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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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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!

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GH’s Michael E. Knight Chats On: Taking on the Role of Martin Grey, Friendship with James Patrick Stuart, and All My Children’s Tad

Last Thursday night during a livestream interview, General Hospital’s Michael E. Knight chatted with Michael Fairman on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel about returning to daytime in the role of legal eagle Martin Grey, and mixing it up with some of the most famous notables and actors that currently and historically have graced the screens on the ABC daytime drama series.

In case you missed it, the replay of the conversation with three-time Daytime Emmy winner is now available.  During the chat, Knight reveals what is has been like to play the on-screen half-brother of Genie Francis (Laura), if he enjoys the courtroom scenes in which Martin had to defend some of the most notorious in town including Nelle Benson (Chloe Lanier), and more.

Courtesy/ABC

Fans of GH are also enjoying the romantic pairing of Lucy Coe and Martin, pairing Knight with another soap vet, Lynn Herring.  Michael shares that it’s nice to see, and appreciates, the writers creating a fun relationship for a couple that is middle-aged instead of always seeing the younger sets escapades all of the time on daytime TV.

All My Children fans, of course, recall Michael’s memorable performances through the years as Tad Martin, where he became synonymous with Pine Valley.  After AMC came to its conclusion in 2011 on ABC and 2013 with Prospect Park, Knight finally returned to soaps in 2015 in the recurring role of Dr. Simon Neville on The Young and the Restless before joining the cast of GH in 2019.

Photo: JPI

During the interview, Michael shares behind the scenes stories of working with his on-screen parents, Mary Fickett (Ruth) and Ray MacDonnell (Joe), his enduring on-screen love story with Dixie (Cady McClain), and the heyday of AMC in story, with his on-screen sister, Jenny played by Kim Delaney. When Michael came to GH, viewers recall he actually got to share an inside moment with Kim and the fans, when Martin met Jackie Templeton, then played by Delaney.

During the livestream, Michael recalled several of Tad’s wives, and when one fan asked if Cady McClain might come to GH as Dixie, and that maybe she could be a woman from Martin’s past, Knight shared that it could be interesting.

Photo: ABC

In a surprise appearance later in the livestream, James Patrick Stuart (Valentin, GH), who has an enduring friendship with Michael, and happened to be at Knight’s house, shared some memories of his time as Will Cortlandt on All My Children. Now decades later, things have come full-circle for the good friends as they share screen-time on General Hospital as Valentin and Martin.

Stuart is a Daytime Emmy nominee this year for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category at the upcoming 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards, and we took a moment to congratulate him on being acknowledged by his peers for the second year in a row.  Currently, James is pulling double duty shooting his Disney+ show, Villains of Valley View, while also taping GH.

Photo: JPI

Watch the replay of the livestream with Michael E. Knight below.

Then let us know, are you enjoying Martin and Lucy together? What do you think of the idea of Cady McClain coming to GH? Do you want to see more Valentin and Martin scenes? And, what are your favorite memories of Michael’s time as Tad on All My Children? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Breaking News

General Hospital Tapes 15,000th Episode; Featuring Genie Francis with Almost Every Single Cast Member Appearing in It

On Thursday, ABC’s General Hospital reached yet another milestone in its illustrious history. The daytime drama taped its 15,000 episode.

During the tape day, the cast, crew and creatives posed for a photo on set to mark the occasion with cake.

GH’s 15,000 episode will air next month on June 17th.

ABC 7’s entertainment guru, George Pennacchio was on set with a first-hand report, interviewing the likes of Genie Francis (Laura), Maurice Benard (Sonny) and the show’s executive producer, Frank Valentini.

From the sounds of it, the 15K episode will center around the character of Laura, and according to Valentini, “It will be happy, it will be sad, it will be dark, it will be scary, it will be fun, it will be thrilling and it will be exciting, but most importantly it will have almost every single cast member in it.”

Check out the segment and on set report from Pennacchio below.

Now, let us know if you are excited to see the 15K episode of GH via the comment below and congratulate the long-running soap for another historic milestone.

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General Hospital

TONIGHT: General Hospital’s Michael E. Knight Live! – 8 PM ET/5 PM PST

General Hospital’s Michael E. Knight stops by to chat with Michael Fairman for a very special conversation on The Michael Fairman Channel streaming live beginning at 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT.

The three-time Daytime Emmy-winner and beloved daytime veteran will talk on his role of Martin Grey on the ABC daytime drama series, working with the likes of Genie Francis (Laura), Chloe Lanier (Nelle), Jeff Kober (Cyrus), James Patrick Stuart (Valentin), Lynn Herring (Lucy), and more.

In addition, Knight will discuss his time as Pine Valley’s Tad Martin on All My Children.  A role that started his career, and that he played for decades, that made him a household name in daytime.  Michael will share inside stories of working with some of his favorite co-stars on the former daytime drama and much more.

To watch the livestream check out the video below, or head on over to You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel and make sure to ‘subscribe’.

If you have any questions for Michael, you can post them here, or join us in the live chat and comment there.  We look forward to tonight’s conversation with Michael.

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Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
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