Frank Valentine teases Genie Francis' return, new love for Liz and the Nurses Ball
With "General Hospital" heading into its 50th anniversary this April, the ABC soap has been scoring big with fans by bringing back familiar faces of yesteryear. Executive producer Frank Valentini teased more big things ahead when MSN TV caught up with him, including Genie Francis and Jon Lindstrom's returns, Nurses Ball drama and a new romance for Liz. Valentini also discussed the online reboot of his former show, "One Life to Live."
Before we get to the straight Q&A, recent rumors suggest John McBain (Michael Easton), Todd Manning (Roger Howarth) and Starr Manning (Kristen Alderson) will be called back to "One Life to Live" for the online reboot. Nothing has been confirmed, but when we spoke to Valentini on Jan. 10, he was feeling optimistic about keeping them in Port Charles.
"I can't really talk about that, because there's a lot of legalese involved," Valentini hedged. "But everything's going to work out. The conversation is happening. I know it's all going to be great."
MSN TV: It's been a good time to be a soap fan. "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" are coming back from the dead, "Days of Our Lives" has been renewed and Genie Francis (Laura) is back to work at "General Hospital." What made decision makers suddenly realize the value of soaps?
Valentine: It is a great time. A lot of people are paying attention to the good work that the existing soaps have done and said, "You know what? There's fans out there. Let's honor them." I don't think it's just happening by accident and luckily, we're riding a nice wave of ratings and good publicity and we're able to continue the upward surge so we can try new things and branch out a little more.
Is it bittersweet that "One Life to Live" is continuing without you back at the helm?
I'm not sure bittersweet's the right word. I'm excited for all my friends in New York and excited for new life to be breathed back in to those two shows. I talked to Agnes [Nixon, series creator] last week and she's excited that her babies have been brought back to life.
Over in Port Charles, you've brought old favorites like Finola Hughes, Robin Mattson, Ian Buchanan, Tristan Rogers and Lynn Herring back into the fold. Kin Shriner returns to "General Hospital" Feb. 19 and your most recent coo is, of course, Genie Francis, returing Feb. 11. What can we expect from Laura's return?
You can expect a lot of surprises and a lot of fun. I met with Genie. She looks gorgeous. She's excited to be back. Everyone on the show is ready to embrace her back into the family. We've got a great story. She's going to be back with a nice big secret.
Is this a long-term arc or a 50th anniversary special visit?
Just wait and see. If I tell you how long it's going to be, it's just going to spoil it, in either direction. [Editor note: Valentini has since confirmed this is a full term casting hire, not a guest gig.]
Jon Lindstrom's Kevin is also heading back to town Wednesday, Jan. 30. What can we expect there?
Yes, Jon Lindstrom is taping today. I'm excited to work with him. I've always thought he was a great actor. We have some fun stuff with him and Lucy that the audience is going to be excited about.
On the other side of this, how do you feel about Steve Burton joining the cast of "The Young & the Restless"?
I wish him all the best.
February is coming fast: What can we expect during sweeps?
We'll be teeing up to the Nurses Ball, which will start at the end of March into the anniversary, which is April 1. Slightly in contrast to what's happened in the past, where it was sort of a one-off event, the Nurses Ball will be weaved into story. Big things will happen at the Nurses Ball and it will go for more than one day.
So February will be about planning the big event?
Yes, and the planning is exciting: How are they going to pull it off? The money just got pulled. Sabrina (Teresa Castillo) and Patrick (Jason Thompson) are working together, and what's going to happen with that? A lot of good questions will be answered.
Speaking of Sabrina, she's a character that has been somewhat polarizing, as you're probably aware.
No. I thought everybody liked her!
Some fans feel she has a storyline that should rightfully be Liz's. Robin was Liz's best friend, but Sabrina's the one saving the Nurses Ball and getting involved with Patrick.
But that's just wrong, because Liz and Patrick are like brother and sister. It would be creepy if they were together. And Liz has a new love interest on the horizon.
You've got to wait and see. It's someone who's on the canvas right now.
Are his initials A.J.?
Fans love Liz and are concerned about her storyline.
I love Liz. I love Becky [Herbst]. She's fantastic. But something needs to be built. That character's been bounced around. She's got three different children from three different men. If she's going to say, "I love you" to somebody, it's got to be real and it's got to mean something. She's not going to jump right into it. That's not who she is. Everyone's forgotten a little bit what makes Liz the character we most identify with and most want to be. Becky's got the acting chops to pull it off and make you go through every step of the relationship with her.
With all this in the cards, can fans still expect more juicy casting returns?
Bunches! I can't [say who, yet]. I'm not being coy. We just don't have the legal documents signed. But it's the 50th anniversary! How often do you turn 50?
"General Hospital" airs weekdays on ABC.
Wait, Donald's a nervous sailor? But that outfit...
In this new short premiering tomorrow, Donald reveals he doesn’t know how to sail - his outfit is purely due to the fact that Daisy loves a, um, man in uniform.
MSN TV has this exclusive image from the short. You can also view a clip here:
The Mickey Mouse short "Donald the Sailor" airs at 8:55 p.m. ET/PT on Friday August 8 on Disney Channel.
Geek alert: 'Mythbusters' hosts lend their voices in this special episode
MSN TV has this exclusive image of "Mythbusters" hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman as members of the Empire:
Creators and executive producers Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh expressed their excitement about adding Savage and Hyneman to the cast: "We’ve been wanting to do something with them for ages, because they are the living adult versions of Phineas and Ferb in the real world. We ran into them at Comic-Con last year and knew that they worked on the original 'Star Wars', so when this opportunity came up we asked if they could come voice a few characters for us. It was really cool for us; we're hoping it was cool for them."
It's definitely cool for us!
"Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars" premieres July 26 at 9PM ET/PT on Disney Channel.
The animated host reveals her thoughts on new twists for Season 16
Photos: Reality TV villains
On which of the new twists will have the most impact on Houseguest survival week after week:
Julie Chen: "I think "Battle of the Block" will have the most impact on a Houseguest's ability to survive. First, those competing in it will literally be fighting for their lives in the game. Second, it will get one of the HOHs (Head of Households) into BIG trouble. Let’s just say that if I were HOH, I would nominate two weak players."
Video: Meet the new 'Big Brother' houseguests
On the rooms and design of this season's tree house theme:
"My favorite room in the urban tree house this year is the honeycomb room. It's cozy and secluded. A perfect spot to 'buzz' with your alliance members about your team's strategy. The room has a door you can close for piracy from others. This is key to have in the house if you want to scheme!"
Video: Take a tour of the 'Big Brother' Tree house
On her most memorable "Big Brother" interview:
"One of my memorable Big Brother interviews was last year with Aaryn. I had to check my feelings and ego at the door and set aside any personal bad feelings I had for her ugly comments. I had to do my job and be fair and straight despite how personally offended I was. It wasn't easy, but it was memorable."
"Big Brother" premieres June 25 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.
(Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBS)
Wayne Brady's improv skills nab a nomination for best original song, a first for the show
Over the years, Brady has collected a number of Emmy nominations, and won twice for Best Talk Show Host (for "The Wayne Brady Show"). He also won a Primetime Emmy for his work on "Whose Line Is It Anyway."
The current version of "Let's Make A Deal" has been nominated for Best Game Show twice. This is the first time the show's been nominated in the Best Song category.
"Let's Make A Deal" airs weekdays on CBS. The 41st Daytime Emmys Awards will be live streamed at 8PM ET on June 22 at www.daytimeemmys.net.
No sparkles here. "This is absolute, pure horror."
Learn more about the story of this modernized vampire world and hear from the cast and crew, including Corey Stoll, Mia Maestro, David Bradley and Sean Astin, as well as director del Toro and executive producer Carlton Cuse ("Lost").
The Season Pass for "The Strain" is now available on Xbox Video.
"The Strain" premieres July 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.
Plus, watch a DVD extra, "Fact and Fiction Collide"
Season 4 is also the final season featuring cast member Lee Thompson Young, who committed suicide last year. Young played detective Barry Frost, and the "R&I" will pay tribute to the actor the first two episodes of the upcoming season.
Watch our exclusive DVD extra, "Fact and Fiction Collide" where you get more insight behind the Paddy Doyle storylines. Then enter our giveaway:
1. Like MSN TV on Facebook or Twitter
2. Tweet or comment the following message: I want to win the @MSNTV #Rizzoli&Isles giveaway
3. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following message: I want to win the @MSNTV #Rizzoli&Isles giveaway
And that's it! Complete both steps by 11:59 p.m. PT on June 16, 2014 and we'll select two winners at random by 12 p.m. PT June 17, 2014.
Open to U.S. residents only but no P.O. Boxes, please. We will not distribute your email address. Your email address will only be used to notify you if you are the winner of this giveaway. The prize will be shipped directly from Warner Bros. to the winners.
"Rizzoli & Isles" Season 5 premieres June 17 at 9PM ET/PT on TNT. "Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Fourth Season" is now available in stores and online.
Exclusive pics gives perspective from Drew Carey's suit lapel
For Tuesday's Pinterest show, host Drew Carey wore a camera on his lapel, which snapped candid shots throughout the taping. Get a first look at a few of these photos from the episode, first on MSN TV:
In the dressing room, Mr. Carey sans glasses!
Getting ready for the cameras:
Spinning the wheel:
Tuesday will also feature a sweepstakes where fans will have the opportunity to enter to win a trip to Hawaii via Pinterest.
Other highlights from this week includes Friday's "You Decide" show, which will feature fan-driven content decided by the show's Twitter audience. "The Young and The Restless" stars Melissa Ordway and Daniel Goddard will appear as guest models as well.
Watch a preview here:
For all of the shows social handles, www.priceisright.com
"The Price Is Right" airs weekdays 11AM ET, 10AM PT on CBS. The special Pinterest episode airs June 3.
Official extended trailer for the upcoming vampire horror series
Thanks to our friends at Xbox Video, see the official extended trailer for FX's "The Strain" before it is available anywhere else:
The Season Pass for The Strain is now available on Xbox Video.
More "The Strain" | "The Strain" on Facebook
"The Strain" premieres July 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.
What summer premieres are you excited for? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter.