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Chris Van Etten Named Co-Head Writer Of General Hospital!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

A current Daytime Emmy Award-winning member of the GH writing team, the talented Chris Van Etten, has been named the new co-head writer of General Hospital working alongside of co head-writer, Shelly Altman.

Outgoing GH co-head writer, Jean Passanante, revealed the co head-writer promotion for Van Etten when answering an inquiry from a GH fan’s tweet on who would be replacing her, since this week marked Jean’s last day at GH.  As previously announced by the enduring soap scribe, Jean has decided for now to step away from the soaps and has retired.

In her tweet, Passanante stated: “Shelly will have Chris Van Etten as co-head, and he’s a lifelong fan and brilliant writer.”

Van Etten got his start on the beloved One Life to Live back in 2001 and worked his way up through the ranks to where he was an associate head writer, and breakdown writer and had been with the series all the way through till One Life went off the air.

Chris joined the team at General Hospital then under head writer Ron Carlivati in 2012 and has been there ever since.

So what do you think of Chris Van Etten’s promotion to co head-writer?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Joan Collins
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Joan Collins

I think it is fantastic! I always love the shows that he has written!

Mister Media
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Mister Media

I know nothing about him but I hope that he brings some balance and fresh ideas to the show. Friday’s episode was one of the worst things I have ever had to endure as a loyal fan and avid viewer. It was basically 40 minutes of Sonny in a hole, praising himself endlessly by enumerating the wonderful qualities that his children were lucky enough to have had him pass on to them. It could not have been any funnier if it had been intended as satire, but sadly it was not. I guess that since every other character seems to… Read more »

Melissa
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Melissa

Amen!

Charday
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Charday

Thanks for posting this–that Friday’s episode was 40 mins of Sonny. Now I can just delete it off the DVR without bothering to FF through it.

Celia
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Celia

Same thing today, Charday.
I know I sound like a broken record; but, for heaven’s sake!!!!! Sonny went on and on about if he died, he’d, at least, see Morgan. Lordy Lord!! Even if Morgan were dead ( which he isn’t), father and Sonny would never meet in the supernatural sense.
One woukd be “upstairs”, the other underground; Beelzebub’s habitat.

Celia
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Celia

That should read: father and son.

Shay
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Shay

Morgan, Morgan, Morgan! It’s always about Morgan…..

su0000
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su0000

Funny thing is…
Sonny, himself, has killed like 5 Mobsters, that is his kill list ..
It is Jason that did the killing..
At least with Sonny it was always mobster against mobster it was kill or be killed..
Sonny isn’t such a bad assed killing dude that’s Jason..
Sonny actually saved more people from being killed then he killed , weird huh.. lol

Celia
Guest
Celia

Su, Sonny killed AJ for no reason. Just because. No kill or be killed about it. Nah, my friend…..no excuses here. From what I hear, Sonny and Carly tortured AJ. I am not interested or invested in this couple, so I never bother to delve too much into Sonny’s “past”….nonetheless, I know it’s a notoriously crooked one. Today’s was the weirdest episode. So, this Stone guy/spirit had to come down from the heavens? ….or wherever; to show Sonny the way out? He already knew the way out….had actually tried to scale the wall on boxes and barrels. So what was… Read more »

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

Su, you say, “Sonny actually saved more people from being killed than he actually killed.”
And I say, “Yes, and wouldn’t it be great if he had “saved” people rather than killed anyone? And if he had just been a “shady” character on the edges of crime rather than have been a monster?
I say that would have been better dramatically: he would have had more moral conflicts and been an infinitely more interesting character. “Shades of gray” is always better that “black and white” when dealing with drama. Don’t you agree?

Tomas Torquemada
Guest
Tomas Torquemada

It was a fast forward fest for me. 100% agree.

Saint Sonny isn’t going to die. Regrettably.

If GH hadn’t been so coy about what kind of mobster he is we’d feel very differently. Choices for mobsters include drugs, prostitution, gun running, protection intimidation money, gambling, loan shark, identity theft.. Not the kind of stuff most find acceptable.

Since he’s in imports it would be drugs or guns, right? And Momma Car

Tomas Torquemada
Guest
Tomas Torquemada

Momma Carly, Moral Jason and Cop Son Dante are cool with drugs and or guns?

Fast. Forward.

Boop
Guest
Boop

Tomas- I fast forward through anything Sonny, Carly , and Michael ( when he’s with them) because I’m sick of them. I can’t stomach Michael because he still calls Sonny , dad. Who does that when someone kills your natural father on purpose? Writers, wake up!

Boop
Guest
Boop

Mister Media- You are full of the truth! I’m tired of this uneven writing ; for example, the way Sonny’s daughter talked to Julian when he visited Sam at the hospital. To have Julian not say anything when she talked to him harshly should never have happened . The whole city of Port Charles needs to Wake up and recognize that Sonny is a mobster who has killed many people including A.J. ; unless they’re bringing him back to life. Even Monica doesn’t say anything against Sonny.

su0000
Guest
su0000

LOL AJ was a bad man, he was worse than most. AJ was murdering Ava when Sonny entered, AJ stopped the choke and Sonny shot him.. Sonny was pizzedoff and bipolar, but AJ deserved to die cuz he was a creep that shot his father in the back.. LOL Jason is the all time murder, he has killed more people than any other in soap history and yet he is a loved cold blooded murder, sigh.. Sonny is not as bad as the hysterical mind meld believes, but then again Sonny should never ever be a saint, he is a… Read more »

Steve
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Steve

@Su0000 I’m not sure if you’re serious, but you might want to go on YouTube and rewatch the AJ/Sonny/Ava confrontation again. AJ did start choking Ava because she framed him for Connie’s murder. He did stop and even if he didn’t, Sonny could have grabbed him off of her or threatened with a gun. AJ was trying to turn his life around. Yes, he threatened Connie, but Ava is the one who killed her and ultimately led to AJ’s demise as well. If you’re counting murders, Ava was directly responsible for Connie, but could have prevented AJ, Sabrina and Morgan… Read more »

su0000
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su0000

I can only hope the Chris guy is under age 50, best yet under age 40..
Young writers are desperately needed ..

su0000
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su0000

I searched and searched.. no information on him (age) he is from NY and has written a teen book; Chris Van Etten is a writer for the beloved television show One Life to Live. He is also one third of David Van Etten, the writing team behind the Likely Story series. Wickedpedia (Point Horror) by Chris Van Etten (2014-06-24) It’s the return of Point Horror for the Internet generation! Don’t open the door. Don’t answer your phone. And whatever you do, DON’T turn on your computer. . . Cole and Greg love playing practical jokes through Wikipedia. They edit key… Read more »

Harry
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Harry

Hey Suoo! Maybe the kid who plays Spencer has a classmate who always earned As in sixth grade Language Arts and he can be the new head writer!

su0000
Guest
su0000

hi Harry..
hmm that would be an interesting journey, kid soap writers they may surprise us!
they the gen of video games and transformers and super heros, yup it may well be good a thing..
The Joker in Port charles, I’m for it..

Boop
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Boop

so0000
I’ve said the same thing ; young writers are needed. If they don’t know the show’s history, they can read it.

su0000
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su0000

hi Boop ..
perhaps holding onto 5 decades of old history is what keeps the soaps in the 80’s ..
A new start a new day is what is needed ..

Steve
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Steve

I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for a few months. It would be interesting to know which stories he’s been involved with the past few years.

Despite many issues near the end, Ron was good at balance among storylines. Jelly have ventured into Guza territory with the primary focus on Sonny (of course that might be the directive from V&V).

What will their mash-up name be? Shellis? Chelly? If it works, I’ll go with SAVE.

Suzie rm
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Suzie rm

Just hope the focus changes quickly. The focus on Sonny is killing the show.

JMER
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JMER

Sounds like business-as-usual with the execs still writing the show and them taking on someone as co-head writer that will tow the line as much as possible. I hope this backfires and he pushes them to do the right thing, but since RC and JP didn’t have any influence beyond a year for RC and six months for JP/SA , I doubt a younger person would have any more sway, probably less.

Boop
Guest
Boop

JMER- You’re probably correct. I loved what Ron was doing ; however, he signed his death warrant when he consequenced Sonny for killing A.J. Somebody didn’t like that.

Steve
Guest
Steve

Ron might have been able to survive the Sonny issue, but Fluke and Denise Demuccio were the final nails in the coffin.

Maureen
Guest
Maureen

I read JP’s tweets and correct me if wrong but she said, “I am retiring-at least for the time being”-something to that effect. Is that like Steve Burton every time he leaves a show to be with his family in Nashville? I don’t know. Were Jean and Shelley really writing partners like Barbara Essensten and James Harmon Brown-do I have the names right? They were partners it seemed on every show they worked on. I know that when I have a half-empty carton of milk or tub of whatever that has soured-I don’t buy another and then add it to… Read more »

Maureen
Guest
Maureen

The higher-ups all seem very happy with the writing and Sonny centered focus of the show-and I know many are die hard Sonny fans and say no show without him. Luke fans said the same- yet show is still on. I don’t dislike Steve Burton, but not excited for his return, either.

Melissa
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Melissa

Excellent post.

Harry
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Harry

Oh no, did not know Tyler Christopher was signed onto Days.
Shoot. For me, he’s the only Nikolas Cassadine. He looks and breaths the part perfectly.

Boop
Guest
Boop

I like Nick who subbed for Tyler.

Shay
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Shay

Loved your soured milk analogy, Maureen! That pretty much said it all about the state of GH storylines right now…time to toss out the entire bad carton of whatever and begin afresh!

Patrick
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Patrick

@Maureen : Tyler Christopher going to DAYS of OUR Lives

just read this on the internet.. as far back as three days ago.

RUMOUR MILL RUMOUR MILL

as was said: he could be Alexander Kiriakis

THE BEST , IS BACK !

can only hope

Bonnie
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Bonnie

Cronie of Ron’s do not like it. But he has been in the background on the show for several years so maybe….

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Guest
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Not the name I was expecting, but I do see Chris Van Etten credited often whenever I watch General Hospital, so I can only hope that he can bring some great things to the table. I only hope that it brings a bit more consistency to the serial. I know a lot of people were hoping for Sri Rao to come on board, and while I would’ve been open to that, as well, I am willing to give Van Etten a fighting chance to see how he handles the position as co-head writer, alongside Shelly Altman. Though, I low-key would’ve… Read more »

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

Hope he continues to write more and more drama for Genie (Laura). She takes the crumbs that she is given and milks them. (Sorry to mix metaphors–lol. Maybe I should have said that “she takes the crumbs that are given her and soaks in them.–LOL)

Boop
Guest
Boop

Nancy- I hope Chris can stop everyone from going into the rooms of patients and threatening them; Sonny with Ava , Carly with Oscar, Dante with everybody. If someone went into my family member’s room as they do, a complaint would be filed everyday. However, not with the Port Charles Dept. because they’re all incompetent.; even, Jay. They’re not fair officers because they only help the ones who are their friends; people such as : Valentin , Julian , Ava, Nelle , Franco and anyone who’s not Sonny’s friend or relative doesn’t stand a prayer!

Michael Taylor
Guest
Michael Taylor

TOUPS, I WANT THE SOAP OPERA RATINGS FROM JULY 17-21 NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

su0000
Guest
su0000

I still would like to know which age bracket Chris is in..

And- with Shelly and FV the leaders not much will change.

JasonLovesGH
Guest
JasonLovesGH

I’m hoping for good results. I’ll refrain from further comment for now…except for one thing. Why on God’s green earth are nearly all of the characters saying “what if” in the vast majority of their lines? This type of writing/dialogue is nerve-wracking to me. It’s tired. It’s unimaginative. It’s lazy. It needs to stop.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Oh good, more OLTL stunt casting!

Allen Saint James
Guest
Allen Saint James

The show needs to return to its roots. I mean can we get awesome wsb plots. Danger mystery intrigue action adventure… Against all odds storytelling

su0000
Guest
su0000

ahh yes, return to the Real GH..
the GH that was unique and stood alone among all the other soaps with its own identity unlike all the other soaps..
GH the Not Traditional Soap, the soap on the edge.
That GH needs to rise in its exciting glory!

Allen Saint James
Guest
Allen Saint James

Im not sure why more Fans dont ask for this explicitly
Everyone gets so caught up on the characters and what actor they do or dont like… I bet a number of new characters would work perfectly if the show put them in the harrowing situations from the 80s. The cast is there. I wish Gh wss more like Days of Our lives.

Choward
Guest
Choward

I think they should have scouted around for someone fresh who understand the genre and has even a mild grip on who the loyal viewers are and what they expect and want from a soap opera
And has a knowledge of the history of general hospital and it’s MAIN characters

Jimmy
Guest
Jimmy

This is a promotion from within the ranks of the current writing team, so anyone who expects so see a different show when Chris takes over duties with Shelly will be disappointed. Plus, with all the meddling from higher-up executives, story direction and creative control is seldom in the sole hands of the writers anymore. It’s frustrating for fans because GH doesn’t feel like GH anymore, and if they hired a brand new writing team with fresh ideas and let them tell the stories they want to tell, I have no doubt we would love GH again. It’s funny; Lauren… Read more »

Queerbec
Guest
Queerbec

It seems shows always bring in a new writer right after irreparable damage has been done to a show. There are now so many cold blooded murderers running around Port Charles that it’s hard to like or sympathize with so many characters. Ava, Julian, Sonny, Jason, Anna, the rumored departing Obrecht, Alexis (in a way), even those who killed in when being fired upon (Sam) or trying to defend someone (Michael). And of course, Valentin. They need to bring back Nicholas so that Valentin can be softened and not made a murderer, and so Genie Francis and Marci Rylan don’t… Read more »

Boop
Guest
Boop

Queerbec -I agree with most of what you’re saying; however ,Julian and Ava are very weak mobsters who don’t fit in the same category as hardnosed Sonny . Yet, I will say that all bad behavior should be consequenced regardless as to who it is.

Celia
Guest
Celia

OMG!!!!!! WOW!!!! Hmmmmm!!!

Celia
Guest
Celia

Above reply is for Queerbecca.

Joan Collins
Guest
Joan Collins

He is under 40.

T
Guest
T

I’m hoping that Steve and Rebecca will be reunited and let Kelly continue to be with Billy. I never been a Jasam fan and for the fans of Liz and Jason we should finally get to see that. Why bring Steve back to focus on just Sam? Sam has her Jason, let Liz have her Jason especially for the fans who are not on the Jasam bandwagon!

General Hospital

Cailtin Reilly to Appear in General Hospital Tribute Episode to Her Father John Reilly

Tik Tok star, Cailtin Reilly, who is the daughter of the late soap veteran, John Reilly, will play a key role in the General Hospital tribute episode in her dad’s honor.

According to Variety who broke the casting news, Caitlin will portray Annie, formerly known as Anna, the daughter of her father’s character Sean Donely and Tiffany Hill (Sharon Wyatt).

In a statement on her casting,  Caitlyn expressed: “Words can’t describe how honored I am to be playing my dad’s daughter on the show. I grew up on the set of ‘General Hospital,’ watching him work for years, so it’s exciting to dive into a new character in honor of him. He’ll absolutely be by my side in spirit on set rooting me on. It fills my heart with gratitude to be a part of this tribute to him, and to feel so close to him working on a show he loved so much doing.”

The character of Anna was last seen on-air back in August of 2013, when she was portrayed by Courtney Halverson. In story at that time, Sean was poisoned by polonium and he teamed up with Luke (Anthony Geary) to track down the man who extorted millions for the cure, while Anna repeatedly got in contact with that man to get the medicine her father so desperately needed.

John Reilly past away back in January 2021.  The talented actor first appeared on GH back in 1984 and last appeared on the daytime drama series back in 2013.

So, looking forward to seeing Caitlyn playing Sean and Tiffany’s daughter? Comment below.

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Lynn Herring Celebrates 35th Anniversary of Her General Hospital Debut; and ‘We Love Lucy’

Today, April 11th marks the 35th anniversary of the debut of Lynn Herring on General Hospital as Lucy Coe.  And wow, when you look at the road this character has gone on played to the hilt by Herring, it has been one entertaining ride for GH fans along the way.

Lucy started out as a mousy librarian, if you can believe that! And of course, she eventually showed all that she was a bombshell.  She then became quite the schemer and seductress.

Along the way, Lucy was married to Alan Quartermaine (Stuart Damon), was involved with Scott Baldwin (Kin Shriner), Kevin Collins (Jon Lindstrom) and other men in Port Charles.

 

At one point, Herring took the character of Lucy to the now defunct Port Charles where she stayed from 1997-2003,

But this one time gold-digger eventually became the champion of the GH Nurses’ Ball and helped raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS research. Now, year after year, the one thing you can always look forward to is Herring’s hilarious antics and sincerity in her star turn as the emcee of the annual fundraising event.

On Sunday, the GH tweeted posted: “Lucy Coe knows everything about everyone in Port Charles and we would be lost without her. Please help us congratulate TheLynnHerring on the 35th Anniversary of her #GH debut”. 

Lynn responded sharing: “Thank you! Have loved every @GeneralHospital  moment!”

Share your congratulations to Lynn via the comment section below, and let us know your favorite Lucy moment too!

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GENERAL HOSPITAL: “I’m Alexis Davis, and I’m a Fighter, and an Idealist, and an Advocate”; Nancy Lee Grahn Gives Masterful Performance In Special Episode

When you combine superb direction, writing, production, and acting in a special episode of a daytime drama, viewers can see and understand the thought and care that went into it.

This was more than on display during Thursday’s highly-anticipated ‘Alexis-Centric’ episode honoring the 25th anniversary of Alexis’ portrayer, two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Nancy Lee Grahn, on General Hospital.

Courtesy/ABC

In the story, symbolism was apparent and used for dramatic impact and it worked beautifully throughout, and best of all, Nancy received a script worthy of her immeasurable talents, and showed us once again why she remains one of the gold standards of our genre.  If you have not seen the episode DO NOT read any further as it contains spoilers.

It begins with an emotional Alexis looking at her mother’s watch which was still frozen from the time of her death.  While playing one of her mother’s records very loudly, she recalls Mikkos Cassadine kissing and dancing with her mom as a young Alexis (Natasha) looked on from the staircase.  When Sam asks her about it, Alexis shares that she sees the watch as sort of a representation for her own life being frozen over the last three years; which has included Alexis’ battle with booze taking over her life and her being disbarred, when being a lawyer was the way she identified herself and what gave her purpose.

Overwhelmed and anxiety-ridden, Alexis hightails it to Kevin’s office for a therapy session knowing she is going to Pentonville in the morning to serve her sentence.  She says she does not know who she is anymore.  Then, Kevin asks her how she spent her day thus far.  She flashes back to lunch with the good men in her life, Finn, Valentin, Jax and Ned.  Valentin tells Alexis she is proud of her for honing up to her mistakes.

Back at the therapy session, Alexis she was an attorney who stood for something and her life has derailed, and that she was a fighter, an idealist, and an advocate.  She knows she has to find a purpose in prison to make it through the three-year term and asks Kevin to help her find one.

Kevin wants to go back to when she was a little girl and her memories that are flooding back to her of Mikkos and her mother.  Just then, the younger version of Alexis is huddled in the corner of Kevin’s office, an image of her from the past.  Alexis tries to come to terms with her father and the choice of dangerous men and relationships that have marred her own happiness  … recalling Julian holding a knife to her throat like Mikkos did to her mother. She says he was one of the toxic men in her life, but Kevin reminds her all of the men in her life were not toxic.

Alexis starts with Ned as one who was good for her saying he was always stable, but she ruined that by recently sleeping with him and putting a wedge in his marriage to her long-time friend, Olivia.

We then flashback to earlier in the day, where Alexis ends up in an almost confrontation with Olivia.  However, Olivia tells her she misses the Alexis Davis she used to be and to get her back.

Now back with Kevin, a guilt-ridden Alexis relays she feels responsible for Neil’s death.  Kevin interjects she is not, nor what happened with Julian.  When Kevin attempts to bring up Mikkos again, Alexis rejects it and is angry that he is making her problem about daddy issues; like so many other women.  She vehemently shouts that the men in her life do not define who she is.

Then, Alexis flashes back to hurtful memories she has buried of a young Natasha witnessing Mikkos calling her mother a “greedy little bitch”.  She recalls it was on Christmas Eve and that Mikkos stopped by to give them gifts. That is when he presented her mother with the watch.  However, things took an ugly turn when he tried to leave, and she threatened to tell Helena all about her and Natasha. Next, Mikkos slapped her and that is when the watch shattered. As all this was going down, a young Natasha watched from the stairs and was horrified that she couldn’t stop her father from beating her mother and remembers how helpless she felt.

However, Alexis reveals to Kevin she thought this would be the last of Mikkos coming by, but he returned on New Year’s Eve and her mother took him back into their lives.  Alexis is beside herself that she could not protect her mother, but Kevin reassures her to remember she was just a child.

Courtesy/ABC

It is then we come to the crux of the story.  Alexis looks over in the corner and sees her younger self crying. She goes to her younger self and tells her nothing that happened was her fault, and that their father was damaged and cruel. She tells the young Natasha this shouldn’t have been her burden to carry alone, and that she deserves to be happy. Then in the moment of strength and coming full circle, Alexis introduces herself to the young Natasha, “I’m Alexis Davis, a fighter, an advocate, and an idealist … and I will take care of everything from her on out.”  In that moment, Alexis embraced herself, and forgave herself, so she could move on with her life.

Alexis then flashes back to earlier that night, as the Davis girls gather for a faux graduation ceremony so Alexis could see Molly in her cap and gown and they hug. Back in her session, Kevin remarks that Alexis has repeatedly defined herself as a fighter, an idealist, and an advocate, and reminds her she has three daughters who have those qualities, and that all she needs to be is Alexis Davis.

Then, we get a heart-warming montage of Alexis though the years in honor of Nancy’s 25th anniversary with GH.

Courtesy/ABC

As the episode concludes, it is the next morning, and Alexis enters Pentonville and enters her jail cell. There she meets her fellow inmate, who is studying law books to prep for her upcoming parole hearing. Alexis introduces herself as “Alexis Davis” and as someone who can help her.  We then go back to her mother’s watch which now begins ticking at Alexis’ home.  The show fades to black.

Kudos to Daytime Emmy winner, Phideaux Xavier for his outstanding direction, head writers: Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor and script writer, Scott Sickles for the thoughtful episode, EP Frank Valentini and his production crew for putting it all together, and the one and only Nancy Lee Grahn for a performance that will be remembered as a classic.

Share your thoughts on today’s on Nancy’s ‘Alexis-Centric’ episode via the comment section below.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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Nancy Lee Grahn as Alexis

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