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Maurice Benard Surprises ESPN First Take Host And GH Fan Stephen A. Smith!

Courtesy/ESPN2

Courtesy/ESPN2

ESPN sports reporter/host extraordinaire Stephen A. Smith got the Port Charles surprise of his life on this morning’s edition of his morning show ESPN’s First Take (10AMEST weekdays on ESPN 2), when none other than Daytime Emmy winner and General Hospital stalwart, Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) came by the studios for an unexpected visit to Smith!

Benard tweeted moments before he stepped on to the sports show set: “Stepping onto the ESPN First Take stage right now. Tune in to ESPN2 to watch. #StephenASurprise”

To which Smith responded via Twitter after the Sonny  shocker:  “Nothing in the world can ruin my day today. My man @MauriceBenardMB from General Hospital came on @ESPN_FirstTake today. I’m in HEAVEN. Haa”

Later Benard tweeted some pics with the ESPN First Take co-hosts Skip Bayless, Cari Champion along with Smith relating:  “Seriously 3 of the sweetest coolest people I had the best time @RealSkipBayless @stephenasmith @CariChampion

Benard is getting set to debut his new film,The Ghost and the Whale, as well as always in the middle of major story on General Hospital!  The question is:  Will Stephen A. Smith show up one day in a scene with his favorite character, Sonny Corinthos and surprise Benard in turn?  What do you think?   Watch the video clip of Benard and Smith from ESPN First Take below! Then, let us know!

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It is pretty hard to make Stephen A speechless. Bet he was close!

Steven A. Smith is right, MB is the man. People can hate all they want on Sonny, but MB is such a fine actor and a total class act. He’s been playing the same character for 21 years and he always makes it interesting, finds new subtleties and not so subtelties to the character.

There are actors on GH for only a year or so who people claim are great and all they do is chew the scenery the same exact way every single time. This man has been making it interesting for 20 years with enormous talent, range and great acting choices.

And as for the “actors” on GH who can’t act and are there for supposed eye candy and hunk value, here’s a news flash, there ain’t a more handsome man on the planet than MB. The guy is a star.

I so agree with you!! Maurice is so special!! Funny how I have never seen a picture of him in his underwear, and yet, he is still the sexiest man on GH!! 🙂

I would love to see him on GH. Enjoy watching him on First Take and was happy to hear he is a big fan of GH as am I. Do it Stephen A…

I luv Maurice/Sonny!
I watched the movie trailer, it was awesome!
Maurice is a powerful actor..

WOW…Maurice was so great on First Take. Hope he’s on again.

Cool interview. Nice to know hes a 49ers fa, so am i lol 🙂

For veteran ESPN watchers like myself, it’s been no surprise that Stephen A. is a GH fan. But, it illustrates a larger problem that soaps continue to have: the invisible male viewer. There is nothing wrong with your “man card” if you enjoy ANY soap. If GH picks up additional male viewers through this segment, all the better

General Hospital

Steve Burton Confirms ‘General Hospital’ Head Writer Switch Changed Jason’s Comeback Storyline

General Hospital viewers will see today, Monday, March 4th, the beginnings of the return storyline for Steve Burton and his character of Jason Morgan.

Just how did the recent head writing regime change at GH alter the plans for story for Jason’s comeback? As had been rumored, seems plenty. Back on January 22nd, it was revealed that Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor had been replaced by Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte. At that time, Burton had already signed-on to return to the daytime drama for the first time since being let go towards the end of 2021.

Speaking with Soap Opera Digest, Steve confirmed that what we will see on-air is from the new head writers and that the direction of the story changed, “So apparently there was a whole different story planned and then the head writer switch happened and then they kind of rebooted (the story arc). I know Patrick (Mulcahey, one of the new head writers) a little bit, but I really know Elizabeth Korte (who was promoted to co-head writer).”

Photo: JPI

Burton added, “There’s no one in the building that loves that show, knows the history of the character, and is invested in it 100 percent than Elizabeth. There has never been a more deserved promotion, ever. Once I know that she was (one of the head writers), I was like, ‘Oh, this is gonna be good! I cannot wait.’ And it has been exactly that. Everything has been amazing.”‘

Photo: JPI

In addition, during an Instagram live on Monday with his podcast and comedy show partner, GH star, Bradford Anderson (Spinelli), Burton also commented on the upcoming story arc which brings Jason back to Port Charles. Steve expressed, “The story is not going to disappoint. The scenes are super deep. Frank (Valentini, EP, GH)  and the new head writers took some time to really think this out.”

Burton, being a longtime veteran of the soaps, said Jason’s return is not just isolated to be about him. “Great story on daytime should involve a myriad of people across the board and where it effects everybody,” he shared. The popular fan favorite feels that this story delivers on all levels.

So, what do you think about the head writer change and how it prompted the plans for Jason’s return? Comment below.

 

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Days Of Our Lives

Jason Cook Recalls Landing His Soap Roles as DAYS Shawn-Douglas Brady and GH’s Matt Hunter

Daytime fans remember Jason Cook when he became wildly-popular as Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and Bo’s (Peter Reckell) son, Shawn-Douglas Brady on Days of our Lives from 1999-2006. He later made a brief return in the role in 2015 for the series 50th anniversary.

After departing DAYS, Cook was offered a role on General Hospital as Dr. Matt Hunter, the younger brother to Dr. Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson) from 2008-2012. However, during his time on the soaps, and after, Cook has been focusing on his behind the scenes roles and passion as writer and a director of feature films.

Last week, the Michael Fairman Channel welcomed Jason, along with two of the stars of his latest film, Four for Fun, Brytni Sarpy (Elena, Y&R) and Jacob Young (ex-AMC, B&B, GH). During the conversation, Cook revealed his continued admiration for the soap medium and the actors who work in it, and how it came to pass that he landed his parts on Days of our Lives, and then on General Hospital.

Photo: JPI

Cook spoke on becoming the on-screen son of soap opera’s most iconic couples, Bo and Hope: “I auditioned for Fran Bascom. She was the Days of our Lives casting director at the time. I was never a great auditioner, I don’t think. She made me feel really comfortable. I remember that screen test. And then, I remember when I got the part, I was actually working at a company at a desk job. I got the call at work and I just screamed, and at the time I didn’t quit my job. But then, I got that contract when I was 19-years-old and it totally changed my life.”

Photo: JPI

But, was Jason aware how key to the show being Bo and Hope’s son would be? “Yeah, my older sister was a fan of the show. She definitely let me know that I better not mess it up, because I was gonna ruin her favorite couple,” he shared. “I remember she printed out the family tree and it looked like a physics diagram. It was so complicated. A lot of detailed work went into it. But, I was excited.”

After being a known entity with a large fan following, eventually Cook made his way to a new role on General Hospital. Jason explained, “GH was fun. That was a situation where Brian Frons (ex-ABC Daytime President) brought me over there. I just told him I didn’t want to be like or want to do Shawn. He’s like, ‘Well, what do you wanna do?’ I said, ‘How can I screw things up around here and shake things up?'”

Photo: JPI

From that conversation things began to formulate. Cook revealed, “We started talking about the TV series House. I think in soaps, there’s an assumption if you’re going on a show that everybody wants to be the hero. I was like, ‘I don’t want to (be). I want to screw everything up.’ And then, they wrote it in that Matt Hunter burns the hospital down within like six months. I was like really proud about that. The other part that I loved about that character is that Matt, and his older brother Patrick (Jason Thompson), were both neurosurgeons. And if you (an actor) resigned your contract (with the show) you go to Patrick, you see Patrick. And if you don’t resign your contract, you see my character, because my character was going to kill you every time.”

For more on the interview, make sure to check out the replay of the livestream conversation below with Jason, Brytni Sarpy and Jacob Young.  Now let us know, did you enjoy Jason as Shawn-D and Matt on GH? Do you hope someday he might return on-screen to the soaps? Let us know in the comment section.

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General Hospital

THIS WEEK on GENERAL HOSPITAL: “He’s Back” as Jason Returns; Sonny Sets His Trap for the Shooter

Monday, March 4th is the highly-anticipated return of Steve Burton as Jason Morgan on ABC’s General Hospital. In the newly-released weekly promo for the series, in the final moments of it, you see a man with his hands-up about to turn around which looks like it will be revealed to be Sonny’s former hitman.

In the promo, Dante (Dominic Zamprogna), Anna (Finola Hughes), Spinell (Bradford Anderon) and others are intercut looking shocked at who they find on the pier with voice-overs of characters saying, “It can’t be”, “It’s him,” etc.

The story has been building as to who has been behind the shootings seemingly targeting Sonny (Maurice Benard), Selina (Lydia Look) and others related to the mob. When they locate Jason … is he the Jason we knew prior to the tunnel collapsing him towards the end of 2021, where he was believed to have perished? How is this all connected to the intel that Olivia Jerome was apparently killed in prison?

Photo: ABC

Meanwhile, Carly (Laura Wright) and Drew’s (Cameron Mathison) relationship has shown its cracks. When Carly eventually sees Jason, will it eventually pit brother against brother for the love of Carly? And in this case, is Drew going to be portrayed as the bad guy due to his issues since his time at Pentonville which has shown he has become more obsessed with revenge on Nina (Cynthia Watros)?

Photo: ABC

Here’s a look at the rest of this week’s the teasers for the action in Port Charles below.

MONDAY, MARCH 4

Jason returns to Port Charles.  Selina and Sonny’s negotiation is abruptly interrupted.  Laura confronts Cyrus. Brook Lynn confides in Tracy. Heather attempts an escape.

TUESDAY, MARCH 5

Josslyn and Dex are in a frantic situation. Sonny hits a sore spot with John. Anna learns some tragic news. Marshall tells Curtis about his misdiagnosis. Laura acts fast in a crisis.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6

Anna questions Josslyn and Dex. Olivia and Sonny reconnect. Alexis is apprehensive. Cody and Sasha each make a confession. Spinelli and Ava are in for a shock.

THURSDAY, MARCH 7

Sonny and Ava share a loaded moment. Drew and Carly have their hands full. Maxie is stunned. Laura offers comfort. Brook Lynn opens up to Jordan.

FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2024

Carly is taken aback. Nina corners Ava. Sonny gets an update on John’s investigation. Michael tries to convince Dex to stay. Alexis vents to Diane.

Now, check out this week’s promo for GH below. Then let us know, what state of mind do you think Jason will be in when he has revealed himself?  Share your thoughts in the comment secti

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Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

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