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General Hospital Celebrates its 61st Anniversary

Photos: ABC

Today on April 1st, marks the 61st anniversary of the juggernaut television series, General Hospital. Now in its sixth decade of drama, the series continues to break milestones.

Having premiered on this day back in 1962, the soap opera went up against another new  drama, The Doctors. That show lasted 19 years on NBC, while GH survived and has served up memorable supercouples, social issues of our time, complex and interwoven interpersonal and familial relationships of the lives of the people in the town of Port Charles.

When the series debuted back in 1963, it featured legacy stars, the late John Beradino and Emily McLaughlin, as Dr. Steve Hardy and Nurse Jessie Brewer. Back in 2015, Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth) portrayed the character of Jessie in a flashback for the show’s 52nd anniversary.

Photo: JPI

While GH found itself on life-support before iconic executive producer, Gloria Monty flipped the switch in 1978, it eventually became a massive ratings winner culminating with the 1981 wedding of Luke (Tony Geary) and Laura (Genie Francis).

In the early 90s under EP Wendy Riche, topical stories such as the HIV/AIDS crisis, the Nurses’ Ball and BJ’s heart transplant storyline became synonymous within the history of the soap.

Photo: ABC

As General Hospital firmly moves into its sixth decade, fans have Jason (Steve Burton) back on their screens, Sonny (Maurice Benard) in a precarious situation with his mental health, new alliances and betrayals, and love stories featuring many fan favorites being served up to keep them coming back for more of their favorite soap.

Photo: ABC

Heading into its 61st season, Frank Valentini remains the executive producer, while Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte are the series head writers.

Share your congratulations to General Hospital on its anniversary, and let us know what story first got you hooked to the ABC daytime drama series via the comment section below.

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I watched the premiere of General Hospital on April 1, 1963. I was young at the time. I was immediately hooked by Jessie Brewer RN, Dr Steve Hardy and Lucille March RN and remained a regular viewer until 2005. Happy anniversary GH.

What happened in 2005? Do you watch one of the other 3 soaps? Just always curious about the “non viewers” that always post.

Myself, watching since 1978 thanks to the Betamax.

I started watching in summerof1970. In 75 went to Days of our life until 94. I retired in Jan 2016 and been hooked on GH ever since I love all the characters except Nina.(yuck)

OMG, love “the non viewers that always post” So true, they’ve always got to get their 2cents in, right?

Thanks Violet. By their own admission… it would appear to be 19 years since last tuning in. I would suggest they come back and see what’s been happening. GH is doing well in my opinion… and good, bad or good enough.. I appreciate that it has been with many viewers since the start, and happy they have stuck with it…

You spoken words of truth about non-viewers. It happens to all the soaps. I’m a non-viewer but I don’t go to sites “rip” soaps by reading spoilers because in today’s climate and rise of social media it’s a cesspool of haters and non-viewers opinions. I’m respectful because every person has their favorites. I grew up in CBS household and I’m 63 still am a viewer except BB isn’t must see for me. I so agree with what was stated.

Llanviewer717, your GH history is similar to mine. Yet I started watching a few years later (in 1969). I, too, liked Steve, Jessie, Lucille, as well Audrey and especially Diana and Peter.

I also quit watching in 2005, largely because I had had enough of Sonny, Carly and the Mob — never dreamed that mess would last this long. I only return for special episodes. But I will always think fondly of those early years…

In response to GH fan and Jamesj75: I loved GH from day 1. I got my grandmother hooked (she hated television) on the Jessie and Phil story and then Steve and Audrey. During the school year, she watched and kept me updated. After she died, I watched when I could and kept up with the soap magazines. I also got hooked on the very first day of One Life to Live and stayed with them until the last episode from Prospect Park. As you can see, I’m very loyal. I watched All My Children off and on.

I stopped watching GH in 2005 because by then it had become Mob Hospital. With all due respect to the talents and hard work of Maurice Benard, Sarah Joy Brown, Tamara Braun (whom I loved), Jennifer Bransford (who, IMHO, wasn’t given a fair chance) Laura Wright (who does a bang up job), and Steve Burton, I just couldn’t take it anymore. All shows grow and evolve. But, GH changed so much that it is unrecognizable and no longer of interest to me.

Like you Jamesj75, I stop by for special episodes – when Nora Buchanan or Blair Cramer came to town. The Bobbie Spencer memorial episodes were absolutely excellent.

Thanks for sharing. I too watched OLTL from 1978 til the very end. I do wish ABC could do something more with OLTL.

I loved OLTL but so many years have passed since its end. And, unfortunately, the actors who played Asa, Rene, Clint (both actors), Antonio, Tina, have passed. I’m not sure it could ever recapture what it once was….

With Vickie, her children and grandchildren, and Dorian and the Kramer girls.. I am certain ABC would be off to a good start. No reason real life and time couldn’t be accounted for, much the same was as life has happened to us viewers. I loved watching OLTL and GH with my mom who passed in 2009, and there are moments in GH, such a Jaclyn Zemans memorial episodes…I could almost see my mother out the corner of my eye, sitting there, watching it with me

Nothing like warm memories and things that evoke them; certain scents, sounds, holiday and yes, soaps or other shared experiences. But; dunno. I literally hated the attempted online version of OLTL after its’demise, even with some of the ABC OLTL characters coming aboard. They had already changed the show so much. And now? I guess if they could bring it back to network TV it could be an interesting attempt and I’d definitely tune in, but I have to admit I just can’t see it working; more than half the cast would be new characters, and thus it’s not the same show. It’s kind of how I feel about GH now; the vets are hanging on by a thread and more and more new characters, many non-related to the legacy families, are being introduced. That’s a departure from what has typically been the soap genre; core multi-generational families…

Without the aforementioned characters (and the actors who played them): Clint, Asa, Rene, Tina, Antonio…basically all the Buchanans gone but for Bo, even the best villain on the show (in my opinion) Mitch Lawrence played by Rosco Born (sp?) passed in real life, it would just be a different show…

Sigh. Nothing stays the same.

You are correct “nothing stays the same” … but I still read a recluctiance to understand life happens everywhere and time passes.

OLTL did represent many diverse ethnic families.. and hopefully your request for this could happen in a new version of OLTL v3.

I actually only started watching GH in 2008/9/10? after both Guiding Light and As The World Turns ended for I was a loyal CBS soap fan, but many of my favorite actors made their way over to GH. I appreciate the storytelling so that I am kept in the loop of the long standing history of characters, family ties, and storylines. I very much hope that GH goes further than 62 years. Nothing can replace Daytime Soaps (even though I DVR all of them and watch sporadically throughout the week).

Been watching since day 1 !! After school! Than when VHS came about i recorded it everyday!!
Congratulations GH !!!

I loved GH in the 1970s and 1990s best.

You know if their is negativity it’s not because no one cares I think older viewer s just are disappointed they does not make anyone cruel I am in my 50 ‘s and yes I want my show back if that makes me a ass then bring it on .

Congrats to GH on 61 years, here’s to many more years!!

Been watching since 1993. I was home from school sick, I had a crush on Jonathan Jackson who played Lucky (I was 13 at the time), so I decided to tune in one day. The Luke and Laura return storyline was just beginning. It was the episode that had the fire at the Triple L diner, and the rest is history, been hooked ever since. Haven’t missed a show in 31 years. Used to record it on my VCR every day, now I watch on Hulu, how times have changed, lol.

I hope GH is on for many more years to come. Contrary to some people that post on soap websites and social media that need to get a life, that seemingly get their jollies from wishing and hoping to see the show get canceled, as long as there is a General Hospital on the air, I’ll always be watching!

I became a fan in the ‘80s during the “Luke and Laura” era. I also applaud the soap for addressing relevant life issues such as HIV/AIDS and, more recently, same sex relationships.

I drifted away from the soap but was reeled back in eventually——mainly because of my crush on Steve Burton who plays Jason Morgan.

I love all of them so exciting to watch every day keep up the amazing work

I’ve watched GH off and on since the Luke and Laura era. My favorite characters were Lucky, Liz, Nicholas and Emily. I also love the era and cast from 2005 through 2010. The sweeps crisis episodes were all so good, especially the Metro Court hostage crisis, epidemic crisis and the black and white ball. I do miss the medical cast featured during that era.
And as odd as this may seem, I miss the GH opening theme song and montage video featuring the cast in the opening credits. I don’t watch other soaps but I did recently see Y&R still uses the shows traditional opening theme song (with beautiful cast photos) and so does Days. I wish GH would bring back a revised version of the original theme song.

I started watching GH during the spring of ‘78. .Leslie was taking the blame for killing David Hamilton to protect Laura.Been hooked ever since!

Is anyone old enough to remember Howie Dawson and his wife? Oh, the troubles this man got in to.

I most certainly do remember Howie and his long suffering wife, Jane. He put that poor woman through hell with his constant lies and infidelity. Howie and Jane were very entertaining and went on for several years. Oh the good old days.

Sadly, Ray Girardin died in 2019. As far as I can find, Shelby Hiatt is still among the living.

GH has always been the comfort we need at the end of a long day. My escape into the town of Port Charles has been a constant since I was 10 years old. Now, 30 years later, I feel so grateful that it is still on the air, entertaining a loyal fan base decade after decade. Congrats to GH!

General Hospital

George Russo to Appear on General Hospital as Carmine Cerullo

Coming up, it looks like Brook Lynn’s (Amanda Setton) grandfather, Carmine Cerullo is headed to Port Charles.

According to casting news from the ABC soap opera, George Russo will take on the role. Russo will tape his episode next week on April 15th and will appear on the May 15th episode of the long-running daytime drama series.

If George looks familiar he has been in numerous primetime television shows and motion pictures including: The Offer. Winning Time, Grand Crew and Shameless.

Photo: ABC

Longtime GH viewers will recall that Lois’ (Rena Sofer) dad, Carmine, was previously showed up in Port Charles on and off from 1994 to 1996 and was played by John Capudice.

Clearly, it seems that Carmine will be a part of Chase (Josh Swickard) and Brook Lynn’s wedding.  Will it go off without a hitch? Are you looking forward to it? Stay tuned.

Who else would you like to see attend the nuptials? Gloria Cerullo (Ellen Travolta), any other blasts from the pasts who should be present? Let us know in the comment section.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Drew and Nina Get Physical; Were You Surprised or Did You Expect it to Happen?

On the Tuesday, April 9th episode of General Hospital, Drew (Cameron Mathison) and Nina’s (Cynthia Watros) explosive relationship just turned up the heat another notch.

In story, Nina who was responsible (although she doesn’t see it that way) for Drew being sent to prison for insider trading when she tipped off the SEC, let out her feelings to him about how to get back in the good graces of her daughter, Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) and Michael (Chad Duell). In doing so, she asks him for his help with it.

For months, the two have had nothing short of contentious moments, where Drew has not let Nina off the hook for what he did to him, or to his ex Carly (Laura Wright). Fast-forward and when alone in the Crimson office, Nina brings up wanting to stick it to Carly again.

Photo: ABC

As they banter back and forth, Drew can’t figure out why he should help Nina at all with any of her manipulations. Suddenly, as he tried to exit, his shirt rips and exposes his bare chest and abs, and Nina get quite an eyeful. From there, things become physical and before you know it, Drew and Nina are making out and having their version of hate-sex.

Courtesy/ABC

Cameron Mathison spoke to Soap Opera Digest on the shocking turn events, sharing, “I didn’t see it coming at all. I really didn’t. I think the audience did. Cynthia did some appearances and I guess the audience was ‘You and Drew, there’s some sexy chemistry there.’ I was like, ‘Wait, what? Really?’ I didn’t even get it. So I love it that it was very unexpected. The writers saw it, too. And, I love that it’s not a typical way for two people to be … physical. I was gonna say intimate, but there’s not a lot of intimacy there. And then as soon as it’s over, it’s back to arguing and giving each other crap again. It was really cute and really well done.”

As the fallout for their office room romp will air on the Wednesday April 10th episode, just how will the two deal with the fact that they had this fiery passionate moment in the weeks and months ahead? Will this be Nina’s new plot to get at Carly to be seen with her ex? Will Drew and Nina never speak of this again? (Well, this is a soap opera, after all, that’s pretty doubtful), or is this part of a major reset for some of the characters on the canvas now that Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte are co-head writing the show?

Courtesy/ABC

Speaking on the aftermath of the tryst, Mathison added, “The two of them are both like, all right, let’s forget about that and move on. It’s like a weird kind of aggression attraction. There’s obviously attraction there, but I don’t think either of them expected it, and I think they’re both totally shocked and surprised by it. I think Drew gets a kick out of it whereas Nina is a little embarrassed by it.”

Now let us know, did you see this coming? Did you think Drew and Nina would have sex? What do you think of the story turn? Comment below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Asher Antonyzyn Shares, “I Think That If Jason Doesn’t Get Sent Away Again, He and Danny Will Have a Really Great Connection”

It is clear that Danny Morgan (Asher Antonyzyn), as of right now, has the most character traits of his father, Jason Morgan (Steve Burton). When Jason returned to Port Charles and was hiding out at the Quartermaine boat house, viewers saw that Danny wanted to help out his dad as much as he could.

When the two shared a heart-to-heart about Danny’s passions and Jason learned he is turning out to be a sort of adrenaline junkie like himself, the father and son shared a bonding moment.

‘Asher Antonyzyn spoke to Soap Opera Digest about Danny having a lot more to do in story now that Jason is back, and how it has been working with Steve Burton and where he thinks the on-screen relationship can go.

Photo: JPI

When speaking of how Danny is drawn to adrenaline and danger like his father, Asher expressed: “I can’t keep count of all the times that people say, ‘Danny, he’s just like his dad!’ I think that if Jason doesn’t get sent away again, he and Danny will have a really great connection.”

On his screen-time with Steve Burton, Antonyzyn added,  “When Steve Burton was coming back as Jason, I was like, ‘Since Danny never really had storyline with him, maybe I’ll come back out here a lot more and be able to do that with him.’ And then it happened! So that was pretty cool.”

So, do you hope that Danny and Jason’s connection is explored further? Do you think we will watch Asher grow up and become Jason Morgan 2.0? Comment below.

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