In one of the most in depth interviews I've read featuring one of soap opera's Powers That Be, TV Guide Magazine's Michael Logan asked General Hospital head writer Ron Carlivati every question he and fans were dying to get answers about. From the Genie Francis factor, to the scribe's spirited debates with fans (and/or the occasional Greek yogurt pitchman!) on Twitter, everything was covered, twice! Check out a few excerpts below.
TV Guide Magazine: You've ushered in a new way of soap writing by only using actors when you really need them, and that makes for a much better show. But then the fans of anybody you temporarily set aside get boiling mad. Is it a no-win situation?
Carlivati: It's really a constraint when you have a big contract cast and they all have their guarantees that need to be met. You end up putting people on screen just because they're getting paid, not because they have something important to do. And the result is audience boredom. Not only does this new way work better with our tighter budget, it makes for a better show when you have the freedom to rest a character.
TV Guide Magazine: Unless you're a Genie Francis fan. They're having cows because she disappeared from the show. Ditto with Sean Kanan's following. The Rebecca Herbst fans are steamed because she hasn't had a storyline in ages.
Carlivati: What's the point of seeing your favorites if they're not doing something crucial and interesting? Why not let someone else have the spotlight? Now we have a bunch of folks who are not on contract and they can pop in and out when we need them. It has allowed us to broaden our canvas of characters and pull from so many different eras of the show. But, yeah, it is no-win. People will complain because Anna doesn't have much to do. I'll say, 'Hang on, she's got a big story coming." But, then it's never like "Great! Thanks!" It's, "Well, then, what about Liz?" [Laughs] You can't win!
For more from Carlivati and Logan, click here!