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GH's Burton & Duell emergency replacements for Maurice Benard fan appearances!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

After a few days of working out schedules, General Hospital’s Steve Burton (Jason) and Chad Duell (Michael) are boarding the plane and heading east this weekend for originally scheduled fan appearances with Maurice Benard (Sonny).  The appearances set for Levittown, NY, Point Pleasant, NJ, and Trumbull, CT will now have Burton and Duell as the headliners.

So what happened?  As many know, and as Maurice himself discussed on his recent appearance on the On-Air On-Soaps Holiday podcast, the soap icon was heading east for the first time in eight years to see his fans and to concur his fear of flying which had prevented him from traveling in the past due to panic attacks.

However now event organizers have announced that Benard whose first appearance was set for Orlando, Florida had a panic attack and did not get on the plane to fly to the East Coast. Thus actor has rescheduled his appearances in Florida, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey for July 15, 16 and 17.

ABC Soaps In Depth reported, “Although the actor hasn’t flown in years, he’d been working himself up over the past several months to conquer his fear and fly the friendly skies — with his family seated in first class alongside him. However, after his children had boarded the plane headed to Orlando, Benard stepped on board and saw that the aircraft wasn’t as large as what he’d been used to and began to feel claustrophobic. At that point, Benard told his wife, Paula, that he needed to get off the plane. I hope I can make it up to everyone someday,” says Benard, who will drive across the country for his appearances this summer.

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Joss
Joss

My heart goes out to Maurice. Having to manage an anxiety disorder is difficult. It’s a shame that his doctor’s couldn’t have found medication to assist him.

I hope Steve Burton & Chad Duell have a safe trip. They certainly show their humanity by caring enough to step in for Maurice.

All around, these folks are good people.

Ann
Ann

I used to suffer from panic attacks. I have since conquered them. I’m
not sure how I did that, but I don’t get them anymore. But, when I did,
I would have pretty severe ones. For example, I would be in the
middle of the grocery store, feel like I was being closed in, and I
would have to just leave my cart. I had one so badly one time I thought
I was having a heart attack. My late-husband took me to the emergency
room. It was just severe anxiety and panic. They can be debilitating
and one of the most scary things. That was many years ago. I did
take antidepressants, but I haven’t needed them anymore.

General Hospital

Happy 57th Anniversary Today to General Hospital

ABC’s daytime drama, General Hospital turns 57 today, and remains the current longest-running soap opera on the air.  GH debuted back on April 1, 1963.

The show was created by the husband-and-wife team of Frank and Doris Hursley.  Originally, the soap was not given a name of a particular town in which the drama of the hospital was set in.  However, that all changed in the 1970’s when GH was set in Port Charles.

GH expanded from a 30-minute show to a 45-minute show on July 26, 1976 and eventually went to a full-hour where it has remained back on January 16, 1978.

Throughout its decades on the air, GH was the impetus for two spin-offs; Port Charles, (which aired from 1997-2003) and primetime’s GH: Night Shift (2007-2008),

The show went through many ups and downs over its history, but things changed dramatically for the better, when by the end of the 1970’s and facing cancellation, ABC brought in executive producer, Gloria Monty to steer the ship.  Monty created supercouple Luke and Laura played by Tony Geary and Genie Francis, and opened the show up with exciting location shoots, and from then on GH has remained a firm mainstay in the daytime line-up.

Today, Frank Valentini is the series executive producer, and the soap is co-written by the head writing team of Dan O’Connor and Chris Van Etten.

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As 80%, as of now, in the US are reported to be homebound due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the latest ratings for the week of March 23, 2020, GH drew 2.57 million viewers,- its strongest week since March 19, 2018.  So, more eyeballs are tuning-in to the drama in Port Charles.

Share your congratulations and well-wishes to the cast, crew, and creatives at General Hospital for 57 years of drama, romance and intrigue via the comment section below.

But first, vote in our poll for your favorite storyline or moment of all-time on GH.  If your favorite is not one of the choices listed in the poll, let us know in the comment section which is your favorite, or if you voted for one of the selections, let us know why, too! 

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General Hospital

General Hospital to Air Encore Episodes On ‘Flashback Fridays’ To Help Stretch Out Originals During COVID-19 Shutdown

With the coronavirus changing our lives every today, and a return to production in the air for so many TV series, General Hospital will now air four new episodes a week to stretch out the remaining episodes they have banked before the COVID-10 pandemic forced soap opera production to come to a full work stoppage.

Now, starting this Friday, om the April 6th, the ABC daytime drama series w will air repeat episodes every Friday through May 22.

These encore presentations will be called “Flashback Fridays,” and each episode will feature an introduction from a  General Hospital cast member.

To kick things off, this Friday, the series will air a repeat of last year’s 56th-anniversary episode, with an  intro by Laura Wright. GH fans will recall that episode centered around the reading of the late Gail Baldwin’s will.

According to The Wrap:  :At the time of the production break, the ABC soap had enough episodes pre-taped to carry originals into May.”

Tomorrow on April 1st, will also mark GH’s 57th anniversary.

So what do you think of the plan to stretch out original episodes bu adding in one encore a week; until GH can get back to producing more episodes? Comment below?

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General Hospital

The Triumphant Return of Kelly Thiebaud As GH’s Dr. Britt Westbourne

When a shocked Nurse Felix Dubois (Marc Anthony Samuel) exclaimed “Dear lord, the Britch is back,” after seeing none other than Dr. Britt Westbourne with her lab coat hovering around the nurses station at “General Hospital”, you knew things were about to go down on the ABC daytime drama series.

Over the past few weeks, Kelly Thiebaud has been in action on-screen on General Hospital as the the trouble-making, complicated, Britt.   Since returning to the canvas, viewers learned that: Britt has been paroled from her previous crimes, seems to say she believes and actually likes her half-brother, Peter August (Wes Ramsey), has confronted her mutter in jail (Liesl Obrecht played by Kathleen Gati), whom Peter framed, and showed up at Brad’s (Parry Shen) hearing to be there for her bestie, who has been in hot water for the baby switch of Wiley.

But, there have been a lot more intriguing things than even that! Britt is now hitting the sheets with none-other than Julian (William deVry), and also let him know in no uncertain terms she knows his part in the whole Brad cover-up.   But what is her true motive?  We also learned in a run-in at GH, that Neil (Joe Flanigan) and Britt know each other from somewhere.  He is trying to put his finger on just where, but does Britt know? Probably!

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However, the best  and most entertaining moment on soaps last week was when Britt arrived in her lab coat to GH and revealed to both Felix and Liz (Rebecca Herbst) that she had worked hard enough to be able to get her medical license restored … and that Monica (Leslie Charleson) brought her on with a provisional acceptance as a temporary replacement for Dr. Kim Nero as an OBGYN for the hospital. Felix says give it two weeks and she will do something to mess things up.

Photo: JPI

Just then, in our favorite scene of the week, Nikolas (Marcus Coloma) and Ava (Maura West) happen by, and when Britt, who is Nik’s ex, sees him she saunters over to him and slaps him hard across the face and spits out, “That’s for Spencer.”  She goes on to berate him for how he hurt his son; by letting him believe that his father was dead for three years!  Britt tells Nikolas it would serve him right if Spencer knew spoke to him again.

Next, Elizabeth chimes in and tells Britt to stop acting all high and mighty.  Britt fires back that she is not surprised that Liz, another one of Nik’s ex’s, would defend him.  Britt says, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

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Scene after scene, Kelly Thiebaud has lit up the screen and put the “feisty” back onto the ABC soap opera.  As an actress, Kelly can go from the heavy drama, to the comedic, to the sexy, all with ease.

In the March 30th issue of Soap Opera Digest, Thiebaud said of her return:  “Frank Valentini reached out to me the beginning of the year and mentioned that the writers wanted to bring me back for a bit.  I said,’Of course, I will,  I would love nothing more than that!”‘ I just really connect with Britt and have a blast playing her.”

So let us know, have you been enjoying the return of Kelly as Dr. Britt Westbourne, thus far? What do you think Britt is up to? Comment below.

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Knots Landing favorites: Joan Van Ark (Valene), Michele Lee (Karen) and Donna Mills (Abby)  chat with Michael Fairman in honor of Knots Landing’s 40th anniversary. Leave A Comment

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Kelly Thiebaud as Britt

General Hospital

Airdate:3-23-2020

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