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PLANET 360: Celebrates GH 50! Who Is The Greatest EP Of All-Time? What Was Most Pivotal Moment?

Courtesy/HallmarkMovieChannel

Courtesy/HallmarkMovieChannel

Coming up this Friday on The Hallmark MOVIE Channel’s weekly entertainment news series, Planet 360, the popular “Soap Dish” segment this week is all about celebrating General Hospital’s 50th anniversary …  next week!  On-Air On-Soaps got the first look exclusive on the latest edition.

Taking a look back at the greatest executive producers of the series, and some of the greatest Port Charles moments of all-time are “Soap Dish” panel co-hosts and soap favorites, Lilly Melgar, Matthew Ashford, and Martha Madison!

Melgar, who appeared on GH as Lily Rivera Corinthos, weighed-in that Wendy Riche  was one of the top EP’s on the list stating: “As far as Ricky Martin (Ex-Miquel) and I were concerned, we were daytime’s first Latin couple which was pretty groundbreaking at the time.  I know the fans that we had referred to that time as the second golden era of General Hospital. ”

In terms of current GH wunderkind, Frank Valentini, Melgar says the man is truly delivering a very special golden anniversary for fans of the show noting, “Now he’s bringing back the core favorites: Luke and Laura, Tristan Rogers, Ian Buchanan. All of these people have this innate chemistry that worked so many years ago.  You put it back together with a good storyline, it’s going to work!”

As far as what were the Most Pivotal Moments in the history of General Hospital, the Planet360 panel weighed in with Luke and Laura’s wedding, and of course, the “clink/boom” heard around the world which refers in part to when Lilly Melgar’s character of Lily died in a car explosion!

Watch the GH Soap Dish segment after the jump, then let us know, who do you think is the greatest executive producer of GH of all-time? Gloria Monty? Wendy Riche? Frank Valentini? Someone else?  And, what do you feel was one of the Most Pivotal Moments in GH history?  Let us know as we move closer to the big 5-0!

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Jill Farren Phelps was the best EP. She did so many wonderful things with the show.. She brought on the Nurses Ball. There was Monica’s breast cancer and BJ’s heart. She reintroduced Luke and Laura as well as the Cassadines. There were so many… Oh, wait a minute. That was Wendy Riche.

Jill was the one who drove a bus through the Nurses Ball, brought the mob to the forefront, and fired Anna Lee, Braud Maule, Stuart Damon, Rachel Ames, Jackie Zeman, Shell Kepling, along with so many others.

Never mind.

Where’s my “like” button when I need it? LOL!

David you had me going there!

lol, you had me there for a moment.

Haha so true ..so very true

love it david…sound like me sometimes with that humor…or sarcasm…lol

Oh my gosh, I thought you were serious when I read your first sentence. lol. This was incredible!

nice delivery…

My answer to top EP would have to be Gloria Monty for turning the show around and making it the Action Adventure soap I loved. As for pivotal moment it has to be for me Robert Scorpio’s secret wife and the introduction of Anna Devane who I consider one of daytimes greatest heroines as played by the amazing Finola Hughes! Monty did a fantastic job writing Robert and Anna’s backstory, their romance, marriage and tragic breakup in flashback; to this day it is one of my favorite stories on GH. Happy 50th GH here is to 50 more!

I couldn’t agree more! Anna was such a groundbreaking character, in daytime OR nighttime!
Its just frustrating that so many soaps and primetime shows always have the man rescuing the woman, even in 2013! Anna could always hold her own. Now if they would just bring Robert Scorpio out of that coma…

And while Ms. Monty re-invented the soap opera genre, one must give props to Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati who have revitalized the show. A year ago I was saying I wished they would just cancel the show already because I was watching it out of loyalty, not enjoyment. Now, I rush home when I can on my lunch break to see it like I did when I was twelve years old!

Couldn’t agree more with your post, Jake, especially about Frank and Ron. Before they were brought on, I could barely get through one episode a week of GH and now I can’t wait to watch it every single day! They have me gasping and crying and laughing, all of the actions a soap opera should evoke in a fan. I could not be more impressed and I think Frank has rightly earned him name beingg thrown in with the likes of Gloria Monty and other amazing EPs for this show.

Love, love, LOVE…did I mention love Wendy Riche. Her vision of GH was a brilliant balance of heart, humor, action, mystery, and romance. Riche valued the vets and gave us iconic newbies like Brenda, Sonny, Jax, Lois, and Jagger. The BJ/Maxie storyline and Stone having AIDS were brilliantly done. I also applaud Riche’s first tenure with Bob Guza (!) who brought on Nikolas and Stefan (and i just read that Genie Francis had a hand in coming up with that whole idea). I was heartbroken when ABC fired her for Phelps, who totally put a knife in the heart of GH that beat so well under Riche. Phelps is my sole nominee and winner for the EP who made GH utterly unwatchable. Isnt it ironic that GH is having such an upsurge in popularity for trying to undo what Phelps (and her co partner in crime Guza) did to GH. Once GH killed off Alan, had Emily get raped (by a Nikolas lookalike no less) and later killed, killed off Georgie Jones (the other daughter of Frisco and Felicia), ruined the younger years of Maxie, and laughingly tried to make GH into the daytime version of The Soprano’s. Sorry, my mouth foams at the mention of Phelps.

Gloria Monty should be mentioned of course for her first tenure. Monty’s second coming in 1990 was a disaster…remember the Eckerts? I don’t remember much from the reign of Wes Kenney in the late 80’s.

Love Frank and Ron. How they are restoring GH to greatness again with such a drastically reduced budget is nothing short of brilliant. OK, you can nitpick over their stories but what a difference…and I FINALLY TUNED BACK IN AGAIN!

i never heard that Wendy Riche got fired, i thought she just quit, wow, and for JfF oh god, what a curse.

Gloria Monty, Frank Valenti Wendy Riche, and the first one(4got the name) when the show began who helped make it an instant hit.

Selig J. Seligman (1963) or James Young (1963–75)?

Thanks for reply…those names do sound familiar.

Has gh ever had an exec producer who was a racial minority? Has any day soap and “reality soap” ever had a racial minority exec producer? The only racial minority exec producer for night soaps is grey’s and scandal’s shonda rimes. Yet there’s obviously a lot of exec producers from day soaps and reality soaps and night soaps and night dramas who are openly gay white males of course. Most pivotal moment would be steve burton leaving and immediately jumping to farren phelps’ y&r. It was obvious that cbs stuck it to gh w/ the reception that was given on “the talk” to burton. Tolerant hollywood really lacks racial diversity from their writers as well. Only 1/3 of tv shows from 2011-2012 tv season had racial minority writers. A minority of hollywood’s tv shows had racial minority writers. Typical of hollywood’s kind of tolerance.

Gloria, Wendy and Frank ! Jill Phelps ruined the show !

Lily and Miguel had fans????? Riche’s era was wonderful, but Lily and Miguel wouldn’t even be in the top 20 reasons why that era was so great!

she also claims that lily and miguel were the first latin supercouple, really? what are Brenda and Sonny? they sure aint anglo.

i’m going for all three, Gloria Monty, Wendy Riche, and Frank Valentini. Gloria first because she made GH the legend that it is. Wendy made GH critically acclaim with multiple emmy wins and Frank because he’s now bringing the show back to life after The worst EP Jill FÅREN PHELPS DESTROYED IT

Primary credit should go to Gloria Monty for reviving a show that literally had 13 weeks to live before ABC was going to cancel it. She made many changes with the show’s production style and casting. that, and Doug Marland’s writing brought GH skyrocketing in the ratngs within a year. The greatest moment? Luke & Laura’s wedding- what else? Then, the “B.J’s Heart” story, followed by the “Click/Boom” episode from Feb. ’96 when Jax & Brenda got married, and toasted each other at the same moment Sonny’s car blew up with Lily inside- the ONLY good thing Bob Guza (or as I call him- LUZA) ever did for GH. OK, he also brought the Cassadines back, but he caused so much misery for longtime viewers, aided and abetted by Jill Farren Phelps and THE SERIAL KILLER, Brian Frons! He broke up Luke & Laura as well as Tony & Bobbie, killed off too many core and legacy characters (Tony and Georgie Jones, Alan Quartermaine, Justus Ward, Emily Quartermaine, Rick Webber, little Jake Spencer/Morgan, Stefan Cassadine), and made the PCPD look incomptent while the Manic Monster and his brain-damaged stooge in black (formerly known as Jason Quartermaine) ruled the show. Worst yet, he let a self-righteous slut like Carly on the show and made her the heroine! Thank God for Valentini and Carlivati- they have brought back classic storytelling, core families, and have a great reverence for the show’s history. I can’t believe that there are people online complaining about those two- obviously those people only joined GH AFTER 1996, and missed out on REAL quality storytelling from the first Monty era (1978-86) and the Riche/Labine era (1993-96).

I must also give tribute to the first era of GH (1973-72)- the days of Steve, Audrey, Jessie, Phil, Lucille, the Pinkhams, Taylors, Baldwins, and Dawsons under producer Jim Young. They started something wonderful that endured for half a century. I can’t wait to watch the Soapnet marathon to revisit old times of over 30 years. Here’s to 50 more years, GH!

Oops- I meant the first GH era of 1963-72- you get the idea!

Gloria Monty of course. Her vision brought the entire daytime genre into the modern era. She demonstrated that action/adventure stories work in daytime along with romance/relationship stories. Under her leadership they modernized the sets, did location shoots and improved the production value of daytime television. She, and Agnes Nixon with AMC and OLTL, created and led the daytime drama that resonated with the young people of that generation.

Hands down, the greatest GH EP in history is Gloria Monty. GH was under a cancellation notice when she saved it and brought it to #1. She kept the show #1 for almost a decade despite major actors leaving. She gave us adventure and love in the afternoon. She also created the Qs and 4 supercouples: Luke & Laura, Robert & Holly, Frisco & Felicia and Duke & Anna. I loved both Wendy and Frank as EPs, but no one can touch Gloria Monty.

My Favorite is Frank …Especially for saving it from cancelation and for the return of Lucy Coe!

Gloria Monty and her team of writers, hands down, the best ever. They knew how to find talent and write incredibly compelling adventure stories while at the same time show deep emotional character depth. No regime, including this one, comes even close to that level of talent.

Best moment ever for me : Carly and Tony in bed and Bobbie catches them! So soapy 😉
My favorite ep: Frank for the back to basics approach that has made it possible for us to wish for 50 more years. I will give a nod to Jill for one thing ; taking some risks. Im thinking of her decision to recast Carly with Tamara Braun ( the best Carly ever) and the risks she took with the mob… Most of tenure (ok like 90%) was terrible but she had a pair and that i wont deny.

It’s definitely Wendy Riche for me, she respected the iconic history of the 1980’s and blazed a new trail for GH with legendary stories like:

BJ/Maxie’s Heart transplant story
Robin and Stone Aids Story into the Jason and Robin love story
Monica’s Breast Cancer
The loss of Jason Quartermaine and creation of Jason Morgan
Turning Ned Ashton into a Rockstar and giving us Ned and Lois
Sonny and Brenda and the triangle with Jax which is IMO the best triangle in Daytime History
The return of Luke and Laura and the introduction of Lucky
Elizabeth Webber and the love story of Lucky and Elizabeth
The rebirth of the Cassadines
The adoption of Emily Quartermaine
The creation of Nikolas Cassadine
The creation of Carly Roberts

She created the best characters since the 1980’s in GH history with Lucky, Carly, Elizabeth, Nikolas, Jax, Brenda, Sonny, Emily, Lois, Stone, Jagger so much of what they reference and focus on today was created from two eras ~ the Gloria Monty and Wendy Riche eras on GH.

The whole 50th Anniversary is centered around the Nurses Ball which came to be under Wendy Riche and turned into a fan favorite event every year!!

The production was top notch with unforgettable locations like the Puerto Rico adventure, Ned and Lois in wedding attire on top the Brooklyn bridge, Luke and Laura return and almost go over the falls but a helicopter saves them, Jax’s malibu home….etc…

The last two GH primetime specials ~ Twist of Fate and the 35th Anniversary special which were both spectacular aired during Wendy Riche’s regime!!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE This time in GH history and regard it as my personal favorite. I think Frank and Ron are doing a great job but everything that’s great about the work they are doing is directly related to their dabbling in the Veterans and pulling characters and love stories from two different times in GH history ~ Wendy’s time and Gloria’s time. Everything new that Frank and Ron have created on their own aside from Todd/Carly and John/Sam has been a complete miss with me. So, I wouldn’t consider them up there with Wendy or Gloria yet but give them time because I might reflect differently on it someday.

Great post!

General hospital best executive producer to me is frank valentini

I’m pretty sure we can all agree that the title of best GH executive producer goes to ANYONE but Jill Farren Phelps. lol.

I personally loved Wendy, Gloria, and now I am so proud of Frank Valentini that he makes the list as well. I believe these three truly understood the staples of not on General Hospital, but of this genre. These three are ones, if you read interviews and such, that are highly praised by actors and you can see why. They run a ship of success in both ratings and quality.

I’m going with Wendy Riche for the best because it was during her time with the show that I became a viewer with the Stone storyline, Jax, the Quartermaines, Carly, Jason, Robin, Sonny, Brenda, and of course the Spencer/Cassadine war. However, Frank Valentini is doing an amazing job with the show today and continues to surprise me with how General Hospital feels like a more balanced show with romance, comedy, drama, vets, and less mob violence (which is okay in smaller doses).

Matthew Ashford. ? Sexier… “darker”… Masculine… love the facial hair… a steamier edge to Jack.

to go along with his “acting” Talent. his comedic, and sensitive father portrayal…

DAYS ? bring him back.

this would be a rebirth…. of Jack…. instead of the bumbling… ??? i’ll get flack for this…

but… he’d generate a rebirth of JENN…. Oye! Jennifer and Daniel… are killing… DOOL.

Why are u writing about dool ? Who cares !!

Wendy Riche – I hated when they gave Robin Aids but over the course of the storyline it has been educational and very heart warming. Kudos to the aids story line.

What time will this be on?

Kudos to frank and RON for bringing back the old GH we know and love but they are ridding on the coat tails of someone else’s work. Wendy riche and Claire labine were the 2 best EP of all time. Gloria Monty was amazing yes but when she came back the second time she took away the history she built in her hay day and almost destroyed the show with the Eckertt family and back burning the vets. As for JFP and Guza they were a ticking time bomb to daytime . Claire Labine deserves a huge shout out due to she and her pbenomi a

Phenomenal writing team but the trophy belongs to Wendy riche. And a little shout out to Brian frons get us head out of our ass u have destroyed daytime TV I don’t understand how ABC cuts u a weekly paycheck the only club u r President in is the talentless hack club u rate right up there with the weather men wrong on so many levels but still have a job.

Without Gloria Monti the show would never have attracted the audience it did. And aside from Luke and Laura’s on-the-run/wedding story line, Rick Springfield was a MAJOR reason young people tuned in and turned onto GH in numbers never seen before. Richard Dean Anderson aka MacGyver was pretty hot as Dr Jeff Webber in mid-70’s!

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General Hospital’s Michael Easton Pens Touching Farewell to Gregory Harrison

Following the on-screen death of his on-screen father, Gregory Chase played by Gregory Harrison, longtime soap vet, Michael Easton (Finn, GH) shared his feelings on a touching Instagram post.

Easton summed up getting to know Gregory Harrison, and to play emotional scenes with him for the last three years. In story, Gregory succumbed to ALS, a disease in which there is no cure.

Sharing several photos of himself with Harrison. Easton expressed, “Gregory Harrison. One of the finest actors I’ve ever had the privilege of working with and an even better human being. I learned so much from you, my friend, and it was an absolute honor to get to share a stage with you these past three years. Your talent, grace and powerful presence will be greatly missed around the studio. @gnhsurf @generalhospitalabc #gh #fathersandsons”

Photo: ABC

In addition, Josh Swickard (Chase), Harrison’s other on-screen son told Soap Opera Digest on Gregory’s exit, “Sometimes when you’re working on a show like this and someone plays your dad, it spills over. He really felt like a father figure to me in so many ways. Still does. He’s such a good human being. He’s been around the block in life, in Hollywood, and then some, and he’s just a wealth of knowledge. And he’s a humble human being.”

Courtesy/ABC

Fans of GH caught on the Monday, May 20th episode some very heart-tugging scenes between Gregory and Finn, where they each tell the other how proud they are to have been each others father and son.

Watch below the heartbreaking moment and the touching portrayal by Michael Easton when Finn finds his father has passed away.

So, what do you think about the words written by Michael Easton and he says farewell to the exited Gregory Harrison? What did you think of his performance on today’s GH? Comment below.

 

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A post shared by Michael Easton (@iammichaeleaston)

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Lane Davies on Possibility of Extending His General Hospital Run: “I Would Be Totally Open”

This week, viewers are catching the re-teaming of Lane Davies and Nancy Lee Grahn for the second time on General Hospital and the third time in their careers given their storied history as Santa Barbara’s Mason Capwell and Julia Wainright.

Previously, Nancy and Lane played opposite each other and shares scenes as Dr. Cameron Lewis and Alexis Davis back in 2002 on the ABC daytime drama series. Now in 2024, Davies takes on the role of Fergus Byrne, the brother of the late Neil Byrne, as Alexis tries to get her law license reinstated.

Speaking with TV Insider on his recent return to GH, Davies shared, “I know Nancy was wanting to work with me again. I ran into (former GH head writer) Patrick Mulcahey at (Santa Barbara co-creator) Bridget Dobson’s funeral and we had a lovely lunch together and a lovely visit and I think it was just the synergy of all those things coming together that did it. Patrick saw me and realized that I hadn’t completely deteriorated over the years and thought, ‘Well, this would be fun.”’

Photo: NBC

Lane also shared he isn’t closing the door for more episodes of General Hospital down the line were the powers-that-be to keep Fergus on the canvas.

The popular actor expressed,,”I would be totally open, but that’s all up to the writers and fans and producers and network people and I’m kind of out of that loop. But if it happens, grand.”

So, would you like to see Lane stick around Port Charles? Comment below.
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Gregory Harrison Wraps His Run on General Hospital

Gregory Harrison, who has played Gregory Chase on General Hospital, has left the series.  As viewers saw, on the May 20th episode Gregory remembers his life, then seemingly went to asleep.

However, on today’s May 21st episode, is it revealed Gregory, who suffered from ALS, passed away in his sleep. Harrison brought with him extensive television and movie credits from Trapper John M.D., Falcon Crest and more before coming to GH.

Harrison joined the ABC daytime drama series in a recurring capacity back in November 2020 and signed a contract back in June of 2022.  A rep for the show confirmed to Soap Opera Digest that Gregory’s exit was storyline-dictated.

 

Photo: ABC

In story, Gregory Chase was the estranged father to Finn (Michael Easton), as they had a complicated past. He also had a younger  son Harrison Chase (Josh Swickard). Gregory was also the grandfather to Violet (Jophielle Love). One of his last wishes was to see Chase and Brook Lynn (Amanda Set tie the knot.

Over the past few months before the character’s demise, he became close with Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) and Tracy (Jane Elliot).

The death of Gregory Chase will certainly rock Finn and Chase’s world.

So, sad to know Gregory Harrison has departed General Hospital? Comment below.

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