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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;)

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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Constance Towers Returns To GH As Helena Cassadine … But Just How Does She Appear?

Now, any General Hospital fan knows that if there is skullduggery and evil going down, Helena Cassadine (whether dead or alive) is usually somehow involved when it comes to the lives of certain people in Port Charles.

And … some major storyline news from TV Line reveals that on next Monday’s August 19th episode of the ABC soap opera, Constance Towers reprises her role as the evil one herself … Helena!

Apparently, look for Helena to appear in a flashback with none other than Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and about Drew Cain’s time in Afghanistan.  That scene might hold a key to just what Shiloh wants now that he has implanted Drew’s memories into Franco (Roget Howath), thanks to Dr. Cabot’s work.  But could what is revealed also relate to the story that will see Billy Miller (Drew) exit the canvas later this month? Stay tuned.

Viewers last saw Helena alive in story until November of 2016, but then she was part of Jake’s hallucinations that were a part of the chimera storyline that climaxed at the Nurses’ Ball back in May of 2017.

So what do you think Helena’s presence in a flashback will reveal? And, who is ultimately having that flashback? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Daytime Emmys To Merge Younger Actor & Actress Category Into One As Gender-Inclusive Categories Are On The Rise

The upcoming 47th annual Daytime Emmys are already making some changes to key categories and specifically this one that affects daytime drama performers.  Word from Variety is that NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is going to announce that they are combining the Younger Actor and Actress categories into one gender-neutral category

Not only will the Younger performer category be gender-inclusive, but network soap performances will be combined with digital drama series performances for the category.  Previously, for this past Daytime Emmys, NATAS had changed the Guest Performer in a Drama Series to be gender-inclusive.

This category was initially created in 1985 when it was called the Outstanding Ingenue and then from there tweaked into Outstanding Juvenile Female and Male, and more recently that morphed into the Younger Actor and Actress categories.

Photo: JPI

Former GH star Hayley Erin (Ex-Kiki) and former DAYS star, Kyle Pettis (Ex-Theo) will now be the last female and male to win the two separate categories with this new move for 2020.

Fans of film and TV have noticed that on several award shows on MTV: their Movie and TV Awards and their VMA’s, there are several gender-inclusive categories, as well as the Television Critics Association Awards who for instance doles out Outstanding Individual Achievement in Drama in comedy.

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So, what do you think of the change; that there will now be one Younger performer category at the Daytime Emmys? Comment below.

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Days of our Lives Launches Digital Series Featuring Chad and Abby In Paris

Days of our Lives has announced another first for its fans and viewers. The first season of Days of our Lives: The Digital Series is set to premiere this Thursday, August 1st, on The DOOL App; featuring an eight-episode arc titled “Chad and Abby in Paris.”

Starring in the eight-episode first season (with the first three episodes available Thursday) are Billy Flynn (Chad) and Kate Mansi (Abby) as viewers will get to see what the couple known as “Chabby” life is like while they are away from Salem in Paris.  The series was written by the series head writer, Ron Carlivati and produced by Corday Productions.

Fans of DAYS can look forward to each episode being approximately 6-1o minutes in length.  Following the episodes initial stream on the DOOL app, the episodes will also be available one week later streaming on NBC.com and the NBC app.

In addition to Flynn and Mansi, longtime DAYS fan favorite, Austin Peck is also part of the initial arc reprising his role of Austin Reed.  As well, a new character will hit the canvas when fans get to see Juliet played by newcomer, Rachele Schank.  Then in the fall, viewers can expect the return of Chad and Abby back to the broadcast show on NBC.

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DAYS co-executive producer, Greg Meng said in a statement: “This new scripted digital series was created to complement storylines while enhancing the viewers experience as they watch the broadcast show. The DOOL App serves as our platform for delivering this and other original content to fans who want an interactive and multimedia experience as well as a way to stay connected to the show. DAYS has been a leader when it comes to innovation, going as far back as 1965 when we were the first to broadcast in color.”

The DOOL App was developed by the Corday Productions team of Greg Meng, creative director. Michael Fairman, content producer; and Maya Frangie, director of communications and strategic initiatives.  The app is the first and only app exclusively dedicated to a daytime soap opera. The launch of the digital series marks the first time a daytime drama series has spawned an original streaming series to complement the broadcast show.  For more info visit TheDOOLapp.com

So intrigued to see what the new digital series featuring Chad and Abby will be all about?  Will you be downloading and checking out the DOOL app this Thursday to be the first to see the initial three episodes? Comment below

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