The fact that “General Hospital” is going to celebrate 50 years on the air this April is impressive, especially since the future of the show had been on shaky ground as the only remaining soap in the ABC lineup. But under the guidance of former “One Life to Live” producer Frank Valentini and former “OLTL” head writer Ron Carlivati, the soap has experienced a ratings rejuvenation as it heads into its 50th year.
On Thursday, Valentini gave an exclusive interview to TV Guide to let fans know what they can expect for the show’s celebration. Viewers probably won’t be too surprised to hear the Nurses’ Ball will be back since several characters have been working overtime to try and plan one in honor of Robin’s (Kimberly McCullough) memory. Of course fans know that Robin is not dead; she’s actually being held prisoner.
In the interview, Valentini acknowledged that the door is always open if McCullough would like to return to the canvas, but he understands that her schedule is limited since she is pursuing a directing career. But Robin is not the only character Valentini is interested in bringing back to the canvas.
Many familiar faces have already returned to Port Charles in recent months, including Anna (Finola Hughes), Robert (Tristan Rogers), Holly (Emma Samms), AJ (Sean Kanan), Duke (Ian Buchanan), Heather (Robin Mattson), Felicia (Kristina Wagner) and Lucy (Lynn Herring). Next, Jon Lindstorm will be bringing Kevin Collins back to the canvas and Genie Francis is reprising her role as Laura Spencer.
Other names Valentini mentioned in the interview included Bobbie Spencer (Jackie Zeman), Audrey (Rachel Ames), Alan (Stuart Damon), Scott Baldwin (Kin Shriner), Lucky (Jonathan Jackson), Nikolas (Tyler Christopher), Ethan (Nathan Parsons), Lesley (Denise Alexander) and Frisco Jones (Jack Wagner). But Valentini once again cautioned that it really depends on scheduling and budget needs.
Valentini also clarified that vampires would not be coming to “General Hospital.” The upcoming storyline with Lucy and John (Michael Easton) will just be a “nod” to the arc they shared on “Port Charles.”
While he could not say much about the rumors that Prospect Park would have claim to the characters of Todd, Starr and John because the lawyers were handling it, he did tell TV Guide that “they hope to continue doing what they’re doing.”
The complete TV Guide interview can be read here.
“General Hospital” airs weekdays at 2 p.m. EST on ABC.