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Dominic Zamprogna Speaks Out On His Decision To Leave GH, His Final Scenes With Emme Rylan & How Dante Exited The Canvas

Courtesy/ABC

A few weeks ago, General Hospital fans watched as one of the series beloved stars, Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) exited the show in scenes opposite his longtime on-screen love interest, Emme Rylan (Lulu).  For nine years, Zamprogna brought authenticity, emotion, and heart to the son of Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and Olivia Falconeri (Lisa LoCicero) to life.  While Dante’s journey started out with a bang, literally (thanks, Sonny!), over the years it appeared he was taking a backseat in meatier storylines.  All the while, Dante and Lulu remained one of the more popular duos with the viewers.

After much reflection, Zamprogna decided it was time for him to walk away from a place that became his second home.  His desire now shifted to play different characters in different projects, but it was not without taking many things into account with his life-changing decision.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Dominic to glean more insight into: if there was anything GH could have done to make him sign on the dotted line again, what went down to make those final scenes seem so rushed, how it was to say goodbye to his co-workers in front of the camera and behind the scenes, if he would consider a return at some point, and how would he feel if GH now planned on recasting Dante, and much more.

For us; we recall meeting Dominic for the first times just six months into his time at General Hospital for our first interview together.  We were instantly struck by his sincerity, humor, and his eagerness to learn from some of the best in the business.  Now exiting as a “soap vet“, per se, it is a full-circle moment that we had the time to conclude his GH journey with this conversation.  Here’s what Dom had to say about it all.

What were the factors that contributed to your decision to exit GH?  Was there a pivotal moment where you were feeling, and recognizing, that you were underutilized that you felt you needed to make a change? 

DOMINIC:  When you named me the “Most Underutilized Actor of 2017!” (Laughs) Well, my plan was never to stay forever.  But half-way through my second contract,  Emme Rylan (Lulu) and I were approached by our producer on set, who said words to the effect of: you guys have been on the sideline, time to get you into the game.  That led to the Dante cheating storyline, which gave us story for about a year … which was great!  But as that ended, so did any subsequent storylines, it seemed.  In the year that followed, I started entertaining thoughts of leaving.  By the next year, I started talking about it with my wife, Linda, who had started to notice that maybe I wasn’t happy anymore, and I wasn’t.  That’s not a good feeling, especially if you’re bringing that energy home with you.  Then, I made the mistake of going on social media, which is a terrible place to go sometimes.  But fans were saying the same sort of things I was feeling.  Was it all due to story or lack-thereof?  No.  I was starting to crave playing other roles, and that’s hard to do when you’re under contract.

Were discussions even had with Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and the powers-that-be about your feelings of dissatisfaction over not being utilized more in storylines?

DOMINIC:  The discussions happened late.  Not until the negotiation process, actually.  I’m no squeaky wheel I guess, but I also don’t feel it’s in my job description to be one.  I did put out a few ideas here and there, but they didn’t happen.  I know other actors have tried the same and it didn’t lead to anything for them, either.  I was a creation of Bob Guza (former head writer, GH), and maybe I was spoiled by the amount of great writing I received while he was there.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

There had to be some sadness in walking away from GH.

DOMINIC:  Oh yeah… it was sad.  I built that character, and now here I was walking away from it, and essentially my second family.  That’s been the hardest part.  Lifelong friendships were made, and memories.  However, it’s been over a month and a half since I’ve been at GH and I feel happy.  I’ve been up in Canada shooting Tin Star, which has been a great experience.  I’ve stayed in touch with everybody and I miss everybody, in fact, I just spoke to Mo (Maurice Benard) yesterday, and I’m in class with Emme (she won’t leave me alone).  But, I feel like I made the right choice for me at this moment.

To clarify; were you actually trying to work out a deal to stay put, but both sides just could not hammer things out to a satisfactory conclusion?

DOMINIC:  We did try to work out a deal.  After more talks and conversations, I felt maybe we were going to get things done.  I was being told things would change and maybe shift things in the direction we wanted to go.  But at the end of the day, it’s gotta be in writing.  I feel like I’d been told similar things in the past which hadn’t come to fruition.  I was also reminded that it was me who needed to sign my name on that dotted line and live with that decision, and I chose not to do so.

If someone would have said to you: “We have an “A” story for you, and you are going to be driving it,” would you have been more apt to stay?   

DOMINIC:  There was talk about us sitting down and talking about storylines, but that didn’t end up happening, not sure why.  And even if it did, I don’t know that it would’ve changed my mind about leaving, anyway.   But just to be clear: I have no anger towards anybody.  It’s all a business at the end of the day.  Both sides did what they felt was right.  For me, I just felt this chapter had come to an end.

Photo: ABC

When, and how did you tell on-screen scene partner, Emme Rylan that you were leaving?  Was she happy for you and your decision?

DOMINIC:  Emme knew really early on.  Once January rolled around I was like: “I have been thinking for the last six to nine months that I am going to go.”   I wanted her to know, because we have been a couple for five years on the show.  Emme was very happy for me.  I went, “Wait a minute!  Don’t be this happy.  I’m leaving.” (Laughing)  

What happened when you told your on-screen mom, Lisa LoCicero ?

DOMINIC:  She was sad, but she is also said, “You’re in your prime, go see what’s out there!”   I wouldn’t have done this move if I did not get support at home.  My wife is the rock and the one that makes this household go.  Some things outside the show were starting to happen; I had a nice screen-test for a pilot, and then I booked these four episodes of Tin Star.  When you have choices in life; you have power and control over your future.  I think Emme and Lisa as actors realized that.  That’s what made them happy for me … for the future.  The last nine years were exciting.  However, when you can have a little bit more say in what you are doing on a day to day basis, that is empowering.  So, in saying, “no” to something, and saying, “Thank you, but that’s not what I am looking for right now,” that can feel good.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

It was a shame that through all the regimes that they rarely wrote any scenes between Dante and his father, Sonny.  What was Maurice Benard’s reaction when you told him you were leaving?

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DOMINIC:  It has been pretty publicized that he and I were dissatisfied at the lack of  storyline, or scenes together.  Maurice asked the powers-that-be, “Why aren’t we working together more?”  We never had a clear answer as to why.  He didn’t know from one day to the next what was happening with my contract talks.  Mo saw me smiling one day and asked, “So does that smile mean you’re staying?”  And I said, “No, that smile is because I’m leaving.” (Laughs)  I said that more to mess with him, and make him sad.  He said, “As long as you are good financially, then I am all for anybody getting out of here and seeing what else is out there.” Really, Mo talks people into leaving so he can get more screen-time. (Laughs)

Let’s talk about the final airshow, and the story that came out of left field to facilitate your exit.  Was that written quickly to accommodate a shooting schedule or contract completion?  It felt rushed to the viewing audience.

DOMINIC:  Left field is right!  I still had a week and a half left of work when they found out I wasn’t going to re-sign, and within twelve hours I had six exit scenes written.  So, it wasn’t done to facilitate anything but a set (Lante’s house), I think.  My final tape date was May 18th, and Emme and I had scenes on the Wednesday or Thursday before that.  I guess they wanted my last scenes that aired to be with Emme, and that might have been the only scheduling day that worked for the set and the actors, and maybe that’s also why it felt so rushed.  All I could assume is that they didn’t think I was really going to leave so they didn’t plan for it, or they chose to protect themselves in this way, by not making a big deal about it.  I had another week of scenes in the PCPD with Chase (Josh Swickard) and Michael (Chad Duell) that was shot afterward.  But they had nothing to do with Dante’s “secret mission!”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I thought, “Wait!  Is that it?  Is this Dominic’s final show?  Dante doesn’t say goodbye to his mother… his father … or his son, Rocco?

DOMINIC:  Yeah, that was tough for me.  After 9 years you think you’re going to get a little bit better of a send off.   You also, hope they’re going to honor the character.  Dante wouldn’t leave to go to the 7-eleven without saying goodbye to his mother and kids.   Maurice and I talked about that.  He said, “I guess, they don’t want people to feel really sad.  You and me doing some goodbye scenes, people are going to be devastated.”   I agree with that.  However, I also think it’s a soap and that’s what fans want … good, ole drama.  I would have loved to have had scenes with Sonny, Olivia, and Dante’s kids, but when you make a decision like this, how you leave on-air is not up to you.  Both parties are going to handle it how it’s best for them.   I was very grateful they gave Emme and I something to seek our teeth into. 

They were very sad scenes.  You are one of those actors that can take the material and connect with it while delivering it in a very subtle and heartfelt way.  How was Emme after your final scenes?

DOMINIC:  She was kind of crying the whole time, going “Damn you! Damn you.”   I was having fun with it, because I love making Emme cry.  It’s not a very difficult thing to do.  (Laughs).  We were both pretty teary-eyed, actually.  Then, when we finished the scenes and I looked over and I saw how upset the crew was, that’s what really got me.  Barbara, one of the camera operators actually jokingly apologized; suggesting that if my last shot was blurry it was my fault!  As an actor, when you make the crew feel something it kind of gives you some extra good feels. That was always the best feeling, talking to Craig (our stage manager), or Donna (head of makeup department) after a scene to get the honest truth on how you did.  I’ll miss them.

Courtesy/ABC

Viewers, watching Dante have this flashback about the guy who was responsible for Lulu going overboard the Haunted Star a few years ago, probably needed a moment to connect the dots.  Some viewers were going, “What?  Dante is going after the guy that tried to drown Lulu from two years ago?”

DOMINIC:  When I read that in the script even I went, “What?” Who’s that?”  I had no idea, either. (Laughs)

Then there was this:  Dante was so hard on Lulu for her pursuing her dream as a journalist and how it inadvertently got Nathan killed.  Then all of a sudden in your final scenes, Dante has a line to Lulu in which he says something to the effect of: I understand now – you got to do, what you got to do.  In story, prior to these scenes it was leaning more towards Dante and Lulu were going to break-up over what had recently transpired.

DOMINIC:  Which, who knows?  If Dante had stayed in Port Charles it could have been the direction they were going in.  It certainly looked like they were building toward conflict, conflict, conflict, but with me leaving it was much sweeter to leave on the note that we left on, instead of Dante leaving, because he can’t deal with being around Lulu. This all leads me to believe that they didn’t want to do anything too permanent to give them time to make the proper decisions.

Courtesy/ABC

What was the last day of shooting like for you?  Was it hard to get through?

DOMINIC:  It felt like a regular day, and my final scenes were up towards the end of the tape day. They had a cake afterwards.  Frank briefly spoke and introduced Maurice; who said a bunch of sweet words.  That meant a lot to me.  I said “goodbye” to everybody and took some photos, and that was it.  I already had my room packed up.  Once you’re ready to go, you’re ready to go.  Afterwards, I went out with Ryan Paevey (Ex-Nathan) and Jeffrey Vincent Parise (Ex-Carlos) for some beers and wings at the bar down the street.  It wasn’t until everybody came back after a two-week break that it felt real, because then I was receiving text messages from people saying, “We’re back.  Why the hell aren’t you here?”

The door has been left open for Dante to return.  Would you ever come back?

DOMINIC:  Of course, at some point.  But it might not be my choice, they might recast.  They told me they won’t, but who knows what’ll be done.  Do I think you can just recast a role?  No, I think it’s always a tough sell, but they’ve done it with bigger names/characters than mine.  I would be a little surprised, only because there hasn’t been much story for Dante in the last three years.  For me, as of now, I’ve moved on, and I’m very happy with my decision and my life.  It’s sad in other respects, don’t get me wrong.  I’ve read things that people have said on Twitter, and I want everyone to know I’ve seen it all and it means a lot to me.  People have been beautiful to me.  I’m truly overwhelmed by the love.  I thought there would be more of, “Who cares?” when fans found out I left.   I must have done something right during the years I was at GH.

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Did you think when you made the decision to leave they would kill-off Dante? 

DOMINIC:  No, not at all.  I don’t think killing off Dante would be a good idea, especially after they killed Nathan, and also because of the climate we live in with police involved shootings and violence, in general.  In a perfect world as an actor, you crave the opportunity to have one last moment with the other characters that have been important to your character over the years.  That’s all I would have wanted for myself, and Dante.  I’ll take what I got though.  It was extremely meaningful because of what Emme and I had and built.  I feel we got to the heart and soul of those two characters in a pretty short amount of time in our scenes.

Courtesy/ABC

Speaking of Nathan, I think thus far those funeral scenes, which you were wonderful in, and the story arc revolving around his death, are GH’s best bet for an Emmy in the Drama Series category next year. 

DOMINIC:  I agree.  It was so well-done.  We’d all would like to go out like that!  Tragic, but it made for great TV and great soap.  It was phenomenally well-acted across the board.  Lots of Emmy reel stuff for Michelle Stafford (Nina) and Kirsten Storms (Maxie), and Kathleen Gati (Liesl), and hopefully for our directors and crew, also.  They did an amazing job bringing that to life.

This now leaves Josh Swickard as the lone cop now by default on GH.   he PCPD is notorious for being the worst cop shop in the history of soaps! (Laughs) They can’t ever solve a crime.

DOMINIC: (Laughs) I know!  What is Josh is going to do?   Maybe between Chase and Jordan (Vienssa Antoine) they will solve crimes.  Maybe, they’ll bring on a new cop.  Josh is a great guy and I enjoyed working with him.  At the beginning, we had that contentious relationship between the two guys.  That would’ve been fun if it lasted longer, where they had this continual real dislike for one another.  Who knows?  With Dante gone, maybe they will start solving some crimes! (Laughs) Maybe now the PCPD will be the greatest police unit in the USA.

Courtesy/ABC

Over your nine years at GH, would you still consider that your best storyline was coming on to the show and then having Sonny shoot Dante, only for it to turn out that he just shot his own son?

DOMINIC:  Yes, I think you have to.  That was my intro.  They had this story planned eight months before they even cast the role.  To get to that moment, was a classic soap cliffhanger.  I grew up watching soap operas with my grandparents, and if they had been alive for that scene they would have lost it, because it was something that ‘old school’ soap fans would really dig.  For me, doing that story felt so special.  ABC also pumped it with the promotion, and the promos, and the TV spots, and amped it up.  I didn’t feel it disappointed.  It was actually the audition scene that I had to perform to get the part!  Then six months later you get to say these lines that got you the part, and you hope you don’t whiff on the softball.

While putting together and producing the GH 55th anniversary tribute package for this year’s Daytime Emmys, I included that moment between Sonny and Dante.  I remember watching the complete scene before editing it and the dialog was so good.  It still holds up to this day.

DOMINIC:  My manager was at the Emmys that night, and said what a great moment that was.  I meant to thank you for that, because I really appreciated it being in there.

Courtesy/ABC

Are there any other scenes that come to mind that you are most proud of?

DOMINIC:  I also really loved the scenes with Max Gail (Mike). He is a special guy.  There was so much in our scenes; where Dante finds him with Avery in the stables.  Those moments are going to stick with me for a long time.

On June 28th, the airdate of your last episode, you posted a tweet to the fans that read: “The love you guys have given me over the years and continue to give is overwhelming.  It is I that must thank YOU!”  I thought that was extremely touching and very appreciated by the fans.

DOMINIC:  I was thinking, “Man, I have to thank you, because I would not legitimately be here if you hadn’t liked this guy, Dante.”  It was bringing tears to my eyes reading what people were saying, and seeing how much love I was receiving.

Tell me about your role in the British-Canadian production of Tin Star?

DOMINIC:  It’s a recurring role,  I’ve been working on it since March.  It’s something very different from what I’ve been doing the last 9 years.  Can’t give much away, but I play a hired gun type of guy.  There are some great scenes and moments, and I was lucky enough to work with Christina Hendricks, John Lynch, and the legend, Tim Roth.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you feel now that you have had some time away now from GH, and have been playing another role, that the thought of playing Dante for you at this point is like: “Been there. Done that?”

DOMINIC:  I would never say Dante is done forever.  Right now for me, he is.  They left it open, hopefully they left it open for me, but every actor hopes that.  We want our cake and to eat it too!  I want to leave right now, but I want you to want me to come back some day.  No one wants their role to be recast.  But it’s an important character, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  Who knows what the future holds.  I left on good terms.  Just so everyone knows; I didn’t spring something on GH on the last day of my contract.  It’s important that I let people know that I didn’t just wake up one day and say, “See ya”.  This also wasn’t about money.  Sure, we want to be paid what we believe we’re worth.  But this in no way was about me asking for the moon, or I was going to leave.  It was a very, very difficult decision.

So, what do you think about how GH wrapped up Dante’s story for Dominic’s exit? Would you like him to return to GH sooner than later?  Do you think the role of Dante was problematic to write for?  What were your favorite scenes of Dom’s during his time at GH? Let us know via the comment section below.

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Andrea
Andrea

Yes i hope they bring him back in the future and dont kill him off.

Bren
Bren

So sad to see him go yes there is a lot they could have done with his character, maybe he could become disillusioned with law enforcement and went to work for sonny. They messed up big time. Good Luck D see you in your new film Tin Star.

ulkis
ulkis

Or they could have given the cops a story that didn’t involve the mob?

dzzdee
dzzdee

I like Dante (Dominic Z)they needed someone like him in Port Charles PCP, the males seemed too timid for the good cop and Dominic has that strong personality to been the Capital/Chief of the police force. They need to get rid of current lady. (?????? whatever her name is???) I did not like him with LuLu neither, Maybe the character was too goody good shoes. Hope he comes back with authority and loose LuLu.

ethel mcilwain
ethel mcilwain

dante’s exit was piss poor if anything – nine years on gh & this is the best tptb/writers could do for dominic???? i absolutely adore this actor but gh needs their butt kicked because they didn’t utilize his talents – they might as well have slapped him in his face – the character only got to say good bye to lulu??? what about rocco , olivia & sonny??? smh

Roe
Roe

Agreed!

Jimh
Jimh

Why come back to GH…its not home anymore with all the strangers moving in!

Walter
Walter

Yeah, too many strangers moving in! Let’s build a wall—oh, wait.

Jimh
Jimh

Why…they would just climb over it-lol

k/kay
k/kay

The man was treated like trash run and putvyour middle finger up to that bunch ! Run

ulkis
ulkis

“Maurice and I talked about that. He said, “I guess, they don’t want people to feel really sad. You and me doing some goodbye scenes, people are going to be devastated.””

. . . Yeeah, I don’t think that was the reason.

dmr
dmr

What a stupid reason to give…

Lucky
Lucky

Dante was a favorite of mine. I think he had the best introduction story I’ve ever seen on a soap. It is a shame how he hasn’t been used the last few years. I’ll miss Dante, but I’m sure great things are ahead for DZ.

Antoinette
Antoinette

I love Dante….hope on day he returns to GH. But I wish him the best of luck… hugs to him……

Steve
Steve

A fine actor and true gentleman. Without being critical, he gets the point across about a lack of storyline being key to his departure.

Eventually, they’ll need to recast the character, possibly with a recurring actor — unless new writers actually produce a storyline. For now, with a Jordan recast, it looks like Chase will be busy. Perhaps it’s time to throw some cop scenes to Valerie.

Caleb
Caleb

Glad that they made it rushed and sort of half assed… I know the actor is done, but maybe the show feels that in six months time he’ll decide to come back and they’ve left the door wide open without a lot of goodbye scenes. People leave soaps all the time and then come back. I think he’s a good actor and should find out what else is out there. Maybe he also just needs a bit of a break. I would be surprised if Dante isn’t back by Christmas played by Dominic.

fginaspy
fginaspy

I enjoyed the interview very much. I am not a Dante fan. I appreciate what DZ had to say about not being happy. Then he left GH and he is happy. What more can anyone ask for. If I get the chance to see Tin Star I will look forward to seeing him play a new character. Best of luck to DZ.

Barb Harnedy
Barb Harnedy

Some of my very favorite scenes were Dom Z and Julie Bergman when Lulu learned she could not have children! The connection and the pain of those scenes was phenomenal!! Just heartbreaking stuff and so well done by both!!

Roe
Roe

Agreed! Two incredible actors and a well-written storyline!

rebecca1
rebecca1

Great interview, Michael! Loved it! Dom Zamprogna sounds like a terrific guy: down to earth, intelligent, honest.

Loved Dante. He had heart, was stable, grounded, true. And, as said, not involved in enough story lines that the character and the actor were worthy of. Should never have been “second tier.”

Wishing you well, Dominic and will check out whatever you do next. As for GH? IF it’s still on and you’re feeling “homesick” I’d love to see you back in Port Charles. Realistically, they’ve recast Lulu, Lucky, Nicolas, etc so who knows; maybe they will recast Dante. No matter how good he may be he won’t be you. Would love you to reprise the role if you feel that’s what you want to do down the line.

Looking forward to your next project…

Roe
Roe

Well said! My thoughts exactly!

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

I wish Dante had figured more into story. Hopefully they can come up with something to lure him back.

Lin
Lin

I thought the last scenes were not well written and not what the character of Dante or Dom deserved. It felt like a writer pulled it out of a hat. Why couldn’t he say goodbye to everyone. was that done off camera. It was downright stupid. Shame on whoever made the decision to not give him a proper sendoff. It was like a punishment from Dom, and it left the viewer cheated. I hope he comes back someday. But for now, before a few months pass, the sooner the better, I feel the role should be recast. His family needs Dante right now.

Bonnie
Bonnie

I will really miss Dante it already is not the same good luck to u

Sandra Williams
Sandra Williams

It would be very nice to have “Dante” return to GH; but only if the writers knew how to do better in writing. They never have given Dante too many good, dramatic scenes and they also drag out certain scenes too long. It can get boring.

Annie
Annie

I absolutely love Dominic as Dante and truly believe HE should be brought back. NO ONE will play that character as well as he does. He created Dante!! These writers have ABSOLUTELY ruined my beloved GH I’ve bee watching for decades. Really Really sad. BEST OF LOCK DOM WITH EVERYTHING!!! YOU ARE MISSED!!

Betty Danio
Betty Danio

I hope lulu finds out she’s pregnant.

Soaphound
Soaphound

For our sake, Betty, I hope not. That fool, sorry, ACE REPORTER has more lives to destroy. Plus, I doubt if she even remembers Rocco’s name anymore. She just runs around town “scooping” and begging Maxie’s forgiveness. She should beg ours as well.

Timmm
Timmm

Amen Soaphound!

Steve
Steve

The storyline for almost two years a while back detailed how she no longer produces eggs and could not carry a child to term.

With Nelle’s impending birth and Lucas & Brad’s side story, there’s quite enough baby drama.

dielee
dielee

Dante was one of my favorites he had so much chemistry with all his family and Lulu both played by Julie n Emme. When he first came on I was engulfed with his storyline and all his cheesy pick up lines. What happen and why they didn’t give him more. I just know when he had some small parts on GH he shined and made the best of his acting. Going to miss him but wish him luck and hope to see him soon in a movie or another tv show I want Dante to live on and I sure hope he comes back and finish his story which he so deserves.

Timmm
Timmm

This guy Dom is a terrific guy! He really has class. And, in this day and age you dont see a lot of love coming from people! I wish him the best, I truly do.

So, it doesnt sound like Maurice has as much power at GH as many thought he did.

AND, When Tony Geary left, he said a big FU to the show and especially the writers. You all said he was a cranky old ungrateful bastard. Well, Dom, in a much warmer and classier way basically said what Tony said. GH is Frank’s show and he is either running it into the ground and or making it unrecognizable!

dmr
dmr

Perhaps if Dom went out into the parking lot and roamed around, he would get rehired. The writers could create a story arc around him, where the entire show, and most of its characters, are involved in one of the most-hated storylines ever.

Rodd
Rodd

He is a class act and I DO HOPE that they don’t recast and that he can come back some day soon.

Linda Babb
Linda Babb

I am so sad that dom is gone but am happy that he is furthering his career my favorite scenes are with him and Maurice and Nathan he has such chemistry with them both I will miss him on gh we your fans love ❤️ you dom!!!!!

Silvia
Silvia

I think Dante should not be recast. I honestly hope that Dominic returns at some point as Dante. The exit they wrote for him made no sense, why would the writers not allow him to say goodbye to Sonny and Olivia, especially the relationship Olivia and Dante have!

Patti
Patti

Dom was one of the best ACTORS on daytime tv; hands down! Sonny shooting his son was one of the best storylines GH has ever had, right up there with the classics like Luke & Laura, the Ice Princess, Stone & Robin, Jasons accident…etc

Denise Wood
Denise Wood

I don’t think that Dante should leave the show. Please come up with a contract so that he can stay. There have been too many good people leaving GH. Pretty soon, GH won’t be worth watching anyone. Please leave Dante on the show and talk to his wife.

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According to Deadline: On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state could begin TV and film production as early as June 12th.  While the California Department of Public Health released the following guidelines:  “Music, TV and film production may resume in California, recommended no sooner than June 12, 2020 and subject to approval by county public health officers within the jurisdictions of operations following their review of local epidemiological data including cases per 100,000 population, rate of test positivity, and local preparedness to support a health care surge, vulnerable populations, contact tracing and testing. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers. Back office staff and management should adhere to Office Workspace guidelines published by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Industrial Relations, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.”

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For LA County,  on Friday, the same day the guidelines were announced they saw a slight increase in hospitalizations, which could cause delays in getting production started.  “This has been a slight increase over the last three days in the number of people hospitalized,” said Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, “and we’ll need to make sure that we’re not starting to see a significant increase in the number of people requiring hospitalizations.”

Newsom has said modifications to regional guidance would be allowed so long as there are attestations at the county level that there are adequate plans in place should a rise in COVID cases be seen again.   As of May 18, when L.A. filed its attestation, the county had a stable or declining number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19.   However, there has been an uptick in cases as of Friday which could effect the production restart in Hollywood as well as the noted uptick in hospitalizations; all of which are measures in the protocol guidelines that need to be on the decline for things to move forward.

So the question remains: if there is a surge in Los Angeles in COVID-19 cases production could again be delayed getting started back up and running? So what do you think about the June 12th date for the state of California to start TV and film production? Do you hope your favorite soaps get back into production as soon as possible, or do you want to make extra sure that all your favorites will be safe and sound when they tape new episodes?

 

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General Hospital

Sonny & Carly Week Of Encore Episodes On Tap For General Hospital

A Carson bonanza is on its way for the week of June 15th -19th when ABCs General Hospital rebroadcasts five pivotal moments in the love story and perils of Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Carly (Laura Wright).

The episodes date back to 2007 through 2016.  One of the emotional highlights is when the duo start to have major marital issue over the loss of their son, Morgan (Bryan Craig).

GH is currently still in COVID-19 production shutdown mode and this week is continuing to airs its encore presentations of the some of the Best of the Nurses Ball episodes.

Here’s what to look forward to for CarSon week:

Monday, June 15 : Sonny and Carly re-declare their love during the Metro Court hostage crisis. (originally aired 2/7/2007)

Tuesday, June 16: Sonny has gone off his meds and begins to spiral. Carly convinces him to resume taking the lithium. (originally aired 9/24/2013)

Wednesday, June 17:  Sonny is in critical condition after being shot. Sitting vigil in the hospital chapel, Carly reads the vows he wrote for her, and remembers their ups and downs. (originally aired 9/14/2015)

Thursday, June 18:  Sonny and Carly get married in the GH chapel.  (originally aired 10/15/2015)

Friday, June 19:  Grieving for Morgan, Carly blames Sonny for their son’s death. (originally aired 10/12/2016)

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So are you looking forward to seeing some of the episodes chosen featuring Maurice Benard and Laura Wright? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Hollywood Studios, Producers & Guilds Send Plan To Gov. Newsom and Gov. Cuomo For COVID-19 Production Restart Guidelines

On Monday, the two states with the most television and film production in the United States (California and New York) received a plan from many Hollywood studios, producers and the entertainment and production guilds of a plan and outline to be able to rejigger and restart production of your favorite shows and films.  This includes the soaps: General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful and Days of our Lives.

Via Deadline: In an effort to get the industry moving-forward again where jobs were lost or put on hold, and production were completely stalled out-of-the-blue, the guidelines submitted by “The Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force (the “Task Force”) is asking for consideration and adoption for the resumption of motion picture, television, and streaming productions in an environment that minimizes the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19,” says a report for Governors Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York.

Photo: AP

You can read the details of the report here.  While there has been no word from the Governors and their offices if they have seen the report, bets are that several more steps will be needed before anyone would head and report back to a set yet.

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As one would expect, limiting contact, social distancing, regular temperature checks, ways to handle props, and a COVID-19 compliance officer for all productions are part of the proposal.   As well as virtual writers room meetings, avoiding filming on-location as much as possible and filming in front of large audiences.

So, glad to know that this major step has been taken to try to get production back on track in Hollywood and New York? Comment below.

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It’s “Villains Week” on Y&R an that means some Sheila Carter, David Kimball, and Isabella Brana, Check out the promo from CBS Daytime here.  Leave A Comment

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Steve Burton as Jason & Maurice Benard as Sonny

General Hospital

Airdate: 5-19/20-2020

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