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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.”

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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Violet Lemm2ShayCeliaNikKay Recent comment authors
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Mister Media
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Phil

Does it really matter at this point?

Jim H
Guest
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
Guest
Mary

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

Jimh
Guest
Jimh

IMPOSTER…im the real Jimh here-lol

Celia
Guest
Celia

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

Celia
Guest
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
Guest
Kay

s for the Kim description☺

Celia
Guest
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
Guest
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,… Read more »

Celia
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Jimmy
Guest
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… Read more »

bostonnc
Guest
bostonnc

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

Jimh
Guest
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
Guest
DMRR

Hahahaha! “Jasam” is better than ambien!

Celia
Guest
Celia

Great stuff, Jimmy!!HaHa!!

Satan
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

nancy dillingham
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Michael

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

su000
Guest
su000

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

Colin
Guest
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)
Guest
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… Read more »

Rodd
Guest
Rodd

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

Jim
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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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The word of the early return initially got out Monday, although at that time unconfirmed by the show, apparently, via a posting by Lauren Koslow on her Instagram account where she is pictured in a Kate Roberts outfit in her dressing room.

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She also added a quote from poet Maya Angelou: “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

So, happy to hear it seems like DAYS is back … once again? Comment below!

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The individual who received a positive result as part of the production’s Covid-19 protocols has been placed in isolation.   As well, Preliminary contact tracing has been completed, with the people identified as close contacts to the affected individual placed in quarantine for a period of 14 days.

In addition, out of an abundance of caution, Corday productions will have a deep cleaning and disinfecting process for their production facilities, before any taping is to resume.

So, what do you think about the halt in production at DAYS due to a Covid-19?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Participating in the livestream virtual event will be: Donna Mills (Abby), Joan Van Ark (Val), Michele Lee (Karen), Ted Shackelford (Gary) and Knots Landing’s creator, David Jacobs.

Photo: StarsintheHouse

This is also the first time the leading stars of the legacy primetime CBS soap opera that ran from 1979-1993 will make an appearance together since the passing of their beloved cast member, Kevin Dobson (Mack).

 

This event as well as all others brought to you by Stars in the House is to support those impacted by COVID-19 in the entertainment industry and as Donna Mills expressed: “The Actors Fund helps people in all branches of the entertainment industry during this very difficult time.”

The Knots Landing live reunion is scheduled for Friday October 8th at 8 p.m. EST/5 p. m. PST and you can watch it here.

So, will you be checking out the KL special?  Let us know in the comment section below, but first, if you have not done so already, check out Michael Fairman Channel’s sit-down interview with Michele, Joan and Doona from earlier this year when we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the iconic show.

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B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

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