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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
Guest
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 Michael Easton and Finola Hughes Deliver the ‘Power Performances of the Week’

It was an emotional week of episodes on General Hospital as the double-wedding of Finn (Michael Easton) and Anna (Finola Hughes), and Peter (Wes Ramsey) and Maxie (Kirsten Storms) took a double nose-dive.

Each installment left us wondering if either couple would actually get hitched, but when Finn and Anna were the first to combust and not Peter and Maxie, it set the stage for two beloved soap veterans to once again, remind us all, why they are always at the top of the game when required to play high drama that tugs at the heartstrings.

In story, Finn is gut-punched, (and no one can play that better than Michael Easton), when Anna reveals that she knew that Peter was not her biological son and had done all the horrific deeds he has been hiding, in an effort to stop Maxie from marrying Peter.  When Finn realizes Anna confided in Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), and they were working together to bring Peter down it was too much for him to take.

Finn walks out on their wedding.  Alone and with tears welling up in his eyes, Finn feels his chance at love is dashed again.  Add to the fact, he has DNA results to prove if he is Chase’s (Josh Swickard) father and not his brother, or not, and the guy has been through the wringer of late.

As for Anna, she has literally imploded her own life, while trying to save others, after realizing the error of her ways; constantly putting her faith in Peter.  When she comes to visit Finn, she knows no matter what she says to Finn it looks bad.  She sees how she has hurt him, and hopes they can still repair their now fractured relationship, but she has to stop Peter and help her God-daughter, Maxie from making the biggest mistake of her life, so she leaves him to go back to the scene of the double-wedding.

Later in the week, Anna shares a heartfelt scene with her ex Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers), whom she knows she can have an honest conversation knowing her life of espionage and their shared history.  Meanwhile, Jackie (Kim Delaney) and Finn’s pull is there as well, as it appears Jackie’s attraction to Finn still remains all these years later when he visits her shortly after being blindsided by Anna at the nuptials.

Throughout the week, Easton and Hughes played all the nuances of their character’s emotional life, as the audience witnessed which just might be the end of the line for Finn and Anna.

For all of these reasons and more, Michael Fairman TV names Michael and Finola’s work, The Power Performances of the Week.

So, let us know, what did you think of what happened to Finn and Anna? The double-wedding fiasco? Did you enjoy Michael and Finola’s scenes? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Wes Ramsey Makes Statement on Criticism, Social Media, and Professionalism

General Hospital’s Wes Ramsey, who portrays polarizing character, Peter August on the ABC daytime drama series, responded to a recent take on his role from cast mate, Tristan Rogers (Scorpio) when a video made its way through social media.

The video was from a Cameo appearance, where Rogers offered an assessment of the Peter August storyline and expressed that while he knows Ramsey is a strong actor, he felt he was “wrong for the character” being that Peter was the son of the evil Faison played by Anders Hove.

Rogers also came to the defense of Ramsey and shared: “Don’t be too hard on Wes Ramsey. He’s got himself into a horrible storyline, and the storyline is the fault of the show. What they’ve literally done is they’ve painted themselves into a corner, and they don’t know how to get out of it.”

Currently, Peter’s story is front and center on GH with his wedding to Maxie (Kirsten Storms), and the fallout from all of the character’s dirty deeds.

Now Ramsey took to his Instagram account to address what transpired and his thoughts on the perils of social media, professionalism and acting, expressing: “Actors are storytellers, shapeshifters, chameleons. We’re also in the business of cultivating trust bc that’s how the best work is brought to life. We have to trust our imaginations, our instincts. We have to trust our fellow actors, because without them, there’s no scene to play. In the collaborative efforts of bringing any show to life, we also have to trust our directors each day to steer the arch of our story (like a conductor with a symphony) & trust our writers who are tasked with composing the symphonies we play out. I came up in a world of classical theater, where trusting the play, text, story is essential to the tightrope balancing act of making magic.  You will never hear me critique (on any public platform) the people responsible for the creative opportunities I enjoy each day. Without the trust of my writers, directors, producers & fellow actors, it would be impossible to live out my dreams. My job (& my only job) is to bring fearlessness, playfulness & passionate conviction to what has been created for me. My aim is to stretch myself (beyond the limits of where I think my boundaries may lye) each time I’m entrusted with material that allows those boundaries to be tested.

 

Every actor must believe they are the right person for their part or they will never achieve their potential, let alone surpass it. I was raised a gentleman & have two wonderful parents to thank for that, however, my polite personality (while rendering me easy to get along with on set) should have little bearing on my caliber of performance nor my castability as a professional.  I am leery of the pitfalls of social media & believe there are advantages to maintaining some mystery (even as a public figure) but I will always defend & protect what I hold dear (my job & my career) when they are publicly challenged, especially by those closest to me, whom I love & respect. Please know I bear no ill will. As a society, we are all still learning the full ramifications of living in an internet dominated culture. To all my many fans out there who offer encouragement & support, I hear you & am grateful for you. I’m having a blast… 🙂. Onward we go.”

Share your thoughts on Wes’ statement on playing the role of Peter August and more via the comment section below.

 

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A post shared by Wes Ramsey (@wes_ramsey)

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General Hospital

WATCH: Maurice Benard & Friends In ‘The Birthday Bash’ – The Movie

Now here’s a way to celebrate your birthday! Having lots of fun with your friends filming a project and making your directorial debut! That’s just what two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos, General Hospital) has done.

On his “State of Mind” You Tube Channel, Benard dropped the birthday video which includes many of his friends and family members.

Benard shared: “You’ve probably heard me say that this year I wanted to do something for the fans on my birthday. Well now the time has come to reveal my special project. It was fun to see a lot of my friends acting outside of the box and I want to thank each of them for being so willing to join me in this adventure no questions asked.”

Look for: Maurice Benard, Carlos Avila, Victoria Gotti, Ian Buchanan, Réal Andrews, Steve Burton, Majid Raees, Dominic Zamprogna, Kin Shriner, Joshua Benard, Paula Benard, Jeff Kober, Bryan Craig, Brooklyn Rae Silzer, Jim Warren and Buddy the Goat to all make appearances.

Watch Maurice Benard & Friends in “The Birthday Bash” below.  Then let us know what you thought of it via the comment section.

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B&B’s Matthew Atkinson chats with Michael Fairman about the wild ride of the Thomas/Hope Mamnequin storyline currently on The Bold and the Beautiful.Leave A Comment

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Power Performance

Michael Easton and Finola Hughes as Finn & Anna

General Hospital

Airdates: 3-4/5-2021

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