(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On June 6, 2011, ABC finally announced (after months of rumors) that it had signed a deal with former “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric to host a new daily syndicated talk show, and that said show would replace veteran soap opera “General Hospital” in the 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT/CT timeslot. Initially the decision brought fear to soap opera fans, who only two months prior learned that ABC Daytime’s two other veteran soaps (“All My Children” and “One Life to Live“) would be replaced by two new food and lifestyle centered talk shows (“The Chew” and “The Revolution“). Now nearly a year since the announcement it looks like Katie Couric may just be the lifesaver “General Hospital” desperately needs.
According to TV Guide‘s Michael Logan, sources have informed him that the talk show host and her executive producer (former NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker) have expressed their concern to the Disney/ABC Television Group brass, producers of her new talk show, in regards to the poor ratings performance that has been “The Revolution” – Since the talk shows debut in January the program hovers at just over 1.5 million viewers on average. By comparison, “One Life to Live,” which “Revolution” replaced, averaged more than 2.3 million viewers on average and performed better in key sales demos during the same period of time on the year-ago. “Couric and Zucker want to see ’GH’ get that slot because it’s a stronger show, Nielsen-wise, plus Couric does not want to face the wrath of ‘GH’ fans and risk the chance they’ll organize a boycott. Who the hell needs that? So she and Zucker want ‘The Revolution’ to go bye-bye,” the website stated.
With “General Hospital’s” recent uptick in key demos and total viewers since the new dynamic duo of Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati (executive producer and head writer) debuted just a few short weeks ago, for the first time in over a year the soap finally has a fighting chance, but will ABC listen? “They may not have a choice,” said Logan. “In fact, they might even agree at this point. Our spies at Times Square Studios — the new tag for ABC Daytime — tell us the commitment to nonscripted shows remains firm in the ABC daypart but no one is doing handstands over the ones currently in development, which include a doctor show and a game show. While ABC technically has time (though not much) to replace ‘The Revolution’ with more reality, that option is looking way too chancy.”
Should ABC end up keeping “GH” on the air and canceling “The Revolution,” the soap will move to the 2:00 PM ET/1:00 PM CT/PT timeslot beginning in September. According to sources, a decision on the eventual outcome on either series will not be made until at least mid-April.
What Do You Think? Sound Off! below.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati, who took over the reigns as ABC’s new executive producer and head writer for “General Hospital,” are now on the world wide web courtesy of Twitter, the social networking media giant.
A “General Hospital” spokesperson has confirmed to Soap Opera Network that Valentini joined Twitter on Wednesday, March 7 and his handle is @valentinifrank. Valentini is fastly approaching 3,000 followers in that short period of time. Carlivati, whose handle is @carlivatiron, actually joined Twitter back in March of 2011, but wasn’t very active until around December 14, 2011. Since then he’s made nearly 300 tweets (discussions with actors, fans, etc) and retains over 7,000 followers.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “General Hospital” makes some additions to the writing staff.
Two former “One Life To Live” script writers Scott Sickles and Elizabeth Page has joined the “GH” writing staff. Also, joining the “GH” team is David Rupel, who is an executive producer for Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills“. Rupel returns to “GH” where he was a breakdown writer from 1999-2001. He also wrote for “Guiding Light” in 2002 and from 2006-2009.
On the heels of a cancellation announcement and a failed online venture, it was announced that successful former Executive Producer, Frank Valentini, and former Head Writer, Ron Carlivati, of “One Life to Live” were hired for the same positions at a struggling “General Hospital.” Rattling many “GH” fans in recent days has been the announcement that at least several major “OLTL” stars will be showing up in Port Charles as their Llanview alter egos. Carlivati insists to insiders that “GH” fans need not worry as he has no intention of turning their soap into “OLTL.” To that end, the show-runners have also announced the return of three of “GH’s” most legendary performers and characters – Finola Hughes, Tristan Rogers and Emma Samms as Anna, Robert and Holly – for extended runs on the last-standing ABC daytime drama.
(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) — On the heels of today’s announcement by Prospect Park that the upstart production company was shelving plans to relaunch canceled ABC soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” the cast and crew of the sudsers are beginning to speak out. Kassie DePaiva (Blair), who became one of the first “OLTL” stars to sign on back in September to help the show make the transition, has issued a statement regarding the turn of events.
via DePaiva’s website
Words just don’t express how sad I am at hearing that Prospect Park has dropped the deal to move forward with “One Life”. I think what upsets me the most is how this whole deal has been handled from the get go. I wanted more than anything not to have been cancelled by ABC. I find it mind boggling that a company can spend 45 years building the strongest brand in daytime… launch a cable network to support it and then decide to cancel both broadcast and cable airings leaving the beloved fans with no where to turn for that brand. Then PP shows up out of nowhere as the great white hope promising to continue these shows…. I was happy to sign on. I love what I do and I’m proud to go to work everyday. I was asked to take a cut in pay and was happy to do it if it meant our show would go on. That was the first week of September. But other than a very quick speech on the studio floor by PP in late September the company did not give out any information regarding when and where we would be working. Last Wednesday the cast received an email telling us our dressing rooms must be cleared out by the 9th of Dec. or ABC would be tossing things out… and then to hear the official news today via a media report.
The last 2 weeks have been emotional for me. The stories are rocking and show is so good. It is must see TV. Don’t miss a day… don’t miss a scene. My hat goes off to Ron Calivarti…. he has written really powerful stuff and I think the fans are going love it. I especially want to shout out to Frank Valentini… who has fought the hardest to make the transition happen. He has been amazing and I want you fans to know how hard he worked to continue giving you fans the show you deserve. He found out this wasn’t going to happen just like I did…via a media report.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I have so much to be grateful for but I must say I wish things had worked out differently. It’s been the best 18 years of my life. I hope you will continue to watch “One Life” until the bitter sweet end.
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) — Looks like another ghostly return for “One Life to Live.” John Wesley Shipp, who played the abusive father of the Ford brothers and ex-husband of their mom Inez Salinger (Jessica Leccia) appears to be headed back to Llanview for the show’s final days on the air. But just what brings the murdered deadbeat dad back to the canvas?
In a lengthy note posted on his Facebook page, Shipp wrote in part that “The ideas for this last week of ‘OLTL’ on ABC truly approach brilliance; when I was told, roughly, what I would be asked to do, it was not what I had thought, and man was I psyched. I tripped on the idea for a week before I ever got the script lol. Kudos to Ron Calivati and his staff, to Exec Producer Frank Valentini whose praises I continue to sing (some show is going to grab him up if they’re not careful) and a technical crew that not only functions with the proficiency that comes from doing this alot of years, but every time you give, they give back, and you feel it.”
Eddie was last seen as a corpse back on April 26 when he was murdered in cold blood by the now comatose Matthew Buchanan (Eddie Alderson). No word on a first airdate for Shipp’s scenes, which were taped late last week, although they are expected to air sometime in early January. It is also unknown if Leccia will be reprising the role of Inez as well.
Click here to read more of Shipp’s Facebook posts about working with the “One Life” cast and crew.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Yesterday afternoon, Soap Opera Digest reported that “General Hospital” has named breakdown writer Shelly Altman as its Co-Head Writer working alongside Head Writer Garin Wolf. Per the magazine’s website Altman’s new role is effective immediately.
In July, Soap Opera Network first reported on Altman’s move to “General Hospital” after 11 years at ABC’s “One Life to Live.” At the time Altman was joined by Tracey Thomson on the breakdown team replacing Meg Bennett and David Goldschmid, who were both fired following the termination of Bennett’s husband Robert Guza, Jr., who Wolf replaced back in May.
Before joining “One Life to Live” in 1999 as an Associate Head Writer, Altman worked at NBC’s “Another World” from 1995-1999 in the same position. She received five Daytime Emmy Award nominations in the category of Outstanding Writing Team. Her last four nominations being at “OLTL” (2002, 2006, 2008 and 2009) and her first at “AW” (1996). Altman won the award in 2008 while at “OLTL” under the writing team headed up by Ron Carlivati and Dena Higley.
As Soap Opera Network went to press, a “GH” representative was unavailable for comment.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — October 8, 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of Soap Opera Network, an online magazine celebrating the world of soaps past, present and future.
Soap Opera Network began as an online message board on the then popular ezBoard (now called Yuki) platform by two individuals that wanted to start a more industry based discussion forum for fans of the soap opera genre with the idea that not only could one discuss the comings, the goings or the general news of the day, but have the opportunity to learn more about the names, the faces and the minds of the people that help make daily dramatic serials happen year in and year out. At launch, soap operas “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,” “Port Charles,” and “The Young and the Restless” were on the schedules of television networks ABC, CBS and NBC.
In November 2002, Soap Opera Network left ezBoard and became its own .com service.
Thanks to elaborate databases such as a ratings archive (how soaps rated over the years), episode count archive (who appeared in episodes of a soap opera each and every month and year), its end credit archive (who wrote, directed or produced each episode), including a listing of episode writers and directors along with profile pieces on more than 80% of the writers, producers and directors, Soap Opera Network has cornered the market on information surrounding the inner workings of the soap opera format.
Over the course of its ten years, Soap Opera Network has interviewed a number of daytime’s biggest stars and behind the scenes personnel including Susan Lucci, Erika Slezak, Melody Thomas Scott, Maurice Benard, Steve Burton, Sarah Brown, Hillary B. Smith, Robert S. Woods, Ilene Kristen, Ken Corday, Cameron Mathison, Cady McClain, Eden Riegel, Judith Light, Bradley P. Bell, Brian Frons, Maria Arena Bell, Sherri Shepherd, Daniel Goddard, Greg Meng, Marlene McPherson, Darrell Ray Thomas, Nancy Curlee, Melissa Archer, Kristen Alderson, Julie Pinson, Ron Carlivati, Frank Valentini, Linda Dano and many more.
Current Soap Opera Network staff is as follows:
Xavier Toups, Co-Founder
Errol Lewis, Editor in Chief; General Hospital Editor; Days of our Lives Editor
Angela Rosa, Managing Editor; All My Children Editor
Scotty Gore, Managing Editor; One Life to Live Editor
Venus Stone-Cutter, The Young and the Restless Editor
Gehrig Burnett Jr., The Bold and the Beautiful Editor