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General Hospital

Rebecca Campbell To Now Oversee ABC Daytime!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

The executive shuffle continues at the ABC Television Network with some interesting news for ABC daytime series, General Hospital and The Chew. 

According to Broadcasting & Cable, Rebecca Campbell president of ABC’s owned TV stations, is adding daytime programming to her duties on the heels of ABC President programming Paul Lee’s ouster.

Campbell will overee GH, The Chew, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and FABLife until it ends its run since it has already been cancelled.

As previously announced, Channing Dungey was made the ABC Entertainment president taking over Lee’s duties as appointed by Ben Sherwood, president, Disney-ABC Television Group.

Sherwood noted of Campbell being the perfect choice to run the ABC day-part that she has deep daytime experience, including producing daytime shows while at WPVI Philadelphia and buying syndicated programs as station group chief.

As far as Vicki Dummer, ABC executive vice-president for current series, and her role moving forward with General Hospital that remains to be seen, since she had been in charge of the show for the past few years until the news on Wednesday.

What do you think of the appointment of Rebecca Campbell to oversee ABC Daytime?  Do you think its a good choice? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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This lady is going to pull the plug on General hospital. Is she related to Brian Frons? I hope not. Or she will be the most hated soap killer.

Why would she be related to Brian Frons?

Looks like abc is going to get even worse

Yes, looks that way. Boy, are they changing gears frantically. Trouble ahead!

I know noting about the woman..
She may like and respect the soap opera genre and she might not give two hoots about a 50yr old soap..
It is IMPOSSIBLE to have an opinion, as she has not shown us her hand, yet..
To say this or that about her at this point in time is rather ridiculous … LOL

She’ll probably cast herself in a gh role lol

The woman manages TV stations. She’s a salesman. Now she is in charge of daytime programming? Makes a lot of sense.

Is it too much to ask that Ms. Campbell acknowledge the terrible mistake Frons and Sweeney made in canceling AMC & OLTL and promise GH will not be cancelled?

Maybe she will be smart enough to bring back one life to live and all my children. It’s been almost 5 years since the worst decision made by this network ever. Get it right and bring back our soaps.

The only way AMC & OLTL will return is to cancel The Chew and I don’t see that happening because the show is cheat to produce.

Very well said Jp.

I guess Rebecca’s “deep daytime experience” for local programming in Philly doesn’t leave me with a lot of confidence for how she will handle GH. On the other hand it’s not fair to judge at this stage. So let’s hope for the best.

I get the feeling that over the next few months GH is really going to need to show Ms. Campbell that they have what it takes to maintain their audience while building their numbers. With the current writing team and the show’s return to a Sonny-centric focus I don’t think things look too promising…

I agree, I don’t know what possessed them to hire Jean and Shelly as co-head writers, you only have to watch a few episodes of their tenure at Y&R to see how boring and untalented they are.

Not promising at all. Who PROGRAMMED (pun intented) the writers to write only mob stories..a real “dead” (pun also intended) end.

I think GH, with it’s renewed focus on Sonny, is nailing it’s own coffin.

I think Jean and Shelly have done a pretty good so far trying to clean up the mess of a show Ron Carlivati left them. This past week was one of the best weeks GH has had quite a while, in my opinion. It had drama (including the hospital drama that everyone always says they want to see), action, great acting, what more could you want? The ratings are up approx 500,000 viewers from where it was when RC got canned. I’d say the show is in fine shape at the moment.

I’m curious, everyone complained about Bob Guza at the end, they complained about Carlivati, now you don’t like the job Jean and Shelly are doing, exactly who would you like to see writing this show?

Everyone blames Ron for the state of the show but needs to consider that the head writer does not have total autonomy — everything that was on screen had to be run past Frank Valentini and ABC Daytime (and according to reports, some of the actors) before it was ever scripted. It’s easy to say Ron was the problem but the current state of the show tends to suggest the problems run much deeper than the headwriter.

I think Ron Carlivati should still be writing the show with perhaps Jean Passanante as a co-head writer to help balance things. Ron is capable of amazing storytelling as evidenced by his run on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, but if not Ron, then I would suggest someone who understands long term plotting, umbrella storytelling, and emotional payoffs like Lorraine Broderick or Kay Alden.

As for this week being one of the best — I’m going to have to disagree. For me this week’s writing was yet another example of why daytime often gets a bad rap for cheesy writing: Dixon escaping that shoebox-sized pier set by ducking between two crates; the gun toting Raj deciding to eliminate Lulu by throwing her into the harbor and hoping she couldn’t swim; Carly and Michael being allowed to crash a crime scene just because they are Corinthos; the ambulance that took nearly an entire episode to get to the pier for Kiki; the PCPD arresting Dixon’s men and then just leaving all the guns sitting on the dock for Carly to throw into the harbor (not only were they illegal weapons but they were evidence); Carly not washing Kiki’s blood off her hands until Friday’s episode (instead of seeing it as dramatic, I kept wondering why no one on the hospital staff had called her out on the fact she was running around like that in what should be a sterile environment); everyone’s continued disdain for Ava murdering Kate but no one — including Michael — daring to hold a grudge against Saint Sonny for murdering AJ.

And as for the hospital getting some airtime, it wouldn’t have been seen at all if not for the fact that folks got shot as a result of the mob story being front and center yet again.

I can acknowledge the fact that Ron was frustrated by the direction he was getting from higher ups for stuff such as “having a wedding”, “upping the mob conflict”, etc. The problem was he responded with over the top ridiculousness such as having Nina marry Rick. When Tony Geary didn’t want his swan song to be Luke and Laura (which was disappointing to many of us, but that is another story) Ron responded with the campy and foolish story about Frank Smith rising from the dead at 100 years old and the stupid nonsense about being blackmailed to sleep with Jennifer Smith while Laura sat in the next room. I DO blame Ron for that. It was childish in the extreme and cost the show 100’s of thousands of viewers. It was completely classless IMO

Thanks ben sherwood for making a change to ABC Daytime

She prolly will bring Katie Couric back

Lawd. Katie was a very expensive mistake that ABC can not afford, again!

Campbell may be GH’s direct “boss.” But, if you read the article, all of ABC’s executives above her have changed, too. That means it’s nearly impossible to tell what will happen in the immediate future for any of ABC’s daytime shows. Also, the article doesn’t mention where Nathan Varni or Vickie Dummer are in all of this.

Not much left to manage!

With so many long running daytime staples now gone from its lineup (Oprah, longtime View co-hosts, AMC & OLTL, et al), and with so many recent brand new show failures that followed, it seems a no-brainer to keep and fortify a more than half-century old television institution like GH. Of course, that all depends on how much brainpower now exists at ABC Daytime.

Here’s a video of Campbell speaking at great length about ABC, in particular her experience in local programming and news. It sounds like to me some more programming real estate could be handed over to local affiliates (expanding local news time/hours, making the daytime lineup more news oriented, etc). I’m not convinced by this that fictional programming such as soap operas is her forte or of any real interest vis-a-vis her future planning. The only thing I imagine her doing to try to save GH is to syndicate it throughout local markets rather than have it be a part of the official national ABC lineup. That is to say, it could be modeled like Kelly and Michael and sold in each market to the highest local TV network bidder instead of just the local ABC affiliate. For example, K&M airs on Fox in a lot of markets even though it’s ABC owned and produced. Same could happen with GH.

http://www.livetvla.com/vimeo-video/afternoon-one-on-one-rebecca-campbell-abc-owned-television-stations-group-president/

thanks for the vid..
ABC news is a big money maker so can see her focus on it..

Interesting. That sounds right. ESPN is dragging down Disney Stock and ABC isn’t tearing up the balance sheet either. These are corporate decisions. If a daytime show can deliver profit without being linked to ratings (ie sold to the highest bidder) that may be what transpires.

It’s really hard to have an informed opinion based on so little information. I can only hope that she will recognize that only by promoting GH, the once great daytime network will retain any loyal viewers. ABC’s insipid replacement shows of AMC and OLTL have all tanked. And despite the lower-than-wanted-numbers for GH, it generates more buzz and viewers than the majority of anything else they shove at us. This woman would be wise to keep GH on the air and build it up rather than ignore it or, worse yet, get rid of it. That grave error would only cement the fleeing of myriad of fans from their already-challenged-daytime-lineup. Here’s to hoping they’ve hired a wise woman.

it’s too soon to tell how she’ll do. i hope this means the end of Varni at GH

Thank goodness they cancelled Fablife. Horrible show. Bring back Rachel Ray

bring back amc and oltl

If she really wants to get some attention for ABC Daytime, she’d bring back AMC and OLTL at least as 1/2 hour programs. I would think that would at least get more headlines than ______ (fill in the blank/yawn) to get a talk show on ABC.

They should bring back One Life to Live or All My Children and combine them into one show and call it LANDVIEW – and introduce it as a 1/2 hour lead-in to General Hospital and I bet ANYTHING it does better than some of the crap they have on now.
But, not to worry, I don’t really see this happening but it should.

I would love to see GH cleaned up. It’s too focused on mob stories again and is overdoing it with the Corinthos and Jerome families. Balance is necessary and focus on vets and core families is necessary. I would love to see the show be strong again, but it’s flailing story wise and is bringing on too many new characters. Who knows what this change in ABC daytime oversight means.

Very recently, a tribute event was held for Lionel Richie. When it was Lionel’s turn to make a speech, he said he began his career during a time when artists were creative, not created. That can be said for much of entertainment these days. I miss the early days of soap when there was less corporate involvement. I miss the days when they were allowed to hire character actors and they didn’t have to look like models. But even with some of the soap trends of the last 15 years, I still say soaps need to hold their place in daytime. I personally would rather see a fictional story unfold any time over another squawky talk show. The format for most of the talk shows these days is clustered and no one is allowed to speak one at a time. I’m sick of so called talk shows where there is a table full of people competing to be heard. And there are enough news programs to depress anyone within an inch of their life. Unless they produce “happy news” news programs, I don’t see how filling the day with news is going to be any better. There are more news channels than we already know what to do with. Let what few soaps we have remain.

Hey…as long as this Rebecca Campbell woman doesn’t turn out to be ‘another’ Brian Frons…then I’m good.

GH died a long time ago – I’d say about a year ago or so during the height of the Fluke story that did no one any favors. Sure, the show hadn’t been quite right for some time, but I think we’ll look back and say that it was Fluke that sealed the shows fate. Too many of us left and have not returned. Yes, from what I can tell by just occasionally reading the boards, Sonny’s taking over the show (AGAIN) isn’t helping any and, to me, looks like the new writers going for the easiest fix rather than really reimagining the show from the ground up. It’s hard for me to take the show seriously when they don’t seem to care about it at all (or maybe that would be “at TALL” ).

Anyway, for me the show has been dead for a year and so I’ve already made my peace with it if it goes away forever. I’d like to hope for a major back from the dead revival of this show (and the form altogether – and I do think that there is lots to save both of the show and the genre), but, sadly, I’ve lost hope (or is that Hope?) that’ll happen.

Until she makes a comment, this is all speculation.

If I were on Twitter I would say this (but I am not…)

Dear Ms. Campbell:

As a first mandate, please convene the GH writing team and tell them they have a weekend assignment to watch four hours of shows from the 80’s and four hours of shows from the 90’s. Then meet with them on Monday morning for a robust discussion on what it is that made the writing so compelling then versus it’s lackluster and sporadic style of today. Yes, the budget is a fraction of what it was in the glory days… but the writing is like a cliff notes outline. That is a big part of the problem.

Rebecca Campbell is the queen of secrets and lies. Having first hand experience working with her I can see here fingerprints all over the Kelly/Strahan debacle.

As long as she gets rid off the Fablife and DO NOT TOUCH GENERAL HOSPITAL.

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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