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General Hospital
General Hospital 2019 Opening Credits.jpg
Created by Frank and Doris Hursley
Written by Ron Carlivati
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 14,000 (as of February 23, 2018)
Production
Executive producer(s) Selig J. Seligman (1963)
James Young (1963–75)
Tom Donovan (1975–77)
Gloria Monty (1978–87, 1991–92)
H. Wesley Kenney (1987–89)
Joseph Hardy (1989–91)
Wendy Riche (1992–2001)
Jill Farren Phelps (2001–12)
Frank Valentini (2012–present)
Running time 30 minutes (19631976)
45 minutes (19761978)
60 minutes (1978–present)
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run April 1, 1963 – present
Chronology
Followed by Port Charles
Related shows All My Children
The City
Loving
One Life to Live
Ryan's Hope

Template:Italic title

General Hospital (known as GH) is an American daytime television drama that is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest running drama in television currently in production, as well as the third longest running soap opera in American history, after Guiding Light. Concurrently, it is also the world's third longest-running scripted drama series currently in production after British soap operas The Archers and Coronation Street, as well as the second longest running television soap opera still in production following Coronation Street. General Hospital debuted April 1, 1963 on the ABC Television network. It currently also holds the record for most Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, with ten wins.

Created by husband-and-wife soap writers Frank and Doris Hursley, the series was originally set in a general hospital of an unnamed community, until it was dubbed Port Charles, New York in the late 1970s. In the beginning, General Hospital starred John Beradino and Emily McLaughlin as Dr. Steve Hardy and Nurse Jessie Brewer, respectively. Both Beradino and McLaughlin would remain with the series until their deaths in the early 1990s. In 1964, they were joined by Rachel Ames as Audrey March, who remains the longest running actress on an ABC soap opera, having ended her run in 2007. General Hospital became the second soap opera to air on the ABC television network, following the short-lived Road to Reality, which only aired for several months during the 1960-61 television season. In 1964, a sister soap was created for General Hospital, intitled The Young Marrieds, which only ran for two years and was canceled due to low ratings. General Hospital has since spawned two direct spinoffs from itself: Port Charles, which aired in the ABC daytime lineup from 1997 to 2003, and General Hospital: Night Shift, which aired two twelve episode seasons on SOAPnet from 2007 to 2008.

Currently taped at The Prospect Studios, General Hospital originally aired for a half hour from the series debut until July 23, 1976, The show was then expanded to 45 minutes on July 26, 1976, and then to 60 minutes on January 16, 1978.

The wedding of highly popular "super couple" Luke (Anthony Geary) and Laura (Genie Francis) still remains the most watched hour of American daytime soap in television history.

Ever since the late 1970s, most of the show's storylines have revolved around the Quartermaine, Spencer, or Scorpio families. From 1979 to 1988, General Hospital was the number one most watched daytime soap opera on television, which has now been succeeded by The Young and the Restless. The series' success during this time was largely to do with the monumentally popular "supercouple" of Luke Spencer and Laura Webber, whose 1981 wedding brought in 30 million viewers, and remains the highest-rated hour of television in American soap opera history. In 2007, Time Magazine named General Hospital one of the magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All-Time". In April 2009, the series began broadcasting in High Definition.

Following the cancellation of Guiding Light on September 18, 2009, and the cancellation of As the World Turns on September 17, 2010, General Hospital now holds the destination of being the oldest American soap opera currently airing. As well, following the cancellation of All My Children on September 23, 2011, and the cancellation of One Life to Live on January 13, 2012, General Hospital is currently the last remaining soap opera on the ABC television network.

On April 11, 2012, ABC renewed General Hospital after 49 years due to high costs and high ratings, and therefore canceled instead a talk show The Revolution, which premiered January 16, 2012 and ended July 6, 2012. On September 10, 2012, and three days after both Our Screams Can Last and Good Afternoon America ended, General Hospital moved from the timeslot of 3:00PM Eastern to the new timeslot of 2:00PM Eastern, while Katie Couric's talk show Katie premiered in the 3:00PM Eastern timeslot. On December 21, 2012, both All My Secrets and General Hospital became the two oldest American soap operas on the air after Passionate Dreams aired its final episode on BGC.

General Hospital celebrated its 50th Anniversary on April 1, 2013 alongside All My Secrets and aired its 13,000th episode on February 24, 2014.

In January 2014, ABC again renewed General Hospital due to high ratings for another new season, a month after it canceled Katie due to low ratings.

General Hospital aired its 14,000th episode on February 23, 2018, and celebrated its 55th anniversary on April 1, 2018, with a 55th Anniversary episode that aired on April 2, 2018.

Series History

John Beradino and Emily McLaughlin as Dr. Steve Hardy and Nurse Jessie Brewer

Launched on April 1st, 1963, the first stories of General Hospital were largely set in an unnamed mid-sized Eastern city, and revolved around Dr. Steve Hardy (John Beradino), and his friend, Nurse Jessie Brewer (Emily McLaughlin). As Chief of Internal Medicine on the hospital's seventh floor, Steve dedicated his life to healing and caring for the sick, and was ably assisted by Nurse Jessie. Jessie's turbulent marriage to the much-younger Dr. Phil Brewer (Roy Thinnes, then Martin West) was the center of many of the series' early storylines. In 1964, the woman who would finally win Steve's heart, Audrey March, arrived in town. A former flight attendent, Audrey was the younger sister of Nurse Lucille Weeks, who was married to hospital janitor Al Weeks. However, Audrey spent time as the wife of both alcoholic Dr. Jim Hobart and Dr. Tom Baldwin, and even had Tom's son, before she finally realized that she loved Steve.

Other nurses that had an impact at General Hospital during the series' early years included Meg Bentley, who was the mother of young Scott Baldwin and stepmother to troubled teen Brooke Clinton. Meg ended up marrying Lee Baldwin, Tom Baldwin's brother, who adopted Scott. Following Meg's death, Lee met and married Caroline Chandler, who also died, before finally settling down with Gail Adamson and raising Scott. Nurse Diana Taylor was torn between two men, Dr. Peter Taylor and Dr. Phil Brewer. Sharon McGillis married shy Dr. Henry Pinkham. Jane Harland was married to businessman Howie Dawson, and the two shared a daughter, all while having Howie's mother live with them. In 1972, Howie began an affair with Brooke, and when she spurned his advances, she was found murdered.

In 1973, Augusta McLeod came to town and set in motion events that would come to impact the series for years to come. Pregnant with Peter Taylor's child, Augusta arranged for Phil Brewer to return to town, in order to break up Peter and Diana. In December 1974, Phil was murdered, and Jessie was tried for his murder after she was found with Phil's body and the murder weapon, a paper weight. Jessie was eventually acquitted, and Augusta was uncovered as the murderer and was sent to prison, where she gave birth to her son, who was given up for adoption.

During the 1980s, characters such as Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) and Holly Sutton (Emma Samms) became immensely popular through a series of action and adventure storylines.

In the 1980s, the series featured several high-profile action and adventure storylines, many of which featured location shooting at sites including Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, Niagra Falls, Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, Atlantic City, Catalina Island, California and San Antonio, Texas.

During the 1990s, General Hospital entered into a transitional phase as the action/adventure storylines of the 1980s became less popular. The show gained critical acclaim for its sensitive handling of social issues, beginning with the death of eight year old B.J. Jones, the young daughter of Dr. Tony Jones (Brad Maule) and then wife Nurse Bobbie Spencer (Jacklyn Zeman), in a bus crash. Subsequently, B.J.'s heart was donated to her dying cousin, Maxie Jones (then Robyn Richards). Shortly afterwards, Dr. Monica Quartermaine (Leslie Charleson) began a battle with breast cancer, which to her adopting Emily Bowen (then Amber Tamblyn), whose mother had died of the disease. The series also received praise for a beautiful yet tragic story of young love involving teenagers Stone Cates (Michael Sutton) and Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough). Following a struggle that lasted throughout most of the 1995 calender year, Stone died from AIDS at the age of 19 and his death prompted storylines that involved the then 17 year old Robin coping with being HIV-positive as the result of her and Stone's relationship. Sutton was nominated for a daytime emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, and McCullough won an Oustanding Younger Actress award.

On December 14th, 1996, General Hospital aired one of three primetime episodes intitled General Hospital: Twist of Fate, which picked up where the preceding Friday's episode had left off, and centered around Laura Spencer's (Genie Francis) supposed death at the hands of Stefan Cassadine (Stephen Nichols).

On February 20th, 2006, General Hospital aired its 11,000th episode, and roughly four years later, on February 23rd, 2010, the series aired its 12,000th episode. On April 23rd, 2009, the series became the first ABC daytime drama to be taped and broadcast in high defintion. The move made General Hospital the second daytime soap opera to make the transition to hi-def.

Cast

The following contains information regarding the current contract and recurring cast members of General Hospital, as well as those whose entrance to or exit from the series is impending. For a list of former General Hospital cast members, please see List of Former General Hospital Cast Members.

Current Cast Members

Actor Character Duration
Maurice Benard Sonny Corinthos 1993-
Steve Burton Jason Morgan 1991-2012, 2017-
Marcus Coloma Nikolas Cassadine 2019-
William DeVry Julian Jerome 2013-
Chad Duell Michael Corinthos 2010-
Michael Easton Hamilton Finn 2016-
Genie Francis Laura Spencer 1977-1984, 1993-2002, 2006, 2008, 2013. 2015-
Nancy Lee Grahn Alexis Davis 1996-
Briana Nicole Henry Jordan Ashford 2018-
Rebecca Herbst Elizabeth Webber 1997-
Roger Howarth Franco 2013-
Finola Hughes Anna Devane 198-1992, 1995, 2006-2008, 2012-
William Lipton Cameron Spencer 2018-
Katelyn MacMullen Willow Tate 2018-
Sofia Mattsson Sasha Gilmore 2018-
Eden McCoy Josslyn Jacks 2015-
Sydney Mikayla Trina Robinson 2019-
Kelly Monaco Sam McCall 2003-
Ingo Rademacher Jasper Jacks 1996-2013, 2016-2017, 2019-
Wes Ramsey Peter August 2017-
Emme Rylan Lulu Spencer 2013-
Kirsten Storms Maxie Jones 2005-
Josh Swickard Harrison Chase 2018-
Donnell Turner Curtis Ashford 2015-
Cynthis Watros Nina Reeves 2019-
Maura West Ava Jerome 2013-
Laura Wright Carly Corinthos 2005-
Dominic Zamprogna Dante Falconeri 2009-

Recurring cast members

Actor Character Duration
Lexi Ainsworth Kristina Davis 2009–11, 2015–
Bradford Anderson Damian Spinelli 2006-
Real Andrews Marcus Taggert 1996-2003, 2020-
Nicolas Bechtel Spencer Cassadine 2013-
Tahj Bellow TJ Ashford 2018-
Paulina Bugembe Valerie Spencer 2019-
Dan Buran Linc Brown 2020
Bonnie Burroughs Gladys Corbin 2019-
Leslie Charleston Dr. Monica Quartermaine 1977-
Derk Cheetwood Max Giambetti 2002-
Drew Cheetwood Milo Giambetti 2006-
Christopher Cousins Dr. Kirk 2020-
Celesta DeAstis Franchesca Cavallo 2018-
Kim Delaney Jackie Templeton 2020
Risa Dorken Amy Driscoll 2016-
Sonya Eddy Epiphany Johnson 2006-
Jane Elliot Tracy Quartermaine 1978-1980, 1989-1993, 1996, 2003-2017, 2019-
Kyle and Caleb Ends James West 2019-
Porter Fasullo Danny Morgan 2019-
Scarlett Fernandez Charlotte Cassadine 2015-
Lilly Fisher Georgie Spinelli 2017-
Kathleen Gati Dr. Liesl Obrecht 2012-
Patrick J. Gibbons Jr. Wyatt Hoover 2018-
Nigel Gibbs Marcus Godfrey 2018-
Nathaniel Harrison Sergeant Robinson 2006-
Gregory Harrison Gregory Chase 2020-
Carolyn Hennesy Diane Miller 2007-
Lynn Herring Lucy Coe 1985-1991, 1993-1997, 2004, 2012-
Janet Hubert Yvonne Godfrey 2018-
Emma and Ella Hullen Donna Corinthos 2019-
Cassandra James Terry Randolph 2018-
Michael E. Knight Martin Gray 2019-
Brooke Kerr Portia Robinson 2019-
Jeff Kober Cyrus Renault 2020
Wally Kurth Ned Quartermaine 1991-2007, 2012-
David S. Lee Winston Rudge 2016-2017, 2020
Jon Linstrom Dr. Kevin Collins 1993-2002, 2004, 2013-
Lisa LoCicero Olivia Falconeri 2008-
Jophielle Love Violet Finn 2010-
O'Neill Monahan Rocco Falconeri 2017-
Anthony Montgomery Andre Maddox 2015-
Haley Pullos Molly Lansing 2009-
Ella Ramacieri Scout Cain 2019-
Tristan Rogers Robert Scorpio 1980–92, 1995, 2006, 2008, 2012–
Emma Samms Holly Sutton-Scorpio 1982-198, 1992-1993, 2006, 2009, 2012-2013, 2015, 2020
Marc Anthony Samuel Felix Dubois 2013-
Ava and Grace Scarola Avery Jerome 2014-
Amanda Setton Brook Lynn Ashton 2019-
Brooklyn Rae Silzer Emma Scorpio Drake 2011-2018, 2020
Parry Shen Brad Cooper 2013-
Kin Shriner Scott Baldwin 1977-1983, 1987-1993, 1998, 2000-2004, 2007-2008, 2013-
Steven A. Smith Brick 2016-
Jonathan Stanley Billy Price 2019-
James Patrick Stuart Valentine Cassadine 2016-
Kelly Thiebaud Britt Westbourne 2015-2015, 2017-2018, 2020
Constance Towers Helena Cassadine 1997-2007, 2009-2017, 2019-
Matt Trudeau Lucas Jones 2020
Johnny Wactor Brando Corbin 2020
Kristina Wagner Felicia Scorpio 1984-2005, 2007-2008, 2012-
Kelsey Wang Daisy 2018-
Vernee Watson-Johnson Stella Henry 2017-
Hudson West Jake Spencer 2016-
Jon J. York Mac Scorpio 1991-
William Allen Young David Walters 2014-
Maysoon Zayid Zahra Amir 2019-
Jacklyn Zeman Bobbie Spencer 1977-2010, 2013-

Cast changes

Returning

Actor Character Date
Chad Brannon TBA March 2021


Opening Sequence

Since the series' debut in 1963, General Hospital has featured six opening title sequence packages and five theme songs. From 1963 until 1967, an announcer said "General Hospital... brought to you by (product name)", and when the show moved to color on October 30th, 1967 until the early 1970s, announcer Ed Chandler would state "General Hospital in color". Just prior to the commercial break, Chandler would say "We'll return to General Hospital in just a moment", but this was phased out of the series during the early 1970s. From 1973 to 1976, Chandler would simply say "General Hospital". General Hospital was the final ABC program to move to color.

For the closing credits sequence, Chandler's original line from late 1963 until the 1970s was "This is Ed Chandler inviting you to tune in every day, Monday through Friday, for General Hospital". This was discontinued in July 1976. Subsequently, the only such show announcements became the daily sponsor tags by ABC staff announcers ("ABC's General Hospital, brought to you by...") and until the late 1990s, that immediately preceded the title at the end of the opening sequence. Currently, such announcements are placed on network bumpers after the first scene.

Although Ed Chandler ceased his live announcing duties in 1976, a recording of his voice was retained for the first mid-program bumper. There continued to be two mid-program bumpers until January 1978, when a third was added during mid-break, after station identification, in order to represent the series' expansion to an hour. The three-bumper format remained in place until 1986, with only the first and last mid-bumpers remaining. Beginning in 1986, a muted display of the zooming title from the opening sequence was inserted to accomodate the mandate for affiliates to run their station ID over a program's logo or still. Ed Chandler's recorded mid-break annoucement on the first bumper remained until 1989, after which well-know voice actor Bill Ratner began voicing "General Hospital will continue in a moment".


In 1992, Ratner's voiceover was replaced with that of various General Hospital cast members saying "General Hospital will continue in a moment", with "...here on ABC" being added to the line in 1996. From late 1996 to September 1999, various cast members would introduce next episode previews off camera.

Since the fall of 1999, mid-bumpers and previews have been done on network graphics. These were cut in 2008, due to budget cuts.

Opening Title Cards

Opening Title Logo used from April 14th, 1975 to March 31st, 1993

General Hospital Opening Logo used from April 1st, 1993 to August 27th, 2004

General Hospital Opening Logo used from August 30th, 2004 to February 22nd, 2010

General Hospital Opening Logo used from February 23rd, 2010 to June 22, 2012

General Hospital title card, circa 2012-present


Schedule

Start date End date Time slot
(ET/CT)
Run time
(minutes)
April 1, 1963 December 27, 1963 1:00 pm/12 noon 30
December 30, 1963 July 23, 1976 3:00 pm/2:00 pm
July 26, 1976 January 13, 1978 3:15 pm/2:15 pm 45
January 16, 1978 September 7, 2012 3:00 pm/2:00 pm 60
September 10, 2012 Present 2:00 pm/1:00 pm

ABC stations in the Mountain and Pacific time zones, and in Alaska and Hawaii follow a Central time zone schedule for daytime programming; thus, General Hospital is scheduled by the network to air at 1:00 pm in these areas.

  1. Template:Note In September 2014, General Hospital reclaimed its former time slot of 3:00 pm Eastern/2:00 Central and Pacific on ABC owned-and-operated stations in New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh–Durham, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles; and affiliate KSAT-TV in San Antonio.[1][2][3]

Template:Refend

Main Crew Members

The following contains information regarding the current crew members of General Hospital. For information regarding former General Hospital crew members, please see List of Former General Hospital Crew Members.

Current Crew Members

Position Personnel
Executive Producer Frank Valentini
Producers Mercer Barrows
Deborah Genorese
Michelle Henry
Mary O'Leary
Directed by William Ludel
Scott McKinsey
Owen Renfroe
Phideaux Xavier
Head Writer Ron Carlivati
Associate Head Writer/Script Editor Elizabeth Korte
Breakdown Writers Shelly Altman
Sasha Cartullo
Michael Conforti
Nathan Fissel
David Goldschmid
Heidi Ploen
Jim Reitzel
Garin Wolf
Script Writers Karen Harris
Elizabeth Korte
Mary Sue Price
Susan Wald
Casting Directors Gwen Hillier
Mark Teschner
Costume Design Mary Iannelli

References

  1. ^ General Hospital Time Slot Switch: The Affected Stations Fall Afternoon Lineups. Manti, Inc. (August 19, 2014). Archived from the original on August 21, 2014. Retrieved on April 6, 2015.
  2. ^ MONDAY: General Hospital Is On The Move With Its Timeslot Change In 8 Major Markets!. Michael Fairman On-Air On-Soaps (September 5, 2014). Archived from the original on September 8, 2014. Retrieved on April 6, 2015.
  3. ^ "GH'S TIME SLOT CHANGE TAKES PLACE TODAY!", Soap Opera Digest, September 8, 2014. Retrieved on April 6, 2015. 
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