DC #354: Sri Rao Interview



The second season of SOAPnet’s General Hospital: Night Shift accomplished the unimaginable. For 13 weeks, GH’s cable spin off told powerful, multi-generational tales of love, hope and mortality, all primarily set in the soap’s historic hospital. The series was truly a Valentine to long term fans of GH and beautifully explained to newer fans why iconic veterans like Tristan Rogers (Robert), Finola Hughes (Anna) and Antonio Sabato Jr. (Jagger) are so beloved. While making GH: Night Shift a success was a collaborative effort, it was one novice soap opera writing’s vision of telling stories featuring the characters he grew up loving, as well as introducing an Indian doctor and telling a gay love story, that set Night Shift apart. That writer was Sri Rao.

On today’s episode of the Daytime Confidential podcast Luke and Jamey have a conversation with Rao, A Wharton Business School graduate who gave up his high-powered career in Manhattan, to follow his true passion for being a writer and director. Rao offers a refreshingly unjaded perspective about everything from the use of veterans in daytime to the politics behind gay storytelling.

Rao shares the process he and his writing team embarked upon in giving larger-than-life superhero Robert Scorpio an all-too-real Achilles Heel in the form of cancer. He reveals how supportive ABC Daytime/SOAPnet head honcho Brian Frons was in allowing him the freedom to tell his stories and talks about the other projects his Sri and Company are working on, including a teen drama series inspired by his boyhood love for My So Called Life called What Goes On (Watch the What Goes On trailer on Sri and Company) and the Bollywood thriller New York. Rao also answers the question fans of Night Shift are dying to know: Would he ever consider bringing his passion and prowess over to daytime?

RELATED: Sri and Company l What Goes On on Wikipedia l What Goes On on IMDB l New York on IMDB

Photo Credit: Entwined Studio

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3 Responses

  1. Avatar of dkellergrl2001
    dkellergrl2001

    Jamey and Luke – I’m a little bit jealous of you guys, being fortunate enough to have a chance to talk with the talented Mr. Rao.

    Mr. Rao, thank you SO MUCH for contributing towards GH:NS’s terrific season 2. I have two friends that are GH fans and they told me about the first season of GH:NS, so I was intrigued by the concept.

    Once, I saw your contributions towards season 2, I realized that something desperately needs to be done to bring more life, joy, spark and interest BACK into the soap opera genre.

    I really think it needs people who are FANS of the genre and not just folks who are interested in JUST the profits/nielsen ratings.

    Yes, those things are important, but if the audience feels that the creators (writers and producers) don’t give a crap about what they’re presenting, then why should we as the audience invest more and more of our time on it? Especially, when we can find OTHER ways to spend our downtime in “fantasy land”.

  2. Avatar of Luke Kerr
    Luke Kerr

    Dkellergr2001 it was an absolute pleasure to be able to visit with Sri and I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview.

    What I found the most notable from the interview was the fact that as an outsider, without all the preconceptions of having been in the industry, he was able to write something that was so fresh and enjoyable for fans and wasn’t limited by what so many others are.

    We need more people like him to revive this industry.

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