How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of 'GH,' 'The View' and 'The Chew'; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of ‘GH,’ ‘The View’ and ‘The Chew’; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

 
Topic:
Jason Thompson
Rick Rowell/ABC

Rick Rowell/ABC

As “General Hospital’s” 50th anniversary celebration kicks into high gear this week with a very special episode airing Tuesday, April 2 (episode was originally scheduled to air on Monday, April 1 as the 50th anniversary celebratory episode), fans will have no chance of avoiding the cast of the series as they grace your TV screens in more ways than one.

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Earlier today “General Hospital” stars Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer), Genie Francis (Laura Spencer), Kin Shriner (Scott Baldwin), Jason Thompson (Patrick Drake), Kelly Monaco (Sam McCall) and Finola Hughes (Anna Devanne) were joined by executive producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati as they rang The Opening Bell® at the New York Stock Exchange in honor of the shows 50th anniversary, airing today, April 1.

Ben Hider/NYSE Euronext

Ben Hider/NYSE Euronext

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On Monday, April 1, ABC’s “General Hospital” turns 50! In honor of the event, fans have been anticipating the return of one of the shows grandest events…the Nurses Ball. While things don’t kick into high gear for the event until the Friday, April 5 episode, we at Soap Opera Network wanted to make sure you got a glimpse of some of your favorite actors before their characters start singing, dancing, and throwing punches.

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Heidi Gutman/Disney-ABC Domestic TV

Heidi Gutman/Disney-ABC Domestic TV

As first reported by Soap Opera Network on our Twitter page on Tuesday, March 19, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of ABC’s “General Hospital” on Monday, April 1 and Tuesday, April 2. “GH” stars Finola Hughes (Anna Devanne) and Jason Thompson (Dr. Patrick Drake) served as contestants on the special episodes and will donate their BIG money winnings to The Art of Elysium (http://www.theartofelysium.org), a non-profit organization that works closely with actors, artists and musicians, encouraging them to volunteer their time and talent to children battling serious medical conditions.

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Thomas A. Montalto/Montalto Photos

Thomas A. Montalto/Montalto Photos

The peer votes have been cast, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has announced the Drama Performer Pre-Nominations for the 40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards! Five categories have been announced, including Lead Actress and Lead Actor, Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor, as well as Younger Actress and Younger Actor. Without further adieu, here are the pre-nominees:

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series

  • Sharon Case as Sharon on “The Young and the Restless”
  • Jeanne Cooper as Katherine on “Y&R”
  • Susan Flannery as Stephanie on “The Bold and the Beautiful”
  • Finola Hughes as Anna Devane on “General Hospital”
  • Peggy McCay as Caroline on “Days of our Lives”
  • Kelly Monaco as Sam on “GH”
  • Melody Thomas Scott as Nikki on “Y&R”
  • Michelle Stafford as Phyllis on “Y&R”
  • Kelly Sullivan as Kate on “GH”
  • Heather Tom as Katie on “B&B”
  • Laura Wright as Carly on “GH”

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Frank Ockenfels/E! Entertainment

“Happy Back to Work Day!!!! YAY!!” said Kirsten Storms (Maxie Jones) in a tweet earlier today as she prepared for her first day back on the set of ABC’s “General Hospital.” The actress also tweeted a photo of her script that was tucked away in her purse, saying “Bag packed. Off to work. #excitement.”

Storms re-tweeted a tweet by co-star Jason Thompson (Patrick Drake), who said, “I’m excited about getting back to work today. A healthy chunk is because @teenystweeting is back!! (but shh, we know how her head can swell).” Read More >>



Photo Credit: GH Fan Club

On Saturday, July 23, 2011, “General Hospital” held its annual fan club weekend event at the Sportmen’s Lodge Event Center. Incidentally, in the year that followed many were left wondering if the 2012 event would ever come to be amidst all the drama and rumors surrounding the cancellation, reincarnation (through the Disney/ABC Television Group/Prospect Park Productions deal that wasn’t) and ultimate demise of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” and the possible effect it would have on “GH” itself. On July 21, 2012, “GH” did indeed holds its annual fan event – again at the Sportsmen’s Lodge Event Center – with a renewed focus and much hope for the future.

“General Hospital” cast members Steve Burton (Jason Morgan), Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth Webber), Kelly Sullivan (Kate Howard/Connie Falconeri), Scott Reeves (Steve Webber), Lisa LoCicero (Olivia Falconeri), Jason Thompson (Patrick Drake), Dominic Zamprogna (Dominic Falconeri), Chad Duell (Michael Corinthos), Jen Lilley (soon-to-be ex-Maxie Jones), Drew Cheetwood (Milo Giambetti), Rebekah Montoya (Delores Padilla), Brandon Barash (Johnny Zacchara), Bradford Anderson (Damien Spinelli), Sean Blakemore (Shawn Butler), Laura Wright (Carly Jacks), Julie Marie Berman (Lulu Spencer-Falconeri), Haley Pulos (Molly Lansing), Erik Valedez (Trey Mitchell), Robin Mattson (Heather Webber), Nathin Butler (Ewen Keenan), Lindsey Morgan (Kristina Corinthos) and Richard Steinmetz (Joe Skully Jr.), were joined by “One Life to Live” turned “GH” stars Kristen Alderson (Starr Manning) and Michael Easton (John McBain), along with the soaps new executive producer Frank Valentini, on the stage as they greeted some of the soaps biggest fans.

Photo Credit: Frank Valentini

For more than half an hour they all took fan questions, while Erik Valdez created a running joke within their answers alluding to shirts coming off. Of course, it couldn’t be helped as Valentini revealed a new boxing set had been built similar to the steam room set seen frequently on “OLTL.” Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) arrived late and was only on hand for the fan autograph signing sessions that took place immediately afterward.

Before Bradford Anderson took the reigns from “GH” Fan Club President Debbie Morris, Valentini was asked if he wanted to say a few words to the audience gathered. While he kept his responses short and sweet, he did reveal that he had arrived late to the party due to an important commitment. “I was at the Director’s Guild meeting this morning with some of the directors from daytime,” he said referring to the Director’s Guild of America (DGA), which is the union that represents directors in movie and television productions – despite being an executive producer, Valentini frequently directs episodes of his soap operas. “This is my first fan club event. I’m really excited about the show and I’m excited about this cast and I think it’ a great day for celebration, so don’t let me get in the middle. Let me share it with you,” Valentini concluded.

Despite receiving pre-prepared questions, Anderson decided to take the unusual approach of giving the fans the chance to ask their own. He walked around the room and had each person he chose say their name and ask their question of a “GH” cast member. The first question asked was how much time the cast have off each year. While the question was directed at the entire cast it was agreed, in particular by Burton and Zamprogna, that Bradford should be the one to answer it for them. “As you guys know, we have a new episode practically everyday. So that means we have to make a new episode practically everyday, and what we’re doing now is we’re trying to do more in less time so that we can save money to keep our fare show on the air for all of you,” the actor answered.

Thanks to the presence of Valentini some of the questions directed at the cast ended up being directed at him instead – in part due to Burton’s insistence on Valentini answering one particular question that referenced the timeslot change for the soap. The exact question was “Do you think the change in the timeslot for ‘GH’ is gonna screw up the ratings?” Burton, deciding it wasn’t something he could answer, immediately jumped up and over the legs of his co-stars to hand the microphone over to his boss who was all the way across the other side of the stage. As fans and cast members laughed over Burton’s gesture, Anderson joked “Aren’t you glad you showed up Frank?” Always the trooper, Valentini said “I think there is always risks in having a timeslot change, but I believe that our audience is loyal enough, but more importantly smart enough, to say ‘okay, now we have to watch GH at 2 so we’ll take our naps at 2, we’ll take our lunch at 2, we’ll take our breaks at 2.’ Here on the west coast it’s at 1 o’clock and I think that’ll be better. I actually think on the west coast it’ll be better for us than on the east coast, where it’ll be more of a challenge.”

While not giving anything away, Valentini did reveal that “we have a really great story that’s gearing up for the fall and we’re going to get a lot of promotion from the the network,” which according to the producer includes the recent blurbs popping up that reminds viewers of the change just before the end of each episode of the soap.

Q&A Highlights

  • “I would love to play Johnny [Brandon Barash] because I love how he mixes his bad boy with his charm and sexiness and then he gets to flirt with all the girls in the cast,” said Rebekah Montoya, who was asked which character she would love to play other than her own. Bradford Anderson responded with a joke that it could also be that Barash has “phenomenal chest hair.”
  • Although he was hosting the Q&A, Bradford Anderson couldn’t hide from another question from a fan. This time the actor was asked which version of Spinelli does he prefer portraying on the soap, “Do I like geek Spinelli or like just ridiculously weird Spinelli? The Jackal P.I. storyline was fun just because it was a challenge for me and I got to wear clothes that fit, so that was cool. It’s fun to go off in a different direction, but it’s always nice to come back home to my geeky self.”
  • New to the cast, Erik Valedez was asked about playing a such a sleaze! “It’s a lot of fun to play a sleaze because I’m really not that guy in real life, I promise you,” the actor joked. “It really is a lot of fun to come in and play such a jerk. With that said, stay tuned! There’s going to be a lot more revealed about this jerk/sleaze bag Trey and I think I take my shirt off a time or two, so maybe you guy’s should keep watching.” Thanks to Valdez, more shirtless responses would soon follow.
  • Kristen Alderson was asked about leaving the east coast and no longer working with her brother (Eddie Alderson, who portrayed Matthew Buchanan on “OLTL”). “Well, I still live with my brother so I see him every day,” Alderson said in a joking manner. “I grew up on ‘One Life to Live,’ and that was an amazing experience. It was definitely a big move in my life but L.A. couldn’t be any better than it already is. I love the weather, and I love this cast and crew. They’ve been so welcoming to me.”
  • Next up was Robin Mattson, who was asked how much fun she was having with playing crazy Heather Webber. “It’s pretty fun!” Mattson said enthusiastically. “Well let’s see, I get to work with Roger Howarth and Tony Geary. That’s especially fun, in addition to having a wonderful son [Mattson said referring to Scott Reeves as Steven Lars] and his lovely girlfriend, who have been so gracious and generous with themselves in real-life to me, so I made some new friends and it’s been great to join some old friends and enjoy good times again.”
  • Fans may have noticed an absent Sean Blakemore on the “GH” canvas, but it’s not because they don’t want to use him – he’s just an in demand actor! Blakemore was asked about his disappearance from the soap and let Valentini, like Burton before him, answer the question. “Just so you know, even before I started on the show, I got a call from Sean’s agent asking to let Sean go and do a movie. I said, ‘you know what, you got to let people do things and spread their wings’ and it wasn’t for a long period of time, but he went and shot a movie. He went and had a great time. As you know it takes time to build things and right now we’re in the process of building something that I think you’ll really like,” said Valentini to the pleased audience. “What Frank said is absolutely true. You guy’s are going to be very pleased. There’s a lot of fun stuff coming up…interesting and I think I may have a shirt off? You guys will be excited. There’s a lot of funs tuff coming up in the fall,” said Blakemore adding to Valentini’s statement. “Sounds like everyone’s having a shirtless scene…I’m not! I subscribe the the Steve Burton method. I won’t take my shirt off,” Anderson jokingly said afterward.
  • I was sitting in the dressing room and I was thinking ‘I can’t do this,’ and then the news broke that I booked it [the role of Maxie] so I was like ‘god I got to go upstairs and do this, I can’t give it away!’ and everyone was so kind and so welcoming and no one ever made me feel awkward in an awkward circumstance,” said Jen Lilley when asked about what was going through her head as she was about to take on the role of Maxie Jones from Kirsten Storms, who had gone on medical leave at the time.
  • A fan of Jason and Sam wanted some intel on where the cards land in the couple’s future, but Steve Burton stated “We have been advised by Frank Valentini not to answer those questions, so if you want to tweet him please feel free. He does respond every now and then. He’s very interactive socially on the networks also.”
  • The ultimate question fans have been asking about since 2001, when it was last seen, was whether or not the show plans on bringing back the uber popular Nurse’s Ball event. The question was of course directed at Frank Valentini. “I’ll just say this, I love music and I love Nurses.”

On a posting on the Official “General Hospital” fan club web site, Debbie Morris revealed that “Yes, we are already working on plans for a fabulous 50th Anniversary Fan Club Weekend, like no other….so stay tuned!” If you were unable to attend this year’s festivities, make sure to keep one weekend in July 2013 (TBD) on your radar so you can go next time.



Photo Credit: ABC

Jason Thompson (Patrick Drake, “General Hospital”) announced via Twitter late last week that he would be appearing on The CW’s “90210,” which returns for its fifth season in October.

“Anyone a “90210″ fan? Doing a guest spot tomorrow and Monday..looking forward to it,” Thompson’s tweet said.

“90210″ moves to Mondays at 8:00 PM ET/7:00 PM CT on The CW Television Network.



(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Get ready Kentucky soap fans. “One Life to Live’s” Kassie DePaiva (Blair) and “General Hospital’s” Jason Thompson (Patrick) are coming to Louisville this weekend for the annual WHAS11 Health & Fitness Expo to sign autograph and chat with viewers.

The fun begins this Friday, July 22, when Thompson will be on hand from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm ET. DePaiva, who is also a Kentucky native, will stop by on Saturday, July 23 from 11:30 am until 1:30 PM ET. Both actors will conduct a question and answer session with fans, as well as sign autographs and pose for photos.

According to a press release from the ABC affiliate, “This FREE event will feature activities fun for the whole family. See the latest health and fitness products. Learn about innovative health care options. Get FREE medical tests and screenings! Before you leave, stop by the WHAS11 booth and fill out the event survey. You’ll be automatically registered to win an iPad 2!”

The WHAS-11 Health & Fitness Expo will take place at the Kentucky International Convention Center (Exhibit Halls 1A & B), 2215 South 4th Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202. Events run from 10:00 am until 5:00 PM ET each day, and admission is free. However, there is a charge for parking. For more information, click here.



ABC, CBS, and NBC are not in the the mood to show you the fantasy of daytime drama on Christmas day. The networks have decided to ignore it’s female demographic, and go after the men and children in the house courtesy of Christmas specials and sports, sports and more sports.On December 25, Christmas Day in the United States, instead of your daily dose of “All My Children,” “As The World Turns,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital,” “Guiding Light,” “One Life To Live,” “Passions” and “The Young and the Restless,” the big-three networks have instead opted to preempt the drama in exchange for Holiday specials and National Ball games. For ABC’s part, the network has also preempted “The View” in order to air the “Walt Disney World Christmas Parade” hosted by “Live with Regis and Kelly” co-hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa and “American Idol’s’” Ryan Seacrest. It airs from 10:00 AM, EST to 12:00 PM, EST.

Set to appear are music sensation Beyoncé; recording artist and composer Daniel Powter; acclaimed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli; Mexican pop group RBD; tween singing sensation Bianca Ryan; Playhouse Disney’s Doodlebops; Disney Channel star Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana; Disney Channel’s blockbuster “High School Musical” stars Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman and Ashley Tisdale; Grammy-Award winner Michael Bolton; pop performers Paris Bennett, Elliott Yamin, Ace Young, and Mandisa; sister act Aly & AJ; Travel Channel Host Samantha Brown; and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” designers extraordinaire Ty Pennington, Paige Hemmis and Eduardo Xol.

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