Have you ever wondered...

 

Who Wrote That?


 

Bob Guza originally worked as a script writer for GH in the early 80's during GH's heyday (as did Charles Pratt).   For those confused about which regime handled what in recent years, here is a basic timeline of the goings-on since 1995, amidst several returns and departures by Robert Guza, Jr., Head Writer ...

  Be warned: The following timeline is a slightly "editorialized" version, which expresses the opinions of the author and GHH member, Dave Smith, and not necessarily the opinions of this site.

 


Timeline:

1. January 1996:   The end of the Labine regime.

 Jax debut. Jax's involvement with Lois. Rena Sofer decided to leave, so Jax was shifted to Brenda.

Jason Morgan transformation.

Mary Mae Ward passes away


2. March 1996:   Bob  Guza joined as Head Writer in December 1995, and his work began airing in March.


Keesha Ward spiraled into oblivion, first wanting to be a police officer (anyone remember that?), then an Outreach worker at GH (with no credentials), and got involved with AJ (a couple that did nothing).


Carly debut. Carly was primarily constructed by the excellent Patrick Mulcahey, who credits Sarah Brown with several of Carly's layers. Mulcahey went public with the info that no one really knew what direction to go in with Carly, and planned to plop her down in the middle of town, and see what happens. Talk about no advanced planning... During this wandering period, Carly slept with Jason, AJ, and Tony, stole Tony from Bobbie, and began Tony's descent into madness.


 Clink-Boom. Possibly Guza's most famous scenes, one they reportedly planned several months in advance.Guza was somewhat involved in the scene, but a scene, as unforgettable as it may be, is one scene within one episode, within one year. I loved the scene, but IMO, it doesn't redeem him.


Stefan and Nikolas debut. Never-before-mentioned brother to Stavros, and never-before-mentioned son to Laura. Guza rewrote Stavros's connection to the Cassadine family as Stavros being the first son, rather than the brother of Mikkos that he originally was.

Stefan shot Katherine Bell, a weak attempt at foreplay.

Stefan hooked Lucky on a computer game called "Timoria" (translated to "Atonement"), and the only apparent fallout was Lucky's encounter with quicksand.


 The catatonic Lesley Webber was resurrected, then sent off with Laura after they faked their death in a Rochester mansion explosion.

Stefan and Bobbie married, and divorced within a year.

Alexis Davis debut. Also, not quite planned out, as Alexis dallied as an untrustworthy schemer (painting Katherine to be the sister to Stefan that Alexis herself was), but soon showed a loving and warm side.


Alexis was instructed by Stefan to defend and ensure Kevin Collins's acquittal for stalking Felicia, so that Kevin could work on mysterious equations. Storyline dropped, but it is somewhat understandable, given Kevin was being spun off to "Port Charles".


Tom Hardy and Felicia Jones have a sex fest, and then Tom leaves Felicia to return to his work in Africa.

       Justus Ward fell off the map for a time.



3. September 1996:   Guza walked out to create Sunset Beach in June 1996, which debuted on NBC in Jan 1997. Richard and Carolyn Culliton came onboard and claimed the Co-Head Writer posts.


    Pierce Dorman appeared out of the blue, as Monica's boy on the side. The affair was explained as a repercussion from Monica's surgery from nearly two years prior, and Dorman suddenly turned into a wacko.


Dorman sued Monica and GH for sexual harrassment, then became a drug lord, drugging Sonny for no reason, smuggling drugs into Port Charles in the casts and wheelchairs of travelling "patients".

Sonny and Brenda, once reunited, faced the triple threat of Harry Silver, who emerged from approximately a two-year backburnered status to trap Sonny and Brenda in the catacombs (in the name of the late Lily Rivera Corinthos, with whom he shared about four scenes), blow up the catacombs, killing only Harry Silver, and prompting Brenda and Sonny to sleep together and provide Brenda with a pregnancy scare, "The Tin Man", infamous for his origami gum wrappers, and Hernando Rivera, back from the dead and a stroke to avenge the death of the daughter he himself had killed.

Miranda Jameson debut, December 1996. Sonny brings the the back-from-the-dead wife to Jax's renewal of vows with Brenda. Hackneyed, even for a soap.

Mysterious connection between Miranda and Cassadines, never explored.

Dorman also seemed to have a mysterious connection to Miranda Jameson who claimed not to know him either.

Emily got hooked on drugs.

Taggert debut. Instant animosity toward Sonny. Probably the most we ever learned of their past at any given time.

Generally, there was very little synergy, or intermingling of storylines. Any attempts to tie one story to another was dropped due to an exiting actor, or negative fan reaction.

Baby Michael saga was kicked off after Carly's random one-night stand with AJ. Carly drugged AJ in an attempt to make him go to rehab and encouraged him to not remember their night together.

Ned and Alexis paired.

Keesha Ward seemed determined to "catch" Carly.

Dara dabbled in singing at the Outback. Possible dabbling with Mac, never explored.

Felicia spent time away in Texas.

Alan develops a drug addiction.

Not only did Emily and Alan develop drug problems, but Brenda's dependency on pills culminated as well. Brenda was taking medication for her hip which was injured when she was nearly run down by a car. Lily's father ordered the hit on Brenda. While trapped in the catacombs with Sonny, Brenda began detox, and realized she had a problem.

Sarah and Lizzie Webber show up, and high jinks ensue over Lucky and Nikolas. Stolen test answers planted on Sarah, Condoms planted on Nikolas, Lucky and Liz start rolling, Nikolas and Sarah are a bore.



4. December 1997:   Guza returns to GH in September of 1997, after exiting his post at Sunset Beach, and his writings begin airing in early December.


Shootout at Luke's. Nikolas shot, and unable to speak.

Brenda loses her mind, Julia Barrett returns.

Choice "had" to be made between bringing back Robin, or keeping Julia, so they brought back Robin. Personally, I thought Julia had many possibilities, with Ned, AJ, Stefan even, but there was apparently no room for both Julia and Robin as a source of support for Brenda.

Nikolas shifts his focus from Sarah Webber to Robin Scorpio, and nothing comes of their interactions.

 Helena Cassadine debut. Constance Towers makes the role her own. Uses Alexis as a pawn through intimidation.

Baby Michael saga continues, with Carly leaving Tony for Jason, Tony going insane and kidnapping Michael, and an ailing Robin.

Laura returns to find her family in shambles.

Liz's rape was primarily helmed by Michele Val Jean, a rape survivor.

Sarah Webber throws a hissy fit over Nikolas and Robin, and soon decides to leave town.

Liz's rape prompts Lucky to discover Luke raped Laura, which begins the snowball that destroys the Spencer clan.

Jaded Lucky works with Helena, and steals something to help Alexis in her forced defense of Tony Jones on his kidnapping charges.

       Tony goes free.

Carly shoots Tony. Carly is committed to Ferncliff.


Keesha Ward leaves to visit her sick father in Philly, with ONE suitcase, and is never heard from again.


Maniacal Tess arrives, with James, a double of Mac, who kidnaps Mac, takes his place, and they were somehow involved in a plot to kill Jax, for no apparent reason. Felicia and V caught on to James, and rescued Mac. Felicia and Mac stopped the assassination attempt on Jax, and Tess and James were written out. The point to all of that was?

Felicia and Mac's fake relationship developed out of the Tess and James saga, and their pretend relationship resulted in a very real marriage.

        
Felicia decides to become a writer, and rents a room on Cortlandt Street to help with her suspense novel, and gets involved with Alan's addiction, Tammy the Hooker, and Felicia was in some sort of danger.


Felicia switches to an adventure book, planning to use Tammy as the focus. Tammy gets a last name (Carson), and an ex who split on her (Kirk).


Jerry Jacks debut. Paired with Bobbie. They had frequent sex and sparring sessions. Not much for Jerry to do. Poor planning.


Emily's instant psycho stalker, Tom the photographer, who made fake nudie pictures of Em, turns out to be Liz's rapist.

Tony makes a scene at the Nurses Ball, and Jerry decks him.

       Carly returns from Ferncliff.

        Carly/Jason/Robin triangle at the cottage.

Robin, frustrated with Jason and Carly's continued involvement, spills Michael's paternity to AJ and leaves town.

Carly tells Jason to take Michael away to keep him safe from AJ, then runs over to the Q mansion, claims Jason kidnapped Michael, and marries AJ (who was happy with Keesha before she left to visit her sick father).

Katherine Bell is murdered, in Luke and Alexis's plot to murder Helena, and Stefan stands trial after Luke frames him to cover his own tracks. Alexis defends Stefan, keeping her part in the "death" a secret.

Laura takes the stand to clear Stefan, and Luke learns that Laura and Stefan had a long-ago affair while Laura was Stavros's prisoner.

Katherine is brought back to life within four months of her death.

Katherine pursues a relationship with Nikolas for revenge upon Stefan.

Jason/Carly/AJ's SCALENE love triangle. No "battle between Cain and Abel" on this show.

Brenda's mother returns from the dead, INSANE no less, and drives Brenda and herself off a cliff.

Jax mourns, and is arrested for money laundering. Jax learns the truth about his family's underhanded dealings through their companies.

Sonny returns, in manic-depression mode, mourning Brenda months after her death.

Jax and V ship off to Monte Carlo to pass V off as an heiress to win back Jax's seized fortune.

Robin spills the beans to AJ that HE, and not Jason, is Michael's father. Robin then splits town.

Ruby passes away.

Lucky and Liz in love.

Alan gets past the addiction after over a year of bad hair days and dark circles under his eyes.

Cesar Faison puts on his lurking shoes as he reenters Port Charles.

Laura and Stefan embark on a romance.

         Agent Hannah Banana debut. Sonny falls for the Brenda double.

 

Lucky "dies", but is really held captive by Faison and Helena.

Liz begins her period of mourning, and dabbles with Nikolas and Jason.

 

Luke sleeps with Tammy, Laura tries reaching out to Luke, but Stefan is more receiving of her.

 

 Felicia again switches the focus of her novel to Lila Quartermaine's mem-wahhhhs. She tracks some love letters down to one of Lila's relatives in Milan.

 

Chloe Morgan debut. The world-famous fashion designer decides to uproot her high-maintenance life to move to the small hamlet of Port Charles, just to meet Lila.

 

Instant relationship between Barbie/Chloe and Ken/Jax.

 Mixed marrieds (Jax/Alexis, Ned/Chloe) farce kicks off because of loopy Aunt Gertrude.

Felicia helps Luke with Lucky's death, and they embark on a romance.

Simon Prentiss, from Monte Carlo, whisks V away on a one year world cruise which she is apparently still enjoying several years later.

Juan Santiago debut.

 Instant relationship with crooning Don Juan and Emily.

Bobbie and Jerry accidentally make a sex tape that plays at the Nurses Ball.

Sonny and Hannah Banana crash and burn when Carly and Jason expose Hannah as a Federal Agent.

         Hate Sex. Sonny sleeps with Carly to prove to Jason that Carly's a tramp.

         Faison terrorizes Felicia and Luke.

Roy DiLucca returns from the dead, and exposes Jerry Jacks for money laundering.

Jerry goes on the run. (Guza ditches a character he created for another character he's recreated.)

 

Bobbie and Roy have a sex fest.

Weak Carly/Jason/Liz triangle.

 Jason leaves town.

Lucky returns from the dead.

Endless Brainwashing storyline unleashed upon the unsuspecting viewers of GH.

Cesar Faison supposedly bites the dust again (the same way he did the last time he died).


Chloe is run down by Helena, who believed Chloe was Alexis. Chloe develops a tumor, and has psychic dreams through Helena's eyes. No reason is given for the psychic connection between Chloe and Helena.


Laura and Nikolas believe that Stefan kidnapped Lucky. Laura dumps Stefan and Nikolas turns his back on the man who raised him.

The infamous Music Box plays an inconsequential role in several months worth of storyline between Chloe and Helena.


Helena "kills" Stefan, but Stefan really trips on over to Plastic Island for months of eavesdropping, plotting, and planning.


Jax abandons Chloe in Paris to chase after a woman who looks like Brenda.

 Stefan kidnaps Chloe to Plastic Island and nothing happens for several months. No one in Port Charles notices Chloe is missing, either.

Sonny and Carly were a match made in he!!, and Carly was again impregnated by her one-night stand. Sonny blackmails AJ into divorcing Carly, and the Sonny & Carly show is born.

Carly loses her baby after a scuffle with AJ.

 Alexis is dubbed "Eddie's Angel".

Hannah Banana embarks on a SCALENE triangle with Taggert and AJ, two devout Sonny-haters.

         Zander Smith debut. Juan Santiago is thrown over for the drug-peddling Rohipnol-crazy deviant.

Gia Campbell debut. Scooby Doo Mystery Machine hits the streets of Port Charles to uncover the truth in The Case of Dead Ted the frozen Copsicle.

Florence Campbell debuts.

No storyline for Taggert on either count of Gia or Florence.



5. October 2000:   Guza leaves, allegedly frustrated with EP Wendy Riche's interference. 
Elizabeth Korte and Michele Val Jean share Head Writing duties.



High jinks ensue as Alexis and Ned plan their wedding.

More filler from Taggert/Hannah/AJ.

Sonny and Carly do their thing.

 

6. December 2000:   Wendy Riche's last stand as Executive Producer.


Alexis abandons Ned at the altar.

Mistletoe Massacre:  Zander, Emily, Alexis and Sonny are gunned down on the steps of the PCPD Precinct.

Sonny catches bullets for Alexis, and has a heavenly experience, seeing Lily and his two dead children just beyond the pearly gates.


 

7. January 2001:   Jill Farren Phelps replaces Riche as Executive Producer.



Jensen Buchanan, FOJ #1, (Friend of Jill) hired while still under contract with ATWT. Contract disputes and legal trouble for ABC. Emergency temporary recast. 


AJ goes through alcohol withdrawal as his family looks on at GH.

Michael Saucedo fired as Juan.
 

Winterfest is a flop.

 Roy is shot, while trying to stop a crazed druggie who held up the ER of GH. The entire altercation has no apparent fallout.

Hannah Banana (Lisa Vultaggio) fired and shipped off to a distant location.

Sonny and Carly tie the knot in Martinique.

         Laura decides to join the business world and is handed Deception Cosmetics and Carly as a partner.

Lucky has a miracle eye for photography.

 Liz and Gia do battle for the Face of Deception.

 


8. March 2001:   Megan McTavish joins Head Writing team, and soon after Michele Val Jean walks out (perhaps forced out). Elizabeth Korte remained on the team.  McTavish seems the primary member of the Head Writing "team", and takes most of the magazine interviews on storylines.


The Face Of Deception brings out the worst in Liz, Gia, Carly, and Laura.

         Joseph Sorel emerges as the new mafia rival for Sonny.

         After a few threatening encounters with Sorel, and a bomb or two delivered to Sonny's penthouse, Carly conspires with Roy to get Sonny arrested by the FBI, anticipating that Sonny would strike a deal with the Feds, get out of the mob, and enter the Witness Protection Program with Carly and Michael.

Sarah Brown quits GH, looking to spread her wings, and Carly is recast with daytime newcomer Tamara Braun, who's an eventual hit with fans.

Carly's plot is exposed, and Sonny tries to sever all ties.

Skye Chandler turns up in Port Charles, claiming Alan Quartermaine to be her father. Alan and Rae Cummings confirm the truth. Monica is livid, the Quartermaines are shocked to have ANOTHER illegitimate child come knocking.

         Skye shakes the Q household up. Manipulates Edward, annoys Monica, plays an emotional tug-of-war with Alan, and finds a friend in half-brother AJ. Skye is the first long-lost sister of the year 2001. Skye develops a childish resentment of teenage sister Emily, and plots to get her away from the family somehow.

Sonny is stabbed at Lily's gravesite, and stolen away to a Lakehouse on Loon Lake, owned by the mysteriously white-clad Angel Ellis.

 Sonny was supposed to fall in love with Angel at first sight, but Maurice Benard refused to act out the horrendous storyline.

 Stefan tries to make amends to Chloe, who holds a grudge for being kidnapped for months.

Scott Baldwin makes a strong play for Laura.

Luke and Laura are officially divorced.

 Helena has a NEW master plan deep in the bowels of the earth.

Lucas falls deathly ill, and Helena bargains with his life to force Tony into a dastardly plot to revive the cryogenically frozen Stavros Cassadine!

 Lucky's brainwashing resurfaces.

Tony revives Stavros. Stavros lurks around Port Charles for MONTHS, being seen by no one.

Feeling pressure from Sorel, Zander and Emily do their best to get out of town. Skye gives the kids money to hop the first bus outta Port Charles.

The 2001 Nurses Ball is interrupted by a Bus/Train collision, which renders Emily Quartermaine paralyzed.

 Jax returns to Port Charles to steal a necklace that belonged to Kristin Bergman, Alexis's mother. a la Mission Impossible. Skye is instantly smitten with Jax at first sight.

Jax has no news about Brenda, and he and Chloe can't seem to reconnect.

The mysterious  Angel has a connection to Jax. Lovers after Jax had gone in search of Brenda, Angel was responsible for bringing Jax together with ANOTHER mystery woman...

 Stavros has an eye for the now single mom Carly, but still carries a torch for Laura.

Luke catches on to the defrosted devil, and Helena orders the mesmerized Lucky to strike Luke down with a syringe full of some bizarre toxin that makes Luke see two of himself. Luke becomes a pig with Felicia, and disappears for a while.

Jax brought a secret to town. Alexis's long-lost sister, Kristina Carter (second long-lost sister in the year 2001.) History (and Alexis's age) is rewritten to accommodate the storyline, and Alexis and Kristina are reunited.

Amber Tamblyn quits GH, looking to spread her wings, and Emily is shipped off to rehab to get back the use of her legs.

Sorel takes Carly and Alexis hostage. Sonny comes out of hiding to save them, with a bomb strapped to his chest. Sonny detonates the bomb, killing no one, but demolishing much of the penthouse floor.


Taggert is rendered deaf for nearly five minutes, the closest he came to a storyline in the year 2001.

Angel Ellis is revealed to be Sorel's daughter. Angel and Sorel were estranged when Sorel had Angel's husband murdered. A rather lame excuse is given for why Angel wears white all the time. ("When my husband Donnie died, I just didn't feel very colorful anymore"... GAG.)

Sorel is murdered in his hospital bed, and the suspect list is long. Angel was no angel when she did the dirty deed, and committed Patricide.

         Due to the audience's general hatred of the Angel character, she was hastily written out, and Sonny, Carly, and Jax all worked together to help her escape the country to avoid prosecution for Sorel's murder.

Zander begins working for Sonny.

 Skye puts the moves on Jax.

Kristina dates Ned, despite her professions of love and concern for Alexis.

 AJ arranges for Emily to break up with Zander, who's left heartbroken.

 Jax finds the toxin to save Luke, and Luke's double vision is cured.

Chloe catches on that "Lucien Cain" is really Stavros, so Stavros kills Chloe to cover his tracks. Due to damning DNA testing, Stefan stood accused of the homicide.

 

Nikolas fakes being evil to uncover the secret to freeing Lucky from Helena's control. Nikolas has Helena "erase" Lucky's love for Elizabeth.

Helena tests Nikolas by having him first dump Gia, and then ordering him to kill Elizabeth. Liz is administered a drug by Nikolas that makes her appear dead, while she spends several months off-screen in Sonny's care.

Lucky failed at all THREE of his attempts to jump off of the GH roof.

 

         Gia was comforted by "Lucien Cain", an alias used by Stavros.

 

Elton makes a brief play for Lucien.

 
Helena and Stavros initially plotted to release a bio-toxin upon the world, and then hold the antidote for ransom.

 Their plot was scrapped in record time, in response to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Towers on September 11th.  GH is ordered by ABC to "lighten up", and several drastic changes are made.

AJ makes another run at Carly for custody of Michael, but Sonny hangs AJ on a meathook until AJ signs away his rights to Michael.

Skye falls into AJ's vendetta against Sonny, and Skye finds herself as AJ's only champion.

John J. York dropped to recurring status as Mac Scorpio.


The Spencer/Cassadine war is drawn to a slapdash"close" with "Endgame". The Spencers, Cassadines, Gia, Roy, Scott, and Jax are all kidnapped to Helena's secret underground lab for no apparent reason, and after a series of Adam West-reminiscent fight sequences, Stavros fell into a bottomless pit, never to be seen again- except in Luke's dreams (Robert Kelker-Kelly exits), and Helena was arrested.


         Luke decides he wants Laura back, so Scott gets the shaft. Luke courts Laura, and HUGE issues of the past are glossed-over for the sake of quieting disgruntled fans with a rushed and mishandled reunion of Luke and Laura.

         Zander finds comfort with Carly, while Sonny leans on Alexis.

Carly finds backing from Jax for a new nightclub.

Janine Matthews blows into town, attempting to swindle Edward out of millions for her daughter's sake. The secret was, her daughter, Courtney was Janine's by Mike Corbin, making Courtney Sonny's long-lost sister (third one in the year 2001.)

Liz returned to Port Charles, no one having noticed she was missing, including Audrey, and reunites with Lucky, who still secretly can't recall loving Liz.

         Nikolas and Gia become engaged, and Liz pushes for a quickie wedding to Lucky at the Spencer house. Liz learns the truth about Lucky's feelings, and the wedding is called off. Family and friends utterly disappointed.

Somewhat ho-hum and sad Christmas for GH.


Poignant tribute to the victims of Sept. 11th at the end of the year.

Carly/Sonny/Alexis "triangle" sparks a terrible fan-base war across the American GH audience.

Courtney exposes her mother's lies to the Quartermaines, and experiences extreme friction with
abrasive Sonny. AJ takes advantage of the opportunity, and manipulates Courtney into a romance, driving Sonny MAD.

 Stefan Cassadine sets sail for Milan to find a new life for himself apart from the Cassadines.

 Lucky begs to start anew with Liz, who agrees.

Melissa Bedford is suddenly transformed into a Mercy Killer, and is shipped off to Chicago to face trial. (Jensen Buchanan FIRED.)

Sarah Webber returns to town (long-lost sister #4), driving "Lizzie" to distraction and driving Gia to drink (and drive).

Gia and Liz's car collides with a furious Courtney's car, and Liz is rushed to GH in need of surgery. To avoid a traffic violation and possibly several grueling hours of community service, Gia and Nikolas frame Courtney for the car accident. Courtney goes into hiding with help from AJ.

Dr. Tony goes MIA, and TPTB introduce pointless and annoying Dr. Mason Caldwell.

Luke and Laura's trip down memory lane is interrupted by Jennifer Smith, this time played by the hilarious  Sally Struthers, who kidnaps the duo and tries to force Luke to marry her. Roy and Felicia save Luke and Laura.

Hints of a Roy/Felicia pairing.

Monica is MIA for over two months, with no explanation given for her disappearance. Alan is seen a handful of episodes more often than Monica.

Carly/Sonny/Alexis AD NAUSEUM.

Liz recovers from her injuries, and to ensure Liz's silence, Nikolas and Gia move Liz, Lucky, and Sarah into Wyndemere. Lucky becomes attracted to the annoying Sarah, who occasionally likes to run out into the rain, into a barn, and strip down.


Carly's club, Club 101 (of the UNcreative club names) opens, and is a hit. AJ arrives with Courtney, and Zander decks AJ. AJ and Courtney run off together, infuriating Sonny and Mike. Janine whistles a happy tune all the way to the bank (with checks AJ has given her in order to "rent" her daughter.)


 Liz remembers that Gia was at fault, and this unleashes the "old Liz", who throws herself at shirtless Luckys, dances on bars, and scowls at people.


 Maxie Jones is recast and aged for no apparent reason by a valley girl. Robyn Richards fans angered.   Her replacement does not last long.

         Carly locks Skye in the Q boathouse, for no apparent reason, and Skye nearly drowns trying to swim for her life. Jax rescues her and Skye finally beds her White Knight.

The disintegration of Alexis's integrity continues as her lust for Sonny grows.

         No emotional growth for anyone on the canvas for approximately 6-8 months.

 

 

9 April 2002: Word breaks of Megan McTavish's firing from and Bob Guza's return to the Head Writing position.   Guza was joined by Charles Pratt Jr., who was known for his work on Melrose Place and Sunset Beach.  Anthony Geary celebrates.


18 May 2011:  ABC announces that Bob Guza is to be replaced by Garin Wolf.

Week of July 25th, 2011:  Garin Wolf's material kicks in.

Week of January 9th, 2012:  Ron Carvilati takes over as Headwriter, his material is expected to begin airing in early February.

 




 
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