General Hospital’s 50th Anniversary is quickly approaching and ABC has launched its 50 days of GH leading up to the big April 1, 2013 bash. SoapNet will also air 50 hours of General Hospital beginning March 30 to April 1 to honor the legendary soap.
Oh what a difference a year makes! The show has done a complete 180 and long-time fans are once again excited to tune in every day.
With the returns of fan favorites Finola Hughes, Ian Buchanan, Lynn Herring, Jon Lindstrom, Jack Wagner, Kristina Wagner, Kin Shriner and Genie Francis, the glory days are here again! Earlier this week it was announced that Rachel Ames, who originated the role of Audrey Hardy in 1964, will return for the Nurses’ Ball. In addition, Rick Springfield will make an appearance, as well as Jackie Zeman. Don’t be surprised to hear Antonio Sabato Jr., as well as Jonathan Jackson and Tyler Christopher on the return list soon. If Executive Producer Frank Valentini can work around JJ’s & Tyler’s schedules on Nashville and The Lying Game, it will be the first time since 1999 that Jonathan and Genie have shared the screen together.
Not only are veterans returning in droves, but the storyline fans have been clamoring to bring back is FINALLY here! Cue up the Spencer-Cassadine War! That’s right, the ICE PRINCESS is back baby! On February 18 Lulu received a black rock on a stick for Valentine’s Day. Alarm spread across Luke and Laura’s faces as they explained the diamond called the Ice Princess was supposed to be locked safely in Switzerland. Interesting that all roads seem to lead to Switzerland…Robin was being held in a clinic there, along with Duke Lavery by Faison. We know Helena was working with Faison, so can all of this be connected? My guess is a resounding yes! With Cartini in charge of this vintage storyline, I think we’re in for one hell of a rollercoaster ride!
Luke and Laura finally met face to face and fans were in a Twitter frenzy over the flashback to when Luke saw Laura across the lawn at the Mayor’s Mansion.
“Jen @JenLilleyRocks Oh look at that smile on Luke’s face when he saw Laura! EEEEKKKKK”
“GHFansUnite/R♥Net @GHFansUnite I’m sorry, but u CANNOT have an Ice Princess” storyline w/o Robert Scorpio. Seriously. @carlivatiron , yeah, I’m talking to u buddy. Just got a major pang of nostalgia having Luke, Laura The Ice Princess all on my screen at the same time. I’m 11 yrs old again. THE ICE PRINCESS IS BACK BABY!!!! WOOT WOOT!!!!! BRING IT ON!!!!My BODY IS READY!!!! #GH”
“RandomLacey @RandomLacey1 Awwww, Luke and Laura Flashbacks!!”
“General Hospital Wub @WubsNet NO FUC….AHHHHHHHHH THE SCENE!!MY SCENE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #GH #GH50”
Another brilliant storyline that has got fans talking is the revival of Vampire Caleb Morley, played by the talented Michael Easton in the dual role. Fans have mixed feelings about the conclusion of cancelled Port Charles playing out on General Hospital, however, for the most part I have seen positive feedback.
“SoapyScribe @SoapyScribe @carlivatiron @valentinifrank Dear great and powerful Soap Gods: Please “glamour” whom you must to keep #MichaelEaston on our #GH screens!!!”
“Tracy Goodwin @tracy_goodwin Thank you @carlivatiron @valentinifrank for the John/Caleb storyline.#MichaelEastonGH is an amazing actor and dual roles are fascinating!”
“Inevitable Bond @Eva_Mabbie “KM and ME and theircombustible chemistry has brought this viewer in with a;Vengeance. And I never even watched PC.” Love that.”
Ron Carlivati is writing Caleb ruthless, like he was upon his arrival in the ‘Tainted Love’ and ‘Tempted’ Chapters of Port Charles. The back-story is that Caleb owned a ring anyone can make a wish on, however, the wishes come with a price! His true love Olivia Locke made a wish Caleb would have a night of passion he’d never forget. Unfortunately he happened to be with good girl Alison Barrington, who was engaged to Angel Vampire Slayer Rafe Kovitch. Ultimately their union created Rafe Kovitch, Jr. who wandered back to Port Charles with Alison, who was murdered by Caleb in front of him! Caleb knows Rafe is his child and he won’t stop until he snags him! Watch full recap of Caleb & Livvey’s backstory.
Of course Lucy Coe is a Vampire Slayer so when she saw John McBain at Kelly’s, then saw Sam McCall with her baby, she immediately thought they were Caleb and Livvey. What has ensued ever since has been incredibly written and acted. McBain and Caleb are two different people; Caleb showed himself to Lucy who had escaped from Ferncliff and at first she thought McBain was Caleb. Now everyone involved believes just the opposite. Friday McBain, Lucy and Rafe escape Port Charles Police Department. We also learned that supposedly Caleb Morley (aka) Stephen Clay was a mentally disturbed patient that escaped an institution and used the Vampire angle for his stage act. According to spoilers released by ABC things are not really what they seem. Last we saw Caleb had taken Sam and Danny, believing Sam is his lost love Livvey. Can McBain find them before it’s too late?
All I can say is, GH has a goldmine with Lynn Herring, Roger Howarth & Robin Mattson or as I like to call them, “The Three Stooges.” They have been so much fun to watch and although Howarth, Easton & Kris Alderson are headed back to Llanview for the relaunch of One Life To Live online, it is my understanding they will be back!
Reports from the set are tell of excitement every day. We spoke to Finola Hughes on RHeart February 6 who said the cast and crew scramble to watch the show every day trying to find out what’s going on! It’s very exciting to hear and is a testament to how Cartini has turned the show around ten-fold.
The Nurses’ Ball will start revving up beginning March and according to Lynn Herring who tweeted with fans this afternoon; she had her first dress fitting already!
“General Hospital @GeneralHospital 1st official fitting for #NursesBall was last week. But next week I learn the details of what I will or won’t be learning! Costume Designer Shawn Reeves is fantastic! #askgh #GH50″
Last week Soap Opera Network reported ratings for the week Feb. 4-8 for General Hospital was over 3.1 million! That surpasses their 2012 year-ending rate and some say it’s because of Jack Wagner’s return on the 4th. However, the Caleb storyline was in full swing during that week as well, so in my estimation I think the hike in ratings was a combination of both. Whatever the reason, it is due in large part by Executive Producer Frank Valentini and Head Writer Ron Carlivati, their vision for the show.
There is a lot going on but I think fans will be surprised, excited and glued to their televisions as the 50th Anniversary nears. Special thanks to the cast and crew for giving us back the General Hospital we love!
*Be sure to check in on GetGlue to collect limited edition stickers and use hashtag #GH50 to share your favorite General Hospital moments!
*There is a Special Collector’s Edition of People Magazine dedicated to General Hospital‘s 50th Anniversary, that will be released March 12. You can order a copy in advance at Amazon. Get your copy now because I’m sure they won’t be in stores long!