‘General Hospital’ Loses Co-Head Writer Jean Passanante, But Gains Soap Vet James DePaiva [Spoilers]

There are changes going on over at General Hospital with the recent announcement that co-head writer, Jean Passanante, has decided to retire. She and Shelly Altman have been working together for two years now bringing the latest story plots to the only soap left on ABC. In addition, there was a surprise from Executive Producer Frank Valentini revealing that soap vet, James DePaiva, will be joining the cast.

The shake up of writers is nothing new to soaps. While some viewers bark constantly about the bad stories on daytime TV, others realize just how difficult it is to keep everyone happy. However, there has been many unhappy General Hospital fans out there right now that have taken to social media to express their disappointment over the current writing situation. According to Soap Opera Digest, Passanante’s surprise announcement on Tuesday explained her reason for leaving.

She was not fired as some may have suspected. She said that she had been thinking about retiring from soap writing for a while now. She has been in the business for 27 years and knows that this is the right time to do it. She also thanked the whole ABC crew for being so wonderful.

“They’ve been incredibly sweet about this. But it’s a hard show to leave, and the actors are so, so good. It’s just a pleasure to write for them.”

Until it is stated otherwise, Altman will be taking over the full writing job for General Hospital. There is no word yet on whether she will continue to work alone or if someone else will be brought in to team up with her. Her writing partner will be leaving the job at the end of July.

Jean Passanante’s job has not been an easy one when it comes to making GH fans happy. She has been known to get into a Twitter war of sorts with viewers who post their displeasure over the current storylines. People feel that the writers like to rewrite history on the soap and this is not acceptable. The rich history of General Hospital is important to those who have been fans for many years. Being that GH now stands alone on the ABC daytime drama lineup, it is especially important to keep viewers watching.

There was another surprising announcement that a well-known soap vet will be joining General Hospital soon. Frank Valentini revealed in a short clip he posted on social media that One Life To Live actor, James DePaiva, is the newest cast member to come on board. He played the role of Max Holden on the former ABC soap and was a fan-favorite.

This was obviously just a teaser as no other details have been revealed just yet. He could very well continue his role as Max Holden just as Hillary B. Smith did as Nora Buchanan when she popped up on General Hospital a few weeks ago. According to Valentini, this is a top secret role. Does this mean that he will be a brand new character or an old character with a new face?

It has been rumored that Jeff Webber, Elizabeth and Hayden’s dad, will make his way back to Port Charles. It has been many years since he has been seen. Actor Richard Dean Anderson originated the role and fans were hoping that he would come back to his stomping grounds, but it could be that DePaiva will be brought in as Dr. Webber instead.

The original Jeff Webber, Richard Dean Anderson [Image by Carla VanWagoner/Shutterstock]

According to the post, fans will get some hints if they keep watching General Hospital to figure out who this mystery guy is. Valentini may have given a small teaser for viewers to chew on in the clip.

“Hey, GH fans, just when you thought it was safe to go back to the hospital…”

Jeff Webber is a physician, after all. Was this a hint that it could be him, or is it someone totally new? This would be a perfect time to bring Jeff back as Hayden is now pregnant and Elizabeth is about to move closer in her relationship with Franco. Daddy may not approve of his daughter romancing a man with such a tormented past.

What are your thoughts on Jean Passanante leaving? Are you looking forward to having James DePaiva join General Hospital? Sound off your thoughts on whether these changes are for the best or if this is a bad move for the soap.

[Featured Image by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images]

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