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ABC’s soap opera drama continues to unfold.
The network on Thursday announced that longtime OLTL executive producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati would board General Hospital when their current show ends its run in January.
Valentini will replace current General Hospital showrunner Jill Farren Phelps, who has been with the soap since 2001 and, according to industry chatter, is being forced out as the network shifts away from the ratings-challenged genre, while Carlivati steps in for Garin Wolf, who came aboard the soap in the summer.
ABC officially canceled One Life To Live — along with All My Children — in April, replacing them with lifestyle shows The Chew and The Revolution. The news followed a string of daytime cancellations at other networks in recent years, including CBS’ long-running The Guiding Light, As the World Turns and NBC’s Passions. All My Children aired its final episode on Sept. 23. One Life to Live will broadcast its series finale on Jan. 13.
The duo will begin their GH duties on Jan. 9.
The news comes a week after production company Prospect Park scrapped plans to transition both soaps to online formats as part of a new streaming effort.
Disney/ABC Television Group daytime president Brian Frons on Thursday said in a statement that he hoped the duo’s addition would bring new energy to GH.
“As creative leaders in the industry, I am very excited for their arrival to General Hospital, and their dedication to the genre will certainly invigorate the daytime drama that has been part of pop culture and the TV landscape for many years,” he said.
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