With the recent retirement of Jean Passanante, many had wondered who would be taking over as co-head writer of ABC’s “General Hospital” to work alongside Shelly Altman. Passanante herself finally put the missing piece to the puzzle earlier today when she revealed on Twitter that “GH” has promoted breakdown writer Chris Van Etten.
“Shelly will have Chris Van Etten as co-head, and he’s a lifelong fan and brilliant writer,” wrote Passanante when asked by a fan.
No stranger to soaps, Van Etten joined the “GH” writing team in May 2012 under then head writer Ron Carlivati. Van Etten previously worked under Carlivati during the latter’s run as head writer of “One Life to Live,” which is where Van Etten began his daytime career.
In January 2001, Van Etten was hired as an assistant to the executive producer of “OLTL” (“GH’s” current EP, Frank Valentini) before moving his way up the ladder via jobs as a writers’ associate, continuity supervisor, occasional associate head writer and finally as a breakdown writer through the last episodes of the daytime soap opera aired in January 2012.
For his work on “OLTL” and “GH,” Van Etten has received numerous Daytime Emmy and Writers Guild of America Awards nominations. He won an Emmy in 2008 for his writing work on “OLTL” under Carlivati’s regime.
Shelly will have Chris Van Etten as co-head, and he's a lifelong fan and brilliant writer.
— Jean Passanante (@PFossil) July 29, 2017