Paul Lee Hopes General Hospital "Stays on ABC For a Very, Very Long Time"

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No television executive is more pro-soap than ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee. The network topper proudly discusses that he began his career working behind-the-scenes on a Brazilian soap. At the network’s TCA panel, Lee said of ABC’s primetime line-up, “We made it our mission to reinvent the soap.”

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Under his watch, Scandal, Revenge and Nashville have lit up the night. Upcoming series Resurrection features the very soapy storyline of a child who comes back from the dead in a small town.

Lee acknowledges while ABC’s primetime shows get all the hype, one of the network’s biggest success stories this season is its soul surviving daytime soap, General Hospital. After the panel, Lee said, “I couldn’t be more supportive of General Hospital. I think Vicki Dummer has done an extraordinary job with it… And I think General Hospital, those guys have pulled together a new version of what a daytime soap should look like and I hope it stays on ABC for a very, very long time.”

So far, Lee’s support of the series has not included primetime promotion. But it might in the future now that the oversight has been pointed out to him. “We hadn’t thought about [primetime promos] because it’s grown so naturally on its own. It’s a good idea and I’ll talk to our promo guys about it.”

Lee concluded his thoughts on GH by singing the praises of executive producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati. “They’ve reinvented the soap and a lot of people thought that wasn’t possible.They’ve not only proved it, they’re doing it every day of the week and we love General Hospital. I go down to the Prospect lot and I have a great time.”

Photo of Paul Lee courtesy of ABC