Warning: This page may contain spoilers.
Two Casting Calls
GH is casting for a female caucasian, in her mid 40s, a delicate beauty with strength and fire underneath her initial frail presence, it is a contract role. (Pure speculation: Nina?)
GH has put out a casting notice looking for a female character originally from Mexico who has come to Port Charles to pursue a career in medicine. The character is labeled as a major recurring role with the possibility to become contract. This character is said to be needed to begin taping in late May. (Word from above, ABC Exec Nathan Varni, is that this is not a Sabrina recast, but a new role.)
GH is seeking to cast the role of an eight-year-old girl with blonde or light brown hair, described as a rebellious kid, with good heart underneath." The ongoing, recurring part will require an actress capable of handling a substantial of dialogue, according to the casting description. (SOD) (Josslyn?)
Watch the trailer of Maurice Benard's new movie, The Ghost and The Whale.
It appears that GH is casting for a teen male, he is possibly intended to become involved with Lucy and Kevin's daughter, Christina. The casting call is for a 16-18 year old bad boy who lives for trouble. He sees himself and his girlfriend as a modern version of Bonnie and Clyde.
Donna Mills and Frank Carlivati Talk About Her Role on General Hospital
It's been 21 years since Knots Landing went off the air but it's still paying off for Donna Mills. The actress, who played cul-de-sac baddie Abby Ewing on the long-running primetime soap, has joined ABC's General Hospital as yet another ritzy firestarter, Madeline Reeves. Mills hit the air March 14 for a story arc scheduled to run about two months.
"But, as far as we're concerned, she can stay as long as she wants," says GH head writer Ron Carlivati. "Knots is my favorite TV show ever and, growing up, I was obsessed with Donna. Still am! When I was envisioning Madeline — a glamorous, high-powered bitch on wheels — it suddenly came to me: 'Oh, my God, she's Abby Ewing!'"
The job brings Mills full circle. "I started out in daytime soaps, doing The Secret Storm and Love is a Many Splendored Thing in New York back in the '60s — and, boy, have things changed!" the actress says. "Soaps always moved fast, but not like this. We used to have a full, calm day to prepare for each episode and get it on its feet. GH is like a runaway train! They do nine episodes a week! On Knots we shot, oh, maybe 10 pages a day at most — and that was a really heavy day for us. On GH, they're shooting 150 a day, every day. To tell you the truth, I'm kind of in shock."
Carlivati says he's already planned a second arc involving Mills' character "but we're waiting to see how she feels about staying with us until we commit to it. The story possibilities seem endless." And how.
Madeline is the mom of much-discussed but never-seen coma victim Nina Clay, which means she's doing battle with Nina's husband, Silas, who stands to inherit Nina's many millions. Madeline believes Silas administered the drugs that put Nina into that coma 20 years ago, and so does Madeline's son, Port Charles cop Nathan West.
"There are so many great twists and turns to this story," says Mills. "As I read the scripts, I keep going, 'Really? Really?' Madeline believes Silas married Nina for her money and family name. He didn't want a wife, he wanted a scholarship fund."
"Now he's a successful doctor and doesn't need [the money]." But Madeline sure does. "She is feeling kind of paranoid. Her husband died and left her and her son absolutely nothing. All the money went to Nina. So now it's Madeline's mission to get Silas to give up that inheritance."
Though Madeline may be low on dough, she still has her rich-lady problems. Mills "She's very happy that Nathan has chosen to avenge his sister and that he's trying to pin it on Silas, but she doesn't like that he became a cop in order to do it. Madeline considers police work a very lowly, undignified profession. It's so beneath her stature! She's very complicated. Very screwed up. And I can't wait to unravel the mystery as to why her husband left her without a cent."
Then again, is Dad really dead? After all, this is GH where fatalities are rarely a permanent thing. "You never know what might happen," teases Carlivati with a laugh. "Madeline's husband might come walking through the door one day, played by William Devane! Who doesn't want to see Abby and Greg back together again?"
Read the rest at TV Guide
Prospect Park Network Declares Bankruptcy: Owes ABC $1.7 Million
Prospect Park Network, which relaunched the TV soap operas One Life to Live and All My Children online in 2013, owes $1.7 million to ABC, according to the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on Monday.
The company is in the midst of a lawsuit alleging a "mega soap" fraud on the part of ABC. Prospect Park claims that after licensing the soaps from the network, ABC had second thoughts and attempted to sabotage the relaunch by borrowing characters to kill them off and inducing actors to sign secret, exclusive, multiyear contracts.
According to the Chapter 11 filing, the law firm of Andrews Kurth, which is representing Prospect Park in the ABC fight, is owed $750,000. The law firm of Lavely & Singer is also doing work on the lawsuit. It is owed more than $112,000.
To read more, go to Hollywood Reporter.
In other news, Anne Sweeney ,Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, will be stepping down at the end of her current contract in January 2015 to pursue a career as a TV director. Read more about that at Deadline.
Sean Blakemore talks about what is coming up for his character.
Interview with Frank Valentini and Maurice Benard
as GH Celebrates its 13,000th Episode
Donna Mills Join GH
"Mills, best known for playing villainess Abby Ewing on Knot’s Landing — is joining the cast of General Hospital. Mills was the only choice to play a new (see: big) character — particularly because the writers are major fans of her old primetime soap."
No word on the details of her character. She is expected to begin airing in late February.
Nathan Parsons to True Blood
Parsons (Ethan Lovett, GH) has landed a role as a series regular in the final season of True Blood on HBO. He will be taking over the role of James, from the departing Luke Grimes. Expect his vampire character to be involved in a love triangle involving female vamp Jessica Hamby, played by Deborah Ann Woll.
Parsons also has a new recurring role in CW's The Originals, debuting Feb. 4 as Jackson, one of Haley's werewolf acquaintances -- the natural trusted leader of his pack.
Ryan Carnes Returns!
Victor Cassadine Returns!
Check out this amusing rap video that Sean Kanan did, "I'm a Soap Star"
Head Writer, Ron Carlivati Answers Questions
On Heather and Scott as Franco's parents:
That idea was kind of floating from the first minute we ever put Roger Howarth [Franco] and Robin Mattson [Heather] together. As actors, they have such great chemistry and, as we know, their characters were tied to each other from the beginning, what with Heather being present at Franco's birth. Changing his parentage really solved a problem for us. We brought Roger back onto the show and he had great ties to GH history — Alan Quartermaine is Franco's father, Susan Moore is his mother and Jason Morgan is his twin brother — but they're all dead! So, after the dust settled, Franco had no real ties. We needed a richer, deeper well to draw from. This will tie Franco to two great legacy characters still with us today and now Scott's the D.A. with a son who's a reformed serial killer. It means Steven Lars is Franco's brother, so who knows what we're going to do with that some day? This also helps explain Heather's obsession with Franco. She's not just a psychopath. This takes her to another level. We found a moment in GH history where she and Scott could have conceived this child, so it all adds up. [Laughs] If you want it to, that is, and you're not one of those people who's looking to poke a hole in this. Because you know they're out there!
On keeping some surprises close to the vest:
ABC has been very cooperative with me and [executive producer] Frank Valentini in terms of keeping secrets, though there are times when they say, "We'd really like to get some buzz going about so-and-so's return." But, as a fan, I like to be surprised. I love having my jaw drop open at the end of an episode. That's the way soap-watching was when I was growing up. There was no going on the Internet to find out who's coming back to the show, or who's hiding behind that Halloween mask. It's always a letdown when weeks before a big reveal everyone is trading the information on social media or you're reading about it in a magazine. I'm not going to make it easy for anyone to find out what's coming up.
On fans being upset when their faves don't get much airtime:
It's really a constraint when you have a big contract cast and they all have their guarantees that need to be met. You end up putting people on screen just because they're getting paid, not because they have something important to do. And the result is audience boredom. Not only does this new way work better with our tighter budget, it makes for a better show when you have the freedom to rest a character.
What's the point of seeing your favorites if they're not doing something crucial and interesting? Why not let someone else have the spotlight? Now we have a bunch of folks who are not on contract and they can pop in and out when we need them. It has allowed us to broaden our canvas of characters and pull from so many different eras of the show. But, yeah, it is no-win. People will complain because Anna doesn't have much to do. I'll say, 'Hang on, she's got a big story coming." But, then it's never like "Great! Thanks!" It's, "Well, then, what about Liz?" [Laughs] You can't win!
I never watch a show just for a character or a couple. I watch it for the story, but I understand that's just my way of appreciating a show. There are people who are watching just for Liz. Sadly, you're putting yourself in a difficult situation if you're watching GH that way because you'll end up disappointed. Liz becomes very important as the Sabrina-Patrick wedding draws closer, and she'll figure in the A.J. trial, which will start soon. I'm sorry people are disappointed when their favorite is not in story. You can't please everybody.
I had to write her character off the show because it's my job, not because I wanted to. I don't make the contracts. I sit in New York and write the show. As I understand it, Genie came back to us on a short-term contract, which is what both she and ABC wanted. I was given her dates and worked with them the best I could. Genie had made another obligation before she returned to us, one that meant there were several weeks during the summer where she wasn't available to us. It made the most sense to have Laura's marriage to Scotty blow up and write her out where we did. We gave her this appointment and sent her back to Paris but we weren't saying that's the last you'll ever see of Laura. I love having Genie. I wanted Laura back on GH from the minute I came onto this show. I'm always open to having her back. Contrary to rumor, I assure you nobody got fired. Nobody got thrown under the bus.
We started that big murder story but didn't know at the time that everything would work out with Kimberly McCullough and that we'd get Robin back. As soon as that happened, we knew we had to put A.J. on hold because Robin's return to Port Charles would be big and impact nearly every character. We looked at A.J. and realized that his story could rest as he awaited trial. And, for the record, Sean Kanan was in more episodes over his guarantee than any other person on the show, including Maurice Benard [Sonny], so he didn't lose money. Even resting him for all those weeks, he never fell under his guarantee.
When I need to be unrealistic and make a trial happen instantly, I'm going to write it that way! But, yeah, in the real world A.J. would be behind bars for a long time but there was only so much drama to be had from having characters wonder "How is A.J. doing today?" and sending them off to see him in jail.
On the Duke/Anna masks:
Even the network said, "OK, can this be it for the masks?" when Duke had his confrontation with "Anna," but I gotta say they let me run with it and I have to respect that. No, we can't do it very often. In fact, we thought we were done with the masks with Faison but then it worked so beautifully to do it on the flip side with Obrecht. To me it was 100 percent worth it to see Finola Hughes playing Obrecht pretending to be Anna. But it was always meant to be a short thing. It's not like Obrecht will be running around taking over Anna's life for weeks and weeks. For now, that's it. The masks have served their purpose.
And I see the value in hiding! There are times when I'm, like, "What am I doing? Do not hit Send!" [Note: This interview took place before Carlivati's Twitter war with John Stamos this past weekend!]
People have different ideas of what constitutes criticism and, to me, "This show sucks" is not criticism. I will listen and respond very thoughtfully to someone who says, "I had a problem with this because of such and such..." That doesn't mean I'll change my plans, but that's completely valid. But, yeah, call me sensitive when someone says, "You're the worst writer and human being on the planet!" There are some very angry, very hateful people out there and who needs that in your life? I would never talk about people the way some of them talk about me. But the fun part of Twitter is really fun. It's a great way to interact with the fans, promote what we're doing, and really show my excitement about this show.
The danger is that you're very accessible and people want answers to everything under the sun, and when I don't give them what they want they end up frustrated. Or they make up rumors and want me to refute them. I'm not going to do that. But I love checking out the Tweets while the show is airing and seeing how the audience is responding. "Oh, my God! Nikolas just found Robin!" There are also times when I feel the need to take a step back. But, for the most part, it's an overwhelmingly positive experience. [Laughs] As long as you know how to work the Block button!
It's always a wake up call for me when I encounter fans in other arenas, people who aren't on social media. I will often get a very different point of view about how the public is responding from the one I might get on Twitter, where there's a real pile-on mentality. I'll meet someone on the street or I'll talk to the girl who works behind the counter at my gym and they'll say, "Oh, I love that character!" — the same one everyone on Twitter seems to hate!
When I first came on GH, people were in an uproar because Liz was comforting Patrick after Robin's death. I was getting an outpouring of hatred on Twitter for letting the character move in on this guy, when she was merely comforting a friend. It was absolutely insane! They were, like, "That hussy! She's trying to steal a man whose wife just died!" I have to say it made me gun-shy after that to put Liz and Patrick in a scene together.
On the issue of Prospect Park/turning Todd, Starr and John into Franco, Kiki and Silas:
I have certain regrets because I had great things planned for those One Life to Live characters, things I'll never be able to make happen now. But so many good things were born out of this situation, like our entire Jerome story. We wouldn't have Julian or Ava, or all the complications resulting from their arrival in Port Charles. I don't know that we'd be introducing Sam's father or that Heather would be so prominent again. So, for all of that, I'm definitely grateful. God closes a door and opens a window — and we climbed right through it. Of course, we had no choice.
It was hard, job-wise, to write out three major characters all at once and then write in three new ones. Emotionally, it was really hard because I love those OLTL characters and I love that show, you know? And to suddenly find myself in this very, very awkward position that made it seem like I was on the opposite side of a show I love so much, well...I hated it. It's not a place I ever wanted to be.
For the full interview see TVGuide.
Tony Geary Interview
Q: If the time comes, you'd want Luke to exit in a shocking way?
Geary: If I ever do leave GH — not something I want to see happen anytime soon — I want Luke to die. I don't want him coming home for Christmas episodes or the birth of his great grandchildren. I would prefer to have him go out in a blaze of glory and also that it be the climax of a wonderful story that involves the entire community, rather than some inconsequential B plot. Remember how The Bold and the Beautiful got rid of our wonderful Susan Flannery? That was a terrific story, really sensational, and you couldn't do it with a better actress. Last time I saw Susan, I told her how much I admired how that was handled, and how she had set the template for those of us who have been on the soaps forever. We ought to go out in a way that gives the audience real closure, rather than just fading off or being sent away on a cruise. It is a very honorable thing to do with a character that is loved and has been part of the fabric of the daytime medium for a long time. But I know the network has a real resistance to that sort of thing.
Q: Yet killing off major characters is all the rage on cable. Will daytime ever get that bold?
Geary: That's one of the reasons people are loving the great cable shows so much right now — because characters are in real jeopardy and they really do die. That makes us invest as viewers. It makes us feel. It makes us believe. In soaps, people come back from the dead all the time, to the point where death is just a bus stop. It's not my choice to go but I've had an awfully good run and I wouldn't mind being a sacrificial lamb to let the audience believe that characters can really, really die. I think that would be offering the show, and the medium in general, a great gift...
Read TVGuide's interview with Geary in full
Tequan Richmond (TJ Ashford on GH): Breakout Role as Beltway Sniper, Lee Boyd Malvo, in "Blue Caprice"
The film, which made waves at Sundance this past January, tells the story of the “father and son” duo that terrorized several states in 2002.
Tequan says, "This film is mainly about what got two killers motivated to kill. Better yet, what got two regular people motivated to kill. Basically, it tells all the events leading up to what motivated them to kill, not really the relationship between the two. I mean, the relationship is shown and how they met. That’s all covered in the movie, but the whole thing is about the reason behind the killings because people never knew why this was going on."
Read his full interview, which includes discussion about his future with GH, HERE.
Maura West [Ava Jerome] on her initial experience with GH: "You have to put your faith in people, which was hard because I'd never met [executive producer] Frank Valentini and [head writer] Ron Carlivati, but they are so fun, so infectious! But, then, Ava was not intended to hang around all that long.
The role was original written for just five episodes. Basically, she was there to drop off Kiki [Kristen Alderson] and then leave town. By the time I left my meeting with Frank, it was up to seven episodes, with the possibility of it becoming recurring. Then I was offered a contract before I even started my first day."
Read TV Guide's full interview with West in HERE.
GH is getting a New Resident.
Access Hollywood reports that Jeffrey Vincent Parise is heading to Port Charles as a new character named Carlos. Carlos is a man from Sabrina’s (Teresa Castillo) past, who shows up in town just as things are going so well for Sabrina and Dr. Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson). Carlos will shake up Port Charles and become a new threat to the couple’s blossoming romance.
His ties extend beyond his connection to Sabrina and into the murky waters of the Port Charles underworld. Parise, who began taping on August 27th, will first air in mid-to-late September.
A Brutally Honest, yet Amusing Interview with Tony Geary, Jane Elliot and Kin Shriner
TV Guide Magazine: It's such a joy to have the old guard back together on GH these days. Jane, I saw you on Access Hollywood asking a great question: "Why did these people ever go away?"
Elliot: I'll tell you why! It's a writing issue. Writers dry up. They can't think of a place to go with the older characters. It's easier for them to do an old story with a new character than do a new story with an old character.
Geary: And let us not forget that writers get residuals for every new character they create as long as that character is on the air.
Elliot: It's my belief that The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful are the highest-rated shows because they use the same people decade after decade. That's what this audience wants to see — their old characters in new situations. And that's what our current executive producer and head writer, Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati, are delivering.
Geary: Usually, new producers and writers want to put their stamp on a show. They don't want to continue what's working. They want to reinvent the wheel. It's an ego thing. And once they've gotten rid of characters that were well known and deeply loved, they think they can create that same magic with new characters. Frank and Ron did the exact opposite and it saved our ass. Things were pretty rough there for a while, but they got better as soon as [ABC Daytime chief] Brian Frons left. He hated the soap medium. He hated it from the beginning. He wanted reality TV.
Shriner: It's weird how it all changed overnight. Everybody was firing everybody. Brian fired [head writer] Bob Guza. Then [exec producer] Jill Phelps got fired. Then ABC fired Brian. "You're fired!" "No, you're fired!" It was crazy. But, then, out of the ashes came Frank and Ron.
Geary: The timing was so right.
This is just a very tiny excerpt of this not-to-be-missed interview. For the full article go to TVGuide.
Maurice Bernard has been working on a new film, "The Ghost and The Whale", and has
a new trailer out.
“The Ghost and the Whale” tells the story of Joseph Hawthorne, a man who went off to sea with the love of his life and came back to town (Bodega Bay) alone. Accused of murder, Joseph was found not guilty after a long and grueling trial that was nationally covered. Now, Joseph questions his own innocence, because at the time of the death of his wife, he was suffering a bi-polar episode. One year later, acclaimed journalist Ed Hale has been called to Bodega to cover Joseph’s mysterious story. What he encounters is a hornet’s nest of uncontrollable consequences.
You can learn more about the film, view a trailer and find how you can help HERE.
Nielson - Twitter Ratings!
Nielsen and Twitter have announced a new collaboration.
Beginning in Fall 2013, Nielsen will release a "Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings" system, designed to complement and expand on its current ratings system. The new numbers will reflect "the total audience for social TV activity."
ABC is developing a real-life version of “General Hospital” — with actual doctors and nurses filmed at an LA hospital — as a daytime show for next year.
The show quietly began taping recently at the famed UCLA Medical Center, a spokesman for ABC confirmed. The show is in its “earliest, pilot stages,” said the official and is intended “either for syndication or maybe cable.” The show, according to sources, will follow the private as well as working lives of white coats at the hospital.
ABC has been experimenting a lot with daytime TV in the past few years — trying to see if new kinds of shows can replace the age-old menu of talk, soaps and game shows.
It has succeeded with “The Chew,” a multi-host show built around food and starring chef Mario Batali, which debuted last year and has been a surprisingly steady performer.
Another experiment, “The Revolution,” never found any chemistry with “Project Runway” mentor Tim Gunn and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” host Ty Pennington, and was quickly dropped.
The idea of shaping the reality format for daytime TV has been kicked around by TV producers for a while now — though it’s rarely been tried. NBC re-cut existing episodes of the “Real Housewives” franchise for an afternoon soap two years ago — but couldn’t make it work.
More importantly, if ABC were to syndicate the as-yet-untitled hospital show, it would have to make room somewhere in its daytime schedule.
The only syndicated show it currently airs is Katie Couric’s new talk show — which ABC also owns.
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