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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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ShellyViolet Lemm2ShayCeliaNik 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,

Shelly
Guest
Shelly

I person like the writers at GH if I knew they would stop all this garbage if people what they ask for like action and romance instead all this bullshit they throw out they no one could care less about and and wish they would stop all break people up that’s what pissing me off the most this show is going to cancel they better listen to fans I love my GH but really they need to get it together now seriously stop playing and torture their viewers or toying with then

Breaking News

Stars React to Alec Baldwin Fatally Shooting Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins & Injuring Director, Joel Souza, In Prop Gun Mishap On Set of ‘Rust’

UPDATED: Over the last 24 hours, the entertainment world has been stunned, by the horrific incident that took place on the set of the western drama Rust, while it was shooting scenes in New Mexico.

What is known is that Alec Baldwin (Ex-The Doctors, Knots Landing) discharged a prop gun that killed Director of Photography, Halyna Hutchins and injured director, Joel Souza.  The film also stars Frances Fisher (Ex-Edge of Night) and Jensen Ackles (Ex-Days of our Lives). Baldwin is also a producer on the film.

Photo: Getty

According to Variety, the prop gun contained a “live single round,” according to an email sent by IATSE Local 44 to its membership.

On Friday, Alec Baldwin made a statement via Twitter on his Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation Twitter feed, expressing: “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”

Yesterday, The Sante Fe Sheriff’s Departments originally shared that “Hutchins, 42, and Souza, 48 were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin.  Ms. Hutchins was transported, via helicopter, to University of New Mexico Hospital where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel. Mr. Souza was transported by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical center where he was undergoing treatment for his injuries. This investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives.”

This morning, Frances Fisher revealed in a twitter conversation with Patricia Arquette, that director Joel Souza had been released from the hospital.  Meanwhile, photographs of a distraught Baldwin emerged following the shooting.

Photo: New Mexican

The news of the Baldwin prop gun incident, isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Jon-Erik Hexum was killed on October 18, 1984, on the set of the TV show Cover Up when he accidentally shot himself in the head with a gun loaded with blanks. Then, in 1993, Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died from a prop gun accident on the set of The Crow by a cast member.

As the news made its way through the entertainment community and mainstream news, several soap stars shared their reactions to the fatal shooting accident.

General Hospital’s Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan) expressed: “Feeling so sad for everyone involved in the tragedy on the #RustMovie set. I do know the film was staffed with experienced, thoughtful professionals. Please, let’s wait until we have the facts. Nothing positive will come from passing judgement or casting aspersions before then.”

General Hospital and Dynasty’s Emma Samms (Holly, Fallon) shared on her friend Jon-Erik Hexum’s death: This AWFUL tragedy on #Rust is unfathomable to me. If all on-set protocols were being adhered to, how, on earth, could it have happened? After what happened to Brandon Lee and my dear friend Jon-Erik Hexam, the firearm protocols became incredibly strict. I was told (when I was with him at the hospital afterwards) that Jon-Erik had been working with a completely empty gun all morning. A blank (still very dangerous) was loaded and then immediately there was a delay. Exhausted, he was allowed to fall asleep – loaded gun in hand. hey woke him, but there was immediately another delay. Jon-Erik put the gun to his head, forgetting it now contained a blank, (because he had just woken up) and jokingly pulled the trigger. He was not the kind of person to play around with a loaded gun. #fortherecord”

We will continue to post reactions and update this story.

What are your thoughts on the fatal shooting on the set of Rust? Comment below.  How can this not happen again, so everyone is safe in this working environment when ‘dangerous’ props are called for or used to make a movie or a TV show?

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Breaking News

Natalie Morales Set to Join ‘The Talk’ After Exiting NBC News

Looks like the The Talk table will now be set, as Natalie Morales will be added to the line-up of co-hosts for the CBS daytime afternoon series.

Although CBS would offer no official word or comment after the story on her coming to the series ran in the Daily Mail, Natalie would join: Sheryl Underwood, Amanda Kloots, Jerry O’Connell and Akbar Gbajabiamila on the panel.

This comes after Morales exited NBC News this morning after 22 years for an “unspecified new opportunity”.  However, she will continue to appear on Dateline’s 30th season throughout the rest of year.

The longtime Today Show anchor told staffers she was moving on expressing in a note: “To my Dateline and Today show families, it’s very hard to say goodbye… and we all know in this business it’s never goodbye but see you later. I’m eternally grateful for the support and deep friendships that will remain no matter where our paths lead.  I have so much to be thankful for and for every one of you who helped me get here… muchísimas gracias mis amigos.”

Tom Mazzarelli, the EP of Today also wrote in a note to staff that “Morales been offered an opportunity she’s passionate about and has decided to step away from NBC News after an incredible two-decade career here.”

Natalie previously anchored Access Hollywood from 2016 to 2019 and continued to be the West Coast anchor of Today.

So, what do you think of Natalie Morales, becoming a main co-host on The Talk? Good fit? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Breaking News

Soap Veteran Michael Tylo Passes Away at 73

Michael Tylo, well-remembered for his roles on daytime soap operas, has died at the age of 73.  Tylo, was most-loved in his role as Quinton Chamberlain, in the Quint and Nola (Lisa Brown) romance on Guiding Light, as well for his time on The Bold and the Beautiful (Ex-Sherman), All My Children (Ex-Matt), The Young and the Restless (Ex-Rick/Blade), Another World (Ex-Lord Peter Belton), and General Hospital (Ex-Charlie).

Tylo’s death was announced by Nancy Uscher, Dean of College of Fine Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where Michael was a film professor.  Michael died on Tuesday at Henderson Hospital in Henderson, Nevada, following an illness.

In a statement on the UNLV website, Uscher said of her colleague: “Michael Tylo was a beautiful and caring human being — he was so special.  He was an exemplary friend, colleague, teacher, and artist. He had such a distinguished and rich career, but he was humble about his accomplishments. He loved his family dearly and lived a joyous life, but he left us way too soon. We will miss him greatly, but feel deep gratitude about all that Michael contributed to the College of Fine Arts, UNLV, and the world.”

Photo: JPI

As soap fans know, Michael was previously married to Hunter Tylo (Taylor, B&B) and they shared three children together: Izabelle and Katya, and tragically, their late son, Mickey, who drowned back in 2007.

Photo: CBS

Michael is also survived by his wife Rachelle, and their daughter, Kollette.

Photo: CBS

There has been no word yet on the actual cause of death of Michael’s death, while information about services for Michael are said to be forthcoming.  Michael Fairman TV will continue to update this story.

Watch Michael with Lisa Brown in the wedding of Quint and Nola on Guiding Light below.

Then, share your condolences and remembrances of Michael via the comment section.

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DAYS head writer, Ron Carlivati talks with Michael Fairman on the creation and the making of the limited-series “Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem” currently streaming on Peacock. Leave A Comment

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