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The Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati Interview – General Hospital – Soapmakers of the Year 2013

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

Photo Credit: Thomas Montalto

How do you take a 50-year-old iconic show and make it fresh and entertaining, pay homage to its past, make its golden anniversary most memorable, and give it a bright future, all at the same time?  That was the task at hand for General Hospital’s executive producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati in 2013!  And boy, did they deliver on all counts … and then some!  The two creative gents whose inter-connected vision accounted for some of the most engaging stories and moments in the year, filled with tears, angst, romance, high-drama, and humor, got the best from their outstanding cast, crew, producers, and writing team that viewers witnessed play out on-screen.

From the revitalization of the Nurses Ball, the return of so many blasts from the pasts, the touching 50th anniversary episode, the epic and emotional saga of Robin’s (Kimberly McCullough) return, which pitted the arch-villains vs. the good guys, to bring home this legacy character to Port Charles and the ripple effect that would cause … there was plenty for GH fans to get invested in!  Frank and Ron also seemed to make a concerted effort for balanced story, where many characters got into the action within one calendar week of episodes.

That is not to say that it was smooth sailing along the way in 2013 for the talented twosome.  There was the controversy and fan acceptance over Roger Howarth, Kristen Alderson and Michael Easton becoming a recast Franco, Kiki, and Silas after being grounded in Port Charles as Todd, Starr, and John (original One Life to Live characters). There also was the decision to write-out Kelly Sullivan as Connie Falconeri, which has been a bone of contention for some fans.  But as they say, you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but the majority of the time Valentini and Carlivati gave the audience a thrill-ride they won’t soon forget this year.

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Frank and Ron shortly after they received the news that they had been given our highest honors for the second year in a row as Soapmakers of the Year for their outstanding accomplishments in 2013!  During our chat, not only do we discuss this past year’s successes and their creative process, but they give us a preview and a bit of insight into the upcoming arrivals of Ryan Carnes (Lucas), Thaao Penghlis (Victor) and more!  So here is what these soap savvy hitmakers had to say about it all!

MICHAEL:

When you plotted out Robin’s (Kimberly McCullough) return, did both of you agree that you wanted to keep this big return eeeking out bit-by-bit, in that someone important in Robin’s life would see her and know she’s alive, and then someone else .. . and someone else?  Did one of you say to the other, “Enough already! We need to move this forward and have Robin meet up with Patrick (Jason Thompson) again, before the fans bailed on the story?” (Laughs)

RON:

Courtesy/ABC

The answer to the first part is … we did plan it that way.  Frank and I have worked together for a long time.  Frank has always said, when we have done a similar story in bringing somebody back, or for instance, when we had Todd (Roger Howarth) return on OLTL, “You have to milk this!  Let the person hide in the shadows for awhile, and tease it out.”  So, I took that cue.  I decided very early on when Robin returned, it would not be Robin walks in the door and sees Patrick.  So each week, we came up with this adventure where we laid in clues about her captivity and eventually showed her in the Cassadine lab.  We decided that would be part one of this adventure of finding her and rescuing her.  The next part would be her return to Port Charles, and the build up to the reveal.  I planned it early on that it would happen at the end of November Sweeps at Patrick and Sabrina’s (Teresa Castillo) wedding.

MICHAEL:

So Frank, you were on board with the way the story was constructed and executed with all the many reunions Robin had along the way?  It certainly was an emotional rollercoaster for the viewers.

FRANK:

Yes, absolutely.  I think it’s always about balance, but in terms of the storytelling if Robin just shows up and everyone sees her at once then it’s kind of like it’s plopped in the audiences lap.  As opposed to letting them enjoy her coming face to face with Nikolas (Tyler Christopher) who was the first to see her, and then her father, and then her mother, and then her daughter and her husband, so they were all very satisfying reveals.  It wasn’t so much in terms of just milking it for the sake of milking it.  I just thought Ron did such a masterful job. It was very satisfying for everyone on the canvas, and for the audience that come to find out that this person, who they loved, was in fact alive, and still with them.  Their joy in seeing her was not hindered by everyone else jumping on the bandwagon at the same time.

RON:

Courtesy/ABC

I think Maxie (Kirsten Storms) is a good example of that.  Maxie and Robin have such a special relationship.  Originally, we thought Maxie would be at the wedding, but then we thought their reunion would be given such a short shrift that it ended up that Maxie had gotten this horrible news from the court, so she would not attend the wedding.  And, we did that intentionally so we could preserve that Maxie and Robin reunion for afterwards.

MICHAEL:

Patrick just made his decision and he chose to be with Robin.  Can you speak to me about why you decided to play the story beat that Patrick took awhile to return to his beloved wife?

RON:

It was always our feeling that Patrick and Robin would be reunited, and again though, we wanted to do justice to the story for the time she had been gone.  And that was seeing Patrick move on, let go, and find someone new.  I just don’t think that it’s in Patrick’s character to just abruptly discard someone, even though of course, the audience wanted him to.  They wanted him immediately to take her in his arms, and we did give them that moment at the church, but I think we stood by our decision for a week or two.  Patrick really wrestled with his decision, because otherwise I don’t think it would have been real based on what the audience watched on-air.  That said, we never had a doubt that he would pick Robin.  We just decided to make the audience wait for it, and that would end up being our Christmas miracle to see that family reunited.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

The two of you are in the trenches on a day-to-day basis to produce or write episode after episode, and keep the GH train moving.  Is there a time this year where you have watched a story and got choked up and invested like the fans who watch the show everyday?   Have you shed a tear when you see your work on-screen, especially when there are key emotional moments for the characters of Port Charles, or big emotional payoffs built into the story for the audience?

FRANK:

For Ron and myself, our experiences are completely different.  All of the stories spring from Ron’s imagination.  Then he has to put it all on paper and create the blueprint for the show weeks and weeks before he gets the satisfaction of seeing it on the air.  So, I don’t think you can write all that without feeling it at first when you do it, and then when you see it you live through it again, because there has been a significant amount of time in between.  For myself, it’s much more visceral and in the moment, and every moment we are creating the show.  And of course, we are always surprised by what the directors come up with, and what the actors bring to the script and their performance, and how the director shoots it.  So it’s always exciting for us.  However, I do find myself in the edit bay getting very caught up in it and many times always laughing at stuff again and again over some of the exploits with Franco (Roger Howarth), or Luke (Tony Geary), or Faison (Anders Hove) and Obrecht (Kathleen Gati).  These are such joyous and fun that it just brings a smile to your face all over again.  Maxie saying goodbye to Spinelli (Bradford Anderson) was so heartbreaking.  And then when I saw it on the air the other day, I think I cried for like the fifth time, because it was so well done and everyone did such a good job.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

On that note … and Bradford Anderson … Ron, when you knew he made the decision to depart GH, how much time did you have to write Spinelli’s exit?

RON:

It was a process, because it began when Bradford decided he didn’t want to sign a new contract and he would stay recurring.  He was really great in the way he worked with us. We started the story with baby Connie (now baby Georgie) with a nine month story, and he really did commit to us that he would stay and play that out.  And pretty much it was known to us pretty early on, and afterwards that most likely really wanted to go.  So that did help shape the story since we knew Spinelli would be exiting.  I always knew Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) and Lulu (Emme Rylan) would not retain custody.  As far as the scenario between Maxie and Spinelli, that was a little more fluid.  Then with him going, and then our little surprise that Kirsten Storms was pregnant in real life (laughs), that also helped shaped the story, because I knew I would be losing her from the canvas for a little while.  Ultimately, what we decided was Spinelli would get the baby and get a happy ending with Ellie (Emily Wilson).  I think we found that theirs was a relationship that fit together so well, even though Maxie was his first love that is not always the person you end up with in your life.  We thought they would part ways.  And by having Maxie have some really huge consequences for the lies that she told, even though she did it out of love, I really felt she needed to lose that baby.  And with that, it would be the beginning of a life change for her, and how does she move on and change, and what is her next story coming out of that?  So, that is how that all really shaped up.  And again to what Frank was saying, he sees it while it’s taping and I don’t see it until it airs.  Occasionally, Frank will send me one scene just to get me excited about it, but mostly I see it when the fans see it.  So the other day when I watched the goodbye between Maxie and Spinelli, and even though we wrote it, and I knew there would be a montage and all of that, it was such a beautiful montage that they made, and I was so impressed.  I was so touched by the performances that I was definitely brought to tears!

MICHAEL:

What are you most proud of in 2013?  And, what proved to be the most difficult issue that you overcame?  The most obvious on the surface was that you made Roger Howarth (Todd, now Franco), Michael Easton (John, now Silas), and Kristen Alderson (Starr, now Kiki), morph into different characters due to the rights situation with Prospect Park that arose with the use of the characters being originally from One Life to live.

RON:

Courtesy/ABC

As far as the biggest challenge for me, I would say it was writing the characters out played by Roger Howarth, Michael Easton, and Kristen Alderson, and bringing them back as different characters.  While I always knew it was a possibility that we would have to give them new characters, it’s never real until it happens.  They integrated so well into the canvas, and they were all well-received by the General Hospital audience.  But it was a challenge, and I like to have challenges as a writer.  It gave us an opportunity to launch new story, but we were experiencing a lot of momentum at that moment, and so we had to shift gears a little bit.  In the end, I think it worked out for the best.   As far as what I am most proud of: It’s the amount of what we were able to accomplish in the year of the 50th anniversary of General Hospital.  That includes: all the returns that we did, the Nurses Ball, the adventure going from different countries and different cities, and the surprises, and having people pop up in Corinth and Delia (Ilene Kiristen) from Ryan’s Hope, which to me speaks to the sheer magnitude of what we are able to do in one year, and how amazing everyone at the show, obviously led by Frank, was able to execute it all.

FRANK:

Most proud for me is the Nurses Ball.  Reviving something that had been such an iconic part of General Hospital, and hadn’t been done in 13 years was pretty major, and super fun to do.  It really challenged the team.  I think the toughest thing is to keep that momentum going, because there are certainly setbacks where, for instance, the actors make the choice to leave the show, or there are certain constraints because of budget.  But I will say, ABC has been so great and supportive.  They have been there for us and it’s been helpful.  But, it’s still really tough do to 250 episodes a year.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Now that GH was number one earlier this month across the board in all the key female demographics, and had a week where you brought in more than 3.3 million viewers, do you then say to each other, “Can we top this?”  Do you talk to each other about how you are going to keep the momentum and not lose it?

RON:

Sure, you want to maintain this investment with the audience in the storylines, and it’s a good motivator too, as you say, “Can we top this?”  We know we can’t always do that, and yes, we have been blessed with some wonderful ratings and great success for the show, and we are very proud of it.  Our hope is that it continues in that direction, but there are no guarantees.  So, we just have to keep putting the product out there and hoping that the audience continues to respond.  I would love to maintain those ratings, but whichever way it goes, I am proud of what we accomplished.

MICHAEL:

This year, one of the real standouts in the cast has been Kathleen Gati, who has been such a delight as the evil Liesl Obrecht!  Couple her performance with the fact that you were able to write such amazing lines of dialog for her, did she inform what you could do with that character and its staying power?

RON:

Originally, she came in when Luke and Anna (Finola Hughes) were at the clinic, and the actress was so good that we kept that going!  Then, we connected her to Faison, and then I had the idea to have her be Britt’s (Kelly Thiebaud) mother.  I think that was sort of the key.  Once she became Britt’s mother, the character really came to life, and it helped to humanize Britt, and it connected Obrecht in a bigger way to the canvas, because of her past with Faison.   She is so much fun to write for, and Kathleen is such a lovely person.  Frank works with her more on a day-to-day basis, but the writers clearly fell in love with the character and the actress.  There is a lot more to come from Obrecht, as you may already be aware of.

FRANK:

Courtesy/ABC

The first day she showed up she was working with Tony Geary, and Tony came up to me and said, “Wow, she is a real find,” and this was even before I saw her do anything.  Of course, anyone our casting director Mark Teschner comes up with is pretty amazing.  I audition all of the full parts, and I audition them in my office.  I had chosen Kathleen over one of five other actresses.  I thought she was great, and she really hit a home run that first day.  I think this is one of those situations where I sent Ron something in advance to say, “Hey, if it works and you need her, this is a really great actress!”  It’s really fun to work with someone who is that hard working.  Kathleen was great with everybody… Faison, Britt and when something works … you go with it.

MICHAEL:

Have you been mesmerized by the work and performance of Finola Hughes over the course of this year?  You certainly gave her some challenges, which included some prosthetic masks! (Laughs)

FRANK:

I have been mesmerized by her for years!

RON:

Courtesy/ABC

I have been in love with her since she came on General Hospital originally, when I was sitting in front of my TV.  To be able to write for her has been a thrill, and then to see what she brings to it.  From day one when she came back when Robin “died”, I was like: She has still got it!  It just feels like it’s home and General Hospital watching Anna behind the desk at the police station.  Then to see this year to have Finola play Obrecht and throw those kind of curve balls at her, and to see how she handles that, I am sure you will agree, that was a pretty amazing performance when she was playing Obrecht playing Anna.  She managed to really convey that.  I thought it was really incredible.  I love writing for her as an actress.  I also love Finola as a person.

FRANK:

One of the first things that Ron and I decided, and this was Ron’s idea, that we’ve got to bring Anna back to the show.  I thought, “absolutely”.  The perfect entrée was the first time Robin left, when Kimberly wanted to leave the show.  It was a perfect fit.  Now Anna is such an important part of the canvas, as well as the history, and the future of GH.  So her being here covers all the bases.

MICHAEL:

Ryan Carnes is back as Lucas Jones!  What can you say about the decision to finally bring Lucas on to the canvas, and what can we expect when he arrives on-screen?

RON:

I think it was a character that needed to be addressed.  When we brought back Julian (William deVry) and he was Lucas’s biological father, we knew that it would have to come up at some point. We chose, which tracked with the history, that Julian was not aware of Lucas, since he “died” when Cheryl was pregnant.  So it allowed us to keep that in our back pocket for a little while since Julian wasn’t aware of it.  But as time went on, we really felt we needed to address it, and now he is getting on to it.  Bobbie (Jackie Zeman) is in town and she is Lucas’s adoptive mother.  So the story seemed to be crying out for Lucas.  He is connected to a lot of characters.  He is related to Sam (Kelly Monaco), as well as Carly (Laura Wright).  Lucas is a pretty central character and I am excited that he is back, and with the fact that the character is gay, he is going to mix it up a little bit with Felix (Marc Anthony Samuel) and Brad (Parry Shen).  I thought that was ready to be shaken up a little bit, so we shall see.  We are excited about it.

Courtesy/RyanCarnesFacebook

MICHAEL:

Frank, had you known Ryan’s work from when he was previously on General Hospital?   How did it come about that he would return in the role, instead of going with a brand new actor?

FRANK:

I didn’t know his work from before, but I thought it was important that we retained the continuity of who played Lucas, previouslyBefore we made the decision to have him, I looked at his reel.  Mark Teschner had sent it to me and I went, “OK.  He can do this.”

RON:

I have to say, Ryan was the one I was familiar with because the role was last played by Ben Hogestyn.  I looked Ryan up on the Internet.  He looks now so much like Julian to me in some of the photos I saw, and as Frank said, he looked at Ryan’s reel and went over it with Mark Teschner, and it just made the most sense.

MICHAEL:

Thaao Penghlis is coming back as Victor Cassadine in 2014!  Was he part of your wish list Ron, to continue to bring characters back from the Ice Princess days of GH?

RON:

Courtesy/NBC

Yes.  I think you know by now I like to do things like that.  He was one we did not have to do a back-from-the-dead story because Victor Cassadine had gone off to prison.  So, I think you have to pick and choose your ‘returns-from-the-dead” and not have them happen all that too often. (Laughs)  We knew Victor was a Cassadine that was still alive and could continue the legacy of that family.  He is back for a very specific purpose, and has a very specific role, but as to what it is …. you will have to wait and see!

MICHAEL:

Frank, when you are there with the cast, have you noticed any change in the moral from when you came on to steer the ship at GH?  Do you think the moral has in part changed because they see the spirit you bring to the show?  Every actor I have spoken with this year from General Hospital has said how great it is that you are there on the floor, you are very hands-on, and that they feel safe and in good hands. 

FRANK:

It is hard to say, because I don’t know what it was like before I got here.  I think again that kind of excitement and infectious energy starts with the writing.  And when the actors are turned-on by the material they are being given, they want to work harder.  I am mostly there to be supportive, and be someone to bounce ideas off of, or to ask questions to.  I am very comfortable on the floor.  I was a stage manager for many years.  I also have been a director for many years.  I am comfortable being close to where the actors are and with the pace in which we work.   It is so fast, that you want to be able to literally think on your feet, and so I think best when I am on my feet.  You don’t ever want to feel like if anyone’s there, and they need something answered, you can’t rush right in and sort of help out.  I also think the big difference is the show was about to be cancelled when we started, and now we are in such good shape.  That would make anyone happy if you knew you were going to keep your job!

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

The tide had turned for soap operas in 2013.  You both went through the heartbreaking ABC cancellation of One Life to Live, and then took over GH not knowing if it would continue on.  Now that all four remaining network soaps are in better shape and showing their staying power, do you feel there is resurgence in the perception of the network soaps?

RON:

I do.  I feel it.  We went through a pretty dark time where there was this sword hanging over our heads, and it didn’t matter how well we did, what the ratings were, or what the quality of the product was of what we put out.  You felt that the sword was hanging ready to chop off your head and you feel downtrodden.  And when you live and work like that for so long, and then coming into General Hospital, and I don’t want to speak for Frank, but we both felt like this could be just a six month job.  Knock on wood … it has not turned out that way.  All the remaining network soaps are doing well.  Everyone seems to be talking about them and writing about them.  We definitely feel the support and the enthusiasm from the network.  So that is obviously a much better atmosphere to work in.  It makes you more excited, it fosters your creativity, and it makes you think … “we’re not going anywhere.”

MICHAEL:

Let’s talk about the fantastic Maura West!  Whose idea was it to bring her on as Ava Jerome?

RON:

I am sure it was Frank. We had the idea for the character, but I do not think I came to him and said, “It has to be Maura West!”  We came up with the character as we came up with Kiki, and as we were bringing the Jerome family back. 

FRANK:

Courtesy/ABC

When Ron and I had talked about this character, there were several actresses we had in mind initially, and a couple of things didn’t work out.  Then I thought about Maura, and when I said it to Ron, we both said, “Absolutely!”  So we both kind of stumbled upon it at the same time, because we are both not physically in the same city, we are often on the phone.  When you are talking and you don’t see somebody, you say, “Oh, I forgot to ask you about this or that.”  And then the ideas that are in your head come up, and Maura was one of those ideas.  I understood she wasn’t necessarily into the idea of doing another soap, because she had not the best experience on another show.  But, I thought let’s do it and let’s see what happens.  So, I brought her in to meet with me before I brought her into the family of General Hospital.  I do meet with all of the contract actors and sort of sit down and meet with them, and have a conversation in what they are interested in, and what we are doing, and just making sure everyone is on the same page.

RON:

I was a fan of hers from As the World Turns.  And when you first see Maura, she is so classically beautiful.  I was not that familiar with As the World Turns, but when you would turn it on, you would see this beautiful woman who just seems to be appropriate as a soap actress.  Then you see that she can act, and what she can really do, and that blows your mind.  You think this is not just another pretty face; she is a lot more than that.  So immediately when Frank mentioned her name, I was excited, because I knew she could pull it off, but I only knew her as ATWT’s Carly.  Now to see what she has brought to the character of Ava, it has just been amazing.  It is so different than the character she played before, and what that shows me is … she can pretty much do anything.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Frank, people are always asking me about the status with the show of Genie Francis (Laura).  There are fans out there who believe that you don’t want her on GH.  Would you ever bring Genie back?

FRANK:

Absolutely, we love Genie.   That is not true that we don’t want her.  We would never have brought her back in the first place, if we didn’t love her.  There is always a possibility for her to return.  We have a very large show with a very large canvas.   It always gets really tough when we have a lot of actors on the show who are not on contract.  To work with all of their schedules is a giant jigsaw puzzle.  We try to do the best we can with what we are given in terms of budget and flexibility in terms of scheduling.  It is certainly not easy.

MICHAEL:

Another actress who has been much talked about this year is Teresa Castillo. There has been such backlash on social media of fans hating on her, and the character of Sabrina.  Now there is a mix of fans rooting for her, and others hating on Sabrina.  The way you wrote her Ron, she went through the whole “Ugly Betty” transformation.  Were you aware of all the pushback on the character?  Did you know from the get-go this would happen given the popularity of the duo of Patrick and Robin?

RON:

Courtesy/ABC

I admire the actress for coming into that situation; it wouldn’t be easy for anybody.  The Robin and Patrick fans are very passionate and very vocal.  Sadly on social media, some of them are somewhat mean.  To take this out on a character or an actress, it’s a story we are telling.  It’s about this guy who believes he has lost his wife, and this young woman comes into his life and is there to help him with his child.  We were unfolding a slow, slow, love story where Patrick could not see what was right under his nose.  I found out it to be a love story, and that the actress did such a wonderful job with it.  It was definitely a mountain for us to climb, and for Teresa to climb.  I think she handled it with such dignity and class.  I think she rose above the backlash that she, and we, received. And as you can see as you tell the story, people can get on board.  Sabrina has a lot of fans, as do Patrick and Sabrina.  And while yes, I think people expected Patrick and Robin to reunite, Patrick and Sabrina had a lot of fans, also.  There are a lot of people watching our show who weren’t there during the heyday of Patrick and Robin.  They fell in love with the Patrick and Sabrina story as she ultimately emerged as the swan at the Nurses Ball.  We are really proud of the story we told, and now it’s about figuring out the next chapter.

FRANK:

I just don’t think Teresa was aware of it, or what she was stepping into.  She is an incredibly professional young woman who dove into the role head first.  She was not afraid to appear unattractive, or goofy.  I know it’s fiction, but if you look at it from a story point, had Sabrina not entered into Patrick’s life he would probably be married with Britt and with someone else’s child!  And what would that have done to his relationship with Robin?  It’s like millipede legs … that is all we can say. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Ron, you are very active on Twitter and social media, and Frank, you are up on Twitter as well chiming in with tweets on tune-in for the day’s episode.  Has anything that has been said on Twitter, other than having to defend yourself or your choices, given you pause to think, “Hmmm.  Maybe this storyline or character isn’t working!  Maybe the fans want this?”  In other words, do you see the advantage in what they are communicating to you?

RON:

Photo Credit: NY Times

I think it’s wonderful to have this interaction and a place where the fans can come and say what they think.  It’s not going to direct the way I am going to tell the story because a) I don’t know who these people are.  b) You don’t know how many people they are speaking for, or claim they are speaking for.  They always say, “No one likes this,” or “None of the fans want this,” or “We want this.”   I always say, “Who is this ‘we’, Tonto?” (Laughs)  You have to understand; I will hear the exact opposite opinion, as well.  So you have to be careful not to get too caught up in that.  We make a decision to tell our story, if it universality comes back to us that it’s not something people want, we are obviously going to make changes.  But we tell our story and we hope the audience gets on board.  I am not going to be bullied, or shot down on social media for our story decisions.  I like the interaction, and it’s fun.  There are a lot of wonderful, wonderful people excited about the show who will say, “You gave me my show back,” or “I got somebody watching again who wasn’t watching,” or whatever it is.  Of course, that is gratifying to me.  It’s not that I am going to ignore criticism, but as I find on social media, the constructive criticism is few and far between … it really is!  I have a very different view of what constructive criticism is.  So, I have to weed through a lot of people, or block them, and that is not unique to me, or soaps.  There are a lot of disenfranchised and angry people out there.  I don’t want to dwell on the negative.  I wouldn’t be on Twitter if it was all negative.  I get to promote the show, I get to show my enthusiasm for the show, I get to tease things about the show, and there are some very truly, lovely people.  It is fun to feel like you are a part of that community.

MICHAEL:

Frank, you are the decision maker, when all is said and done, at what happens on General Hospital.  This year, have you had to say, “No, Ron.  We can’t do that,” in terms of story ideas he may have had?

FRANK:

Photo Credit: Getty Image

In terms of the creative direction of the show, Ron and I share those decisions all the time.  There might be times when I say, “70/30”and he says “60/40”, but there has never been a time where I said, “No”.   The only times that Ron knows that there are some constraints are really financially dictated, and that is my responsibility in terms of keeping the show on budget and keeping the show on the air, in terms of the fiscal aspect of General Hospital.  That is very serious and real, and a very business-like responsibility, and that would be the only time.  We have had people we wanted to bring back that have asked for a ridiculous amount of money, and we don’t have that in our budget. Our first allegiance is to the actors on the show.   Why would we want to take money out of their mouths to give to somebody for a small cameo or something?  That is not the right thing to do.  This is a group of artists that need to protect and support one another.

MICHAEL:

Ron, you and the GH writing team were recently nominated for a WGA Award that will be handed out on February 1st.   Congrats!  What do you think your chances are at taking home the prize?

RON:

I actually forgot the day the nominations were coming out and someone texted me, “Congratulations” and I said, “For what?” (Laughs)   But it’s always a thrill.  I have never actually won a Writers Guild Award.  It’s a wonderful honor to receive a nomination, but that is not where I get my affirmation.  I get it from the joy of writing it, and from the audience appreciating it, and yes; it would be lovely to win.  The last scripts we submitted for One Life to Live I felt so good about.  That was one that was particularly heartbreaking, because that was the year I really felt we deserved to win, and we didn’t.  It’s a decision that is out of my hands, but it would be lovely to win it some day.  In deciding what to submit this year, I wrote to all the GH writers and said, “What script do you remember that was particularly strong?”  Our editors and writers emailed me back and said, “What about this show?”   With the Writers Guild, it’s different.  They are not watching the tapes.  They are just reading the words on the page.  It does not necessarily matter how well it turned out, or how great the acting was.  It’s about a day that had some good work on the page.  So I chose three scripts and as I recall, they are not really connected necessarily.  In the end I said, “Because I have lost so many times, I am not going to have a science about it this time.  I am going to just go with this one, this one, and this one! (Laughs)  We will see how that works out!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

MICHAEL:

Chandra Wilson (Bailey, Grey’s Anatomy) is coming to GH!  How did that all come about?  We know Chandra will be in scenes with Jon Lindstrom (Kevin).  What little nugget will you share about her guest star appearance, which will air on January 28th? 

FRANK:

We have some friends in common, and we knew she was a big fan of the show.  And we had reached out a couple of times, and there were some scheduling conflicts.  This time, Chandra was able to come on and we had a really great part for her.  Ron wrote something really fun for her to do.  It’s kind of fantastic!

MICHAEL:

In closing, what would you like to say to the fans of General Hospital for their support this year, and as we head into the 2014?

RON:

I want to thank everybody for watching.  It’s for that reason that we are still here.  And that is only the reason we are still here, because people are watching.  All I can say is; that I promise to do my best to deliver the best possible product in 2014.  I hope people will continue to tune-in and check out what we have got for them.

Courtesy/PaleyCenterforMedia

FRANK:

I definitely would like to thank the fans, and the cast and crew for how hard they have worked this year to bring the audience the kind of joy and thrills, humor, and love, and romance that we have been able to cram into 250 some episodes!  And of course, to the fans for watching and sticking with us and understanding that there are some financial constraints scheduling wise.  I wouldn’t have moved all the way across the country, and left my family and my home, if I didn’t think I was here to do my job, and work hard, and that we had something very special.

 

 

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Michele
Michele

I’m one of the many who has thanked RC/FV for giving back “my” show. Thanks for a great 2013, looking forward to 2014!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Was “your” show One Life to Live?

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

At least Frank and Ron have given this show ‘A LIFE TO LIVE’…or we wouldnt be here talking about it today!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Well, we’ll never know whether another exec producer/writer team would have also kept GH on the air while incorporating less camp, less flooding of the airwaves with OLTL pets, less propping of new characters no one cares about and more use of the longtime characters, (perhaps even giving THEM contracts instead of nothing but recurring deals). And they likely would have generated just as good of ratings.

Harry
Harry

Stop making sense Elizabeth!

gin9rrsnap
gin9rrsnap

OLTL was fantastic under Frank and Ron and now GH finally is back to being an actual soap under their well qualified hands. These two craft a well written tight little show that honors history and includes camp, humor (who didn’t sit up and take note of Dr. O’s solo at the Floating Rib) pathos, real drama, not scene after scene with mobsters screaming into cell phones. I appreciate how the show is being written now after so many years of mob dreck regurgitated by Guza and Pratt. Given the ratings surge since the new regime took over, I’m not alone.

Chance Van Pelt
Chance Van Pelt

Ron and Frank did the impossible and made a badly destroyed soap watchable again. Jill and Bob killed off so many core characters and legacy kids. The Quartermaine mansion is so empty now because of them. During those dark years you couldn’t invested in any new characters since Bob and Jill loved killing off characters for no reason. I loved Frank and Ron at OLTL but I’m sick of the OLTL rejects. Sam is foundering with out Stone Cold Morgan and Slias isn’t the answer Michael Easton looks bored and is phoning it in. I can’t stand Kiki or Franco. Robin’s return has been great,Lucy.Ryan and Scotty all were brought back but sadly they have so little to do and the OLTL rejects and The Jeorme’s get all the airtime.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

The show now is a mere shallow shell of its former iconic self. I didn’t watch a lot after 2002 (no Genie, no me) but the mid to late 90’s on this show were phenomenal. Compelling, engaging and dramatic. Today is so far less an accomplishment than during the years with the Ward family, the original Joe Scully war, Laura’s trial for killing Damien Smith (incredible, anyone who has seen that couldn’t help but scoff at the trial of AJ or Maxie’s custody hearing). Then into the introduction of Nikolas Cassadine, Stefan and all that went on from there.

Of course, the last thing Disney would want is for people to see how good the show was in its glory, so I guess those days of being able to watch that are now gone. Can’t show the world how mediocre RC really is so let’s ensure that no one can see the golden history. Oh well, at least I say it once.

terri
terri

I agree that OLTL was fantastic under Ron and Frank and when it was cancelled the ratings were higher than GH and since taking over at GH the show is watchable again… and the ratings reflect that, and although there are folks who don’t like the OLTLers, I believe many folks followed their characters to the GH world and that also increased the ratings. What I don’t understand is why folks can’t be grateful that we still have GH and be generous enough to realize there are folks who are still missing their OLTL/AMC. I for one would love to see Melissa Archer or Bree Williamson arrive in Port Charles or amazing Tuc Watkins I could go on and on but I am grateful for the show and grateful for the fact there are still a few soaps remaining.

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

DITTO!!!!!!!

Judy
Judy

Great Interview!

rosanna
rosanna

GH has been fantastic to watch for more then a year, Frank and Ron do get the brunt of hate, but im not one of them, they are doing wonderful and if the show truely was terrible then we are not watching the same show!! GH is on fire and im happy, I may not like the pace of the story telling but ive learned to accept it. Thanks Ron & Frank, you have made GH so good if im out I rush home to watch or make sure my dvr is recording so i do not miss any episode!! Here is to more of the BEST in daytime in 2014!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I agree with you Rosanna…GH is even better than most primetime shows!

Harry
Harry

Have you ever seen Breaking Bad?

Sheila
Sheila

Just because GH is better than a lot of primetime shows in your opinion doesn’t make it good. Many primetime shows are crap too.

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

GH is that good! Opinion or not… A lot of the Prime Time shows are more cooking shows (“Taste”), etc.. So I have to say again GH is the best now! That’s the facts… I can’t wait to see it each day.. And it always keeps my interest….Thanks Frank & Ron a job well done!

KMB
KMB

I have always loved the Cassadine family, but unfortunately the show seems to be bringing back every almost every single Cassadine except for my favorite, Stefan Cassidine, played by the great Stephen Nichols. I really miss Stefan. How I wish he would return soon!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

You never know…maybe sometime next year?

KMB
KMB

jimh, that would sure be great. Stefan Cassadine was such a complex and fascinating character. We hated what the writers did to him when he was last on the show. But in the wonderful world of soaps, and with these new writers, that can be hopefully changed. 🙂

Cathy
Cathy

Hey RC Robin and Patrick fans are somewhat mean. Where are you with the TeCa Sabrina fans with the vile tweets to Kimberly,Robin and about Scrubs. You block certain fans yet you don’t block Your pet Sabrina TeCa fans. I resent when a head writer calls out certain fans and not others. If truth be told Robin and Patrick fans were upset because the changed the characters to fit their pet Sabrina unlike the Sabrina fans who are beyond vile to Kimbery as a person not only her character Robin. And RC and FV all characters have fans but most characters work in their own unlike Sabrina who was propped using everything and everyone including Robin. And if truth be told Robin and Kimberly’s return brought you ratings that weren’t there when she was gone other than NB and they dropped after that since Robin fans were baited thinking she was returning when it was all about the coming out of the pet Sabrina not Robin. Again ratings showed that after the baiting of the NB, people left and ratings dropped. FYI to FV and RC, if they read this, why are fans who don’t like Sabrina and post she isn’t a good match for Patrick but Robin is blocked from GHFB?

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Did you watch the Christmas episode where Emma liked Sabrinas gift better than the one from her mother…just curious?

barbie
barbie

Of course she did. Just another prime example of Sabrina propping. Let’s bring Robin back but let’s crap all over a beloved character to showcase a newbie. After yesterday, I quit. I watched the scene where Patrick said he has never been happier. I am leaving it at that, because if the drops are true, I am not watching Robin get destroyed. I didn’t come back for that. I hope others follow.

Shay
Shay

I certainly did, and really gritted my teeth over that one….it was uncalled for! That being said, wasn’t our beloved “Dr. O.” just fabulous? Adored her fearless bantering with Sonny, and her vocal solo was an absolutely joyful treat to behold!

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

Sabrina is drab and boring… Cinderella & prince charming…Miss Goody two-shoes… Robin has more character and guts and she is a survivor ..Liked Robin from day one when she first appeared on GH…And that hasn’t changed.. Sabrina needs to get on with her life and be with Carlos… I am still not convinced that the baby she is carrying is Patrick’s….It is too obvious.. Carlos would marry her right away…And she should be with Carlos or someone else(not Patrick)…

Harry
Harry

What irks me is the over use of the word “haters”. I don’t hate Sabrina–who could hate a Sparkle Pony? It’s like hating Snow White. Mostly, she incurs a sense of indifference in me. I didn’t dislike the pairing of Patrick and Sabrina due to a blind devotion to Scrubs, rather, I disliked the pairing because those two did not ignite sparks. She always seemed like a lovesick school girl–it was Tammy and the Professor (most of you are too young to know to what I am referring). Had Patrick been coupled with Lizzy, or even Sam, that could have worked. I thought Patrick had chemistry with both of those women, and with Lizzy being Robin’s best friend, this triangle would have really been a victim less heartbreaker. And back to Ron and Frank taking issue with the Sabrina-hate, what’s wrong with hating a fictional character? As long as the fans are somewhat sane and can separate reality from fantasy, it’s part of the soap opera game. Back in the day, Finola Hughes received letters full of threats from outraged Holly and Robert fans. The hating of a soap character is nothing new.

Shay
Shay

Harry…..So right about those lovely ladies with whom Patrick could have (temporarily) been paired….every time JT has a scene with Sam it is ever so fine, there’s a natural affinity and chemistry between the two of them, and why this touching friendship could not have been explored earlier is beyond me. I’m not saying that it had to become a full-fledged romance, since I do like KM with ME, but as a bereaved spouse, Patrick could have used the understanding of someone who was walking in the same shoes. Ditto for Liz….she was a wonderful support to Dr. Drake in his early days after Robin’s loss, not to mention a perfect surrogate mother for Emma…just a calm and reassuring presence for both father and daughter. Had they become a couple, there would have been much more interesting tension when Robin returned…plus the decision of whom to choose would not have been so cut and dried to longtime GH fans who had some emotional investment in both characters. Either woman would have provided a far more preferable (and mature) relationship than the supreme silliness called Sabrina.

Soapfan46 yrs
Soapfan46 yrs

I agree Harry cthe ugly duckling was just boring.and with the insulting story of Cinderugly vs Robin? And Emma liking the other womans gift is insulting, sn even stated the greatest gift was her mommy home. The hate is natural In soap land .get over it newbie fans . The loyal fans of 46 years or more have stays through thick and thin but this uter. Garbage is insane from liars who claim to be gh fans. How many of you nebie fans watchd gh way over 25 yrs without leav g can you say how many dayti. Emmys this show has won? They wo 8 and allot,of the. We’re under these z2 hacks didn’t wi on o e anything. How many of,you came from one life or a CBS and never heard of gh or sonny or Jason etc but you criticize our character vets of newbies like roger Whorewith or boxing Eastonor this no name CBS blonde or the countless newbies with no talent or respect of our show? . Wow I wo det how yh feel If soap hacks did that to your soap. Well sorry gh was long before thes hacks could write or ths newbie fans .

Harry
Harry

I was blocked just for calling the Nurse’s Ball Disney on Ice.

Soapfan46 yrs
Soapfan46 yrs

Lol I agree so much…..

Soapfan46 yrs
Soapfan46 yrs

Sorry for the misspelling there is no edit button on this board…

GH50
GH50

Cathy, you are so right about the bait and switch of the Nurse’s Ball. One of many bait and switches. People tuned in for the history of the Ball, for Lucy and the return of other vets characters like Frisco, and the whole 50th anniversary and they made it about Sabrina. In this interview they say how proud they are of the story they told, her emerging as the Swan. Are these guys that delusional that they think people tuned in to see this immature little girl take off her glasses and dance around on a bed with a five year old?

They screwed up the Ball in the end and couldn’t keep the momentum. They then went further down the rabbit hole with the ridiculous Franco stuff right after, and they then had to rely on the Scorpios and the vets to pull them back up, only to then drop the ball on the terrible resolution.

What is the obsession with this immature child Sabrina? Is there really research out there that says she has a lot of fans and that people tune in for her? If that’s the case does everything have to be about her? Do these same fans demand that she eat up the entire canvas and be the center of attention? That everything be Sabrina Centric and all about her? Would all of her supposed fans leave if weren’t all about her?

This is just mind-boggling. If there is a segment of immature girls out there who really get sucked in to this superficially written, fairy tale nonsense, are there that many of them that it is worth turning off the adults who are fed up with it?

Chance Van Pelt
Chance Van Pelt

I don’t hated Sabrina the characters i really can’t stand are Franco.kiki .Slias.Ava and Morgan i have never seen characters shoved the down the viewers throats like this. I like the episodes that there not on hogging all the airtime. The show is a pale imitation of what it once was and sadly i don’t think it will ever capture that magic of yesteryear.

Georgette
Georgette

I cannot believe RC is laughing about or trying to defend his behavior on twitter and trying to paint himself as some sort of victim. This really shows how out of touch with reality this person is. He stalks the GH timeline for the #GH hashtag and starts arguments with people who are not even talking to him. If anyone at GH cared about him at all, they would get him off twitter. He makes a complete and utter fool of himself every chance he gets, never misses an opportunity. I thought I had seen it all until I saw Ron bullying a high school student one day. A child! Unreal.

About Teresa Castillo, nothing against the actress, but if a character is getting this much negative blow back, maybe she should have been written out or written in a way that actually made some sense.

We did not watch some grand love story unfold between Patrick and Sabrina. Patrick had to be written completely out of character to accomodate Ron’s vision of this hot mess that is Patrina; and I say this as someone who does not even like Scrubs. I was terribly disappointed with the way Robin’s return was handled, it was not interesting at all. Ron has a unique capability of drawing out a story until no one cares about it anymore. His pacing is horrible and some stories are completely dropped altogether.

I hope Prospect Park’s lawyers get a good look at Ron saying he thought he might have to write out characters that were on short term loan. He never knows when to stop sticking his foot in his mouth.

Its really sad that the soap press feels the need to constantly pile accolades on GH and crown Ron and Frank as the saviours of soap. Those of us who are paying attention know differently.

Beth CP
Beth CP

Excellent commentary and spot on in your assesments of this headwriter.

Chance Van Pelt
Chance Van Pelt

Ron is no Douglas Marland he thinks he is but he is not he seems very stuck up and in love with himself.

David
David

Georgette, what are YOUR credentials as a writer and/or a critic that you feel the need to vilify a writer who is just trying to save a show and keep it afloat by ENTERTAINING you?

Soapfan46 yrs
Soapfan46 yrs

Maybe she’s see bull and calls it out? ,she’s a fan and has every right to voice her opinions just like you.who are you to pass judgement ona true gh fan ?. Some of us have been fans look before you could turn on the tv.

David
David

Ha, you snarks crack me up. Now we are calling out who is a true fan and who isn’t. Yes, maybe you have all been fans since before I could turn on a TV. I started watching GH in 1973 and STOPPED in the Guza years because of the ridiculousness and unwatchability. The current team got me back and now I am a daily viewer again. It is mindless entertainment – MINDLESS. If I am looking for reality I will turn on a talk show or the news. I don’t pass judgement on anyone but apparently other “soap fans” do.

missellie
missellie

I agree as well. The whole Patrina mess was stomach turning and had me just fuming over Robin’s return. I wasn’t even a Scrubs fan but by introducing Princess Sabrina, I quickly became a Scrubs fan. It just got very tiring watching all of the PC residents waxing poetic about the wonderful awesome Sabrina….not realistic at all!

Shay
Shay

Here here, Missellie!!!!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Thank you Georgette for composing this comment. From what I see on all the boards there are many, many of us who feel exactly as you do. And as much as I love GH, I hope these guys get their asses handed to them when they can no longer get away with propping all their disastrous character choices with vets coming on to bump the ratings. The BS story around Robin’s return as juxtaposed against the daily fairytale of Sabrina was just too hard to watch after awhile. The ridiculous storyline of Maxie being forbidden to even be in the presence of her newborn baby is another stupidity beyond words. I could go on and on.

Patrick
Patrick

very thought out… – provocative – LOL

1. His pacing is horrible and some stories are completely dropped altogether.

2. but if a character is getting this much negative blow back, ie: Teresa

your last paragraph… rung it on home… chime in the new year with this!

GH for all intent and purpose… has delivered.. on so many levels… that being said… a lot of highs and lows… with bait and hook… and subside

ebb and flow… no real… mainstay… with channeling character being…

————-

in this regard… a lof of fans do know… what’s going on…

the continuity, flow, revealing, character driven stories… unfold with magic on DAYS.

Yes.. first and foremost I’m a DAYS fan… I’m merely pointing out.. if you watch these two soaps….

over the christmas holidays… when GH had repeats…. I had the chance to enjoy DAYS – new epis.. on it’s own… and didn’t compare the two soaps… but thoroughly enjoyed… two solid hours… when the hour goes by so fast… fluidity between the vets and the 3 generations… all mixing in so well… just a cohesive mix, a grand time… feasting in Salem.

KJ
KJ

My first soap love was GH, but soon after I found Days. You took the words right out of my mouth re: Days. It is the only soap left that still has that special quality of storytelling and character development. It is the best soap by far. I watch both and will always love GH because it was my first love if you will, but I am well aware of its shortcomings. I miss the Luke and Laura story and have never been as engaged by any other couple for long on GH. I know I need to move on from that and try to enjoy GH anyway, but I can’t help it if the stories just aren’t that satisfying. Something is lacking, and yet I will still watch.

Patrick
Patrick

I could hug you…. only because it’s a treat to know another DOOL fan who thinks the same way…. that DAYS is better than OK… it’s dropping bombs… shattering my mind… it’s that good

the way you feel about GH… like your first love…

is how I feel about Y&R… troubling… that I see no way out….

DAYS and GH Rock and Rule!

Nancy
Nancy

My words cannot express how deeply I appreciate Frank and Ron. I followed them on OLTL and what they did to that show I knew they would do to GH. I did not like GH when JFP was the EP. The show was boring and gloomy just like she has done to Y&R. In my life I have never seen such a show as GH. Every day I get excited to see it. I practically revolve my day around it. What does all the mean? What an exceptional job that Frank and Ron have done once again. I just adore them.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Same here

Buttercup
Buttercup

I’m sure Teresa Castillo is lovely in person, but the story that played out was inauthentic. I’m afraid that by the time they face up to the fact Sabrina is a failed character, it will be too late for this regime to salvage. The momentum from Kim McCullough’s return is already gone.

They’ve made a lot of good decisions, but that was a stinker.

Liz
Liz

ITA. Robin’s return from the ‘dead’ story imo turned out to be a big fail. It started off okay and started to decline day by day with the everyday over propping of the Sabrina character.

RC/FV really shouldn’t call out fans. There are crazies FROM every fanbase. Funny how he just calls out Scrubs fans because some are not buying what he is trying to sell with Sabrina and Patrick. Whatever!!

Jenn
Jenn

I’m sick of the poor Teresa crap. She called out fans before anyone did anything. I read through several of the actors/actresses’ twitter timelines and she doesn’t get it any worse than the rest. If anything, her fans are the most rabid. They actually threaten KMc.

babs
babs

AMEN

Cathy
Cathy

Kimberly’s return was great up to the reveal where they shifted focus to Sabrina instead of it being about Robin and Patrick. Many viewers returned for Robin and rating reflected that while RC and FV made it about the character they created Sabrina. They also used Robin and her history, family and tries to make the character of Sabrina. Do they think we are all stupid and can’t see what they did? The fact that Patrick hasn’t had a scene asking Robin about what she went through after TWO years of torture because Robin was not important to them as Sabrina. Even RC the head writer, when asked on twitter about this, said what torture, Robin was feed and made a joke out of it. Which is sad? Just like in this interview asking about poor Sabrina and TeCa and RC blaming Scrub fans being mean when all fans do things not just Scrub fans. Why did RC and FV have a problem with just Axrub fans yet no problem with the Sabrina fans and their vileness to Kimberlyand Scrubs on twitter.
The favoritism for the Sabrina character and actress is over the top. A actress should expect not everyone will like her character and make it work on THEIR own not with heavy handed and favored writing. And another thing is you CANNOT compare Scrubs 8 years to a propped pairing of 7 months. FYI RC and FV people come back to GH To see Robin and Scrubs a SUPERCOUPLE of 8 yrs. so you need to account for them not just those you got from a Disney Princess ugly Betty pairing which by the way is not all that much since rating didn’t do anything until Robin returned and ratings went through the roof. Please remember these RETURNED FANS who gave you your ratings not just fans of your pet.

Sheila
Sheila

Considering that less than an hour before Patrick was slated to marry the Disney Princess he was searching the lab looking for Robin says it all.

KLJ
KLJ

Just like the made the Nurse’s Ball about Sabrina instead of Robin. I for one and sick of the constant pimping of Sabrina. She is a poor man’s excuse for a Liz replacement. RC ruined the Nurse’s Ball return for me b/c it became all about Sabrina and Britt and not the great vets who were back for the anniversary.

Kate
Kate

And as they said in the interview, Patrick and Sabrina have a lot of fans too. They are telling a story and aren’t going to be swayed by the comments of fans on social media. That doesn’t change no matter how many tweets you send FV and RC claiming you know what viewers want. Many viewers, myself included, are looking forward to seeing how this ‘next chapter’ plays out.

Tom
Tom

They can spin it all they want they don’t have as many as Scrub fans and many returned it see Robin get her family back as ratings showed. Scrubs got a nighttime show because of their popularity and FV and RC trying it make the fan bases equal is laughable. Scrubs are called a super couple by the soap genre. Seems to me if they have to defend her so much tells me it is not working.

KLJ
KLJ

I quit watching the Robin return when we went a week with her running all over town, not spending time with Emma at all, and then she and Patrick talking but not once did he even ask her where she had been and why. As usual with RC, I guess we are supposed to just imagine that conversation. Most of the meaningful things to be talked about , that show how/why a relationship grows or falls apart takes place off screen. It frustrates me to no end. As a mother, there is no way I would be anywhere but with my child, holding her close, if I had not seen her in a year. But no, she is running all over town, barely seeing her child. I would have marched in to Patrick and said, I know you are having a crisis here, but I will spend time with Emma until you figure out what you want. I just don’t get the way RC writes grown up relationships. I know it’s a soap, but there has to be some small element that rings true somewhere. Picky, yes.

Sheila
Sheila

Way too much emphasis on Sabrina. I can’t believe Patrick and Robin still haven’t really discussed where she was for 2 years.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Sheila, if your the same person who replied to me saying’ Just because you say GH is better than most primetime shows(in my opinion) doesnt make it good…well your right its my opinion…i never said it wasnt and i wasnt saying its everyones…what i like you may not like and viceversa and your reply implies you dont like GH…and im fine with that but if its not good to you why watch? Now, im not trying to be mean to you or anything but if you dont like GH like your reply implied then why watch at all?

Noelle
Noelle

You’ve said it all. Couldn’t agree more about the failure of Sabrina, the pairing of her with Patrick, and the ridiculous notion that the character and the actress should be above reproach when no one else is.

missellie
missellie

Agree with all of these posts. Why would Patrick not spend even a little bit of time asking Robin where she had been and how she had been treated. Robin could be suffering from PTSD and no one seems concerned about it. Everyone is worried over the precious Sabrina!

Tommy
Tommy

Thanks to RC/FV , every time i watch an episode i have to say ok get every detail
I love what they have done: speeding up the pace, engaging storylines, bringing back the classic characters, referencing the past. These two deserve praises for basically saving GH from ABC’s chopping block. Are they perfect? No. But they’ve done a great job with what they had. I loved GH this year and i am sure it will be amazing in 2014.

Sheila
Sheila

What saved GH from the chopping block was the failure of OLTL’s replacement. If The Revolution had succeeded I have no doubt GH would be gone now.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

GH most likely would have been gone had Frank and Ron not stepped in regardless if The Revoltion had been a hit or not…

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

I agree with jimh!!! Thanks that Frank & Ron did step in.. I am happy to be watching GH and still have a soap to watch…

SnBfan
SnBfan

Surely Ron and Frank know here are many spoiled apples in every fanbase.. Kimberly Mc. has also had to deal with personal attacks from Sabrina fans. I just hate that the outrageous comments negate the ones that are trying to be genuine about the shortcomings in regards to the Robin and Patrick story.

wbgurl2007
wbgurl2007

AMEN. TeCa is not the only one getting hate. KMc has gotten plenty of rotten comments in regard to appearance in recent weeks. Actually I think every soap actor has gotten loads of hate mail. TeCa is not special in that right. And calling out Scrubs fans alone is just rotten.

Let’s all remember Liason and JaSam wars of 2006-2008. Now that was nasty.

Vashtix
Vashtix

Robin/KMc can be taunted and bullied on line – it is clear that people sitting on the fence for Patrina mean more- I see more nastiness calling KMc all kinds of horrible things on line yet no one is saying how poorly KMc has been treated.

I get the favortism in the writing but it is ashame that even in real life they show where their focus is and is not on KMc/Robin.

Those fans of Robin are just out of luck.

Libby
Libby

Ron and Frank are the best. I love #GH. Thrilled to see Thaao Penghlis back as a Cassadine. Tyler Christopher has been reborn as Nicolas under the Cartini regime. It is definitely a balancing act.

I love the overall show. Never check detailed spoilers. Sure there are arcs I like better Han others. But # GH is just great entertainment.

Rachel
Rachel

I guess what I fail to see is why every interview lately calls out fans treating Theresa Castillo badly. I’m sure she’s lovely, but she’s not the first actor to step into a difficult position on a soap, nor will she be the last. There are fans across the board that are mean spirited and are like that with many actors, not that it’s right in any situation, but If social media wants to be referred to- speak to it in a broad spectrum. “Meanies” do not just exist to this one actor.

Andrew
Andrew

Check out the outrageous Sabrina hate on the GH board of TelevisionWithoutPity.com … it’s embarrassing if you’re a soap fan to read the really awful stuff those people say about her character (and, sadly, the actress) as well as Cartini. I haven’t seen this kind of loathing since we were all outraged about the cancellation of AMC and OLTL and were calling for Brian Frons’ head on a platter.

GH50
GH50

These guys have had a lot of good ideas and some very bad execution. The stories and build up that they think they are creating are not being seen on screen. The slow love story between Patrick and Sabrina that was in their heads never came close to materializing on screen. That is why so many fans had a problem with the resolution. Patrick was never shown to be in love with sabrina, not to mention taking an hour to say I do, and then his indecision and “choice” made no sense. People aren’t hating on the character or the actress of Sabrina, (although her acting skills leave a lot to be desired) they are frustrated and commenting on the poor writng and storytelling. (regradless of the writing nomination, it ain’t exactly for a Pulitzer). The Robin return has been told from Sabrina’s point of view. Either that is on purpose and a terrible choice, or again, the story Ron and Frank have in their heads is not being translated to the screen.

How is it Sonny has not seen Robin yet? or Carly? How is it that Sonny has had scenes with Duke and Anna and no mention? How was Sonny in a jail cell across from Dr. O who had Robin captive, and no mention? The continuity and integration is very weak and that has nothing to do with budgets. And why is Jerry never mentioned to be on the loose or still a threat to Robin? It’s just bad continuity and storytelling.

Yes, Gh hit 3.3 million viewers the week of Robin’s return. It then promptly lost 250,000 viewers the next week, due to the total botching of that return. The 50th anniversary and the fanfare is over. They used it to great effect and marketing, but now is when reality will start to set in and there will need to be some better storytelling.

They got to a certain place now, and they’re getting pats on the back from outside and from themselves, but a lot of fans are frustrated and will leave just like they did last time.

Noelle
Noelle

Totally agree. Despite how much the people in charge want to gloss over it, no one discussing where Robin was or what happened to her is a glaring omission to the story. There is just no way that Patrick wouldn’t have been asking what had happened to Robin while she was in captivity (because yes, that’s what it was. Captivity. Not a damn two years at the spa like they are trying to make it seem). Robin is a character that has been on the show for 25 years, since she was a child. Her story is the one we are invested in. They had a great story set up, and then after the reveal they just dropped the ball. What happened to Jerry Jax? Is anyone even going to go look for him and make him pay? There’s no way that Patrick wouldn’t want to go find Jerry and kill him, Not to mention Robert and Mac, too. And Robin not having any alone scenes with Mac yet? That is just bad storytelling. Way too important of an emotional beat to be missed. The story has no heart. Just like the rest of the show.

David
David

This is the kind of talking out of your ass situation that just gets in my grill:

(regradless of the writing nomination, it ain’t exactly for a Pulitzer)

And spell check, anyone? The writing nomination Ron got is appropriate to his writing. In case you are unaware, Ron would never be up for a Pulitzer Prize because that is given in the field of newspaper and online journalism, not television writing. A Writers Guild Award is given for outstanding achievements in film, television or radio.

GH50
GH50

The point about the Pulitzer, is that the WGA award does not have the same stature and distinction as let’s say a Pulitzer, and therefore the criteria and standards are lower.

Harry
Harry

David, Einstein once said that having a sense of humor is a sign of intelligence. Hello? Is anyone home? Multitasking? It was a joke predicated upon the stereotype that only women can multitask so I would think twice before going around calling people stupid when you come off as just not getting the joke. Having said that, Freud, said that there is no such thing as a joke. Ron is lousy as multi tasking–he just is. He writes choppy storylines, he will take his characters to the cliff and leave them hanging for weeks on end. And for the record, GH was at its best under female writers; including but not limited to: McTavish. Labine and of course Monty.

Harry
Harry

Ron does some things right. For instance, he made Spinelli less hysterical and more likable and dignified. He also righted the wrong he did with Robert Scorpio (after Scorpio was over powered by evil Betty White). I appreciate his bringing in the vets, but then he puts them in storage and forgets about them. His writing is choppy and he can’t multitask to save his life. Maybe it’s ADD, maybe it’s because he’s a man. I don’t know. I think a female head writer would have known how to multitask in a much better way and no, I don’t mean a certain former head writer with the initials JFP.

David
David

Wow! The level of stupidity on this site is amazing! GH50, I think people in the Writers Guild would take issue that their criteria and standards are lower. It’s a distinctive achievement to be nominated and to win a WGA. And Harry, a female head writer is better than a male head writer? Tell that to Douglad Marland, Bill Bell, and any other countless brilliant male head writers of soaps.

GH50
GH50

Yes.
Hemingway, Faulkner, Steinbeck, Updike, Carlivati.
The Giants.

David
David

It’s different forms of writing. Of course you can’t compare Carlivati to Steinbeck or Hemingway, but in all fairness, Carlivati isn’t attempting to write the next great novel. I just wish people would accept it as what it is: entertainment. And if you don’t like it, tune out. I haven’t watched General Hospital for years because the writing and production was awful. Valentini and Carlivati got me to tune back in and ultimately isn’t that the point?

A lot of these comments on here are just plain snarky and petty. Bottom line, if you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Why do people feel the need to have to just complain? But maybe I don’t have a sense of humor but tell that to my shelf of awards given to me for comedy – but, wait. Since it’s NOT a Pulitzer Prize, I guess it doesn’t count.

GH50
GH50

Yes. They are different forms of writing and thus the standards and criteria are lower. But even then, the writing has to be good, and it has to make sense. It has to be true to the characters, not just to the character and their history, but to the character that the writers have presented in the past few months. The writing of the Robin return, the writing of Patrick in particular was absolutely terrible and out of left field. I won’t go into detail here, because you can find many examples in a bunch of other people’s posts on this very page. And that’s just one example. Why do people complain? They can just tune out? Yes they can just tune out and many people are on the verge of doing just that. 250,000 of them did just that in one week’s time because the Robin return was so unsatisfying and poorly written. Not because Scrubs fans wanted a perfect reunion without any conflict, but because the conflict made no sense based on what people saw on their screens, not just for months, but what they saw in the few days and hours, even minutes leading up. That is poor writing. And people complain for a lot of reasons. You watch a show for many years and your invested. When you’re disappointed, you react. That is how it is in life. Many don’t like what they have seen in terms of bait and switch from Ron and Frank. These guys were very smart to play up the history and the 50th anniversary. They brought back a lot of vets and a lot of viewers with them. But over time, many fans saw that it was disingenuous. They roped us in with the vets and the hope of seeing them in real story lines, and instead we get just a sprinkle of most of them and then nothing, leaving us with their newbies and OLTL actors eating up the canvas. And please don’t pretend to know about budgets and contracts. The budgets and contracts are tailored to who they want. Plenty of the vets have stated they would like to work more. Ron and Frank are making choices and it’s that simple. Look at what happened with Tristan Rogers. But they know that if they don’t sprinkle in the vets at times, the bait and switch, they would have far fewer viewers. But people are now wise to the pattern. They were smart to bring back Robin and her family for sweeps, but then gave us a very unsatisfying and poorly written resolution, telling the story from Sabrina’s point of view and having Patrick’s actions make no sense based on what they wrote the days and months before. It’s been about a year since the 50th. A lot of viewers came back, and you don’t just tune out immediately, because you know that a show that is on five days a week is not going to be perfect everyday. You… Read more »

GH50
GH50

I just read a thread on another board. Someone posted that Patrick truly does love Sabrina. They know this because they just read an interview in SOD with Ron and he said so.

There is the problem. If you know how a character feels because the writer tells you in an interview, not from his work product, there is a big problem.
Show, Don’t Tell.

Pam
Pam

Totally agree with this assessment. I do not get all the praise for the writing. It is better than it was under Guza and Phelps but in the 90’s Guza rocked. The dialogue on this show is particularly bad and the camp is out of control and what gives soap operas a bad name. Everyone comes back from the dead so there is no emotional payoff in their being dead. There is no story telling in what you experienced. Robert Scorpio wakes up from being in a coma. Upset losing a year of his life? No big deal. DNA test switched over and over again ruins any kind of true payoff. That is when you write for plot vs writing for story telling. When you are an actor of Finola Hughes capability you can carry it off. Not so much when your talents are lesser quality. Plot writing is lazy. I keep hearing there is going to be a triangle involving Elizabeth/Nicholas/Britt. Is it going to happen off camera? There has been no build up for that. Couples on this show are instantly in love, i.e. Michael and KiKI and Franco and Carly. And I have never seen a show treat 2 actors and character worse over the years than Genie Francis and Rebecca Herbst. I have watched since the 70’s and was watching the day Luke raped Laura. That story took months to tell. As a viewer you were bought and sold. The amazing acting of Tony Geary made it possible along with the writing of Douglas Marland. I’m sorry, I see improvement over Guza and grateful the show was saved but I still see the need for big improvements.

KLJ
KLJ

I am one of those who is not loving GH under RC as head writer. I am glad the show is having a measure of success, and is still on the air. But I just feel that too many stories are dropped, relationships are rushed or too much takes place off screen, and this is the only soap I watch where a story and characters disappear for more than a week at a time, in fact for 8 weeks or more. I have watched GH since 1965 when I was 11. I have loved some writers and hated others. I was so excited the Nurse’s Ball was being brought back, then so disappointed when it turned out to be all about Sabrina rather than Robin or the vets. I am heartbroken that the character of LIZ is being relegated to propping characters when she has carried major stories for 17 years on GH. And I still am not crazy about the rewrites or the predominance of actors from OLTL. I think Franco is the biggest mistake ever made. The chemistry between Carly and Todd was organic. Franco & Carly, Kiwi & Michael, feel forced to me, and so does Britt and Nik. I liked Britt as a bad girl, but think it is ridiculous that a grown woman with an MD can’t take care of herself. I could go on, but I won’t. I am part of team not watching GH right now. There are lots of us out there. I suspect that most of the spikes in ratings lately are do to Robin’s return, just like everytime RC brings on a returning character he gets a spike. It’s not the newbies, or the great stories people want to see, it’s the vets. That’s my opinion anyway.

boes
boes

Very well said. I’m glad the show is doing well but I wish that some of the storylines were better, and I wish that ALL of the storylines had better continuity. This was a problem with Frank V. and Ron C. with OLTL as well.
I don’t expect to love every character or every storyline. I never have, be it AMC or OLTL or GH. That’s not how storytelling rolls. (And I don’t believe it when other viewers say they love everything – no-one does). But I don’t appreciate having Ron C., in particular, badmouth fans who don’t like things he does. The guy should man up and realize that he’s not going to please everyone and not get so nasty and juvenile as he does far too frequently.
And as for people not liking a character, so what?? A character IS NOT REAL, and a character can’t have their feelings hurt. Insulting an actor is another thing, and I don’t like it when people do that. But for Ron C. to get upset because someone doesn’t like a FICTIONAL character is just…..nonsense.

I think that both these guys deserve credit for what they’ve done, and for how the show has improved, especially in tone (most of the time). But lets not go overboard. GH picked up viewers from both AMC and OLTL when those shows were cancelled, as did DOOL. A lot of those viewers stuck with their “new” shows, which helped build the numbers. It isn’t all due to the brilliance of these two.

David
David

I did not decide to pick up General Hospital because AMC or OLTL was cancelled. I decided to pick it up SOLELY because Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati were involved. They have restored dignity and excitement and classic storytelling to the genre. Yes, it’s not perfect and it took me awhile to get into the groove with actors and characters appearing and disappearing at a rapid rate, but given the daily restraints they have to work under, I think they are doing a phenomenal job and I don’t know anyone who could do better in this genre at this point. Certainly not Y&R or B&B, which are constantly criticized (and rightly so) for their uneven and nonsensical storytelling.

Harry
Harry

I agree–also the numbers went up during the Robin and Robert return. Ron and Frank never seemed to get that–it was all due to the Scorpios.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

I am right there with you. I think that FV and RC are hacks that steal on other’s great ideas and then implement them badly. Really badly. They talk about how Patrick fell in love with Sabrina (thus the need for his “choice”) when the truth is that Patrick didn’t show any semblance of falling in love – on screen at least – with Sabrina until after he realized Robin was alive! They love to talk about the faster pace they have brought to the show and to me all that means is there is no longer any sophistication or nuance to anything. It moves from one plot point to the next just like the comic book it has become. The points of ludicrous writing range from no one asking Robin about her two years in captivity to having a judge forbid contact between a newborn baby and her mother because she lied. Absolutely stupid and unreal. In my mind they have dumbed down this show and made it into a big boring joke.

Lori F.
Lori F.

And NOW they’re reintroducing the MOB wars storyline. That storyline was WHY I stopped watch GH a few years ago. I have come back a little bit this year for the 50 year anniversary and Robin returning. The Jeromes/Kiki (stupid name btw as was Starr) and Silas and Franco (can’t stand James Franco either love Roger but this storyline sucks). Happy to see Bobbie, Scotty, Lucy, Monica, AJ, Luke but could we give them a story not just breeze in and out whenever. The new characters are being shoved down the fans throats. Can’t stand the new Lulu, the icky relationship of Ava and Morgan, and still can’ t stand Kiki.

Noelle
Noelle

I agree. That’s my opinion too. I love Scrubs and Robin, so I am watching for that story. But I also like seeing Anna, Duke, Robert, Mac, Felicia, Lucy, Kevin and Scotty. Would love to see Laura again. But unfortunately they aren’t given anything good to do, and their stories don’t get any follow up.

Jules
Jules

I appreciate the Robin/Patrick comments. It just confirms, and affirms, what I already knew. Thanks guys!

I do think the Maxie/Spinelli comments will get them in trouble with fans though. I don’t mind them myself, but I could see some angry tweets heading their way….

For all the crap they get, and that I am guilty of as well, I do believe they have the best interests of the show at heart, and are really trying to deliver the best product they think the fans will enjoy. They aren’t always on point, and don’t always get it right, but I do get the feeling as if they care when fans are overall unhappy- which is much more than I can say for other execs and writers who have (and currently are) been employed by soaps. That’s just my impression.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Nicely said…i feel the same way! The show…imo…isnt 100% perfect…no soap is…sure GH could be better with its storylines but im grateful F&R are there and helped kept it on the air!

Jenn
Jenn

I love reading interviews with Ron and Frank! These two guys seem to truly love what they do for a living. Always class acts. I don’t get that feeling when I read an interview with for example JFP.

Alfred
Alfred

I am really enjoying GH more now than I have in years Guza ruined it for me. The one thing Gh need’s is a Cafeteria set really bad for the hospital wish Frank and Ron would build one like the old days.

Lori F.
Lori F.

Guza ruined GH for me too. But these two FV and RC seem to be bring back the Mob centric stuff again.

lovesgh
lovesgh

Good to see RC and FV ackowledge the love for Sabrina and Patrina fans!!
Thank you for writing a love story that everyone could relate to…and congrats to Teresa Castillo for making it work!!!

Liz
Liz

Not everyone relates to Patrick and Sabrina.

Vashtix
Vashtix

According to this interview they are writing for those who do- people who liked Scrubs or Robin do not matter – no validation of anything on those points but
TeCa/JT Patrina are where the next chapter is going-

I have accepted it and feel bitter about it and as if they do not care about me and others who have been ride or die w/GH for years.

Harry
Harry

My Cinderella Barbie relates to Sabrina (Sparkle Pony).

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

So true! I don’t..

Sally
Sally

I have been watching for over 30 years. I love Patrick and sabrina. Robin was her best with stone and jason. They were amazing.

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

I like Patrick with Robin and always will. Sabrina is has no substance … I think that Sabrina & Patrick were a miss-match..No chemistry… On Patrick’s wedding day to Sabrina he was in the lab looking for Robin….That says it all… He may love Sabrina but he is in love with Robin….and has been for quite a while and that will never change. Robin is his life soul mate…I still like Robin & Patrick together ….

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu

He can go on about Pabrina having ” a lot of fans” all he wants, they are still not nearly as big as the SCRUBS fanbase. He’s just sour that his creation was not as well received as he wanted it to be.

Sheila
Sheila

I think he says what he wants to be true, and not what really is true.

Tom
Tom

Exactly. The fact that they had to push this tells me it is the opposite.

Liz
Liz

Did I read that correctly? RC is comparing a seven year soap couple as beloved as Scurbs to a 7 month soap couple like Patrick and Sabrina. That is completely absurd. But whatever helps him get through the day. LOL.

Sheila
Sheila

I’d love for once to see a question asked (and answered of course) about how Ron and/or Frank feel about totally messing up so much of OLTL’s history and endings.

Margaret
Margaret

It is a shame that in order to build GH up, Ron and Frank had to actively sabotage the efforts to retain OLTL, a show they both previously claimed to love. They did everything they could (in conjunction with ABC execs) to make sure that reboot failed, and it looks like they got what they wanted. How quickly loyalties change, even at the expense of others.

Georgette
Georgette

Frank and Ron have repeatedly shown that their loyalties lie with their own vain and egotistical interests; their creations, if they cannot have former OL charactes. They are not interested in GH characters unless one can be used to prop a pet or a horrible storyline. To prop Teresa Castillo over Kim McCullough is just mind boggling. They were the ones who placed Teresa in the Ooooohhh dangerous peril of social networking ‘bullies’ by giving her an untenable story. One minute she is the socially awkward baby sitter, then she is a 27 year old who has had ‘lots of sex’. The Nurses Ball was Sabrina’s Coming Out Party, not about honoring Robin. Robin’s return was about Patrick’s insta love for Sabrina, not about Scrubs. Patrick was looking for his wife THE DAY OF THE WEDDING! What would he have done had he found her? These stories do not even make sense. The vets are brining in the ratings. The vets are being used to prop the newbies. Robin does not even have a place in her own story, much like Sam did not have a place in her pregnancy and delivery story; McBain did. JaSam were destroyed for McBain. Scrubs could be for Patrina. Where is AJ’s redemption? Where is Liz’s story? Don’t get me started on FrancoTodd. Ron and Frank will sabbotage anything for their own egos and their ‘creation’. I believe they had every intention of creating a hybrid soap, destroying OL in the process, consequences be dammed. The soap journos can crow about these two all they want while ignoring the fact that GH lost a QUARTER OF A MILLION viewers the week after the Patrina wedding. And if they had any investment in GH at all, Ron would not be on twitter picking fights with vets, like John Stamos. He would be wooing him back with some decent story, as requested by Stamos. Instead we get Kiki.. The Livers have contracts, Tristan Rogers did not. And there’s Ron, griping on twitter that he wrote story for Tristan Rogers and will have to rewrite now. But we have FrancoTodd. On Contract. Well played, Cartini. Not really How many character has Michael Easton been on GH and we know he will be paired with Sam. This not creative nor exciting. Its predictable and boring. Baby switch, anyone? We haven’t had enough of those lately. Ron needs to read a classic novel or two in order to acquaint himself with the finer points of writing, because he just does not have ‘it’. There is no storytelling, only plot points that lead nowhere. Is really is at the expense of others and the fans. The OL endings were undone. That affected the online launch and GH had to re-introduce the OL 3 again as the same characters but with different names. It hurt both shows……..but they are Soapmakers of the Year 2013! RME

Sheila
Sheila

I’m just going to say a giant WORD to your entire post!

Harry
Harry

Double WORD! I vote for Georgette as mayor of Port Charles

GH50
GH50

“Plot points that lead to nowhere.”

You Georgette are a Truth Teller and a poet.

It is really funny how these guys are taking a victory lap when the race is far from done. You can be sure they had to answer a lot of questions when they lost 250,000 viewers in a week. Network Execs do not ignore those things. I’m sure their answer was that “Scrubs fans are meanies.”

Tom
Tom

Someone needs to inform the head writer RC and ex producer FV of GH that all characters and actors/actresses get hate not just Teresa C./Sabrina. It is certainly not right but it is done to many. They should be defending all their stars not just the favored ones like Teresa C. And the Livers. Where are they when Kimberly McCullough is attacked and why is their not an interview calling out her haters on twitter like this one for Teresa C. I have seen where the Teresa C fans on twitter warned by RC to be blocked unlike Scrub and fans of others who are blocked.

RC called out ONLY Scrub fans what about fans of others. Also RC is the first one to attack people on twitter like John Stamos yet he calls out fans.

KLJ
KLJ

RC seems to me to be primarily interested in writing only for and propping the characters he created, including Sabrina. If you notice, most of the other characters now must be worked into the story of either one of his creations or one of the OLTL 3, or they are out. I just don’t like his way of storytelling. I think he is good at camp and action and terrible at deep, meaningful relationships. He literally made fun of an entire fan base, mocking them in condescending tweets until I am pretty sure his boss slapped his hand. I will never support his writing and can’t wait until his time passes.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Absolutely right. Look at who has contracts (Sabrina, Ava, Julian, Franco, Kiki, Silas, Morgan, Britt) versus who is on recurring (basically most of the longtime GH’rs – Felicia, Mac, Robert, AJ, Monica, Bobbie, Lucy, Kevin, Scotty).

Trisha
Trisha

ABSOLUTELY! IT’s so obvious that he just does not care about those GH characters that fans have been watching for years. They are separated and put into bubbles where they can’t interact with their family characters or have the kind of relationships that GH viewers are used to seeing. Family connections and time together has disappeared and GH has been turned into a variety show of new characters/actors who are given stories of their own, while the GH characters that fans have been invested in for years are used only to push those stories along. Plus the fact he makes it sound as if GH had no good actors already there, so he had to bring on some of HIS choices. We literally had the characters we love ripped out of GH to be scattered and torn from their lives so that he could bring in the Jeromes, Silas Clay and Franco.
He’s made GH, winner of several best drama emmys, into a campy, ‘funny’, over soapy soap. It used to be a DRAMA, now it’s shallow and without it’s heart and soul.

Kris
Kris

Why is only one fanbase characterized as mean? I’ve seen it from both the Patrick/Robin fans AND the Patrick/Sabrina fans, so that’s not a fair characterization, Mr. Carlivati.

And while Mr. Carlivati can certainly be proud of a lot, there are some things he missed. He can’t be sure how his writing is working out once it’s on the screen. For example, I’m not sure he realized how Patrick was coming across after the reunion. I’m not referring to the time he took to make a decision. That was kind of understandable, even if I didn’t love it.

It was more his seeming lack of concern or care for what Robin endured during her time away. He never really asked her…still hasn’t, and everything he spoke of was all about HIM. HIS feelings. HIS confusion. He kept saying I. I. I. Everything was about him, with a little bit of lip service as to how unfair it was to Robin and Sabrina that he was taking the time to make his decision.

It shouldn’t ONLY be about the status of the relationship. There’s more involved here, and it was made too simple if it’s only about who Patrick chose. He should have at least made time to check on her…talk to her about what happened to her and what was involved. It seems wrong that he didn’t…that he gave so much weight to his feelings and his decision and so little weight to what Robin went through.

In view of what Robin went through, it came across badly. It made Patrick seem uncaring with regard to her.

barbie
barbie

I totally agree with this. Even if they wanted to “create” come kind of idea that Patrick was struggling with whom to be with, (which is utterly absurd), they wrote him to be an uncaring ass. He was more worried about himself and his “choice”….not bothering what Robin when through. Then I read that RC thinks it is some kind of joke that she was at a spa. Really? That is not what the viewers saw. Bad writing. This reunion, that many were waiting for, is lackluster. I don’t care about Sabrina. I don’t need to see her every move. I tune in for characters I have bonded with for years.

KLJ
KLJ

I have started watching Days and Y&R again after a 20 year absence, because I was starving for a couple I could really root for and get to see all of the reasons why, and the contrast is startling. At least on those shows, I don’t have to wait 8 weeks to see a story or couple (Quiz) that I am interested in. Every character is seen every week at least 2 days and major stories 3 days. How am I supposed to invest in a story or couple when they disappear from the air for months at a time? By the time they come back on, I can’t even remember why I cared in the first place.

GH50
GH50

I just read the interview again and just wanted to comment on Genie Francis. They have a very large canvas and with so many actors not on contract, they do their best given schedules and budgets. How ridiculous. Genie Francis was the star of that show for decades and if she had a contract and a real story line she would be the star of GH again. But where would that leave Roger Howarth and Teresa Castillo? They need contracts and to be shoved down our throats. How can you pay Genie Francis when you have to have the actors from OLTL and all the newbies on contract. Yes I know TeCa makes a lot less money than Genie would, but I’m sure Howarth and others makes a very good dime.

Why don’t they just admit they want the show to be their creation and built around their friends and favorites and not give answers that insult our intelligence?

David
David

Have you ever considered that Genie Francis may not be interested in returning full time but only interested in an occasional appearance? From everything I have heard or read or seen in interviews, she has a very full active life and would not want to be tied down full-time to a television show.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Genie was thrilled to be back when she spoke to fans at her client event in July. She was excited to see where the writers were going to take her story. Her absence on the show from right after that was not because she didn’t want to be tied down.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Really glad I saw this comment because I just about said it myself. I am tired of hearing how Frank and Ron “love Genie.” When they had her she was rarely on outside of that abominable disaster of a cartoon plot with Stavros being alive again. And they gave her three blouses to wear for the entirety of her screen time which was sporadic and lame. After the trauma that Lulu went through her only conversation with her mother was about making meatballs? Really? Just such dreck. Maybe that was the scene where GH was awarded the WGA.

David
David

Everything I read was that she was back for a limited time. Granted, the visit seemed cut short after they wrapped up the LuLu switch storyline but unless you are privy to exactly what is going on behind the scenes you don’t know. They only had her for a limited number of episodes and there was no guarantee beyond that. Again, all these people bitching and complaining. Why not be grateful that she came back at all and had some air time. I don’t need to see these people driving plot anymore. That was 30 years ago! If we are advocating that we never let these actors go unless they die then we should also be advocating for someone new to play Steve Hardy and Jessie Brewer!

Harry
Harry

I can’t tell if Ron earnestly believes what he is saying or he really is trying to manipulate fans. Ron and Frank are the buys at the buffet line who heap way too much food on their plates, and only are able to ingest a third of it.
Hey, how about a Duke Lavery? Oh, I’d like a side of Robert Scorpio. Oh, how about AJ Quartermaine? Scotty looks tempting too! Oh, look, Laura looks delicious–I’ll take some of that. Their eyes are bigger than their stomachs.

Shay
Shay

I’d swap a few days of Genie Francis’s genuine acting ability for an entire year (and then some!) of Sobby’s stilted and amateurish melodramatic meanderings…..

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Shay, had to reply here…i really enjoyed our favorite mutter and her solo performance…it was a wonderful belated Christmas gift! Hope she and Sonny have more scenes together, especially if he ever learns she kept Robin captive…but what if he puts a hit out on her?

Shay
Shay

@jimh…..Oh yes….”Dr. O’s'” pitch perfect performance absolutely made that Christmas show….love the range that Kathleen Gati so skillfully presented in that single hour. From her surly, smug asides with Sonny to that superb and solemn solo at the close of the episode! By the way, those two wack jobs in lockup made for some of the most amusing back and forth dialogue since Faison “left the building!” LOL. Perhaps Obrecht and Mr. Corinthos (Sir) will become “strange bedfellows?” (Not literally…) Seems like Liesl may have the goods on Ava and Julian, so who knows what could transpire down the road? We all know that our favorite “mutta” is one smart cookie who will do whatever it takes to look out for “Number One.” Might be fun if she joined the “Coffee Business.” Haha. That being said, cannot see Sonny wasting any bullets on her….he has enough on his plate right now, and she may well be worth more alive to him with her vast knowledge of all that is evil!!!!

Sus
Sus

I so agree. Laura needs to be back in Port Charles and Genie Francis back on GH regardless of the cast members they need to ditch to make that happen. I would be happy to see half of them go to get Laura Spencer and the continuation of her story on my screen!!

Justchillin
Justchillin

This interview along with today’s show just confirms what I already suspected, if we are Robin or Scrub fans we may as well stop watching now because it’s not going to get any better. Robin’s return story somehow still has nothing to do with her or anything she has gone through it’s only been about Patrick’s choice & Sabrina’s heartbreak It’s nothing but a prop show for the princess. I find it funny (yet embarrassing) how careful RC/FV & JT all are with their comments/interviews for fear of upsetting a certain small group of fans.

Noelle
Noelle

So we can’ t hate on a character? Since when and why not? I don’t go on Twitter and get involved in what happens there, so I can’t really speak to that. None of it seems very mature. But we’re fans of the show. We watch and we have certain things we like and others that we don’t. We’re only allowed to love everything and every character? I bet they wouldn’t mind us hating on Britt, since she was such a big old meanie to poor, poor Sabrina. We should be allowed to have our reactions, and sometimes that’s going to be hating a character. It’s fiction. It’s a STORY.
Those of us that watch soaps are savvy to what the writers are doing. We know when a character is being forced down our throats and we’re told to love everything about them. It always ends the same way: the audience pushes back. When will they execs ever learn? Just look at Courtney Mattthews if you want to know how we really feel about a character that gets everything handed to them.

Harry
Harry

THANK YOU!!!! Hating fictional characters is a rite of passage for soap opera fans!

mikey
mikey

sorry, if genie is not there, neither am i

Patrick
Patrick

Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati

two words: Dr. O’

one character: Kathleen Gatti

the best newcomer: extraordinaire

she enlivens Port Charles with so much oomph… power… sizzling… FUN TO WATCH

funny dialogue… scripts…. tip my hat to the writers… these two go hand in hand.

standing O’vation for the best thing to come out of the Patrick and Robin Saga, that is:

Kathleen Gatti. (First)

I love Britta, Ben, and Nicholas… as well

Thank you from the bottom of my heartwarming… standing proud… that Serial.. steps up to the plate.. and showcases… LGBT cause and effect

Brad, Felix, and Lucas.

Dr. O – Faison – Britta brought tremendous delivery and startling imagination….

keep it coming… with Julian and Ava…. two stalwarts who reel contribution

year 2013 was stellar for GH… I don’t even mind Sabrina as much… think I like Carlos

my one… dim bulb … LOL… why, why, why… ??? not enough Liz! let’s get on the stick… pound the pen to paper.. and give us come in to her own.. on fire.. tantalizing.. Elizabeth Herbst

Finola Hughes… do not ever… keep her lacking…. she is GH’ beacon for fan alive

David
David

Love your post. Only one comment – I like Elizabeth Herbst the actress and I like Elizabeth Webber the character but she really doesn’t seem to work unless Lucky is there. Just my opinion.

Patrick
Patrick

Liz is so good… with AJ – Patrick – Nicholas.

let her be the spoiler… mix and mingle her sassy – sexy – new haircut – new attitude… and flaunt her appeal… and that’s a lot of fans to go with

Liz and AJ – He’s good with her… not so sure about her with him… but it gives her air time

Liz and Nicholas – this would be the sizzle ON FIYAH… three solid actors… all vying for the same thing… to be with Nicholas – and NIcholas rich history with romance, love, and intrigue galore!

LIz and Patrick – what if? down the road…. trouble ensues… and Liz is left picking up the pieces? this would be tour de force acting… once again… another trio grand slam

Liz and ???? somebody, something, dare us… New Years Eve WISH!

MissyLady
MissyLady

Rebecca Herbst the actress plays Elizabeth Webber the nurse.

Shay
Shay

Patrick….Cannot agree with you more in your accolades for our magnificent, multi-talented “mutta,” Kathleen Gati! She was the absolute glittering crown jewel of GH2013, and it is so gratifying to know that her considerable contributions to the show’s success are not only being recognized, but more importantly, retained for the foreseeable future! Long live, “Dr. O.!” (Didn’t her soulful rendition of “O Tannenbaum” simply stun? Tres Magnifique!!!!)

heidi
heidi

Great post Patrick!!!

Caroline
Caroline

LMAO the writers called Scrubs fans meanies. I couldn’t have said it better myself. All you all do is go an bully Teresa on twitter or anyone who remotely supports Patrick and Sabrina. I’ve known Ron since his OLTL days and he is the right person for the job. He will not let anyone bully him from telling a story. Michael great interview.

Liz
Liz

The same can certainly be said for Patrick/Sabrina or Sabrina fans. There have been a lot of nasty tweets toward Kimberly. The difference is Kimberly doesn’t need protecting from the HW/Exe producer like T. Cas.

I think it’s childish to go on twitter and talk crap but these actors choose to be active on social media. They should know what they are getting into when they choose to interact with fans.

If T. Cas or any actor for that matter can’t handle it then maybe they should choose another career. Show business is a very critical career and if T. Cas. can’t deal with it maybe this wasn’t the best career choice for her.

Kris
Kris

Um, I guess some fans haven’t seen the mean-spiritedness of some of Theresa Castillo’s fans toward Kimberly McCulloch? Really? I sure have. The headwriters didn’t speak up on that, did they? Nope. They only berated one group of fans, while looking the other way about the OTHER group of fans, who weren’t behaving admirably themselves.

Speak of bullies if you must, but make sure to watch out for your own group too, because trust me, your group is doing more than its share in the bullying department, and it’s no more excusable from them than from any Scrubs fans who’re participating in the ugliness.

The headwriter speaks out about one group and turns a blind eye to the other.

Inexcusable.

Soap484
Soap484

Frank and ron have disappointed me A LOT this year. Here’s to hoping 2014 is better….

Patrick
Patrick

“…LMAO the writers called Scrubs fans meanies.”

I don’t mind this… I’m a part of Scrubs’

take it with a grain of salt… the history of General Hospital

folk lore – Serial creativity – Magic – startlingly so REAL – Love for all the ages –

this is all on FIYAH combustion: surreal… heart rendering murmurs of true love abound… OK… leave me be…

giving respect to prior GH production… the past lives in General Hospital… had us… from the get go… the start of Patrick and Robin… and “WE” will never let go…

and by .. simply staying true to form… what captured new fans… alike.. and re-energized GH.. to the current realm of #1, is Patrick and Robin… so… showcasing in and around this couple… does happen… just keep the love alive… and true to form, heart, and natural… cull from these two actors and GH history… and it’ll take care of itself.

take 2013 and run with it… I’m on board….

with Days of OUR Lives… DOOL – GH

thee two best daytime Serial

Sandy
Sandy

You all got Scrubs reunion and rather than saying thank you, you are still being mean! I don’t get it? Ron and Frank just write your stories as you see some will never be happy. Well done with the ratings spikes.

Jenn
Jenn

Ratings that went up with the return of Kimberly, Tristian, Seb, Anders, and others. Let’s see what happens now that that stunt is over.

Liz
Liz

I guess Scrubs fans should be thankful for the crumbs. Is that it? I guess beggars can’t be choosy.

Bad storytelling is bad storytelling and this story reeks of favoritism and biased writing in favor of one actress. T. Cas. JT/KMc are props in Sabrina’s story period. I don’t know who RC think he’s fooling with his biased writing but he certainly isn’t writing for Scrubs slapped together reunion.The two actors in this reunion who can’t seem to buy a POV.

Liz
Liz

I’m not thanking RC for a poorly written story. Writers get praise when they write good stories. But they shouldn’t be praised for poorly written stories. IMO of course.

GH50
GH50

Why should fans say thank you for a reunion when it was a total fail? It’s not a Patrick and Robin reunion, it’s a Sabrina drama. These guys are constantly pulling a bait and switch. Bait fans to come back for vets like Robin, and then concentrate the story on their pets. The Robin return lost all momentum because of how they dragged it out and it rang totally hollow. Yes as you point out, the ratings spiked…that’s spiked. They then tumbled, losing 250,000 viewers in one week, because of how poorly the story was executed.

RC and FV can spin all they want and convince themselves that any negativity is due to crazy Scrubs fans who are mean and hate, but the truth is, the story and payoff were terrible.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I agree with Sandy! The reunion, however, couldve been better but there would not have been any reunion at all if it wasnt for Frank and Ron!

barbie
barbie

At this point there never should have been a reunion. For what? Robin to come back and either fight for her family or lose her family to Sabrina. Now that TeCa is pregnant, it is conveniently being written in the storyline. Robin and Patrick wanted another child, but that will be forgotten and Robin won’t want one so Sabrina can father Patrick’s child. It is ridiculous.

Mooshu
Mooshu

LMAO at most of these comments. You just proved RCs point. You are mean and

Mooshu
Mooshu

Didn’t finish writing. Was going to add “and Bitter”. From this whole interview, all you could focus on is that one question about Teresa/Sabrina? I’m with RC on this one.

Harry
Harry

To whom are you speaking, Mooshu? I am not seeing anyone who comes off as mean and bitter here.
Sparkle Pony fans certainly feel free to hurl the insults at non Sparkle Pony fans. Moreover, Sparkle’s fans have personally attacked Kimberly–even her looks. I have not seen Scrub fans do the same to Theresa. So the Scrub-fans-are-mean mantra doesn’t wash with me–it’s also incredibly hypcritical.

angie
angie

Or maybe they speak the truth and some can’t handle the truth.

Michael
Michael

I think I’m going to start tuning in to GH here. I’ve heard nothing but good stuff about this show from everyone concerned. With Y&R going down the tubes lately and my decision to cut Y&R from my days of viewing it after January 30th fast approaching, it may be time to start watching GH and see what I think about it.

Thanks for a great interview Michael. Much appreciated it!

Harry
Harry

I can’t argue with you on that point, Michael. Y&R has been a huge disappointment and with the two most magnetic and talented stars soon departing, two stars who can rise above the horrible writing, it will really be a ghost of its former self. But I may also be walking away from GH–I don’t want this to be the lesser of two evil thing. GH seems to winning by default.

Nikki
Nikki

I love how Ron calls out people for bitching and being hateful and 85% of the people to comment on this lovely interview proved him right! I am a Scrubs fan and I am just grateful that we’ve had a Scrubs reunion at all! Does no one remember that Kimberly LEFT, she didn’t want to be on the show anymore. Then, Frank and Ron came in and not only managed to keep Robin alive and in viewer’s minds and televisions for over a year, but they were then able to get her to sign a contract and be on the show for an extended amount of time. Just be grateful for that!

Also, yes, every actor at one point or another gets hate. That is a fact I am sure both Frank and Ron are aware of. But they were not asked about other actors. Michael Fairman specifically asked about the backlash against Teresa Castillo because she was an actress coming into a situation where her character would be involved with one half of a beloved GH couple. Teresa is not Ron’s “pet”. I’m sure she doesn’t expect everyone to love her character. And Robin’s return wasn’t all about Sabrina.

If soap viewers could stop looking at show’s through a shipper’s eyes and just as a fan’s, the whole soap opera community would be better off.

Thank you, Michael, for this great interview. Thank you Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati for giving me back my General Hospital. You two were able to release it from the noose of cancellation as well as restore balance, romance, drama, humor, and balance into it. The dialogue and the human-emotion driven storylines keep me intrigued every day. The suspense and twists keep me excited to watch. The mixture of old and new characters, with use of history but focus on the future, is unlike any other soap on the air. I am so impressed by your work and I am truly happy that the ratings reflect it. Here’s to 2014!

PAX587
PAX587

WORD! The show is back from the brink of cancellation. Ratings are the best they have been in 6 years! That is NOT because of ONE ACTRESS! It is because of the story and the team effort of the cast and crew to put out episodes that keep people tuning in.

KMc LEFT! She CHOSE to walk! Had she gotten her way the character of Robin would be DEAD and SCRUBS would be GONE! People need to pull their heads out of their asses long enough to realize that the STORY being told is ONE STEP in a long term story! KMc will be gone in mere weeks and there should NEVER be a story written with such short sightedness! The focus is the long term, that is THOSE who are CHOOSING to stay ON THE SHOW!

Let me also be clear, there were actors and actresses that BAILED when the show was sinking. KMc was one of them! She even dissed the acting profession by removing it from her SKILL SET! This is a self entitled actress who came crawling back when things didn’t work out. She has NOT committed LONG TERM. She is GOING AWAY soon! RC and FV are giving the fans a reunion knowing that in a few weeks they are going to have to find a way to either end it or write SCRUBS off the canvass. If that happens, I will miss JT and Brooklyn but I will NEVER miss KMc!

There are actors and actresses that stayed through the transition! That got scraps thrown at them because of the repair work that RC and FV had to do. They FIXED the show! When KMc leaves and the “fickle” Scrubs fans go with her, the show will still be standing tall because of the foundation that RC and FV have built!

SCRUBS fans need to stop with the bullying and threats because their “numbers” are not as large as they may think and their numbers will NEVER sink this show! In fact, JT has gained NEW fans since he has been out of KMc orbit and many will be tuning out until she is gone again.

MissyLady
MissyLady

What an excellent post. KMc, SBu and JJ all CHOSE to leave the show, and KMc only came back to wrap up Robin/Scrubs story. When actors CHOOSE to leave the show, let them go and focus on the contract actors that want to be there day in and day out. Patrick/JT has been awesome once he was out from under Scrubs, however, my main issue with Sabrina has been she was shoved down our throats and written like her poop don’t stink by strangers walking around town.

barbie
barbie

Your clearness is not quite the truth. KMc wanted out because she wanting to pursue a directing career. She almost bailed during the HORRIBLE Lisa story regarding the HIV needle with Patrick debacle.

Let me be clear. Sabrina has piggybacked on Robin since she showed up. The NB is the PERFECT example. That was supposedly in memoriam to Robin but in actuality it became Sabrina’s big “combing” story. Fans caught on,.too. The ratings dropped after that. It wasn’t until they started teasing KMc’s return did the ratings go up. Read the mags….they are crediting Robin’s umbrella story for bringing back viewers. It wasn’t the eight months of Sparkle and Patrick.

As for your assertion that I am some “fickle” Scrubs fan, I have watched this show for 40 years, along with my grandmother and mother. I know when I am being had. They are forcing a character that isn’t working on the back of a beloved character.

Stop telling fans what they need to do or not to do because they do not worship at the altar of Sabrina. Just because some love her, many DO NOT.

Harry
Harry

I agree Barb, and now that the Ghost of Christmas Pass (Guza) seems to be haunting Port Charles with senseless mob violence, I predict ratings will plummet. It was the mobster storylines which turned away fans in droves in the first place. Plus, the return of Robert Scorpio really boasted ratings. He and Anna were pitch perfect as a tag team –they are poetry in motion together. Why Tristan was not offered a contract I will never understand. When he goes, I am gone too.

Nikki
Nikki

Barbie, I have nothing against Kimberly. I believe she is very talented and I am glad she returned.

But while you claim that others need to “stop telling fans what they need to do or not to do because they do not worship at the altar of Sabrina”, you need to realize that while not everyone loves Sabrina, not everyone loves Robin. My mother, who has watched the show all of her life, since the beginning, hates the character of Robin, before Sabrina and after.

EVERYONE has different opinions. All I am saying is that hatred against an actress because viewers have a misconceived, uneducated view is wrong. And before fans say “Patrina fans hate on Kimberly! All actors get hate!”, that cycle, for ALL actors and actresses, needs to STOP.

Barb
Barb

I can’t believe all the negative comments. I have been watching GH since the beginning. I watched with Mom as a little girl, and don’t remember much. I have seen the show go up and down with storytelling. It was amazing during the 80’s, boring thru the 90’s, etc. It is now exciting to watch again. I root for characters as well, but alas, it doesn’t always go the way I think it should. But, I would never be so hateful as some of the comments I have read, not just here but in other FB posts. This show is my one hour of me time. I love when its good, like now, I love it when its boring (like the all the mob stuff with Sonny). I think Ron and Frank are doing a great job.

And thank you Michael for another great interview.

Sheila
Sheila

I watched from the first day, so I feel like I can say that I find very little to enjoy these days. The dismantling of OLTL’s stories to prop GH made me sick, and the total disregard and respect for that show from Frank and Ron only makes it worse.

PAX587
PAX587

I agree! The show was on the edge of cancellation less than two years ago. Many thought that the 2013 Nurses Ball was it’s swan song. Can we not just admit that the stories that are being told are POPULAR with the masses and the few detractors will always find something to bitch about. To me, the negative people will never be satisfied and RC and FV have to look to the long term and not pander to fan bases. The only FAN BASE they need to appease is the FAN BASE for GENERAL HOSPITAL as a whole!

Thank you Ron and Frank for giving me BACK my show! I LOVE IT!

Dan
Dan

GH was on the verge of being gone forever just two years ago, and this year it’s done the best ratings it’s done in 6-7 years. Yet there are still negative people out there that want to tear down what FV, RC, and this incredible cast has done in resurrecting our favorite soap opera. I literally shake my head at some of the comments I’ve read on here.

Of course, you have the right to complain and say anything, it’s a free country. But there’s a simple answer to all of this. If you don’t like what you’re seeing, don’t watch. Find something else to do with yourself. See, problem solved!

I’ve been watching GH for nearly 20 years, actually it will be exactly 20 years in 2014, and I’ve enjoyed it more this year than I have in a long, long time. Has every storyline or character direction worked? Of course not. Nothing is ever perfect. You always get some storylines that don’t work, or a new character that doesn’t click, that’s true for any TV show. For the most part, GH has been exciting, riveting, must see TV this year. Which for me, it hasn’t been in years.

There were so many great moments and great acting performances in 2013. In particular from Anders Hove, Ian Buchanan, Finola Hughes, Tristan Rodgers, Kathleen Gati, Jason Thompson, Kimberly McCullough, Maura West, Roger Howarth, Robin Mattson, Maurice Benard, Kelly Sullivan, Laura Wright, Sebastian Roche, Tony Geary, Jane Elliot, Sean Kanan, right on down the line. The best cast in daytime period. It’s a pleasure to watch such talent every day.

Being fair in my analysis, if I have one complain it’s that I wasn’t particularly thrilled with how they used beloved fan favorites like Genie Francis and Jack Wagner. I was ecstatic to see them return to the show, especially Genie as she has always been one of my personal favorites, but wasn’t happy with how they were left to hang around with nothing to do. I know they did the best they could to work all of the actors onto the canvas, but I thought that could have been done a lot better.

But overall, I want to say thank you to Frank Valentini, Ron Carlivati, the incredible cast, and everyone involved with GH for making it fun again. Under the previous regime, I used to fast forward through entire episodes and almost started to dread watching the show. Now I can’t wait to see what happens next. 2013 was a great year, looking forward to what’s in store for 2014 and beyond!!!

Sus
Sus

I agree… they really messed up with Genie Francis and Laura. She has a devoted loyal fan base… still desperately waiting on the next chapter of Laura Spencer!!

Kimmy
Kimmy

Haha I hope robin leaves complex idiot I hate her. Sabrina Santiago forever Teresa is filled with dignity always keeping her head high and understanding the hate the fans have for her. She turns the negative impact of the fans into something outrageously positive so that at the end of the day she can go home and b with her husband and wait for the arrival of her child

barbie
barbie

Maybe she wouldn’t receive “hate” as you say if she wasn’t written as a one note saint. I find it interesting we are hearing how she receives so much hate on the internet, but have they bothered reading any of KMc’s tweets. The hate spewed on their by “Patrina” fans is over the top.

Shame on TPTB to call out a particular fanbase, especially when it is that fan base that is tuning back in to watch a LACKLUSTER story.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

There should be no hate for both actresses…both their characters have been written rather blandly…but i like them both now and wish all their fans stop this hate nonsense!

Buttercup
Buttercup

Why do people make everything about Teresa? I thought we were watching actors play characters.

barbie
barbie

Um, I didn’t say anything about “Teresa”. I was speaking of Sabrrrrina. That is why I said if she was WRITTEN as a one note saint. So it isn’t me making it about “Teresa”. LOL

I did say Patrina fans are cruel to KMc on Twitter. Read it. It is disgusting.

barbie
barbie

And where are FV and RC calling that stuff out? Silent. It is laughable that they have to defend one actress but leave the rest to their own defenses.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I thought that too…GH has gone from being a soap opera to a boxing match!!!

Buttercup
Buttercup

Barbie, that was a reply to the original post. The threading on here is terrible, isn’t it?

Ann
Ann

@Kimmy How old are you? 12? Sabrina is a wishy washy character that has no depth. She is a bore! You can have her.

Jenn
Jenn

I truly love most of what FV and RC have done with GH. I don’t like when a story is focused on one character which is what happened with the Nurse’s Ball and the Robin returns aftermath. Way to much focus on Sabrina.

As for Teresa getting hate on, she isn’t the first actress/actor to get backlash. I don’t get RC calling out one set of fans when he is ‘attacked’ by all fans on twitter. I have seen more threats from Teresa/Patrina fans as well as Sam fans and yet Scrubs fans are the only fanbase called out. Ridiculous.

missellie
missellie

This was an interesting interview but, I am not a fan of these two. I have stuck by GH for many years and will probably continue to do so, but my fervant wish is for a new head writer….less cast members….better story telling.

My biggest gripe is that FV talks about the auditioning process yet Emme Rylan has been very open about not having an audition. According to what I have read from her, she was called on the phone by FV and offered the very important role of Lulu Spencer. IMHO, this was a huge mistake. I will just leave it as she is not doing the role justice and has zero chemistry with Dom Zamprogna. Lulu used to be my favorite character…sadly, no longer.

This team has let Genie Francis go with no explanation.

This team leaves important characters on the sideline like Elizabeth Webber.

This team tried to sell a triangle between Mike/Morgan/Kiki which I did not buy. It is hard to sell me on any triangle but this one was rotten from the start. I didn’t want either man to end up with Kiki….exactly, what is the attraction to this character?

The Carly/Franco debacle should never have made it to screen. It is clearly out of character for Carly to have ANYTHING to do with a man this vile who set her son up for a prison rape at age 18.

Enough said, I did enjoy a few things and thought that Finola Hughes had an outstanding year as did Jason Thompson, Bradford Anderson, Kirsten Storms, and Dom Zamprogna.

Beth CP
Beth CP

Exactly right in your observations. As regards the recast, the character of L was built from the ground up with attention paid to the genetic qualities inherrent in her parents, and she has now been virtually destroyed with this young woman’s vapid, shallow, rendering. Sure, she can act but her skills are nowhere near what is needed to portray a believable, realistic legacy child of Luke and Laura. There is no physical or emotional chemistry with the characters she’s involved with, from her on screen husband to her parents (when they’er even there), to the friends she’s interacted with throughout the stories she’s been in since she arrived. In addition, both L and D have become nothing more than plot points for RC to move from one angsty situation to another, spotlighting his particular focus on the other pairing as their foil. If it weren’t for the talents of Mr. Zamprogna, Mr. Anderson and Miss Storms, I wouldn’t have remained engaged. Kudos to those three for carrying this “really not about Lante at all” baby saga.At this moment in time, I don’t recognize this L. She is a complete and total stranger. Maybe that was RC’s goal all along. Sad.

emmymgirl
emmymgirl

As far as the recast of Lulu. Emme Rylan will remain a very unprofessional choice in the world of “auditioning”. A business decision made with little forethought, research or care. Very few key business decisions would survive with such anemic criteria. Amazing in the shark environment of entertainment an actress with such little acclaim has survived. Especially replacing a 3x Emmy winner. Makes me wonder if FV isn’t doing some damage control. Which is ironic in the end, because RC and FV are both quoted early on as loving the Spencers. Doesn’t a legacy character deserve better. Unless they don’t care.

Sus
Sus

Carly chose a father for her children who is a murdering gangster… I seriously do not understand the controversy with franco. She has needed a lobotomy for a long time. Seems in character to me!!

Ann
Ann

OMG…..its a soap opera. Its not reality TV!
Michael: thanks for asking those questions.
Ron/Frank: thank you for showing fans how the process is created and moves forward.
As far as GH goes……I am personally glad it’s still on air.
I have been invested in the stories since the late 60’s. I appreciate new stories, characters and all the nods to the past. It’s good old fashioned soap! It’s also relevant.
It’s exciting, the spoilers are good and the actors really come thru.
Keep it flowin’ boys!!!! Because after all the haters, the quiet viewers will still be tuned in.
❤️happy new year……from deep in the midwest….

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Most sensable comments ive read here so far…

philo29
philo29

Said it before, saying it again. RC & Co did the impossible and got to me watch GH every day, something I have not done in 15+ years. While it can be said that they me a tad over ambitious with bringing back characters left and and right and then not utilizing them to the fullest, the show is finally watchable and enjoyable. One thing though: Please, PLEASE do not have any more people coming back from the dead in 2014. This gimmick is the WORST thing all soaps do and GH went overboard over the past year. There are SO many great villains who were NOT killed off (HINT! GRANT PUTNAM) that it would be a lot easier to swallow their heading back to Port Charles. On the other hand, please, PLEASE don’t bring back Barry Williams as Hannibal, the evil weight trainer.

Farris Flagg
Farris Flagg

We hope that Teresa Castillo Get’s A “Daytime Emmy” For Her Role. Thank You For Addressing Her Character!!

barbie
barbie

Well she should definitely submit for lead actress because she is eating the show and if she is not eating it, everyone else in town has to be espousing the greatness and purity of Sabrrrrrina.

PAX587
PAX587

Why the bitterness about this character? Yes she has been given story and to me she has the talent to carry it! The ratings are up and contrary to popular belief it has NOTHING to do with KMc or the SCRUBS fans! This show has gone from showcasing ONLY three actors to becoming an ensemble cast! I for one am glad that we have MORE stories to watch than just CarSaSon!

As for Sabrina eating the show, I beg to differ. She has not gotten more airtime than other characters and to me it is the blatant short sightedness of ONE FAN BASE that misrepresents what is actually happening on screen.

MissyLady
MissyLady

LOL. Yes, Sabrina “ate” Port Charles was the most written story of 2013! Sheesh. It was bad enough when Dante was on seven days a week under Guza and now we have Sabrina eating the darned show.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

You do get that the 24/7 use of first, Dante, then Sabrina is an effort to try to capture the last best gasp of a growing audience for soap operas (that is, Hispanic viewers, specifically those in the 18 – 49 age group)….

What I don’t get is why no one makes the effort to think out of the box. That has always been the prime age target because that is the demographic group that is most gullible to spending their money on advertised products, but these days it is the group least likely to have extra disposable income (thanks to overextended mortgages and student loans to pay off). GH would be better to cater to their older, long-time viewers and change their ad universe from soap and mouthwash to insurance companies, travel arrangement companies, financial advisers, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, etc. It is the viewer from 49 to 70 that now has the most disposable income.

Then they could actually sign the vets to contracts!

lovesgh
lovesgh

I agree about Theresa Castillo turning in quality Emmy nomination scenes. She took a break-up scene and ran with it and left viewers in tears!!….::applause::

barbie
barbie

Riiiight. Keep telling yourself it has nothing to do with KMc returning. LOL. Just like the bait and switch NB ended up being all about Sabrina. The ratings dropped right after. The ratings are already dropping. They are still high, but they are dropping. They will continue to do so as Robin gets more screwed over. I am bitter. I am bitter because Sabrina has been piggybacked on Robin since day one. Let Sabrina have her own story and stand on her. Then I may change my mind. Til then…nope.

There is no misrepresentation. It is an opinion. Just like yours.

Shay
Shay

Yes, tears of laughter!!!!!! : )

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Im glad GH is still with us…sure the stories could be written better but im still entertained by it and had these two men not come aboard, like them or not, GH might have remain low rated and cancelled over a year ago along with the Revolution. Maybe…i hate to say it…GH shouldve been cancelled right after AMC and OLTL…i wonder what GH’s fan comments would be now had that happened?

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

It really gets old to read about how the only thing between GH and cancellation was Frank and Ron. Firing Brian Frons has a HECK of a lot to do with it. Any other producer and writing team would probably have figured out the appeal of bringing back longtime favorites.

What is unique to these two is the fact that we now have to contend with the OLTL three being the stars of the show along with Sabrina the nurse on every day, a bloated cast so that every story is half-told, the complete retcon of characters ranging from Patrick to Carly to Michael to Franco, the hackneyed pacing and camp that has replaced the depth, nuance and sophistication that used to be GH.

Yes, I do still watch, sporadically. Very select scenes. Most days it takes about 12 minutes.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

The OLTL 3 is getting old fast as well…its like they are the only ones on GH who ever been on a different soap before…the actors who play Carly, Monica, Julian, Luke, Bobbi, Ava, Sonny and Alexis also started on other soaps…Denise Alexander quit Days to join GH…many that ive mention took over from the vets(who also were once newbies) and were more front and center than the OLTL 3…no one complain when Leslie and Monica became the shows leading ladies back in the 1970s while vets like Audrey had her importance gradually diminished and Jesse Brewer was kept behind the nurses desk with only a barely rembered brief romance with Dan Rooney and then nothing for the late Emily M.(Jessie) who had been part of the show since day 1…as for the OLTL 3 they originally did give a boost to GH as Todd, Starr and John…they refreshin the show so why not give them a big storyline…as Franco, Kiki/Lauren and Silas they are less interesting and except for Silas they really dont have much to do and are not really front and center as most people think the are…anyway Sabrina should have been a minor character to begin with with just a harmless crush on Patrick who shouldve been paired with Liz instead(Liz is currently this generations underused Jessie) but i believe she’ll eventually be paired with Nik after he finds out Britt’s son Ben is his half sister’s son! And i do agree this show is bloated…and i dont mind a little camp but if the show was a bit more down to earth and continuity in its storylines it would be so much better! So i agree with much your saying but imo…is far more entertaing than it was a few years ago under its last regime!!!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Please tell me of another time on any other soap – GH included, when three actors from one other soap immediately came on the scene and all three became marquis time and story hogs all at once.

Dee Dee
Dee Dee

I love the fact that Ron and Frank gave Teresa/ Sabrina credit. She is an Amazing actress. I love her and Patrick together.I have watched Scrubs together never enjoyed them they are lame.I was very upset that Patrick picked Robin becasue Robin is just going to bring boring old Patrick back and thats a shame.As someone said the proped Sabrina over Robin it called general hospital not the Robin show.Not everyone thinks Robin deserves all the credit.

GH50
GH50

Sorry, I don’t see great acting coming from TeCa. Her sobbing scenes were ridiculous and she’s always doing that thing where she’s letting out that breathy high pitched squeak as a substitute for dialogue. It’s hard to describe but go check youtube, she made the sound when she handed Felix her bouquet. She made the sound when she said I do. She made the sound after Patrick finally said I do. I think a lot of the problem is with the character and the forced and one dimensional writing, but some of the fault lies with the actress and her short comings. Sorry, she is far from an amazing actress.

Finola Hughes, Kirsten Storms and kathleen Gati are amazing actresses with presence and range.

As for it not being the Robin show, it sure as hell looked liked it when over 3 million people started tuning in for her return. That exciting Sabrina and Patrick duo you talk about were together for 8 months prior and the ratings didn’t come close.

Shay
Shay

Excellent points, GH50….excellent points!!!!!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Both sides writing mean and hurtfull things about both actresses KM and TC need to cut the crap! You are no different than a school bully! Grow up people!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Stop the HATE people…hate is a waste of time, and time is too short to waste!!! …there is so much hate in the real world as it is why add more to it here!!! STOP WATCHING IF YOU THINK THE SHOW IS THAT BAD!!! Yes, we have our right to come here and express our opinions on what we like and dislike about our soaps but some come come off like they dont like the show at all because its not turning out the way they want it to(wouldnt that be nice) so i say dont watch!!! There are sometimes i dislike something on a show but i continue to watch for the parts i do like. But if i think the show is that bad ill stop watching…plain and simple!!!

PAX587
PAX587

Thank you Michael for a YEAR of great interviews and insights into our soaps. YOU bring the real story to the forefront and I always enjoy your interviews.

Ron and Frank, haters will always be haters! Keep up the great work and I can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring!

MissyLady
MissyLady

Pfffft. The Sabrina hate is NOTHING compared to the Liz/Sam wars that started in 2006 and still continue to this day, some fans even targeted the actresses, because they obviously can’t tell the difference between “fictional TV characters” and the actresses that play a role on TV. The main issue with Sabrina, is the character was shoved down our throats to the detriment of Liz/RH a popular sixteen year veteran that has been shafted way TOO much by the regimes running the show. How do you celebrate 50 years on the show by not having the granddaughter of the show’s original leading man, Dr. Steve Hardy not involved in setting up the nurses ball or leading the efforts to showcase the Hardy/Webber family? Fans aren’t stupid, it’s obvious Sabrina (the nurse) was brought on to shove a popular veteran nurse like Liz/RH out the door, by shoving the character in the background.

Ron and Frank have their winners and losers, and that happens with all soap show runners and writers. Franco is a loser. A scheming Britta has turned out to be a winner.

Big Brother

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Should Drew Get The Flash Drive Back, But Lose The Last Five Years Of His Life In Doing So?

On Friday’s episode of ABC’s General Hospital, Drew (Billy Miller) is faced with a dilemma that could change the course of his life forever.  It all comes down to DA Margaux Dawson (Elizabeth Hendrickson), and her vendetta against Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), and how she is leveraging her possession of the flash drive that holds all of Drew’s memories and the key to his past.

In a confrontation at the Metro Court, Drew comes over to talk to Margaux, where he says he is not sure why he hasn’t taken it upon himself to turn her into the cops.  She adamantly points out that she is an attorney, and that he has no evidence that could be used against her in a court of law.  While she goes on about making Sonny pay for what he did to her father, she tries to get Drew to come along with her in her vendetta.  Drew refuses, not because of Sonny or Jason (Steve Burton), but he does not want to do this to Sam (Kelly Monaco) and have Danny be without his father.

Drew then stands up to her and tells he he knows she has been manipulating him for months. Even knowing she has the key to his life with the flashdrive that hold all of his missing years, Drew tells Margaux that she can hold this over his head, but even if he had the flashdrive there is a chance that the procedure to restore his memories could go wrong, and the sad fact that in doing the procedure, he will definitely lose the last five years of his life and all of those memories with Sam and more.  He says to Margaux that those memories mean everything to him.

A confident and irritated Marqaux tells him she is sure he will want the flash drive one day and that he knows her terms if she was to give it to him – helping her bring down Sonny and Jason for the murder of her father.   Drew is left with a difficult decision, while Margaux gets into an elevator and begins to cry over wanting to avenge her father’s death.  But little does she know, that evidence could prove that he was not the man she thinks he was.

So this begs the question to GH fans: Would you like to see Drew retrieve all of his memories as Andrew Cain, at the cost of losing the last five year of his life since being in Port Charles …  or should Drew leave his mind and memories alone and just go forward keeping the last five years in tact, and foregoing what other important history in his life that he may need to know now, or in the future? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Dancing with the Stars Juniors

LISTEN TO THE REPLAY: Soap Nation Live! With Special Guests: Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, DWTS: Juniors & GH’s Hudson West & B&B’s Joe Lando

Photo Credits: CBS, JPI, ABC

Listen to “Soap Nation Live! October 2018” on Spreaker.

If you missed Thursday night’s broadcast of Soap Nation Live! with Michael Fairman you can now listen to the replay right here in audio player above!

This episode was given to the gents in soaps as Michael welcomed his very special guests: The Young and the Restless Joshua Morrow (Nick Newman), Dancing with the Stars: Juniors and General Hospital’s Hudson West (Jake), and The Bold and the Beautiful, and One Life to Live and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman favorite, Joe Lando (Judge Craig McMullen).

During this fun night of chat, Joshua weighed-in on the Shick wedding that went bust, when Sharon told Nick at the altar that she knows he had sex with Phyllis.  Morrow, who will celebrate his 25th year as Nick Newman in early 2019 chimed in what the future for the stat-crossed couple may hold, and how he has enjoyed showing Nick’s dark side of late, plus he revealed one scene he felt uncomfortable with that he would not play, the ladies over the years in Nick’s life, and when asked by a listener of his memories of the late, great Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor), Joshua shared some fun and poignant remembrances. He also addressed the status of Doug Davidson at the CBS daytime drama, and hopes that the writers will find a way to utilize the Y&R vet in the future.

Next, Hudson West’s joined the podcast where he gave listeners the inside scoop on what it has been like to be one of the 12 celebrity kids competing in the first-ever Dancing with the Stars: Juniors, which debuts Sunday at 8PMEST in a two-hour season premiere on ABC.  Hudson talked on how he has been learning the dance moves with his young pro dance partner and Dancing with the Stars pro mentor, how he deals with nerves before performing his dance routines and more.  General Hospital fans who know of Hudson’s Daytime Emmy-nominated performance of Jake Webber, Elizabeth and Jason’s son, got some interesting tidbits when he talked about working with Rebecca Herbst, Steve Burton and more, and how much he loves being on the show.

The final guest of the night was Joe Lando.  Prior to bringing Joe on the air, Michael played a classic clip from Megan’s death on One Life to Live from the 90’s, where Joe as Jake Harrison performed one of the saddest and most memorable scenes in soaps with his then acting partner, Jessica Tuck.  Joe then revealed when he was on Soap Nation Live that it has been over 20 years since he had heard the scene, and was still moved by it.  Lando who is now appearing as Judge McMullen on CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful teased there could be a love interest around the corner for the judge, as well as some retribution for his ruling in the custody case of Will Spencer, because of a favor called in by Ridge.  Lando also talks about his time on the hit primetime series, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman as Byron Sully, and shared more about his time on One Life to Live working with the likes of: Erika Slezak, Bob Woods, and Tuck.

Last, during out Game Show segment, a lucky caller won two VIP tickets to the Star Struck Fan Event Fall Festival in Alexandria, Virginia featuring members of the cast of Days of our Lives, as well as a Y&R goodie bag; which includes a personalizes autographed picture of Joshua Morrow, after answering correctly some Nick Newman trivia!

For archived and past episodes of Soap Nation Live, you can go to the official show page on Spreaker.com here.

Now, listen to the broadcast with Joshua, Hudson, and Joe above, and then let us know via the comment section below what was your favorite moment in the broadcast.

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Breaking News

General Hospital Honored With Sentinel Award For Alzheimer’s Storyline

This week, ABC’s General Hospital was one of the recipients and honorees at the 2018 Sentinel Awards.

The awards honor storylines that inform, educate, and motivate audiences to make choices for healthier and safer lives.

Now in their 19th year, the 2018 Sentinel Awards were presented by Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), a program of The Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

The 12 outstanding Sentinel Awards honorees for 2018 spotlighted topics that included: nuclear safety, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, autism, sexual assault, mental health and disabilities.

One of those programs to receive the award was ABC’s General Hospital for “Sonny’s Dad storyline” which as viewers know shed a light on the progression of Alzheimer’s disease for those afflicted and their loved ones.   The story is beautifully played by Max Gail (Mike) and Maurice Benard (Sonny).  Accepting  the award on behalf of the series was EP, Frank Valentini.

Other series, notably Empire was recognized for their abortion storyline, and Grey’s Anatomy for their Hemorrhage cart storyline representing Maternal health were two other popular shows that also received recognition for their work. among others.

So, proud of GH for receiving this honor for the work they are doing in telling the emotional tale of Mike’s battle with Alzheimer’s and how it affects Sonny and his family? Comment below.

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Video du Jour

This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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