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Executive producer dishes casting, romance and the time shift for 'Katie'

By TVDeeva Deanna Barnert Sep 7, 2012 7:27AM
ABC's "General Hospital" is getting bumped to a new time slot in most markets to make room for "Katie," starting Monday, Sept. 10. To celebrate the move, several Port Charles locals went on location in Long Beach, Calif., for explosive scenes airing that week. MSN TV caught up with executive producer and master of tease Frank Valentini over the summer to talk about what he has in store for "General Hospital," how his former show, "One Life to Live," fits into that future and the state of daytime in general.

 

Bing: More about "General Hospital" | Frank Valentini

 

It's shaping up to be an Indian summer in Port Charles, where the action is heating up. Not only has Jerry Jacks (Sebastian Roché) returned to poison the proverbial water, with his brother Jax (Ingo Rademacher) in tow: There was also a surprise appearance by the original Duke Lavery (Ian Buchanan). The return from the dead was so scandalously delicious it had Duke Lavery trending on Twitter, but that was just a tease. With Port Charles locals hitting the waterfront to thwart Jerry's deadly plan, Lavery won't get into the action until October. 


In another surprise twist, Steve Burton (Jason) recently revealed he's leaving "General Hospital," with his final scenes airing Tuesday, Sept. 25. Many fans are crowing that it's the wrong time, since his love triangle is just heating up. Considering all the returns and casting Valentini teased, however, fans may not have time to miss the mob strong arm ... OK, that's unlikely! But Valentini is promising more excitement and casting coos, and it's all leading up to the "General Hospital" 50th Anniversary in April.

 

Plus: Must-see, new fall shows | New fall shows to avoid

 

MSN TV: You've been teasing big returns for September. We've already seen some doozies! Who is on your wishlist?

 

Frank Valentini: I wouldn't want to give it away, because there are so few surprises in life. The first wave starts in September and then it will go until April. One thing you need to remember with me is that I'm a planner. I've always got my eye on the future. What no one can deny is that I've brought more variety to the show. It will only continue in that vein.

 

"The Young and the Restless" recently went through a regime change. If there's a housecleaning over there, would you be open to bringing back Genie Francis as Laura Spencer?

 

Absolutely.

 

What about the character Scotty Baldwin (Kin Shriner)?

 

I hope so! I'm a big fan. He's a great character.

 

Since signing onto "General Hospital," you've managed to mix in returned Port Charles favorites and former "One Life to Live" characters to recreate the canvas. Can you talk about how you've gone about rebuilding the show?

 

Maybe not rebuilding, but remodeling. The show was in terrific shape, but there needed to be some tweaks. It's much more my taste, my sensibility, for the show to go just a little bit faster, but I thought there were some key characters missing – not in terms of who they were, but certain archetypes. Bringing on some of the people from "One Life to Live" was a little bit of a way to honor the "One Life to Live" audience and also to create a story that was good for the current cast.

 

To what extent do you still keep your eye on your former "One Life to Live" players?

 

We would bring people on if it made sense. We brought Kassie DePaiva (Blair) back for a four-episode arc and it made sense: Her daughter was making her debut. She wants to support her daughter. We'll never do something that doesn't feed "General Hospital," as well. Starr performing helped tee up the Michael/Starr relationship. That was important for us to do. Then it also furthered the relationship between Todd and Carly. Kassie is a great actress and that's exciting, but it was also a great way to move something forward in the Port Charles world. 

 

Is Kassie coming back?

 

Yes, Kassie will definitely be coming back.


And Melissa Archer (Natalie, "One Life to Live") has never looked better. Can we get Natalie in town?

 

She's a giant fox! There's legal issues, in terms of the Prospect Park deal, which I can't talk about. All I'll say is Melissa Archer is a very good friend of mine and I adore her.

 

Will it be revealed that Todd did not kill Victor?


Absolutely. See, we have all these great surprises that can be played out. The future is very bight and we're very excited about it.


What other elements have you focused on bringing back to Port Charles?

 

Romance, and I think I've been able to do that and explore romance in all of its forms. Not just candles and baths, but with the intimacy that exists between two people and what that means and how fragile and wonderful that is.

  

What's your take on the soap fan backlash against the talk shows?

 

I'm all about moving forward. Katie [Couric] is so talented and wonderful. She has supported our show and will continue to support our show. And we support her. It's a nice fit, now. There's more variety. Certainly, I would like to see "One Life" and "All My Children" come back, but the reality is we're in a different economic environment now in the television business.

  

During the "General Hospital" TCA panel, there were several past tense references to the wrecking ball threatening the show. Do you feel you've passed the danger zone?

 

Absolutely. We really have. It's time to move forward. It's very exciting for people to talk about the end, so they can be the first one to predict it. Let's embrace these shows and enjoy them. Soap opera is an original American art form that has so much equity that needs to be explored, and I'm here to make sure it's exploited and explored.

 

"General Hospital" airs weekdays on ABC. Check local listing for possible time slot change in your area Monday, Sept. 10. 

 

Plus, watch this DVD extra interview clip with James Earl Jones

By MSN TV Partner Tue 12:47 PM
"The Big Bang Theory" begins its eighth season on Monday Sept. 22, then switches to its regular Thursday timeslot on October 30.

If that's too much to handle, why not get a copy of last season on DVD, now available in stores and online. Bazinga!

Now you can enter to win one of five DVDs of "The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Seventh Season," courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Best of all, one lucky winner will receive a signed copy of the Blu-Ray edition!

Here's how to enter:
  1. Follow MSN TV on Twitter or Facebook
  2. Tweet or comment the following message: "I want to win the #TBBT giveaway"
  3. Email msn_tv_buzz@hotmail.com with the following subject (include your twitter handle or Facebook name): "I want to win the #TBBT giveaway"
Complete these steps by midnight PT Sept. 22, 2014. We will select up to five winners, plus one winner for the grand prize, at random by noon PT Sept. 23, 2014.

Watch this DVD extra clip featuring that dishes about how TBBT producers got the voice of Darth Vader himself guest star on the show:
"The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Seventh Season" is available in stores and online.
Season 8 of "The Big Bang Theory" premieres Sept 22 at 8 p.m. on CBS.


Other giveaway details:
  • Open to U.S. residents only.
  • NO P.O. boxes, please.
  • We will not distribute your email address.
  • Your email 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.

 

Plus, watch a DVD extra clip, 'Bound by blood'

By MSN TV Partner Sep 9, 2014 10:58AM
"Supernatural" returns this to The CW in October for its 10th season. If you need a fix now, "Supernatural: The Complete Ninth Season" arrives in stores and online today.

Even better, MSN TV is giving away the DVD to this fan favorite. Here's how to enter:
  1. Follow MSN TV on Twitter or Facebook
  2. Tweet or comment the following message: "I want to win the #Supernatural giveaway"
  3. Email msn_tv_buzz@hotmail.com with the following subject (include your twitter handle or Facebook name): "I want to win the #Supernatural giveaway"
Complete these steps by midnight PT Sept. 15, 2014. We will select up to five winners at random by noon PT Sept. 16, 2014.

But wait, there's more! Watch this DVD extra clip, giving fans a behind-the-scenes look into the life-or-death decisions Dean has to make about his brother:
"Supernatural: The Complete Ninth Season" is available in stores and online.
Season 10 of "Supernatural" returns to the CW on Oct. 7.


Other giveaway details:
  • Open to U.S. residents only.
  • NO P.O. boxes, please.
  • We will not distribute your email address.
  • Your email 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.

 

Will the E.R. doc win it all?

By MSN TV Partner Sep 5, 2014 12:59PM
Wannabe ninjas have been waiting for this moment all summer. The "American Ninja Warrior" finals, held in Las Vegas, will wrap up what's been a season of incredible feats and firsts.

Fan favorite Noah Kaufman is among the finalists. His appearance on the show last year was, as he says "from the couch" or without much training. For this season he got a little (or maybe a lot) more serious, and it shows in his performance.

Watch this exclusive clip of Noah's finals start here:

"American Ninja Warrior" airs Monday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
An encore presentation airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Esquire Network.


 

By MSN TV Partner Sep 3, 2014 10:30AM
Iin tonight's episode of "Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles" you'll see the story of of how Josh Flagg ended up in a golden wheelchair. Will this stop him from closing a big deal?

Meanwhile Josh Altman is getting caught up in wedding planning, but without Heather!? We've got this hilarious exclusive clip for you here:

"Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.

 

Wait, Donald's a nervous sailor? But that outfit...

By MSN TV Partner Aug 7, 2014 4:44PM
In homage to the classic Mickey Mouse cartoons, Disney Channel has been showing "Mickey Mouse" shorts, featuring Mickey and his BFFs, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto. Hilarious situations that are fun for kids and grown-ups alike.

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

By MSN TV Partner Jul 24, 2014 2:24PM
Loads of fans are getting their geek on at Comic-Con this weekend. For the rest of us, there is the upcoming "Star Wars" themed "Phineas & Ferb" special episode. The animated stepbrothers and their friends will find themselves in a parallel universe, during "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope". Expect encounters with the major players, including Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2.

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

By MSN TV Partner Jun 24, 2014 9:07AM
Last week CBS announced some new twists in the upcoming season of "Big Brother" and also introduced the new cast. Just in time for the two-night premiere, MSN TV has exclusive photos of host Julie Chen hamming it up for the cameras. Chen also shared a little bit more insight into what to expect this season.

Photos: Reality TV villains

Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBSOn 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


Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBS
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

Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBSOn 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." 

Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBS

"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

By MSN TV Partner Jun 18, 2014 11:06AM
The Daytime Emmy Awards are around the corner, and CBS' "Let's Make a Deal" has three nominations. In addition to Best Game Show, host Wayne Brady is nominated twice. No surprise that Brady picked up his fifth nomination for Best Game Show Host, but thanks to those stellar improv skills Brady also finds himself in the Best Original Song category. With the help of keyboardist Cat Gray, watch Brady create this impromptu tune for adoring fan and contestant Daphne:
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.