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



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 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!

General Hospital

Daytime Emmy Lead Actress Nominee Luncheon; The Tradition Continues

On Sunday, it was Mishael Morgan’s (Amanda Sinclair, The Young and the Restless) turn to host the annual Lead Actress nominee luncheon, for this year’s talented woman who are going for gold at the upcoming 50th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on Friday night, December 15th on CBS.

Morgan took home the Daytime Emmy in this category in 2022 becoming the first Black actress in the now 50-year history to ever win it. In a tradition that was started by four-time Daytime Emmy winner Susan Flannery (Ex-Stephanie, The Bold and the Beautiful), the winning actress from the previous year has to pick up the tab, choose a restaurant and host a fun afternoon gathering for this year’s crop of nominees.

Attending the festivities were 2023 Lead Actress nominees: Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea, The Young and the Restless), Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, The Young and the Restless), Sharon Case (Sharon, The Young and the Restless) Finola Hughes (Anna, General Hospital), and Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy, The Bold and the Beautiful).

Photo: SCaseIG

Taking to her Instagram, Melissa Claire Egan shared: “To be nominated alongside this incredibly talented group of women is a TRUE HONOR!!! Thank you to last years winner, the fabulous Mishael Morgan for hosting an epic Lead Actress Nominee Luncheon today. It’s so nice that they all offered to give me their Emmy if they win!!”

Michelle Stafford took to her Instagram and expressed: “Lead Actress Brunch. This is a real honor. I’m truly honored to be in a group with all of these incredible women. I’ve loved them all for a very long time. We are all so grateful to be working on our shows… to be working in general, as actors. What a spectacular group of women. Mishael (Last years winner) put together a brunch that was BEYOND spectacular with gift bags even!! I mean Mishael, you are an absolute class act. Thank you for the beautiful day 🧡”

Finola Hughes posted her sentiments as well, “Yesterday was the leading ladies lunch for the Emmy’s. It’s a tradition started by the inimitable Susan Flannery. (The previous years winner throws a luncheon for the nominees). Yesterday was a very special lunch. Mishael Morgan raised the bar! The conversation was at once light hearted and deep. This was an amazing group of women, supportive, funny and caring. Thank you all for a brilliant few hours 💕 🌸 ✨”

Posting on their Instagram Stories were Michelle Stafford who gave us a little more behind the scenes of the luncheon, where Mishael also handed out a gift bag to each of the ladies, and Sharon Case who accompanied her photos with the tune “This One’s For the Girls” by Martina McBride.

So, looking forward to seeing which of these talented actresses takes home the Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy on December 15th? What do you think about how the tradition has been handed down for many years that the luncheon carries on? Comment below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Jon Lindstrom Shares Heartfelt Message to Mark His 30-Year Anniversary as Dr. Kevin Collins

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since back on December 3rd, 1993, when General Hospital viewers got the shock of their lives as the ABC soap opera introduced the psychiatrist twin brother of serial killer, Ryan Chamberlain, in the form of Dr. Kevin Collins.

For soap fans that meant we got to see even more of one of the finest actors ever to appear in the genre in Jon Lindstrom. The talented actor started on GH a year and half earlier in June of 1992 as Ryan.

Fast-forward to 2023 and Lindstrom is in the running for this year’s Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series when the 50th annual Daytime Emmy Awards are given out in less than two weeks on Friday night, December 15th on CBS. Could an Emmy on his 30th year playing Kevin and Ryan be in the cards? Stay tuned.

Photo: JPI

It has been well-documented that former GH creatives Wendy Riche (ex-EP), Claire Labine (ex-head writer) and Michelle Val Jean (ex-writer) were all instrumental in keeping Jon in Port Charles with a second role as Kevin, when he could have headed to As the World Turns at the time to play the role of Damian Grimaldi, that eventually went to Paolo Seganti.

Taking to his Instagram on Sunday to acknowledge this special milestone, Jon shared via video message, “I woke up this morning to see that today December 3rd, marks 30 years since I debuted as Dr. Kevin Collins on General Hospital. I knew that it had been a long time, but 30 years since the doppelgänger to Dr. Ryan Chamberlain was introduced. It really is remarkable. It’s been a great ride, a great run. it’s like an entire career right there. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. It’s just been great.”

Photo: JPI

Lindstrom paid tribute to those who helped create Kevin, expressing, “I have a lot of people to thank about that, let alone people like Wendy Riche and the brass at ABC at the time … Claire Labine who was writing the show back, but Michelle Val Jean was really was the one who I had the pleasure of working with to develop and bring to life Kevin Collins. She’s still a great friend today. So, there’s been a lot of blessings around this for me, and don’t think, I don’t know it. I pretty much drop to my knees every day in gratitude. Thank you world for supporting Dr. Kevin Collins and Ryan Chamberlain, for that matter. I’ll do it as long as they’ll have me.”

Accompanying his video, Jon wrote: “So grateful today for my 30 years of ‘Kevin Collins’ (and ‘Ryan Chamberlain’) on General Hospital, and for the wonderful journey my life has been, for my friends, my the family and incredible opportunities I’ve had. Hope you all have much to be grateful for.”

Share your congrats and well-wishes to Jon for 30 years as GH’s Dr. Kevin Collins via the comment section below.


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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Are You For or Against Kristina Being the Surrogate for TJ & Molly’s Baby Knowing the Storyline Implications Down the Road?

As many GH viewers have predicted, things have swung back around to Kristina (Kate Mansi) seemingly being the most viable option in Molly’s (Kristen Vaganos) mind to carry her and TJ’s (Tajh Bellow) baby as their surrogate.

If you recall, Kristina offered a few months back and was shut down by Molly, and then TJ, as the couple then went looking through agencies to find a surrogate to carry their baby to term. The surrogate they found, Andrea, told TJ she lost the baby in a miscarriage, which was confirmed by a doctor at Mercy Hospital, and she won’t go through trying to have a baby again. Leaving the couple devastated. But, is her story suspicious?

Last week on General Hospital, Molly was overwhelmed when having to look through a file to start the process of finding a surrogate and identifying the right candidate all over again and it brought her to tears. Kristina found her in the park, and that led the two to have a heart-to-heart conversation. While the two sisters have come to an agreement, now it comes to convincing TJ that this is the right move.


However, fans of the show can see how complex this will be for everyone down the line. If Kristina’s relationship with Blaze (Jacqueline Grace Lopez) moves further down the line, will she be so willing to give her sister the baby? Could there be an ugly court battle for the little one between two moms vs. TJ and Molly?  Will Kristina having their child, bring TJ and Kristina actually closer together, and cause rifts in Molly’s relationship with her man and her sister? What does the long-running soap opera have in store in the storyline by making Kristina the ultimate surrogate? Or, could Kristina lose the baby, only to find out that Andrea, the original surrogate has TJ and Molly’s child? So many possibilities.

Photo: ABC

Soap Opera Digest spoke to Kristen Vaganos on where Molly’s head is at with the situation. Vaganos shared, “I think there’s a little bit of desperation there, wanting to take a route that might be more trustworthy. (Surrogacy is) such a hard process to put trust and hope into because anything can happen. And Molly is a control freak! She wants to control as much as she can, so having a relative involved is, I think, comforting in a way.”

In terms of how Molly will re-approach TJ with Kristina being the prospective surrogate, Vaganos added, “Molly knows that it’s going to be an uphill battle, convincing him. Kristina’s track record with TJ is what it is. But it’s another leap of faith that Molly wants to take, and she just wants TJ to be on board with her. Plus, I think that TJ will really trust Molly’s opinion because Molly knows her better than anybody, and Molly would be the first person to doubt Kristina, to make sure to double-check her work. So if Molly says that she really feels strongly about this and thinks it’s the right decision, I think that’ll go a long way. I think TJ will take that to heart. But unless he’s on board with it, too, it’s a nonstarter.”

So, how do you see this playing out and what do you want to see? Are you in favor of Kristina being the surrogate for Molly and TJ’s baby? Are you for or against it, and what it could mean for long-term story implications? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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