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63 September 10th, 2012 As GH Is On The Move Today, Maurice Benard Says Of Cartini: “They”ve Been Able To Make This Show Into An Ensemble!”

Courtesy/ABC

Today is an important day in this history of General Hospital as this afternoon it moves into its new timeslot, one hour earlier at 2PM EST/1PMCST and PST on ABC.   And as the series has been hyping. it hopes to deliver to its long time viewers, and new viewers, some action/adventure utilizing and focusing on many of the beloved character of Port Charles.

Series star (for almost 20 years now), Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) spoke to EW.com about the difference in the long running soap opera,  with its new lease on life from ABC, and since head writer, Ron Carlivati and executive Producer, Frank Valentini came over from One Life to Live to General Hospital and have been evolving and tweaking the show.  For many years, it’s been the “Sonny Show” where Benard’s character dominated screen time, which has often been a criticism by fans of the legendary soap.  To that Benard stated about Cartini’s revitalization of GH:   “They’ve been able to make this show into an ensemble. Which it’s never been. If I had the old ego, I might be upset. But I love it. It just adds spice to life. To me, if the show’s better, that’s what matters.  Six months ago we were dead men walking. Now we’re on the team to go all the way to the Super Bowl.”

Benard also shared although he doesn’t always have a say in the story direction,  he does have a wish: “I would like him to be with Kate (played by Kelly Sullivan) and happy, but not complacent. With her and I, it’s never going to be boring because Kate’s crazy. Sonny’s crazy. Crazy people put together, it’s nice.”

So soapers, do you see and feel the difference in the new GH?   Does it feel like more of an ensemble?  Many of you have commented in previous posts that you feel it is.   So does the show feel more balanced to you? Weigh-in!

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  1. caroldee says:

    It’s because they are all working together to save their lives. Next month when it all dies down there will be the same divisions in characters as there was before. ANYTHING that brings more OLTL people into GH the better. ABC lost a loyal fan folllowing there and they know it. I like the on location drama very much and wish it was that way all the time. I do know that it’s way too expensive and difficult for them to do it all the time though. (I recall a lot of location work on OLTL and GH in the past though.) Hope the cast can keep the action going with great writing and acting and GH can move to the top!!

    Reply

    Brandy replied

    I think GH has enough OLTL characters we really
    dont need anymore as we have amazing talent, I do welcome the adition but it has gone from the Sonny show to the Todd show so lets not make the same mistake twice! Keep it balanced and keep it GH! Sorry I also watched OLTL but it was sadly cancelled and thankfully GH wasnt and i think its time oltl fans accept it and not keep wanting gh to turn into oltl.

    Reply

    Osgood replied

    Oh, stuff and nonsense. It is not the Todd show, it’s just when he’s in a scene he chews up the scenery.

    susan M. replied

    There are only three OLTL crossovers on GH …..And GH is far from turning into OLTL…..OLTL was my favorite soap…..I don’t think it’s the Todd show…I think it is balanced…..There is enough talent to go around……I don’t see making the same mistake twice at all…..Gh & OLTL are as different as night and day..I watched OLTL for a very long time…..GH is definetely on the right track….,

    aria replied

    Well said Brandy, GH has a fully rich history, it doens’t need to rely on OLTL to survive, i’m happy with the few additions, but this is not Llanview stoping ground for the whole town, OLTL was cancelled and their fans need to be happy that at least GH was around and able to intergrate some of their characters to the canvas, but the whole cast thats just ridiculous, OLTL is gone, mourn, and move on.

    Robert in Jersey City replied

    Reality Check. These characters are working actors. There’s no where else to go. Actors used to move around all the time. I think it’s good that with the Jason character leaving that OLTL leads have the opportunity to work. Yes, GH has a rich history, all the ABC soaps did. To me, there’s nothing wrong in rolling all of it into the one soap left. I think the current cast proves only the best survive. I remember GH in 2005 had all these characters that were awful and one by one were killed off. GH is now the best of the best.

    On the flip side, it doesn’t leave much room for new comers to break in. Survival of the fittest. Work is work.

    susan M. replied

    Again there are only THREE OLTL characters on GH….Not the whole cast of OLTL..Just maybe a few more One or two more… Like Erika Slezak (Viki) Or Roxy…………………………………I miss my OLTL…Happy to see them on GH!!!!!!

  2. Bruce says:

    Yes it does. I’m really enjoying it. Keep Florencia, and Kassie, and it would b perfection!!

    Reply

    Jan replied

    not if natalie cant come. kassie maybe.

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    What about Erika Slezak Or Roxy…

    Reply

    Max replied

    Most definitely Erika Slezak. And Roxy, too – Port Chuck seems to be lacking a hair salon where people can regroup – Roxy’s such a riot, it would really add to the humor they try and work into the show.

    And what has Erika Slezak been doing since OLTL. I can’t seem to dig up anything new on her. Can’t believe another soap hasn’t snatched her up yet. Such incredible talent and she has such a following. Where Erika goes, ratings will go up!

    susan M. replied

    Erika Slezak has a soap fan club where you can write to her…I don’t think she is doing anything..Last time I read she was spending a lot of time w/her family…..Didn’t say anything about her working anywhere…HMMMMMMM!!!!!

  3. Amanda says:

    I can surprisingly agree with MB regarding the “ensemble” remark. The last week of GH has been alright. I mean Carly, Tracy, Todd, Sonny, Johnny all in the same room, scene together? Wow and hilarious much? More of Alexis has been awesome along with reuniting her with Jax as BFF. The forthcoming action christening the new time slot is chops-licking. They just need to spice it a wee bit more for me by interacting other characters that are closely tied to each other. (Luke & Sonny’s kids, more sibling interaction as well between). The Quatermaines seriously need beefing up as well.
    No more of the one person, two people take over storylines thank you :)

    Reply

  4. Flavia says:

    I think GH is better than it has been in years! It’s definitely “must watch tv”. I was never a OLTL fan, but LOVE the characters they have brought to GH. It mixes things up and makes it much more interesting! Cudos to ABC and GH for reviving GH and making it much more fun to watch!

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    I agree……….. I was a OLTL fan..

    Reply

  5. Tali says:

    Welcome to 1:00 GH! Really impressed with the edit on todays extended intro. Super nice work, exciting and thrilling, and a good catchup for new and/or returning viewers. Wonderful to see the characters of Todd and John blending so seemlessly. They invigorate General Hospital and still give those of us who loved One Life to Live – a little more life to hold onto.

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    I agree with you 100%… Especially the last line of your comments..

    Reply

    boes replied

    Me too! I had decided to give GH another look when I first heard Ron C. and Frank V. were going to be working with the show. And this was after I had given up GH completely, for almost 10 years. I would check in every now and then, but the overwhelming Mob presence and the destruction of core families drove me away. And not only me. IMO, even the sad caricature that AMC became was better than GH these last 10 years.
    Of the two, OLTL was head and shoulders better than GH in these past few years. And OLTL was ahead in the ratings. That’s the show that should have survived. And if it had, I would have welcomed characters from Port Charles to Llanview, as long as Llanview stayed Llanview. And I think that’s what has happened with the three – count ‘em, three – crossover characters. The addition of these characters from my favorite show, along with the invigorated storytelling and more balanced cast has made me a faithful GH fan again.
    If all those things hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be watching. I hope that the GH-only fans can appreciate that we crossover fans from OLTL are contributing to hopefully helping save GH, and not resent the small but good OLTL infusion.

    Remedy replied

    boes couldn’t have said it beter myself. I too was a GH fan since the 80′s and checked out when the mob became a dominate presence with MB leading the way. No offense to MB but he has about much energy as a sleeping dog and the show followed that lead. OLTL is the show that should have lived on butt at least GH fans are seeing only the tip of the iceberg OLTL had. I tune into GH now because of scenes like the docks as it reminds me of old GH and the crossovers have contributed to that energy as well as OLTLs EP of twenty plus years FV. I continue to hope that more crossovers come to PC namely Blair, Jack, Vicki, Clint, David and hopefully Dorian. It will only improve GH. Of course u would have to make room so some would have to go and one of the three i wish to be gone (can u guess) are gone.

  6. Ann says:

    I’ve been watching GH for 30 years. I think the show is fantastic right now. I didn’t think I would like the OLTL characters coming over but I was wrong. I love them! Mcbain and Todd are fantastic and I think it really does add to the show. I like Mcbain with Sam now that Jason is leaving and Todd and Carly are a good match. Keep up the great storytelling. I hope the show lasts another 30 years. Tell the network they have way too many talk shows. It’s ridiculous. GH is the only thing worth watching.

    Reply

    Christy replied

    oh, 30 years… can you imagine! that would be great! I’d be a very happy octogenarian if my soap lasts that long! :-)

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    I agree with comment on 9/10 at 11:52a.m………..

    Reply

  7. ethel says:

    i haven’t been this excited about watching gh in years – gh is on fire thanks to the new regime!

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    I agree with you totally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

    Christine replied

    I have to agree as well. The last time I watched GH was with the last return of Brenda … and they blew it. It was so boring. I kept waiting and waiting for her and Sonny to run into each other in the courtyard of her hotel. The building up was wonderful, but then it flatlined. I couldn’t keep any interest.

    I loved Megan Ward as Kate, but hated the character of Kate. I can enjoy her now because she finally has some back story and I feel for her.

    When OLTL went black I decided to support GH as I have watched it for many years, though I left from time to time when I got bored. I decided to support this lone ABC soap and I am glad I did. It has been such a wonderful little daily cliffhanger. I DVR it and watch it after Y&R because I love the thrill it gives me after a long day with my little ones. I just love to escape. I shudder to think what I will do if the soaps disappear altogether. I guess it will be reruns of I LOVE LUCY and shows like that with primetime cable shows.

    Beth replied

    ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC…. The GH of today, is more like the heyday of Gloria Monty. I totally enjoy every aspect of the show . Love, love the OLTO characters that are under contract with GH. So glad the writers are still continuing the humor in the character of Todd. One of the greatest exchanges in conversation ever in daytime happened last week. Todd said very quietly to Sonny….I know you know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. Sonny answered as he was walking away, I will tell you later. And this was done without a smile or a laugh from Maurice B. Twelve months ago, it seems like GH was on a quickly sinking ship; today, the ENTIRE GH family, looks happy and hopeful. All of us long time viewers are being awarded with sixty exciting minutes five days a week. Thank you to whoever at ABC had the smarts to work parts of OLTO into GH. And the show, could not have a better EP and HW. JMO

    Reply

  8. jp says:

    When I was a kid, I was an avid viewer of OLTL and GH. I have only recently come back to GH since OLTL ended. I am tired of hearing some, not all, GH fans they are sick of the OLTL characters on GH. You should be saying, thank you, to them and Ron C. and Frank V. for saving your show. What about when any new character is introduced to a show? You learn to love or hate them. So my advice to GH fans is: Embrace it! Be thankful that you can still tune in each day to see your favorite GH characters stories. Be accepting of the OLTL characters who have added spice and intrigue to as Maurice Bernard said, “six months ago, we were dead man walking. I wish I could have my soap, OLTL, back but I have moved on and accepted it. At least, I get to see some of my OLTL family and came back as a GH viewer. Isn’t that what matters? The more people who tune in, the better chance you get to keep the legacy of GH alive.

    Reply

  9. ac says:

    Show is better than ever. character development, cast integration, witty dialogue. i love it again

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    Me Too !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  10. andrea says:

    it is must see tv again luv McBain and Todd too

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    I especially like John ….I wish Natalie would join him….And Liam..It would ake it complete………

    Reply

  11. JustSaying says:

    The fact that they brought Monica back for one episode doesn’t make up for lost time. Here we have a storyline with an epidemic and she’s nowhere to be found. How can a senior medical staff member not be involved in the hospital crisis? Why isn’t she involved in Tracy’s storyline? They’re just playing favorites again. This time with different characters.

    Reply

    kay/kay replied

    Amen Leslie Charleson who plays Monica was very vocal on the direction GH took years ago making MB the star etc and the veterans treatment. They cleaned out Jackie Zemens dressing room and fired her with no warning and no one would talk to her cast members except Kin Shriner Kristian Wagner and the gal who played Lucy Coe. That is why I only watch this show when I am excited about a storyline I still say MB looks away half the time when he is saying his lines.

    Reply

  12. Osgood says:

    Too bad Steven Burton had to act like a petulant brat and leave the show in a huff because it no longer revolves around his pompous butt. He should take Maurice’s cue and be a class act.

    Reply

    Rodd replied

    Osgood, you’re totally off base on why Steve is leaving. Please see Michael’s story on Birton’s reasons for going.

    Reply

    Phil replied

    Nothing is always as it appears…there actually may be some truth to what Osogood is saying. If Burton ends up on Y&R within the next few months it even sounds more plausible.

    kay/kay replied

    He probably is but you can commute to work my husband did it for years and it was a 5 hour flight of course he is a commercial airline Captain so you fly for free.

    kay/kay replied

    I was referring to Osgood stranger things have happened and deep down in his interview with Michael Fairman I got the feeling he was jealous of Michael Easton but I could be way off base. I do know he has been looking at Nashville for a long time.

    Remedy replied

    Osgood is right on base. Steve B is leaving cause he had a hissy fit about airtime . Watch and see he will end up at Y&R with the EP who kissed his butt and let GH tank. Soooo glad he is gone no talent always looking constipated. He will be followed by the next one who not used a EP that wont kiss her butt. LW.

  13. xaraxara says:

    I have been so surprised by how much I have enjoyed GH lately. It is great to see the show return to an ensemble performance. So many talented actors are finally getting screen-time and storylines. I really enjoyed the recent “1%- er” scenes, it was so refreshing to have Tracy in the mix. I loved seeing Heather return after so many years, just hearing her say “Steven Lars” reminds me of the GH of long ago. I am really enjoying Todd, the wit and humor he brings to scenes, especially with Carly, is lots of fun. Great work and professional attitude from Maurice Benard. The combination of less screen-time (less time repeating the same speeches over and over)/better storylines has really helped make Sonny interesting and watchable again.

    Reply

    GeneRosa replied

    Out of all of the commentary I read, your by far mirrored mine best. I fell off of the GH wagon and now I’m riding it with popcorn in hand. I’m excited about the next day’s outcome and have been caught shocked on many more occasions then usual. What is most exciting is seeing so many of the veterans from long ago make a comeback and visit the show again. They visit looking so impeccable and adding depth, while reminding viewers of the show’s history. People keep mentioning OLTL stars, but I think Tea Delgado’s character plays her role at a superb level and is more worthy to be a recurring role. Keep up the ensemble work GH. We are all watching and wanting more…

    Reply

  14. susan M. says:

    GH is the only thing worth watching on daytime programing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I watch nothing but GH on daytime programming & nothing else….There is nothing else worth watching on daytime programing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I like the direction GH is going in…Much better stories and intrigue………………………………..

    Reply

  15. Trisha says:

    I must disagree with MB about his vision for Sonny. I’ve watched Sonny since he first arrived in PC and I think the fact that he was a tortured and lonely soul for some time , it made Sonny that much more appealing. We loved to see him trying to walk the thin line between being good and bad and happy and miserable.

    MB makes it sound as if he’d never been happy with any of his loves, Brenda or Carly, but that’s not true. Like any pairings they had happy time and bad times, but his idea that suddenly Kate is going to make him happy and because she’s ‘crazy’, they won’t be boring , really is OFF to me. I still find them boring, with or without her craziness because of Kate’s sudden “history” which was written in off screen and because she just doesn’t have what it takes.

    Reply

  16. Deborah McClendon says:

    I’ve been a fan of GH since 1980. It was the only Soap on American Forces Network (AFN) overseas in Germany on the base my husband was stationed at Sembach AB. Obviously, I became hooked and never looked back. I’m excited for GH, however I would love to see the old soap opera style back with rivalry, jealousy etc. I most especially would love to see Vanessa Marcel G. come back and cause a divide between Sonny and Kate. I absolutely love Todd, he has wonderful comic relief and I would love to see Sonny with some comic relief like I’ve seen him do with other characters on GH (He was fun to watch). Great seeing Jax and I would love to see Felicia and Mac as well as Alexis ans Shawn together more. More personal storyline less shoot em up!

    Reply

  17. Ronnie says:

    Love how everyone is working towards the good of PORT CHARLES. You’ve got Sonny, Jax and Shawn who all used to work together trying to stop Jerry and trying to save Alexis who they all love. Then you’ve got Dante and McBain who are trying to save the city from a madman’s intent to see all of PC die of his lethal pathogen. Then you’ve got Johnny, Todd and Carly as part of the one percenters are focused on helping Todd come up with the cash needed to get the antiserum. Although Todd and Johnny still cannot put their differences aside even while deathly ill for the sake of Carly who they both have feelings for. All in all I really am glad to see all these people playing a pivotal part in trying to help one another and the citizens of PORT CHARLES. Really hope that this won’t be the last time a great cast like this is able to deliver great episodes for the future of General Hospital.

    Reply

  18. Jen says:

    I’m really liking the show as an ensemble, the umbrella story lines, etc. I’m not a huge Sonny fan (though he has his moments) but I love how Maurice has been such a good sport and really seems to care if GH continues. He seems to have a really positive attitude.

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    More compassionate & understanding Sonny has become…..I like that a lot….

    Reply

  19. Rodd says:

    I love the ensemble! The show is at its best when we see bits and pieces of characters’ storylines throughout the week and not just the same six. I would like to see the Q’s beefed up. They are hilarious when they’re on together! Plus, they have such rich history on the show.

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    True !!!!!!!!

    Reply

  20. Tea says:

    I Love Maurice! I’m so glad he’s happy. I agree totally with him. Sonny & Kate need to be happy. It’s about time Sonny had some real & lasting happiness. Well, as much as a soap will allow, anyway.

    Reply

  21. susan M. says:

    Didn’t Monica look terrible on GH today (tues.) …. She looks like she got a very bad face-lift…..Her nose , lips, chin…It looks so weird to me…..It doesn’t look normal….I know people get older.. It looks like she had her whole face re-arranged….

    Reply

    JustSaying replied

    So did Edward. So I’m hoping it’s story related.

    And I hate how they made it seem like Edward died. That was nasty.

    Reply

    kay/kay replied

    From what I am hearing John Engle/Edward is very ill in real life so yes that might have been his last apperance. Very sad.

  22. Christy says:

    wow! today’s show was great! Very … shall I say it? Very explosive! Couldn’t resist.

    I just couldn’t wait to watch it at home today so I watched it at work with captions on! and did I miss it, or were there no previews? I mean, it was another Tuesday cliff hanger for sure and previews usually mess up cliff hangers.

    Reply

  23. susan M. says:

    On today’s episode did John finally cut the right wire to the bomb???? I think he will in a matter of seconds…It will be real close !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will Johnnie die???? That bad bullet wound…Todd would like him to die …. and we all know why !!!!!! Antidote just enough for on person hmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will they get more in time???? And Jerry is sick and hasn’t got too much time left……………….GH is ROCKIN & ROLLING !!!!!

    Reply

  24. MBmomof3 says:

    Great show & great interview. Thanks to MB for being a team player. I’ve seen and read more interviews with him in the last 6 months than I have in years. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK GH!

    Reply

  25. Jewell says:

    I have noticed a difference and I wasn’t never a fan until two months ago, I would watch it with a friend and could never get into it, because too much mob storyline. Now I’m hooked on GH. I hope they don’t make the same mistake and have Todd take over the show now. It would be nice to have a couple of All My Children characters on GH like Krystal and she can be best friends with Blair. Would love to see David Hayward too.

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    Ck. my message below about Vincent Irizarry(david) I found a movie from 1996 he was in………………LMN MOVIE….All info below!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    What do you think about this movie with Vincent Irizzary on LMN??? Did you ever see it???? Read my whole comment below………

  26. susan M. says:

    If only the truth would come out about Sam’s baby being alive…She said of things were different!!!!! But they could be if the tuth will only come out…This should resolve this storyline next…..They found the antidote & everyone is out of danger of dying….Again the truth about Sam’s baby should be the nt. storyline ……That’s what I think…..

    Reply

  27. susan M. says:

    This is for all AMC soap fans..I saw a move on LMN today with Vincent Irizarry…It’s called : “Lying Eyes (1996) Suspense…Someone stalks and tries to kill a high-school senior(Cassidy Rae) who ended a secret affair with a powerful lawyer(Vincent Irizarry)…He plays Derek Bradshaw a handsome 33 year old lawyer…Who has a thing for high-school senior cheerleaders….It’s a really good movie..He looks great!!!!! If you are interested in purchasing it go to amazon.com ..It’s on dvd and the price is $9.98…It’s 97mins….It will be on LMN again on Oct. 7 at 8:00a.m. That’s with my cable provider in FL….You will have to ck. your own cable provider because times & dates will be different…Again it’s a LMN Movie…..ENJOY!!!!!!! I did….

    Reply

  28. susan M. says:

    The truth about Sam”s baby is out thanks to Spinelli ..He has some good news for Jason…..And Jason will surely tell Sam. And possibly get back together!!!!! I like Spinelli a lot….And Sam didn’t sighn the divorce papers….She went to tell him but she saw hi kissing Elizabeth Hmmmmmm !!!!!!!! Coming attractions jason said to Elizabeth I don’t want to hurt you !!!!!

    Reply

  29. Linda H. Quap says:

    I have loved GH since the early 80′s when I began watching as a early teenager. Starting in the early 90′s the show did become too revolved around the character of “Sonny” and the character had his fingers in too man pies. As a result of that GH lost way too many loyal viewers. Maurice Benard is a veritable genius when it comes to bringing a character like Sonny alive and add enough complexity that viewers can learn to love and want to see so much of a mobster is a testament to his very admirable talent of talent that is wasted on the small screen. He has talent that if his career is managed properly he could potentially become one of legendary stars like Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Morgan Freeman, Wesley Snipes, need I go on? Maurice really is that good…He should be a household name by now and he’s wasting his time on continuing with Sonny Corithinos whose story, less be honest, is not about to change much expect for his leading lady and how much more complex could he become? ) The writers need to bring back more of Robert Scorpio and alumni especially the Quartermaines!! Also, we never hear about Bobbi Spenser these days? What happened to the character, I don’t really recall? Let’s continue with the ensemble and also let’s see more of Roger Howarth (Todd Manny) and Laura Wright (Carly) since they could make a solid coupling and she brings out genuine feelings of love of wanting to be protective of a woman in Todd.. Wow!! Howarth was allowed to display his talent for comedic line’s during the storyline when Todd brought together the wealthiest people of Port Charles to pool resources to buy the toxin’s antidote from Jerry Jax. I loved the line when he said “Think of it “A Wonderful Life Meets Joe Pesci” to Sonny. I loved it, he said it perfectly. Mr. Howarth, could he have potential talent for delivering comedic lines that could someday land him a primetime sitcom role? So many people that I know do not realize the talent that soap opera stars possess and how many lines they need to study for every episode!!! Wow!! I’d loved to see many of the soap stars that have the talent needed for Holywood to make it to the big screen; if it is their desire to do so. This way, they’d be able to sit back and only take the roles that will showcase their abilities!! Constance Towers is awesome in her role as the scheming, conning “Helena Cassadine”, but talent of the caliber needs the chance to win an Oscar in a film that of the magnitude like the film currently at the box offices “Lincoln”. She, Ms. Towers, is nothing short of regal and is capable of playing any role to perfection – I could even seen her in a role where she portrays “royalty”!!! Awesome. General Hospital has always attracted the best talent and always will. Almost with exception, General Hospital’s actors, actresses have never disappointed me and have always come through no matter what!!

    Reply

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