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GH Writer Change: Shelly Altman Retires; Dan O’Connor Named Co-Head Writer Alongside Chris Van Etten

Photo; HutchinsPhoto.com

The word is out that General Hospital’s co-head scribe, Shelly Altman has decided to retire from the rigors of writing a daytime drama series and is leaving the ABC soap opera.  Most recently, Altman had been in charge of the writing of the show along with c0-head writer, Chris Van Etten.

With Altman retiring, GH has named former breakdown writer, Dan O’Connor as the new co-head writer of the series who will work with Van Etten.

According to TV Insider’s report, Shelly’s last day with the characters in Port Charles is this coming Friday, August 2nd.   Viewers can expect to see her stories to continue to play out for the coming months.   In lieu of Altman’s departure, O’Conner was promoted within the writing team and GH ranks.

In a statement, General Hospital’s executive producer, Frank Valentini said on his new co-head writing duo:  “These two understand the canvas and the characters. They also bring creativity, passion and commitment to the show’s history and its future.”

And for Altman’s years on GH, Valentini added: “Shelly, thank you for years of complex, emotional, intriguing story that ranged from suspense to heartbreak to laugh out loud funny, and everything in-between. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.”

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Altman had been with the GH writing team since 2011 and eventually was promoted to head writer.  She is a two-time Daytime Emmy winner. and a two-time WGA Award winner throughout her soap opera writing career.   As for Chris and Dan, they have been with GH also since 2011 and before that together on the writing team at One Life to Live.

So, what are your thoughts on Shelly’s exit and Dan and Chris crafting the stories for Port Charles? Comment below.

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Mister Media
Mister Media

I think this change can only benefit the show. When the level of the writing rises to the level of the acting we’ll see an increase in the ratings. Long live GH!

Sandie Hull
Sandie Hull

As far as I’m concerned,, how can an actual veteran ,,who is a so called writer,,SCREW UP a storyline involving the military??? Are you honestly kidding me?? Personally I think they all need to be FIRED ASAP!!

Celia
Celia

I hope so, Mister Media—-
The last couple of episodes have been ‘interesting’, for lack of a more inspiring word—
The Cassadine household could prove to reveal all sorts of surprises….
So; who’s behind door number 1?

Phil
Phil

Does it really matter at this point?

Jim H
Jim H

Get rid of Shilow. End the baby switch. Let Nina find out about Sasha before her wedding. With all the dead talking. No word from Morgan or Nicholas. Bring them back Replace Drew.

Mary
Mary

The first order of business should be for Michael to given his child

Jimh
Jimh

IMPOSTER…im the real Jimh here-lol

Celia
Celia

Jim H isn’t you, Jimmy? Really? Oh, WOW!! My reply was to you!! LOL.
Sigh❤️

Celia
Celia

Yes, yes, yes to all of it, Jimmy—-enough of Shiloh—getting to the point of the ridiculous with the memory ‘implants’ again–good thing Billy Miller is leaving ( hopefully back to Y&R–fingers crossed) —–find another patsy for this idiocy….the PTB bumped him over to accomodate Steve Burton and Billy had to assume a ‘pale ‘ identity—fell into the cracks.— Now, ye gods are trying to build Drew up as a Naval phenomenon—-mamma mia!!
The Kim character doesn’t do him any favors, either. She’s the most flat, blah, dull and languid excuse for a doctor/woman on a show, ever. Poor thing!!

Kay
Kay

s for the Kim description☺

Celia
Celia

Ahh, Kay, my friend!! I can’t get started on Kim…..I’d never finish “extolling” her “qualities” …..Mr Fairman would never put my comment through–too risky.
Bu-ut, LOL…..the most annoying affectation is the thing she does with her mouth and eyes….grrrr—drives me nuts—I actually FF her scenes—-I find them meaningless and the character as a time-filler.

Shay
Shay

Yep, CeeCee, Kim is all you said and needs to go, ASAP! Enough of her outre’ antics already! Just hope her desired departure won’t free up Julian for a repeat appearance in the “chambre a coucher de Alexis”…that’s something I can do without on a permanent basis! As for Billy Miller’s bye-bye to GH??? Best of luck to him….I hate to see him leave Port Charles, but both the actor and his character have been ill-served for such a long time….The only question which remains is whether “Drew” will be recast or sent away with Miller…If “he” does stick around, will it be in the form of a dual rule for Burton…or another actor entirely??? Hey, how about getting Sean Kanan to fill the role, since it looks as though AJ is still chilling in the Q crypt?

Celia
Celia

Lady Marmalade, anyone? You slay me–
Agreed, Shaybelle—poor Billy—Drew is a bust!!
Kanan is too old, Shay–I saw him on the GG show ( Fox–Saturdays at 10–I DVD every show–such ridiculous, dry, witty humor)—and, he would not be en par with Drew’s age group—-neither is Jason, for that matter. Steve Burton looks waaaay older than Billy. Twins? …my a–ummmm, eye…
Perhaps, Sean is chillin’ in the Q crypt or amongst Salem’s undead.
The DiMeras are returning one by one….
❤️

Shay
Shay

Precisely, CeeCee! Billy was always too young for that role….period! Remember when we incessantly debated that very point eons ago and decided that the extensive plastic surgery required after his accident was credited for “Drew’s” incredibly youthful look vs. his so-called twin brother’s more realistic, albeit still handsome, appearance?? Despite those more recent physical considerations, the characters of Jason and AJ are virtually the same age…hence so would Drew now logically be, if not in the form of an actor a decade junior to Steve Burton..I repeat my assertion that a Kanan recast could work, particularly given the goodwill Sean has engendered with so many GH fans who want him back on the show……regardless of the circumstances. Having said that, I’m glad to know that SK is still doing his GG stints…I haven’t tuned in since the last time you gave me the heads up on his upcoming guest shot,,,,guess I’ll have to do a search to see what I’ve missed since then! I’m sure he didn’t disappoint! (Good guy!)

Jimmy
Jimmy

Nice to hear that GH is promoting from within and not bringing in someone totally new, meaning that the shift hopefully won’t be that jarring. Ever since Jean Passanante retired, the stories on GH have been getting increasingly better, and this last year and a half has been really good for the show. GH is definitely in a much better place creatively now than it was under Shelly and Jean P, and even the final year of Ron C’s tenure. It’s also nice that mob stories aren’t dominating the canvas anymore, and Sonny & Carly are involved in a medical storyline as opposed to a mob-centered one. Hopefully Chris and Dan will continue the momentum that GH has right now.

bostonnc
bostonnc

Excellent post – I agree with everything you said. I am really enjoying how storylines involve characters across the canvas…including longtime vets.

Jimh
Jimh

Gh predictable…Shiloh will be murdered in a whodunnit and Stella is mom of Curtis…Sam and Jason really do work well together as my sleeping pill…

DMRR
DMRR

Hahahaha! “Jasam” is better than ambien!

Celia
Celia

Great stuff, Jimmy!!HaHa!!

Satan
Satan

For the love of all that’s unholy can we get somebody writing this show who actually knows GENERAL HOSPITAL. As opposed to “general hospital, infected by the OLTL virus since February 2012”.

su000
su000

Thank goodness!!
Shelly did her time she needs to go..
Soaps need young writers..
Not writers that send characters to cemeteries to talk to rocks..
Shelly sends everyone who lost a loved one to go talk to a rock/headstone.
that was beyond stupid..
there is no one there!!
And– if there are spirts they would be by you not hanging out in a cemetery, sigh..
you could be on the toilet and talk to whoever gone no need to go talk to a rock..

So- with Shelly gone I can only hope characters won’t be sent to cemeteries!

I don’t know the ages of the writers and the newer writer but I hope they are under 40 🙂 :)and writing in relevant time not dragging out plots from eras past..

Shelly, enjoy your retirement!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

hi suOOO, I think GH needs compassionate writers who can tell a great story with great character development–stories that touch the viewer in some way. And how about throwing in a little tenderness along the way? 🙂

su000
su000

Hiiii ! Nancy 🙂
hummm nice soaps??
naww soaps are- glamour, betrayal. tragedies, rape, murder, amnesia, alienation, misunderstanding, revenge, hostages, adoptions, loves, wars, friendships, deceit, insanity, life/death operations, villains, paternity, miscarriage, scheming, strange diseases, happiness to misery, marry, breed, divorce, kidnapping, funerals, secrets, eavesdropping, blind see, deaf hear, cancers, brain worms, dead are never dead..
soaps are not nice & sunshine – if they were they would be beyond boringly dull;)

Violet Lemm2
Violet Lemm2

suOOO
You hit the nail on the head, many times, but as in real life, we do need to see the good, happy stuff, just not too much of it. Some people would like to see a happy, forever after, but that doesn’t happen in real life either, so I say lets keep it REEL and enjoy it all!

Michael
Michael

I guess you haven’t lost someone since this comment is f’ing ridiculous.

su000
su000

Michael, hi..
You have guessed wrong..
You believe in ghosts, some do others don’t.

Colin
Colin

Shelly has done wonderful work on this show. I havent liked all of the stories ..but have been impressed by the umbrella scope and the layered writing style. After Ron Carlivati’s reign of terror…her work was often a breath of fresh air. I hope she enjoys her retirement!

Michael (not Fairman)
Michael (not Fairman)

OK, so I guess “retirement” is the new euphemism for a soap writer being shown the door. (They can always come out of “retirement” later, after all, if there are any soaps even left to hire them.) Jean Passanante “retired” a few years ago; before that, Kay Alden “retired” over at Y&R when TPTB decided Mal Young was a better option after Alden had been back at work for, like, 30 seconds. So now Shelly Altman is “retiring.” Ri-i-i-i-i-i-ght.

Well, whatever. I suspect this is a good thing.

Remember how when she and Jean P. were hired, TPTB went on and on about how they’d bring a “feminine perspective” to the show that had been missing, etc. etc. etc. (until I wanted to gag)? Guess somebody must have realized that didn’t work out so well, since we now have two male head writers.

Rodd
Rodd

I only wish great things for the writing team of GH.

Jim
Jim

What now Shilow wants Drews memory in Jason ??no worry about cost. The man is broke. This is STUPID!!!Just kill him off have murder mystery

Satan
Satan

I’m expecting Shiloh will be in Hell before Labor Day. And my three headed Hellhound Cerberus is very much looking forward to his new chew toy!

Celia
Celia

Okay, guys—now, this is really getting spooky—- we have a Jimmy; a Jim H; a jimh and a Jim—will the real Jim please show your face?! LOL.

Nik
Nik

She did a rush job on PTSD story line, plus she did not give Billy Miller a decent story line. So, goodbye, good luck, may be now the writers will get it right. I am tired of GH being at the bottom of the ratings,

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One of the beautiful and beloved actresses in the world, Diahann Carroll, has passed away in heartbreaking news on Friday.  Carroll died at her home in Los Angeles after a long bout with cancer, according to her daughter,  producer-journalist Suzanne Kay.

Carroll, who was first-known for her amazing singing voice, and then as an actress, received a Tony Award and an Oscar nomination in her legendary career. She also make television history for her turns on Julia and Dynasty.

In her role as Julia, Carroll, became the first African American female to star in a non-stereotypical role in her own primetime network series . Julia, premiered in September 1968, finished No. 7 in the ratings in the first of its three seasons, and Carroll received an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe for her work.

Photo ABC

And later in her career, after loving ABC’s primetime soap, Dynasty, Carroll got the attention of producer Aaron Spelling to create a role on the show for her. And thus she became the one and only Dominique Deveraux … the half-sister of Blake Carrington (John Forstyhe).

That part broke ground as well, for Diahann in 1984, became the first featured African American character on a prime time soap.  Carroll later appeared on the Dynasty spinoff, The Colbys,  In films, Carroll earned her Oscar nomination for her work in Claudine (1974),

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Diahann was married four times.  In addition to her daughter, she is survived by her grandchildren, August and Sydney.

For more on the passing of Diahann Carroll check out the Hollywood Reporter.

Share your remembrances and condolences on the passing of Diahann Carroll via the comment section below.

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Emmy Winner and Noted Soap Opera Head Writer; Hogan Sheffer Passes Away At 61

Over the last several hours, reports have broke that one of daytime’s most notable scribes has died.  Hogan Sheffer, who was head writer at As the World Turns, Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless has passed away at the age of 61.

Soap Hub, first reported the news via multiple sources, however, many writers who worked with Hogan during his tenure on the soaps have taken to social media to share their condolences and their grief and remembrances.

Sheffer’s appearance on the soap scene was unexpected, especially in a genre where it is often rare for new blood to take the reins at the head writer position.  Proctor & Gamble had decided to bring in Hogan after his work as the Director of Screenplay Development for DreamWorks, not because of his writing credits for a previous network soap.  He was given trial deal as a breakdown writer for the CBS soap and 10-weeks in became the beloved town of Oakdale’s new head writer.

Hogan and his then writing team were able to turn the classic, As the World Turns around.  The show went up in the ratings and during his time with the series ‘World Turn’s’ won two Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series, and he and the writing team picked up four Emmy victories all through 2000-2004.

Photo: JPI

Next, Sheffer landed in Salem as head writer of Days of our Lives along with Meg Kelly from 2006 through to the beginning of 2008.   He would later join The Young and the Restless and team up with then head writers: Maria Arena Bell and Scott Hamner, and eventually stay with the show till 2012.  During Sheffer’s time in Genoa City, Y&R also won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in 2011.

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On Sunday, former WWE and daytime writer Tom Casiello, who was extremely close with Sheffer…  and who shared how Hogan gave him his start at writing in daytime, took to his Facebook page to pay tribute to a man who had such an impact on his life and many others.  It is worth the read here. 

Y&R writer, Sara Bibel tweeted: “Hogan Sheffer was a gamechanger for ATWT and daytime. Everyone I know who worked with him adored him. RIP”

And, iconic ATWT star, Martha Byrne (Ex-Lily) tweeted on Sheffer’s passing: “To say he was one of a kind would be a tremendous understatement. Our years at ATWT with Hogan at the helm were a rebirth for our beautiful show. Loved his writers, actors,crew. Blessed to have him on the first floor in Brooklyn ready to listen. Talented. Funny. Generous. RIP”

Colleen Zenk (Ex-Barbara, ATWT) also took to Twitter upon learning of the passing of Sheffer sharing: “I loved him, loved him, loved him… he was so good to me. Thank you for everything, Hogan. You were so loved. Especially, by me… Rest in peace…”

Michael Fairman TV will continue to bring you updates as the soap world mourns the loss of a creative force in our genre.  Share your condolences and thoughts on the death of Hogan Sheffer via the comment section below.

 

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Kelly told PEOPLE.com about the birth of her new little bundle of joy:  “We keep looking at her in disbelief that we made her/  We look at her and try to figure out who she looks more like. She has my hair because I also was born with a ton, and she definitely has Darin’s height.” Darin commented: “Long lean and with great hair — she’s already a supermodel!”

Today on Thursday, Kruger tweeted: “She’s here! Everleigh Jolie Brooks 9/22/19 We are so in love!!!”

While hubby, Brooks tweeted: “She’s heeeeerrrreeeee!!!  Welcome Everleigh Jolie Brooks! Born on 09/22/2019 These two little munchkins changed my life @KrugerKelly”

Send your congratulations and well-wishes to Darin, Kelly and their baby girl Everleigh via the comment section below!

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