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How DISNEY Went Overboard During General Hospital's New Year Eve Episode With References To The College Football Playoff Games!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

It wasn’t just us, but now mainstream media has caught on and is having a bit of a field day with just how many references to ESPN’s New Year’s Eve College Football Playoff games were referenced by the characters of General Hospital in just one episode, in a case of not so subtle promotion and product placement.

ESPN’s parent company ABC tried to get the word out at the last minute to drive even more eyeballs to the games between Clemson vs. Oklahoma and Alabama vs. Michigan State on Thursday seemingly using last Wednesday’s GH as a one way to try to do that.

Deadspin counted at least 7 times that the words “College Football Playoff” were mentioned by the characters of Port Charles.  (Check out their video).  They went on to say about the characters mention of the playoffs that each of them had an awkward shoehorn of dialogue talking about how much more fun watching football is than going to a party or, in this case, the playoff logo prominently featured in the background.”

So it was Dante (Dominic Zamprogna), Valerie (Brytni Sarpy), Michael (Chad Duell) and Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) as the four characters who had to say the key words the most in the episode.

Now, we are all for anything that helps GH as long as they got something out of the deal then having to write into the dialog characters speaking about “College Football Playoffs”.   We actually liked most of the New Year’s Eve episode as it was very poignant.

What did you think about the references and the mentions during the episode?  Did ABC/Disney go to far ?  Comment below!

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elm51
elm51

abc disney does exactly what the hell they want & guess what??? there is nothing we can do about but complain…………….

Geoffrey-Martin Cyr
Geoffrey-Martin Cyr

I found it typical and heavy-handed (…as most synergy between Disney/ABC/ESPN usually is!) I worked for them for two miserable yrs, so I know the value they place on cross-over synergy; sometimes it can be successful, and other times, it can appear so forced it takes you out of the action and backfires.

I seem to remember P&G pulled this crap with both ATWT and GL toward the end of their runs, prominently placing their Dawn, Bounty, Pantene, Pringles, etc. front-and-center (…and even having the camera close-in on the product!) I felt so manipulated, I swore off P&G products for about a year, esp. after having the characters use the tag-lines “Cut the grease” and “Quicker-picker-upper” into their dialogue. It broke the fourth wall along with my respect for the brand!

Sprite
Sprite

When has Disney NOT used its properties to promote synergy? GMA is a 2 hour daily Disney movie and television promotion. It’s sickening.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

I was bored and didnt pay attention to it that much but it doesnt bother me one way or the other!

Shay
Shay

It certainly wasn’t as blatant as that thinly-veiled campaign to slap down John Stamos and his brand of greek yogurt during the 2014 Nurses’ Ball when Ron C. repeatedly threw shade upon of the character of Blackie, whilst he simultaneously promoted a rival line of said dairy item with not-so-subtle product placements.

Michelle
Michelle

Well it distracted from the story and I turned GH off, so I’m going to say that it wasn’t good for GH or ESPN

Elite Advisors
Elite Advisors

So you are saying you turned off the show because they said College Football Playoff a few times? So what…so they went overboard to shamelessly promote the games…if you are a true GH fan, that has no bearing on the show.. it’s a few words.

The writers pen more lackluster words every single day…..and we still tune in because we love the show. It’s really a non- issue.

SZima
SZima

It wouldn’t have been so bad except some of those shows pushing the games aired AFTER New Years.

robert
robert

was not a fan of it. the dialogue was weird. this tells me that the network has been dictating GH creative. I think one of the reasons the quality of GH has gone down is were seeing ABC’s vision instead of the GH showrunners. Varni vision. with GH’s ratings being down and demos dismal,this is not gonna help. I saw all the backlash the episode got on social media. There are lots of problems with GH,and I’ve noticed very little change under the new writers. That tells me that Ron Carlivarti wasn’t the only problem. There’s too many new characters that I don’t care about. The Jason reveal was a dud. Now the show is really boring. After Jason Thompson leaves,GH could be looking at record low ratings. Y&R now has GH’s two most popular actors that drove story for years.

Shay
Shay

@Robert….That notion first became profoundly obvious some years back when Jason Thompson’s Patrick was doomed to that deplorable Disney-esque drivel with Cinder-brina. No self-respecting soap writer would have come up with such a hokey, childish fairytale-inspired storyline without the heavy hand of the Mouse shoving him all the way! It was especially telling when even though that entire scenario went down like a lead balloon, it took many, many months to correct its course, and yet, to this day, old Sappy still lingers, along with a good number of other marginal characters that few seem to enjoy. If that mere fact doesn’t illustrate who’s really calling the shots at GH, nothing does, since it makes absolutely no sense to keep players on the Port Charles canvas that regularly inspire viewers to tune out in droves!!!!

Jonathan
Jonathan

YR did same for Thursday Football

Joe
Joe

I love my DVR. It allows me to fast forward through stupid scenes, including that total non-believable scene between Dante and Valerie, arguing over the teams before hitting the sheets. Whatever!

Bonnie
Bonnie

It v just hurts the ratings of the show more

robert
robert

exactly. this is the last thing the show needed

Joe
Joe

Unfortunately I haven’t won the Powerball yet, so I still have to go to work everyday just so I can continue to eat and make my house payments.

maddiehayes
maddiehayes

I FF all those characters, and others .. just like you, the DVR is my friend! 😀

Bonnie
Bonnie

FF dangerous, will not get counted for ratings. ..

Daisy
Daisy

I hate Disney.

Christy
Christy

I hate football.

🙂

Pat
Pat

I had the misfortune of catching this. It was the weirdest dialogue I’ve ever heard on a soap, and it was pathetically shameless, forced cross promotion. I realize that both are Disney-owned properties. But come on, it’s two audiences that could not be any more different.

I highly doubt that there is any kind of sizable crossover between the audience/demographics that watches a daytime soap opera vs. the audience that watches college football or NFL games. Downright lame job by ABC/ESPN/Disney, and yet another example of how far GH has fallen. What’s next, the shills of Port Charles making hardwood references during a mob shooting to alert us to the NBA Finals, in June on ABC?

Linda
Linda

My thoughts exactly!!!

Jenny Brooks
Jenny Brooks

As with most things on TV, it could have been alright if it had been written well. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
I’ll keep holding my breath waiting for ABC to promote GH during its prime time lineup–the way NBC has with Days of Our Lives for years now!

Iakovos
Iakovos

I did notice the heavy handed promotion. Funny. ABC did not seem to think there was much audience for its messages when it cancelled AMC and OLTL.

Leslee
Leslee

I thought it was kind of a goofy drinking game. You know, have a shot every time you hear “college football playoff”…

Rose
Rose

Since I’m more of a baseball fan and don’t follow football unless it’s Ohio State, I didn’t even notice. But if this is the worse ABC can do in promoting what seems America’s sport’s obsession, just this once, I can live with it. It still seems a bit of a stretch to promote football on a soap. Wish the trade off would be to bring back OLTL or AMC. Just kidding, sorta.

Timmm
Timmm

I noticed it and laughed. What I dont understand is this. Most of us DVR our soaps. We dont watch commercials. Why doesnt the soaps do more product placement? I dont mind it. If Coca Cola is a sponsor, why not have Sam drinking a Coke at Kellys? We are not watching the commercials so why not put the products in the show? NO, dont be so obvious and mention the product seven times, just be normal. Its odd to see a character grab a soda out of the fridge and it just says COLA on the can. Its a COKE! Millions drink it!

Jeff
Jeff

I remember back in the day when Disney first acquired ABC and every family oriented sitcom had to go to Disneyland in their episodes. This is not the first time GH has done vulgar product placements… Characters going to the movies, and guess what movie posters were prominently displayed? You guessed it… Disney movies!

Mary SF
Mary SF

Being from Canada I didn’t get the reference– didn’t even realize it was a real thing — just thought it was just part of the show– LOL. Now if they were talking about the new Star Wars movie– I would have caught that cross promotion.

Barb
Barb

LOL Franco just did that today – mentioned Star Wars to Elizabeth when he asked if she let her sons see the new Star Wars!!! I dislike Disney also.

Dan
Dan

It reminded of that time, I think it was the National Orange Council, or whatever the hell the group was called, did a product placement on GH, and all of a sudden every character had to drink orange juice that day, and tell us how great and healthy it was, lol.

It’s cheesy and silly, and one of those things you roll your eyes at, but it doesn’t bother me, or make me not want to watch the show. If ABC doing product placements from advertisers, or advertising their own stuff on the show allows GH to stay on the air, I say do what you gotta do.

Sherri Shultz
Sherri Shultz

I didn’t mind the mention of the playoff as much as the generic “Yay my team won” or Go “my team” that was kind of funny.

Terry
Terry

It was AWFUL. Talk about stilted and obvious. Blatant, in your face. Actors should go to union about collecting fees for doing commercials too. It was an AD. This was a long way from a subtle product placement. And it was boring to watch too. Surprised it didn’t make the Soup as well. Or did it?

Kathryndenise63@gmail.com
Kathryndenise63@gmail.com

I AGREE IT WAS AWFUL&PATHETIC! GH needs to be cancelled ASAP!! THE SHOW IS BEYOND BEING SAVED & THE RATINGS SHOW IT BIG TIME! AND NOW WITH JASON (THOMPSON) leaving it does not look good or bode well for GH at all! And this coming from a person who cannot stand GH. I’m sorry for the few GH fans that are still watching. But you’ve got to face facts the show is horrible & going further downhill fast! If only we can get OLTL BACK!!! THAT SHOW MY BELOVED SHOW SHOULD NEVER,EVER,EVER HAVE BEEN CANCELLED!

Melissa
Melissa

The Soup, sadly, has been cancelled

Matt
Matt

If people are actually bothered by a mention of a college football playoff game, even if overdone, then people are taking GH and TV way too serious.

mgb357
mgb357

sort of like the Truman show wasn’t it??

awkward product placements… but if it keeps the soaps alive, why not…

– after all they are ‘soap operas’ – originally created to sell soap!!!!!

Rose
Rose

Good point!

Melissa
Melissa

They’ve done this before with awkward product placements. I can remember a very stupid scene in OLTL a few years ago where Natalie touts the ease of do-it-yourself tax preparation program. Had nothing to do with anything going on plot wise. And GH has hawked Hershey chocolates during Valentine’s Day. The Shriners Hospital plugs were a little overdone too during Spencer’s burn treatments, but at least that was for charity! What can we do but cringe? I guess the money they get from the product placements helps the soaps pay for themselves.

Dory Shea
Dory Shea

I wish that the writers could learn how to do product placement right. In this case it needed to be characters who had in the past actually showed they gave a hoot about sports at all other wise it comes of odd and forced. Like some one else said when OLTL had Natalie Buchanan an heiress doing her own taxes via turbo tax it partly rang false because someone with that much money wouldn’t be doing their own taxes. Using one of the McBain boys or Williamson sisters would have seemed more real. Integrating the playoffs on GH without it being odd would have been hard because they barely mention NY sports teams much less college teams. If writers know ahead of time that they are going to be forced to mention something they need to lay the ground work in slowly. Have a funny scene where Michael and Jason try to teach Monica about football and have Alice come in knowing everything because with Alice’s wrestling background she would. Let Bobbie and Valorie talk about how Pat loved sports and give Val positive screen time with a family member who’s husband she doesn’t want to screw.

Daisy Day
Daisy Day

I didn’t even notice. During football season, everywhere you go, you will hear people talking playoffs, bowls and their favorite teams I’m not sports fan, so I just turn it off
I’m glad to see Robin and Patrick leaving but will miss Emma. Now if they would get rid of Valerie, the new commissioner, Dylan Q. (Sp) Franco, and a few others,

Rose
Rose

I guess I don’t know what the big deal is over the football thing. Not sure it would have even been an issue had it not been made into an issue. As it is, there is product placement in all kinds of shows and movies. I don’t like it, or dislike it, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the story. And quite frankly, football viewing and chatter in a bar probably isn’t that unusual.

Dee
Dee

It was absolutely ridiculous the amount of times it was mentioned, since there was no other mention of football by any character on GH during the year. As someone mentioned ESPN does what they want even if it has no place on a soap opera.

Breaking News

Cynthia Watros Replaces Michelle Stafford As GH’s Nina Reeves

Another big name is headed to the cast of General Hospital on the heels of the upcoming departure of Michelle Stafford.  Daytime Emmy winner, Cynthia Watros had been cast as the the new Nina Reeves.  Fans of Guiding Light remember her star turn as Annie Dutton, and she was last see on on daytime in the role of Kelly Andrews on The Young and the Restless (2013-2014).

As previously reported, Daytime Emmy winner, Michelle Stafford is headed back to her old stomping grounds of The Young and the Restless to play her signature soap role of Phyllis Summer.  She will replace her own recast, Daytime Emmy winner, Gina Tognoni.  Both actresses are said to be finishing taping their current runs on their respective shows in May. Watros will begin her GH run in Port Charles in June,

GH’s EP Frank Valentini tweeted on today’s casting news: “It’s a bittersweet day. I love @TheRealStafford and wish her all the best. I’m also really excited about @watroswatros joining the #GH family and continuing Nina’s legacy.”

PEOPLE.com broke the casting change.  Stafford has been with GH since 2014.  As for Watros, she opted to leave her role on Y&R to join the cast of MTV’s Finding Carter.  She is also known for her run on the hit ABC drama, Lost and other notable primetime series and films.

Michelle Stafford’s on-screen GH love interest, James Patrick Stuart, tweeted on the news: “Cynthia Watros … Big fan.”

So, what do you think of the casting of Cynthia Watros as the new Nina Reeves? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

Short Film ‘She & Her’ Starring GH’s Carolyn Hennesy Has Premiere Screening With Support Of Daytime Community

A very topical short film in the post-Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement made its debut recently.  The film, She & Her directed by General Hospital production associate Nate Hapke, and written and co-produced by Y&R script and story coordinator, Rosie Grace, explores the complicated friendship between three women as they attempt to find their voice and tell their own stories in Hollywood.

The short stars the one and only Carolyn Hennesy (Diane Miller, GH) in the role of Poppy Sinclaire, a jaded ex-actress whose past comes back to haunt her when a young up and comer encourages her to publicly share her story of Hollywood abuse.

Hennesy’s co-stars include: Gwen Hillier who now is in front of the camera after working as a casting associate at GH.  Gwen has appeared on Transparent and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and the other part of this trio is Mackenzie Breeden.

During its world premiere of She & Her (March 30th at the Harmony Gold Theatre in Hollywood) The Young and the Restless’ Brytni Sarpy (Elena) and Kate Linder (Esther) were on hand to lend their support; as was former GH star, Chloe Lanier (Ex-Nelle).  (Hapke is pictured below flanked by Lanier and Sarpy).

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Following the film’s screening, the cast and crew took to the stage for a Q&A.  The cast was engaged through a lively discussion about the making of  the film, and the ways in which the filmmakers tackled topics such as  sexual assault, without exploiting the sensitive issue..

Following this LA premiere, She & Her will be embarking on its festival run, screening at venues all over the world.

Screenings will be announced on the official She & Her Facebook and  Twitter pages.

The film is the work of P 1 2 3 Productions and Soza Productions.

It’s always refreshing to see those behind the scenes of the soaps, and those in front of the camera, coming together for an artistic project.

So, are you intrigued to see Carolyn and her co-stars in She & Her? Check out the trailer, and let us know via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

GH’s Rebeeca Herbst and Cassandra James ‘Day of Silence’ Challenge In Support Of LGBTQ Students

On Tuesday, General Hospital via their social media accounts posted an important video  message and challenge to their viewers and colleagues featuring Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth) and Cassandra James (Terry)  This coming Friday, April 12th is the day when the initiative  “Day of Silence” will take place for many LBTYQ students in their classrooms.

The annual day spearheaded by GLSEN is a student-led national event to spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment.  During it, students take a day-long vow of silence to symbolically represent the silencing of LGBTQ students

In story on GH, the character of Elizabeth’s longtime friend, Terry, is transgender, and is played by trans actress, James.  In addition, GH has been shedding light on the bullying of  a young boy through the storyline involving Elizabeth’s young son, Aiden, who is experiencing trouble from his fellow students at school.

GH expresses these important facts and their challenge in the video: “Nearly 80% of LGBTQ students experience verbal harassment in school. This silent video is in support of youth & all those organizing the on 4/12 in their schools – we challenge you to make a video & tag 3 more friends!”

GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) is the leading national education organization working to create safe schools for ALL students.

For more on the “Day of Silence” check it out here.  

Watch the video of Herbt and James below.  Then let us know, will you be standing with them on April 12th and LGBTQ Students who have been harrassed or bullied? Will you make a video and be part of the challenge? Comment below.

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