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General Hospital Was ‘The Dope’ That Helped Wrongly Accused Man Through 13 Years In Prison!

Courtesy/ABC

Never underestimate the power of soap operas.  We have been saying this for decades.  For many, the lives of the characters we love, or love to hate, give us our daily fix and connection to feeling emotions, and provide us comfort.

Last week, a story circulated via many soap opera notables that emanated from NPR (National Public Radio) in their fandom series of interviews via The Morning Edition.  In it, former accused murderer, Chris Scott, opened about about his love and connection to General Hospital.  Scott spent 13 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.  Chris knew that if he had any chance to get out of the slammer, if he was proved innocent, he had to stay out of trouble, and it seems like the story of the citizens in Port Charles helped him, and other inmates do just that.

Here are some excerpts below from the NPR interview in Chris’ words edited with clarification by NPR.

Chris on how he got hooked on GH: “The first time I watched the soap opera in prison, I walked to the day room, and they was watching soap opera. And they was like, “Hey dude, this is the soap opera side of the day room, where people watch soap opera” — and I was like, ‘oh, this is the side that I need to be on.  I got a crew of men that, in the world of society, was killers.. These were some of the hardest-core fighting guys — but when that soap opera came on, you can hear a pin drop on cotton. It’s like all eyes — don’t nobody want to blink, because if you feel like if you blink, you gonna miss something.  We gave General Hospital a new name. We didn’t call it General Hospital no more. We called it “The Dope” — because it was addictive. We walked down the hallway, they shouting, ‘Hey — did you see ‘The Dope’ yesterday?’… Watching these love stories in a day room full of guys, you know they made the snide remarks of, ‘it’s pretty much for women and females” or whatever the case may be. But we didn’t care about that — because they knew the guy that was watching the soap opera probably can kick half of the cellblock he lived on’s butt.”‘

Chris on shedding tears during GH’s emotional story beats: “The soap operas really, it resonated a lot about missing home, missing the arguing you heard your mom and dad have every now and then. You miss the sisters fighting over the bathroom. You miss the brothers going outside shooting basketball in the backyard. So yeah, it resonated hard and heavy.  Like, just say, holiday seasons. You see the soap opera people, they got the big Christmas trees. They dress nice in red and white and all these pretty Christmas colors. And it made you want to be a part of that. … And seeing it on TV, I tell you, I didn’t want people to see me cry or shed a tear, but every now and then that happened. So I had to go in my cell. And I used to hang a sheet up, and the sheet would cover my whole cell, and I just used to go in my cell and have a big cry about it.  Wasn’t bad tears, it was good tears, because I knew I still had a heart. Because being falsely imprisoned, sometimes it hardens that heart to where you don’t want to show a sign of weakness. I know watching soap operas helped me with my dilemma, and we all can learn a lesson about how we choose not to judge people about what they think or what they watch because we all need something to hold on to.”

Chris’ story will be featured in an upcoming PBS documentary True Conviction.  He is out of prison and has stared his own detective agency, and still checks out GH every single day  .. a soap fan for life!

So, what do you think about the power of soaps and how it helped Chris, and others get through difficult times? Comment below!

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Kevin C
Kevin C

No matter what people say about soap operas, if one starts watching and become HOOKED and with the soaps that have good character human stories, it really touches all of us in some form of fashion…for instance it’s like music, it touches all of us…I have loved my soaps for the character’s feel like family especially for us that don’t have family…I myself have been blessed with friends that are my family instead of blood relatives that can turn on you in a heart beat…we all have heard the saying, you can pick your friends but you cannot pick your family, blood related that is… lol…THAT’S why I love my soaps aka daytime dramas…On another note that’s why I think TPTB with soaps really need to listen to the fans and give us what we want for we are the one’s that really keep our soaps going and we care like family…

Celia
Celia

Truth, Kevin….I am addicted….have been as far as I can remember. I may carp once and again, but I love my soaps and I would never stop wstching just because a storyline is not to my liking.
Soaps are ‘home’ to me—warm and comfy.

Kevin C
Kevin C

Celia, I use to be addicted but not any more but I totally understand…

Kevin C
Kevin C

Oh Celia, don’t get me wrong, I STILL LOVE MY SOAPS…

Celia
Celia

Oh, Kevin, my friend….I am so sorry….Oopsies….that came out wrong. I meant YOU speak the truth, as I feel exactly as you do. I agree with your every word.
It is an obsession to be addicted to anything, LOL….. I guess ’tis better to be addicted to soaps than to more harmful ‘substances’, yes?
I may be addicted, but not a slave to soaps….then again, I wonder if I would be if it were not for DVR’s, LOL. Would I re-arrange my schedule so not to miss my soaps as my grandmother used to do? Hmmmm.
Mr. Fairman’s sites are just as addictive, LOL.
Later, Kevin.

Celia
Celia

Oh, and Kevin? My soaps got me through the most debilitating, painful time in my life….other than my husband and family, thst is.
So, this is why your words are so poignant to me…….they ring true as they reflect those emotions that may seem dormant, but are so close to the surface; …..always at the ready to emerge, at any given time.

Emily
Emily

Yes Kevin my grandma got me started way way back when the soaps first started and i have been hooked ever since. It is so much fun to see what is going to happen every day. Some days better than others but we would be lost with our our soaps!

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

What a beautiful story. He is so right about them being addictive. Thank heaven I’ve never been in prison. But, I watched GH from April 1, 1963 until 2005. I was a kid when it started and I found it fascinating. I watched One Life to Live from July 15, 1968 until the last online episode and would be watching it now if someone would put on air. You develop such a deep personal connection to the characters and many of the stories. Yes there are many outrageous situations and problems depicted in soaps. And things are frequently overdramatized. But, the interpersonal relationships and family and professional relationships mirror the lives of people in the real world. I can see how someone stuck in the cold, stark world of prison would try to hang onto something tangible from the real world. A soap opera was probably as close as he could get. Good for Chris. He sounds like a man who was bright enough to find a way to survive an awful situation. Thank goodness he was finally proven innocent.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Well said!

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

Soap operas are for everybody. The story we just read about is one good reason why they can never end. if the day comes where all the shows are gone, I can honestly say my life won’t have much purpose because the characters on the shows are real people to me and they are the ones I love no matter if they portray good characters or evil. It’s still my getaway from the hassles i deal with in life.

Soaphound
Soaphound

James, I agree with your heartfelt post. I went thru a bad breakup in 1984 and the Reva suicide story on GUIDING LIGHT helped me reclaim my life and self respect. Also, as a lifelong fan of great acting, I’d put the work of Laura Wright, Jane Elliot, Maura West, Genie Francis, Michelle Stafford, Billy Miller, Roger Howarth against any prime time actor AND most movie stars. They make soaps a light in my life as well.

Kevin C
Kevin C

Soaphound, I think our daytime actors/actresses beat night time by a long shot and they master their craft all year long…LONG LIVE SOAPS…

Jimh
Jimh

Soap operas are are escape from the real world…no other genre has that kind of affect on the viewing audience!

su0000
su0000

hey Jimh..
So right you are–
;;Soap operas are are escape from the real world;;

But yet, many bitch whine and moan when it’s not exactly like Real Life..
They tear little things apart to analyze them as to why they are not real..
DUH things in soaps are not from Real Life..
So– seems they don’t want an escape into a make believe land, they want reality.

BWAHAA! go figure!

Jimh
Jimh

I know…im one of them but it is fun to bitch and moan about something-lol

Barbara Jacobs
Barbara Jacobs

I so agree they are an escape from the real world and that was why everyone was glued to the radio back during the first days they were created. It took them away for a short moment in time to be elsewhere and not think of what was going on. With times the way they are now we need them more and more of them not just 4. They give us something to look forward to especially Cliffhanger Friday!

rebecca1
rebecca1

wow! what an interesting perspective! many times soap fans are disrespected because the genre probably is, to some extent, disrespected. seems like you have to “admit” you watch a soap…and then make some excuse like it’s my “guilty” pleasure. so to hear how much GH got this man and others through their days…particularly in that he was innocent and this allowed him the escape (that’s TWO jail puns…not intended!) he needed, is a testament to the genre.

TV, even non-soaps, is such great escapism. Getting familiar with fictional characters, that ability to suspend disbelief…it’s great we’re all able to do so.

Soaphound
Soaphound

Yes, Rebecca, so true and with the quality of theatrical movies in a steady, heartbreak decline, soaps are really shining these days. Looking forward to the return of NASHVILLE also.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Did you read Michael Fairman’s post…Nashville is cancelled! Will only be back for the remainder of the season…

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hi Soaphound…wanted to add (regarding Nashville)…though I’ll miss the characters…I didn’t take to CMT’s version as I’d hoped I would. I loved it when it was on ABC; every episode, every character. It wasn’t the same after they killed off Jeff…then omitted Layla and Luke from the CMT…Connie left…new characters introduced. Just wasn’t feeling it.

With that said I’m surprised it was cancelled because last I read on it the show garnered the highest ratings for oringinal programming on CMT. Wonder what happened…

I’ll miss the characters…particularly Deacon, Gunner, Avery and Will. Sigh…lose a show, lose “people” we love.

JasonLovesGH
JasonLovesGH

Sweet story! 🙂

Satan
Satan

Speaking as the “warden” of the biggest supermax prison in the universe (Hell) I can confirm that GH is popular with many of the prisoners down here as well.

Kelly Publicover
Kelly Publicover

Soap Operas like GH help keep you sane when real life sucks. It’s an addiction that won’t harm your health or kill you. I’ve had this GH addiction for over 30 yrs and it’s not going away any time soon! #LongLiveGH

rose
rose

I guess Michael Fairman will know why I am really impressed with this story. And I echo the comments on this story.

One of Chris’s comments I kinda chuckled at was his reference to Sonny Corinthos…”He ran the whole town, and he had a bunch of businesses everywhere, but his main business was coffee importing. This was a kind of inspiration to me, so I need to watch this guy and get some knowledge. This was kind of like that entrepreneurship I learned form watching soap operas.” And since being released Chris created a detective agency looking into other innocence cases.

I do wonder if their viewship numbers are factored into the ratings. They would add viewers to all four soaps.

Also it would be nice to have their comments on Michael Fairman.

Debra m
Debra m

I always felt the soaps were a good escapism from reality that we all need at times. Have to watch that PBS special, sounds good.

su0000
su0000

OK–
here is thing.
What years of his 13 years in prison did he watch GH??

The link article was extremely weak..
did not mention the year he was incarcerated or the year he was released or how old he was when he entered prison..

However; I’d imagine it was the high power years when GH was actually great, the years of the Mobsters, when the cast actually had mobsters characters doing mobster crimes, shootings and like the real deal..
.GH use to be the type of soap that would interest imprisoned people and not what it has become.
I’d guess he entered the prison late 80’s to early 90’s .. when all the mob Families were in action)

//they surely wouldn’t have gathered to watch during the past years boring blah junk tv it has been// getting much better now..

Natalie Rios
Natalie Rios

I’ve watched GH when Luke and Laura was the story!! How the rape scene was done,it was a big thing then during the disco era!! Watched the,Ice princess story,Hrlrna and her crazy sons… Then I stopped for awhile got back to it,then it was Stone and Robin watched Emily get killed off etc… Now,I’m happy that Steve Burton is back Jason don’t like the story at the moment!! Confusing!! But,hoping Sam will go.back to her real Man!! LOL GH Forever!!!

Matthew
Matthew

Great story!!! I’m a forty seven year old man who is proud to be a huge GH fan for life. I’m busy during the day but I cozy up to the laptop every night to escape this world for my favorite alternate universe- Port Charles, NY. Can’t imagine what life would be without the joy I get from this production. It’s easy to understand how the show got him through prison because it sure takes me away. Thank you ABC for the best show ever made!

Marina
Marina

I watch days of our lives and young and the restless I grew up watching soaps I remember watching all my children then watching passion for life until they both went off the air and you know I never been in prison and not planning on being there I have heard story’s,. they are horrible and sometimes touching depending on which side you want to look at it, I have read your story I must say took courage to stay strong even in the most weekness points and I commend you for that,. Stay strong and keep doing what your doing , looks like you will have a bright future ahead of you.

Skeptic
Skeptic

Why would anyone think the monster storylines were the greatest years of GH? It was never, ever what the show was about, and it ruined it. Sonny, in particular. He’s like a violent version of Fonzie from the old Happy Days sitcom. For every fan that loves Sonny and the psycho-phant robot killer Jason, two people are turned off. The ratings for GH were highest during Luke and Laura in the ’80s. Luke was mob-related at first, but mobsters were not the focus of the show. Luke broke free of Frank Smith. The bad guys got weirder than the mob with the Cassidines. The Quartermaines had bad sides to them, while eing a respectable wealthy family. The hospital always had bad people, but not Mafia killers. It was on a human scale.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

I totally agree with you, Skeptic, regarding any misguided allegiance to Sonny and the mobster storylines. Thank you!

heidi
heidi

How about this week… we just say thank you for keeping GH on the air all these years so that those of us who love it can enjoy it? Let’s be happy we still have our show, with all of the incredibly talented actors and actresses portraying our favorite and flawed characters who bring us pleasure and more!

Great story Michael!

Steve
Steve

When it’s at its best, GH is addictive as dope (as the return of Steve Burton shows). Sadly, as this summer proved, it can also be like Dramamine.

Timmm
Timmm

People will laugh at you for being a soap fan but these are the same people who watch “Walking Dead” or “Game of Thrones.” What the difference? They are stories and just like soaps, some are good, some are bad and some are ridiculous!

Judy
Judy

Chris… youve got all my love ,respect and congratulations… my son too was in for a year plus… but… he too found that was one thing helped get him through it all… hope to find out time of your upcoming PBS… thankful greatly for your success!!!

Diane L
Diane L

I know a lot of guys who watch General Hospital. My significant otherMike watches. I’ve been watching since I was in elementary school. I’d say it’s been about 44-45 years! I’ve been with Mike for almost 32 years so he’s been watching since then off and on…mostly on. He does like what’s been going on these past couple months loving the story line. When I miss it he tells me I better go watch it now! He records GH every day for me.
I’m so glad Chris got some relief while in prison. 13 years for something he didn’t do…wow! I don’t know if I could do it! Good Lick Chris in all you do! #GHFOREVER #JASONISTHEBEST #LoveMeSomeSonny

Troy Turner
Troy Turner

This once again goes to show that the male soap fandom is woefully misrepresented

Aria
Aria

I’ve been a loud addict since I was 7 yo it’s been 30 years and I’m not close to bored with the show.

M
M

Does anyone remember the disco song “I just can’t cope with out my soap “General Hospital”!!!!??????

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

Yes, I do. Not the finest contribution to the genre; but, it did demonstrate how significant GH was in American society of the day.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

It’s very disappointing that my thoughtful post on adulation of the prison population for the character of Sonny was deemed unsuitable for publication. I was merely addressing the elephant in the room: Because the character of Sonny gets away with crimes, including murder, with virtually no jail time, it’s no wonder he is considered a hero to the prison population.

Some want to make this story about the condescending notion that men can be soap fans, too. It goes deeper than that. I’m sure Mr. Fairman appreciates those who toe the party line and serve as perpetual cheerleaders for all soaps despite any hypocrisy or flaws.

Celia
Celia

Hey, James…if it makes you feel any better, I did echo your sentiments and my post was trashed, as well.
Must have been a Sonny lover who happened to decide if our writing was worthy …..LOL.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Yes, my dear Friend Celia, it does make me feel better: that I wasn’t solely singled out. But I question the wisdom of anyone who would trash any post by you… And I originally used the word “thoughtful” about my own post, not to toot my own horn, but to convey that my point was at least logical.

Speaking of logical, your theory on the “Sonny lover” sure makes sense to me.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Celia! 🙂

Shay
Shay

@CeeCee…If your “Sonny Lover” theory is correct, then I have to assume that there are also Alexis and Nina “lovers,” as well. Would explain so much why many of my posts are also given a one-way trip to oblivion!!!

Celia
Celia

Thank you, my friend….and, a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, as well. Enjoy….!!

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Thank you, Celia!

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

To whomever else replied to me and explained that no “rhyme or reason comments don’t go through,” please try to reply to me again, here or elsewhere. I did read your interesting reply via my e-mail and I truly appreciate your response — but I don’t know who wrote the post. Somehow the post doesn’t appear in this thread where the link takes me… Very unusual…

Andrew Hass
Andrew Hass

Soap Operas i think can help people get through hard times in their lives because soaps can be a escape for them.

Mo
Mo

WOW! That is amazing. Good TV can transcend and entertain and help. Soap operas are escapism.

Nik
Nik

The so-called Powers to Be want folks to underestimate Soap Operas but they have proven, for decades, they are worth watching on so many levels.

Dancing with the Stars Juniors

LISTEN TO THE REPLAY: Soap Nation Live! With Special Guests: Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, DWTS: Juniors & GH’s Hudson West & B&B’s Joe Lando

Photo Credits: CBS, JPI, ABC

Listen to “Soap Nation Live! October 2018” on Spreaker.

If you missed Thursday night’s broadcast of Soap Nation Live! with Michael Fairman you can now listen to the replay right here in audio player above!

This episode was given to the gents in soaps as Michael welcomed his very special guests: The Young and the Restless Joshua Morrow (Nick Newman), Dancing with the Stars: Juniors and General Hospital’s Hudson West (Jake), and The Bold and the Beautiful, and One Life to Live and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman favorite, Joe Lando (Judge Craig McMullen).

During this fun night of chat, Joshua weighed-in on the Shick wedding that went bust, when Sharon told Nick at the altar that she knows he had sex with Phyllis.  Morrow, who will celebrate his 25th year as Nick Newman in early 2019 chimed in what the future for the stat-crossed couple may hold, and how he has enjoyed showing Nick’s dark side of late, plus he revealed one scene he felt uncomfortable with that he would not play, the ladies over the years in Nick’s life, and when asked by a listener of his memories of the late, great Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor), Joshua shared some fun and poignant remembrances. He also addressed the status of Doug Davidson at the CBS daytime drama, and hopes that the writers will find a way to utilize the Y&R vet in the future.

Next, Hudson West’s joined the podcast where he gave listeners the inside scoop on what it has been like to be one of the 12 celebrity kids competing in the first-ever Dancing with the Stars: Juniors, which debuts Sunday at 8PMEST in a two-hour season premiere on ABC.  Hudson talked on how he has been learning the dance moves with his young pro dance partner and Dancing with the Stars pro mentor, how he deals with nerves before performing his dance routines and more.  General Hospital fans who know of Hudson’s Daytime Emmy-nominated performance of Jake Webber, Elizabeth and Jason’s son, got some interesting tidbits when he talked about working with Rebecca Herbst, Steve Burton and more, and how much he loves being on the show.

The final guest of the night was Joe Lando.  Prior to bringing Joe on the air, Michael played a classic clip from Megan’s death on One Life to Live from the 90’s, where Joe as Jake Harrison performed one of the saddest and most memorable scenes in soaps with his then acting partner, Jessica Tuck.  Joe then revealed when he was on Soap Nation Live that it has been over 20 years since he had heard the scene, and was still moved by it.  Lando who is now appearing as Judge McMullen on CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful teased there could be a love interest around the corner for the judge, as well as some retribution for his ruling in the custody case of Will Spencer, because of a favor called in by Ridge.  Lando also talks about his time on the hit primetime series, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman as Byron Sully, and shared more about his time on One Life to Live working with the likes of: Erika Slezak, Bob Woods, and Tuck.

Last, during out Game Show segment, a lucky caller won two VIP tickets to the Star Struck Fan Event Fall Festival in Alexandria, Virginia featuring members of the cast of Days of our Lives, as well as a Y&R goodie bag; which includes a personalizes autographed picture of Joshua Morrow, after answering correctly some Nick Newman trivia!

For archived and past episodes of Soap Nation Live, you can go to the official show page on Spreaker.com here.

Now, listen to the broadcast with Joshua, Hudson, and Joe above, and then let us know via the comment section below what was your favorite moment in the broadcast.

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Breaking News

General Hospital Honored With Sentinel Award For Alzheimer’s Storyline

This week, ABC’s General Hospital was one of the recipients and honorees at the 2018 Sentinel Awards.

The awards honor storylines that inform, educate, and motivate audiences to make choices for healthier and safer lives.

Now in their 19th year, the 2018 Sentinel Awards were presented by Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), a program of The Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

The 12 outstanding Sentinel Awards honorees for 2018 spotlighted topics that included: nuclear safety, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, autism, sexual assault, mental health and disabilities.

One of those programs to receive the award was ABC’s General Hospital for “Sonny’s Dad storyline” which as viewers know shed a light on the progression of Alzheimer’s disease for those afflicted and their loved ones.   The story is beautifully played by Max Gail (Mike) and Maurice Benard (Sonny).  Accepting  the award on behalf of the series was EP, Frank Valentini.

Other series, notably Empire was recognized for their abortion storyline, and Grey’s Anatomy for their Hemorrhage cart storyline representing Maternal health were two other popular shows that also received recognition for their work. among others.

So, proud of GH for receiving this honor for the work they are doing in telling the emotional tale of Mike’s battle with Alzheimer’s and how it affects Sonny and his family? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Chloe Lanier Making A Return To General Hospital

Look for naughty Nelle to be back on all-new episodes of GH, and that means fans will get to see more of Daytime Emmy-winner, Chloe Lanier!

According to Soap Opera Digest, Lanier will be back on-screen after leaving the show In August after two years with the daytime drama series.

When Chloe left the series, Nelle was carted off to prison for her deceptions and crimes, but according to her chat with SOD, she is back because she ‘has some unfinished business with some people.”  Lanier’s return stint starts next week.

So how will Nelle’s re-emergence impact Lucas and Brad who are raising Nelle and Michael’s son?  Will she seek more retribution on Carly?  Stay tuned.  After all, Nelle gave her baby to Brad in the now notorious baby switch, which we have since learned that baby “Wiley” has a heart condition that can be traced back to Michael’s side of the family,

Glad there will be more Nelle coming up on GH? Comment below!

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Video du Jour

This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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