ABC recently named Shelly Altman and Jean Passanante as co-head writers of General Hospital replacing Ron Carlivati. This marks the first time since back in 2002 that a head writing team for the 52-year-old soap is women. Over the last several years the reins of the writing of GH have been handled by men including: Bob Guza and Chuck Pratt Jr., Bob by himself, Garin Wolf, who was also later joined by Shelly Altman for several months as co-head scribes, and then for the last 3 and half years, Ron Carlivati.
In the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest on newsstands now, the publication has the first joint interview with Shelly and Jean, which took place shortly after they began their new writing duties, in which they share their initial thoughts on their plans for the iconic series.
When asked if they feel their take on the GH canvas will be different because they are women, Altman responded: “I don’t necessarily. I think each individual writer brings his or her own experience to the table. Jean and I are both women and we are both mothers. You can’t help but have some of that influence your ideas, your thoughts. We will approach everything from a women’s sensibility because we are women.” However, Passanante’s answered: “I’ve never really known it to make that much of a difference. I’ve worked with some great male head writers who really channeled all the characters, male and female, equally well.”
Make sure to pick up your copy of SOD to read the entire interview.
So to Jean’s point: Does it really make a difference if a man or a woman is head writing a soap opera? Do you think having two women as head writers will truly bring a new perspective for the people of Port Charles because of their gender? Share your thoughts below!