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36 July 26th, 2011 Steve Burton chats on Garin Wolf, JaSam and GH’s future!

Photo Credit: Steven Bergman

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) over the weekend at the General Hospital Fan Club Weekend main event to get the soap superstars thoughts on all the changes in the daytime landscape including those major moves at GH!  The Daytime Emmy winner and fan favorite gives us his insight into the recent writing change at the top, which saw longtime GH head writer, Bob Guza being let-go and replaced by another long time member of the GH team,  Garin Wolf. (Of note to fans: today was the first episode of GH featuring Garin Wolf’s new scripts!)

In addition, now that on-screen Jason has proposed to his gal Sam, what is in store for JaSam and their fans?  Steve gives us a preview! And,  we look at the state of daytime and get Burton’s take on moving soaps online and what the future may hold for ABC’s soon-to-be stand alone daytime soap opera!   Check out Burton’s comments below!

How do you like the scripts you are getting under new head writer, Garin Wolf? What differences do you see from Bob Guza’s?

STEVE: There are a lot more words and five page scenes now!  It is a lot different than Bob Guza.  His scripts are much quicker and more event driven. Garin kind of takes his time and lets things settle. They both have very different writing styles. Garin is incorporating a lot of different characters on the show.  I had a scene with Monica which was great!

Were you concerned with how this writing change could affect your character, Jason Morgan?

STEVE: Nobody besides Bob Guza and Garin could pretty much write me.  GH has a pretty tough time when writers would come in and write for Jason.  They had a lot of spec scripts with test writers, who did not get it. But Garin gets it. He has been here forever and he is a very smart guy.

Let’s talk about those proposal scenes between Jason and Sam! Were those hard to play? Many times the build-up and payoff for an on-screen couple like this (who many JaSam fans have been rooting for such a long time) can have some built in pressure to make sure it plays out right on screen.  Did you feel any of that with those scenes?

STEVE: You have an idea in your head and there is the reality that sets in because of it. Then as an actor you think, “Well, how should this proposal really be? Or, how will the fans think it should be really be?”  As long as it’s real and honest, it works. We, as actors, never really plan things with emotional stuff, it just comes. Kelly Monaco (Sam) and I have been working together for so long that when we do these scenes together, it just works and it just happens.

What do you think will be the next hurdle for Jason and Sam? What will cause problems for them?  We know Franco is headed back, but before then?

STEVE: The first thing I think of is the baby hurdle, and are Jason and Sam going to have one, and can they have one.  Then there is always the Zacharras around and the outside danger of that. But a lot of the upcoming stuff is more about the relationship.

Have you, or would you, ever go to Garin Wolf and tell him what you would like to do with Jason, or suggest story?

STEVE: Garin came to the set for the first time in 100 years! (Laughs) It was a big deal for him to come to the set and he does not live in Los Angeles.  He said, “You know what is going on?” I said, “Nope.”  He then followed up with, “Do you want to know what is going on?”  I said, “Nope. Garin how I work is I see my script the night before and that is how I work.”  And he said, “Great!”  Look, I want them to push me and challenge me and usually when things are uncomfortable they are good. I have been in my comfort zone along time now.  Sometimes you have to push out of the box and you can develop other sides of the character. I think that is how he thinks.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think the ramifications of Jake’s death will be dropped as part of Jason’s story now that Garin is in charge, especially since it was Guza’s big story?

STEVE: Garin does not seem like the guy who will just drop it.  He writes very emotionally, so I don’t think that will be an issue.

What do you think of the new online venture of Prospect Park now that they have rights to put One Life to Live and All My Children online? What do you think can be done to make this work for all parties involved? There is a lot to consider here: advertising dollars, subscription or pay-per-views, salaries and contracts of performers, creative team and crews… and that is to name just a few of the issues. (Laughs)

STEVE: Doing a lot of businesses myself, I can see this working if they have a lot of deep pockets, and apparently they do. It is very technical with advertising on websites as you know, and paid memberships. They certainly are going to have to change the model financially, because unless they can generate enough money, which I don’t know if they can off the bat, it could prove difficult. But what is interesting is the way facebook is set up. You go on facebook and it’s your “likes”.  I go on facebook and it’s my “likes”. Well if everyone who is watching our show on the Internet could pop up ads for their “likes”, then that is more ads to be viewed.  That way, you are not doing a general ad for 500,000 people.  You are doing interest group advertising. I think that is one way to do it.

Do you foresee General Hospital ending up online like the other two canceled ABC soaps? Is that the shows future? Or, do you think it can endure on network television?

Courtesy/ABC

STEVE: I can tell you GH is going to be fine, and it would not surprise me if GH ended up online. But, I believe we are going to garner the ratings to stay on network television. I have never been a ratings person and paid that much attention to them. Every show goes through its ups and downs. Not many shows have a straight line all year long with their numbers.  You are going to have your stories and peaks.  But I think we have some great story coming up and bringing in some old school GHers, which we need back, and some new blood, will mix things up.   I feel we are in a good place in this climate and that is a good feeling to have. Several months or so ago it was doom and gloom when AMC and OLTL were canceled and people were saying there was no hope for the soaps. Look, I am not a negative person anyway.  I am a realistic person, but I think that we can turn it around and if we have to go like Days of our Lives does, where we have to get renewed every 18 months or so, then that is what we will do. That is how it works for most shows in this business anyway. We have just been spoiled for 60 years! (Laughs)

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  1. Carol says:

    I love Jason and Sam and I am so excited about their upcoming marriage. I think GW will be perfect to write for GH and hoping he will be more into romance with all of the wonderful couples that are now on GH..Loving Dante, Mabby, Scrubs, JaSam and LL2 and can’t wait to see much more romance and excitement for these couples that I have come to love. Here’s to a long a satisfying run for GH.

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  2. Darcy says:

    He can pimp them till the cows come home I’ll never like him with Sam.

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    ungcl replied

    Ditto to that.

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  3. Kelly says:

    After seeing Garin’s first show today, I am excited about Jason’s future with Liz! He wrote a Liason scene with a hug and then a reaffirmation of what they mean to each other. It sounds like he’s keen to remind us of what Liz and Jason meant to each other and that bodes well for their future!

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  4. Brittany says:

    Love Jason and Sam, they are and have always been my favorite Daytime soap…the proposal was great! And I heard at FCW that Garin is dedicated to this couple…so happy at the marriage finally and that GH is getting back to the roots with the Quartermaines and the relationships!!!! Looking good GH, looking good.

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  5. Sandra says:

    I am really looking forward to Jason and Sam’s wedding and then baby! They are so overdue for a daughter! Twins would be even better. Stelly pulled off the nut ring so well and it’s so them. LOL!

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  6. Cassandra says:

    I am not going to judge GW’s writing by his first episode but i was a little disappointed. I am a Liason fan so ofcourse i was not happy about the engagement but i dd not like this episode. I don’t know………i am going to reserve judgement for awhile.

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  7. Alva says:

    Well from what the Jatank fans said that GW was for their couple like Frons and Guza . Maybe there right, sorry to say but what a waste. Steve talks about being challenge, well it does show with Sam. I hate to tell Steve his acting ability has gone down. The scene with Monica and Elizabeth showed that Steve still has the talent when his coworker put it out of him.

    So Like the other poster said I will hold my comments on GW for later he just stepped up. I like that he is into history and bring back other that shouldn’t have die. Hope he will change the couples that are on now b/c these are the worst pairing GH has very had in history.

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  8. TWINLADYZ says:

    Luv JaSam relationship n I am over the moon they are finally getting marry!

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  9. kay killgore says:

    Mr. Burton may be a great guy I don’t know but Mr. Wolf get off the Jason, Sonny,Luke show and GH might have a chance. I know for a fact Nancy Grahn, Leslie Charleson were very unhappy for several years please give these ladies a storyline it would be nic to see someone actually ACT on the show again. GOOD LUCK!

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  10. JC says:

    Glad Mr. Wolfe likes relationship stuff, because so do I.

    Loved his first episode, we got Jason/Monica history, more of the natural chemistry between Jason and Sam, an admission from Liz that her connection to Jason stems from Jake, Scrubs romance (!), Epiphany!, and so much more!

    2nd was a little cheesy, so I hope he doesn’t go over the top with it. I can’t wait for the Jason and Sam wedding – those proposal scenes (Guza’s or not) we written with the rich history and emotion soaps are famous for, without being sappy or repetitive. That’s what we want to see!

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  11. ungcl says:

    Steve Burton definitely needs to be challenged and his best work is the emotional stuff so bringing Jason and Robin back will definitely change things up. I know the 90′s was his favourite time and his best work was with Kimberly.

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  12. david says:

    Katie Couric’s show is scheduled in the GH time slot, beginning September 2012. Prospect Park already has an option for GH and it will be moving to the internet too. Posted yesterday on soapoperadigest.com:

    “As first reported by Daytime Confidential, Prospect Park has reportedly secured the rights to GH when it ends its broadcast run. No word on when that will be, but with Katie Couric’s new show set to debut in September 2012 during GH’s timeslot, it could be as soon as late next year.”

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  13. laguzl says:

    I think Steve needs someone who will challenge Jason. Give him some emotion allowing Steve to play a more complex character. Jason was written best in the 1990′s when he was involved with Robin. Steve won his emmy during that time and I think that is something the writers should consider reuniting Jason/Robin again.

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  14. Tonia says:

    I would really like to see Jason reunited with Robin and him involved more the the Quartermaines. I think Steve and Kimberly have great chemistry but even more so there is a great history between Jason and Robin. A relationship between a doctor and a guy in the mob would be worth watching. Robin’s own mother who was in law enforcement was married to Duke who was a part of the mob and Robin’s step dad..

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  15. Liam says:

    I think Steve’s character Jason has been pretty boring he last few years. The only time I found myself really enjoying watching Jason was when he’s been interacting with Dr. Robin Scorpio. I think Steve is a great actor whose talents are not being used fully but that can be said about many. Kimberly is another example very talented and I watched her in prime time programs but her character is not utilized nearly as much as it should be. As someone said the idea of a doctor and a mob guy is a pretty hot idea and something you can not see on any other program. So, yeah hook Jason and Robin up.

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  16. Skyla says:

    the jury is still out for me with GW, I did like today’s eppy much more than the previous two he’d written. i love Jasam and i of course want to see the emotional and relationship moments played out with them but i also love their Bonnie & Clyde type moments so I hope we still see some of those. i also did not like that the first script he wrote had Liz stalking over to Jason’s, the same way he outlined those scripts during the writer’s strike with all the Jiz crap. I also know GW is a fan of the triangle, he’s said that in several interviews and I can guarantee you if we get Liz interloping in Jasam’s relationship again I’ll be tuning out again, the way I did and so many others did during after The Summer Of Sleaze when General Hospital’s ratings dropped 3 million, which they still haven’t recovered to this day. Hopefully he really is committed to Jasam but I guess we will see…

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  17. Brie says:

    I want to see Jason interacting more with the Q’s. They are his family. I also want to see Jason given more depth. Steve is a great actor and should be challenged. Why we are on what I like I love the little interaction I’ve seen between Jason and Robin and want the writers to explore that path. Let’s see them in a relationship. There is a lot of material there to make them a compelling couple storywise plus their chemistry is amazing to watch.

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  18. Aidenn Miller says:

    The couple I want to see is Jason Morgan and Robin Scorpio. There is a wealth of chemistry and potential there that Mr. Wolf’s predecessor did not explore. This show needs to focus on writing strong women, honoring history and families which is something that has been lacking up to this point. I think the characters Robin and Nancy are some of the strongest female characters this show has. Definitely two characters many working women can identify with and yet they are seldom used. I am going to stand back and let Mr. Wolf show me what he can do and if he can take the necessary steps to bring this show back to something worth watching again….strong writing for females, better stories, more adventure and better pairings.

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  19. rhiann19 says:

    I agree with a lot that has been said. I want Jason and Robin together. I want to see Robin utilized more she’s a fantastic character who the audience can identify with. I want to see more of Nancy another great strong female character rarely used. I want to see this show writing family interaction but even more importantly honoring their characters history.

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  20. Etsu Nelson says:

    I like the chemistry between Steve’s character Jason and Kimberly’s character Robin. I want to see more interaction and stories involving them and a reunion. I saw a clip where Robin told Jason she’s always come back and he replied all always be waiting. I think it’s time to give this couple and their many fans a reunion. I mean it’s something that after over a decade JnR still have a solid fanbase behind them supporting a reunion.

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  21. Suki Cooper says:

    Honestly at this point Garin can not do any worse for this show. The ratings are down to 2 not much room to go anywhere but up. I like Steve. I think he is a great actor but Jason I have a love/hate relationship with. Jason has so much potential for depth when I see him interacting with characters like Sonny and Robin. I think a reunion with Robin is just the challenge Jason needs in his life. Robin is not afraid to stand up to Jason and share her opinions with him and that is refreshing to watch. Plus Jason actually listens and goes to Robin when he needs help. It’s not a one sided deal. I like the chemistry and history. I think Robin brings a depth to Jason’s character and makes him be something more than just a guy in the mob that he has been reduced to for the last several years.

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  22. sagey says:

    well sam doesnt want jason to change so what kind of challenge is that…
    I love jason when he is with robin so am hoping for a reunion down
    the track..
    hope they give him something meaty to sink his teeth into…and dont think this marriage is gonna do that…
    Robin was his first “Everything” and one day he and the writers will remember that…
    hugs

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  23. Coley says:

    I think that Jason should be back with Robin. They have great chemistry together and also like someone said earlier a huge history. Steve and Kimberly can get the most emtional scenes out of each other and you really feel the love between the characters. I agree that Jason needs to be challanged and he needs like Robin who always says what’s on her mind and is a strong woman. When 14 year Robin met 16 year old Jason Q way back in 1991 all of us fans were wanting them to be together it’s the way it should’ve been and should be. I love that he always goes to her when he needs a shoulder or her to him for advise. So I would love to see Jason back with Robin, it would boost ratings. THere are tons of us Jason and RObin fans out there who miss and still love them. Chemistry like Steve and Kimberly have comes along once in a life time and it sholuld be used more. SO GO JnR…

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  24. Melhers says:

    Jason could use a change of pace and have more emotional scenes with a certain someone that brings out that sensitive side better than anyone else, and that is definitely Robin. Having Robin and Jason in each other’s orbits again, would change the current dynamic of the show and make things more interesting for us viewers. They had one of the most memorable relationships on the show, and it would be interesting now to see the love and the struggle between a conflicted mobster and a very determined doctor. And the best part about it is that they still show that they have such strong feelings for each other, so it would be interesting if they were given another try and hopefully this time make it. I also would like to see Jason interact with his family once again.

    Reply

  25. heidi says:

    He’s my absolute Fav! Thank you for interviewing him. Great interview and such a good guy! Hope Jason gets even more time in the new writing season.

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  26. Mercedes says:

    I like Steve and think he does a great job with what the writers give him. I am all about seeing a Jason and Robin reunion. I hope this is a direction the writers take at some point.

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  27. Arianna says:

    I want Jason interacting more with his family and with Robin Scorpio. I love their chemistry and think they would make a great couple.

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  28. Waltina says:

    I would like to see a change in the direction of Jason Morgan. First it’s time to move him from Sam. Jason and Sam have being boring for years, nothing is exciting about them. All that happens with them is she gets hurt, Jason sitting by her bedside in the hospital. At home sitting on the sofa her head on his chest. Yes this is very exciting to watch everyday all this romance not. Never have been any chemistry between them. Time to move Jason and Sam away from each other. Also get Jason away from Carly, Michael, Dante, and Lulu. Put him in the orbit of Robin, Monica, Tracy, Liz, and Edwaard. Jason’s best pairing have been with Robin. I can see the mobster and the Dr. or Nurse Liz and the mobster. His second best pairing that the writers never let happen. He also has chemistry with the character of Elizabeth. The worst thing that happened in my opinsion was dropping the storyline between Jason/Liz. I won’t go into killing of Baby Jake so Jason can have a baby with Sam. I think more interaction with the Quartermaines and a discussion about Jake with Monica the child’s grandmother would be great. Third the writer Mr Wolf would be making a misstake trying to substitute a baby for Jason/Sam in Jake’s place.

    As I stated Jason need romance in his life and he want get that with the character of Sam. I say bring own Robin, imagine the reaction we would get from Uncle Mac. Jason should have been involved in the Lisa storyline protecting Robin.

    Time for a CHANGE GENERAL HOSPITAL lets have some musical chairs. And for goodness sake lets get Lucky and Liz away from each other. That baby should have been Nic child. Tired of Dante/Lullu. I forgot put Johnny more in Jason orbit as semi enemies with respect for one another, who helps one another with out admitting they like really respect each other.

    Please enough of Luke and his drinking. Why bring Skye back?
    Change can bring about a better show, happy castmates, and better ratings.

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  29. Rosie says:

    LOVED your interview with Steve,thank you for sharing!! I LOVED the scenes between Jason and Monica too-it is wonderful that Garin is bringing the Quartermaines back! I am sO glad that Steve has such a positive attitude about GH’s future-the fans certainly will keep fighting for GH like we have done for AMC and OLTL!!

    Reply

  30. Amy says:

    Thank you for the interview Michael.

    I am a 150% behind a Jason and Robin reunion, the only time in Jason Morgan’s history he was ever likeable was when he was paired with Robin. I have been watching GH since the 80′s and there are few couples that truly belonged together but Jason and Robin were one of them. The emotional connection between Steve and Kimberly in scenes is unbelievable. These two never shook their chemistry..so many JnR fans tuned into Night Shift Season 1 for JnR and the ratings for that were fantastic. So many JnR fans would start watching the show if these two got back together.
    The ignorance on the show’s part to ignore these two romantically for the nearly 6 years Kimberly has been back has been a travesty. All these other pairings don’t hold a candle to them or the love story they shared, it truly was beautiful. Jason and Robin are GH’s last supercouple with a wealth of history and a Jason/Robin/Patrick triangle would be the best triangle this show has done since Sonny/Brenda/Jax…it has all the elements of a fascinating must see story. PLZ GH…Don’t you have any idea what you are missing in not reuniting these two!!!!

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  31. Alayne says:

    I have watched Robin since she was a mildly amusing, precocious little girl who, I guess was easier to watch in small doses, probably because of her interaction with her interesting parents (Robert and Anna).

    Ever since she has grown up, I can’t stand her. She is boring and still looks like a twelve year old which makes it impossible for me to see her in any grown-up situations. Her eternal youth will benefit her when she’s in her sixties, but not now. I found myself hoping that Lisa would be successful in her murderous attempts. So, NO, I do not want to see her with Jason. She is a goody two-shoes and is too perfect for a relationship with anyone.

    Robin has had her big storyline with her husbands crazy X-girl friend, Lisa, and that exposure will be enough for me until the show goes off the air. Thank God for Lisa who made it interesting. Could she please come back and finish the job?

    It would be wonderful if Jason wakes up from his car accident and remembers his Quartermaine family and becomes a doctor as he originally intended. He and Sam could have a nice family (I like a previous post re: the twins) and Dr. Jason Morgan Quartermaine and family could live happily ever after.

    Sonny and Carly should get back together and raise their children and Sonny should adopt Jax’s daughter and they should all live happily ever-after. Without Jax or that awful insipid Brenda.

    Reply

  32. Bee Bee says:

    Can’t wait to see Jason and Elizabeth back to get her again. Liason makes General Hospital feel just like the real daytime soap from long ago where their is Love In The Afternoon. This Soap should be all about Liason and their true love for each other and Elizabeth should get over her fear of Being married to a hitman named Stone Cold.
    Back to our dear Spixie, and PattyCakes and Robin, this is Love in the Afternoon, because these couples make GH worth Watching.
    Babe!

    Reply

  33. cuppy199 says:

    I read all the comments here and I totally agree that Jason and Robin should reunited. Steve and Kimberly have amazing chemistry. GH has had gold sinse Kimberly returned and instead of using it they have ignore it. There is a reason that Jason polls Robin won his true love even years after Kimberly left. Some couples are meant to be and not all make supercouple statis like Jason and Robin. Its time to get back to the glory days of GH and make GH the #1 soap again. Us J&R fans are still waiting and we been waiting alot longer then any of their other couples and our fan base is still very strong. Alot of the J&R fans just need to awoken. I think GH forgets that a large part of the Patrick and Robin fans are Jason and Robin fans.They are just waiting. Its about time for some Jason and Robin tabletop loving in the afternoon.

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  34. stacey slater says:

    I totally agree I’ve been waching general hospital since i was old enough to understand what’s going on. It’s been a family tradition. The best moments in general hospital history was the amazing love story between jason morgan and robin scorpio. Robin taught him how to love and he taught her how to live. No other women has ever measured up to the love that robin and jason shared. After all these years they still have amazing chemistry together, he always lights up when robin’s around. I believe i can speak for all of us, that we’ve been waiting long enough, it’s time to reunite this power couple.

    Reply

  35. Brittany Andrews says:

    Wow! Finally other people who feel the same way I do about Jason and Robin!!! Why couldn’t they get these 2 back together??? The chemistry between them was off the charts amazing!!! Even watching them now as “friends” the chemistry is still off the charts!!! Imagine what it would be like if they finally got these 2 back together again…sigh :)

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