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GH’s Co-Head Writer Chris Van Etten Dishes On The Jason and Drew Reveal, Tamara Braun, Maura West, Future Of Julexis, And His Passion For The Soaps!

In late summer, following the news that General Hospital co-head writer, Jean Passanante had announced her retirement, the ABC daytime drama series promoted one of the most passionate and creative voices in the genre today, Chris Van Etten as the series new co-head writer to work alongside GH’s other lead scribe, Shelly Altman.

For daytime audiences who pin their hopes and wishes for their favorite characters on the writers of the show they love to love, having someone at the creative helm who is both a longtime fan of the medium, and has the perspective of the viewer, as well as looks out for the good of the show and its constantly evolving story, can often make for soap opera at its best that everyone can enjoy.

Chris Van Etten has just that background.  First, getting his foot in the door with One Life to Live and working his way up the writing ranks. Van Etten was part of the team led by former One Life head scribe (now DAYS head writer), Ron Carlivati through to the beloved soaps final episode that aired in early 2012.  Following its conclusion, Chris headed over to Port Charles and has remained at General Hospital ever since.

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Van Etten in our first interview together to get his perspective and insight on all the hot storylines in Port Charles as we head into 2018.  From: how the decision came about in the tale of the two Jasons story to have Steve Burton turn out to be Jason, and Billy Miller turn out be Drew, Tamara Braun’s return to GH as Kim Nero and what that means for everyone in her orbit, to what the future might hold for Ava and Griffin, Finn and Anna, Franco and Liz, Julexis, and more.  Chris weighs-in, and fills us in on how he views certain stories and characters, how he came to love the soaps, plus plenty of teases along the way of what’s to come on GH.  Here’s our conversation below.

Congrats on becoming the co-head writer of GH!

CHRIS:  Thank you. I am thrilled to be here, and humbled to be doing the job.

I know you have been a very big soap opera advocate, love the genre, and over the years brought a lot to the table at both One Life to Live and General Hospital.  How have things changed for you now that you hold the co-head writer position at GH?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CHRIS:  It’s more terrifying, absolutely! I was a soap opera fan before I was a comic book fan, but I think that the Uncle Ben line from The Amazing Spider-Man sums it up: “With great power comes great responsibility.”  I feel very responsible, and it scares the hell out of me. 

You have become very active on Twitter, and have offered up your sense of humor, and illustrated how irreverent you can be with the GH fans.  Many viewers feel that since you have been promoted to co-head writer that they have seen a major difference in GH.  The show has really been firing on all cylinders with the two Jasons storyline, and the fallout.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

CHRIS:  I will say first of all, that any writer in daytime who takes credit for the direction of a show is a liar.  It is a team effort from the start to the finish.  Beginning with the ideas of the head writers, and then what the breakdown the writers come up with together.  In addition to the cast, and the crew, and Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) who refine all of that, and make it into a good show in the end.   The only thing I think I bring to the table is my love for GH, this genre, and as a fan of this show.   I grew up on ABC Daytime from All My Children, and on.  I never saw Ryan’s Hope. That show was over, or never entered my consciousness, but everything from Loving and on is all part of my subconscious, where GH and soap operas are concerned.  So that is who I am as a writer, basically.  I’m still a soap fan, and I am trying to selfishly bring my fan dreams into reality on the show (Laughs).  I am so lucky to work with Shelly Altman, and our breakdown writing team, Elizabeth Korte, and with our script writers, as they all bring something amazing to the table.

Speaking of fandom, have you seen some of your wishes up on the screen, yet?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CHRIS:  Oh, for sure!  We were handed a great story when we learned that Steve Burton would be coming back to the show.  There is no way anybody can take credit for that.  He decided to come back.  His return provides years of story for him, and for his counterpart, Billy Miller.  Both are twins, and thus Quartermaines, and as such heirs to very important pieces of General Hospital history. Steve and Billy are both fantastic actors, and work with so many people in the cast.

Deciding which would be Jason, and which would be Drew, was that ultimately a difficult decision to make … or did you know once Steve Burton was coming back he would indeed continue as Jason, and Billy Miller would wind up being Drew?

CHRIS:  We played out many different scenarios – one of them being Drew, and one of them being Jason.  We played it out the other way, and then we even played out what if one of them is neither of them?  My go-to is that one of them is actually Casey the Alien! (Laughs). I love to utilize all parts of GH history!  It was definitely difficult in that we had to take time to play out each scenario, and figure out which one would give us the biggest bang for our buck, and at the same time honor the story we are telling and honor the characters.  It was also about which one was going to give us the most fallout to play.  I think we have that now. 

What has been your reaction when you have watched the scenes featuring Steve and Billy in this story, and how they are delivering the material the writers are scripting?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CHRIS:   I am so thrilled.  I think we have the opportunity, in particular with these two characters and the actors who play them, and their on-screen friends and family, to see a rainbow of emotions on both sides.  What is interesting with Steve Burton is that he communicates a lot with a single look. So, when he returned and he had those scenes with Sonny (Maurice Benard) and with Carly (Laura Wright), it really gets you right in the heart. Then there is Billy Miller, who I think has done things in the last couple of months, (and I know he will do things moving forward) where he has had a giant trough of stuff to play. I can’t wait to see him and Steve play it, because they are two of the most exciting actors on daytime, or any of my DVR shows, to watch.

Maura West (Ava) has once again delivered phenomenal work with her performances in 2017, being some of her best yet on GH.   How do you feel about this romantic pairing of Ava with Griffin (Matt Cohen)?  Do you think it’s viable long-term?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CHRIS:  I think they’re hot! (Laughs)  I think Maura breathes fire, and she lights everybody up with whom she plays. Griffin is going to really be a challenge.  We will see what incarnation of Ava is revealed, sort of looking through the lens of Griffin.  She has got a transformation underway in more ways than one, and we will see if it takes.  When I think about actresses like Maura, it reminds me of the interview I did when I was a college student at NYU.  I was interviewing for an internship at One Life to Live.  I was asked by one of the producers, I think it was Jen Pepperman, “Why I liked OLTL?”  I said, “I liked One Life to Live, because of Viki and Dorian, and Tina.”  I like soaps in particular OLTL and GH, because of their strong female characters, and that is what Ava represents to me.  She has got a lot of messed up things about her, but I watch her and I understand her.  She is someone who, despite all of the horrible things she has done, I could root for.  It helps that she is played by a very formidable actress, and someone who reminds me of the Dorian’s and the Viki’s, and all of the other women on All My Children and One Life to Live, and General Hospital that I grew up watching, and in a way idolizing.

Speaking of OLTL, it has been no secret to everyone who knows, or follows me that One Life to Live was my all-time favorite soap opera growing up, and beyond.  Was it for you, as well?

Courtesy/ABC

CHRIS:  I think I became conscious of soap operas via General Hospital, and my Aunt Joan who was big fan, but the show I really cottoned to first was One Life to Live.  I think that was because that is the time I would get home from school, and my babysitter was watching it.  I had a toehold with GH, but jumped right in with OLTL.

You have a huge fan base contingent of the Julexis Army, who want to know what will happen now to their favorite duo with Julian (William deVry) out of prison, and how, if at all, the writers can find a way to get the him back with Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn), after all of the horrible things that happened between them in the past.  What would you say to them?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CHRIS:  Julian was a bad boy, and there is no cutting around that, and Alexis is a modern woman, who is a stand-in for the audience, if you will. She is self-made, and created a life for herself, and ultimately fell in love with someone who is not good for her.  Now, we can argue back and forth about who did what, and why things were done, or what the extenuating circumstances were.  But any women who respects herself as much as Alexis does, is not going to fall so easily back in love for anyone.  Now, complicating that is the fact that she loves the hell out of Julian, and she is trying to go forward in her life, and trying to reconcile the fact that he did these awful things. However, those awful things have not necessarily extinguished every bit of feeling that she has for him.  Will they get back together?  Who can say?  But I will say, if they do, there will be many obstacles to traverse before it happens.  I can assure the Julexis Army of one thing; these two are not necessarily done with each other by any means.

Franco (Roger Howarth) has been duplicitous in the two Jasons story.  He has been ‘Paranoid City’ through this ordeal. Where is he headed now that he is engaged to Liz (Rebecca Herbst)? Will we continue to see him be deceitful, or should he watch his back because Jason is out to get him and make his life miserable?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CHRIS:  I think Franco will live in fear of what Jason and Drew will hold him into account for moving forward.  The reason that he lives in fear is because he has become human in a way that he has not been before that tumor was removed.  Franco has something to lose.  He loves Elizabeth.  He honors Elizabeth in his way and he loves those kids.  I think it’s understandable why he will, in the course of the next couple of months, not opt for full transparency with Elizabeth.  There will be repercussions from that.  Franco is a tortured person, and we will be exploring the source of his torture. 

What can you say about the teaming of Anna (Finola Hughes) and Finn (Michael Easton)?  Can you see these two headlong in love?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CHRIS:  Hard to say.  Finn can be a little straight-laced, and he is not really familiar with Anna’s world of adventure and espionage.  She definitely has her moral compass that points north, and we all know from Anna’s history that she is not afraid of bending, or breaking rules, as is necessary for the greater good as she sees it.  Anna was one of my first loves as a soap opera viewer.  She is a woman who kicks ass, and yet who is vulnerable, and who always gets her licks in.  We don’t often see Anna in a romantic milieu, but I would not bet against Anna and Finn.

What do you think of having Jessica Tuck, ex-OLTL now on GH as Cassandra? You must be happy about that casting coup!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CHRIS:  That has been a dream come true!  We had a couple of opportunities when I was at One Life to Live to see Jessica Tuck back on the show.  It’s one thing to write Jessica Tuck as an angel, but it’s another to get, as a writer, that ballsy character she played on OLTL, to work with.  Jessica is playing a very different character here at General Hospital, but I do see shades of Megan Gordon Harrison in Cassandra.  That character suffers no fools, and she may have a bit of a blind spot where some men are concerned, but she will see things clearly eventually. and watch out for the people that have crossed her! (Laughs)

Sam (Kelly Monaco) is really going to struggle with who she is going to love, and how she is going to navigate through this as she tries to stand by her man, Drew, with Jason now being alive and well.  What can you say about what’s to come for Sam?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CHRIS:  We can safely say that the end of Sam’s romantic journey is very far off.  There is simply no way to easily reconcile her marriage to a man she loves with all of her heart, and then reconciling that with the fact the man she thought she lost has returned.  She is in love with two men, and you don’t simply choose one, and abandon the other in any sense.  Sam has a very hard road ahead of her.

How did the idea of Tamara Braun returning to GH to play Dr. Kim Nero come about, when she previously played Carly?  What can you tease on what viewers can look forward to with her new character now that she has a connection to Drew, as last Friday’s cliffhanger had her revealing to him that Oscar (Garren Stitt) was his biological son? 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CHRIS:  The plan was to introduce Oscar’s mother in the mid-early stage of the story; after the audience had gotten to know Oscar a little, after he and Joss (Eden McCoy) had more or less cemented their relationship; and after he’d grown on Carly and Sonny.  We knew she’d connect to Drew, and we wanted to further flesh out the hospital staff.  At first, we figured her for a nurse.  None of us had given much thought to who might play her. That’s Mark Teschner’s (casting director, GH) department, and he never fails to deliver on quality, inspiring performers.  To my recollection, it was Frank Valentini, though, who suggested Tamara Braun. As soon as he dropped her name I personally could think of no one else.  Tamara’s chops, and personality formed all our decisions about the character. The idea of Tamara taking on the role suddenly brought Kim into sharp focus; she’s scrappy, smart and empathetic.  And, no longer a nurse; this woman definitely wears a white coat.  But what kind of doctor should she be?  We had our brain guy in Griffin; our disease-y fellow in Finn; Monica (Leslie Charleson) is the big boss lady and does cardiology when she’s not tearing up the singles circuit; Lucas (Ryan Carnes) is our go-to in the ER; Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) is our mad scientist with a heart of gold (yes I know she’s not currently on staff at GH, but never underestimate an Obrecht); Bensch (James DePaiva) does it all.  What kind of doctor are we missing?  Of course!  Get GH a urologist, stat!  Just kidding! What we really needed was an OB/GYN; especially with a Maxie/Nathan baby on the way – and possibly others??  Frank kept us on tenterhooks for weeks and weeks about whether Tamara was available, and interested.  I was thrilled when he finally confirmed she was in.  And my expectations have been plenty exceeded.  She and Garren warm my heart; and she’s so much fun opposite Maurice Benard, and Laura Wright, and Steve Burton, and Billy Miller and … a certain someone who shall remain nameless for the time being.  Let’s just say that Kim’s dance card does not go unfilled for long.  Beyond that, I can tell you that Kim shares at least one characteristic with any good soap character … she comes to town bearing her own share of secrets.

Is the plan for the writers to reveal who perpetrated, and who was responsible for the mind-mapping and kidnapping of Jason and Drew, in the coming months into February Sweeps?  Will viewers learn who did this to the brothers?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CHRIS:  Oh, for sure!  The evil-doers will be revealed to the audience, but the characters themselves will be a bit behind the audience.  It is not going to be a happy ending for everybody.  The audience will find out sooner rather than later, and rest assured, the audience will begin to get their answers in layers.

Let’s talk about Nelle! (Chloe Lanier).  She has done some horrible things.  Where do you go with the character?  Viewers just learned that she says she is preggers with Michael’s (Chad Duell) baby.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CHRIS:  I personally find Chloe Lanier incredibly engaging as a character with very grey morality, and she has a deliciously wicked smile.  Now that said, Michael loves her, and she generally loves him back.  She is not without feelings.  However, she has been burned really badly, I think.  A lot of it finds its roots in Carly.  Nelle is not going to give up on Michael.  She is willing to take down anyone who gets in her way.  I think that if I were Carly, I would be very careful not to underestimate her.  When you put Nelle and Carly next to each other, I think the audience might think that Carly is going to eat this person alive.  But Nelle has claws of her own, and she has a big appetite.

In an ironic twist, GH hired your namesake, actor/model/war vet, Chris Van Etten to play Amy’s (Risa Dorken) much-talked about brother, Chet.  You even had your photo taken with him that made its way on to social media.  How do you think Chris did on-camera with the very emotionally-charged role?

Courtesy/GH Twitter

CHRIS:   I think he had been a breath of fresh air on-camera.  He had been great in scenes with Amy.  We will see Chet again in the coming months.  He is not outside the Port Charles orbit.

Is there any intention on bringing back on to the canvas, Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) and Parker’s (Ashley Jones) romance, since they were written out of the show as of now?

CHRIS:  Never, say never.  We hope to have them back at some point.

What is the collaborative process like for you, and Shelly Altman as you map out the show as head writers?

CHRIS:  I can imagine it’s not so different than from what she and Jean Passanante (former co-head writer, GH) were doing on a purely technical level.  We lay out with the other breakdown writers Monday through Wednesday’s episodes, and at some point in that layout we discuss an episode that I am going to write.  Then, Shelly and I will double back and meet on Thursdays, and discuss a broader outline for the five or six episodes we are going to write in the coming week.  On an artistic level, we sit across the table and bat ideas back and forth. I think our sensibilities, so far, have married really well.  There are times when I want to go crazy with story.  Shelly is really good at stopping me and pulling me back, and finding the right balance to strike between getting all of the humanity right in a way that will temper the crazy plot twists that I veer towards.

Since you have been a big fan of GH through the years, what can you say about getting to write for the vets of the show: Genie Francis (Laura), Leslie Charleson, Jackie Zeman (Bobbie), Kin Shriner (Scott), etc, who fans always like to see on their screens? 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CHRIS:  I love writing for everyone on GH, but I get a special thrill when writing Bobbie and Laura, and Monica and Felicia (Kristina Wagner) – and Mac (John J. York) and Scott, and Kevin (Jon Lindstrom) and Ned (Wally Kurth). These are some of the characters who drew me into the show in the first place.  I was a kid when Laura and Luke’s pickup truck got bombed, and sent them on a path back to Port Charles; I was on the edge off my seat when Lucy (Lynn Herring) bet Damian Smith (Leigh McCloskey) he couldn’t seduce Bobbie.  I was all, “Bobbie would never.”  And then of course she did, which ultimately led to me openly weeping when BJ’s life support was turned off and Bobbie had to tell Felicia.  Good lord, I tear up just thinking about it.  And Monica!  I think my first memory of Monica is her throwing canapés at Lucy and Alan (Stuart Damon); or maybe it was her shagging Ned.   Either way, she had me from the start.  A good soap looks to the future while drawing from and honoring its history. Every day, I think about how to make GH’s past its present.  I want to stay abreast of all the lives of our characters, to advance their stories, and utilize their history to enrich today’s show.  Bobbie and Monica and Laura, and the rest – as far as I’m concerned, their stories aren’t over, and we’ll continue to see them.

In a broad stroke, as 2017 comes to a close, what should GH viewers look for in the coming weeks?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CHRIS:  We are quickly coming to one of the reveals of who is involved in one of the “Jasonings” of 2017.  We will see a lot of family togetherness over the holidays, and we will see some dastardly plots begin to take shape, and a lot of romance.

So, have you been enjoying GH since Chris became co-head writer with Shelly Altman? Who do you think will ultimately be found out to be the responsible party or parties of the great “Jasoning” of 2017? What are your hopes for Anna and Finn, Ava and Griffin, Sam and Drew or Jason, Julexis, and other pairings as we head into the New Year?  Are you glad that someone who has such a rich history to mine with his love for One Life to Live, General Hospital, and ABC Daytime is currently helping map out the future of the citizens of Port Charles? Weigh-in in the comment section below!

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Keffen
Keffen

You,wrote,it very good
Kudos to you sir

Rissa
Rissa

IMO, GH has improved a lot since Chris took over, so it’s nice to read his perspective on everything. Thanks for the interview, Michael. I especially loved what Chris said about Julian and Alexis. I hope this means that the Julexis rebuild will get the care, time and focus that it deserves.

Ron B
Ron B

It seems the show has really been on fire lately and Chris obviously is a big part of that. Can’t wait to watch everyday.

Dymundjake
Dymundjake

You and me both. I don’t know whether to get heart medication or tissues or both! Cannot wait for the show to begin each day!!

Sprite
Sprite

The show is better than ever. I’m heartened to know how passionate Chris is about my favorite actor, Maura West. I’d love to see him create a part for ONE LIFE TO LIVE alum Fiona Hutchison (Gabrielle Medina).

GemmaG
GemmaG

I loved her too, but OLTL killed off Gabrielle, and then her son (after they did some bizé thing about his soul morfing into another), but what if that is what happened to Starr and her daughter Hope – they were pretend killed so they could be part of the master plot of memory mapping…. I hope they bring back OLTL or at least do another 40 week Hulu show….

Janeway
Janeway

‪Thank you Michael and Chris for interview but disappointed no mention of the upcoming story for Lulu and Dante. One problem I have with GH is so much attention to non-GH NEWBIES and them getting more story and airtime than core characters and beloved couples. Another is certain GH characters getting the majority of story and I hope that CVE will spread the love around a little in the coming year.

I hope #Lante are included in those that will getting romance and family stories soon. Great talents Dominic Zamprogna and Emme Rylan, with amazing chemistry, were severely underused this year and I am hoping that will be not the case in 2018. Great characters like Dante; strong, fearless cop son of a mob boss, and Lulu; feisty, tough daughter of Luke and Laura, with a great love story and connections to nearly everyone on the canvas. should give Chris lots to work with.

Taelyn
Taelyn

I can understand the frustration.. But usually these interviews are for the most part held to a limited number of questions.. I think it was a great interview.. But sure we didn’t hear about everyone.
No questions about Nina and Valentine Cassadine.
Lulu and Dante
Jordan and Curtis
Not much about Maxie and Nathan
Olivia and Ned
Laura and Kevin
And all the combinations involving Elizabeth, Sam Drew, and Jason, And the relationship of Sonny Carly and Drew
ETC…….
I think there is just no way to answer all the questions, everyone has favored characters and couples. I think the most important thing I got from the interview is that it’s running full steam ahead and every day leaves us on the edge of our seats wanting more and more.. It’s exciting
Great Interview for Michael and Chris..

Suzie rm
Suzie rm

All my favorites! Kevin and Laura, Lulu and Dante, Ned and Olivia.

Jimh
Jimh

Did laura ever opened up that damn letter…are we finally going to know who Nathan’s poppa is?????????????????????

Suzie rm
Suzie rm

As far as I know Laura has not opened that letter or has she found out what she loved and lost per theclues Helena left.

I do like the faster pace of the show and nods to history, but the Jason story has taken over.

All characters need story. Laura has disappeared following her engagement

Jimh
Jimh

Too much Jason…the show really needs more balance and more character involvement!!!!

rebecca1
rebecca1

I’m glad it’s taken over! It’s the best story GH has had in a long time and it involves almost everyone on the GH canvas! Sorry; I love Laura but her story isn’t nearly as interesting (and that’s an understatement) of the two Jasons story.

Shay
Shay

Maybe Laura will open the letter on her wedding day, jimh! I can just imagine it saying…”By the way, “Angle” (sic)…..We’re still married! Your Eternal Husband, Luke…

Jimh
Jimh

I just want her to open the thing-NOW!!!…sorry for yelling-lol…Merry Christmas!!!

Suzie rm
Suzie rm

That would be a twist. I actually like her with Kevin.

Shay
Shay

@Suzie…Oh, I like Laura with Kevin, too, but there has to be some major bump in their road to matrimony! Perhaps Helena will make a grand entrance at the event just like she did at the L&L wedding ala LaLiz???? That would be a fun homage to GH’s heyday!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yeah, what did he say to his “Angle”? (Still can’t believe someone was so careless as to misspell “Angel”).

Gabby
Gabby

Sam hasn’t shown an ounce of concern for Jason since he’s been back. She acts if he’s an inconvenience. Jason has had no real POV, it’s all about Drew and his pain. This sounds nothing like a triangle to me, but a tease for JaSam fans, while Dream is the real story. Not interested in it at all. Old Sam would never just not care about Jason.

Patrick
Patrick

yout give credibility to Kelly Monaco

Thank You

it’s making me wonder… why do you not act more.. when you see the real thing

physically it’s all about that wonder of LOVE or there after…

Sam should be having fantasies aBOUT Jason

Sam should be salivating her real love

Harry
Harry

I can’t believe I am about to stick up for Sam, but here I go. Sam is the preverbial deer caught in the headlights. I think she is so stunned, so overwhelmed to see the great love of her life that she has been rendered into emotional inertia caused by the fact that she also truly loves Drew.
She avoids the subject of Jason because she doesn’t know how to react. She is afraid that if she finally lets her guard down, a torrent of emotion is going to tumble out. It’s not that Sam doesn’t care about Jason, it’s that she cares too much.

rebecca1
rebecca1

@Harry. Exactly.

Harry
Harry

Thank you, Miss Becky

Jackie Swick
Jackie Swick

have stopped watching since the review. I don’t think it’s right that SB who walked away from the role of Jason Morgan and joined another soap should be able to come back and take his old role back. He should have come back as a totally new character just like others have done. BM is a more talented actor. And the way they had the whole town turn on BM was ridiculous, especially when they knew they were going to hand the role of Jason over to their golden boy. Totally uncalled for. A lot of the Killy fans have stopped watching The Steve Burton show, aka General Hospital. This show will not be around long, the writers blew this story. And surely not interested in a triangle and Sam eventually ending up with roboman (the chosen one) All over one actor who may stay or may not. I’m going to watch days instead.

GramS
GramS

I totally agree….he walked away from GH and he walked away from Y&R with suspect reasoning. He was never my fav on Y&R or GH. BM on the other hand is a talented actor and so capable of actually pulling you in with multi facial expressions. SB has ruined GH for me.

Timmm
Timmm

Billy Miller walked away from Y&R.

SANEN85
SANEN85

I agree with everything you said in that first half. I’m not quite there with you on the second half but I suspect I will be soon.

Taelyn
Taelyn

Well that’s your right, but it’s also your loss.. The show has been fantastic, And while BM may not be the true Jason Morgan he has been given a great character to explore and build as his own.. Never having to be compared to SB as Jason. He is able to create himself and not lose the woman he loves or the Mother and family he had.. And when he stops feeling sorry for himself, he will see that he never lost his friends either. They cared for him as a person.. But they wouldn’t pretend he was somebody he wasn’t.Even Sam knew he wasn’t Jason she just never had the coup to admit it out loud. but regardless.. your not watching so I guess it doesn’t matter.. But again it’s truly your loss.

Gwen
Gwen

I am so tired of people complaining about Jason leaving and coming back. All actors leave and come back. Since Jason been back GH is better than ever. I can’t wait until the next day to see what’s going to happen. If you don’t like what is happening stop looking at it. Oh that’s right you don’t look at it now. The only complaint I have is Nell get away with too much. I don’t Michael to be hurt again.

Andrew Hass
Andrew Hass

I agree that Billy Miller has been given a great opportunity with the character of Drew since Drew in a way is a blank space since we know about his past.So the show can reveal anything they want about Drew’s past and not have to rewrite anything.

Rashonda Winston
Rashonda Winston

Steve didn’t just walk away he and the show couldn’t come to an agreement about his scheduling. He wanted more time with his family who lives across the country. GH said no and Y&R said yes. So feel how you feel but at least know the whole story before you start popping off. You’re mad at the man for wanting to be with his family. I get we love the soaps but those people are humans with families. Not robots for our entertainment. Love Billy and just so you know Billy nor Kelly has problem with the way the story is going so why can’t the fans of theirs accept it. Well GH is getting really exciting. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Timmm
Timmm

So, you have never switched jobs in your life?

If it were not for the Steve Burton Show the ratings would be in the gutter!

Billy Miller CAN be good. He needs to speak and not mumble!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yeah, I also wish Miller would enunciate! And why does he look like he is so fatigued he can’t take another step???? Wake up!

Stacie
Stacie

Any long time soap fans understand that actors come and go. When there is a chance to have an extremely popular iconic actor back in a role, a show is always going to take that option. I find that BM fans (some who were not GH fans and only followed him from Y&R) look at the show only in terms of his storyline. Us GHers who have watched for generations understand the layers of story telling. Steve was on the show for 20 years in an incredibly popular role. Of course the show took the opportunity to bring him back. It wouldn’t have worked nearly as well to have this iconic actor in a different role. Any actor who takes over a recasted role from such a popular actor understands the risks involved. Once he walked back into a scene, the same old chemistry between Sonny & Jason, Carly & Jason is still there. Yes, S&C have been tough on Drew and I do hope to see those relationships rebuilt with a new foundation. I do understand BM fans feeling that was unnessarily harsh, but it has set up Drew to have an enormous amount of fan empathy and has drawn in MORE viewers to his storyline. Fans are rooting for Billy’s Drew in a way they hadn’t before. This twin storyline has been hugely popular storyline and most fans are excited and loving GH right now. No story is going to appeal to every fan, but this story has really hit its stride with multiple fans being excited about the show more than I’ve seen in a LONG time. This is good for the soap genre and GH’s longevity. Fans who are complaining about Billy becoming Drew don’t really understand how soaps work. He is doing incredible work and is being showcased in a front burner storyline. I really don’t believe that BM fans are turning off the show, just a bit of foot stomping as they didn’t get the story they wanted. If your a fan of Kelly & Billy together, their storyline is better than ever. This storyline has actually made Billy MORE popular with a broader base of GH fans. He is getting the chance to do some amazing work and is a HUGE part of the storyline. Kinda funny your assertion that GH won’t be around long. Really show is going on 55 years. I think they can withstand a few fans having a pity party, especially given the majority of fans are LOVING this storyline. The only ones not happy are BM fans who are whining – so much that Killy came out on Twitter and had to ask their fans to stop attacking their co-workers, that isn’t what they want. See the actors are loving being part of the storyline as well. They are working actors in a tough industry in a hot front burner storyline. You may not like every detail, no fan ever does, but to say it is “unfair” for… Read more »

Rhonda
Rhonda

Bravo, Stacie. Yes, it’s a win-win situation.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Excellent post, Stacie.

Rhonda
Rhonda

But wait, GH has gotten better since Burton came back and the ratings back that up. In addition, Miller has been sleep walking since he was miscast as Jason. He’s finally waking up since been given his own role to call his own.
Drew is still living in Jason’s home, and is with Jason’s wife and son so I don’t think he fared too badly.
If he had any pride, he’d realize he needs to give Jason back his home.

Stacie
Stacie

That isn’t how Jason rolls.. there may come a time when Jason moves back into the penthouse, but kicking out Sam and the children so he could have his place back would be rather brutish and not Jason’s style. I don’t see Jason uprooting Sam and the children out of the only home they have ever known. This isn’t about Drew’s pride, and isn’t up to him to give back the penthouse, it technically is still 50% Jason’s. Jason has never been a thing kinda of a guy and don’t see his ego getting involved. He has empathy for everything his brother has lost. He knows better than anyone what it is like to find out you don’t know who you are.

I enjoyed Billy as Jason, he filled a gap while Steve was gone. No it wasn’t the same, but he is a talented actor and has chemistry with both Liz & Sam. Sam is also with Drew because SHE chooses to be with him. At some point, she will have to make a choice and IF her choice is to be with Drew then at some point she would have to get a divorce… though I imagine there will be more Jason & Sam before that happens.

I do see Jason & Sam divorcing as that way they can remarry when the time comes. This triangle will not be easily nor quickly resolved is my guess. Right now he would be kicking out Sam and her children, wouldn’t be a very classy thing to do. For me the apartment isn’t about Drew, this is Sam’s home with her children and Jason would never want her to leave. Jason can get another home, he doesn’t want that home unless Sam and his son are in it.

This is a soap and this storyline is supposed to go on through May. While it has been moving really fast, don’t see Sam dumping Drew and going back to Jason that easily, a long way off from that possibility I think. She has after all lived with Drew the last almost 2 years, had a child with him and has feelings for him. Jason has been gone for 5 years, so will take time for her to reconnect with him.

I have no doubt she will, they have so much chemistry but I couldn’t being to predict who Sam will wind up with. I’m guessing Jason & Sam aren’t finished. It is to her credit though that she didn’t just dump Drew and go back to Jason. The way they are writing it will draw out the drama in this triangle and this storyline could go on for years with Sam torn between two men. I enjoy ALL the actors involved and just loving watching it unfold.

Steve
Steve

For the past couple weeks, they’ve been setting up Drew and Sam’s eventual move into the Q mansion with all the comments on how Danny is hooked on Annabelle II. They’ll eventually have another wedding. Prior to that, Drew will decide to use the Quartermaine name as Cain has no meaning to him.

rebecca1
rebecca1

I’m not sure, Stacie, but when Rhonda said “give Jason back his home” she might have meant along with his wife, Sam and their son. Not sure.

Rhonda…to be fair, though not legally (since legally Sam’s still married to Jason) Sam is Drew’s wife in every sense of the word. They’re completely in love, had a daughter and have gone through quite a bit together in the last few years.

Sam is a true victim here though to her credit she’s been so protective over Drew’s understandable devastation that she’s suppressed her own feelings. Her love for Jason is as strong as ever. You can feel the love. But, she also truly loves Drew.

It really is heartbreaking for each of the three involved (and their children) but in true soapy fashion we’ll have to wait and see how it all falls out. I don’t know how Sam will choose when, LOL, I feel torn, too! I’ve said it before but I think Sam and Drew are great together, but then I see Sam with Jason and there’s almost no contest. They just hit me in the gut.

I think the deciding factor, if ultimately Sam feels she loves them equally, will be how she sees the course of her life. Unless Jason turns away from Sonny and the mob (which I don’t ever see happening) her life and the children’s lives will be safer with Drew.

Satan
Satan

Steve Burton left GH in 2012 for the same reason many others left before and after him. Because the guy writing the show at the time was a COMPLETE MO-RON who trashed their characters and made their job a joke.

That situation no longer exists, so he came back. I’d like to see a few others do the same (**paging Robert Scorpio!! Agent CK8, report to Port Charles immediately!!**)

Shay
Shay

“CK8!” I love it!

Steve
Steve

Unlike some others here, I don’t think Ron walks on water. However, Steve Burton departed in 2012 because he’d get a sweetheart shooting deal with JFP at Y&R.

Also, Tristan Roger’s issues with the writing relates to Shelly and Jean — not Ron.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yeah, Anna needs a Scorpio “rescue.”

Delia
Delia

He sound really promising for the legendary vets and I really like that!! Here hoping we get surprised visits from Tristan Rogers as Robert Scorpio under Chris and he’s written as he should be, now that’s the 1 legendary GH vet I missed a lot and think bringing him back often is must..Otherwise Chris’s interview have me really enthused about GH again and I can tell ya, I had pretty much given up on it. Also Mike you done good, asked all the right questions..Kudos!!!

Allen Saint James
Allen Saint James

I agree. Tristan Rogers should have been brought back aged ago and kept under contract. He was the male lead for years and deserves a place as the male patriarch of the show at this point.

Delia
Delia

ICAM

Troy
Troy

How about a main story for Lucas and Brad. There are sooooo many options for these guys.

Beth
Beth

I judged the 2 Jasons story before it aired, just based on how other shows dealt with an actor returning where he’d originally played the role. I was wrong. This story is well done and compelling. It helps tremendously that the acting has been excellent and that the audience is being respected so that answers are coming, and we’re not waiting and waiting for some clues as to what happened and who is who. There’s been excellent pacing and use of alot of the canvas. As a Tamara Braun fan, I’m so happy she’s back on GH and that there’s the potential for her to stick around for awhile. So far, so good, GH. I hope the end of ’17 and 2018 will continue to feature good storytelling.

And one more thing: GH’s Thanksgiving episode had heart, humor and history and was, by far, the best Thanksgiving episode of all 4 shows. The GH writers are to be congratulated for doing the holiday right, and I’m hopeful we’ll see a good Christmas episode as well.

Rhonda
Rhonda

I agree, Beth. The writing has improved greatly. The pacing, story development and character driven stories have all been stellar. After reading this article, I now know why GH has gotten so much better.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yes, the writing shows that someone is really invested in the show–and its legacy of characters.

cooks7570
cooks7570

I hope Valerie will be back on the show soon and be a part of a storyline. I hope Jason will get a mind of his own and not be Sonny and Carly lapdog. I hope Ava will get her kid back. I hope we will start to see different characters every day soon.

Howard
Howard

Great interview Michael! Chris is doing a tremendous job–I can tell he keps the vets in mind, and keeps us on our toes with a variety of stories. Writing for Laura is hard, becuse her character has been through so much in life. Monica and Bobbie too .
I would like to see the following arcs happen: (just my wishlist Chris if you are reading)

1. Make Heather Webber cured.
2. Love to see Julian have a juicy romantic story, maybe Olivia
3. O’Brecht , more of. I see that happening -good move.
4. Spinelli, son of Diane
5. Felicia – should be mayor, why havent they explored that error
6. Monica-did AJ really die, we saw her pull curtains from hospital room
7. Franco-emmy performer, marry Elizabeth
8. Back from the dead-Kathryn Bell
9. Grant Putnam, Celia, Jimmie Lee, Blackie Parrish, Anne Logan!!!
10. FINALLY–please write for Luke. Gone–but not forgotten.

Shay
Shay

@Howard….You have one good wish list there! Love, love #1, 2, 3, 6 and 9!!!! #4 and 8 are intriguing possibilities, although I cannot envision #7 happening and really don’t want to see #5….Felicia is a total dingbat and no way does she belong in the mayor’s office, unless she’s just there to deliver ribs! I would also like to mention Frisco, Noah, Robert Scorpio and a more permanent place for Britt as additional requests for 2018!

Howard
Howard

Thanks Shay, Felicia has been portrayed so dingy and gossipy, love to see a mayor story bring back that spark we all knew of. Love to also see Frisco back!
Britt–love her but I am not sure. With Dr. Nero on staff now, is there room for 2 ?

Jimh
Jimh

You made my reply so much easier…i agree with everything you said!!!!

Timmm
Timmm

What in the hell would Mayor Felicia do? She can be a grandma and like it! Just like when Frisco left and Luke left, Laura and Felicia are useless!

Grant Putnam would be a dream!

Rhonda
Rhonda

Britt is too good. I say have Nina fall down an empty elevator shaft and enter Britt. She and Valentin could be our next super soap couple!

Shay
Shay

Oh, ding ding ding, Rhonda! That is the BEST idea ever!!!! Britt needs to be an official Cassadine!

Paris
Paris

Obviously quite a few citizens wanted her as mayor. Otherwise there would not of been a recount of ballots because that election way very close. I suppose it’s because of Nicholas and Agent Kyle Sloane taking the ballots and replacing them with her shady opponent Mayor Janice Lomax (played by Saidah Arrika Ekulona since 2012…then recast by Shari Belafonte.) Lomax is a dirty playing Mayor and needs to be brought up on election tampering along with Nicholas When he returns to GH again.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Laura may be mayor! (Yeah!)

Patrick
Patrick

“… Writing for Laura is hard, because her character has been through so much in life

I don’t buy this.. she brought it on all her own

I will not justify my want for which Carly

SJB – TB – last Carly

she’s not much with Sonny

she fails with Michael

it’s time to make her over

resolute war fare

General Hospital

Suzie rm
Suzie rm

Writing for Laura hard? Why? For whatever reason the keep starting and stopping her stories . Where did she and Kevin disappear to?

Howard
Howard

Thanks Patrick, I disagree on Laura, but agree on Carly.

Rhonda
Rhonda

I am totally digging Nelle giving Carly the what for!
For years we have watched Carly harass and torment her female rivals such as Lizzy, Robin and others. Now, we get to see Carly be on the other end of that hell storm.
Karma is a bitch and so is Nelle, and she is a fun bitch.

Shay
Shay

“Congratulations, Grandma!!!!!!” Was that sheer bliss or what, Rhonda???? Carly is finally getting all her past antics thrown right back in her face and it is utterly delicious! Leave it to “Nelle from H#!!” to be just the one to do it! You go, girl! (It’s going to be long nine months at Chez Corinthos…)

rebecca1
rebecca1

I don’t think writing for Laura should be difficult because of all she’s been through, Patrick. EVERYONE on that show has been through the ringer. Case i point, Jason, Drew, Sam: 😉

What seems to be more difficult is dressing Laura in clothes that weren’t borrowed from “put grandma in a shawl and rocking chair” warehouse! I mean, seriously. Genie Francis is a pretty woman and should be wearing great clothes like every other female character on the show. You can be maternal and stylish at the same time! Right now she’s epitomizing the warm, cozy and fuzzy but is lacking the spunk, spirit and style to go along with it. Give Laura her sexy back!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Genie is such a great actor; Laura is such a rich character. Writing should be a piece of cake!

Shay
Shay

One additional item for “The Great GH Viewing Wishlist” should include the hope that someone—(Hello, Laura, Olivia, Lulu, anybody????)—introduces the precious little Charlotte to the obviously unfamiliar concept of a healthy balanced diet….It appears that her two basic food groups are hot cocoa and cookies! Seriously, how is it those sugar-laden treats with which the adults in her life are constantly plying her appear to be the only available edibles her affluent family has to offer???

Fanny
Fanny

Really NICE interview….Chris is a keeper!!!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Agree–great interview!

C.A.
C.A.

Thank you for the interview, Michael.

I delight in Mr. Van Etten’s love of the genre. I’m grateful that some of his favorite characters are ones rooted in GH’s history, and that he acknowledges the importance of balancing emotional beats with big stories (thank you Ms. Altman if you do, indeed, encourage that balance). This show has long been an important part of my life and I like to see it celebrated.

My one “however” stems from the fact that I notice this is yet one more interview with a GH writer that doesn’t offer any promise of an Elizabeth-centric story. I am thAankful to Jean, Shelly and now Chris for working to restore her integrity, and from time to time these writers give her wonderful P.O.V. (the recent scenes with Robin come to mind). I also LOVE her current pairing: it benefits from a slow and deliberate build and really amazing chemistry between Rebecca Herbst and Roger Howarth. But I know Elizabeth is truly a bit player in all of it. Sometimes she’ll say something to provoke a reaction from Franco, occasionally she’ll get to react briefly to something or someone, but she still doesn’t drive story in any meaningful way. I think a character with that much history and depth should do more than serve as a doting mother and minor catalyst.

Beyond this on-going frustration, I’m relatively hopeful about the future of GH.

Again, thanks for the thoughtful interview.

aria
aria

i totally agree w/ you, well said, it baffles me that they play her in such a minor way, same w/ laura, they both should be driving story and not be playing supporting characters, yet we have to see Sam and Carly all the time, wtf. moving forward, hopefully they will “get it” !

jeremy
jeremy

“GH”, is a Must See Daytime Drama 🙂

JK
JK

WE HAVE SEEN SOME OF THE BEST STORIES IN YEARS…..KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

JONNYSBRO
JONNYSBRO

I absolutely believe Chris Van Etten is the reason why GH turned around. The show under Jean P was a chore to get through. Remember the dull Chimera storyline and just barely anything was happening. Chris came in October and the 2 Jasons stoey was mindblowing. He has such great passion as a writer and soap fan. Hes very talented.

Dee
Dee

While I am happy to see Steve Burton return I am dissapointed in this story. It was a great opportunity to see “stonecold” in a entirely different light and give him some new, fresh material to work with.Instead more of the same soap opera return from the dead.

Cynthia
Cynthia

I really like the growth of Sam with Drew and I hope she stays with him and the writers for once understands that she can’t keep losing Jason and his children should keep having to go through that especially the older they get.

Andrew Hass
Andrew Hass

I also Sam stays with Drew.Yes Sam may always love Jason more than she loves Drew but sometimes in life the person you love most isn’t the person you want t spend your life with.For example Sonny and Brenda loved each other very much but they couldn’t be together because they wanted different things in their lives.

su0000
su0000

In the end it is all going to be a rerun of Sam and Jason because the writing always runs on the same track for 5 decades, rarely switching tracks.
Jason and Sam will be end game, yawn and a sigh.

The writers have been and are chicken-shite to go into new directions, it is always a rerun of the past never anything off the familiar beaten path will not be..
Oh, they mess with a new direction but never for the long they will return to the same ol’. every time.

Writers kill the chance for new starters and new life direction by going back to the past.
The world changes, life changes but soaps never change they will twist and turn right back to the way it was..
god forbid things Actually take a lasting turn.

That being said– Chris is young, a new outlook, and hopefully the saviour that brings GH into the 21st century and moves forward with new directions and not fall back into the past/everything that what was, again
People ( people of healthy minds) do not live their lives in the past, they hold memories dearly and they learn from their past but don’t live in their past again and again and again they advance into new beginnings, so should the soaps.

Again; in the end all will go back to what was–
Julian and Alexis
Michael and Nel
Jason and Sam
and so it rolls backwards.
All others are romance/sex filler with no long love stories they just are.

New; Drew and Kim.. Not thrilled with them but their end has been written, they will be.
(neither will have anyone else to be with so writers will go back to their start bringing them together)

On the lighter side!
Maxie and Lulu in their yellow gear and a stink bomb was near more STUPID than Man Landers,,

LONG LIVE THE SOAPS! they are Loved !!! 🙂

Timmm
Timmm

Just saying the names Maxie and Lulu, STUPID is automatically attached to those two morons!

su0000
su0000

hey Timmm …
I gotta say; Maxie and Lulu make my brain bleed from their Idiocy dumb mentally challenged stupid stuff– Not Funny ….

thanky god there is FF ..
but!! it can be fun to watch Idiots at work .. bwhaa!

and– they are totally annoyingly irritating.. ISHY .. lol

Harry
Harry

I agree about Lulu and Maxie. It seems they were trying to channel the spirits of Lucy and Ethel but couldn’t make up their minds which one gets to be Lucy so they both played Lucy.
(I always preferred Ethel myself–she was the real star in my book).
So much has been said already and I am late to the party, but I wanted to add that I love, love, love the writing being afforded to Andre. Now, that man is a triple threat because he can act, dance and sing. Actually, I am not sure if he can sing but I bet he can, and I just wanted to use the term “triple threat.” Anyway, Andre is leading man material and he really proved himself in the scene in which he tells Anna about his first wife.
GH has really stepped it up. I rarely fast forward through any scenes now unless if involves Lucy and Lucy (Maxie and Lulu).

Soaphound
Soaphound

Timm, do you think they’re trying for a Lucy and Ethel vibe, circa 1955? Minus the laughs, of course.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Su…a soap opera is almost the definition of a “rerun of the past.” It’s the continuity that viewers who have watched for years look for. Long-term couples who are beloved are staples of the genre. It’s the history of these characters and their stories intertwined that makes us connect with them.

That’s not to say that they should repeat the same dialogue over and over (which they often times do) or that each day, week, month, year should be the same, but it’s the return to the way things were that makes for great escapism. Things we can’t do in real life. We can’t lose people to death and get them back. Many relationships that are broken are broken forever.

But here, people DO come back. Second and third chances abound. Families continue and expand. Characters from the past hopefully stay while new additions are added.

The two Jasons story is great, in my opinion, because they managed to weave a new story with many layers into what we thought was a done deal. Until Steve Burton announced his return Billy was Jason and Sam and Jason were back together…after detours with San and Patrick…”Jason” and Liz. So, yes, it went back to same-old same-old if you put two people who are meant for each other and find their way back to each other in that category.

But here there’s an added twist. MANY added twists. Sam really loves both of them. And we don’t know who she’ll wind up with. Maybe she will go back to Jason. Or, maybe she’ll choose the safer life Drew wants to build and choose him. No matter how it goes, it’s the journey that counts.How they all get to wherever they’re going. So far it’s been compelling. No one knows where it will lead… Like in rea; life! 😉 But taking the ride is the fun!

k/kay
k/kay

My only suggestion is make sure you do not make it all about Sonny & Carly spread the wealth. Happy Holidays to all posters I wish everyone this season Joy, Peace, Love & Hope.

k/kay
k/kay

Michael that includes you and your staff have a glorious season !!!

Shay
Shay

A Blessed Christmas and holiday season to you and yours, k/kay!!! And a most Happy New Year, too

k/kay
k/kay

Thanks Shay going to be off the posting for a while dealing with my sister and getting her moved to a new place she is suffering with early Alzheimer’s and I will be moving her Dec 26th to new brand new place it is tough finding decent healthcare thank goodness she has invested wisely etc very sad disease I am heartbroken so signing off for a while best to you and everyone else !!!

Shay
Shay

So sorry to hear your holidays will be tinged with such sadness, k/kay, but I hope the beauty of the season—and its reason—will bring you some comfort and peace through these difficult times. Take care and be well, lovely lady!

Timmm
Timmm

k/kay, prayers and encouragement for you and your family!

Momatude
Momatude

OMG, I love this writer! “Every day, I think about how to make GH’s past its present.” I’m in my late 50s and started watching with my grandmothers in the mid 60s. I fell in love with Steve & Audrey, her sister Lucille & Al, Jesse & Phil Brewer – and have watched ever since. I was a Ryan’s Hope fan, Loving, All My Children and addicted to One Live to Live- Vicki and Meredith and Larry were my favorite characters. My grandmothers are long gone, but when I watch GH it connects my past to the present.

That Mr. Van Etten respects the past is important to fans who are hanging on to the genre. I hope that the fleshing out of new characters adds to the past characters…more Q’s, more Webbers and they must keep Nelle– if ever there was a Dorian character this is her-Nelle and her baby can ignite the Q family tension and make the Corinthos boil as well. I’d love to see Nelle married unhappily to Mike in the QMansion making everyone miserable and her scheming and plotting thru the years. It would make for great TV. Too many redeemed female leads. Make her a good mother but a terrible wife and family member- so good of a mother no one wants her to lose her baby or family- but so Tracy-like that she’s always looking out for herself and pushing buttons. Bring back the Jason/Liz tension-it’s missing and seems “off” and not respectful of the core of the characters for 20+ years. Since their characters met, Jason had a special relationship and loved Liz- it didn’t matter who they were married to or dating. She was the one for him- even if it didn’t come to fruition. He was always there for her, looking at her longingly, wanting her, caring for her, saving her – the push / pull that makes for romance-the will they or won’t they kind of thing. No matter who he wound up with…it was always there. It’s nowhere to be found now and that’s NOT Jason or Liz.

Taelyn
Taelyn

Why would Jason look at Elizabeth with “Longing or Desire” when he is still madly in love with Samantha? The Jason I have watched through the years has always loved honestly and deeply and often forever.. But he always could separate “Love” and being “In Love”
The only time Jason looks with longing is when he is in love.
He was in love with Robin.
He Loved and was devoted to Carly early on while raising Michael and would have made a life with them even though he wasn’t in love. He did love her and that would have been enough if it was best for Michael..
He did fall in love with Elizabeth over time. But also gave her up becauselike Robin loving her wasn’t enough becuz she couldn’t really accept HIM.
He fell in love with Sam, and it was right because he loved her and she adored him and she accepted him and his lifestyle. She loved without hesitation or conditions

When Jason loves it’s a rare gift that is usually forever… But it doesn’t mean he stays IN LOVE forever.
Atleast that’s the Jason Morgan I’ve been watching over the years.

Momatude
Momatude

You must be ignoring their connection- you would have to to indulge this Sam as the ultimate connection for him- she can’t pick him out of a lineup — as evidenced by the last couple of years, lol ! Liz and Jason have been in and out of a relationship all during his relationship with Sam, even up until the day preceding his death in 2012 he was re-upping the relationship with Liz but then the danger threatened her and he pulled back. He always settled for Sam because she was optional – didn’t matter if she lived or died with his lifestyle – it was an acceptable risk. In fact, he threatened to kill her. He’s got to put it somewhere and Liz is too valuable to him to risk losing.

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

I do like what GH is doing alot. The stories are on fire and it is good to know that the 2 Jasons have years of story to tell with this latest tale.

Phil
Phil

GH and DAYS are the two soaps worth watching right now!

brbedl1
brbedl1

Love the story lines since Chris took over. Sooooo happy to see Steve Burton. Did watch him on young and restless but it wasn’t same after seeing him for all the years he was on GH. Loved Billy Milly on the other soap and didn’t want him written out when Steve came back, so I am so happy with this story. Keep up good work.

Shanda
Shanda

I’m just looking for the eventual reunion of the real Mr and Mrs Jason Morgan. I know that it will take time but i need for Drew to move on to his own life and stop living Jason’s with his memories and with Jason’s wife. I hope Jason’s memories can be erased from Drew’s mind and his own memories returned?

It’s horrible to think of someone having all of your personal memories that you lived through and be convinced that they have a right to keep what they acquired because of those memories. Please writers I hope his memories are in the item Andre gave to Anna!

Patrick
Patrick

the mirror ball… I forgot about that

mike
mike

There are no fast forward moments when watching GH these days.

Taelyn
Taelyn

Accept for when Nelle is on…For me anyway. I like the actress very much and she is beautiful but I can’t STAND the character. For me she stopped being interesting after she was caught in her Mess with Sonny and Carly. I just have no use for her not even with her upcoming story..

rebecca1
rebecca1

I agree, Taelyn. The actress playing Nell is very good but I just can’t stand her role. I’m already dealing with my Carly is nails-scratching-on-a-blackboard syndrome.I don’t know how much more I can take! 🙂

Jean davis
Jean davis

you all gave sb back the part of Jason, which everyone expected, and at one time Jason and Sam was so call soul mates, time have went on Drew and Sam has much more chemistry and one of the reason being their relationship of camera they are more real it not fake. that’s a,good thing going … don’t push thing to far

AJQ
AJQ

One thing GH has with Van Etten, that it had been missing for some time, is a logical and coherent narrative. The show was a mess with RC; just random crazy events, tons of plotholes, OOC writing, just about nothing made sense. (Fluke being the pinnacle of stupidity).

Now we have characters written in character and plots that for the most part make sense. (Yes memory mapping and switches are ridiculous, but a logical, intelligent story can be written for a ridiculous premise; see Iron Man, Thor and every other billion dollar comic book franchise).

We see character motivations and understand them. We see the canvas more connected with more characters interacting; it isn’t just two people spending an entire episode stuck in a room blabbing about nothing.

The only thing I recently shook my head at was the Navy just taking Jason’s accounting of events and releasing Drew. It was thin, but I’ll give him a pass on that one:)

You can see from the interview that he loves GH and feels a great responsibility to its history and legacy. I knew that before I read this, just from what I saw onscreen. I knew it for sure when he used the flashback from 2000 when Jason explained to Monica that because of his experience raising Michael that he understood that she loved him no matter what, no matter how he changed, because she was his mother and raised him.

I knew right there that Steve would be Jason and that Van Etten understood the story of Jason Morgan; that he wouldn’t screw with it by making Jason Drew and Miller OG Jason Q with some crazy switch 20 years ago or any of the other fan-fic nonsense that was out there. This man has respect for what was here 50 years before he got here and his job is to enhance and build on a legacy, not turn it on its head and destroy what came before. RC did that, again I point to Fluke, but he’s gone and GH is better for the fact that Van Etten is here.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Fans who differ in opinion aren’t expounding “nonsense.” This is a soap and we all know writers play with the past and adapt if the story allows, to the delight of some and the dismay of others.

As for Van Etten, he said in the inteview:

” We played out many different scenarios – one of them being Drew, and one of them being Jason. We played it out the other way, and then we even played out what if one of them is neither of them? My go-to is that one of them is actually Casey the Alien! (Laughs). I love to utilize all parts of GH history! It was definitely difficult in that we had to take time to play out each scenario, and figure out which one would give us the biggest bang for our buck, and at the same time honor the story we are telling and honor the characters. It was also about which one was going to give us the most fallout to play. I think we have that now.”

It seems from that answer that all outcomes were considered; which is the way a writers storyboard meeting should go. Exploring all the possibilities. None of it ridiculous” (well, there ARE some fun suggestions always added to the mix) but all creative…branching out into endless possibilities.

Sabrina
Sabrina

I hope the writers put liz and Jason back together abs start writing the great storylines from 2006-2011

'D'
'D'

I’ve watched GH since it first aired. When Dark Shadows was on also. I don’t believe that the show has ever moved along this fast, story lines are usually dragged out. I believe that today’s viewers are THANKFUL for this, so we hope that it will keep up. My daughter and I are third and fourth generations watching THE SOAPS. My grandmother listened to Guiding Light on the radio, before it made it to TV. I would go to her house for lunch when I was in grammar school and the music would be playing for, I believe it was for Love of Life. Later on, after I was married, I couldn’t eat my lunch until the music played. Talk about being trained, just like that famous dog.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

My grandmother listened to “Helen Trent” and “Our Gal Sunday” on a battery radio.

Her house had no electricity. The “stories” were 15 minutes long.

enola
enola

Happy to see the original Jason back that made my day. Now u can get rid of that drew character. He wasnt good on Young an Restless either. Him an Sam is a Big No. Again happy the Original Jason is back.

Elaine Pearce
Elaine Pearce

Drew isn’t going anywhere.Billy Miller is the best actor on GH.Burton needs to vo home to his family.

Gwen
Gwen

Are you looking at the same show I’m looking at. Billy is not the only good actor on the show. But that’s your opinion.

Timmm
Timmm

Best? That goes to Maura West.

Harry
Harry

Miller was wonderful as the bubbly effervescent Billy Abott.
However, he’s been rather zombie like as Jason. I think having to play Stonecold was turning him into Marlowe’s ghost and those chains were imprisoning his natural, carbonated presence.

Patrick
Patrick

I truly hope GH mines the talent of Billy Miller

and releases his Jason of Sam

any show that doesn’t TRY and TAP in to BM repertoire… from comedic to commando to dramatic

HIT IT

let’s dance.. and let the bevy of beauty surge simmer and sensuality loose

all the fallout ??? NO MORE SONNY AND CARLY

it’s NOW – about – Drew / Kim / Oscar

enola
enola

Oh an dont let that girl be pregnant by micheal he aint nothing but drama.give him someone he can be happy with

J.u.
J.u.

I haven’t enjoyed GH since Steve has come back
It would of been fine , if they didn’t make
Him come back as a prize and gifted . For what
Leaving and Billy taking on the Jason roll
Doing a great Job we all grown to ❤️ love
now Steve comes and wants to come back
And writers ditch a lot of actors . And now Billy
Is Drew and it’s all written that everyone looks at Drew
Like a outsider and look Steve (Jason) back
. I think GH writers stink Stink . Steve doesn’t
Deserve all this glory.Billy deserves better storylines

Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson

Pairing Laura and Kevin is a snooze. Laura was on fire with Luke because they had great chemistry. You need to find someone with that same chemistry that L & L lit the screen with. How about me? I’ve watched since Laura was 13 and with David Hamilton. She has a wonderful laugh and I’m damned funny. We could know each other from PC High. And the best news? I’m looking for work so I’m available. Hell, I could be David Hamilton’s son!

Timmm
Timmm

You are correct. Even though Laura is old now, she still needs to be with a n exciting guy. Kevin is great but he is a supporting cast member whose character has its limits. [I like the David Hamilton son angle!] Same with Anna. Robert is gone but she needs a sharp dude who is in her business. Finn sucks!

Patrick
Patrick

“… Finn sucks! ”

he looks like a fumbling not all their – out of his element “uptight”

doesn’t belong in Port Charles

go on a long escapade and partay ; or search for Hayden and your child

that’s a bid adieu

rebecca1
rebecca1

Ahhhh, Patrick! I love Anna and Finn! (I think I posted that to you before.) I think they have great chemistry. For all Finn’s quirkiniess, he’s a brilliant researcher/doctor. He’s good-looking. He’s broken yet healed. He’s been hurt…lost his wife to a horrible disease. Anna broken for so long, too, having lost Duke. The two together, with all their witty, sarcastic barbs yet underlying attraction…their going from strangers to bonding yet reisting their growing feelings…I haven’t enjoyed Anna with anyone in a long time! And I thought Finn and Hayden were about as boring as boring can be.

Anna has put a spark in Finn. She challenges him. He’s come alive. And she has just enough personality…strength and vulnerability (the latter which she tries to hide)…that makes them perfect together.

I really hope they keep these two together. No doubt Hayden will come back with the baby she told Finn had died and put a wrench into Anna/Finn. I’m rooting all the way for them.

🙂

Shay
Shay

Oh, my dear Timmmbo….I would have agreed that Finn and Anna made for a dry pairing until this past week! That’s when their “Odd Couple” act finally gelled and came alive for me….why, the dialogue on Thursday and Friday was simply priceless…kudos to whomever penned it! (My particular favorite line was when Finn played the “cat—and bathrobe— card”….MEOW!!! Tell me you didn’t find that one as catty-licious as I did, Timmmster…C’mon, I know you loved it, too!!!!!…LOL! Not that I would ever view Anna as a candidate for such a piteous state of being, of course….She has far too much going for her to take that pathetic route!!!! But it was still totally hilarious how Finn dared to go there by tossing out that sadly true stereotype her way. Color me intrigued…and amused….Hah!)

Delia
Delia

Robert shouldn’t be gone he should be on the show filling the void left by Luke.. Robert has ties with not only Anna but Laura, Bobbie, Monica, Felicia etc, etc..

KMBget
KMBget

Truthfully the last time I saw Laura on fire romance was with Stefan Cassadine. Genie’s eyes lit up during those love scenes. Genie is a great long time vet, and I hope she gets the writing she deserves.

Timmm
Timmm

Yep, she needs a bad boy!

Shay
Shay

I’m not so sure about that, Timmm!!! Laura had Luke, then Stavros, and look where that landed her….in the nuthouse for far too many wasted years! I think this lovely lady has already surpassed her “bad boy” quota for one lifetime! I’m thinking that what she now wants is “so safe, so sane and so secure,” as the song goes….

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Laura and Kevin sizzle! And I thank whoever is writing now, as I said in another post, for showing that characters who and respect each other can still have stars in their eyes! And who said they can’t “live happily ever after” despite any roadblocks or conflicts that come their way? That’s “like life,” isn’t it. And a great pleasure to watch two great actors and consummate professionals performing and enjoying it!
Kudos!

Roxanne
Roxanne

I don’t think the storyline has been fair to the original Jason at all. Another man is living in his house and raising his kid. And I’m shocked at Sam. Her and Jason have a real true love that has stood through many trails and tribulations. I don’t like her sticking with the fake Jason. And in all reality, Sam’s real husband is alive, making this fake marriage to Drew null and void. Please put Sam back together with her true love. The real Jason. FYI – I hate Nelle! Why can’t Michael ever get with a really good person?

Soaphound
Soaphound

Roxanne, I don’t agree about the Drew/Sam connection (I like it) but am totally with you about Michael. His romantic radar is totally set to “disaster”. Similar to Abby Newman on Y&R. How could a child of Carly be so clueless? But boy, that Chad Duell has really awesome hair. Nelle is like a deadly virus that won’t die, just mutates.

Patrick
Patrick

well… it was surely a snooze fest… watching “Sam” behind the desk @Aurora Empire.. or whatever they call it. LOL

she’s just not interesting no matter WHAT GH tries

she pissed me off right quickly with the way she treated Nina. OH well.. Sam is good for a laugh at just how lackey she REELS

by all means… pit her with Steve Burton… they can “swing” with Sonny and Carly

Margie-Rose
Margie-Rose

Excellent interview Thank you so much enjoyed reading.

Marie
Marie

Writing mess up Jason & Elizabeth history between them Love and friends they shared between them. Agree It didn’t matter who they were dating or married to he was all always there for her. Remember their characters met they had special relationship between them was amazing. Elizabeth ask Franco to married her after Christmas holiday

Patrick
Patrick

I hated the Liz and Robin tell all.. and Liz ASKS Franco to marry

“…he’s even got me interested in art again ”

CRINGE

this is all to prop Roger Howarth… he’s so messed up.. that NO ONE

NO ONE in Port Charles likes him. why is Liz character terminally stuck !

Roger Howarth friendship and or brotherhood… WITH SB and BM .. no ones’ going to accept this. if GH dares make him a quartermaine.. then the writers truly SUCK.

GET IT WRITERS – Roger Howarth has never worked.. since the lawsuit about Todd

FIRE Roger Howarth and Michael Easton

PS – several posts above have also posted about SB Jason and RH Liz. YES

rebecca1
rebecca1

tsk, tsk, Patrick! LOL…I have to disagree with you again! (still luv ya but…)

Franco is a good guy. I sound like a broken record but really, he, too has bee hurt with lies, some kind of betrayal when he was a child, he DID have a brain tumor and since he’s been nothing but great to Elizabeth, her children, Kiki, Scott, saved Carly from Heather, sacrificed himself to help Nina….

He’s become the new punching bag where AJ used to be. Those (on the show) judging him have done equally hideous crimes and don’t have the (valid) tumor excuse to justify them.

As for no one liking him? Who? Carly/Sonny/Jason/Drew/Sam…the other just jumped on the bandwagon.

Thankfully, Liz, Kiki, Dr. O, Andre, the kids DO like him! I really hate seeing him as the punching bag. If Port Charles was the epitome of honest, law-abiding citizens then MAYBE they could justify their wrath. But, Franco? He’s not a criminal anymore. Sonny, Jason, Carly? They still are.

Franco needs a break or needs to start manning (Todd Manning…ooh! 😉 ) up!

Marion
Marion

I tuned out for a while, but now I’m back into the show! Great writing! Keep it up! Thank you for caring about the history of GH and for trying to include every character, new and old! Love it!

Angela l Ferguson
Angela l Ferguson

Yes i have enjoyed gh especially finding out that steve burton was the real jason ,i just wish you guys would put jason and sam back togetheragain and give drew kim

Teneane Brown
Teneane Brown

I have been watching GH for 55 years it all began with my grandmother and my mom I love love the way things are being written and I am so excited about what is coming up. Continue to keep me glued to my seat great job.two thumbs up

Kathy
Kathy

Michael can’t be the father he deserves to be with someone he loves. You should bring back Starr for Michael. He loved her and she left to pursue her music career. We haven’t had a good singer in a while. Also need to bring Lucky back who has not even been mentioned since Elizabeth and Franco story started.

Timmm
Timmm

They need to sign Chris to a lifetime contract! He has resuscitated GH beyond my wildest dreams. He needs to give a special shout out to Steve Burton when GH wins best soap of the year, this coming Emmys. Without Steve, Miller doesnt come alive, the other characters do not have anything new to do and we fall asleep! Also, lets not leave out Tamara. She is wicked good and her and Billy Miller will be great together! I love seeing the two Carlys chewing scenes. But again, thank you Chris Van Etten, it is a pleasure. And for those of you who didnt want Steve to be Jason, Chris said it best, they chose the actor who would have the most fallout. End of argument!

Kevin O.
Kevin O.

This guy is EXACTLY what “GH” needed! What a breath of fresh air. Give him a raise.

Nancy
Nancy

Chris may not want to take credit for it but since he started as co head writer he has made this show watchable again. And when he asked fans for help with some history on twitter the other day he totally won my heart.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yes, how great to see a writer respect the audience–the most loyal of fans.

toscanti
toscanti

It’s been Great since his writing has begun to air. I appreciate that he not only knows the history of the show and it’s characters but his plans to honor the history and stay true to character development. His writing is Refreshing from what we’ve been seeing. Great interview, Thank you, Michael.

Gwen
Gwen

Thank you for making GH come back alive. Now I can’t wait until the next day to see what’s going to happen. Love the writing and Love Jason and Drew storyline . Merry Christmas

Tamilla Lynn Ramsey-Rector
Tamilla Lynn Ramsey-Rector

I have growed watching these shows and I love how u keep
them so fresh. But say something about bulling.

Trisha
Trisha

While it seems that he understands how to write for a soap like GH, I’m still rather disappointed that he seems to be favoring those newer actors/characters over many of the GH characters that have been on for decades. It’s obvious he gives real stories to those he likes ,like MW, but the stories for others who are also worthy and there longer are limited to supporting and propping. I think it’s important for him to try to understand that many longtime GH fans favor those characters that they’ve been invested in for years and want to see stories about THEM, not see them just being used in stories about the newer characters. Most of their favorites have been the faces of GH for a long time and deserve to keep their status, and not be pushed aside just because he likes a newer character or actor.

Steve
Steve

Unfortunately the writers have little say in how many times a character appears on screen. Contract actors have guaranteed episodes that need to be met. The writers do have some wiggle room with the recurring characters. Gratefully, we’ve seen a lot of Monica this year and upticks for Scott, Bobbie and Felicia.

Days Of Our Lives

LISTEN NOW: Soap Nation Live! With Jon Lindstrom, Beth Maitland, Freddie Smith & Linda Dano

Tonight on the November episode of Soap Nation Live! with Michael Fairman, get ready for a dynamic line-up of some of your favorite soap stars.

Join Michael and his special guests: GH’s Jon Lindstrom (Kevin), Y&R’s Beth Maitland (Traci), DAYS’ Freddie Smith (Sonny) and soap icon, Linda Dano (Ex-Felicia – AW, ex-Gretel – OLTL, GH, AMC, Port Charles, and ex-Cynthia, ATWT) for this 90-minute broadcast, plus you never know who might pop up during the show!

Make sure to listen in for our trivia game show segment, when one lucky caller has the chance to win a Days of our Lives goodie/swag bag, and a personalized autograph picture from our guest, Freddie Smith.

To call-in and pose a question, or a comment to any of our guests, dial the exclusive listener-line at 818-295-2130.  

The season premiere begins its stream-live at 7PMPST/10PMEST.  You can also head on over to the Soap Nation Live! page at Spreaker.com, if you have any trouble listening to the show here.

Portions of the broadcast can also be viewed at Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/michaelfairmanTV

Now, listen to Soap Nation Live’s all-new episode below in the player.

If you are tuning-in shortly before 7PMPST, you will hear some musical interludes before we go live for showtime. Make sure to press the play button on the player below and enjoy the show!

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Days Of Our Lives

THURSDAY NIGHT: Soap Nation Live! With Special Guests: GH’s Jon Lindstrom, Y&R’s Beth Maitland, DAYS’ Freddie Smith & Soap Favorite, Linda Dano

On Thursday night, November 15th, Soap Nation Live! with Michael Fairman returns with a brand new episode beginning at 7PMPST/10PMEST.

Join Michael and his very special guests: General Hospital’s Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan), The Young and the Restless Beth Maitland (Traci), Days of our Lives Freddie Smith (Sonny), and beloved soap vet, Linda Dano (Ex-Felicia Gallant, AW, Ex-Gretel Rae Cummings, OLTL, GH, Port Charles, and AMC) who will be appearing with Alison Sweeney (Sami, DAYS) in Hallmark’s The Chronicle Mysteries next year, for this entertaining 90-minute broadcast.

Make sure to listen in for our trivia game show segment, when one lucky caller has the chance to win a very soapy prize, a Days of our Lives swag bag, and a personalized autograph picture of Freddie Smith.

To call-in and pose a question, or a comment to any of our guests, dial the exclusive listener-line at 818-295-2130.

The November edition of Soap Nation Live! will be streamed live right here at Michael Fairman TV.   Come back prior to showtime Thursday night, and just look for the post for our broadcast and listen-in.

You can also listen to all past broadcasts and the new live-stream of Soap Nation Live! via Spreaker’s Soap Nation Live page

Portions of Thursday’s all-new episode can also be viewed at Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/michaelfairmanTV

If you have a question for any one of our guests that you would like potentially posed to them during the live broadcast; you can post them via the comment section below, and we just might ask your question on the air!  We hope you are looking forward to the show.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL Flips The Switch In Sonny-Centric Episode Featuring Standout Performances

On Monday, in honor of Maurice Benard’s 25th anniversary as Sonny Corinthos on ABC’s General Hospital, the daytime drama took a look at what life would have been like if Sonny had not fallen in to a life of crime and in the mob. The standalone episode featured the return of Dominic Zamprogna as Sonny’s eldest son, Dante.

But in the twist on ‘soap-reality’, Dante was now the ascending mobster in Port Charles, and Sonny was a sergeant in the police department in Brooklyn married to Olivia Falconeri (Lisa LoCicero).  It all beings when Sonny remembers being 18-years-old and that fatal day when he shot Vincent Marino.  The young Sonny is played by Maurice’s real-life son.   Sonny then dreams of what would have happened to him if he never pulled that trigger.

Sonny is now a by-the-book cop, who visits his son Dante along with Olivia.  When they get there, Dante is now married to Sam (Kelly Monaco), who is his trophy wife.  Dante is working for the Jerome family – enter Julian (William deVry) and Ava (Maura WestO – and we quickly learn that “Jason Smith” is the hit man who works for them.  And, wouldn’t you know?  Seems like Ava and Jason have a “thing” going on … sealed with a kiss.

Now disturbed by his son’s life of crime, Sonny goes to the PCPD to talk to the police commissioner, who is now Anna Devane (Finola Hughes).  In the story, Anna is very inward, depressed, and more.  We find out that her daughter, Robin died of complications from AIDS in the 90’s, in which Anna has never recovered from.   We also learn at the PCPD that Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) is the current District Attorney.

Courtesy/ABC

Carly (Laura Wright) enters the scene, and she is still married to A. J. Quartermaine.  Sonny takes a liking to her and vice-versa.  We later learn that Jordan (Briana Nicole Henry) is back working for the DEA and Dante has gone undercover to bring down the Jeromes; so the entire territory is under his control.

Dante and Sam have a major falling out, as he is excited by the power he will have once he rids the Jeromes out of his business.  Sam has had it. She doesn’t want to dress like this, be his trophy wife, or have this kind of life. When Dante walks out, an upset Sam is alone with Jason, and the two connect.

In the conclusion of the episode, Dante shoots Jason on the pier, a scene which Sonny walks in on.  Sonny and his son struggle for the gun, and once again Dante is shot, just like in the original version of the story years ago, but with the twist of the struggle.  Olivia comes running onto the pier and sees Dante shot, and yells at Sonny the signature line, “You shot your own son!”

CourtesyABC

At the end of the dream, Sony goes back to the mark in time where he decides whether or not to pull the trigger on Marino with Mike (Max Gail) and him looking on at the young version of himself.  In the end, Sonny still pulls the trigger.

The episode featured stand-out performances by: Dominic Zamprogna (how great was it to see him again, and to see him play Dante’s dark side), Maurice Benard (who illustrated the other side of Sonny, more reserved, and delivered a heartbreaking speech as Sonny to Dante about his life being abused, and the choices he made), Kelly Monaco (who showed a woman unhappy with the outward shell she had created and been a part of), and Finola Hughes,who gave us a different look  at what life would have been like for Anna had Robin been taken from her years ago.  Additionally, it was nice to see the entire cast deliver in support of making this episode work in the ‘flip the switch’ sequence of events.

So, what did you think of the Sonny-centric episode? Who was your favorite in it?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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The Young and the Restless

Airdates: 10-24-26-2018

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