Which Showrunner Has Given General Hospital Its Best Post-Gloria Monty Days?






Hallmark Channel's Planet 360 is really going there when it comes to discussing hot button suds topics! On the latest installment, Martha Madison, Lilly Melgar and Matthew Ashford debate which showrunner is responsible for General Hospital's best days post-Gloria Monty. Watch the clip below, then vote in our poll!




Which showrunner has given General Hospital its best post-Gloria Monty era?

H. Wesley Kenney (1987-89)
1% (23 votes)
Joseph Hardy (1989-91)
1% (19 votes)
Wendy Riche (1992-2001)
48% (824 votes)
Jill Farren Phelps (2001-2012)
4% (63 votes)
Frank Valentini (2012-Present)
46% (794 votes)
Total votes: 1723

Comments

Daniel St. John's picture
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I voted for Wendy Riche just for the Claire Labine years alone.

SavePortChuck's picture
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I can't go with Riche since her early years with the show were horrible! Didn't get good until she landed Claire Labine as head writer.

soapjunkie88's picture
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I had to vote for Wendy Riche. With her at the helm it felt like the show was very spot on. While DAYS went completely crazy in the 90s, GH tackled many controversial and socially relevant stories.
Riche and Labine just did an amazing job and it was a vision that they had for the show which felt very right at the time.

Frank Valentini is doing an amazing job too. He obviously cares about the show and does magic with the budget he's given. He's doing great, always being on set and that stuff.

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I voted for Valentini but I did enjoy Luke & Laura during the Riche years. I loathed the Phelps years.

bishbay's picture
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Valentini does a great job in all areas except the most important: Making sure his Head Writer is competent. He fails utterly in that task, and the show is a mess because of it.

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21 hours 7 min

Wendy Riche,no contest. BJ's heart was the best storyline ever in soaps.

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Wendy by a nose, but Frank is right behind. I think he is more of an incomplete, since it's comparing 1 year to 9 years. If he can maintain, it will be him. And, JFP doesn't even belong on the list. She practically destroyed GH.

soapjunkie88's picture
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bishbay wrote:
Valentini does a great job in all areas except the most important: Making sure his Head Writer is competent. He fails utterly in that task, and the show is a mess because of it.

I have to say that I enjoy most of Ron Carlivati's stuff but I'd like to see Valentini's work without RC involved. Carlivati's writing style is really special and Valentini has to give him a lot of freedom for some of the things that we saw on-screen...
But still Valentini seems to be Santa sometimes and Carlivati is the kid with a big letter of wishes which Valentini all tries to fulfill. He's doing a great job at it. But the kid just sometimes seems to get the upper hand.

Riche needed a little bit over a year to turn things around. Considering the mess Monty's second regime left behind, I think she did well. Not to mention that GH was Riche's first soap opera, right!?

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Basically anybody but Phelps deserves to win in the category.

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Anyone watch Phelps' work on Y&R? She is right on schedule with her routine. She redesigns and creates new sets. Then just when everyone is impressed, she starts killing of fan favorites and breaking up favorite couples. I predict Victor and Nicki's days are numbered, unless the actors learn to kiss her butt because that's the only thing that saves them... at least until she goes to another show and recruits them.

soapjunkie88's picture
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Richard wrote:
Anyone watch Phelps' work on Y&R? She is right on schedule with her routine. She redesigns and creates new sets. Then just when everyone is impressed, she starts killing of fan favorites and breaking up favorite couples. I predict Victor and Nicki's days are numbered, unless the actors learn to kiss her butt because that's the only thing that saves them... at least until she goes to another show and recruits them.

The problem is that the devil most of the times hasn't only one name right!? Back on Phelps' GH days, she had to deal with egomaniac executive Brian Frons, who wanted the Quartermaine family out and who preferred JaSam over Liason among other things. Phelps did a lot of damage to GH. There is no doubt about that. BUT that woman was in pretty good company.
At Y&R, she is controlled by the people at Sony and CBS. And the people that are in charge there now are watching very closely.

stoney07's picture
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I voted Riche based solely on the stories I've heard (I wasn't watching then)...and the fact that Carlivati's GH is waaaay different than what it's been for the past 20 years. To me, the '80s were a campy decade all around...daytime AND primetime and it worked back then. However, things have changed, and going back to the "glory years" of the 80s is cool, but I just think it should be a little more compelling and a lot less plot-driven. But its still a pretty good show. Not downing anyone at all.

As for JFP...also from wht I've seen and heard, she screwed GH royally. Well, her along with ABCD. But on Y&R she's doing great because they have a network that is totally behind the show and won't let her go too crazy with things. Most of the fans are loving it.

Ryan-Scott's picture
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Wendy Riche of course.

Frank Valentini is in the middle of making his own rich legacy. He learned from Paul Rauch so I'm not surprised.

GH should have been JFP's last stop in daytime. I still can't believe sometimes that she is helming Y&R.

SoapArmageddon's picture
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Wendy Riche.

Her GH helped soothe the heartache I felt when I saw Santa Barbara being dismantled and ultimately destroyed over on NBC.

nysam's picture
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Riche definitely! She brought L&L back, gave us the Stone/Robin AIDS story, gave us Monica breast cancer story, BJ's heart transplant. Balanced Sonny's mob stories with the rest of the canvas, gave us Sonny/Brenda/Jax. Kept the Quarternaines front and center. Gave us Ned/Lois and the rebirth of the Cassadines with Nikolas, Stefan & Alexis. Introduced the Nurse's Ball. She gave us the PORT CHARLES spin-off. How many emmy's did the show win under her watch?? No comparing any of the other producers.

Valentini does a good job producing, but the stories under his regime have been sub-par. A good EP needs to manage his writing staff and it doesn't feel that Valentini knows how to work with his writers.

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Wendy hands down. The fact that most of the recent returns had big story during her run is a testament. Plus I think Sonny was created during her tenure. I think the show did start to suffer when she also became EP of Port Charles.

I agree with Richard. Jill has her template. Let's build some new sets.

Now, can you put up a poll for worst...

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Wendy Riche

david46208's picture
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@Ryan-Scott: Since he learned from Paul "Roach" does that mean he'll be sending an assistant out to catch Sonya Eddy as she heads to her car to tell her that, "she just worked her last day?" Will he call Shawn Blakemore into his office and puff cigar smoke saying, "you're not even worth it!" I'm trying to figure out if he learned that from the man?

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I voted for Frank Valentini but wish i could have voted for Wendy Riche too! I voted for Frank because of how he was able to bring the show back from the brink as Gloria Monty did back in the day.

Sidenote: Lily Melgar is looking damn good! We need her on another soap!

Ryan-Scott's picture
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I remember how big of a patch-up job Wendy had to do when she started in 1992.
Gloria Monty had been brought back for one year in 1991 as I'm sure you all remember and I admire that woman greatly but we all know alot of what she did during that year just did not work (although I did love the Valentine's Day location shoot at the pier when Mac was introduced) despite the best efforts of everyone involved. Wendy had to right the ship and once Claire got involved in 1993 we all know how that went. Beer

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Wendy Riche, based on the body of work. However, I would say like to say that Frank Valentini's era has only gotten underway. It is not entirely fair to compare Frank Valentini's run with Wendy Riche and Jill Farren Phelps regimes. If Frank's run on OLTL is any indication, the show will continue honor its past while integrating new characters. In addition, Frank Valentini knows how to take apart a show and find its emotional center (which is why I think the show works right now). However, I do not believe it will match the emotional rawness of the Riche era. I always felt the Riche era was more gothic noir.

Yoryla's picture
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This is a tough tie between Wendy Riche and Frank Valentini.

Wendy Riche truly touched the heart of GH by appreciating the talents she had. Not to mention bringing back Luke & Laura to the show. She introduced unforgettable storylines like BJ's heart, Monica's cancer, Laura's secret Cassadine son, Sonny & Brenda, Robin & Stone, Felicia & Mac....Wonderful years.

Then again, Frank Valentini is a miracle-worker. He has managed to repair a decades worth of wrongs, better than I'm sure anyone could have ever expected. He has brought back people who was thought never to be seen on GH again. And he has made the 50th into a magical event.

Both of these people go to show, how right things can be in the world, when you have the right people doing it. Crown

david46208's picture
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Wendy Riche hands down! Unlike a certain poster who likes to bring up the defunct soap Edge of Night and pontificate about James E. Reilly. I'm a soapublican. I'm down with the traditional style of soap opera before it got all high on PCP and LSD. So the Lendy pairing was a match made in heaven. It was the last time I truly cared about GH.

@soapjunkie88: The Santa and kid assessment is really good one for Frank and Ron aka James E. Reilly jr.. Eventually the gifts run out and you have to actually write show without the returns of the month for story arcs. We saw what happened at OLTL in 2009 when Ron was left to his own devices like mice when the cat is away. The ratings fell as his stories got to be too much for the audience. He then needed to be reeled in and put on a leash.

JasamForever's picture
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Wendy Riche absolutely!!! Claire Labine was amazing with the Robin and Stone storyline, and Brenda and Sonny. They are classic gh and gh at one of it's best times.
I am not knocking Frank but I don't think he should even be on the list since he has only been at gh for a year. Time will tell if he is a good producer, however I think Ron C is not the best writer.

Ryan-Scott's picture
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We won't know until it happens I guess David.

david46208's picture
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@Ryan-Scott: hopefully he does not cast Eddie Winslow and say it was the "best audition in 20 years." Wink

Ryan-Scott's picture
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I think we can all estimate how this 50th would be handled if the previous regime was still in charge. We'd get some umbrella catastrophe storyline with a montage at the end of a show.
I like much more what Frank and Ron are doing.

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For the budget "straight jacket" that he's been handed, I'd say Valentini might be considered as the best EP at doing a lot with very little at his disposal. Just the cost of mounting the Nurses' Ball had to make the suits nervous and he is to be commended for somehow convincing them he could keep this from mushrooming past certain constraints. Same goes for the location shoots for September's water virus storyline and the current (starting with today's episode and trying not to spoil anything), search for L with the helicopter taking Luke, Laura and D out of PC. In addition it's too early to tell how he will stack up in tandem with RC's penchant for stories that seem to have their genesis as a result of recycling from their previous positions at OLTL.

For overall story telling purposes, I'd have to say Wendy Riche is my choice. JFP did helm the show during the time my favorite couple, Lante, was brought into being, but she (along with Frons and Guza), let the mob overrun the majority of the canvas and turned Luke and Lucky into character's I didn't recognize... Innocent

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Are they for serious w/this public access embarrassment?! Anyways, to answer Wendy's GH is the one that has been celebrated, but as it been mentioned before I think Franks work resembles Monty's work the most if one reads her history and has followed his career. While I don't think he is the truth like our fearless leaders of the site, just for comparisons sake, FV FTW!

GHvetfan's picture
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There is no comparison. Monica's breast cancer scare, Robin and Stone, and Bjs heart win over Pseudo Vampires, childish crushing nurses, and drawer babies reality shows.

david46208's picture
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@GHvetfan: You got that right! No comparison. And I know GH from the 80's and 90's too! I loved that 90's Lendy era. It was pure Emmy worthy drama. It was compelling. It was bringing back what made soaps great. It was magnificent! It was drama!

See I love the drama. The psychological emotional drama that was played out. Stories that were rooted more in reality. Some say it was depressing. But if that was called depression then I would gladly throw the Prozac away to maintain that mood. Because that was the most riveting drama I had seen on General Hospital when it was still about a hospital, the people who worked in it and the interpersonal connections with family, friends and loved ones.

Then it became (sadly) rent-a-mob slob and it went down hill.

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The clear winner to me is WENDY RICHE! Phelps comes in last.

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Wendy Riche. However, Frank Valentini is doing a great job. It's obvious that he (and Ron C.) care about the soap genre, which I can't say for Phelps.

IOWAHAWKEYE's picture
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[quote] To me, the '80s were a campy decade all around...daytime AND primetime and it worked back then.[unquote]

Umm, i beg to differ -- some of THE.BEST stuff ever in soaps period came out of the 80s. Campy? Maybe big hair and shoulder pads, but it was way more than that. Have you even heard of this little phenomenon called "Jessie/Angie/Liza/Greg/Jenny"? Or the Daisy/Mona/Nina/Cliff/Palmer storyline on AMC? Those 2 stories alone kicked the ASS out of anything in the 90s in soaps, sorry to break it to ya. The only thing that was truly great in the 90s was Labine/Riche's GH (tho i didn't always watch), the campy, sci-fi-ish, guilty pleasure DOOL under Jim Reilly, and the early early 90s of GL before Phelps destroyed it (killing Maureen Bauer, etc).

The heart transplant story on GH was a great arc, and created great stories to come, but the storylines i mentioned on AMC were EPIC and involved so many characters. There was just so much greatness in the 80s to go around, there really was. I look back at Days clips of Roman and Marlena and don't think i've ever seen such a fun, sexy, adult couple like that since. All their scenes, so natural, you felt like you were infringing on private moments. They don't do stuff like that anymore.

IOWAHAWKEYE's picture
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The one thing about Labine's GH that didn't wash was the dialogue of the teenagers. Lucky sounded like a college professor half the time. But minor details when they hit so many things out of the ballpark.

*edited

pferrando's picture
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I agree Iowa...not all the soaps were camp. More melodrama than camp in my opinion. Each side has its fans, but I'll take serious drama over camp and the sci-fi stuff anyday on Daytime.

And there's Phelps in that crazy-eyed photo again...

IOWAHAWKEYE's picture
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pferrando, oh my goodness check out that y/r portrait!! Is my *campy* Brenda Dickson in there? LOL

logan_echolls's picture
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Wendy Riche. OMG those years were the best. I got my Liz Webber. Liz/Lucky were the greatest.

Robin's HIV. Stone's death. Carly running into town tearing everyones lives apart. Still love her and Bobbie early years.

The Quatermaine's adopting Emily and Alan trying to make her feel at home.

All of the nurse's balls.

Robin/Jason romantic relationship. Jason carrying her off stage.

Alexis/Ned/Jax/Chloe I loved them.

I loved Alexis/Felicia/V/Chloe friendship.

The Outback.

When Nikolas and Stefan came to town. Oh the night of a thousand kisses.

Liz rape and the aftermath. When Lucky found out about Luke raping Laura, that was THE BEST.

Liz/Jason's budding friendship.

Jason's transformation to Jason Morgan.

Ned/Lois

Sonny/Brenda, Sonny/Brenda, Sonny/Brenda. Did I mention Sonny and Brenda?

stoney07's picture
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My point was.....camp WORKED in the 80s.

But get a headwriter that wants to "relive" the '80s on GH (Which was camp IMO) and to me, you get an uneven show. Camp just doesn't work as well in 2013 as it did in the '80s. Those "Adventure" stories just wouldn't really fly now. That was my point.

Of course I know it wasn't ALL CAMP...but there was a little camp in all the soaps. GH had the most in my opinion. Things were just kind of over the top when it came to the dramas...and thats how I see it. Even on Y&R, the most "straight-laced" of them all at the time, had its campiness with brenda dickson as Jill.

I'm sorry, but I just don't think Cartini bringing back everything from the '80s is a great idea. Some of it, yeah. Of course the characters were great...but reliving some of the stories...it's just not the same now. It's a new day. I like the returns, but why not put the vets in new and interesting stories that are actually RELEVANT now??? That was my point...

alstonboy4315's picture
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It boggles my mind that people can put Frank Valentini's work in the same ballpark as Wendy Riche's. The show was far superior back in the 90s than it is now. Today, as good as the show can often be, there are still far too many inconsistencies and annoying quirks that the show needs to get over. I admit that I was not able to watch GH back in the 90s actively, but when I did, it was must-see TV. No annoying characters being shoved down our throats or teachers' pets hogging airtime.

Heck, I will even admit that Guza and Phelps wrote some really really great soap opera during their tenure. Much of which was better than what Cartini are doing now.

Still, today's GH is good. Not fantastic, but good.

liason4real's picture
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I don't mind the revisit to the 1980 story lines as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of GH. However, let's see what happens toward the middle of April once some of the returning vets either leave or move on to newer story lines.

tealita's picture
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Wende Riche hands down. I aint gonna lie, though, Phelps & Guza gave some of my more recent faves such as Ric Lansing, LiRic, Lo, Jasam, etc.

Edited.

logan_echolls's picture
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3 August 2012
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Oh yes, Ric. LiRic was one of the best things about Phelps reign. That character was so dark and tortured. That was some good writing. That whole storyline was great until Liz let Kung Fu Court get away with running her over. Guza's hard on for Sonny and Co started to ruin the storyline.

harlee490's picture
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That scary picture of JFP and knew she was going to be hit hard...know how fond ppl are of Wendy\Labine era and reading posts I think we have a winner in Wendy!

I'm not familiar w\one of them JH but I love to vote and I am familiar with H. Wesley Kenney from co-EP of w\Bill on Y&R from '82-87 what awesome soap he did back then in mid-eighties...not sure on GH Wink

UPDATE: I found a clip from H. Wesley Kenney's work after I voted and must say it had all vets looked nothing like GH today. Shock I wasn't campy like today's GH.

The one I found was really pretty good, Tom Hardy is married to A-A woman, I guess? Simone? She's in hospital not sure why? was she beat up by a white racist? Tom is on trial for felony assault...Scotty is his lawyer seeing BOBBIE! Steve, Audrey, JESSIE Shock is all in clip. The best part for me was Edward (original don't know his name)was railing Alan about taking back Monica back...it was hilarious and trying to hide on them to spy...Alan tells Edward to go bed mother is waiting for you! Big smile
G
Happy Anniversay GHers...it's nice to celebrate your soap, huh!! Wink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oTcz0Oot7Ok

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16 May 2012
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there is no contest Wendy Riche, this show fell apart since she left, and is now a shell of its former glorious self.

They should bring her back she was daring and had heart. She cared about telling real stories.

nysam's picture
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28 October 2008
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Looks like the current GH writing staff and ABC press department has now voted. Valentini is now ahead of Riche, yet 90% of the postings on here all say Riche was the better EP.

liason4real's picture
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Gloria Monty and Frank Valentini for saving GH on two separate occasions. Plus, it doesn't hurt that The Revolution and GAA sucked wind. Wink

SavePortChuck's picture
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Does anyone remember Wendy Riche's GH BEFORE Claire Labine was hired? It was absolutely unwatchable! The Holly/Paloma storyline happened on her watch and was among the worst in GH's history.

The thing about Monty and Valentini is that they reinvented the show the day they stepped on set. Riche languished until she could find a head writer to do the reinventing for her.

IOWAHAWKEYE's picture
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Yeah, a producer can't do it alone. Once James Reilly/Lorraine Broderick/Stephen DeMorest/ Nancy Curlee left as headwriters of GL, Phelps absolutely ruined Guiding Light, and then went on to ruin Another World after that, then GH, etc. Other things contributed to the GL's slide, but the writing was key among them.

Thanks Harlee for those GH clips, i subscribed to those and will watch another time! David Lewis imo was the best Edward, and i had no idea he was still airing into the late 80's, i thought he passed away much sooner than that. I'll enjoy watching those clips. Smile