Disney/ABC Television Group

With 13 consecutive weeks of record low ratings in the key Women 18-49 sales demo, ABC announced today that it has decided to oust “’s” current head writer, , and replace him with newly appointed co-head writers and . The duo, who will officially take over writing reins beginning Monday, August 10, previously served together in the same capacity at CBS’ “” up until January of this year. They won two consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team for their work on “Y&R” during their tenure.

“We are pleased to welcome back two esteemed writers to our ‘General Hospital’ family. Shelly and Jean’s combined talents and experiences promise to continue the show’s legacy of compelling storytelling that will resonate with our impassioned viewers. We’re delighted with what they have in store for the show as they continue honoring the rich, diverse environs of Port Charles,” said , Executive Vice President Current Series Programming, ABC Entertainment Group.

Altman is a multiple Emmy award-winner for her extensive work on soap operas,including “” and “The Young and the Restless.” Prior to her work on serial dramas, Altman wrote for several primetime shows, including “Kate and Allie,” “Counterstrike” and “True Blue.” She is also an accomplished film writer whose credits include the award-winning, “Sweet Lorraine.”

Passanante previously served as head writer and co-head writer for several daytime dramas, including “The Young and the Restless,” “” and “As theWorld Turns.” She has won four Daytime Emmy awards, six Writer’s Guild awards andfive GLAAD media awards. Passanante also has an extensive theatre background,having served as administrator of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwright’s Conference and artistic director of New Dramatists and New York Theater Workshop, among many other creative roles.

  • Ghlover12

    Once days overtake GH in the ratings, it’ll be another news dump friday with abc dumping GH. This isn’t good news for my soap

    • David

      Ron’s poor writing and horrible camp would have been the cause of the show being gone. By getting rid of him it shows ABC released change needed to be made.

      • Ghlover12

        ABC doesn’t care. They will cancel this show next year. Mark my words

  • Dean_Morgan

    Enjoyed Ron’s work. Have always loved Jean’s work. Wish the new writers the best and hope to see Ron show up somewhere in daytime soon. I want nothing but the best for our four remaining soap operas.

  • David

    Thankfully Ron C is out. I am not sure how the new writers who have written in soaps before will do but at least ABC did something as Ron really wrote the show into a mess. Good luck to the new writers lets hope we see some changes at GH. It won’t happen immediately as the new writers start on August 10th so their material probably wont be seen on air until mid to late September.

  • robert

    it was the right decision letting RC go,the soap has not been good. I hope Altman and Passanante can return GH to it’s former glory. I like that women will be writing the soap,because they could do stories that will connect more to women in the key demographics. It sounds like their material will really start getting going by November sweeps

    • Joel

      By late August/early September, their material will be airing in time for November sweeps.

      • David

        Apparently their material is set to start airing in October so yes the new writers will be writing the November sweeps

  • http://unknown.com Bexx

    I bet a lot of Twitter users are thrilled about the decision to let Ron go. Good luck to the new writing team.

  • Joel

    ALERT THE SIRENS! The biggest hack of all-time has been put out at long last. This decision is a last-ditch attempt by Disney-ABC to ensure that GH can return to a good position in the ratings. If only this decision could’ve been made prior to his hiring; they wanted Shelley before Ron came aboard. Should’ve stuck to their guns and brought her in during 2012.

    • TV&MovieBuff

      She was already there in 2012. She was co-head writer with Garin Wolf the last few months of his tenure. And then was demoted to associate head writer under Ron for the first year to Feb 2013, and then fired or left to join Y&R.

      • Joel

        I believe she left GH when Y&R offered her the HW position there, or a position there that better suited her; I just know GH wanted her to be co-HW before Ron’s deal with PP fell through.

        • TV&MovieBuff

          And she was. She served as Co-Head Writer with Garin Wolf from Jan 9 to Feb 20, 2012. She was there for Garin’s last 2 months to try and help turn things around. Then on Feb 21, 2012 she started serving as Associate Headwriter under Ron C. and served in that position until Feb 28, 2013. So GH wanted her and got her, but chose to demote her in favor of Ron C. She stayed and worked under Ron C. for a year.

  • fanny

    I’m sure a lot of people are very happy about this announcement. It’s so easy to put ALL the blame of GH’s declining ratings on Ron Carlivati, BUT let’s not forget that it is Frank Valentini who hired all of these actors from other soaps and Ron had to deal with it and write for them. GH has a bloated cast and that’s why characters and storylines are all over the place. So, changing writers but keeping this bloated cast won’t necessarily improve GH, because these new writers will be faced with the same problem. Just saying…
    Passanante & Altman were getting better at the end of their run on Y&R, but their pacing was slow. Good luck to them!

    • lellingw

      Good points

    • TV&MovieBuff

      Without knowing the ins and outs of who wanted what, we don’t actually know who wanted the actors and the characters. But I agree that both are equally responsible. It could have been Ron saying I want these characters and I want to hire so and so to play them. All that Frank had to say was no we can’t do that but he didn’t. Or like you said it could have been Frank saying I am hiring so and so and you have to create a role for them. Knowing that Ron loved to write for a lot of characters on One Life To Live, my bet is that he wanted all the characters. I bet Frank wanted all the name actors. But the truth will be in what Jean and Shelly do in coming weeks, but Jean is well known to do exactly what her producer wants.

    • robert

      they need to get rid of the newbies

  • Georgette

    I would take ANY soap writer over RC. I think JP and SA will bring some good stuff to GH and I won’t be missing all the corny camp, cartoonish characters, plot holes and plot point writing. I only see this as a positive of GH. I never wanted RC near that show. Too bad he killed some vets before his reign of terror was halted.I hope the newbies are written out quickly and we can have some decent continuity and pacing.

    • robert

      cast changes need to happen. the cast needs to be downsized

  • luciano

    They’re totally insane. It looks like someone is really trying to get GH canceled or justify canceling it. No one who’s in their right mind and really interested in keeping this show going would ever fire a head writer that saved the show from cancellation in 2012 and, shortly after, gave GH the best ratings since 2007-08. And that lasted till last winter. It’s ridiculous to make such a decision based on 13 weeks of temporary lows. I guess they’ll get exactly what they want. And SON is – as always – supporting any possible campaign to destroy another soap.

    • http://unknown.com Bexx

      What campaign? Errol hasn’t posted anything except the ratings in months. Maybe it wasn’t just the 13 week low, but maybe Ron’s behavior backstage, or his untouchable like behavior on Twitter helped to get him fired? Stop blaming everyone else.

      • robert

        RC was extremely mean to the fans on twitter. He blocked me after I tweeted I didn’t like the Denise story. glad he’s gone

        • http://unknown.com Bexx

          He’s been blocking people for the past few years. If you weren’t praising him, you got blocked.

    • Farmer Dan

      Thirteen weeks of lows is enough to can cartoony! They can see DAYS going up and knowing DAYS is bringing it’s A game for it’s highly anticipated 50th anniversary, they realize there can be defectors from GH to DAYS.

      It was a good move to fire Ron, but they should have replaced him with a different writing team. DAYS will be on fire in a few weeks, so it’s going to be hard for GH to gain ground.

      Prepare for the worst and it will be easier when GH takes it’s last breath.

  • TV&MovieBuff

    As I have posted I am a firm believer that both the EP and the HW should be held accountable here for bad ratings. They were both equally at fault in not taking care of things. But as to those trying to put blame elsewhere and even trying to blame this website I just have to shake my head and laugh. Sorry but no one is responsible for Ron C.’s firing but Ron C. Sure he did some good work. Just like he did at OLTL, but he also did some bad work. And that bad work is what got the show where it is at now. Not just that but his constant rude behavior on social networks…attacking fans, other writers, other shows, journalists, etc. It was uncalled for. According to one insider, ABC was trying to be patient and give him time to get the ratings up. Even trying to wait his contract out and not fire him before it was up. But the ratings just weren’t budging, and they had to act in order to keep those executives who have been wanting the show gone to not talk cancellation again like they did in 2011. I’m not watching GH right now and that is all thanks to the direction that Ron C. took GH in. But I did not want to see GH get cancelled. I’m glad ABC cared enough to take action and try to save GH again. I don’t want to see another show cancelled and if ABC had let Ron C. continue on the course he was going that is exactly what would have happened. There is no way at consistent lows those executives at ABC who wanted it gone would not have acted.

    • JayTN

      Depending on what happened behind the scenes that we are not privy too, Valentini may join Carlivati out the door soon. GH has a history of long-serving EPs…Valentini is just the third EP since 1992. Perhaps ABC feels that they can better control or dictate to Valentini as opposed to Carlivati, who often times seemed like a loose cannon. This is why I laughed at the suggestion that Valentini & Carlivati were some sort of “package deal” and predicted that if push came to shove that Valentini would more than happily throw Carlivati under the bus.

      Personally I view Carlivati’s ouster as a good sign that ABC wants to try and keep GH around. If not, they could have easily kept Carlivati around or used those dozen plus weeks of demo lows as a reason to cancel the soap. At least ABC tapped Altman as the new co-HW, she has a history with the soap and won’t need to be “brought up to speed” on the characters or situations.

    • reboot

      RC had to go. I think DAYS beating GH in the demo was the final nail in RC’s coffin,and the DAYS reboot hasn’t even happened yet

  • Farmer Dan

    GH is so bad I ripped my eyes out!

  • JayTN

    I feel bad for Carlivati, as a person, for being let go. It’s never a good feeling when you get fired. However, Carlivati’s behavior on social media – blatantly unprofessional – and what seemed to be his attitude in general, will keep a lot of people from crying over this development.

  • Ghlover12

    Say goodbye to the nurses ball, vets, and minorities. Why would ABC hire writers from a soap in which they were fired after 6 months. Fans are rejoicing when they should be worried.

    • TV&MovieBuff

      Why would they hire a writer and producer from a show they just had to cancel because of low ratings? But they did. And they’ve done it several times.

      • Ghlover12

        Because near the end OLTL ratings were up that’s why. Next question!

        • TV&MovieBuff

          They were still stupid employers though. They knew exactly how both operated. It wasn’t just months before all that they had to step in and make them fire actors and change most of the story because the ratings got so low that it was almost cancelled months before it was. They knew that the whole time he was at OLTL the ratings had gone up and down and not been steady at all. Neither one of them had a stellar record on keeping and maintaining good ratings for OLTL during their tenures…..so it was a stupid decision esp. if they were basing it only on one of their highs.

          • Ghlover12

            Ron has done good things for GH. Point blank period.

          • TV&MovieBuff

            And he’s done bad things for GH too. 13 weeks of lows in the 18-49 key demo is just one of them. Point blank semi colon and period. The numbers are facts that can’t be argued with. Any other writer would be held accountable for them and he is no better than any other. He’s not the first writer to be fired for bad numbers and he won’t be the last.

          • Ghlover12

            Switching writers in the midst of big stories and another soap gaining in viewers is a bad idea. Mark my words ABC will cancel GH 13 weeks after days overtakes in total viewers.

          • TV&MovieBuff

            Well Ron has already let Days overtake it in the key demos that ABC really cares about. So if they want to cancel GH they already have the ammunition to do it and Ron gave them that — not the new writers. Days has beat GH in the 18-49 demo at least twice in the last month. The 18-49 demos is the main demo that judges a soaps budget. Ron has dropped those. That is why ABC is acting so that hopefully they can stop the execs from cancelling it.

          • Ghlover12

            It will get cancelled anyway. You people who stopped watching has caused this. GH gained 140000 plus viewers back. You got what you wished for. Ron is gone. From what i hear the two new writers suck. So it wasn’t an upgrade. Say goodbye to GH

          • TV&MovieBuff

            I didn’t wish for Ron to be gone. I wished for a show that was watchable. And I don’t feel guilty at all. Ron was the one getting paid to make the show watchable. I wasn’t. He wasn’t doing his job. If he had been thousands and thousands wouldn’t have tuned out. He got his money. He had his chance. He had the same chance to make it work that many have had before him. Many of them failed and eventually lost their jobs for the same reason. He’s not the first. He won’t be the last. Many of them even did good things for GH at one time but then things change, the tide turned, and they couldn’t turn things around. As to sucking, the new writers might suck, but to thousands, who knows maybe millions, Ron C. sucks too. So hey they are in good company. Daytime soaps employ a lot of sucky writers these days. So they are all in good company. And eventually we’ll say goodbye to all the shows. It’s the nature of the business. It’s entertainment. If it gets cancelled though it won’t be entirely on the hands of the new writers. He would have gotten cancelled a whole lot quicker if they left Ron C. there at the rate the ratings were going.

          • Ghlover12

            He’ll be the last for GH because it’ll be cancelled by May.

    • Farmer Dan

      Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…getting over it is a must.

  • Ghlover12

    This show will be done by next year this time.

    • TV&MovieBuff

      If Ron had stayed it would have been done before this time next year.

      • Ghlover12

        I disagree. GH Had bounded back from its ratings slump

        • TV&MovieBuff

          How’s that? This week it dropped to 4th in the key demos and this was the 13th week it was tied at the key low in the 18-49 demo. The last 3 weeks it had not even had a day it had reached 3 million for any day of the week. It is still in it’s ratings slump.

  • TV&MovieBuff

    I just can’t help but laugh over and over again at the notion that it is the fault of the people who quit watching GH during Ron C.’s stint that caused him to get fired. Boy his fans will grasp at anything to take the blame off the back of their beloved one. Are they not smart enough to realize how TV and entertainment work? If people hadn’t quit watching under Guza and Wolf before Ron C. due to problems then there would have never been a reason to hire Ron C. in the first place. What are people supposed to do just keep watching no matter what? If they had then we would have just kept watching under Guza and Wolf and ratings wouldn’t have dropped and ABC would have kept one of them and Ron C. would have never gotten the job in the first place. Guza turned viewers away. Wolf turned viewers away. Ron C. turned viewers away. Face it folks your charming buddy boy is no different than Guza or Wolf. Now go put on your big girl panties and deal with it. You can come up with a thousand excuses and try to put the blame where you want to but it’s no ones fault but his — Ron C. got himself fired. Yes I still hold that Frank V. was at fault to and I don’t know why ABC is only holding one accountable at this point…but that is between them and not me. All I know is it was them and no one else. And none of them can blame anyone else for it. ABC let it go on too long. And Frank and Ron made the mistakes. They did some good things and they got praise for them. But they also made mistakes and they are equally responsible for those.

    • Ghlover12

      If you quit watching ratings go down. Therefore it’s definitely the people’s fault

      • TV&MovieBuff

        Well if you are trying to make me feel sorry for Ron C. losing his job. You are not succeeding. I don’t feel sorry. Any more than I felt sorry for quitting under Guza and him losing his job. They both deserved to be fired for the crap they were delivering. A TV show has one purpose and that is to entertain and when it fails to do so — you move and find something to do so. Ron C. got paid the big bucks to write GH and to deliver stories that would make people want to tune in and watch. He didn’t do it. If I don’t do my job, guess what I am going to get fired. Ron C. didn’t do his job and the ratings job proved it. He lost his job simply because he didn’t do it to the satisfaction of his bosses.

  • David

    One thing that gets me is all the people saying it was only 13 weeks. Yes the show was at a all time low in 18-49 for the last 13 weeks but for a good portion of this year the numbers were way down. Even the anniversary episode with the big climax to the Luke/Flue story. So I think it was far more than just the 13 weeks of lows as the show had drops prior to that.

    I enjoyed some of the stuff Ron did in the beginning. But over time things just got bad.

    Yes Ron was great with bringing back some of the favorites but then used them horribly. Felicia/Mac you barely ever see. Lucy is only dragged out when the Nurses Ball is upcoming or a wedding. Monica is barely on. Elizabeth is doing things that her character would never do. Same goes for NIcholas. I could go on and on. Then Ron insisted on the constant using of Nina, Franco etc.

    I also think that Frank does hold some responsibility as well. However I know he is really good at keeping budgets in line etc. I would imagine an eye is being kept on him as well.

    As I said the new writers have their work cut out for them. We won’t see their material until sometime in October as they start tapingt their material in August. They will have to wrap up the crap Ron has created, then come up with new stuff that can hopefully bring viewers back in.

    I also see a lot of Ron’s loyalists saying that these means the show will be cancelled by next year. I disagree with that. I think they made changes in hopes of keeping the show alive. If ratings continue to drop with the new writers then yes it could get cancelled. We will have to wait and see.

    • TV&MovieBuff

      The other post that SON has up about this — the numbers one that got Ron C. fired — shows it to be a total of 17 weeks of lows this year in the 18-49 demo.

  • JBTNYC

    Good news. Will try GH again. I hadn’t been able to really get into it in decades and have given it an honest try several times because I like a lot of the actors and a lot of the characters I used to watch are still on. I wish GH the best with its new team.

    • http://unknown.com Bexx

      I’m definitely planning to tune in again, especially if Michael Easton is leaving too. Hopefully they get rid of the others.

  • smcmillian89

    Could it be also the fact that some viewers quit watching GH when All My Children and One Life to Live got cancelled?

    • robert

      probably. shortly after those soaps were cancelledGH’s ratings plummeted by upset fans which led to Frank and Ron’s hiring. people were upset ABC fired JFP so ABC didn’t have to take the blame,the fan outrage led to Brian Frons leaving

  • Kelly25

    I smell homophobia here. A lot. Can’t remember ANY other case where a head writer that saved a show from cancellation (in 2012) and then produced the best ratings in many, many years, year after year, was fired based on a couple of months of lower ratings. It’s just absurd and definitely not a plan to improve or “save” the show. Even the best head writers – and Ron proved that he’s probably the best in this industry right now – don’t get it all right, all the time.There’s absolutely no reason to believe, though, that firing such an outstanding writer and replacing him with, yeah, mediocre ones (to put it mildly) will get them better ratings. Some people were apparently just looking for an excuse to fire Ron.

    • TV&MovieBuff

      It proves you don’t know much about the entertainment world. It happens all the time. Not just in entertainment but in business too. You don’t rest on your laurels in the business or entertainment world. It’s not about what you have done but it is about what you are doing or what have you don’t lately. A show, producer, actor, or writer can not rest on their laurels. They have got to always be reinventing themselves. GH can’t live and survive on the ratings they got 20 years ago and they can’t live and survive on the ratings they got last quarter. They have to live and survive on the current ratings. And right now Ron C. wasn’t delivering. ABC did what they had to do in order to save GH. The same thing has happened to a whole lot of talented people in the industry in the past and it will continue to happen. Ron C. is no better or no different for it to happen to him than any of those were.

  • Patrick Ferrando

    Great news IMO.
    Yes, Ron originally saved the show from cancellation, but for about a year he’s been driving the show back to the chopping block.
    Congrats to both SA and JP. Hope they’ll tone done the crazy, and I may try to tune back in again. Haven’t been able to sit through an entire episode in a LOOOOONG time.

    • Triumph The Insult Soap Dog

      Now he is driving to the unemployment line.

  • jeffgerard

    Carlivati’s writing on GH made me miss OLTL a little less — because he kept using old OLTL plots. Luke’s “Fluke” plot was nothing more than Viki’s multiple personalities. If Geary hadn’t bailed, I’m sure we’d have seen more personalities emerge.