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

 
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Rebecca Herbst

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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Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

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.

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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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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: James Dimitri

“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.

“General Hospital” was created by Frank and Doris Hursley. Frank Valentini is the executive producer. Ron Carlivati is the head writer.



Craig Sjodin/ABC

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.



Tory Mussett

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

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.



Alisia Packard Photography

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – Lucky Spencer (Jonathan Jackson) may have found himself involved in more baby daddy drama courtesy of long-time love Elizabeth Webber (Rebecca Herbst), but ABC’s “General Hospital” has cast actress Erin Chambers in the recurring role of Siobhan, who plays a part in the upcoming early fall Lucky storyline, according to an ABC representative.

In addition to her upcoming work on “General Hospital,” Chambers had a recurring role on NBC’s “Days of our Lives,” where she portrayed the role of Lacey Hansen. In addition to her apeparances in episodes of SciFi Channel’s “Stargate: Atlantis” and CBS’ “Medium.” More recently, she appeared in CBS’ “Ghost Whisperer” and “MIami Medical.”

Chambers’ first airdate is scheduled for Wednesday, September 15.

“General Hospital” airs Weekdays on ABC. Anytime on ABC.com.










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