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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,

Breaking News

‘Edge of Night’ Mainstay Forrest Compton Dies Following Complications From COVID-19

Sad news to report this Monday.  The longtime star of CBS’ and then ABC’s The Edge of Night, Forrest Compton. has passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Forrest died on Sunday at the age of 94.

His death was reported and confirmed by Compton’s friends and an article in the Shelter Island Reporter.

Photo: CBS

As Edge of Night and longtime daytime fans know, Forrest played Monticello’s district attorney, Mike Karr.  He played this key role from 1971 until the show’s cancellation in 1984.  The show was originally titled “The Edge of Night” and eventually just became “Edge of Night”.   The soap which was steeped in murder mysteries ran on CBS from 1956–1975 and on ABC from 1975–1984,   In addition, Forrest along with his on-screen wife, Ann Flood (Nancy Karr) were one of the most popular duos in daytime.

Not only did Compton appear on EON, but he also had soap roles on As the World Turns, One Life to Live and All My Children.   In primetime, Forrest was best known for his role on Gomer Pyle: USMC opposite  Jim Nabors and Frank Sutton as Lieutenant Colonel Edward Gray.

In a heartwarming story where fan meets actor and helps him out (according to the Shelter Island Reporter) Compton was only slated to appear in two episodes a week for the next 13 weeks on The Edge of Night, when he needed an apartment in New York City near the studio, so when he heard about a one-bedroom on East 72nd he went to see Al, the super.  Forrest later learned that Al was such a devotee of  The Edge of Night that he locked his office door every day at 2 p.m. to watch uninterrupted. When Forrest mentioned that he had just been hired to play Mike Karr, the super said, “You’re getting that apartment.”’

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Sharon Gabet who starred as Raven on Edge of Night, posted on Facebook, a tribute and remembrance of her former co-star: “Woody, as he was affectionately known to all of us on The Edge of Night, was a master professional, hilarious, smart, kind and gentle. I spoke with him a couple years ago on his birthday and he was active and happy in his retirement. Rest in peace, Woody, and give hugs and kisses to Larkin, Lois, Dennis, Nick, Joel, Irving and all the other EDGE alumni up there.  THE story about Woody. He was on EON when they were LIVE. It was brutal, but Woody was one of the best “straight face” men in the business. So he is doing a scene with Nancy his wife (the glorious Ann Flood – another “straight face” master). He walks in the kitchen and sits down and his line was supposed to be “Gee, it’s hard to get up in the morning.” as Nancy gave him his coffee. Instead, Mike Karr says on national TV, “Gee it’s hard to get IT up in the morning, Nancy.” There was pandemonium among the crew during the commercial break as you can imagine.”

Now below, watch the opening title sequence fro the The Edge of Night over the years, many of which feature Forrest as Mike Karr at the very opening or at the end as one of the series most well-known and beloved characters.

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Then, share your condolences and remembrances on the passing of Forrest Compton in the comment section.

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Breaking News

EMPIRE’s Final Season Cut Short Due To COVID-19; Series Finale Now Set For April 21

Will we now ever know just how the lives of Empire’s Lucious  (Terrence Howard) and Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) and their dysfunctional family will resolve now that the series has had to scrap two of their planned episodes in their final season?  The sixth and final season was scheduled to run for a total of 20 episodes.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the production shutdown left them with only 18 episodes tht could be completed.

That means, as first announced during last night’s episode of Empire via voice-over: “Get ready for the shocking final three episodes of ‘Empire,’”  that reveal let viewers of Empire know there was change in plans.”  Now, the shortened season and series finale end on FOX on April 21st.

Reports also note that episode 19 was partially shot and that footage of that unfinished episode will be cut into the finale.

As to what happens with the character of Jamal Lyon played by Jussie Smollett, who everyone knows ran into significant trouble with the law; on last reports executives said he would not be back for the final episodes of the series, although there has still have been mentions of the character throughout season 6.

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Come April 21st, there still may be more Empire in our future, if  FOX executives decide to greenlight a potential spinoff headlined Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon; that first came to light earlier this year in January as being in heavy discussions.

So, what do you think of how Empire will wrap-up after 6 seasons? Do you feel short-changed, or glad they are trying to work in everything they shot to deliver some kind of series finale for fans of the primetime soap? Comment below.

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All My Children

Soap Vet and All My Children Alum John Callahan Dead At 66

Absolutely heartbreaking news this Saturday afternoon.  John Callahan, best known to soap fans for his role as Edmund Grey on All My Children has passed away after suffering a massive stroke.  The stroke happened on Friday, March 27th when paramedics responded to a call at his home in Palm Desert, California. He was 66-years-old.

According to reports, Callahan was rushed to Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA, where he was put on life support.  John’s daughter Kaya, and his former wife, and AMC co-star Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria) rushed to the hospital to be by his side from Los Angeles.  John died Saturday morning.

Photo: JPI

In a statement, Eva La Rue shared: “We are extremely saddened and distraught over the loss of John. He was my great friend, co-parent and amazing father to Kaya. The absence of his bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever. Words cannot express the shock and devastation we are feeling at this time. The Yankees just lost one of their greatest fans.” 

John played Edmund on All My Children from 1992-2005.  He also appeared throughout his soap career on: Santa Barbara, Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bay and primetime’s Falcon Crest and Desperate Housewives; in addition to many more television appearances.

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Michael Fairman TV will continue to follow this breaking story as remembrances are shared by John’s former co-stars throughout the day and night.

Below is LaRue’s touching tribute to John  via Instagram:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

May Flights of Angels Wing You to Your Rest my Dear Friend. Your bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever. We are devastated-My great friend, co parent partner, and loving father to Kaya. That big belly laugh, bear hugs, bad puns, ability to harmonize to any song, great kitchen table singing-fests, and two steppin bad ass! “Johnny Numbers”, my All My Children soap stud, the great time keeper, Beatles fanatic ( I wish to God we could go back to “Yesterday”)… Kaya and I are beyond broken hearted, so stunned, sorry that my thoughts are a mess. You gave the best most beautifully written tributes, and I am at a complete loss for words right now for you. I hope Heaven has baseball and that your team always wins! The Yankees has just lost their biggest Fan. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

A post shared by Eva LaRue (@evalarue) on

Please share your condolences with Kaya and Eva and the Callahan family below, and let us know your thoughts on this heartbreaking loss on the death of John Callahan via the comment section.

 

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