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GH’s Head Scribes Shelly Altman & Chris Van Etten Take You Inside The Writer’s Room Of How A Soap Is Written!

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The Nerdist has posted a very special podcast for soap fans and especially those of General Hospital.

Host, Ben Blacker welcomes GH head writers, Shelly Altman and Chris Van Etten for an inside look and discussion on just how the writer’s room works and is constructed on a soap opera, in particular the ABC daytime drama series.

Blacker is joined by writer and GH superfan, Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, as they talk the nuts and bolts of writing for a continuing daytime drama series from: the creation of long story, to how the each week’s episodes are laid out in the hands of the breakdown writers, scripts writers, and more.

Courtesy/CVanEttenTwitter

Altman and Van Etten also talk about their writing team, what they look for in a writer, and if they are a fit for the genre, if there is story that they want to tell, but haven’t had the chance to yet, and how they must map out the lives for the many contract players and characters on the Port Charles canvas.

It’s a compelling listen. Check it out here.

After you have had a chance to listen, let us know if there is something you learned that you didn’t know about how the process of writing a soap, and in particular how GH scripts and stories are planned in the comment section below.

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Allen Saint JamesJMERrebecca1nancy dillingham4ever DAYS Recent comment authors
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su0000
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su0000

Whoa! that was more than long so I had to skip it… Anyways, I don’t care how they write GH I only care how good the writting is. I gotta admit, I have been in snoooz mode the past 2 weeks, nothing is happening to keep me awake 🙁 overkill of Sam and Jason looking at each other like hurt puppies, to say it kindly, nuff is nuff of them.. They desperately need to write some hard drama, intriguing exciting adventure intense stuff and shelf the stagnate mush. the couple’s woe is me woes are as interesting as a lint… Read more »

Fanny
Guest
Fanny

@Su000, you never cease to make me laugh…. Thank you
for your unvarnished honesty.

aria
Guest
aria

laugh and unvarnished honesty? all she does is complain about how boring gh is, if she doesn’t like it she should just give up already on the show, she seems happy w/Dool and RC, why is she bothering w/ GH if all she’s gonna do is bitch about it, what she is, is predictable, if you wanna read someone bitch about GH then su0000 is the one to go to to read about it That is all she offers.

Jovin
Guest
Jovin

Su is a man, by the way.

Rebecca1
Guest
Rebecca1

Su…I guess the difference lies in what you define as “drama.” I think you seek action. As for drama, Sam and Jason’s exchanged glances ARE drama…for those of us who were in love with their love story. Add to that Sam’s emotional conflict, her love for and loyalty to Drew coupled with her repressed but returning to the surface feelings for Jason and it’s an emotional tug-of-war for the characters and the veiwers who are invested in these characters. Personally, I get kinda teary when I see the flashbacks of Jason and Sam because I was watching back then. So,… Read more »

Allen Saint James
Guest
Allen Saint James

amen to Intense action adventure stories. They at the beginning phase of bringing back adventure storytelling to the show. The Jason/Faison Saga is the most intriguing story in ages.

Jake
Guest
Jake

They are building stories (i.e Faison and Mayoral/Charles St). What I like is that they are integrating a lot of the cast in both stories.

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

I, too, like the integration of a lot of the cast members. “Seems like old times.” 🙂

Reed
Guest
Reed

It’s worth a listen (interview begins 5 minutes in and is 68 in length). I enjoyed learning more about Shelly and Chris, the process of writing the show, the constraints and challenges. GH should be in good hands with Shelly, Chris, and the current writing team. I’m sure the goings-on behind the scenes can be even more interesting than what’s on the screen, so it was a neat glimpse from that perspective. But what about the bigger picture? Let’s hear about the business side of things from the executives, those that can speak not only on the state of the… Read more »

rose
Guest
rose

I am curious…Do the writers ike Shelly and Van Etten pay any attention to comments made by fans. A big example is that, at least on MF, for years many have expressed being very tired of Sonny and Carly, the mob, and both monopolizing GH. Doesn’t this count for something when writing the GH stories.

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

@aria

su0000 only watches GH and Y&R.

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

It was an interesting listen but I think it was meant primarily for those who are either in or interested in getting into writing. I found it interesting because of my publishing background. not sure if it would be compelling if I wasn’t in that realm.

On that note, it was a good interview and an insight into the writers minds…and of course an insight into the business aspect, as well.

For those of us who might be thinking of writing a soap…as was asked during the interview…it wasn’t too encouraging. But never say never!

JMER
Guest
JMER

I’m really disappointed with Chris Van Etten as the choice for co-headwriter. For someone who watched late 80s GH, supposedly, I see nothing that shows respect for that time period onscreen. I also don’t like that he is basically Ron Carlivati’s pupil, who loves the soap cliches like Ron does. Because the genre and especially GH started going toward the bad in the 90s, I see some sense in putting older Head Writers in place at GH becaue they know what good soap is made of. Many of the writers working under Chris and Shelly are older so why not?

All My Children

Kim Delaney on All My Children Primetime Reboot: “All They Have To Do Is Ask, and I’m There”

While Kim Delaney is currently appearing on General Hospital in the role of Jackie Templeton, and she just appeared in her new Lifetime movie, The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother’s Hunt of Justice, the actress revealed she would be up for appearing in the upcoming primetime revival in development of All My Children.

Delaney became soap-famous in the role of AMC’s Jenny Gardner from 1981-1984 before she was killed-off the show in the now iconic jet ski explosion.

Now even though Jenny died, Kim would be up for figuring out how the character could be resurrected or how she could take part in the primetime reboot of the ABC soap opera called, Pine Valley.

In an interview with Soaps.com, Kim shared on being part of the reboot: “All they have to do is ask, and I’m there.  Sure, Jenny died, but someone asked me the other day if we ever saw her body. So maybe she’s out there, somewhere… ”

Former All My Children stars and real-life duo, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos are executive producers of Pine Valley along with Andrew Stearn.

So, would you like to see an alive and well Jenny Gardner, or some other role for Delaney, in the All My Children reboot? Comment below.

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All My Children

TONIGHT: Kim Delaney Stars in Lifetime’s ‘The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother’s Hunt for Justice’

Make sure to catch General Hospital and former All My Children and NYPD Blue star, Kim Delaney (Jackie, GH, Ex-Jenny, AMC) tonight on Saturday, February 20th when her highly-anticipated Lifetime movie debuts beginning at 8pm EST/7pm CST which marks the cable network’s 400th original movie.

In The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother’s Hunt for Justice, it tells the story of Mari Gilbert’s search for the truth behind what happened to her daughter Shannan, a sometime escort who disappeared after a ‘date’ on Long Island.

After Shannan (Katharine Isabelle, Hannibal) fails to come home, her mother Mari (Delaney) knows something is terribly wrong. Pleading to police to take her concerns seriously, she keeps pushing the police for answers. Mari’s insistence that her daughter not be overlooked eventually leads to a horror hidden on Long Island for more than a decade – 19 bodies of young women discovered buried in shallow graves along Ocean Parkway in the area of Jones Beach State Park. Though the search for the killer is still ongoing, Mari’s passionate dedication to giving her daughter and other forgotten women a voice, and the attention they deserve, has kept the case alive with hopes of a breakthrough soon. The movie not only follows a mother’s tireless search for the truth, but it also digs deep into the murders, including Shannan’s, that have gone unsolved for so long.

Delaney’s film, executive produced by Deborah Norville, is based off real life-events that transpired in the early 2010’s where the crimes were never solved.

In an interview with 98.1 WOGL Radio’s Glenn Kalina, Delaney shared: “There is hope in the film… but you also want an answer… what happened to all of these girls?  My character just was relentless trying to find her (daughter) or find answers where she was.  They found a bunch of other bodies, and what they learned was that they were all escorts… and then they learned there was a possible serial killer.”

Check out a promo for the movie below.

Will you be watching Kim in her starring role in The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother’s Hunt for Justice? Let us know in the comment section.

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All My Children

‘ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway’ Raises $130,565 For Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS In Four Day Streaming Event

Last week, ABC Daytime fans were thrilled to see some of the archival footage and performances from the ABC Daytime: Salutes Broadway Cares benefit concerts by those who were once in the mighty soap programming block that included: All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital. 

While only GH remains, viewers still loved seeing many of their favorites perform in the streaming event, ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway, from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, which featured footage from those events that ran from 2005-2011 in front of a live audience in New York City.

The 2021 online event, which kicked-off on February 11th and streamed for four days, featured new content with daytime favorites including: Susan Lucci, Cameron Mathison, Anthony Geary, Kelly Ripa and more, plus performances from the past benefits, and an original dance performance from Finola Hughes (Anna Devane) on the set of GH.

John Dietrich, who directed each of the ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares concerts, wrote and directed the stream. It was presented in partnership with ABC Owned Television Stations’ websites around the country with support from Good Morning America and The View.

According to Broadway World, in total, the ABC Daytime Back on Broadway event raised $130,565. The streaming total includes a matching donation of $50,000 made by Broadway Cares supporters The Dream Alliance.  Now, when combined with the seven-year run of the annual concerts, the ABC Daytime stars have raised $2,020,565 for Broadway Cares.

As part of the event week, Michael Fairman chatted with former One Life to Live star, Catherine Hickland (Ex-Lindsay Rappaport) about her performances over the years at the event, her role of Lindsay and her on-screen feud with Nora (Hillary B. Smith), and more.  You can watch it below.

What did you think of the ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway streaming event? Did you enjoy seeing the performances? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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