News - Soap Buzz

62 January 10th, 2013 GH’s EP Frank Valentini Chats On: Status of OLTL Crossovers With Prospect Park, Nurses’ Ball, and Laura’s Return!

Photo Credit: ABC

With so many things happening fast and furious over the first two weeks of the New Year in soapland, TV Guide’s William Keck caught up with General Hospital’s executive producer Frank Valentini to get some more inside scoop on some very “hot” topics for soap fans as GH preps for its 50th Anniversary this April!

From the Nurses’ Ball resurrection, what is planned for the return of Genie Francis, and most importantly what is the status of Michael Easton, Kristen Alderson and Roger Howarth with the series, who came aboard as crossovers from One Life to Live, a lot of ground is covered. With Prospect Park readying the One Life reboot online, the legality of continuing the characters of John McBain, Todd Manning, and Starr Manning could be in question.  Here now are some excerpts from the interview, and Valentini’s responses and updates on the various situations.

Photo Credit: ABC/Getty Images

Valentini on if fans should be worried that GH may lose John, Todd and Starr now that they have been integrated into the GH canvas:  “Right now we’re trying to work it out. I can’t really say because the lawyers are doing their thing. Our hope is that we’ll be able to continue what we’re be doing.”

Valentini on what is the extent of Genie Francis’ upcoming return, what kind of story will it be, and if any of the Spencer boys will follow suit and make appearances too: It’s open-ended (with Genie) and will be something really exciting that will affect the whole Spencer family.  We will explore where she’s been, what she’s been doing, why she’s been away and she’ll come back with a big secret. We’re working on bringing back some of the Spencer boys as well.  Nashville is part of the ABC family so it’s just a scheduling situation for Jonathan, who is just a lovely guy. And maybe Ethan. And I’ve met with Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) who is a strong possibility. I can’t say definite because we have to make deals.”

Valentini on what viewers can expect when the Nurses Ball happens:  “There will be some big story reveals over a few days. We’re now doing the sketches for the set and costume designs, which are going to be really exciting.  We’ll have the characters sing and dance. We’ll of course have Kelly Monaco ( Sam) dance.  We might even bring (her DWTS partner) Val Chermkovskiy back. The time has also come to reveal Sabrina’s beauty.  Maybe around the Nurses Ball.”

Find out what other returns Valentini is trying to lock in for the shows rocking 50th Anniversary and the Nurses’ Ball including Jack Wagner, Jackie Zeman and Rachel Ames, when you read the full interview.

So soapers, what do you think of the chances that GH will be able to keep McBain and Todd and Starr Manning on the canvas?   Laura’s return to Port Charles?  And the Nurses’ Ball?  Let us know!

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  1. Sandy says:

    It’s a hard situation. We love Starr, John and Todd on GH. If they return to OLTL, it will be a huge loss for GH. Are they obligated to go back to OLTL?

    Reply

    Patricia replied

    from what i hear the characters are obligated to go back if PP wants them back but not the actors.

    Reply

    tim replied

    If I remember correctly,both Howarth and Alderson turned down PP’s original offer to join the on line OLTL. Easton was going to be a part of it,but when it fell through he joined GH.

    Reply

    aria replied

    The characters belong to OLTL, but the actors playing them are not abligated to play the roles on the reboot shows. This explaing why there weren’t more oltl characters brought on full time, i’m sure FV and RC would of added Natalie, Blair on full time too, but i’m sure this PP deal was still looming in the background. I hope the characters get to stick around, but we’ll have to wait and see.

    Reply

    Angela replied

    I would think that when PP made the announcement last year that they weren’t bringing the show online and then abc/GH signed the 3 actors they covered their asses. I think that abc’s legal dept. thought of the possibilty of PP coming back so they provided for that in the contracts.

  2. Patricia says:

    Even though i have been watching ALL abc soaps for years i Loved OLTL the most. I WAS GLAD when these characters went to GH but soon became dismayed because i do not like how they are being written. Todd is not acting like Todd, Starr and michael are a BORE and Mcbain and sam are moving soooo slow its painful and boring already. I DONT LIKE that Kassie DePaiva as Blair is only on once in a while and todds other son jack is missing in action. After the snooze fest of TARLY these past few weeks i am HOPING ALL three characters go home to llanview where they interact with family and loved ones. I miss todd and blair and i miss natalie and john i especially miss todds talks with his sister vicki. PLEASE PP make it happen get us back Todd, John and Starr FREE THE OLTL THREE!!!

    Reply

    aria replied

    You might get your wish, but i doubt if you’ll get the same actors playing the role.

    Reply

    vik replied

    I agree Patricia, when we lost One Life I was glad to see some of them come to GH, made me watch more. But Stars part the last few months till Tods reveal came out the other day, has been NOTHING but a support character for Michael. STUPID. McBain has been gone since they went to Switzerland. So Tod has been the only one with a main story..to me. I’d really like to see ALL my characters back on OLTL and let GH go back to fending for itself. Sorry, its gotten better [i used to nap through it] but still love OLTL much much more!

    Reply

    Tali Smith replied

    I’m only watching GH some times for John & Star. My favorite soap couple is John & Natalie. Wherever John & Natalie go, I will watch-however, if PP takes the characters and recast, it won’t be the same and if John and Natalie aren’t together, it won’t be the same. So right now it’s a lose, lose situation.The way GH has destroyed the characters hasn’t been good, so i’ve lost interest. I do think tho’ RC/FV know how to write for John McBain/Natalie Buchanan the best. It’s a wait and see game!

    Reply

    Tali Smith replied

    Also that needs to be mentioned is the fact that so many of the actors/actresses have moved from the East Coast to the West Coast. The new OLTL is going to be filmed in Connecticut. I believe that is why Blair is on part-time because she would not relocate.

    Mia replied

    I agree RC knew how to write John & Natalie. I can’t wait for them to reunite.

    Bobby replied

    I would love to see Todd keep his business in Port Charles and let someone run it for him. Then have Vickie come get Todd and tell him that he never kill his brother Victor… Then he could go home and let him built his relationship with Jack. Natalie finds out that her father has been keeping John away. She comes to Port Charles to get him back.

    Reply

    Mia replied

    McBain can go back! Starr & Todd I will MISS! I hope OLTL will be available in my country.

    Reply

  3. Gayle says:

    Love all the plans, but don’t want to lose Todd and John! Please give Laura a huge story line so she will stay, and give Liz one too! I’m tired of just seeing her chatting up the nurses!

    Reply

  4. TMJ says:

    There are realities to be considered. I’m guessing that the pay levels for an online series would be less than that for a broadcast series. As much as we might like to see Todd, Starr and John back on OLTL, is it fair to ask Roger, Kristen, and Michael to take severe pay cuts to make it happen?

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    ..
    I believe the 3 will be crossing-over, going back and forth between the 2 soaps..

    but again; they have binding contracts with ABC/GH and may well remain with GH until their contracts end….

    Reply

    susan M. replied

    Good point…I don’t know what to expect with this PP deal..Will they be the same characters we soap lovers are grown to love and watched all these years. Will they
    re-cast some characters with different actors? I really like seeing the three crossovers from OLTL on GH. Because I missed OLTL so much. I was happy when
    they joined GH. I would hate to lose them but on the other hand to replace their
    characters with different actors on the OLTL reboot Hmmmmm! I am not sure about
    this whole situation..We will just have to wait and see what happens.

    Reply

    Christine replied

    No, TMJ, its not fair to the actors. I have felt that all along that they have the right to be gainfully employed on TELEVISION.

    Nothing against the online series, but it seems like small potatoes compared to a web series. As long as GH continues, and “continue” being the operative word, then the actors have more exposure and rightfully so.

    Reply

  5. su0000 says:

    I doubt the 3 will be going back to OLTL..
    they are under contract with ABC to do GH ..
    ABC/D still has their thumb in PP ..
    OLTL and PP will have make do without the 3 at least until their contracts end with GH..

    Reply

    MK replied

    KA is entering year 2 of a 3 yr contract. RH has a long term (unspecified) contract. ME did have a contract with PP but it has expired. ME has been more recurring on GH then contract player (because ME was still under contract with PP) . John McB was not a core character of the original OLTL. He may go to finish the story with Nat. His character is better and likeable on GH. So I think he would stay long term.

    Reply

  6. Michael says:

    I already think that Sabrina is gorgeous!

    Reply

    CTwildheart replied

    Me too Michael!

    Reply

  7. Caroline says:

    I don’t see why the PP version of OLTL couldn’t have Todd, Starr, and John played by other actors (or, even better, have those 3 stay in PC and work it into their storylines with, perhaps, visits to Llanview). It would be very unfair to the actors now on GH to force them to go online or be out of a job. OLTL was my favorite soap, by far, but I hope the two shows can amicably co-exist.

    Reply

  8. Jen says:

    Hi Michael :)

    This is a lot to take in. I am thrilled about the new home for AMC and OLTL! I will be there on day one! That being said, I like how the characters of Starr, Todd and John have fit into some existing story lines. They are the best of the best, and they have brought new life to GH. It is wonderful to have Todd’s brand of dysfunctional, Starr’s compassion and John’s not so perfect brooding cop! Dante needed a partner, and John is a great fit! I would hate to seem them have to leave GH.

    On the other hand, I wish only the best for all of them. They have been jerked around as much, but probably more, than the fans. I wonder if it would be possible, if all the powers that be, could maybe play nice and let some crossovers continue only now between ABC and The Online Network? After all, we, the fans, are going to be watching both, so why not just try for a solution that doesn’t put anyone in the position of having to choose between the two.

    Either way, I wish Roger, Kristen, and Michael all the very best! I will be tuning in wherever they are!

    :)

    Reply

  9. Debbie Hamilton says:

    I also want to see Todd, Starr, John McBain back at OLTL But if it was me and there would be a paycut; I think I’d stay where the money was. But you need to look at it like this; how secure is the future of General Hospital??? Also how secure is the rejuvination of OLTL and AMC plus, they have a contract with GH. Alot of things to consider. I have truly mixed feelings,
    on GH these actors are only a shadow of their former selves. Todd was more of action packed fella always in trouble one way or the other , John was so involved with his department and solving crimes and the love of his life and now finding he was a Daddy, how can he just leave little Liam and Natalie by the wayside??? Starr, poor Starr to have gone thr all that and her Mother only making few and far between visits; thats just too sad! Starr very much needed her Mother instead she’s left bearing all the terriable heartache of loosing her boyfriend and little girl.

    Reply

  10. Annie says:

    Valentini needs to preserve the soaps, and have characters stay true to their character, with obvious growth and reaction to adversity. Cross over is fun and will help all soaps if it is not permanent. New actors can play these characters, and it will be an adjustment, but we viewers will quickly come to love them. It was a shame too many important players were left behind, as they could have helped Starr and McBain find storylines that are intriguing, particularly Blair and Jack, and Natalie would bring huge conflict to McBain. Right now, on GH, too many characters with the thrill wearing off of the major players from the 1980′s.

    Reply

  11. Lisa K says:

    Ok, why cant the trio do cross over bits between the shows? They used to do it all the time.. Look at Sky Chandler… shes been on all three soaps as the same character. It would be great to lock the three together… keeping viewers glued to their seats for all three soaps…. continuing drama….all three with high ratings… Just my opinion…..

    Reply

    CTwildheart replied

    It wouldn’t be easy to do with GH, since they film on the West Coast, while the other two will be filming on the East Coast. But I think it’s a great idea!

    Reply

    TRW replied

    Yeah, if only someone would invent a machine that could carry people across the counrty in a matter of mere hours…

    CTwildheart replied

    It’s called scheduling TRW, logistics. Exactly why Steve Burton went to Y&R instead of sticking with GH – even though they have airplanes.

  12. heidi says:

    I am more excited about hearing about Genie coming back with a great story and the hope that Jonathan, Tyler, and Nathan might be coming back too! Oh… and Jack Wagner, Rachel Ames, and Jackie Zeman too…woo hoo! Whatever happens with Todd, John and Starr will hopefully be best for OLTL and GH.

    Reply

  13. bc says:

    As w/ majority of primetime and daytime soap operas: racial diversity is never a pressing issue for the showrunners when they are interviewed. No one can read their minds but racial diversity was not mentioned from this interview and thus it doesn’t appear to be a priority for soaps. ABC daytime soaps and primetime soaps are horrid when it comes to racial diversity. It’s great that a black actress like Kerry is the lead on Scandal but of course she has to be paired w/ a white actor. Same w/ Sandra Oh’s char on grey’s anatomy as she’s paired w/ a white actor. Yeah she was paired w/ Isaiah Washington before he was fired for the slur. BTW: typical of hollywood that they kill his career for his gay slur but kramer on seinfeld can say a slur against black people and he can still bounce back and have a career. It’s worse w/ sarah silverman bec her career wasn’t even hurt by her slur against chinese people. Typical hollywood bias. The new doctors on grey’s are majority white. Couldn’t they have cast Asian americans? Have they reached their “quota” w/ 1 Asian american char? Typical horrid casting from hollywood for racial diveristy. Practically every storyline must be told w/ white characters.

    Reply

  14. pink says:

    I could care less about Todd,John & Starr because they don’t add to GH,they takew away from it.GH should be focused on GH ONLY characters so i hope they go.

    Reply

    CTwildheart replied

    That is a very small view.

    Reply

  15. Christina says:

    I’m really excited with the show right now LOVE the Spencers hope they bring back all the boys. Also I really LOVE STARR & MICHAEL so I hope they stay at GH. GH ROCKS & I really love DANTE & LULU love story I hope its will always last with problems (since its a soap) BUT always love eachother.

    Reply

  16. mike says:

    Prospect Park is destined to fail. How can you structure a show based on the availability of certain actors instead of developing a story bible and casting out from that? I loved OLTL but I am afraid to see what it will become.

    Reply

    CTwildheart replied

    Ummm…why do you think they are structuring these shows around who can return? I’ve heard no such thing.

    Reply

    MK replied

    ITA, Mike. The characters are important then the actors. You can’t have AMC with Erica, Tad, and Adam or OLTL with Viki, Dorian and Bo. First you get the story and characters and then you see if the actors are available and if not recast or created new similar characters to take the place of the characters not on the canvas. Or then can skip a generation and have show about Miranda and Erica. With Bianca making visits. We want to go back to the simple small town of Pine Valley.

  17. Stephanie says:

    I will be happy no matter where they end up. My only concern is that if they go back to PP with the online version then we will have to pay to see them on the internet. That ?? still has yet to be answered. If I have to pay for cable, and get GH, they would I want to pay an additional fee for internet to see the same characters when they are already on a soap I get with TV.

    Starr is my favorite and I love her with Michael but I would also love to see the interaction she has with Blair!

    I guess time will tell.

    Reply

  18. Lynn says:

    I want them to go back to OLTL I can’t stand them on GH I suffer through GH just to see them and this forced Sam stuff with John not fun to watch it has changes his character so much. I was so naive when they came to GH I was excited to keep something from OLTL but not at the expense of the Happy ending to OLTL and the changing of their characters. If there is soap gods out there please let them go home where they belong. OLTL won’t be the same without them

    Reply

    Mia replied

    ITA Sam & McBain were too forced. I’m glad he is going back.

    Reply

  19. JustSaying says:

    Jackie Zeman and Rachel Ames? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! They wait for an anniversary to bring them back?

    Fair enough.

    Reply

  20. CTwildheart says:

    As a fan of the entire genre…I will wait and see what happens with the OLTL actors/characters. I will watch them on either show and be happy about it.
    Looking forward to the Nurse’s Ball!
    Really loving General Hospital these days. :)

    Reply

    Christine replied

    WOW! What a refreshing perspective you have, CTwildheart. Finally someone that is not complaining. What a novel concept. :-)

    I agree with you 100%.

    Reply

  21. Nancy says:

    I need McBain and do not want him going anywhere along with the other OLTL characters. I will be watching OLTL (fav), AMC online. GH has become the best show I have ever seen and I know it is because of Ron and Frank, my 2 favorite people. I love the stories and everything else about GH right now. Please save these people on GH.

    Reply

  22. Angie says:

    GH needs to keep Michael Easton & Roger H I love their characters even more on GH than I did on OLTL. Just need to give Michael E more screen time which I’m sure is coming with McBam. Hope they bring Nathan P back as Ethan.

    Reply

    CTwildheart replied

    I miss Ethan too! He is on Bunheads, which is owned by ABCFamily (I think) so they should be able to work in at least one visit…

    Reply

  23. Jamie says:

    Everyday I feel like my life gets a little bit brighter with every story I read about GH! I am so loving it!!!!!

    Reply

  24. Christine says:

    It’s hard to believe it has been a year already since Valentini took the reigns. I think that part about how they have turned the show around really needs to be emphasized.

    I don’t agree with everything they are doing – killing Trey on one hand seems pointless and unfair to the poor guy, but on the other hand, it gives some story to Connie to show that she is human after all and giving Connie a reason to stick around if she can find a way to love Sonny. Speaking of Sonny, they are doing an awesome job of integrating him into the show and supporting the cast instead of being on every day and in everyone’s story.

    A lot of the things the TV Guide interviewer said is right in line with what most fans think. I can see Maxie being pregnant with Spinelli’s child only to find out that Lulu’s test results got mixed up and she CAN carry a baby to term.

    Unlike some, the new characters are fitting in and actually showing they can be long-term. I really like the turn they have taken with Ellie and Sabrina. Dr. Britt can exit stage left at any moment, as far as I am concerned, but I like the rest.

    I only wish poor Elizabeth would get a real story and some real airtime. I feel bad that the character seems to only be part of the hospital background. I guess if they pair her with AJ then she will have a story so I am patiently waiting.

    As for the OLTL characters possibly leaving. I don’t see it as a big deal. If the actors want to stay, and they have every right to, then they could just come up with new names and backstory for them one day. Stranger things have happened on TV. They would just have to be extremely careful to make sure that none of the backstory resembled Agnes Nixon’s characters or they could get sued.

    How come he didn’t answer the question about Tristan Rogers’ status? :-) I am still hoping Tristan can go back to Y&R as well as work on GH, but there are legalities and he is a busy man with other projects.

    I am glad I gave up reading the spoilers and inside stuff so that I can watch it unfold before my eyes each week. I am also very happy that I decided to start watching again after GH was on life support because the current regime has definitely made it worth my while.

    My only hope is that ABC finally gets its act together and recognizes that there are still some of us who want our soap operas (and NOT reality soaps filmed at a real hospital) to continue on our TELEVISION screens. Please, ABC, renew GH … and do it soon to set our minds at ease.

    Reply

  25. Mercedes says:

    I will admit I was originally thrilled by the idea of some OLTL characters coming to PC. But I have been left absolutely devastated, especially by the absolute destruction of everything that has defined the character of Todd Manning. He and Starr need to get back to Llanview ASAP so they can become recognizable again.

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    I love the newer Todd and John!!
    They are GH now and I hope they stay that way :)

    Reply

    Tali Smith replied

    I identify with you!

    Reply

  26. S. Bowers says:

    I hope both GH & OLTL will be successful. My very favorite is OLTL but I watched GH longer since I was 4 and OLTL from 17 until it was taken away. I want hem both to be on for a very long time. GH is so much better with the new writers etc. much better than it used to be, almost like the good old days.

    Reply

  27. Lisa says:

    As for oltl, why cant they use the other Tod (Victor) who is also great. As for John McBain we need him on Gh now. Starr can go back and forth because her storyline is boring.

    Reply

  28. Asia says:

    Even though I didn’t watch OLTL when it was on, hearing about the crossovers back in February is what got me watching GH again. It’s been a breath of fresh air to have characters on the show that are not only new but they already have their own background and history. I hope that Starr, Todd, and John can stay. The actors all have contracts with ABC/GH and RH and KA never signed with Prospect Park the first go around. I would hate to see any of these actors forced out of a job. And if none of them are interested in working for Prospect Park, they’ll end up recast. That doesn’t seem fair at all.

    Reply

  29. melanie says:

    Many of the actors from OLTL had already siad they would not do the online show. So how many original characters does that leave us with? Not many… Some of the ones who are willing to go onlne are not the most interesting of the group. I have also been watching ABC soaps for about 30 years and over the years AMC/GH were lacking and OLTL stayed my favorite. Todd being one of my favorite people. Although I was disheartened to see him leave years ago…Vitor was a decent replacement. I also agree iwth other posters…the real Todd is not acting ike himself on GH. I question how well the show will go if they ave to recast a bunch of new people to play the parts of many characters online. If Natalie is not there…Jon really has no reason to return to Lanview.

    Reply

  30. christy says:

    as much as i’ve wanted OLTL to come back, I don’t want to lose Roger/Todd and Kristen/Star on GH. I’m able to watch GH and it’s been so good since last Jan/Feb and the OLTL people have been added in. I don’t want it to go back to the drool it was before – the sonny mobster show. There’s much more to the story now.

    It’s going to cost me to watch the online soap and not sure if it will be a pay for watching show, on top of having to get hi speed internet! arg! I can get GH – even with rabbit ears! and it doesn’t cost me. There’s a lot to be said for free broadcast tv!

    Reply

  31. dani says:

    GH doesn’t need out characters. You have so many of your own. OL PP is going to need all the help it can get and John and Todd our are 2 main characters. You get to keep our EP ,writers and time slot we should really get our characters back. You can keep Star though…..

    Reply

  32. Kelly Ryan says:

    There really isn’t anything we can do except wait and see how it plays out &it hope for the best for the actors’ sakes and the sakes of the SOAPS.
    WE ALL WANT WHAT IS BEST FOR OUR BELOVED ACTORS, CHARACTERS, & OUR SOAPS; THE ONE WE STILL HAVE (GH) & THE ONES WE ARE GETTING BACK (AMC &I OLTL).

    Reply

  33. kelly irons says:

    You know there used to be a lot of crossing over of characters on OLTL and AMC, perhaps to build momentum they should think about combining the two for a better show. This way since I do not expect near the return of the old cast that people might wish for; we can maybe get that as a compromise. This is just a thought and I am sure it might even have been tossed around. It’s been almost two years now, I don’t think that the fans care as long as there is some sort of return for the faith we never lost. Anyone else think this idea could fly or is it a flop. I can take it. Am excited no matter how it goes, just hate to settle for one or two original cast members and already hear the rumbling from GH about Howarth, but then no shock there, the man can easily hold his own against anyone including the great Tony Geary. Would love feedback. What do you think?

    Reply

  34. Kelly says:

    To Frank Valentini who I’m sure will never see this comment;
    Thank you so much for coming to GH & making such a huge positive difference. You haven’t stopped since your feet hit the floor. You’ve made some brilliant business decisions such as combining the established fanbases of OLTL characters with GH’s characters. You’ve boosted morale. Maurice Benard is happy! The show is more balanced & has your trademark humor that I truly appreciate (and need) You’ve brought favorites back, Anna, FAISON, Lucy, Laura, Scotty &I more. You’ve named dropped, you’ve blended storylines from OLTL &GH PORT CHARLES, you’re a creative genius, & GH hasn’t been this good in a very long time! ….Every single word is sincere. BELIEVE me. People will tell you. So I kind of feel a teeny bit nervous about asking you for just a little tiny favor :) I know you have a really good sense of humor, thank goodness….I was just wondering if maybe you might give some serious thought to bringing back TAMARA BRAUN as CARLY? She had alot of redeeming qualities & had a softness that went with her tough & savvy side, & she was true to her fellow actors. I really don’t expect you to even read this, that’s the probably why I could even ask. But in any case, I don’t mean any disrespect. I just wrote it on an impulse ….I can only imagine the replies this comment might get. :)

    Reply

  35. Soap Critic says:

    Before coming to GH Frank Valentini worked for Prospect Park briefly until they put their online network on hold while they worked out the funding. They let him go to GH in an amicable agreement but he proceeded to badmouth the owners of PP even after PP had agreed to loan certain characters to GH for a short time. Valentini went ahead and changed story lines and killed off characters which was all in bad faith according to the agreement between PP and ABC. PP had the best interest of the actors in mind by negotiating a deal where they could work and get paid in the interim of getting the funding for the relaunch of OLTL and AMC. Some say, Valentini proceeded to tell lies about PP and manipulate actors into signing long term deals preventing them from going back to OLTL to play their original characters. This is a complete disservice to the OLTL fans to have watched for years. Good luck Valentini, can’t wait to see this one play out in court.

    Reply

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