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General Hospital Featured On HLN's Showbiz Tonight on How It's Getting a Facelift! – Watch the Sneak Peek!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

General Hospital will be featured tonight on a special segment of HLN’s, Showbiz Tonight airing at 11PMEST/PST.  After nearly five decades on daytime TV, GH  is making some changes to stay relevant and Showbiz Tonight goes behind the scenes of the lone ABC soap to learn the secret to its longevity.

The series executive producer, Frank Valentini, opens up about drawing in modern viewers, while cast-members thank the show’s loyal fan base and talk about the demands of working in daytime including: Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis), Finola Hughes (Anna) and Kristen Alderson (Starr)

You can watch a sneak peek of the entire segment from HLN.com after the jump, and then let us know if what Valentini, Hughes, Grahn and Alderson are saying is translating to the screen for you.  Is GH feeling more modern?  Do you like the changes that have been made?  Let us know!

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Sean
Sean

YES!!!!!! I LOVE GH! ITS THE BEST SHOW EVER…

Sally
Sally

GH is better than it’s been in quite a long time. I am a fan of 34 yrs. The good stories are back and the characters seem more excited. And exciting. I think all the actors have stepped up their game to save our soap, I am very pleased. I’m glad Frank V is here also.

Sean
Sean

I AGREE!!! Thanks Sally..for being a SMART GH Fan!

James
James

As a fan of General Hospital for the past 23 years I don’t think anything revolutionary is taking place. GH had a distinct personality of it’s own and it’s transforming into OLTL. This is NOT a bash of OLTL at all and I give Frank Valentini credit for coming in with a passion to make things work. Personally I always felt OLTL was more campy, cliche, and over the top soapy. I’m seeing that a bit in GH now and that’s not the GH I’ve known for almost the entire 23 years I’ve been watching. My point is shows have personalities. GH and OLTL were like night and day. I feel like GH is under hypnosis and just acting differently! I’m still entertained. I just prefer Riche/Labine and Guza on his good days to this regime. Never a fan of JFP, she was always as good as her head writer and not hands on enough creatively.

Misty
Misty

Agreed!!!

Misty
Misty

Thank you for stating exactly what I was thinking. I had been a GH fan most of my entire 49 years until Guza turned it dark and the new regime made it OLTL. So sad. Relevant? Let’s keep it simple and just make it good again!

Kyla
Kyla

I agree 100% I also have been watching about 20 yrs, I miss how it was my teenage daughter and her friends dont watch anymore and that is the age they want to hook , i feel like its oltl now , and i feel oltl got cancelled for a reason it shows through now, i liked GH for so many years because it wasnt soapy and it was fast paced, now it is slow and very soapy plus i hate the character assasinations , Johnny , Jason to name a few i actually call the comment line often you should too, one thing about the ne Producer is he cares what the fans wants, he means well

brenda
brenda

Totally agree. GH isn’t the same show. I don’t think the new writers are doing anything that great and the ratings aren’t up much either.

sharon
sharon

Modern? No, it’s just plain terrible. If anything, I wish GH would be more like it was in the 1980s and early 1990s. It had heart. It had balance. It was about love and romance. Family and friendships. You can do a modern twist on these themes. If you have a talented writer and commitment from ABC that is…GH has neither.

What do I see instead? I see a poor man’s Sopranos — still – in spite of the bad ratings. And, I see a show with a confused identity (too many OLTL characters on the show…and this is spoken by a OLTL fan…and the wrong ones…the only one worth watching is John McBain and his character is being dragged through the mud! He needs Natalie and Liam with him!).

Soaps used to be character-driven drama. Now it’s plot for plot sake and the characters are secondary or tertiary. I miss the days when I would run home to watch my shows and get lost in the drama for hours. I don’t see that on my TV screen any more and it makes me so sad.

GH does not have an issue of being dated. It has an issue of lack of creativity. Lack of heart. Lack of quality character-driven storytelling and so much more. Not being modern is the least of its problems.

James
James

Couldn’t have said it better! It had heart, exactly.

Lisa28
Lisa28

Sharon, you are absolutely right on al counts and if we speak for more fans, which i know to be the case, then why are we not heard? I just don’t get it.

Hope
Hope

Yes….well said.

kay/kay
kay/kay

All I know is that was the quickest pregnancy for a woman Sam I have seen in a long time no way was she ready to have the baby is that why we brought Tea over. I could have done without that storyline! RC& FV swear this DID storyline was in the works but it seems like the same pattern as Jessica/Nikki. And Patrick should not be backburnered just because Robin died get him involved with Liz then when Robin does come back you have him in love with two women. The character of Ewen is nice looking not feeling the spark with Liz. I liked OLTL too but how do you move those characters to PC without telling their backstory and a lot of GH fans are not familar at all with OLTL if they did not watch. A double edge sword I guess!

MK
MK

it has turned into OLTL and GH combined, which I have no problem with. But it still needs is Heart that is Bringing back as many Q’s starting with Alan. Bobbie is needed. Audrey needs to be there to celebrate 50 yrs to remind people of the legacy of Steve Hardy. Robert and Laura need to leave Y and R and come back with Scotty. Bring Back Lesley and put her in a story with Monica competing for Rick or Jeff. Add Heather too. Pair Edward with Audrey or Helena. Hire more Doctors than mobsters.

Bring back Lucas and give him a love story.

susan M.
susan M.

I AGREE WITH YOU 100%…………We do need a love story or two…………..What about Jeff Weber??????????Audrey’s sister Luiclle………If she is still around.. Like the changes they have made on GH..The oltl writers are WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep up the good work..Again, would like to see more romance stories on Gh & suspense…

eve henley
eve henley

what is really going on,Ijust dont understand why would u alou two crazy poeple to mess the show up todd and heather what! please. I dont like lulu chacrecter nor johnnyslet alone curly shes pthic.why did you put starr on the show,I didnt like her acting onoltl,it just a mess

curacaoman
curacaoman

Sharon, you are nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for this comment. Very well put!

janet
janet

Exactly. I know I shut the sopranhos light off for years, Jon jacksons lucky brought mme back.They ruined his character again. Now I stayed to see Fionala and Roberts return,they ruined Robert. I am staying to see if it has changed. I do not like the mob stories.
I don’t mind the OLTL actors McBain has given us something to watcxh.
Ift the show goes back to all things Sonny,jason and Carley I am gone. These three have eatyen the show.
I love to watch Love IN the Afternoon.

David
David

It is not plain terrible. It has gotten better. I don’t think the writers can just throw out “the Soprano” aspect; I do like the modifications of the Sonny, Jason, etc’s characters — their actions now have direct consequences, and more characters have a storyline. The acting has gotten better. I enjoy the Sam and MCBane pairing and hopefully, lligtening will strike again as with Luke and Laura. Who did not love Luke and Laura.

But if I recall back in the day, GH was about to get cancelled until JFP started writng. Let’s watch and hope for the best. I was actually surprised with the baby switch storyline. I don’t run home anymore after school but it’s getting better.

Ray
Ray

Anthony Geary, Finola Hughes, Jane Elliott, these are talented actors who I’m in awe of and for me it’s just a joy to watch them excel at their craft. They all amaze me every day. GH has been incredible since Valentini took over!

pink
pink

GH has gotten worse and is worse now then it has ever been.I HATED OLTL and do not want to see those dumb characters on GH.They need to go back to the way it was BEFORE the OLTL crew came in and brought down the quality of the show.It use to stand out in daytime because of the acting and the MOB S/L. Now they have all these BAD actors from OLTL and s/l they copied from OLTL and it is now just another cheesey stupid soap.

ricardo
ricardo

general hospital needs to fire some actors. get rid of sonny ewen and jason. they need to clean house before general hospital is cancelled. bring back alan emily aj and vanessa marcil. people do come back from the dead. i am so sick of the sonny show. maurice benard is a good actor, but the mob story has ruined general hospital to shreds. we need more love and romance in the afternoon. get rid of the stupid mob story. if i want to see gangsters kill each other. i will watch the sapranos or the godfather. the producers of general hospital are not listening to us fans. bring back jackie zeman as bobbie spencer. she is a wonderful actress. starr manning needs to go as well. she is very annoying. i loved her on one life to live. but she does not belong on general hospital. i would rather have bobbie spencer. i want general hospital to stay on the air. but the producers need to make more changes . if they don’t. gerneral hospital will be cancelled.

David Larsson
David Larsson

It feels like a modern day “The Sopranos”, if that’s what they mean. GH and American soaps in general, aren’t modern. They use the same old ridiculous plots all the time. The writers write what they like, not what the audience wants to see. They hardly connect with the audience any more. It’s all just one big mess at the moment.

Also, why did they pick Kristen Alderson for this segment? Was Leslie Charleson, Jane Elliot, John Ingle, etc. not available?

SZima
SZima

I agree with the Kristen Alderson statement…WTF?? She’s just joined the show; what can she possibly say to shed any light on anything?

Starr is just an annoying character that has no business on this show…at all! Of course now it looks like she’s going to be a featured player in the Haunted Star(r) story line. KILL ME NOW!

susan M.
susan M.

Sorry, I li.ke Starr ..I just don’t find her annoying character not in the least..I am happy to see her on GH…….Give the girl a chance……….I find Kristina annoying & a brat …………………………………

Rodd
Rodd

I heard terrible things about GH before Frank and Ron took over. That’s when I started watching and I’m enjoying it. So glad.

ricardo
ricardo

i forgot to mention big rumour franco is alive. he will be back on general hospital very soon. my prediction liz’s son jake is alive. franco has jake.

barbara t
barbara t

PLEASE, tell me, you are kidding? The last person I want to see in Port Charles is that Franco guy. No more Franco, I am so glad that Jason killed him as far As I am concerned he helped to kill general hospital not save it. Lets hope it is a rumor.

Christine
Christine

Yuck. That would mean that Franco has Robin, Hope, and other “supposedly dead” people too. I am with barbara t, I like James Franco, but please, no more of his Franco character. Let him stay dead. If he wants to do flashbacks, fine.

susan M.
susan M.

I agree……Didn’t like Franco at all….Stay away Franco!!!!!!!

Dan
Dan

Wow, so much negativity on here. It’s almost like some of you are watching another show.

This is the way I feel. GH was pretty terrible not too long ago, and I had lost interest to the point that I was close to not watching anymore after 17 years. Jill Farren Phelps, Bob Guza, and later Garin Wolf, pretty much ruined the show, in my opinion.

But I love it since Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati took over. I don’t think they’ve turned it into OLTL at all. I think the OLTL characters that they’ve brought in have fit in very nicely with the GH characters. They’ve made some formerly boring GH characters exciting again. They brought back fan favorites like Finola Hughes, Robin Mattson, and Kristina Wagner.

Is everything they’ve been doing working perfectly? No. I can’t stand the new Kristina, and the reality TV show storyline. But I just know I look forward to watching the show every day again, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say that. It used to be a chore to watch, but now it’s fun again.

barbara t
barbara t

Dan , you are so right, I pretty much said the same thing, Please Read my post below, I enjoyed reading yours it’s nice to see I have friends here that agree with my love for one life to live and how their characters are not taking over general hospital they are blending in with our favorites from Port charles, stories can only get better. I love general hospital again. I have a few things I am not happy with, Jasons behavior to Poor Sam and newkristina when she is on I feel like someone is taking their nails and moving them across a blackboard, If we were happy with ever story things would get boring and I wouldn’t be able to come here and complain. I say thank you Ron and FRank, thank you for making general hospital watchable again for me I don’t take any afternoon naps any more while gh is on, that says a lot. This fan is Loving general hospital and I am happy.

Elhu
Elhu

Dan, I too enjoy the work of Frank and Ron since they took the helm at GH, and I also think the OLTL crossovers are blending in quite well, not too overstated, and it definitely works for me, and I also enjoy the return of Finola Hughes, Kristina Wagner and while Robin Mattson’s Healther makes me furious, that is simply proof of the pudding, that she is playing her part to a tee. I also am not a fan at all of the new Kristina “reality show” storyline, it is my guess that this might be one of the plots to draw in the “modern viewers” (possibly meaning the younger viewers), but imo, that is not working at all. I am not too thrilled with the new Kristina, but it is never easy to jump into a pre-existing, beloved character, especially with a “not so terrific” storyline, so I am certainly willing to give her a chance, and I think she will also work in the long run. I was also happy to see your positive post, as well as the other uplifting thoughts of others, as some of the negative comments seemed to have more than meets the eye to them, so you have to take them with a grain of salt. I have been a devout ABC Soap Fan (AMC, OLTL and GH) for over 35 years, and was sad (and am still sad) to see both AMC and OLTL go, but I am very happy to see GH making huge strides in the right direction – thanks Frank and Ron. I do hope that we see a quick end to the Sam/Tea Baby switch, and that JaSam can finally have a happy ending with THEIR son. I also want the reality show storyline to go away. Do not get me wrong, I watch several reality shows on TV, but this one infused into GH is not happening for me, that is only my opinion though. Much good luck to GH for a long and happy future on ABC and happy viewing Dan and everyone!!!!

Kyla
Kyla

Thats you, Dan I think you are obviously in the minority , go on message boards, twitter , fb everyone is angry it seems , i think GH brought in a different kind of Fan base then the other soaps that are gone for instance i knew alot of men and teens who watched it, they dont now though

Michael
Michael

Here’s what I’d like to know: When is Y&R gonna get a facelift huh?! Start with firing its gawd-awful Executive Producer/Head Writer Maria “Hackarena” Bell, and her two co-chokers, Scott Hamner and Hogan “Tub of Lard” Sheffer! Pare that cast down considerably, give the sets a new makeover and start paying its veterans what they’re really worth instead of bringing in some D-List actors who we don’t care about and start airing the brand new opening sequence already! It’s been long enough!

ethel
ethel

i am laughing hysterically while reading your post but you know what – it is so on point!

Christine
Christine

Other than the fact that it probably belongs in a Y&R thread, :-), we probably will not see any real changes to Y&R until (sadly) it is in hot water like GH has been. It will depend on whether Sony and CBS want to continue. If CBS doesn’t and Sony does, then you might see some real changes because you better believe Sony will do whatever they can to keep their show.

I never thought in a million years that Sony would have pulled off the deal they got for DAMAGES with Directv, but they did.

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

I’m really enjoying GH now and am glad to see them get some mainstream media attention.

D
D

People can say what they want but if Valenti would not have taken over GH would have been cancelled. So although the OLTL stuff may be weird it was ultimately the fans from OLTL and GH that came over to give it the numbers and viewers to stay on the air.

Kyla
Kyla

why was oltl cancelled then if he is so great?

barbara t
barbara t

Because abc want’s OUT of the soap business. And I agree with d about valenti, Yes he is that great. If it wasn’t for the one life to live fans boycotting that awful show that replaced our soap general hospital would be gone, when katie takes over the general hospital spot in september, it still may be gone.

susan M.
susan M.

Be positive GH will STAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

curacaoman
curacaoman

Never knew rethreading (lousy) old stories was a way to draw in new viewers. Another deluded IIC

curacaoman
curacaoman

I’ll give Valentini this: the show’s production values are awesome. Now he just needs a creative writer. Maybe he could hire one of Univision’s or TeleMundo’s?

Robbyrob
Robbyrob

Wow..how quickly the fans turn! Just having Guza & JFP out on their tush still makes me giddy with excitement. Sure, the new GH isn’t perfect but it’s still on the air and we should be grateful. If GH gets canceled, I so don’t want to hear the mega whining from the same fans that are whining now in this column. Some of you are very nasty . Let’s face it, the glory days of GH…and all soaps in general are kaput. I blame execs like Frons hiring inept creative people to purposely kiill their shows. If you think GH is horrible now, then please do us all a favor and tune out. Use that negativity on something else…I can’tt or won’t be beaten down by your hate any longer. Even if GH was perfect, it wouldn’t guarantee a long life either. Frank & Ron have done a great job in bringing back former faves and giving momentum to the storytelling. They were left with dust and had to make it work…quickly. I’m just happy it’s still on the air.

barbara t
barbara t

Robbyrob, I agree.

Christine
Christine

Robbyrob, you make some excellent points, but they are probably falling on deaf ears … for some.

Unfortunately, I learned when I was 16 and started my first after school job that those who have been around with old regimes (read: the older people I worked with at the time) with always yearn for their so-called glory days. It doesn’t matter what you give them in the present, they will always like their former management, etc. I am actually starting to think that the majority of people actually feel better if they can sit around and complain.

Then you have those just tuning in who LOVE what is on their screens as is. One’s man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

While I may not be exactly “enamored” with “everything” that is playing out on GH these days, there is a helluva lot that I am enamored with. I left a few years ago because they mismanaged Sarah Brown’s return as Claudia. Then I tried again with Vanessa Marcil, but that was wasted. I didn’t stick around past her reunion with Sonny because it was just too boring to me. I think James Franco, a talented movie and television actor, was positioned to prominently and for too long on GH. It grew tiresome. I liked Megan Ward as Kate, but I have to admit that giving Kelly Sullivan a real MEATY story like DID (however campy it may be) has actually given her something to do and makes her someone I look forward to watching.

And then there are the returns of Finola Hughes, Kristina Wagner, and last, but certainly NOT least, Robin Mattson as Heather. They messed up Tristan Rogers return, but I am not too broken hearted because his chemistry with Jess Walton on Y&R is off the charts and, I believe he will be back to GH at some point and they will fix it.

I do believe that they are phasing out of the mob focus, if ever so slowly. I mean unless you do a DALLAS with Bobby in the shower or have some tornado blow in and sweep up all the mobsters, it isn’t going to happen over night. Mobsters or not, I still think the players involved deserve a spot on the screen.

Now they just need to bring Robin back and have her reunite with her husband and daughter. I think that would make a lot of people happy.

Lisa
Lisa

The show is getting fun to watch again, with classic soap opera story lines and plots. Using the much loved characters from the 80’s and from other shows and mixing them with the current characters is going to open up a huge audience of loyal viewers, both old and new. Clearly the new people in charge understand this.

barbara t
barbara t

I have watched general hospital for 49 years hopefully we will make it to the 50th anniversary. The abc soaps were always my favorite ryans hope, loving, port charles, all my children, one life to live, general hospital. Loosing all of these wonderful shows was for me devastating but the biggest loss for me and still is was one life to live the day that soap went off the air it broke my heart so having just a few of my characters on general hospital makes my day I like to know that landview is still there, and I can see Star, John, todd, Tea, and soon Blair go on to live in Port Charles. So this One life to live, general hospital fan is grateful there is room for these wonderful characters I grew to love on another soap, They are blending in beautifully with the characters I love in Port charles. I see no problems. General hospital is watchable again I can’t wait to tune in every day. Ron and Frank are doing everything they can to keep our soap running I wish I could visit both soaps but I can’t because abc doesn’t want them anymore, I just wish everyone who never watched one life to live to give us fans who did a little time to visit with our precious stars from landview they aren’t taking over, general hospital is general hospital not one life to live they are newbes with the same names they had from another soap so what, newbes come to soaps all the time. I think we should come to this understanding I don’t trust abc and we still could loose our last remaining soap, Lets watch it and be grateful we still have it for now and do everything we can to keep it.

brian
brian

Hi Barbara T. it’s your friend from Canada. I could not agree with you more. GH is very watchable.. and I love the blend of the OLTL cast into it. I wish that Vicki would make an appearence since GH is doing the DID story.. what better way to introduce her to GH. Viki did meet Luke in the “what if ” series so… let’s hope she shows up soon.

barbara t
barbara t

Hi Brian, I would also like to see Vicki move to port charles, Roxy to, I can name several more but that is when I get the I hate one life to live fans saying we are asking for more and more. But Vicki is a must I love her and I hope that she wins the emmy, I think it would be a good Idea to bring her on because of Kate/connies did .remember she wrote a book so our Victoria can come to the Port charles book store and sign autographs. Roxy can be her assistant then she can go to spencers dinner to run the place, There hasn’t been anyone running that place in a while they go there but who is cooking the chile and chowder and brewing the coffee? No one. She may be a good hairdresser but I can see her now asking for a side order of cheezy fries.

susan M.
susan M.

I agree with Viki & Roxy coming to Port Charles & a few others TOO..

susan M.
susan M.

I agree with barbara t……..Bring Viki & Roxy & some others..

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

well said, Barbara t

Tanya
Tanya

I LOVE GH! Let’s support it so it stays on another 50 years.

susan M.
susan M.

I AGREE WITH YOU TOTALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ChrisCat
ChrisCat

So glad to see an ABC soap get some Media love! Love what has been happening with the characters and stories on GH. While no show is perfect I think GH is the best soap on tv today. Though I will forever miss AMC and OLTL GH is helping fill the void. I enjoy the writing of RC he adds just the right amount of humor. Hey just in case MBMom reads this….hi. I saw where you are going to Loving Landview! So jealous! I will check back to see how it went. If you see Roxy tell her hey from a fan! LOL I will skim through the post on the other site just to read your posts and a couple others. But so tired of listening to someone tear down a show they don’t even watch based on spoilers and other peoples posts…..Take care!

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

hi, I noticed that the Michael Easton won’t be at Loving Llanview now. Instead Tuc Watkins will be there. I love Tuc Watkins, but I wonder if that means something storywise? I’m still excited!

Debi
Debi

Confused. Why is hln promoting GH other than for the viewership on hln the night of the Emmys…still something seems off. jmo

barbara t
barbara t

I watch hln in the evening for the nancy grace show and Issues, With jane v michell. SInce it came out that they would be televising the emmys hln has been putting a lot of ads on all there shows, they are advertizing all over the place even on tnt last night during dallas, that surprised me.

Debi
Debi

Also action speaks louder than words. Lets see the change/transformation.
I haven’t seen it yet. GH is better, it has a long way to go still……..

aria
aria

I believe FV and RC are a better fit for GH then the previous regime, however, they need to upgrade their material, stop recycling oltl material and stop being over the top and campy, it doens’t work over long haul, just look at passion and oltl. I do love the crossover and all the fave that have return, that they’ve done right, still, as far as storyline go, everything still feels the same, which the show could do more hospital stuff, like grey’s anatomy, and less crazy characters, Heather, and Kate can be to much sometimes.

Christy
Christy

great video! Thanks Michael! I’ve noticed the quickened pace, cramming a lot more show (and commercials) into the same time slot. Have noticed the sets have been getting updated as well — yesterday when Michael and Star were on the docks, I noticed new paint and trim behind them, as well as the layered sounds of the dock – birds and boat motor type of sounds. Nice touch. Of course the hospital has been loooking better for a while now, but it seems we keep getting more touches that make it and the police station ‘more real’. Awards and certificates on the wall, office supplies on the desks, people walking thru the background — even that vending machine in the hospital. I wonder if any of these touches are actual working pieces. Heck if you have a vending machine for the cast & crew, might as well use it as a prop for the show!

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

HLN is giving massive coverage to the upcoming daytime emmys on tv, online and social media. They seem genuinely excited about airing the show. Wish they had been airing it for the last few years. Props to HLN!

Michael
Michael

The biggest change with GH is that it is not all mob all the time. Sonny and Jason (and Matt) and others actions have consequences, including Johnny who, one would hope, would be torn apart by his actions (which doesn’t mean his character can’t survive–just that he remains a human being by having the capacity for guilt which sonny lost a long time ago).
Some of this is working–finola hughes, tracy, even alice–long, long term fans should be happy
Heather is over the top–but a true sociopath is certainly a soap tradition (and its less over the top than barrages of bullets)
They need to stop killing children–don’t get why anyone sees this as entertaining
but its on an upswing and I hope it gets to steak around–to be truthful, I tuned in to check out the OLTL characters–but stayed to see Luke redeemed and funny again, finola, and have been blown away by how good sam and johnny have been with their new stories

General Hospital

Ingo Rademacher Returns As GH’s Jax Beginning In May

Things will get more interesting in the lives of Josslyn (Eden McCoy), Carly (Laura Wright), Sonny (Maurice Benard) and many others on the GH canvas with the arrival back in Port Charles of Jasper Jacks.  That’s because as previously announced, Ingo Rademacher is headed back to the ABC daytime drama series to reprise his signature role.

Circle May 7th for when you will see Jax back in action.  According to EW.com. “He’s back to see his daughter Josslyn and ex-wife Carly”   Jax will also share scenes with Steve Burton (Jason) and of course Maurice Benard (Sonny).

Looks like Jax may be back to help out Josslyn in her time of need as her boyfriend Oscar’s (Garren Stitt) final days seem to be drawing near, or does something else also bring his attention back to Port Charles?

It’s been a bit since Ingo played Jax on GH having last appeared on the soap in April of 2017.  Ingo eventually landed the role as the recast Thorne Forrester on CBS’s The Bold and the Beautiful, a part he played till December of 2018.

Back in March, the actor originally from down under shared on his Instagram account: “Won’t be long now.  Just had my fitting. All new look for Jax. Start shooting next week. No air date yet. Stay tuned. Can’t wait!”

So, excited for some Jax on GH? What do you think will bring him back? What do you think will keep him in town? Comment below.

 

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General Hospital

GH’s Coby Ryan McLaughlin Talks: Shiloh’s ‘Dawn Of Day’ Followers, Playing A Cult Leader, And His Co-Stars

Ever since the arrival in Port Charles of the mysterious “David Henry Archer” (Hank) now better known now as “Shiloh” (Coby Ryan McLaughlin), the minds of several members of the community have been revealed to, or have fallen under his spell.

For Shiloh is the cult leader of the group “Dawn of Day”.  He wields his manipulative skills to entrap unsuspecting people in his quest for power and control.   And make no mistake about it … he certainly has a target for Sam (Kelly Monaco), and an ax to grind with her.   For in her past, “the con-artist” Sam apparently swindled Shiloh’s father leaving him with next to nothing.  In addition to that, it has been noted, that Shiloh shared combat time in Afghanistan with Drew Cain (Billy Miller), before changing his name and coming to the town, where says he owes Drew for saving his life.

In story, one of his most loyal followers, Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) was to be initiated in the inner-circle of the cult, and after drinking from the cup as part of the ritual which drugged her, she was saved by Jason (Steve Burton ) who got her out of the “Dawn of Day” house and to a secret location, leaving Shiloh infuriated and needing to cover his tracks.  As the story has played out, we learn that Brad (Parry Shen) has also been bitten by the “Dawn of Day” bug and believes in Shiloh’s musing.  So much so that he wiped the evidence from the cup Krisina drank out of that Jason provided to Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) for testing in the hospital.  The GH audience has also learned that Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) was one of Shiloh’s favorite former members of the cult.  She has revealed she had a child with the guy (the baby she thinks is being raised by Brad) and needs to make sure he never finds out.  But, does Shiloh secretly know?

When we last saw Shiloh on Thursday’s episode of GH, he went into the files of the “Dawn of Day” followers and found Kristina’s.  He opened it, and we finally learn her “pledge” – a deep rooted secret from her past that one must share as part of the journey with the cult.  It revealed, that Shiloh knows that Kristina was abused by her former boyfriend Kiefer and that her mother, Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) ran him down and killed him with her car.  Kristina knows about it first-hand, because she saw it happen as she was in the car with Alexis.  What will Shiloh eventually do with this Intel?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Coby Ryan McLaughlin, who has been the catalyst for much of the latest trouble brewing on-screen on GH about: the complexities of playing such a dynamic, and yet terrifying character, what has it been like mixing it up with the stellar cast of the ABC daytime drama series, and what he thinks Shiloh’s next move might be.  Here’s what Coby had to say about all and more!

What do you think about the reaction of the GH audience to Shiloh?  Is it what you expected?

COBY:  I’ve never really played a bad guy like this.  It’s interesting playing a villain because they love to hate you.  I’ll go on Instagram every now and then and throw elbows at the fans.  It’s really a trip.  The thing I like about this guy is that he’s not completely diabolical.  There are other things going on with this guy; he has other agendas as well.  It’s interesting seeing people react to what it is that I am doing while I have a storyline that is playing out.

Courtesy/ABC

It’s is a bit of a trip as you say; because you have to, in many ways, be subtle in the manipulation as a cult leader would do.  Did you do any research on cult leaders before stepping into Shiloh’s shoes?

COBY:  I didn’t do much when I initially got the part, because I actually know some people like this.  I think as actors, one of the most interesting parts of our jobs is that we just get to sit back and observe things about people’s behaviors.  There are certain people who I have come across where my “Spidey senses” start tingling, and you think, “Well, I’m not going to get involved with this person, but what a fascinating individual.  This behavior is so fascinating.”  However, once I started this gig, yes, I did do research.   I’ll tell you, the one thing that a lot of these guys have in common is that they are extraordinarily exuberant.  They have just this energy about them, and they are seemingly humble.  They have these grandiose visions and these delusions of grandeur, but they do it in a way where you’re like, “Huh.  That almost seems kind of normal.”  In order to get a large number of people to follow you, you’ve got to be charismatic, you’ve got to be saying something that people really tap into and want to hear.  The behavior and psychology behind it are really interesting.  I watched this one documentary and these people literally had no idea … until they did.  They literally had no idea that they were in a cult until they woke up, and they were like, “Holy s**t.  This isn’t right.  This doesn’t feel right.”   Shiloh is an interesting role to play, and it’s written so straight down the line that I really don’t have to push anything, because the guy is written as what he is.   It’s really cool to be able to find all of the little things in that character, so I try to make him a whole bunch of different things to different people.

Did you know from the beginning that Shiloh would turn out to be this cult leader in the “Dawn of Day” storyline?  Who did you screen-test with that landed you the part?

COBY:  No, I didn’t know what he was going to be in the beginning.  I knew that he had an agenda, and when Mark Teschner (casting director, GH) told me that he was going to be a cult leader, I was like, “Oh, okay.  I know what I want to do.”   I have always had the opinion that cult leaders don’t come off bad… they’ve got to be likable.  You have to be able to relate to them in a way.  You have to be able to look at them and be like, “Ah well, maybe in certain circumstances what this guy is doing is okay.”  You have to be able to almost justify some of the behavior until you can’t anymore.  I screen tested with Laura Wright (Carly), and she is really fantastic.  We sit in the makeup chair and shoot the breeze all the time.

Courtesy/ABC

So, is Shiloh infatuated with Sam?   What does he ultimately want from her?

COBY:  Yes, but he wants a lot. (Laughs) There’s a lot of backstory to him and what really brought him to Port Charles.  Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and I have conversations all of the time about what this guy really is, and what his ultimate goals are, and that may change.  I think that Shiloh is a guy who has come to find his power, and the more powerful he gets, the more he wants.   You know, I’ve become a fan of General Hospital now.  I never watched the show before I got this gig.  I was a Days of our Lives guy years ago.  Don’t tell anybody. (Laughs).

Okay… we will not tell. (Laughs) Ah, sorry!  That’s got to be in the interview! (Laughs)

COBY:  All of  sudden, I will get a message from HR saying, “You’ve been great, but…” (Laughs)   But as to what Shiloh wants with Sam, you know I will read the scripts in advance, and I’ll start creating certain these things for myself in my own mind, such as: “What if he wanted to screw over Sam because of what she did to his father?”  What if it started like that, but all of the sudden he’s coming into some prominence and he wants to go after Sonny’s empire, and what if he wants to run the whole town and screw everybody…?”  I go through this whole thing.  It could literally go anywhere at any time, which is so cool about the soap world.

Without revealing what it is, do you have an idea of what the endgame is for Shiloh, or do you not?

COBY:  No, I don’t.  I think that it changes.  This is a really malleable medium, I’m coming to discover.  I think that nothing is set in stone.  I ultimately know what I want… just because I ultimately think that the foundation of the whole thing is rooted deep within this individual’s character: his emotional makeup, and how he was treated.  There is a lot of revenge going on with this guy, but there is a lot more than that.  He’s not just motivated by revenge.

Courtesy/ABC

Something had to have happened to him, of course, because you know how it works in soap operas!?  If you’re completely evil or bad, and even if you do horrendous things, and they want to keep you on the show, they have to find a way to humanize the character.  Otherwise, you’re there to cause trouble for a time, and you’re killed-off.  Shiloh’s tentacles seem more far-reaching then viewers first suspected.  He has this thing for Willow, who used to be in the cult, and now he’s got Brad under this thumb. What did you think about how much Shiloh is intertwined with and affecting the Port Charles canvas right now?

COBY:  I think that he is an apex predator.  I think that he sees certain people, and he knows how to utilize them for what he wants.  It’s kind of like a chess game.  He knows where Brad is.  He’s always wanted Willow, because it’s the one that got away, so there are certain things he uses as a means to an end, and there are certain things that I think he wants just for himself.  I think the relationships that he creates with this “higher-ups” in the town are because he knows he can utilize them, and there are some personal relationships that he keeps personal.  Shiloh has his own reasons for doing what he does, especially with Willow.  I think he was grooming her to be something.  Just the fact that she left him … really bothers him.

Photo: ABC

He doesn’t know that Willow had his child, or does he … hmmm? 

COBY:  No, not as far as we know.

If he was to know, what do you think he would do?

COBY:  Well …  you’re just going to have to watch and find out.

So, when you found out that there was this major initiation going on which included: the drugging of Kristina, the huge payment she made to be in Shiloh’s inner-circle, and how he was preying on her vulnerability, were you like, “Oh my, God! They’re really going all the way with this cult thing?”

COBY:  No.  We kind of alluded to it, and it has to go all the way.   I wasn’t surprised when I read that in the script.  This is this guy’s MO.  He gets what he wants.

Courtesy/ABC

Shiloh’s s really upset that Kristina is missing and has figured that Jason kidnapped her.  He wants her back in the fold, correct?

COBY:  He does want her back, but he wants her back for a variety of reasons … and not just the fact that she reminds him of Willow.  That’s part of it, but I personally believe that he wants her back, because as I mentioned earlier it’s all about chess pieces for him.  He sets up the prominent people in his organization, so he can set them up to expand his means and to expand his agenda … to motivate his agenda, because there is a bigger picture to all of this.  Kristina is a Corinthos and she is part of the most powerful family in Port Charles, so there is that as well.  He wants to be able to have that power hold over that towns that he is in.

Many in the audience are wondering if Shiloh having sex with Kristina was a key part of his plan.  Is that part of his ritual?  Having sex with women upon initiation into his “inner circle”… or is that a grey area?

COBY:  Here is the thing, everything is consensual with him … that’s where his charm comes into play, that’s where sense of power comes into play.  So, with these women, nothing is forced.  There is not coercion …  at all!   So, yes, its alluded that he sleeps with them, but we don’t necessarily know if that is true for all of them … or…. if it is just for the ones that he takes a liking to.   The other thing we know; is that this guy is also a megalomaniac, so it’s also an exertion of power as well.  What I tried to do with it was not make it so completely overt.   He is a bit of a jerk, but I don’t want it to overstep that boundary of being tasteless.  I think you can go too far with it, so that is one of the reasons that we alluded to the fact that it was always consensual, and people what to be with him for one reason, or another.

Courtesy/ABC

That’s why there was an important conversation written into the script with Jason, Sam, and Michael (Chad Duell) about how there is no way to nail Shiloh for a crime because he is so cagey with every move he makes.

COBY:  Yeah, you could say cagey, I say smart.

Now, Jason is his target.  Would you say there are even more underlying reasons that the obvious of why he dislikes Jason so much? Does he really have an axe to grind with him?

COBY:  I think he likes messing with people, and I think if he is unable to exert his power, or his will, or his control, over somebody, it really annoys him.  The stuff with Steve Burton is rather fun!  Shiloh can’t manipulate Jason like he can manipulate these girls, or the way he manipulates Brad, because Jason just operates on a whole different level.  I think that Shiloh finds it fascinating that he can’t get to him.   Shiloh also wants to get him out of the way, because he can’t out-muscle him.  Even if I could, the writers wouldn’t allow it. (Laughs) So, that’s never going to happen.  As Shiloh, I have to out-think him, because I want him out of the picture.   Shiloh sees Jason as an obstacle and he wants him out of the way, and he will do it by any means necessary, via him or with his kids… anyway that he can, because he can’t get at him on his level, because the playing field isn’t equal.

Courtesy/ABC

What about Shiloh’s relationship with Drew (Billy Miller)?  What does he truly feel about him? 

COBY:  I have this conversation with Frank Valentini all the time.  I think the relationship I have with Drew might be the only true relationship I have with anybody.  I think that Drew really did what Shiloh said that he did.  I think Drew really saved his life, and he does really want to pay that debt back.  I think therein really lies the contradiction with this guy.  It makes it difficult for him to operate.  I think he is conflicted on some levels because he is one guy to Drew, and he is a different guy to everybody else.  I think the way Shiloh is with Drew is real.  In his past, I think that Shiloh was completely fatalistic and reckless and didn’t care if he lived or died, and Drew did save his life, and he gave him a purpose.  However, I also think that he is such a damaged individual.  He needs that feeling of safety by exuding his power and control over others.  The writers have alluded to the fact that he has this other life, and that he was a broken individual, and turned his life around and came back from the brink of dying, of killing myself, of not caring.  So, with Drew, I don’t want to manipulate him.  I don’t want to use him.  I am truly just grateful for the fact that he allowed me another chance at life.  I love working with Billy, because that’s when I get to be human.  I’m not trying to gaslight him.  I’m not trying to get something from him – well, I’ll take that back, because I am trying to get something from him.  I’m just not trying to do it in a way that I go about it with the other characters.  There is a huge amount of respect between the two of us.

Unfortunately, Drew doesn’t remember anything about their past, which puts “pause” in believing Shiloh’s war stories.

COBY:  Yet.  (Laughs). Well, we’ve been alluding to the fact of, “What if he did this? What if he went back into his memories?  What if he were able to remember?  There are a lot of “What if’s …”  So, they keep a lot of balls in the air with this relationship.

Photo: ABC

What has it been like working with Lexi Ainsworth in this story, because she has been the main character so far drawn into the cult? 

COBY:  She’s great.  I love Lexi.  She is so easy, fun, and safe, and just a really nice person.  We sit and chat all of the time and talk about what it is that we want from each other in the scene and how it’s going to work.   Everyone is great.   Kaetlyn MacMullan is so much fun as well as Willow.  As an actor, it’s really fun when you get people who really want to play and want to go.

And, what are your thoughts on working with GH favorite, Kelly Monaco, who is key in your storyline?

COBY:  Kelly is rad.  We talk about being able to “play jazz” all of the time, which means being able to go into a scene and just riff and have a good time, because there is so much dialog that you have to learn.  I mean, that dialogue is nuts, and sometimes you forget halfway through a page-long monologue when you are at 27 pages in.  That’s when it’s wonderful to have a really good dance partner who can pick you up.  There are times where I get so off script, and I’m like, “Holy s**t!  Where am I going with this?” (Laughs) I have got really good people like Lexi, Katelyn, or Kelly who have my back and that just makes it fun.

Courtesy/ABC

Some actors like to watch back their work, while others don’t.  Do you check out your performances on GH?

COBY:  Yeah.  Somebody on Instagram, this wonderful fan, will take all of the Shiloh’s scenes and post them!  Shockingly, I don’t own a television, so I don’t watch the show that way.

Do you make changes or adjustments once you see your work?

COBY:  Not really.  I made a decision to keep it real low-key with this, and just try to play everything real.   The other thing is I had never done anything like this before in my career.  I was so intimated by this whole thing, that it was like, “Alright man.  Just get in and listen.  Listen to what your scene partners are saying to you.”  In my approach, I am trying to be as still as I can possibly be and let whatever that person is saying motivate my responses and my actions.  If I watch my work, I’m like, “Yeah, that makes sense to me; I like that.  That’s something that this individual would do.”  Shiloh controls every situation that he is in, and even when he is introduced to new characters, he doesn’t wait to be introduced, he’ll just walk up and say, “Hi, I’m Shiloh!  What’s new with you?  How’s it going?” (Laughs) He kind of disarms them in every scene he is in.

Photo: IMDB

Soap fans first saw you on The Young and the Restless in your stint as Andrew working alongside Eileen Davidson (Ashley).  How was that experience for you?

COBY:  Eileen was unreal.  She was really cool, because none of this phased her.  She had been doing daytime so long that it was just a thing to her.  I’d sit there and read my scripts over and over and over again, but she just knew how to do it.  It was so easy for her, that it made it easy for me.

In a broad stroke, what would you tells the fans to look forward to with Shiloh?

COBY:  Well, Shiloh is going to continue his agenda.  He is going to have to go about it in a different way.  There are things going down right now (and I won’t spoil it) that are going to change the way he operates, and he is going to have to get what he wants in a different way.  Some of the people who you would have thought that he trusted, have turned against him.  It just all makes it more fun for him because this is a huge game.  Even the stuff with Sam, you may think that you know where it is going, but it may not be.  So, as much as he is enamored by Sam, he has an agenda with her.

So, what do you think will be Shiloh’s next move?  Will he blackmail Alexis to get Kristina back at “Dawn of Day”? What is his plan for Sam? Is Shiloh connected to a key family in Port Charles, but it has yet to be revealed? Who else do you think might wind up in the cult? Finally, are you enjoying Coby’s performance on GH? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below!

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Breaking News

Cynthia Watros Replaces Michelle Stafford As GH’s Nina Reeves

Another big name is headed to the cast of General Hospital on the heels of the upcoming departure of Michelle Stafford.  Daytime Emmy winner, Cynthia Watros had been cast as the the new Nina Reeves.  Fans of Guiding Light remember her star turn as Annie Dutton, and she was last see on on daytime in the role of Kelly Andrews on The Young and the Restless (2013-2014).

As previously reported, Daytime Emmy winner, Michelle Stafford is headed back to her old stomping grounds of The Young and the Restless to play her signature soap role of Phyllis Summer.  She will replace her own recast, Daytime Emmy winner, Gina Tognoni.  Both actresses are said to be finishing taping their current runs on their respective shows in May. Watros will begin her GH run in Port Charles in June,

GH’s EP Frank Valentini tweeted on today’s casting news: “It’s a bittersweet day. I love @TheRealStafford and wish her all the best. I’m also really excited about @watroswatros joining the #GH family and continuing Nina’s legacy.”

PEOPLE.com broke the casting change.  Stafford has been with GH since 2014.  As for Watros, she opted to leave her role on Y&R to join the cast of MTV’s Finding Carter.  She is also known for her run on the hit ABC drama, Lost and other notable primetime series and films.

Michelle Stafford’s on-screen GH love interest, James Patrick Stuart, tweeted on the news: “Cynthia Watros … Big fan.”

So, what do you think of the casting of Cynthia Watros as the new Nina Reeves? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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