these years?

SEAN:  I envy guys who have been on daytime consistently for 10, 15, 20 years, and there are times that I wish I were there and doing that, but I don’t necessarily know that if I were that guy that I would have had the wherewithal to write the books I have written.  I think I may have gotten comfortable, and you know, God bless.  I am in no way disparaging that because there is a lot to be said for that longevity on a series. I feel like on daytime I have always been kind of a hired guy.  I get brought in, I get let go, I get brought in, I get let go.  I never sort of maintained a sense of terra firma.  I always felt that it was probably going to be temporary, and I’d better figure out what else I’m going to do, which has given me opportunities that I have created to do projects that I am really passionate about like this one.

For more on Studio City, visit their website here.

Have you checked out Studio City on Amazon Prime yet?  If so, what do you think of it and the performances? Excited to see Sean and Tristan in different roles? Comment below.

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