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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?

General Hospital

Kelly Monaco Back To Work As Lindsay Hartley Thanks GH For Her Time Playing Sam

General Hospital fans have been watching soap veteran, Lindsay Hartley fill-in for Kelly Monaco in the role of Sam on recent episodes of the ABC daytime drama series.

Now comes word via GH’s Bradford Anderson (Spinelli) via a Facebook live with Steve Burton (Jason) that Monaco is back filming new episodes. Burton added: “She’s good, she’s healthy and she’s back!”

Meanwhile, Hartley took to social media on Thursday and shared her gratitude for the chance to step in to the role for Sam for a bit, expressing: “Thank you General Hospital for the fortunate experience to play Sam, and especially during this moment in time. It was a fun ride.”

So, glad to know Kelly is back taping new episodes?  Let’s give a round of applause to Lindsay Hartley for a job well-done in Kelly’s absence. Comment below.

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Breaking News

Soaps Get Mainstream Media Covers With Being Back to Work During COVID-19 & Returning With All-New Episodes

It’s so rare, but so welcome, to find the hardest working people and the hardest working genre getting some love from the mainstream press.  Now, next week’s upcoming double issue of TV Guide Magazine will feature all four daytime dramas and some of their current iconic couples on the cover!

The covers are a special edition and four different versions went to print.  Inside the magazine details some previews from the head writers and EP’s of the series as well of what’s to come in Genoa City, Port Charles, Los Angeles, and Salem.  Look for the edition to hit newsstands tomorrow on Thursday, August 12th.

The Bold and the Beautiful cover features Thorsten Kaye and Denise Richards as Ridge and Shauna.  Days of our Lives is represented by John and Marlena, played by Drake Hogesytn and Deidre Hall.

Meanwhile, The Young and the Restless has Victor and Nikki, played by Eric Braeden and Melody Thomas Scott, and General Hospital has Maurice Benard and Laura Wright as Sonny and Carly,

The TV Guide Magazine double issue dates are August 17th-30th.

As fans of the soaps know, Y&R returned with new-episodes this Monday, B&B starred airing new ones a few backs, GH was back last week, and DAYS had new episodes in the bank till mid-October and is set to return to taping September 1.

In addition, it should be noted that The Bold and the Beautiful was the first American broadcast television show that went back into production during the coronavirus pandemic.

So, glad to see the soaps getting these collectible covers? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GH Faves Finola Hughes, Ian Buchanan, Brooklyn Rae Silzer, Marc Anthony Samuel In New IGTV Series, ‘Enter Exit’

This week, General Hospital’s Finola Hughes (Anna) and some very good friends and acting partners debuted in a new IGTV series, directed by Hughes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s a thriller! What else would we expect from the woman who plays super spy Anna Devane on the ABC daytime drama series.

The IGTV (Instagam’s longer video application) series is called, Enter Exit, and there are 11 episodes, and the first one dropped on Monday.  It is  written by TV scribe Matt Boren, and also stars some of Port Charles’ longtime favorites that include: Ian Buchanan (Ex-Duke), Brooklyn Rae Silzer (Emma) and Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix).

Hughes told SOD how she was inspired to come up with the concept for the show:  “I started to think about, if you’re in lockdown, what would be a narrative where you could act in a vacuum, basically? I first started thinking about what my character would be — a retired (government) agent. And then there’s some reason that I’m retired. And I started to think about stationary shots and walking into your closeup and all those kinds of things. I left (the rest) with Matt; it was basically, ‘Whatever he writes, we’ll do.’ And I just sort of concentrated on how, feasibly, we could do it.”’

Boren, who has been an ardent viewer of GH from its hey day, shared on working off Hughes seeds of an idea to what Enter Exit is about: “In a sense, it’s a local detective thriller that starts out small — and understandably so as season one takes place during the pandemic. However, what we seed throughout these first 11 mini-episodes hints at a show that longs to be on a much larger, more global scale. We were absolutely inspired by ’80s GH — the WSB, the espionage and larger than life stories that were so thrilling, and through Devane/Scorpio/Lavery/Donnelly/Jones, so grounded. Throw that in with some Killing Eve, X-Files and (this will make sense down the line) Stranger Things, and you have a recipe that might be pages away in our cookbook.”

Now check out episode 1 below featuring Hughes and Silzer and make sure to follow Finola’s IG account for all-new installments of Enter Exit.

So, what do you think about the concept of the series? Excited to see more? Let us know via the comment section.

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Video du Jour

B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

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Power Performance

Maurice Benard as Sonny. KassieDePaiva as Eve

GH & DAYS

Airdates: Wk of 8-3-2020

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