On Saturday, April 6, ABC News’ “20/20” takes a behind the scenes look at ABC’s “General Hospital” as the soap celebrates 50 years on television.
Hosted by Katie Couric, “The Real Soap Dish” gives you a glimpse at the making of an iconic soap and interviews with such stars as Rick Springfield (Noah Drake), Jack Wagner (Frisco Jones), Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer), Genie Francis (Laura Spencer), Sean Kanan (AJ Quartermaine), Ian Buchanan (Duke Lavery), Jason Thompson (Patrick Drake), Sean Blakemore (Shawn Butler), Lisa LoCicero (Olivia Falconeri), Kelly Monaco (Sam McCall), Laura Wright (Carly Corinthos Jacks), Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth Webber), and many more.
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.
Tweet with cast members of ABC’s “General Hospital” today, April 1, using hashtag #GH50 during the East Coast broadcast of the daytime soap (2:00 – 3:00 PM ET/11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT). Fans will be able to chat with such “GH” stars as Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth Webber), Jacklyn Zeman (Bobbie Spencer), and even Kimberly McCullough (Robin Scorpio), whose characters is supposed to be “dead!” Hmm…
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.
Although “General Hospital” the TV show will turn the golden age of 50 on Monday, April 1, the General Hospital within the show has been preparing for the return of its annual Nurses Ball charity event, which has been inactive since June 2001, and Frank Valentini, Executive Producer, speaks on the return of the Nurses Ball and celebrating fifty years of a television icon.
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
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.
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.
“General Hospital‘s” Nathin Butler (Ewen Keenan) will be chatting live with fans of the ABC Daytime drama series during the networks east coast broadcast (3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT) of the series. The actor will be taking questions via Twitter using the hashtag #AskGH for the full duration of the soap (one hour) using his twitter user name @nathinbutler.
via Press Release
After alluding to a tragic past and getting caught by Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) on a mysterious call, Ewen finds time for romance but the clock is ticking for him. Will he be able to continue to hide his dark secret and have a shot at a future with Elizabeth?
“General Hospital,” the most honored show of the 2012 Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards, celebrates its golden anniversary on April 1, 2013. Approaching 50 historic years on ABC, “General Hospital” is the longest running American soap opera currently in production and the logest running scripted drama currently in production on television.
Beginning Monday, September 10, “General Hospital” moves to its new time period of 2:00 PM ET/1:00 PM PT/CT on the ABC Television Network. Fans will be able to watch all the intrigue and excitement of Port Charles one hour earlier.
On Monday afternoon, TV Guide Magazine revealed news that “General Hospital” actor Jonathan Jackson has decided to exit the role of Lucky Spencer on the ABC daytime drama. Sources indicate to the magazine that Jackson was denied a lighter schedule following two years of non-stop drama for his beleaguered character and that ultimately played into his decision to get out of Port Charles. Jackson was also apparently disappointed that his character never got the opportunity to properly reunite with his former love interest Elizabeth Webber played by Rebecca Herbst. The four-time Daytime Emmy Award winner will last tape on November 17.
Jackson debuted on “GH” as the first-born child of daytime’s most famous couple, Luke and Laura played by Anthony Geary and Genie Francis, on October 29, 1993 at the tender age of eleven. In 1999, while still filming “GH,” Jackson landed a starring role opposite Michelle Pfeiffer in the film “Deep End of the Ocean.” Jackson excited his role on the popular ABC daytime drama later that year. Other notable film endeavors for the talented actor included starring roles on “Tuck Everlasting” and “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.” Jackson returned to “GH” in October 2009, controversially replacing Greg Vaughan who played the role from 2003 to 2009. When not acting, the 29-year old actor performs with the band Enation. Their music has been featured on the television series “One Tree Hill.”
Jackson’s last scenes on “GH” will likely air before the close of 2011. TV Guide reports that the actor has already taped his last scenes with his on-screen father. Jackson may see this move as not postponing the inevitable. ABC affiliates are currently lining up new programming to take over the 48-year old soap operas long-standing 3 o’clock time slot across the country for the 2012-2013 season.
UPDATE: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 2:33 PM ET
Since we originally went to press early this morning, a “General Hospital” representative has since stated that Butler’s first appearance on the soap will be “sometime later this fall…,” although not necessarily contradicting our earlier report of October 24.
Stay tuned to Soap Opera Network as more information on Butler’s “GH” role comes in.
PREVIOUS: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 2:58 AM ET
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Wednesday, September 21, daytime newcomer Nathin Art Butler tweeted to his followers (@nathinbutler) “I was welcomed into the family of ‘GH’ today. 1st day on set felt like 1st day of high school. Feel so blessed.” For those wondering what exactly he was talking about, on that day the actor revealed to the soap world that he had been hired to portray the contract role of Dr. Ewen Keenan, also known as “the mad Aussie therapist” on ABC’s “General Hospital. Soap Opera Network has since learned when you can expect to first see the actor, musician and digital photographer on screen.
According to sources, beginning with the Monday, October 24 episode of “GH,” look for Butler to begin interacting with Rebecca Herbst‘s Elizabeth Webber when the character finds herself encountering a mystery man (Butler’s Dr. Keenan). After describing his first day on set, the actor followed up that tweet with information on what his second week was like when pressed by a fan of the ABC drama series. “Started last week. Felt pretty special! Moonlit beach scenes this week. Dreamy character intro.”
Tweets to Stardom
- Monday, September 26 – Getting into tip-top shape for shirtless beach scene this week. Look out!
- Thursday, September 29 – My GH dressing room! Also happens to be my lucky numbers… http://yfrog.com/ntw4jmj
- Thursday, September 29 – Listening to Bruce Springsteen & keeping hydrated while waiting for my scene to come up
- Thursday, September 29 – I’m playing an Australian therapist Dr. Ewen Keenan & I will be acting with Becky.
- Thursday, September 29 –
#GH #GeneralHospital My first episode airs in a few weeks…
Butler began his professional acting career in 2007 courtesy of the TV movie “Rain Shadow,” a mini-series in which he portrayed the role of Shane Maguire. The actor subsequently appeared in the 2010 HBO mini-series “The Pacific” as a Young Private. In addition to acting in a number of films since then, Butler is also an avid film buff as he’s performed a number of behind the scenes jobs including performing duties as a Camera Operator, Cinematographer, and as an Associate Producer. On the beat.productions website, you can view a number of projects that Butler had some role in helping develop (both in front of and behind the camera) via video trailers and/or B-Roll.