According to a report by Daytime Confidential, ABC’s “General Hospital” will be temporarily losing the characters of Starr Manning, Todd Manning and John McBain as Prospect Park has exercised its right to utilize the characters for its online reboot from the agreement the production company signed with the Disney/ABC Domestic Television Group, part of the Walt Disney Company, back in July 2011.
Soap Opera Digest is reporting that Marshall Hilliard will appear for eight episodes as a new officer at the Port Charles Police Department. “I call him Officer Marshall,” the actor joked to Digest.
“I’ve shot eight episodes so far and I’m working with Michael Easton [John McBain],” Hilliard said. ”And let me tell you, they run a great production over there. Frank [Valentini, executive producer] is so artistic.”
Last seen in 2011 as Dylan on NBC’s “Days of our Lives,” Hilliard is probably best known as Hart Jessup #4 on CBS’ “Guiding Light” from 1995-1996. He was soon replaced by actor Frank Grillo, who held the role until 1999. Hilliard appeared in a 2010 episode of TNT’s “Hawthorne.” His first airdate on “GH” is scheduled for Thursday, August 30.
With anticipation high for the recently introduced TNT Original Series “Major Crimes,” The Huffington Post compiled a list of the 30 Best and Worst TV Spinoffs Ever. “Port Charles” was listed as one of televisions worst.
“Despite the fact that the ‘General Hospital’ spinoff lasted more than six years, ‘Port Charles’ — which took ‘GH’ characters Lucy Coe, Kevin Collins, Scott Baldwin and Karen Wexler — broke all the TV soap rules, and not for the better. It dropped the open-ended writing style of other daytime dramas and spent way too much time in the hospital,” the Post cited as its reasoning for placing the daytime drama series on the list.
Premiering on Sunday, June 1, 1997 as a 2-hour primetime television event, “Port Charles” was the first spinoff of ABC Daytime’s “General Hospital.” As a daily soap opera, “PC” launched on Monday, June 2, 1997. It ended on Friday, October 3, 2003 after airing 1,633 episodes.
Shortly after its conclusion, ABC shifted Kelly Monaco (ex-Olivia “Livvie” Locke Morley) and Michael Easton (ex-Caleb Morley) to “General Hospital” and “One Life to Live,” respectively. Monaco currently portrays Sam McCall, while Easton left “OLTL” (upon that soaps cancellation) and transferred his character John McBain to “GH.”
To find out what other shows made the best or worst list, click here.
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.
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.
- “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.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “General Hospital” DVR Alerts for the Week of March 12, 2012.
GENERAL HOSPITAL: DVR ALERTS
- Monday: A showdown begins. Dante and Lulu are puzzled. Steve’s past is discussed.
- Tuesday: John McBain (“One Life to Live’s” Michael Easton) arrives in Port Charles… why? Maxie is guilt-ridden. Anthony works on Johnny accepting an offer from Kate.
- Wednesday: A big event takes place in Port Charles. A bickering match between Monica and Tracy. Jason makes a request.
- Thursday: Sam gets Alexis and Molly on board. Jason gets a visitor at the hospital. Patrick’s upset.
- Friday: Jason and Sam get heated. Sonny confronts Kate. Maxie is going crazy.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Four stars of “One Life To Live” will be joining the cast of joining “General Hospital.” It was announced today that the characters of Blair (Kassie DePaiva), Starr (Kristen Alderson), Todd (Roger Howarth), and John (Michael Easton) will move from Llanview to Port-Charles.
ABC Press Release:
EMMY NOMINATED KASSIE DEPAIVA AND EMMY WINNER ROGER HOWARTH,
ALONG WITH FAN FAVORITES MICHAEL EASTON AND KRISTEN ALDERSON,
JOIN THE CAST OF ABC’S “GENERAL HOSPITAL”
Frank Valentini, executive producer of “General Hospital,” announced today that Emmy Award-nominated Kassie DePaiva and Emmy winner Roger Howarth, along with fan favorites Michael Easton and Kristen Alderson, will reprise their “One Life to Live” characters and head to “General Hospital” as part of a new storyline for the multi-Emmy Award-winning daytime drama. Production begins late January 2012 in Los Angeles.
“We have a very exciting story planned for the citizens of Port Charles, with Sonny Corinthos at the center of it! I am confident viewers and fans alike will be excited for the arrival of John (Easton), Starr (Alderson), Blair (DePaiva) and Todd (Howarth),” said Valentini. “Incorporating characters from ‘One Life to Live’ continue the legacy of the show as we weave them into ‘General Hospital.’”
With many television, film and stage credits to her name, DePaiva played the role of beautiful Blair Cramer on “One Life to Live” since December 1993. In addition, she played good-girl Chelsea Reardon on the daytime drama “Guiding Light.” Horwath returned to portray Todd Manning on “One Life to Live” in 2011, a role he originated from a day-player to a compelling long-term character. Performing at many prestigious regional theater centers, he has many theater credits to his name, and in addition appeared in the television series “Prey” and in the primetime teen drama “Dawson’s Creek,” as well as the daytime drama “As the World Turns.”
Easton joined the cast of ABC’s long-running “One Life to Live” in 2003 as John McBain.
A published poet, he also played vampire Caleb Morley on the ABC daytime drama “Port Charles,” among many other television and film credits. As for Alderson, she continuously played the role of Starr Manning on multi award-winning “One Life to Live” since March 1998, the precocious young daughter of Blair Cramer and Todd Manning.
Garnering eight Daytime Emmys in 2011, “General Hospital” airs at 3:00 p.m., ET, 2:00 p.m., PT on the ABC Television Network, and on SOAPnet at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Winner of a record-setting 10 Emmys for Outstanding Daytime Drama, the program celebrates 49 years of broadcasting on April 1, 2012, and is the longest-running dramatic serial on ABC, having aired close to 12,500 episodes. The show is produced by Time Square Studios for ABC Daytime.
“General Hospital” was created by Frank and Doris Hursley. Frank Valentini is the executive producer. Mary O’Leary, Mercer Barrows and Michelle Henry are producers. Ron Carlivati is the head writer. Full episodes of “General Hospital” are available on ABC.com immediately following its air on the network for users to watch online.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — A compilation of Twitter and Facebook posts from the cast of “One Life to Live” following word that Prospect Park was dropping plans to resurrect the show online only five days after the soap wrapped production on its ABC run.
Kristen Alderson (Starr): “Extremely sad sad news… No #prospectpark deal for AMC or OLTL. So many lives affected by this… #RIPoltl”
Hillary B. Smith (Nora): “I want to b careful what I say right now. I am so sad for the fans. I am so sad for all of us who were robbed of the 7 months to plan. I wish there had been more communication. This was not about AFTRA! The guilds and unions were talking. The endings were changed to accomodate the move. I wish they would have left us alone. So sad!!!! no, I believe they did what they could, just had no idea what a soap cost. Don’t hate them for ignorance. Endings were changed! So unprofessional. You will al still be satisfied. The ride to the end is still worth it!!! I promise. Meanwhile, LONG LIVE VENICE!!! no but ABC chose this deal. It was on the interrnet. I still feel that ABC will regret this decision. I love you all! I m sorry! But the show is worth the ride. Enjoy through January!!!
Mark Lawson (Brody): “Sorry to hear Prospect Park was unable to pull it off. A sad day today for all the fans. A sad day for all of us who were part of the One Life family. But I know we all brought our best these last few months and can be proud of how we finished the game. Thanks OLTL for all you taught me.”
Michael Easton (John McBain): “I’m sorry to say it’s done. Still Much to be thankful for. Happy Thansgiving. I love you all. MY THOUGHTS ARE WITH ALL OF YOU TONIGHT…I know how disappointing this news is to many of you. We tried to fight the good fight, we fought to the end to get the ratings up, but it wasn’t enough. We’re sorry we let you down. I just wanted to thank you all for the years of kindness, love and support you’ve shown me and my family. If you get a chance at some point, maybe say a prayer for the wonderful crew members of “One Life To Live”, many of whom are supporting large families, that they may find work soon. God Bless. Happy Thanksgiving.”
David A. Gregory (Ford): “So sad to hear. Again, thank you everyone for all your support… Keep watching! Its gonna be a great finale week starting January 9th.”
Robin Strasser (ex-Dorian): “I know NOTHING about Prospect Park’s purported pick-up-or- drop out of #OLTL-I depend on SOD+SID+other postings. If I knew-I’d tell YOU. I’m rooting Prospect Park finds the funding, even if I was not picked to be a start-up contract player. Hoping good things happen for ALL. Sad+disappointed-tho not surprised. Statement sounds a bit blame game- Actors/Directors/Writers terminated by ABC were amped 2 rock 4 PP! I believe OLTL actors who accepted PP offer from git-go would’ve knocked it out of ballpark right through last tape day-even without that. #OLTL cast: talented, smart, great looking, edgy, uniquely+singularly creative. How much do I admire and miss them?-let me count the ways.”
Shenaz Treasury (Rama): “OLTL ended, Im so bummed. Now I may really need to be in LA.”
Jerry verDorn (Clint): “Hello everybody.Thank you all for your kind birthday wishes. I enjoyed the day prepping for the Thanksgiving Feast. Much to be thankful for and a little something to grumble about. Don’t blame Prospect Park but rather blame the economy. They lost some financing that was too hard to replace. Start-up money is near impossible to find these days. Who knows what may happen. I guess my birthday present this year is retirement. Love to all.”
Kelley Missal (Dani): “Just saw the news that #OLTL won’t be moving on to the Internet after all. so sad but at least they gave it the chance it deserved!!”
Matt Walton (ex-Eli): “My heart goes out to my #AMC and #OLTL alumni. What a backwards world we live in right now. A bold response is coming soon.”
via Press Release
After five months of negotiations with various guilds, hundreds of presentations to potential financial and technology partners, and a hope that we could pioneer a new network for the future, it is with great disappointment that we are suspending our aspirations to revive “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” via online distribution. It is now becoming clear that mounting issues make our ability to meet our deadlines to get OLTL on the air in a reasonable time period following its January 13, 2012 ABC finale impossible.
We believed the timing was right to launch an Online TV Network anchored by these two iconic soap operas, but we always knew it would be an uphill battle to create something historical, and unfortunately we couldn’t ultimately secure the backing and clear all the hurdles in time. We believe we exhausted all reasonable options apparent to us, but despite enormous personal, as well as financial cost to ourselves, we failed to find a solution.
While we narrowed in on a financial infrastructure, the contractual demands of the guilds, which regulate our industry, coupled with the program’s inherent economic challenges ultimately led to this final decision. In the end, the constraints of the current marketplace, including the evolution and impact of new media on our industry simply proved too great a match for even our passion.
In our opinion, new models like this can only work with the cooperation of many people striving to make them happen, and we would like to thank and praise the numerous people who tried to help and showed us incredible support. We are extremely grateful to the fans and media who showed great support to us through this process, to ABC who did everything in their control to help, and we are especially grateful for the support and encouragement from many of the Soaps’ cast and crew themselves.
We hope that our efforts are not lost, and that we somehow created a dialogue and movement on the feasibility of first run, network quality content online.
Of special note, we would like to thank Frank Valentini (Executive Producer), Ron Carlivati (Head Writer of OLTL), Agnes Nixon, many of the cast of OLTL including Michael Easton, Ted King, Kelley Missal, Melissa Archer, and of course Erika Slezak all of whom signed on quickly and did all they could to help, as well as our own Christine Sacani. Cameron Mathison and Lindsay Hartley also get our sincerest thanks for their support. We feel terrible we couldn’t come through for them and we were very much looking forward to working together.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — December may bring the first signs of the winter season, but as the month begins things will be heating up on “One Life to Live” when several familiar faces return to the canvas as the show’s ABC run prepares to come to an end.
The week begins on Monday, December 5 when Matthew Conlon next appears as Tomas’ (Ted King) acquaintance M. Claude Calmar, when John McBain (Michael Easton) becomes suspicious of what the shifty Frenchman has to say.
On Tuesday, December 6, January LaVoy reprises her role as the pie-totting waitress Noelle when she and Moe (John Rue) have a special surprise for Shane (Austin Williams). In the same episode, after taking a brief hiatus from “OLTL,” Amanda Setton reappears as an incarcerated Kimberly Andrews (aka Aubrey Wentworth) when the character receives a visit from some unexpected guests. Meanwhile, Nigel (Peter Barlett) gets an earful from Clint (Jerry verDorn) about the women in his life.
Brian Kerwin returns as Viki’s most recent ex-husband Charlie Banks on Monday, December 12, when he encounters someone from his past while at the Bon Jour Café in Paris, Texas.
Tuc Watkins is back yet again as David Vickers Buchanan on Tuesday, December 13 when he pays a surprise visit to his family. Once in town, however, he is quickly sought out by Roxy (Ilene Kristen), who has an usual request for him when she asks him to help save something very important to her.
All this…plus as the residents of Llanview settle in to watch their favorite soap “Fraternity Row,” will fans receive a special treat? Tune in to find out!
In Other News…
Brittany Underwood (Langston) reportedly shot scenes on “OLTL’s” final ABC tape date (Friday, November 18) alongside her onscreen beau Jason Tam (Markko).
David A. Gregory (Ford) has posted on Facebook that his upcoming [tentative] airdates include November 23, December 13 and 19, and January 5, 6, 9, and 10.
Farah Fath (Stacy/Gigi) reveals on Twitter that the “First scene I ever taped on #OLTL was w/ the queen Erika Slezak. Last scene I will ever tape was w/ Erika Slezak.”
Nick Choksi (Vimal) states that “there’s about 10 more episodes of ‘OLTL’ that I am in between now and the 13th of Jan when it all come to a close.”
Peter Austin Noir who, as we previously reported, will play Statesville Prison Johnny Rocket in January, has posted more information about his upcoming “OLTL” appearance on his website. The actor writes that the show contacted him on October 26 and that he taped his scenes on November 10. Look for him to appear on screen on Tuesday, January 3.
Prospect Park executives Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank have confirmed to Soap Opera Network that the production company has signed “One Life to Live” cast members Tuc Watkins (David), Josh Kelly (Cutter), Florencia Lozano (Tea), and Shenell Edmonds (Destiny) for the online version of the ABC soap pending final Guild agreements.
In a statement, the company said “After the ABC television network finale airs in January, ‘One Life to Live’s’ David, Cutter, Tea and Destiny will be reunited with previously announced characters including Erika Slezak’s Victoria and Kassie DePaiva’s Blair Cramer.”
With the signing of Watkins, Kelly, Lozano and Edmonds, Prospect Park has now signed a total of 13 current “One Life to Live” cast members including the aforementioned Slezak and DePaiva. On Friday, September 30, Prospect Park announced deals with Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan Banks), Kelley Missal (Danielle Rayburn), Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning) and Jerry VerDorn (Clint Buchanan). The company previously announced the signings of Ted King (Thomas Delgado), Michael Easton (John McBain) on Tuesday, September 6.