John Stamos is going back to the heyday of the 1980s soap opera industry — an industry that he was a part of when he debuted the role of street kid Blackie Parrish on General Hospital in 1982 — but his plans for a new TV pilot has some soap fans wondering if he lifted the idea from another General Hospital alum. According to Deadline, Stamos has teamed up with renowned producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, whom he worked with on the 2000 miniseries Beach Boys: An American Family, to develop a new drama series that will be set in the world of 1980s soaps.
Stamos’ pilot will be shopped to cable networks and will be loosely based on John’s early days as a soap heartthrob. The show will be told through the viewpoint of a young actor who is thrust into daytime TV stardom and then deals with the temptations and excesses of the industry back in an era of indulgence. John’s new show is being described as “Boogie Nights in the soap world,” according to People.
— Matthew Smith (@kyleo71) March 6, 2014
But while John Stamos’ potential TV pilot about the soap business sounds juicy, some fans — and fellow actors — are crying foul. Some people think John’s idea sounds a lot like the series that fellow General Hospital alum Kimberly McCullough has been diligently working on for the past two years. McCullough debuted the role of young Robin Scorpio on GH in 1985 when she was just 7-years-old, and she became a fan favorite on the show and went on to try her hand at writing and producing.
— Soaps In Depth ABC (@soapsindepthabc) August 4, 2016
Since 2014, Kimberly has been developing a project titled Hey Day, which is about — you guessed it — the ’80s soap opera industry. According to Soap Opera Digest, McCullough wrote and directed her Hey Day pilot, which features her GH mom, Finola Hughes, as well as GH alums Bree Williamson (Claudette Bowen), and Chrissie Fit (Mercedes Juarez), who plays the central character, Angel. McCullough has been promoting her project on social media for months.
— Kimberly McCullough (@whitewatercrew) August 4, 2016
McCullough’s story will instead focus on a young girl growing up while working on a soap, but there’s no denying that Stamos’ new pilot pitch sounds uncannily similar to her idea. In fact, several General Hospital alums have already hit Twitter to note the similarities and to voice their support for McCullough’s version of the idea, including her former leading man, Jason Thompson, her longtime co-stars Tyler Christopher and Vanessa Marcil, and fellow soap star Cady McClain.
— Jason Thompson (@MyJasonThompson) September 16, 2016
— Tyler Christopher (@Tyler2929) September 17, 2016
— Vanessa Marcil (@VanessaMarcilM) September 16, 2016
— Cady McClain (@CadyMcClain) September 17, 2016
John Stamos was just a teen when he landed the breakout role as Blackie Parrish on General Hospital during the height of the iconic daytime drama’s popularity. Stamos left the role in 1984 and went on to become a household name on the ABC sitcom Full House. In more recent years, John Stamos has starred on E.R., Grandfathered, and he will appear on the upcoming season of Scream Queens. John was also instrumental in developing the hit Netflix spinoff, Fuller House, which is set to premiere its second season later this year.
Indeed, John Stamos has seemingly left his General Hospital days long behind him, so it’s interesting that he plans to revisit them now. Stamos, whose most memorable GH scene was when his character played the drums for the legendary Sammy Davis, Jr., was one of the few holdouts for General Hospital’s 50th anniversary celebration a few years ago.
— Anthony Durso (@TheToyroom) October 17, 2015
In an interview on the Jeff Probst Show, Stamos said he declined an invite to reunite with fellow GH heartthrob Rick Springfield for a musical number to celebrate the famous soap’s golden anniversary. But Stamos did have an idea for General Hospital producers at the time.
“Why don’t we pull Blackie out of jail [where he’s been for 30 years] and he has to get re-acclimated to life?” John suggested. “He’s never been with a girl!”
— Rae Diallo (@hdiallo) January 26, 2016
John Stamos has not commented on accusations that his show pitch sounds like McCullough’s show, and it is very possible that he had no clue about her project. But with all of this drama over the actors’ two unaired TV pilots, it’s clear that that the soap industry is a dirty business.
Take a look at the video below to see John Stamos talking about his audition for General Hospital at age 18.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]