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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Ron Carlivati
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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Disney/ABC Television Group

Disney/ABC Television Group

On Monday, April 1, ABC’s “General Hospital” will celebrate its 50th anniversary. While the previously planned celebratory episode will now air on Tuesday, April 2, due to a national network preemption on Wednesday, March 13, fans will not be disappointed with the returns of such “GH” legends as Rachel Ames (Audrey Hardy), Stuart Damon (Alan Quartermaine) and Chris Robinson (Rick Webber), who were all originally scheduled to appear on the Friday, March 29 episode of the soap prior to the aforementioned preemption.

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Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

When word broke that Brandon Barash would be departing ABC’s “General Hospital” after five years portraying the contract role of Johnny Zacchara on the daytime drama series, many fans began to wonder if we had already seen the last of the actor on screen as the character hadn’t appeared on the canvas in some time. Turns out we haven’t seen the last of Barash on “GH” just yet, but we will soon.

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May sweeps are a month away, but it looks like the upcoming onscreen drama won’t be able to hold a candle to the real-life drama brewing between Prospect Park’s “One Life to Live” and ABC’s “General Hospital.”

ABC

ABC

After Prospect Park’s plans to reboot both “OLTL” and “All My Children” for the web fell through in November 2011, the company was approached by ABC who was interested in transplanting the characters of Todd Manning, Starr Manning and John McBain to Port Charles as portrayed by their originators Roger Howarth, Kristen Alderson and Michael Easton. The understanding at the time between ABC and Prospect Park was that the characters would be utilized on “GH” until plans to reboot “OLTL” came back into play as Prospect Park didn’t want to hold the Llanview 3 from working. Since their debuts in Port Charles in early 2012, the characters have tested very high with both viewers and focus groups and have played a large role in the overall audience growth for “GH” compared to its 2011 performance in the Nielsen ratings. Unfortunately, things behind the scenes weren’t looking as good.

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Marina Chavez/ABC

Marina Chavez/ABC

Nobody does shockers better than daytime dramas, and today’s episode of “General Hospital” is going to prove it! In light of the soap’s 50th Anniversary celebration, headwriter Ron Carlivati teases that fans better hold onto their seats, because four huge surprises are on the way!

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Debra Young

Debra Young

With Lynn Herring returning last month as the ever spectacular Lucy Coe, now head of CoeCoe Cosmetics, many were left wondering if her return would solely be for the purpose of resurrecting the Nurse’s Ball on ABC’s “General Hospital.” Thanks to the creative writing of head writer Ron Carlivati and his team, that doesn’t appear to be the case. In a welcome twist of fate it looks as though Lucy’s return has actually helped open up a string of storylines tied to ABC’s canceled “General Hospital” spin-off “Port Charles.”

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Donna Svennevik/ABC

Donna Svennevik/ABC

Prospect Park first announced plans to move “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to the web back in July 2011 after striking a license holding deal with Disney/ABC Domestic Television. Sadly, plans fell through by November 2011 after apparent financing and union discussions fell through. Since that dreadful time period, Prospect Park has resumed work on returning the soaps to your [computer] screens, only this time with financing said to be in place and union deals already signed with the DGA (directors), SAG-AFTRA (actors) and the WGA (writers). With more than a year gone by since “One Life to Live” last aired, we thought it would be a great opportunity to see which stars have (so far) signed on to return to “AMC” and “OLTL” compared to the list circling back in 2011.

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Prospect Park

Prospect Park

The big news of December 2012 was word that Prospect Park was taking another stab at moving ABC’s “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to the web in 2013. The news was first reported by Deadline.com‘s Nellie Andreeva. In her initial reporting, Andreeva revealed that Prospect Park had made agreements with the unions SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists)  and the DGA (Directors Guild of America). Previously, while the company had planned on debuting the shows on the web in early 2012, no deals had been signed with either union or the WGA (Writers Guild of America). This hindered the company’s plan to move forward with the shows and resulted in a postponement that was announced in November 2011. In a statement at the time, AFTRA (prior to its merger with SAG) said that they were ”deeply disappointed to read that the executives at Prospect Park have decided to suspend their efforts to produce the long-running and popular daytime serials.” Additionally, the union had said that they “remain hopeful that an opportunity to revive these two popular series will emerge in the future, and remain ready to resume discussions should that opportunity arise.” The future took more than a year, but it appears to have finally emerged. However, although a representative from SAG-AFTRA confirmed that an agreement with Prospect Park had been made when pressed for comment from Soap Opera Network early last week, it remains unclear if said agreement had actually been signed. “Not absolutely certain it had been signed but can check that for you,” said the rep. Due to the holidays, we don’t expect a response on that little detail until at least tomorrow, January 2.

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The Writers Guild of America have announced the nominations for the 2013 Writers Guild Awards.  In the Daytime Drama category, “Days Of Our Lives,” “One Life To Live,” and “The Young and The Restless” were nominated.  Winners will be determined on February 17, 2013.

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