Jill Farren Phelps: "We Certainly Pay Attention To What Fans Say"

General Hospital show runner Jill Farren Phelps sat down with the Wall Street Journal to discuss James Franco's upcoming stint on the show.


We know his character is named Franco and he’s a pain in the side of Jason (Steve Burton). What else can you tell us?

He’s an unusual character and he has an unusual goal. We’re not saying anything about what he’s doing because we want people to tune in, obviously. Unlike other times when we try to grab people, we think James is enough of a hook. He interacts with a lot of characters, but his primary story arc has to do with Jason. 

How are you billing him — guest star?

Yes. A special guest star. If I could, I would have said extremely special movie star guest star. Just kidding. 

Phelps also talked about listening to the fans on their critiques of the ABC's eldest sudser.

Soap opera fans are notoriously vocal. How much of their opinions and comments do you take into account when forming storylines?

It depends — we certainly pay attention to what the fans say. There was once an old-timer in the business who said, “If they’re mad, that’s good, they’re watching.” Sometimes you have to take into account that the thing that people say they don’t like, is the same thing that’s keeping them glued to the set.

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