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EP, Frank Valentini on OLTL's Internet presence & his future!

Courtesy/ABC

One Life to Live’s, extraordinary executive producer, Frank Valentini was profiled on his career journey to head honcho in Llanview by Entertainment Weekly A 48-year-old workaholic, Valentini keeps OLTL one of the most watchable and entertaining soaps of the genre!

Valentini spoke of the series future in these daunting times for daytime, “The future for OLTL is bright. We continue to do fun exciting things. We have a very strong Internet presence and Internet fan base. I think that has a lot to do with our strong young cast. It’s been key to us to maintain the characters of Llanview while introducing new family members.”

According to EW,  Valentini  (over the next two years of his present contract) has lots of plans for the place he didn’t know he’d be calling home when he walked in the door 25 years ago.  The EP of Llanview revealed, “I’ve really grown very fond of the cast and the crew and folks at the network. And I’m always learning. I think when I stop learning, it’ll be time to go. But I don’t think my personality will allow that to happen.”

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Frank it also because people like me don’t enjoy the “younger” set and watching it on line or YouTube you don’t have to watch the kids. So its not all about the younger set. The show is much better now and that is because its not the “younger” set 24/7.

It is about the younger set and the veterans. They are all used so well in good stories that honor the shows history. Frank has to be the best soap EP working now if not the best ever.

AS LONG AS THE BRING TREVOR ST JOHN BACK, I WILL BE HAPPY

General Hospital

Steve Burton Confirms ‘General Hospital’ Head Writer Switch Changed Jason’s Comeback Storyline

General Hospital viewers will see today, Monday, March 4th, the beginnings of the return storyline for Steve Burton and his character of Jason Morgan.

Just how did the recent head writing regime change at GH alter the plans for story for Jason’s comeback? As had been rumored, seems plenty. Back on January 22nd, it was revealed that Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor had been replaced by Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte. At that time, Burton had already signed-on to return to the daytime drama for the first time since being let go towards the end of 2021.

Speaking with Soap Opera Digest, Steve confirmed that what we will see on-air is from the new head writers and that the direction of the story changed, “So apparently there was a whole different story planned and then the head writer switch happened and then they kind of rebooted (the story arc). I know Patrick (Mulcahey, one of the new head writers) a little bit, but I really know Elizabeth Korte (who was promoted to co-head writer).”

Photo: JPI

Burton added, “There’s no one in the building that loves that show, knows the history of the character, and is invested in it 100 percent than Elizabeth. There has never been a more deserved promotion, ever. Once I know that she was (one of the head writers), I was like, ‘Oh, this is gonna be good! I cannot wait.’ And it has been exactly that. Everything has been amazing.”‘

Photo: JPI

In addition, during an Instagram live on Monday with his podcast and comedy show partner, GH star, Bradford Anderson (Spinelli), Burton also commented on the upcoming story arc which brings Jason back to Port Charles. Steve expressed, “The story is not going to disappoint. The scenes are super deep. Frank (Valentini, EP, GH)  and the new head writers took some time to really think this out.”

Burton, being a longtime veteran of the soaps, said Jason’s return is not just isolated to be about him. “Great story on daytime should involve a myriad of people across the board and where it effects everybody,” he shared. The popular fan favorite feels that this story delivers on all levels.

So, what do you think about the head writer change and how it prompted the plans for Jason’s return? Comment below.

 

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Days Of Our Lives

Jason Cook Recalls Landing His Soap Roles as DAYS Shawn-Douglas Brady and GH’s Matt Hunter

Daytime fans remember Jason Cook when he became wildly-popular as Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and Bo’s (Peter Reckell) son, Shawn-Douglas Brady on Days of our Lives from 1999-2006. He later made a brief return in the role in 2015 for the series 50th anniversary.

After departing DAYS, Cook was offered a role on General Hospital as Dr. Matt Hunter, the younger brother to Dr. Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson) from 2008-2012. However, during his time on the soaps, and after, Cook has been focusing on his behind the scenes roles and passion as writer and a director of feature films.

Last week, the Michael Fairman Channel welcomed Jason, along with two of the stars of his latest film, Four for Fun, Brytni Sarpy (Elena, Y&R) and Jacob Young (ex-AMC, B&B, GH). During the conversation, Cook revealed his continued admiration for the soap medium and the actors who work in it, and how it came to pass that he landed his parts on Days of our Lives, and then on General Hospital.

Photo: JPI

Cook spoke on becoming the on-screen son of soap opera’s most iconic couples, Bo and Hope: “I auditioned for Fran Bascom. She was the Days of our Lives casting director at the time. I was never a great auditioner, I don’t think. She made me feel really comfortable. I remember that screen test. And then, I remember when I got the part, I was actually working at a company at a desk job. I got the call at work and I just screamed, and at the time I didn’t quit my job. But then, I got that contract when I was 19-years-old and it totally changed my life.”

Photo: JPI

But, was Jason aware how key to the show being Bo and Hope’s son would be? “Yeah, my older sister was a fan of the show. She definitely let me know that I better not mess it up, because I was gonna ruin her favorite couple,” he shared. “I remember she printed out the family tree and it looked like a physics diagram. It was so complicated. A lot of detailed work went into it. But, I was excited.”

After being a known entity with a large fan following, eventually Cook made his way to a new role on General Hospital. Jason explained, “GH was fun. That was a situation where Brian Frons (ex-ABC Daytime President) brought me over there. I just told him I didn’t want to be like or want to do Shawn. He’s like, ‘Well, what do you wanna do?’ I said, ‘How can I screw things up around here and shake things up?'”

Photo: JPI

From that conversation things began to formulate. Cook revealed, “We started talking about the TV series House. I think in soaps, there’s an assumption if you’re going on a show that everybody wants to be the hero. I was like, ‘I don’t want to (be). I want to screw everything up.’ And then, they wrote it in that Matt Hunter burns the hospital down within like six months. I was like really proud about that. The other part that I loved about that character is that Matt, and his older brother Patrick (Jason Thompson), were both neurosurgeons. And if you (an actor) resigned your contract (with the show) you go to Patrick, you see Patrick. And if you don’t resign your contract, you see my character, because my character was going to kill you every time.”

For more on the interview, make sure to check out the replay of the livestream conversation below with Jason, Brytni Sarpy and Jacob Young.  Now let us know, did you enjoy Jason as Shawn-D and Matt on GH? Do you hope someday he might return on-screen to the soaps? Let us know in the comment section.

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AEW

Sting Goes Out on Top in the Perfect Finale to His Legendary Career at ‘AEW Revolution’

They could not have done it any better. For weeks leading up to the Sunday’s AEW: Revolution pay-per-view, the questions remained, would AEW live up to the hype and deliver to “The Icon” Sting a befitting goodbye, when in his previous returns during his legendary career were less than stellar in TNA and WWE?

The answer was “Yes!” Every box was check-marked. It was revealed in the post-match media scrum and in subsequent articles and online, that Sting had a major hand in who he wanted to wrestle against in his final match, and how his sons would be involved in his last appearance in AEW and in a pro wrestling ring, and more.

When it came down to the main event at the historic Greensboro, North Carolina, home to the classic NWA 1988 match with Sting vs. Ric Flair, that set the tone for him becoming one of the greatest to ever do it. Now in 2024, Sting was about to enter the ring for the last time in emotional fashion with more than 16,000 in attendance and a worldwide audience watching at home.

Photo: AEW

First, a video package rolled where Sting is seated inside a movie theatre as he watches his life in wrestling up on the screen pass by. After it comes to its conclusion, he looks to camera ready for battle for the last time. Back to live action, two versions of Sting appear at the top of the entrance ramp. And, in another emotional moment, it is revealed that the two men in the iconic wrestling gear from two different eras of Sting’s career were his two sons; one dressed as “Surfer Sting” and one dressed as “Wolfpac Sting”. In fact, Sting’s sons, Garrett and Steve Jr. were a part of his final act, as they two were beaten down by the Young Bucks a few weeks back on AEW TV.

Next, Sting himself enters and the crowd erupts as the Texas Tornado match in which he is a part of takes off. In it, Sting and his partner Darby Allin are defending the AEW World Tag Team championships against the Young Bucks, Matthew and Nicholas Jackson. The match delivered death-defying moves including: Sting taking a suplex off the stage and through a table, and Darby Allin putting his body on the line crashing through a pane of glass after he dove off a ladder.

Several dear friends and wrestling luminaries were in attendance or involved in the match including Ric Flair who jumped into the ring to protect Sting at one point, and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat who was the guest timekeeper. However, both were knocked out by superkicks by the Bucks for their trouble. Those in the audience were former pro wrestlers, Lex Luger, Magnum TA, Scotty Riggs, Nikita Koloff, and Diamond Dallas Page, plus others from Sting’s extended family.

Photo: AEW

In the end, Sting scored the win performing his signature move, the Scorpion Death Lock, on Matthew Jackson. Sting and Darby Allin retained the AEW World Tag Team Championship. Fans were relieved that Sting went out a winner and many cried tears of joy.

Next, Sting was next celebrated in the ring as confetti was shot out, and fans chanted “Thank you. Sting!” When, there were only five minutes left of air time on the pay-per-view, Sting began to thank Greensboro, the crowd, his family and AEW, when suddenly time ran out and unfortunately the show ended. However, after the match, his final words to the crowd and the company were posted on social media (you can watch it below). In the post-‘Revolution’ media scrum, Sting even called Sunday night, a “Top 3” match of his career.

Photo: AEW

Sting was key WCW’s success in the Monday Night Wars in the mid-to-late nineties against the WWE, when his version of “Crow” Sting coming down from the rafters to fight Hollywood Hulk Hogan and the NWO were epic. The story built for over a year with Sting barely uttering a word, but he ultimately became everybody’s hero in a story of good vs. evil. And that’s the case with Steve “Sting” Borden, too. He will be remembered as one of wrestling’s good guys, in front of the camera and to everyone that knew him behind the scenes.

So, what did you think of the way AEW honored the iconic Sting and his final match? Were you happy with all the special moments before/during and after the match? All we can say and to echo those sentiments from those in attendance and around the world, “Thank you, Sting!”

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Video Du Jour

Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

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