"General Hospital" x "24" = ?

Kin_lHmmmm. Last year EWasked General Hospital‘s head writer Bob Guza Jr. to tell us how hewould write the hit show 24, and we had 24‘s producer give us hisversion of GH. Now, tomorrow’s GH marks the first of 16 real-timeepisodes, just in time for February sweeps, and Jack Bauer is dealing with someserious family issues (maybe even a little baby mama drama?). Coincidence? Notover at GH.

"I blame Entertainment Weekly for thiswhole nightmare we’re in now," jokes Guza. Our little exercise gothim thinking about a new way to build audience suspense on the soap opera wellversed in high adventure but corralling the show’s disparate storylines withinreal-time constraints just wasn’t daunting enough for him. "It’s thatformat but with a whole other wrinkle on top of it because we are, in fact,telling part of it backwards. We’re going to start a day absolutely cold. Theaudience won’t have a clue what they’re looking at."

The GH event will start with an out-of-the-blue explosion at theMetro Court Hotel in the Mob-riddled, fictional city of Port Charles, N.Y. (Someof you might remember that just a few years ago a fire burned down the hotelthat stood there before, also during sweeps. Hotels and hospitals are great forendangering lives of prominent cast members, says Guza.)

The show then resets to 16 hours before the explosion, and each one-hourepisode will explain the events that led up to it, including a hostage crisis.And since this is sweeps period (and explosions and hostage-takings aren’tenough) there’s also the Jan. 30 return of GH veteran Kin Shriner (pictured) as theex-husband of Laura Spencer, of the fabled Luke and Laura. Shriner will tieinto an existing storyline related to Laura.

addCredit(“Kin Shriner: Adam Larkey”)

Guza’s betting that, rather than confusing and frustrating fans, thedisconcerting switcheroo will intrigue them and make them invest in getting tothe bottom of the mystery. I’m betting that, at the very least, I’ll be lessconfused about how you can get from one side of Port Charles to the other in 20minutes than I am about the 24 logistics.

And for all of you out there looking down on us soap heads, take a cue fromESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who will be on the Feb. 2 episode of GH as areporter covering the hostage situation. He’s been a fan since he was fiveyears old. "Let this be a lesson to all the ladies out there," hesaid. "There are men who love the soaps."

Smith and my husband are man enough to admit their serial love. How about youguys? Who’ll admit they’re stoked to see if GH can pull this off andkeep the proper pacing?

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  • cRAIG

    i think it’s a shame what’s happened to daytime soaps. i certainly watched my share back in my college days. General Hospital is still pretty quality entertainment from what i’ve seen (in small doses i’ll admit) on SoapNet. i’d check it out…

  • amy

    GH 4 LIFE!

  • Maggie

    I’m proud to be a GH fan! It may be a soap, but its always entertaining, which is more than can be said for many primetime shows. And the quality acting, including performances by Tony Geary, Maurice Bernard, Nancy Lee Grahn, Steve Burton and Laura Wright, speaks for itself

  • Ketta

    I’m excited about watching this. I love how Patrick and Robin and looking forward to sweeps.

  • April

    General Hospital continues to be the BEST soap on TV! It is always entertaining and the story lines rarely drag on like other soaps.

  • nettie

    Glad to see Kin Shriner back – This premise sounds a little shaky though.

  • Debbie

    I’ve been counting down the days since this was leaked to the internet weeks ago. The fact that this is a spear head to help advance the Scrubs story (the fabulous Jason Thompson and the fabulous Kimberly McCullough) is awesome and I can’t wait.
    Being a fan of 24, I’m intrigued to see how they’ll pull this off.
    Go GH for being innovatitive and daring to go there.

  • Stefanny

    For the first time in a long time I’m excited about GH’s sweep, it seems that they are going to use a lot of the cast and it’s going to push the stories forward in the end. I’m most excited to see what this will do to Robin and Patrick’s relationship, since I hear she get’s hurt.

  • Rod

    Sweep sound interesting don’t understand why the ultimate crimefighter”Robert Scorpio”not involved in thus Sweep since his beloved daughter Robin will be one of the hostages and wounded.

  • Honeybee

    I haven’t been watching GH in awhile, since its frankly been bloody awful for years. But the idea of Scotty doing a Jack Bauer impression makes me determined to tune in for just a little while. Kin Shriner always made an intersting anti-hero – far better than the current ones on the show.

  • Debbie

    I don’t think GH, can do anything wrong, I have been watching since I was 3 yrs old,that’s 30 years now. I think where gonna sweep the sweeps. gooooo GH forever!!!

  • Brian

    Yeah, I’m a guy. Yeah, I love “GH.” I blame my mom. LOL. Been watching since I was a kid. Would rush home after school to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Now, I TiVo it & watch it that night.

  • Julie H.

    This premise sounds simply fantastic and I have to say that this story, for me, is the one I’m looking forward to the most! Everytime I read something new about this ’24’ style General Hospital sweeps, the more excited I get. I’m hoping that it’s true that all the secrets will be coming out during the crisis from how Sonny and Carly really feel about each other to the secret keeping me on the edge of my seat — that Elizabeth is really pregnant with Jason’s baby. General Hospital truly has reshaped itself in the last year with history, its fabulously talented cast, the ensemble stories, more romance and danger, and fabulous villians like Manny (Robert La Sardo). GH continues to set the bar for others to rise to. Outstanding!

  • Lyle

    I was momentarily interested in checking out this creative exercise, but then I remembered GH has the worst soap producer in charge right now. After too many heartbreaks, nothing’ll get me to check out a Jill Faren Phelps show.

  • Tammy

    This storyline have Robert Scorpio name written all over it to bad GH missed the boat.

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