On Monday, April 1, ABC’s “General Hospital” will celebrate its 50th anniversary. While the previously planned celebratory episode will now air on Tuesday, April 2, due to a national network preemption on Wednesday, March 13, fans will not be disappointed with the returns of such “GH” legends as Rachel Ames (Audrey Hardy), Stuart Damon (Alan Quartermaine) and Chris Robinson (Rick Webber), who were all originally scheduled to appear on the Friday, March 29 episode of the soap prior to the aforementioned preemption.
Nobody does shockers better than daytime dramas, and today’s episode of “General Hospital” is going to prove it! In light of the soap’s 50th Anniversary celebration, headwriter Ron Carlivati teases that fans better hold onto their seats, because four huge surprises are on the way!
As previously reported by Soap Opera Network, ABC News’ “20/20″ will be honoring the 50th anniversary of ABC’s “General Hospital” on Saturday, April 6. Dubbed “‘General Hospital’ – The Real Soap Dish,” Katie Couric will take viewers behind the scenes of the fictional town of Port Charles, NY. The hour-long special will include interviews with such “GH” stars as Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer), Genie Francis (Laura Spencer), Jack Wagner (Frisco Jones), Rick Springfield (Noah Drake), Kelly Monaco (Sam McCall), Lisa LoCicero (Olivia Falconeri) and many more. Fans will also get to hear from Frank Valentini, who has spearheaded the soap into increased ratings since taking over as executive producer in January 2012.
ABC has partnered with amfAR, The Foundation of AIDS Research, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “General Hospital.” In a press release issued today, the network said that as “GH” approaches its 50th year on the air (Monday, April 1), it will return the popular Nurses Ball event after a 12 year absence (not since 2001). amfAR’s participation includes storyline integration that will mark the first time that a real-life charity will be involved in the event.
In the newest issue of ABC Soaps In Depth, “General Hospital” star Julie Marie Berman has announced in an exclusive interview that she is leaving the series after seven and a half years portraying Lulu Spencer. “I always have a desire to grow and challenge myself in other mediums. And there are enough reasons now that my gut is telling me this is the right time to finally let go of ‘GH.’” Berman says she informed her bosses back in July of last year that she had plans to leave the series. “I gave my notice in July to leave when my contract was up in November last year,” said Berman, who also explained that she decided to stay a little while longer after subsequent discussions between her management team and “GH” executive producer Frank Valentini.
Prospect Park first announced plans to move “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to the web back in July 2011 after striking a license holding deal with Disney/ABC Domestic Television. Sadly, plans fell through by November 2011 after apparent financing and union discussions fell through. Since that dreadful time period, Prospect Park has resumed work on returning the soaps to your [computer] screens, only this time with financing said to be in place and union deals already signed with the DGA (directors), SAG-AFTRA (actors) and the WGA (writers). With more than a year gone by since “One Life to Live” last aired, we thought it would be a great opportunity to see which stars have (so far) signed on to return to “AMC” and “OLTL” compared to the list circling back in 2011.
Scott Evans, who played Oliver Fish on “One Life to Live,” has pleaded guilty to attempted cocaine possession. From 2008-10 Evans was one half of the show’s popular, yet controversial gay couple nicknamed “Kish,” which also featured Brett Claywell as Fish’s love interest Kyle Lewis. However, according to TMZ, Evans isn’t expected to serve any jail time.
The big news of December 2012 was word that Prospect Park was taking another stab at moving ABC’s “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to the web in 2013. The news was first reported by Deadline.com‘s Nellie Andreeva. In her initial reporting, Andreeva revealed that Prospect Park had made agreements with the unions SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) and the DGA (Directors Guild of America). Previously, while the company had planned on debuting the shows on the web in early 2012, no deals had been signed with either union or the WGA (Writers Guild of America). This hindered the company’s plan to move forward with the shows and resulted in a postponement that was announced in November 2011. In a statement at the time, AFTRA (prior to its merger with SAG) said that they were ”deeply disappointed to read that the executives at Prospect Park have decided to suspend their efforts to produce the long-running and popular daytime serials.” Additionally, the union had said that they “remain hopeful that an opportunity to revive these two popular series will emerge in the future, and remain ready to resume discussions should that opportunity arise.” The future took more than a year, but it appears to have finally emerged. However, although a representative from SAG-AFTRA confirmed that an agreement with Prospect Park had been made when pressed for comment from Soap Opera Network early last week, it remains unclear if said agreement had actually been signed. “Not absolutely certain it had been signed but can check that for you,” said the rep. Due to the holidays, we don’t expect a response on that little detail until at least tomorrow, January 2.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “General Hospital” star John Ingle is dead at age 84. Ingle is most known for playing patriarch Edward Quartermaine, taking over the role in 1993 from David Lewis. Ingle also played Mickey Horton on “Days of our Lives” from 2004-2006.
Ingle’s family posted this message on Facebook:
“Father, Husband, Grandan, Great Grandan, Brother, Uncle, Friend, Teacher, Inspirer, Mentor: May You Soar with the Angels. You will forever hold a special place in the deepest corners of our hearts. You were joy, light and love. Goodness at its very best. For the rest of our days, we will all do our best to continue to make you proud. Rest in peace and continue to spread your generous spirit in the heavens above.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. With love forever, from:.
Your 5 – J. Ingle Belles and the family, friends and loved ones you leave behind.”
UPDATE, 4:40 PM ET: Ian Buchanan is in fact portraying Duke Lavery. In an interview report with TV Guide‘s Michael Logan, Valentini says, “We will eventually find out that the Duke Lavery we saw die all those many years ago was an impostor. This is the real Duke.” So yes, we’re in for one of those storylines, folks.
“In the interim, Luke and Anna will find themselves in a new place with their romance and they will be very surprised by the intensity of it,” said Valentini to Logan. “Anna will, of course, be shocked and conflicted, she’ll run the whole gamut of emotions when she finally comes face-to-face with Duke. She’s going to want a lot of answers and Duke is really going to have to prove himself.”
Buchanan will not be seen on the show again for at least another next five weeks, according to TV Guide.
PREVIOUS, 4:22 PM ET: After promising that today’s episode of “General Hospital” was “not to be missed” as the series has “been keeping a huge surprise under wraps,” executive producer Frank Valentini got some good news today as the big reveal began trending worldwide (see images below) just a short time ago.
While live tweeting along with thousands of others, fans of the daytime drama series learned that actor Ian Buchanan had returned to the ABC soap after a 23-year absence. Of course, Soap Opera Network broke the story on Thursday, August 23.
When we last saw Buchanan on the drama series, it was 1989. His character, Duke Lavery, the love of Anna Devane’s (Finola Hughes) life faked his death and entered the witness protection program only to return to the series with a new face as portrayed by actor Greg Beecroft within the same year. The character was killed off in 1990.
A “General Hospital” representative was unavailable for comment at press time. It is currently unclear as to whether Buchanan is in fact portraying a once again alive Duke Lavery. If he is, does that mean Duke faked his death again? If not, who really died? The Tale of Two Duke’s indeed!
Buchanan had just completed his run on NBC’s “Days of our Lives” on Wednesday, August 22 as Ian McAllister, although the series films three months ahead of airdate, which enabled “GH” to snap the actor up quickly for this “secretive” plot twist.