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L.A. Times Looks At The Phenomenon That Is General Hospital As It Turns 50!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Today, there is a wonderful article in the Los Angeles Times that talks about, that as of this coming Monday, April 1, 2013, when General Hospital turns 50 years young, it ramains is the longest running soap opera currently in production – after 12,776 original episodes!  The L.A. Times piece takes a look at the historical successes, near cancellation threats, and how GH is probably the one soap that is the biggest cultural phenomenon of them all!

Here are some excerpts from the Times piece:  “A year ago, fans fretted that ABC would cancel General Hospital following the demise of the Walt Disney Co. network’s two other signature soaps, All My Children, and One Life to Live.  Show producers, however, accepted the challenge, introduced some younger and more diverse characters and downplayed story lines that revolved around the mob bosses of Port Charles, N.Y., the show’s fictional setting. The result has been a ratings revival.  The show, which averages 3 million viewers an episode, is on track to have its best season in five years. It has experienced a 19% boost in viewers compared with last season, and a 44% increase among women ages 18 to 34.

General Hospital was the soap opera that brought young people to daytime television,” said Ed Martin, television columnist for MediaPost Publications. “Other soap operas like ‘Young and the Restless’ and All My Children dabbled in it, but  General Hospital was most aggressive.”

General Hospital changed the mold for soap operas. It became one of the first soaps to go on location for shoots, they introduced younger characters and they tackled sensitive issues like cancer, AIDS and rape,” said Karen Herman, director of the Archive of American Television part of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. The archive has collected oral histories of nearly a dozen actors from the show, including Genie Francis (Laura) and Anthony Geary (Luke).

So soap fans, do you think GH is the soap that most impacted our culture?  Let us know!

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su0000
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su0000

well,
There is no doubt that among all the soaps GH is indeed unique
GH is a different breed of soap opera and there is none better than GH, and that includes the humdrum Y&R which rarely changes from its’ theme of ‘business and family problems, little change with Y&R..

At times while watching GH, as last Wed, it looked much like prime-time viewing.

BRAVO!!! to the FV, RC, and ALL the staff at GH..
(GH would not be here today without your great work)

I love the new feel and direction of GH and I believe GH is here to stay.

jim
Guest
jim

And i agree…

Melinda
Guest
Melinda

ITA! GH, the GH of old, is back in all its’ glory. It is must see TV and the respect that RC has for the history of GH is evident. Mentioning Amy Vining this week was incredibly sweet (RIP Shell Kepler) . There have been so many exciting moments in the past year. And so much character development. I’m so glad it is averaging 3M viewers. This show deserves it. And these show runners deserve it. OLTL increased viewership in its last year to what, 2M? I had hoped it would be enough to save the show to no avail.… Read more »

heidi
Guest
heidi

Agree completely!!! LOVE GH!!! It is a unique soap in all that it does! I wouldn’t say it is the one that dealt with the most impactful story lines and I would say that is a good thing for it! I like that it has more adventure and intrique and mystery than the others. I also think they do comedy more and better than the others. I think they have the best cast hands down and on most days the most watchable and exciting storylines than the others. There isn’t a day that I am bored or can’t stand all… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

Actually All My Children was the first soap to go on location shooting when they went to St. Croix for Erica and Tom’s honeymoon in 1977.

jim
Guest
jim

Sorry, but your also wrong. Hawkins Falls in the 1950s did location shooting years b4 AMC, and so did Dark Shadows in its first year in 1966.

Troy Turner
Guest
Troy Turner

While you are correct that AMC was the first to go on location, GH was the first soap to make it “cool” to do so

kellie
Guest
kellie

well of course it is the best soap . I have been watching for 33+ years . I have watched through the good the bad and the ugly have stayed with general hospital. I can say this past year has been the best. I look forward to watching every day and can not wait for the next day to see what is going to happen. I can honestly say I have not felt like that in years. love general hospital

angelal
Guest
angelal

No doubt about it. GH was the soap that broke the mold. They made watching soaps cool. I remember I watched before Luke & Laura and my friends made fun of me for watching. Then came L&L and they were hooked. It changed alot of people’s perception of daytime tv. Here’s to 50 more!

moshane58
Guest
moshane58

All the ABC soaps weaved big important soaps into there stories.It a shame ABC didn’t get them notice instead of cancelling them.They needed someone in there who knew how to do the soaps right instead of destroying them like Frons did,But that was Anne Sweeney’s dream to get them all cancelled.

Linda
Guest
Linda

I started watching GH in 1963 and am thrilled it has survived Frons and Sweeney’s attempts to get rid of it. Gloria Monty brought GH back to life in the 80’s and Frank and Ron have done the same thing today. Bravo!! No if only Sweeney will leave GH alone!!!!

jim
Guest
jim

Hawkins Falls was the first daytime soap( it started in primtime then like a year later moved to daytime) in the 1950s to do location shooting and Dark Shadows also did location shooting its first year in 1966 long b4 GH or any other soap. Dark Shadows also brought alot of young people to daytime long b4 GH, and so did the mystery crime drama The Edge Of Night. Dark Shadows had three movies based on it, 2 failed primetime revival attempts and tons of merchadise connected to the show still being made today. But anyway GH is the current… Read more »

Sherrie Shearer
Guest
Sherrie Shearer

I have been watching since 1964 at age 9– I would be lost without it! I have weathered every bump & twist in the road to Port Charles & lost some favorite actors & characters along the way. Some plots I love, some not so much– but I would never give up on watching!!!

udhoop
Guest
udhoop

GH in mind introduced the SUPERCOUPLE ala Luke & Laura but followed it up with Frisco & Felicia, Robert & Anna, Sonny & Brenda, Jax & Brenda, etc etc. But my personal fav…Sean & Tiffany come back to us please!

Aria
Guest
Aria

GH is simply the best!

jay
Guest
jay

Love General Hospital….

su0000
Guest
su0000

The one thing I luv the most about GH since FV&RC took over is;
The fast moving stories, the suspense, excitement and the often surprises.
And, the lighter side , yet deep, twisting love stories..

Put it all together and mix is intriguing ..

tarlyfan
Guest
tarlyfan

GH is the best. Thanks to FV, RC, and the writting team for a superb job. Without you guys, we probably have lost the show. Please keep up the great work!!!

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

So happy GH is getting the media attention it rightfully deserves! Not only has this soap been woven into television history unlike any other (30 million people watched for ONE episode!), but lately, it has been better than it has in year! Thankfully, ratings are also reflecting how the show has increased in quality! I used to complain about some of Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati’s choices on OLTL, but on GH, they have truly saved this show from certain “death” (aka cancellation) and I give them all of the props they deserve! Some say that “oh they only brought… Read more »

ces
Guest
ces

Loving this GH Marathon so far!! Gonna have to pry me away from the tube this weekend. I remember SO much of this stuff (making me old!).. especially always loved Thaao Penghlis as Victor Cassadine. YUM!! Thanks SoapNet! Here’s to many more years …. btw, check out Jaclyn Zeman with a normal face 😉

Gamblerchick
Guest
Gamblerchick

GH is the best, now as it was in 10 years. That’s how long I watched, General Hospital. I grew up watching Sonny and Carly, but I can’t Explaine it. But I have more memories of watching Luke and Laura. I have my own special 50 years list of my memories of Gh. And at the top are Luke and Laura. Anyway there are more stories, of the current day. To like and to post. There were too many stories, that were my favorites. And my top couples: Nikolas and Emilt, Sonny and Brenda.

liz
Guest
liz

I have been watching since 1975 and love this show,I just wish this past year was Patricks bad dream .Come back Robin please.

CTwildheart
Guest
CTwildheart

I am a long time soap watcher. While I am thrilled GH has made it to its 50th, I don’t want to pit one show against the other or say which soap I think affected society the most.

Susan
Guest
Susan

GH always has the most amazing talented actors and actresses!!! LUV GH keep on Rockin another 50!!!

General Hospital

GH’s Chad Duell and Y&R’s Courtney Hope Tie the Knot in Steampunk Style Wedding in Front of Castmates and Loved Ones

Overnight, images began to circulate, as well as plenty of congratulations abound, for General Hospital’s Chad Duell (Michael) and The Young and the Restless’ Courtney Hope (Sally) as the two officially became husband and wife on Saturday night.

As we previously reported, the couple were set for their nuptials this weekend, and from what has been posted, Chad and Courtney had a steampunk-themed and styled wedding, and both wore red.

Many of their castmates and colleagues were in attendance including: General Hospital’s Maurice Benard (Sonny,), Laura Wright (Carly), Wes Ramsey (Peter), Eden McCoy (Josslyn), Katelyn MacMullen (Willow), and series executive producer, Frank Valentini, The Bold and the Beautiful’s Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke), Annika Noelle (Hope), Patrika Darbo (Ex-Shirley) and Katrina Bowden (Flo), and The Young and the Restless’ Tracey Bregman (Lauren), Hunter King (Ex-Summer), and more.

The outdoor evening nuptials held in Malibu, California were shares on Courtney Hope’s Instagram story, and Laura Wright also posted several photos of the attendees on her IG.

Photo: Pinterest/IG

Pictured with Eden McCoy and Wes Ramsey, Wright enthused on the big night for her TV son, Chad Duell: “Tonight was an amazing night #TilDeath #GHBaby #Dope #Daytimefamily #steampunk”

In addition, Katherine Kelly Lang posted the first dance of newlyweds, Chad and Courtney, on her IG. 

Now, share your congratulations to Chad and Courtney via the comment section below.

 

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A post shared by Laura Wright (@welcometolaurasworld)

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Breaking News

Stars React to Alec Baldwin Fatally Shooting Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins & Injuring Director, Joel Souza, In Prop Gun Mishap On Set of ‘Rust’

UPDATED: Over the last 24 hours, the entertainment world has been stunned, by the horrific incident that took place on the set of the western drama Rust, while it was shooting scenes in New Mexico.

What is known is that Alec Baldwin (Ex-The Doctors, Knots Landing) discharged a prop gun that killed Director of Photography, Halyna Hutchins and injured director, Joel Souza.  The film also stars Frances Fisher (Ex-Edge of Night) and Jensen Ackles (Ex-Days of our Lives). Baldwin is also a producer on the film.

Photo: Getty

According to Variety, the prop gun contained a “live single round,” according to an email sent by IATSE Local 44 to its membership.

On Friday, Alec Baldwin made a statement via Twitter on his Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation Twitter feed, expressing: “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”

Yesterday, The Sante Fe Sheriff’s Departments originally shared that “Hutchins, 42, and Souza, 48 were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin.  Ms. Hutchins was transported, via helicopter, to University of New Mexico Hospital where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel. Mr. Souza was transported by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical center where he was undergoing treatment for his injuries. This investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives.”

This morning, Frances Fisher revealed in a twitter conversation with Patricia Arquette, that director Joel Souza had been released from the hospital.  Meanwhile, photographs of a distraught Baldwin emerged following the shooting.

Photo: New Mexican

The news of the Baldwin prop gun incident, isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Jon-Erik Hexum was killed on October 18, 1984, on the set of the TV show Cover Up when he accidentally shot himself in the head with a gun loaded with blanks. Then, in 1993, Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died from a prop gun accident on the set of The Crow by a cast member.

As the news made its way through the entertainment community and mainstream news, several soap stars shared their reactions to the fatal shooting accident.

General Hospital’s Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan) expressed: “Feeling so sad for everyone involved in the tragedy on the #RustMovie set. I do know the film was staffed with experienced, thoughtful professionals. Please, let’s wait until we have the facts. Nothing positive will come from passing judgement or casting aspersions before then.”

General Hospital and Dynasty’s Emma Samms (Holly, Fallon) shared on her friend Jon-Erik Hexum’s death: This AWFUL tragedy on #Rust is unfathomable to me. If all on-set protocols were being adhered to, how, on earth, could it have happened? After what happened to Brandon Lee and my dear friend Jon-Erik Hexam, the firearm protocols became incredibly strict. I was told (when I was with him at the hospital afterwards) that Jon-Erik had been working with a completely empty gun all morning. A blank (still very dangerous) was loaded and then immediately there was a delay. Exhausted, he was allowed to fall asleep – loaded gun in hand. hey woke him, but there was immediately another delay. Jon-Erik put the gun to his head, forgetting it now contained a blank, (because he had just woken up) and jokingly pulled the trigger. He was not the kind of person to play around with a loaded gun. #fortherecord”

We will continue to post reactions and update this story.

What are your thoughts on the fatal shooting on the set of Rust? Comment below.  How can this not happen again, so everyone is safe in this working environment when ‘dangerous’ props are called for or used to make a movie or a TV show?

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General Hospital

Courtney Hope Gets Marriage Advice From Her Y&R Co-Stars Ahead of Her Wedding to GH’s Chad Duell

This weekend, The Young and the Restless Courtney Hope (Sally), is set to walk down the aisle and marry the love of her life, General Hospital’s Chad Duell (Michael).  The nuptials are to take place this Saturday, October 23rd according to the wedding planner Zola.

Ahead of the popular soap duo’s vows, Courtney asked some of her Y&R co-stars advice, but as their characters in a very cute Instagram video on The Young and the Restless IG account with the accompanying text: “Marriage advice you don’t normally hear… as told by the #YR stars 😉 A special thank you to our real-life bride-to-be @TheCourtneyHope for asking! 😂”

Participating are: Peter Bergman (Jack), Amelia Heinle (Victoria), Michelle Stafford (Phyllis), Mishael Morgan (Amanda), Christian LeBlanc (Michael, Eileen Davidson (Ashley), Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe), and Christel Khalil (Lily).

In terms of advice, Amelie Heinle told Hope, “As Victoria Newman, I would say that you need to marry a man that is not going to be around for very long, and especially if he has a lot of money.”

Christel Khalil offered up some Lily marital suggestions: “Don’t let your husband let you think that he’s dead and that you’ve slept with a ghost!”

As for Courtney and Chad, the couple had been dating for five years, and this past Valentine’s Day, they became engaged.

Please share your well-wishes to Courtney and Chad as they embark on their life together via the comment section below, and let us know what you think of the marital advice given to Hope from the citizens of Genoa City.  

You can check out the video below, and then take a look back at our interview with the duo on the red carpet back at the 46th annual Daytime Emmys Awards.

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