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Wendy Riche on "If the AIDS story on GH originally was told through A.J. Quartermaine!

What if the character of A.J. Quartermaine would have been the main character that  drove the thrust of  the AIDS story that ended up being told through the love story of Robin and Stone on General Hospital back in the early 90’s? That is something that is discussed in part two of Wendy Riche’s interview at We Love Soaps.

Riche, the former executive producer of General Hospital, who was at the epicenter of many of the fantastic socially relevant stories in GH’s deep history, admitted that their originally was a bit of a dispute between then GH, head writer, Claire Labine, and Riche, as to what character would lead the AIDS story.   Here are some compelling excerpts!

Riche: “I wanted to do a story about AIDS when I first got to GH.  AIDS was on the rise, a non-discriminating disease that didn’t care who it attacked.  I felt it was an issue of great importance and wanted to find a way to interface many of the characters of Port Charles with the hospital.  At first, I thought it could be a story for A.J. Quartermaine.  I thought, what would happen if A.J. had another drunken night in college, one of many, and explore what would happen when a friend, a male friend, from college shows up at the Quartermaine mansion wanting A.J.’s help since his family threw him out because he had AIDS.  And A.J. doesn’t remember who had sex with who, and what he did during so many drunken orgies.  They could have both had sex with a woman who was a drug addict. The intention was not to make them gay, but the implication might have stirred up a lot.  We could have asked, “Why does everyone care so much if he was gay? Why does he care? How would Edward Quatermaine react and what would Lila do to bring the family back together?”  We could have looked at it all.  But it wasn’t about being gay, I didn’t want to be, “Oh those gay people, of course they screw around so much…” of some B.S. like that.   AIDS is a non-discriminating disease, it doesn’t care who you are are or what your sexuality is.  If you do stupid things, have unprotected sex, you risk getting it.  If we had done it with a gay character we would not have gotten the message of urgency across.  So the intention was to have a smart person who was not gay but made stupid choices get AIDS.  I didn’t have Claire at the time, and I don’t know if Claire would have even wanted to do it that way, but the network did not want to do that story. They didn’t want A.J. to be in question of having AIDS, or maybe not being 100% heterosexual, they just didn’t want to go there because he was a Quartermaine, which of course, is exactly why I wanted to go there.

I talked to Claire about this, and she came up with Robin and Stone.  She was not ready to do this story at the beginning of her run on GH.  But one day, a year later, we were at a company retreat dinner and she looked at me with that twinkle in her eye, learned over, and whispered, “I think I’ve got it.”  She told me the story in two lines and I loved it.  It was everything I hoped for.  We were so excited, we told Pat [Fili-Krushel] right then and there and she said to go with it.  Claire and I had driven up to Connecticut together for the retreat and what was wonderful is that we had the long trip to talk about it.”

So what do you think if the story had gone to A.J. instead of Robin and Stone?

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Check In To GRAND HOTEL! Premiere Date Announced Featuring Bryan Craig, Richard Burgi, Denyse Tontz & Eva Longoria

2019 is bringing it with some major soapy dramas.  And this one has been much talked about, and looking quite alluring.  It features some former soap opera notables in key roles.

We’re talking about ABC’s Grand Hotel which has finally announced its premiere date, but fans will have to wait till the summer for its debut.  Circle Monday night, June 17th.  Grand Hotel will air immediately following  episodes of the new season of The Bachelorette.

General Hospital Daytime Emmy-winner, Bryan Craig (Ex-Morgan Corintjos) take on the role of  playboy Javi, his sister Paloma is played by former All My Children reboot actress, Denyse Tontz (Ex-Miranda Montgomery).  In addition, soap vet Richard Burgi (last seen as Paul Hornsby on GH) takes on the role of Michael Finn, a charming businessman who spells t-r-o-u-b-l-e for the Mendoza family, and series EP, Eva Longoria (Ex-Isabella, Y&R) also guest stars as Beatriz a former owner of the hotel.

The series loglines from ABC reveal: “Grand Hotel is a bold provocative drama set at the last family-owned hotel in multicultural Miami Beach. Charismatic Santiago Mendoza (Demian Bichir) owns the hotel, while his glamorous second wife, Gigi (Roselyn Sanchez), and their adult children enjoy the spoils of success. The hotel’s loyal staff round out a contemporary, fresh take on an upstairs/downstairs story. Wealthy and beautiful guests bask in luxury, but scandals, escalating debt and explosive secrets hide beneath the picture-perfect exterior.”

In case you missed it, check out the first look trailer for the series first posted in May for the ABC upfronts.   Then let us know, are you excited to see Bryan in his new primetime series?  Do you think this premise has all the making of some juicy primetime soap viewing? Comment below.

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WATCH THE REPLAY: GH Facebook Live With Maurice Benard & Laura Wright

If you missed Wednesday’s GH Facebook Live event featuring Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Laura Wright (Carly) you can watch the replay below.

During the 35-minute broadcast, Michael Fairman chatted with the Daytime Emmy-winning duo about the latest storylines involving Sonny and Carly including: the Alzheimer’s storyline centering around Sonny’s dad, Mike (Max Gail), what will happen with Margaux (Elizabeth Hendrickson) and Sonny’s relationship, and if Carly will figure out that Kevin (Jon Lindstrom) is stashed away at Ferncliff, and that his twin brother Ryan is masquerading as him while murdering people in Port Charles.

In addition, Maurice and Laura talk about memorable scenes and moments throughout their time on the ABC daytime drama series, and episodes that are included in the “Sonny and Carly Collection” streaming now at ABC.com and on the ABC app.  Laura did talk about taking over the pivotal role following in the shoes of fan favorites, Sarah Brown and Tamara Braun.

Maurice and Laura also talked about their upcoming projects.  Laura’s premieres tomorrow night on Lifetime when she is seen in Stalked by My Patient, while Maurice will soon be seen in Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter. 

Check it out below and let us know what was your favorite part of the Facebook live, and what you think will happen in the key storylines involving Sonny and Carly as we move into 2019 via the comment section.

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TODAY: General Hospital’s Maurice Benard and Laura Wright Chat It Up On Facebook Live

In a very special GH Facebook Live, Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Laura Wright (Carly) are set to talk about the relationship between Sonny and Carly, what’s happening in story for the duo at the moment, and the Sonny & Carly Collection featuring 20 episodes throughout the 20-year relationship of this torrid love affair available now via ABC.com and the ABC app.

The action begins at 10:30amPST/1:30pmpst via facebook.com/generalhospital.

Joining Maurice and Laura will be Michael Fairman who will be moderating the live event.

Make sure to send in your questions and they just may be asked on-air during the broadcast.

Now let us know what has been your favorite Carly and Sonny moment throughout the years? Share your thoughts or questions via the comment section below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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Maura West as Ava

General Hospital

Airdates: 11-29/30-26-2018

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