General Hospital fans are buzzing over the news that there’s been a shake-up with the writing team on the ABC soap opera. Controversial head writer Ron Carlivati has been replaced on the sudser and the network has confirmed the news.
According to TVLine, Ron Carlivati is out and Shelly Altman and Jean Passanante will be taking over his duties beginning on August 10. Carlivati had joined the General Hospital family in 2012 after being with One Life to Live. As Soap Opera Digest details, Altman has worked on both OLTL and Young and Restless. Passanante also has some serious daytime experience, having been with Y&R, As the World Turns, and All My Children.
Though the news only became official on Friday, there had been rumors circulating among the fans that something was up. As the Examiner noted, Carlivati had suddenly gone silent on Twitter, a very unusual thing for him, and fans started speculating that he might have been let go from GH.
Typically Carlivati is tweeting about General Hospital quite frequently, usually multiple times a day. As people started speculating, many noticed that his last tweet about anything came on July 17. Ron may not be addressing his departure yet on Twitter, but actress Michelle Stafford has posted about the situation.
Stafford, who plays Nina Clay, tweeted, “I want to thank the brilliant @carlivatiron for creating this amazing character I have the great fortune of playing everyday on #GH!!!”
Executive producer Frank Valentini hasn’t mentioned anything about the big change via his Twitter page yet either, but Passanante tweeted a thank you to the fans congratulating her on the new gig. She also praised Carlivati for the work he’s done on the show.
As a tweet via Soap Opera Digest notes, the timing of Carlivati’s departure means that the material generated under Ron and his team will play out prior to the November sweeps period. From the sounds of things, Altman and Passanante’s work will start airing in mid-October.
People have been anxiously waiting to see when Jake Doe would be publicly revealed as Jason Morgan, with buzz circulating that this wouldn’t play out in full until those November sweeps. Now, fans hope, things may be moved forward at a faster pace.
Just why was Carlivati fired? Soap Opera Network laid out the numbers that seemingly point to the answer. General Hospital has been struggling with some declining ratings and there are a good number of fans who have been quite vocal about their displeasure with Carlivati’s storylines.
Will firing Ron Carlivati and bringing Jean Passanante and Shelly Altman on-board work to enthuse fans again? People are definitely buzzing about this one and will be anxious to see how things play out. Tune in to General Hospital airing weekdays on ABC to see just how things shift from Carlivati’s regime to the Altman/Passanante regime.
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