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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.

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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.

General Hospital

GH’s Roger Howarth Chats On Shifting From Franco To Drew & The Stunning Story Twist

In one of the most intriguing plots of 2019, General Hospital’s Franco Baldwin was morphed into Navy SEAL Andrew Cain following a harrowing mind-mapping procedure. In all went down thanks to Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and Dr, Cabot (Time Winters), taking the life and memories of Drew (Billy Miller) from his flash drive and transferring them into Franco’s brain, wiping out his past and his present.  That followed the tearjerker moment, when Franco sacrificed himself to free his kidnapped stepson, Cameron (William Lipton) from the twisted procedure; that could have left the teenager with Drew’s memories or even in a vegetative state.

The recipient of this storyline – and who would be taking on another persona in his storied daytime drama career – is none other than Roger Howarth.  The Daytime Emmy- winning actor is no stranger to changing fictional identities on GH.  Howarth, played OLTL’s Todd Manning over in Port Charles, later switching to Franco (previously played by James Franco) following the legal dispute between ABC and Prospect Park.

Last week, viewers got their first glimpse of Howarth taking on the traits of Drew circa 2012, and in short order, it has caused emotional upheaval for Franco’s wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), Drew himself, Jason (Steve Burton), and Kim (Tamara Braun)… and that’s just for starters.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Roger as he started his journey transforming his work from playing Franco to Drew and the challenges it presents, plus the ripple effect the change will have on the canvas for many of the characters.  In addition for One Life to Live fans, Roger chats about his appreciation for his time on that iconic series in a candid, self-effacing, and special conversation.  Here’s what Howarth shared:

Courtesy/ABC

When you were told that they were going to put Drew’s memories into Franco, what was your initial reaction to learning that news?  Did you think it was a great twist?

ROGER:  Yeah, I think it’s a great idea.  I really do.  Good story needs a lot of things, and this checks a lot of the boxes.  It brings people together; it provides obstacles.  There are a lot of places this could lead to.  I just think it’s really smart and interesting.  I look forward to it a lot, and I can already tell by what I have shot thus far that it’s going to be fun.

If this story is written well, what has happened to Franco will be life-altering and crucial to so many people’s lives in Port Charles.

ROGER:  What I like about it, and this isn’t lip service, is that it’s a great story because it affects a lot of people.  Those are the good stories.  Elizabeth has got to deal with this, the boys have to deal with this, Scotty’s (Kin Shriner) got to deal with it, Jason is confused by this information, and now this person in interacting with Drew, and Kim, and Shiloh.  All of the sudden, the canvas is interacting completely differently.  So, I think the writers are having fun with this as well.

Photo: ABC

Then, there is also the character of Kim played by Tamara Braun, who Drew shares a past with.  It will be interesting to see how that relationship plays out, we already witnessed Franco’s Drew instantly smitten and attracted to her.

ROGER:  Yes, the person in this body is running under a certain set of assumptions that no one else shares.  So, yes, it’s confusing to everybody, I am sure, including Kim.

Do you see Franco eventually flipping back and forth, and having personality traits of both he and Drew?

ROGER:  No.  One hundred percent, no, and that provides a real obstacle with a couple like Franco and Elizabeth.  They are always looking for obstacles to prove to the audience that these two people really do care about one another, and that’s the purpose of a story like this.  I’m guessing and hoping that it will provide the character of Elizabeth with a particular objective because it would be nice to see Becky be able to play all of those beats.

Right, and to have to fight for something…

ROGER:  Yes, it’s very tragic.  This is a character that is accustomed to tragedy, and to see Becky play the role of Elizabeth dusting herself off, trying to get what she wants is going to be really cool.

Courtesy/ABC

The tragic twist had Franco saving Cameron from winding up with Drew’s memories and being the vessel for Shiloh to use.  What did you think about how Franco sacrificed himself in order to protect Elizabeth’s son?  It was quite heroic.

ROGER:  I think the other beautiful part of this is that this was motivated by love.  I don’t see it as heroic.  I think as an actor, you’re always looking for the heart of the story, and the writers made it really simple.  He does this because he loves this kid.  Yeah, they’ve had their ups and downs, and they are struggling to figure out how they can get along, and they have a lot of things that they feel about one another, but push actually did come to shove, and I think that the character of Cameron is going to be deeply affected by that.

Courtesy/ABC

This now puts Franco deep within Shiloh’s storyline and past with Drew, because Shiloh desperately wants a key piece of information locked in Drew’s memories.  So, in theory, this kind of ranks among one of the better stories you’ve probably ever gotten to tell in your daytime career.  Everyone is hoping that it lives up to its expectations in the execution of it on-air.

ROGER:  It is certainly a high concept story.  It’s asking a lot of the audience.  So far, we’re all in.  It’s a good cast.  I work with really good actors, so I’m not worried.  It is asking the audience to suspend disbelief for sure.  The good stories do.  I think Erika Slezak (Viki) on One Life to Live, getting to play Dissociative Identity Disorder as Niki and Viki that was a large ask.  She never blinked.  She did everything that was asked.  I’m trying to follow her example.

Exactly, and she played more characters.  She had more alters after that.

ROGER:  (Laughs)  Yeah!  She’s better at this than I am.  I’m having trouble with the one. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

What do you think about how Scott and Franco’s relationship will be affected, now that he is in essence “Drew”?

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ROGER:  There’s no part of that relationship that hasn’t changed because there is no Franco.  Franco is not around … Franco has left the building.

He is a completely new person for all intent and purposes.

ROGER:  For sure.  This soldier doesn’t appreciate being called by somebody else’s name.  He is not compassionate to the people who mistake him for this somewhat tortured art therapist that he no longer is.

Photo: ABC

What is also interesting is that this should put you right into conflict and scenes with Steve Burton, because now you are essentially playing Jason’s twin.

ROGER:  Yes.  For me, as an actor, to get a chance to work with Steve, and to play a like-minded person, is intimidating frankly, but it’s exciting.

Also, the audience knows how Franco and Jason are such enemies, and now, he is really in his mind his twin.  

ROGER:  Yeah, Franco sees in many shades of gray and other colors, and from what I can tell, Franco as Drew sees the world much simpler.  He thinks more clearly, he finishes his sentences, he thinks before he speaks, he knows what he is going to say.  His point of view does not waiver.  He is determined.

Courtesy/ABC

That’s got to be so exciting for you to get to play after all of Franco’s psychological baggage and issues.

ROGER:  I’ve got to say, it’s been a bit of a challenge for me to play someone with a different set of speech patterns and who stands differently.  Because Drew thinks and feels differently about everything; his body is the same, but his body is behaving differently, and it speaks differently, and he thinks at a different tempo.  They’ve been very patient on set giving me chances to do it badly, so far. (Laughs)  It’s not uncommon for me to get halfway through a scene and to have to start over.   I am essentially figuring it out as we go along.   I am very appreciative of the fact that they have been giving me a few extra takes to try and figure out how this guy stands.  He relates to people with a different set of space and time.  It’s cool.  It’s a cool set of puzzles.  It’s been really fun.  I’m a lucky guy.

When I first learned of the story twist, I was like, “Oh! Roger will be great in this.”  

ROGER:  I don’t know, man.  I could be stinking it up pretty badly. (Laughs)  I think there’s a trap as an actor who has been asked to play twins, and the trap is that this guy is only acting the way that he acts.  The trap is frankly to act too much because the audience is being told that he is a different person.  If I go too far to try to demonstrate that he is a different person, then it slips into parody or overacting.  Over the years, I have definitely been guilty of overacting, so, I’m a little frightened of it. (Laughs)  I don’t like the way it feels.  I know how it feels to go too far.  I have been getting notes like, “You could pull it back a little bit.”  (Laughs)  It’s pretty funny.

Courtesy/ABC

In the past, I have heard you say you’d rather go to work and feel unsettled about what you are asked to play.  Does that still hold true?

ROGER:  For sure!  I’d rather go to work and leave my job knowing that it was terrible and that I get to come back the next day and make it a little better.  The best thing about daytime is how much it will stretch you and pull you and ask as much of it as you are willing to put in.

Now speaking of Franco, what did you think about the wedding reception on the yacht with Elizabeth?  Did you think that was a nice payoff for Friz fans? 

ROGER:  Yes, for sure.  I thought it was a really sweet culmination to a sweet story about these two people finding one another.  I’m glad they incorporated a large part of the cast.  It was a really good idea.

Photo: ABC

What did you think of how all of Elizabeth’s boys (Cameron, Aiden and Jake) performed a song for Franco and their mom at the reception, and how Franco relates to all of them?

ROGER:  I think it was a really important story point, and it was nice, and it was easy to play.  They’re really good kids, and they’re also terrific people.

Franco really stepped up as a stepdad to Aiden, who had been bullied at school.  I loved the cooking scene, where Franco was baking with Aiden.  What do you think about their relationship?  I love that Franco is being very understanding.

ROGER:  I think he’s trying to be understanding.  I don’t think he’s really great at it.   I think he’s a human being just trying to figure out how to make the best use of his time here, just like the rest of us.

Photo” ABC

General Hospital needed a big jolt with an umbrella story like this that turns the canvas a bit upside down.  How does it feel to be at the epicenter of it?

ROGER:   I really don’t think I’m the center of the story.  I’m not even kidding.  The story is that this piece of information is worn on the shoulders of Franco, but the people who are most effected by that piece of information are Kim and Elizabeth.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction is like from the GH audience.  You’re not on social media.  Will you check out what they are saying … or the feedback?

ROGER:  I’m not on social media.  But, I believe there is a guy whose job it is to track that initial criticism/support.  I think it is kind of cool that we will get real-time reviews, you know what I mean?  I actually thought about that because with the character of Franco, it took us a while to figure out who the guy was.  There was a lot of blonde hair and some missed cues, and we weren’t sure which relationship would be featured, whether it would be Franco and Ava (Maura West), or whether he would wind up in Carly’s (Laura Wright) arena again.  It took a while to figure out the best way to put that guy in the canvas, and I imagine that it will happen again.  I didn’t dye my hair for this, but I did cut it. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

How was working with Billy Miller in this storyline twist?  Were you there on his last day on set?

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ROGER:  Yes, I worked with Billy not on his last day, but on his last show.  He was remarkable with dignity and with class, and I wish him all the best.  He did a great job.  He is a good actor.  I’m sure he will find somewhere to go be an actor.

Throughout your soap career, has there been a story that you initially pooh-poohed, but when you did it, you thought, “Oh, this is great!”

ROGER:   There was a story when Carly and Franco were together, and they wrote a story where Franco gave Carly a gift that wound up being a camera…

Photo: ABC

The evil-eye necklace!

ROGER:  Yes, this small seeing rye.  I just thought, every time Franco would come in and say something like, “Oh, you’re wearing the necklace.  It’s so beautiful,” while we were doing it, I was like, “Wow.  The audience is really going to hate this.” (Laughs)  However, my real-time Twitter is the subway, and while it was airing, I got on the train and sat next to this really amazing fan, who just told me how much she loved that story, and I was honestly surprised and pleased.  I am often wrong, and it doesn’t surprise me now when I am wrong  … because I was really wrong then.

You mentioned Franco with Ava which was a potential pairing. I think you and Maura West have always had great chemistry together on screen.

ROGER:  Yes, she’s a pretty great actor.  She’s great with everybody.

She is.  You knew Maura’s work first when she was at As the World Turns, while you were there, also?

ROGER:  I didn’t know her well at As the World Turns, but I knew who she was.  She’s a hard worker, and Jack (Michael Park) and Carly always had a lot to do.  She was pretty focused when she was there, but I spoke to her.  I didn’t feel like I got to know her until I got to work with her on GH.

Photo: JPI

Last month on July 15th would have been the 51st anniversary of One Life to Live. I saw a lot of people commenting and remembering the show on social media that day. I put together four photos on a post I made about that show featuring some of the remarkable actors who were a part of it.  From there, I received hundreds of comments of how people were just missing the series, the characters, and actors they loved in it, including you.  When you look at the list of people from yourself to Judith Light, to Robin Strasser, Bob Woods, and of course Erika Slezak – it’s such an unbelievably talented group who spent time in Llanview.  Do you ever think about what an incredible experience that was, and how the fans still miss that show so much?

ROGER:  All the time.  I mean, I’m a lucky guy.  I think it really was a special building to work in, and the people who we are talking about: Erika (Viki), Bob (Bo), Robin (Dorian), and Phil Carey (Asa), and Clint Richie (Clint), and John Loprieno (Cord), the people who made it possible for me to work there set an environment and a tone that made it a really special place.  It was a really good cast, like you said, and there was a lot of opportunity for them to write a really cool story.  I wasn’t a part of the AIDS quilt storyline, but to realize that they told a story like that and incorporated that into our show was wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Such an amazing story and One Life was telling socially relevant and important issues of our time, always.

ROGER:  I can’t say for certain, but I do believe that the original concept of the Todd, Marty (Susan Haskell), and Powell (Sean Moynihan) storyline was kind of supposed to be initially an effort to bring awareness to a horrible, violent crime.  That was a long time before the #MeToo movement.  I think it was a show where the writers had a social conscious as well and really brought awareness to a lot of different things.  That’s a great legacy and something that show should be very proud of.

Once the character of  Todd Manning took off on One Life, and how they found ways to redeem him, and how it spoke to how much the network, the show, and the audience responded to your performances, did you ever feel you had a bit of a safety net as an actor, or were you like, “I’m going to be fired tomorrow?”

ROGER:  This is truth: I am so grateful to have a job, and I don’t take anything for granted.  I don’t think anybody is safe in this business.  I just don’t.  I just don’t think anybody gets to say that they’ve arrived.  I just did a roundtable, and I shared this with people who have a lot more clout and opportunity than I do – that actors are by nature, the good ones, are aware that every day that you get to go to work is a privilege, and don’t waste it.

Photo: JPI

In soaps, for the most part, when someone is stepping into someone else’s role as a recast, or actor who played one role is changing to another, there seems to be this reactionary period of adjustment, and then, there is acceptance from the audience over time … unless you really stink it up  … as you say. (Laughs)

ROGER:  Here’s the thing, and this is why I think this is such a great idea, it’s not about me playing this part, it’s about how Elizabeth, who has been on this show for twenty-something years gets to react to it, and giving her the ball.  It’s flashy that Franco is Drew, but it is really and Elizabeth/Kim story.  I may be the one overacting and stinking it up, but it’s theirs. Do you know what I mean?  It’s not my story.

Photo/ABC

What do you want to say to the fans about this new “role” you are taking on at General Hospital?

ROGER:  I want to say that I really do appreciate the fans.  Here is the thing, they’re down for everything.  I hope they’re down for this.  It’s a big ask, but I really hope that they like it.

So, what do you think of Roger as Andrew Cain thus far and how the storyline is beginning to take shape?  Are you excited to see how Franco becoming Drew (through the mind-mapping procedure) shakes up the canvas? Do you hope Drew returns to be Franco sooner than later? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Franco Looks In The Mirror … And Believing He Is Drew Kisses Kim

This week on General Hospital, viewers have seen that when Franco (Roger Howarth) awoke from his mind-mapping implantation  (thanks to Shiloh and Dr Cabot) he woke up saying that he is “Drew Cain”.  Thus, as far we know, Franco now carries the life and memories of Drew from 2012 and back, and as of now, has no trace of Franco’s memories.

When Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) and Drew (Billy Miller) try to make Franco understand in his confusion what transpired,  Liz brings a mirror to Franco to see his face, which makes this all the more terrifying for him.  Liz insists to him that she is wife, but he tells her that he is sorry but he does not recognize her.  Franco insists he is going to leave town and Drew asks him to please stay put, as Liz promises that they can reverse what happened to him.  But can Liz really promise that?

Later, Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) fills Sam (Kelly Monaco) and Jason (Steve Burton) in on what happened and how Franco now was implanted with Drew’s memories, which leaves them stunned.  That means Franco, who is one of the people Jason loathes most in the world – now believes he is Jason’t twin brother.

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Meanwhile, as Kim (Tamara Braun) and Julian (William deVry) prepare to leave Port Charles for Manhattan and start live anew, (so Kim can not be haunted by her life in Port Charles from the recent death of her son, Oscar) things are about to make a shocking turn … for her.

Back at GH, Liz is upset when Franco decides he must get out of his hospital room.  Liz is scared he will just skip town knowing he feels he has no ties there.  Drew reassures her that because he is a version of him, the pull will be way too strong for him to exit Port Charles.

Courtesy/ABC

Kim is now at the hospital getting ready to turn in her resignation letter and runs into Franco.  He recognizes her and calls her “Kim!” You can tell he is quite smitten with her.  Kim is not sure why Franco is acting that way.  She announces she is leaving Port Charles to which he says he is going to come with her. She sees he has a hospital ID bracelet on, so she thinks something has happened.  Just then, Franco tells her about the first time Drew Cain and her met up! This shocks Kim  … and the next thing you know … he moves in for a major kiss and lip-lock as Drew and Liz look on.

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So, what do you think of the story turn thus far that has Franco now with Drew’s memories and with no trace of Franco? Share your thoughts on the twist via the comment section below!

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Breaking News

Constance Towers Returns To GH As Helena Cassadine … But Just How Does She Appear?

Now, any General Hospital fan knows that if there is skullduggery and evil going down, Helena Cassadine (whether dead or alive) is usually somehow involved when it comes to the lives of certain people in Port Charles.

And … some major storyline news from TV Line reveals that on next Monday’s August 19th episode of the ABC soap opera, Constance Towers reprises her role as the evil one herself … Helena!

Apparently, look for Helena to appear in a flashback with none other than Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and about Drew Cain’s time in Afghanistan.  That scene might hold a key to just what Shiloh wants now that he has implanted Drew’s memories into Franco (Roget Howath), thanks to Dr. Cabot’s work.  But could what is revealed also relate to the story that will see Billy Miller (Drew) exit the canvas later this month? Stay tuned.

Viewers last saw Helena alive in story until November of 2016, but then she was part of Jake’s hallucinations that were a part of the chimera storyline that climaxed at the Nurses’ Ball back in May of 2017.

So what do you think Helena’s presence in a flashback will reveal? And, who is ultimately having that flashback? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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GENERAL HOSPITAL: Franco Looks In The Mirror ... And Believing He Is Drew Kisses Kim
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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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Recent Comments

  • Adrienne As tencil: “I agree, of Franco + Elizabeth DON'T get together within 90 days, my patience will dissolve and I likely Will…
  • Rena Atkinson: “Enough is enough, it was good for awhile. Now you can please bring Franco BACK!!!…
  • Janet: “You could see immediately he had the soldier persona. The way he spoke and stood. I really didn't want the…
  • Shirley Martinez: “Totally agree
  • Shirley Martinez: “I want Drew to come back. And Franco to go back to Elizabeth. Not happy with this storyline. Sad Billy…
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