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General Hospital Brings In a Six-Year High Of 3.3 Million Viewers! On Track For Its Best Season in Seven Years!

Courtesy/ABC

General Hospital has done it again!  The show that has made an astounding turnaround over the last year and half  has generated even more heat for itself posting six year high numbers in total viewers for the ratings week of November 25th-29th!  The soap aired brand new episodes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the ratings week before the Thanksgiving holiday and those episodes captivated viewers quite substantially!

According to an official press release from ABC:  “With mystery surrounding whether Robin is alive, the continuing manhunt for Faison and the drama around Sabrina and Patrick’s wedding, General Hospital generated a near 6-year high in Total Viewers (3.30 million) – since week of 1/21/08 – tracking for its best season in 7 yearssince the 2006/07 season.

In addition, GH is soaring in key demos! The soap recorded an “over 2-and-a-half-year high in Women 25-54 (1.04 million/1.7 rating) and an over 2-year high in Women 18-49 (774,000/1.2 rating) – since weeks of 3/21/11 and 8/15/11, respectively – ranking a strong #2 for the week in the core women measures.   General Hospital posted the largest year-to-year increases of any broadcast daytime drama in Total Viewers  (+20% – 3.30 million vs. 2.75 million), Women 18-49 (+21% – 774,000 vs. 641,000) and Women 25-54 (+25% – 1.04 million vs. 833,000).”

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GH's Roger Howarth Chats On Shifting From Franco To Drew & The Stunning Story Twist

Congratulations to executive producer Frank Valentini, head writer, Ron Carlivati, the directing and editing teams, and the stellar cast for making GH must-see television!   Now GH fans, let’s make sure they have a recorded breaking season by the end of 2013!  

What do you think of GH’s numbers?  Last week’s episodes were certainly major cliffhangers!  What would you want to say to the people who make the town of Port Charles rock every day?   Comment below!

 

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

I hated Thanksgiving weekend…not because i got sick of eating turkey for four days or my fathers constant farting in the kitchen…that four day weekend was horrible without my soaps and gave me a scary look to what it would be like without my soapy afternoon…glad General HOTpital is doing great…no matter what stories or characters we like or dislike we got to be grateful to Frank and Ron(even with some writing flaws) for their help in keeping our favorite genre alive!!! And a BIG thanks to Micheal Fairman too…this site is the best support system we have for our soaps!!!

Cindy
Cindy

Ditto.

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Ditto too.

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

If i was writing GH…i wouldnt make the female characters so weak…Robin would confront Sabrina and say’Look, Patrick is still my husband and Emma will always be my daughter…you have no right to either one of them…Sorry if it hurts you but they are my family so do the honorable thing and step away.’

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

And i doubt Heather is dead!

Sal Piscioneri
Sal Piscioneri

great news……..it is #1 to me and always will be:>)

su0000
su0000

I am ‘soap alive’ once again!!
I can hardly wait for next day and weekends are now longer waiting for Monday!!
GH has become near prime time..
It has a ton of variety, its faster paced, the stories are outstanding in drama, surprises, suspense, thrills, love and heart ache, comic relief, tears and laughter, holding tight onto history..
FV, RC, Actors and all the staff are top notch; they rule the soap world!

John
John

Brava and so well deserved ! Frank,Ron and the cast and crew of GH delivered must see tv !!

Elhu
Elhu

What wonderful news!!!! Congratulations to Frank, Ron, the entire superb GH cast and hardworking people behind the scenes. It is soooooo refreshing to see this fantastic turnaround!!!! Long live General Hospital !!! I am thrilled to see their extensive time and effort payoff.

Omar
Omar

GH is so entertaining and up to par with some of the primetime and cable shows with the entertainment factor that I like..That said, its bitter sweet for me to see the way GH’s regime under Frank and Ron, has revived this show while OLTL under the same regime was doing awesome, yet cancel by the biggest bozo in the history of daytime, Mr Frons!!! I been tuning in to GH, since ABC cancellation of AMC and OLTL and that is ONE of the reasons the ratings have gone way up..”Homeless soap viewers looking for a good and entertaining home”..But I am so happy GH has surge and I hope all the other shows ratings are up..Just maybe, our beloved genre is relevant again and our stories continue..I still have hope alive for the return of OLTL and AMC online or cable..

Mary Moore Fergen
Mary Moore Fergen

This is such great news! GH has really turned around with Frank and Ron at the helm. I can hardly wait for the next episode each day! Congrats to all of the cast and crew of GH, and thanks for all the hard work to entertain us!

Cathy
Cathy

Well credit goes to Robin’s story because that week was ALL the Scorpio family and Robin seeing Anna, Robert, Duke, Emma and Patrick? Faison getting his and Robin on her way home. Everyone I know was watching to see Robin again. TIIC Better be smarter than they were with TR and keep Kimberly and work with her schedule since many turned in to see her return to her husband, daughter, parents and family. Ratings proved that. Amazing ratings.

Too bad they let TR go since the Scorpio family is so popular. We should have been seeing Robert all this time so RC is full of it with his big story for Robert,if there was a story , we would be seeing Robert here and there in scenes now. Guess they only have time to fight for the OLTL people with PP.

liz
liz

Agree!!! I have not really been watching GH the past year, but with Robin coming back I can’t wait to see it everyday. Sorry Sabrina fans I am not a fan and could not watch her. I would fast forward her all the time. Out of Sabrina and Britt ,I liked Britt better . I think that the vets being back has made the difference. I am a Scorpio fan. Great job!!!!

Harry
Harry

Yes, yes, and yes–Cathy and Liz are both spot on. It was Robert and Robin’s return which brought up the ratings. And I do have to give credit to the GH writers for finally getting Robert back on track after allowing Dr. O, a lady of a certain age, get the best of him. And Anna and Robert are perfection–those 2 keep getting better. But when Robert leaves, Robin’s story subsides, I will probably go back to not watching. I can’t watch Sparkle Pony trot about flipping her pony tail any more than I can watch Knarly get it on with Tanko.

Rose
Rose

Just wish they would acknowledge how much the 55+ viewers add to totals and percentage increases, even if we’re not a key demo. Looking at the numbers, we should be or they wouldn’t have reached these increases.

Harry
Harry

Good point, Rose and I have to add to your point. It wasn’t just the over fifty set who were excited about watching Robert and Anna brilliantly tag team with each other while igniting chemistry, teens and twenty somethings thought those two were pretty cool too,

Laura
Laura

This Robin/Scorpios story with Robert/Anna has been on point. I know people who started watching again and they haven’t watch GH not since the late 90s..They were all calling me wow, Robert and Anna are back.lol

Harry
Harry

Yep—and we will go back to not watching after Robert leaves.

Xavier
Xavier

Preach it! The only reason I’ve been watching on and off for the last year and a half was because of Robert friggin Scorpio. And he was finally written right. From the time they escaped Jerry’s clutches to the reunion was the first time since he returned back in 2006 that I was glued to the screen. I must have rewatched those scenes dozens of times. Reminded me of watching GH back in the good ole days in my VCR.

aria
aria

way to go GH, hope ratings keep going up and up.

Fran
Fran

Congrats, But thats when ABC will cancel it

Ashifa Shivji
Ashifa Shivji

It is so well deserved! I’ve been watching for 30years(most of my life), and I’m loving it more than I ever have!! Jason Thompson along with GH as a whole deserve Emmys!!

Beth
Beth

The two scenes that I will always remember about this storyline will be the moment Emma saw her mommy; what she said, her running to her, and the look on her face, as if she was crying uncontrollably. This quality of acting out of a child. WOW. The other was when Patrick was talking to Robin, and the tears were just flowing. Outstanding.

Frank Fayaud
Frank Fayaud

Emma scene gave me chills!! Kuddo’s

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Congrats & well-deserved.

janet
janet

I hate to be Debbie downer ,but what were they thinking when they allowed Tristan to go to the competition? These ratings went up not, because of RC ‘s writing but because they brought back the vets. The Scorpios , Anna and Robert in the lab what fun. Anna getting the best of Faison, Robins return . Now I am Debbie downer. Robin should have been with Patrick telling him exactly what she went through to get back to her family. The tears were a nice touch, but Brooklyn was adorable. RC copied that from the history of the show .Anna and Robins history. I am happy that sometimes they do the right thing, but I watched everyday in real time commercials and all because of Robins return. Sabrina who? This should be a lesson to them listen to the fans they watch and if you tick them off they don’t. Congratulation but Don’t get to full of yourself. get Tristan back .You pay TG 1.5 million give some to Tristan and Finola. The only time lately Luke was watchable was when he was with Anna and Robert.

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

You say the ratings went up not because of RCs writing but then praise Anna and Robert in the lab what fun…Anna getting the best of Faison, Robins return…which was because of RCs writing so good storytelling(even with a few flaws here and there) also helps…sure people tuned in to see the vets but many viewers stayed and more have tuned in because the stories are very entertaining, suspensful and fun…so its a combination of both! I do agree they shouldve kept Robert but he’s been gone before and returned so maybe a year from now he could come back…maybe Faison is on the run and he leaves to find him or maybe he goes looking for Holly who could be in some sort of trouble…even if these are told off screen it would feel like Robert is still part of the show! And speaking of Holly…this is part of the shows flaws…Holly said she’s always by Roberts side then she isnt shown when he awoke from his coma and returned to PC!

Frank Fayaud
Frank Fayaud

Holly’s and Luke’s son was in trouble so she went to help him!!

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

What kinda trouble was Ethan in? Holly hasnt been around for a long time to see Robert and Luke doesnt seem concerned about it?

Harry
Harry

Of course I agree with you. It’s the ole bait and switch trick.

jay
jay

WOW!!! Congrats to all the actors, crew, directors, writers.. You have entertain us and it is must see tv. I made sure im free from 1p-2p. All cellphones off, don’t and answer home phone. GH has been amazing so fresh. My mother DVR’s GH and watches, right after work, she to is so intrigue GH. I believe my whole family watches GH.. GO GH, YOUR AWESOME. Cannot wait for Mondays episode.

kaffe
kaffe

Cograts to the Writers Producer,Director and of course the Actors &Actresess

Now Ron &Frank……..

Work your magic for Sammatha,Silas Danny,Alexis, Julian

That’s the story I really want to see!!!!

I would like a baby story line for Sam……I know everybody hates it

But you can have a certain character come back (ha ha ha) They should less the blow a bit…

Congrats to GH

Keep it Going!!!!

Pen
Pen

That character isn’t coming back. Let it go.

kaffe
kaffe

Im not aSBU fan!!!!! What are talking about!!!!

mary
mary

Congrats and well deserved. Keep up the drama, romance, and fun.

Carlee
Carlee

Very, very happy for the show. They deserve all the accolades. This is what can happen when you write good stories and showcase the tremendous talent of the best actors in daytime… The Scorpio family. The biggest mistake is that they let Tristan Rogers go and did not have him front and center all year.

Xavier
Xavier

No truer words had been spoken. Tristan should have been front and center for the last 10 years if you ask me.

Chrissy Matteson
Chrissy Matteson

GH ROCKS BABY

shari
shari

well deserved congrats to all

DomSmythe
DomSmythe

First of all, congrats to “Cartini” for helping a bright ship. Second, credit goes not only to the head writer and head producer, but the entire cast and crew. Kudos to them all! Third, if I had to single out a person, I’d mention Kimberly McCullough. The Robin return storyline is possibly the most captivating one in years, headed by the uber-talent Kimberly. Fourth, what I like about Cartini is the (1) increased balance they brought to the show from the “Unholy Trinity” days of Guza and (2) the bringing back of veteran actors/characters. For these 2 things, I’m forever grateful. However and fifth, Cartini is very far from perfect, IMHO. They have not eradicated the misogyny of writing that was so blatant under Guza. There are still too many story lines of women obsessed with men, or whose lives revolve around men, to name just one misogynistic element of Ron Carlivati’s writing. Second, Carlivati does not know how to write couple, much less supercouples. NONE of his pairings have reached “super couple” status of yesteryear, e.g. Luke & Kaura or Sonny & Brenda. In fact, Carlivati keeps apart couples with great chemistry and popular following. One great former soap head writer once said (and I’m paraphrasing): “The key to good daytime writing is simple: give fans what they want.” Finally, Carlivati doesn’t develop characters and story lines well at all; he’s more plot-driven than character-driven. These are grievous flaws on any producing team. So in conclusion, I’m very happy for the ratings and congratulate Cartini for their contribution to these numbers. However, I’m afraid such success will overshadow their flaws and moreover, enable all these things that really do need to change. Too bad. The long term outlook of soaps is still not good.

Dawn D
Dawn D

I have been enjoying this show since the new command. Ron and Frank have gotten rid of the focus on a few which did nothing to improve GH status for some years. Now we get to see vets come and go but instill some of the history. I do miss some of the younger actors and of course I still believe the biggest error was killing Jake. They had such storyline potential and blew it away to push another s/l. Please give Liz a new love, hot and rich but but in a quiet way. Becky deserves a bigger screen presence.

Donna
Donna

That is wonderful news and more proof that ABC needs to rethink their position that SOAPS ARE DEAD! COMBINE AMC & OLTL – Call it MY CHILDREN’S LIVES since both shows occur in PA, it is a win win. We would have Lucci, Slazak, The Cain Women, the Kramer girls and such colorful and wonderful story lines.

Paula Kate Meserole
Paula Kate Meserole

Yay for the show , yay for the fans …GH is the best soap ever

Jared
Jared

Excellent numbers. AWESOME job, RC, FV, crew and cast! Proof that some tender loving care and actual respect can cure a soap from its deathbed. Actually, not totally, because OLTL was on fire and got cancelled, but you know what I mean. ONE LIFE had the ratings and the acclaim, but GH had the stronger brand. Here’s hoping that those in power take notice, defy their histories of corporate idiocy and bring back OLTL and even AMC, perhaps in 30-minute slots each.

Frank Fayaud
Frank Fayaud

Don’t forget that there are men out there who like G.H. like me for the past 36years!!! Thru the good and bad!!

Bubberv
Bubberv

I’m a big fan of Kelly Monaco. So where is “Lead Actress” Monaco? FV/RC like to use her to promote the show (The Chew, etc.) and then give her crap on GH. In fact Kelly had more airtime on The Chew than she does on GH. Last week RC used her to bring up the name of “Lucas” to Julian…..that’s it. Kelly needs a young, sexy, handsome, BUFF actor as her new love interest. Still waiting for him to show up. I’m very disappointed in her lack of airtime with no story.

Julia Antonini
Julia Antonini

GH is my favorite show on TV. When the weekend comes and it’s not on TV it really bothers me. I’ve been watching GH since 1981 and it really just keeps getting better and better. The writers are wonderful and the actors are the best. I think the actors that portray Patrick and Sabrina should gets awards this year. Also I would add in your article that men are also watching GH, its not a show just for women.

JJ
JJ

Here’s the problem with their celebrating…. they have very little competition!!!! It’s the only soap left on ABC!!!! They should have a huge increase. It doesn’t mean the show is worth watching in my opinion…

Steve
Steve

Michael Fairman,
Wouldn’t life be so much easier for the characters on GH if you wrote stories where they all got along. you could have all the bad guys realize the errors of their ways and repent and become productive members of your created fake society and perhaps role models for the fake youngsters on GH? No more strife or angst ! A perfect world where good is the rule of the day and everyone’s goal is to get along. I would be a ratings blockbuster. No need to thank me…. Just consider it and keep up the good work

educator
educator

I am not that thrilled with the writing. They have very little competition!! Therefore, it appears that they are on top of their game, but I don’t see a celebration. The show needs to bring real happiness back into the lives of the characters. It appears to me that the characters are never in a happy, loving, lasting, and caring relationship(s). In real life people are happy, married (long term), have children by their husbands, and not sleeping with a whole town. I am newly retired, married 28 years, and I know the stories are for our enjoyment, but they also create problems for people who believe that the world is like that. I was sad when Sabrina and Patrick did not get married. I thought they were a dynamic couple and they bring a sense freshness to the story line. They are both very attractive individuals and they look great together. I feel they deserve a chance to be in love and create a family based on the love. My true feelings are; it is too much hurt, people against each other, backstabbing, anger, not enough true love, not enough honesty, and trustworthiness. People on the show fall in and out of love in seconds. They sleep with each others son, husband, brother or boyfriend. This is my opinion.

General Hospital

GH’s Roger Howarth Chats On Shifting From Franco To Drew & The Stunning Story Twist

In one of the most intriguing plots of 2019, General Hospital’s Franco Baldwin was morphed into Navy SEAL Andrew Cain following a harrowing mind-mapping procedure. In all went down thanks to Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and Dr, Cabot (Time Winters), taking the life and memories of Drew (Billy Miller) from his flash drive and transferring them into Franco’s brain, wiping out his past and his present.  That followed the tearjerker moment, when Franco sacrificed himself to free his kidnapped stepson, Cameron (William Lipton) from the twisted procedure; that could have left the teenager with Drew’s memories or even in a vegetative state.

The recipient of this storyline – and who would be taking on another persona in his storied daytime drama career – is none other than Roger Howarth.  The Daytime Emmy- winning actor is no stranger to changing fictional identities on GH.  Howarth, played OLTL’s Todd Manning over in Port Charles, later switching to Franco (previously played by James Franco) following the legal dispute between ABC and Prospect Park.

Last week, viewers got their first glimpse of Howarth taking on the traits of Drew circa 2012, and in short order, it has caused emotional upheaval for Franco’s wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), Drew himself, Jason (Steve Burton), and Kim (Tamara Braun)… and that’s just for starters.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Roger as he started his journey transforming his work from playing Franco to Drew and the challenges it presents, plus the ripple effect the change will have on the canvas for many of the characters.  In addition for One Life to Live fans, Roger chats about his appreciation for his time on that iconic series in a candid, self-effacing, and special conversation.  Here’s what Howarth shared:

Courtesy/ABC

When you were told that they were going to put Drew’s memories into Franco, what was your initial reaction to learning that news?  Did you think it was a great twist?

ROGER:  Yeah, I think it’s a great idea.  I really do.  Good story needs a lot of things, and this checks a lot of the boxes.  It brings people together; it provides obstacles.  There are a lot of places this could lead to.  I just think it’s really smart and interesting.  I look forward to it a lot, and I can already tell by what I have shot thus far that it’s going to be fun.

If this story is written well, what has happened to Franco will be life-altering and crucial to so many people’s lives in Port Charles.

ROGER:  What I like about it, and this isn’t lip service, is that it’s a great story because it affects a lot of people.  Those are the good stories.  Elizabeth has got to deal with this, the boys have to deal with this, Scotty’s (Kin Shriner) got to deal with it, Jason is confused by this information, and now this person in interacting with Drew, and Kim, and Shiloh.  All of the sudden, the canvas is interacting completely differently.  So, I think the writers are having fun with this as well.

Photo: ABC

Then, there is also the character of Kim played by Tamara Braun, who Drew shares a past with.  It will be interesting to see how that relationship plays out, we already witnessed Franco’s Drew instantly smitten and attracted to her.

ROGER:  Yes, the person in this body is running under a certain set of assumptions that no one else shares.  So, yes, it’s confusing to everybody, I am sure, including Kim.

Do you see Franco eventually flipping back and forth, and having personality traits of both he and Drew?

ROGER:  No.  One hundred percent, no, and that provides a real obstacle with a couple like Franco and Elizabeth.  They are always looking for obstacles to prove to the audience that these two people really do care about one another, and that’s the purpose of a story like this.  I’m guessing and hoping that it will provide the character of Elizabeth with a particular objective because it would be nice to see Becky be able to play all of those beats.

Right, and to have to fight for something…

ROGER:  Yes, it’s very tragic.  This is a character that is accustomed to tragedy, and to see Becky play the role of Elizabeth dusting herself off, trying to get what she wants is going to be really cool.

Courtesy/ABC

The tragic twist had Franco saving Cameron from winding up with Drew’s memories and being the vessel for Shiloh to use.  What did you think about how Franco sacrificed himself in order to protect Elizabeth’s son?  It was quite heroic.

ROGER:  I think the other beautiful part of this is that this was motivated by love.  I don’t see it as heroic.  I think as an actor, you’re always looking for the heart of the story, and the writers made it really simple.  He does this because he loves this kid.  Yeah, they’ve had their ups and downs, and they are struggling to figure out how they can get along, and they have a lot of things that they feel about one another, but push actually did come to shove, and I think that the character of Cameron is going to be deeply affected by that.

Courtesy/ABC

This now puts Franco deep within Shiloh’s storyline and past with Drew, because Shiloh desperately wants a key piece of information locked in Drew’s memories.  So, in theory, this kind of ranks among one of the better stories you’ve probably ever gotten to tell in your daytime career.  Everyone is hoping that it lives up to its expectations in the execution of it on-air.

ROGER:  It is certainly a high concept story.  It’s asking a lot of the audience.  So far, we’re all in.  It’s a good cast.  I work with really good actors, so I’m not worried.  It is asking the audience to suspend disbelief for sure.  The good stories do.  I think Erika Slezak (Viki) on One Life to Live, getting to play Dissociative Identity Disorder as Niki and Viki that was a large ask.  She never blinked.  She did everything that was asked.  I’m trying to follow her example.

Exactly, and she played more characters.  She had more alters after that.

ROGER:  (Laughs)  Yeah!  She’s better at this than I am.  I’m having trouble with the one. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

What do you think about how Scott and Franco’s relationship will be affected, now that he is in essence “Drew”?

READ MORE
GENERAL HOSPITAL: Franco To Cameron, "Tell Your Mom I Love Her ... And Tell Her I'll Be Back"

ROGER:  There’s no part of that relationship that hasn’t changed because there is no Franco.  Franco is not around … Franco has left the building.

He is a completely new person for all intent and purposes.

ROGER:  For sure.  This soldier doesn’t appreciate being called by somebody else’s name.  He is not compassionate to the people who mistake him for this somewhat tortured art therapist that he no longer is.

Photo: ABC

What is also interesting is that this should put you right into conflict and scenes with Steve Burton, because now you are essentially playing Jason’s twin.

ROGER:  Yes.  For me, as an actor, to get a chance to work with Steve, and to play a like-minded person, is intimidating frankly, but it’s exciting.

Also, the audience knows how Franco and Jason are such enemies, and now, he is really in his mind his twin.  

ROGER:  Yeah, Franco sees in many shades of gray and other colors, and from what I can tell, Franco as Drew sees the world much simpler.  He thinks more clearly, he finishes his sentences, he thinks before he speaks, he knows what he is going to say.  His point of view does not waiver.  He is determined.

Courtesy/ABC

That’s got to be so exciting for you to get to play after all of Franco’s psychological baggage and issues.

ROGER:  I’ve got to say, it’s been a bit of a challenge for me to play someone with a different set of speech patterns and who stands differently.  Because Drew thinks and feels differently about everything; his body is the same, but his body is behaving differently, and it speaks differently, and he thinks at a different tempo.  They’ve been very patient on set giving me chances to do it badly, so far. (Laughs)  It’s not uncommon for me to get halfway through a scene and to have to start over.   I am essentially figuring it out as we go along.   I am very appreciative of the fact that they have been giving me a few extra takes to try and figure out how this guy stands.  He relates to people with a different set of space and time.  It’s cool.  It’s a cool set of puzzles.  It’s been really fun.  I’m a lucky guy.

When I first learned of the story twist, I was like, “Oh! Roger will be great in this.”  

ROGER:  I don’t know, man.  I could be stinking it up pretty badly. (Laughs)  I think there’s a trap as an actor who has been asked to play twins, and the trap is that this guy is only acting the way that he acts.  The trap is frankly to act too much because the audience is being told that he is a different person.  If I go too far to try to demonstrate that he is a different person, then it slips into parody or overacting.  Over the years, I have definitely been guilty of overacting, so, I’m a little frightened of it. (Laughs)  I don’t like the way it feels.  I know how it feels to go too far.  I have been getting notes like, “You could pull it back a little bit.”  (Laughs)  It’s pretty funny.

Courtesy/ABC

In the past, I have heard you say you’d rather go to work and feel unsettled about what you are asked to play.  Does that still hold true?

ROGER:  For sure!  I’d rather go to work and leave my job knowing that it was terrible and that I get to come back the next day and make it a little better.  The best thing about daytime is how much it will stretch you and pull you and ask as much of it as you are willing to put in.

Now speaking of Franco, what did you think about the wedding reception on the yacht with Elizabeth?  Did you think that was a nice payoff for Friz fans? 

ROGER:  Yes, for sure.  I thought it was a really sweet culmination to a sweet story about these two people finding one another.  I’m glad they incorporated a large part of the cast.  It was a really good idea.

Photo: ABC

What did you think of how all of Elizabeth’s boys (Cameron, Aiden and Jake) performed a song for Franco and their mom at the reception, and how Franco relates to all of them?

ROGER:  I think it was a really important story point, and it was nice, and it was easy to play.  They’re really good kids, and they’re also terrific people.

Franco really stepped up as a stepdad to Aiden, who had been bullied at school.  I loved the cooking scene, where Franco was baking with Aiden.  What do you think about their relationship?  I love that Franco is being very understanding.

ROGER:  I think he’s trying to be understanding.  I don’t think he’s really great at it.   I think he’s a human being just trying to figure out how to make the best use of his time here, just like the rest of us.

Photo” ABC

General Hospital needed a big jolt with an umbrella story like this that turns the canvas a bit upside down.  How does it feel to be at the epicenter of it?

ROGER:   I really don’t think I’m the center of the story.  I’m not even kidding.  The story is that this piece of information is worn on the shoulders of Franco, but the people who are most effected by that piece of information are Kim and Elizabeth.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction is like from the GH audience.  You’re not on social media.  Will you check out what they are saying … or the feedback?

ROGER:  I’m not on social media.  But, I believe there is a guy whose job it is to track that initial criticism/support.  I think it is kind of cool that we will get real-time reviews, you know what I mean?  I actually thought about that because with the character of Franco, it took us a while to figure out who the guy was.  There was a lot of blonde hair and some missed cues, and we weren’t sure which relationship would be featured, whether it would be Franco and Ava (Maura West), or whether he would wind up in Carly’s (Laura Wright) arena again.  It took a while to figure out the best way to put that guy in the canvas, and I imagine that it will happen again.  I didn’t dye my hair for this, but I did cut it. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

How was working with Billy Miller in this storyline twist?  Were you there on his last day on set?

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ROGER:  Yes, I worked with Billy not on his last day, but on his last show.  He was remarkable with dignity and with class, and I wish him all the best.  He did a great job.  He is a good actor.  I’m sure he will find somewhere to go be an actor.

Throughout your soap career, has there been a story that you initially pooh-poohed, but when you did it, you thought, “Oh, this is great!”

ROGER:   There was a story when Carly and Franco were together, and they wrote a story where Franco gave Carly a gift that wound up being a camera…

Photo: ABC

The evil-eye necklace!

ROGER:  Yes, this small seeing rye.  I just thought, every time Franco would come in and say something like, “Oh, you’re wearing the necklace.  It’s so beautiful,” while we were doing it, I was like, “Wow.  The audience is really going to hate this.” (Laughs)  However, my real-time Twitter is the subway, and while it was airing, I got on the train and sat next to this really amazing fan, who just told me how much she loved that story, and I was honestly surprised and pleased.  I am often wrong, and it doesn’t surprise me now when I am wrong  … because I was really wrong then.

You mentioned Franco with Ava which was a potential pairing. I think you and Maura West have always had great chemistry together on screen.

ROGER:  Yes, she’s a pretty great actor.  She’s great with everybody.

She is.  You knew Maura’s work first when she was at As the World Turns, while you were there, also?

ROGER:  I didn’t know her well at As the World Turns, but I knew who she was.  She’s a hard worker, and Jack (Michael Park) and Carly always had a lot to do.  She was pretty focused when she was there, but I spoke to her.  I didn’t feel like I got to know her until I got to work with her on GH.

Photo: JPI

Last month on July 15th would have been the 51st anniversary of One Life to Live. I saw a lot of people commenting and remembering the show on social media that day. I put together four photos on a post I made about that show featuring some of the remarkable actors who were a part of it.  From there, I received hundreds of comments of how people were just missing the series, the characters, and actors they loved in it, including you.  When you look at the list of people from yourself to Judith Light, to Robin Strasser, Bob Woods, and of course Erika Slezak – it’s such an unbelievably talented group who spent time in Llanview.  Do you ever think about what an incredible experience that was, and how the fans still miss that show so much?

ROGER:  All the time.  I mean, I’m a lucky guy.  I think it really was a special building to work in, and the people who we are talking about: Erika (Viki), Bob (Bo), Robin (Dorian), and Phil Carey (Asa), and Clint Richie (Clint), and John Loprieno (Cord), the people who made it possible for me to work there set an environment and a tone that made it a really special place.  It was a really good cast, like you said, and there was a lot of opportunity for them to write a really cool story.  I wasn’t a part of the AIDS quilt storyline, but to realize that they told a story like that and incorporated that into our show was wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Such an amazing story and One Life was telling socially relevant and important issues of our time, always.

ROGER:  I can’t say for certain, but I do believe that the original concept of the Todd, Marty (Susan Haskell), and Powell (Sean Moynihan) storyline was kind of supposed to be initially an effort to bring awareness to a horrible, violent crime.  That was a long time before the #MeToo movement.  I think it was a show where the writers had a social conscious as well and really brought awareness to a lot of different things.  That’s a great legacy and something that show should be very proud of.

Once the character of  Todd Manning took off on One Life, and how they found ways to redeem him, and how it spoke to how much the network, the show, and the audience responded to your performances, did you ever feel you had a bit of a safety net as an actor, or were you like, “I’m going to be fired tomorrow?”

ROGER:  This is truth: I am so grateful to have a job, and I don’t take anything for granted.  I don’t think anybody is safe in this business.  I just don’t.  I just don’t think anybody gets to say that they’ve arrived.  I just did a roundtable, and I shared this with people who have a lot more clout and opportunity than I do – that actors are by nature, the good ones, are aware that every day that you get to go to work is a privilege, and don’t waste it.

Photo: JPI

In soaps, for the most part, when someone is stepping into someone else’s role as a recast, or actor who played one role is changing to another, there seems to be this reactionary period of adjustment, and then, there is acceptance from the audience over time … unless you really stink it up  … as you say. (Laughs)

ROGER:  Here’s the thing, and this is why I think this is such a great idea, it’s not about me playing this part, it’s about how Elizabeth, who has been on this show for twenty-something years gets to react to it, and giving her the ball.  It’s flashy that Franco is Drew, but it is really and Elizabeth/Kim story.  I may be the one overacting and stinking it up, but it’s theirs. Do you know what I mean?  It’s not my story.

Photo/ABC

What do you want to say to the fans about this new “role” you are taking on at General Hospital?

ROGER:  I want to say that I really do appreciate the fans.  Here is the thing, they’re down for everything.  I hope they’re down for this.  It’s a big ask, but I really hope that they like it.

So, what do you think of Roger as Andrew Cain thus far and how the storyline is beginning to take shape?  Are you excited to see how Franco becoming Drew (through the mind-mapping procedure) shakes up the canvas? Do you hope Drew returns to be Franco sooner than later? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Franco Looks In The Mirror … And Believing He Is Drew Kisses Kim

This week on General Hospital, viewers have seen that when Franco (Roger Howarth) awoke from his mind-mapping implantation  (thanks to Shiloh and Dr Cabot) he woke up saying that he is “Drew Cain”.  Thus, as far we know, Franco now carries the life and memories of Drew from 2012 and back, and as of now, has no trace of Franco’s memories.

When Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) and Drew (Billy Miller) try to make Franco understand in his confusion what transpired,  Liz brings a mirror to Franco to see his face, which makes this all the more terrifying for him.  Liz insists to him that she is wife, but he tells her that he is sorry but he does not recognize her.  Franco insists he is going to leave town and Drew asks him to please stay put, as Liz promises that they can reverse what happened to him.  But can Liz really promise that?

Later, Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) fills Sam (Kelly Monaco) and Jason (Steve Burton) in on what happened and how Franco now was implanted with Drew’s memories, which leaves them stunned.  That means Franco, who is one of the people Jason loathes most in the world – now believes he is Jason’t twin brother.

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Meanwhile, as Kim (Tamara Braun) and Julian (William deVry) prepare to leave Port Charles for Manhattan and start live anew, (so Kim can not be haunted by her life in Port Charles from the recent death of her son, Oscar) things are about to make a shocking turn … for her.

Back at GH, Liz is upset when Franco decides he must get out of his hospital room.  Liz is scared he will just skip town knowing he feels he has no ties there.  Drew reassures her that because he is a version of him, the pull will be way too strong for him to exit Port Charles.

Courtesy/ABC

Kim is now at the hospital getting ready to turn in her resignation letter and runs into Franco.  He recognizes her and calls her “Kim!” You can tell he is quite smitten with her.  Kim is not sure why Franco is acting that way.  She announces she is leaving Port Charles to which he says he is going to come with her. She sees he has a hospital ID bracelet on, so she thinks something has happened.  Just then, Franco tells her about the first time Drew Cain and her met up! This shocks Kim  … and the next thing you know … he moves in for a major kiss and lip-lock as Drew and Liz look on.

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So, what do you think of the story turn thus far that has Franco now with Drew’s memories and with no trace of Franco? Share your thoughts on the twist via the comment section below!

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Breaking News

Constance Towers Returns To GH As Helena Cassadine … But Just How Does She Appear?

Now, any General Hospital fan knows that if there is skullduggery and evil going down, Helena Cassadine (whether dead or alive) is usually somehow involved when it comes to the lives of certain people in Port Charles.

And … some major storyline news from TV Line reveals that on next Monday’s August 19th episode of the ABC soap opera, Constance Towers reprises her role as the evil one herself … Helena!

Apparently, look for Helena to appear in a flashback with none other than Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and about Drew Cain’s time in Afghanistan.  That scene might hold a key to just what Shiloh wants now that he has implanted Drew’s memories into Franco (Roget Howath), thanks to Dr. Cabot’s work.  But could what is revealed also relate to the story that will see Billy Miller (Drew) exit the canvas later this month? Stay tuned.

Viewers last saw Helena alive in story until November of 2016, but then she was part of Jake’s hallucinations that were a part of the chimera storyline that climaxed at the Nurses’ Ball back in May of 2017.

So what do you think Helena’s presence in a flashback will reveal? And, who is ultimately having that flashback? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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