It’s been a great year for General Hospital executive producer Frank Valentini. Ratings are up, fans are responding to the show’s new storylines—which are rooted in GH’s rich history—and ABC has recommitted to the soap. At the network's TCA party, Valentini discussed the return of the Jeromes, Faison’s fate and revealed he is a member of GH’s most notorious family.
Daytime Confidential: I asked Paul Lee why General Hospital doesn’t get promos during primetime and he admitted it was a good idea and that he should talk to the promo department. Would you like to see General Hospital get some promos during primetime?
Frank Valentini: Absolutely! Any kind of promotion is always great. People are excited about the show and we want to share that with the whole ABC audience and the whole ABC family.
DC: Be honest. Did you fire up the Cassadine weather machine to create the Polar Vortex, so you could have the highest-rated episode in years?
FV: I am secretly a Cassadine, so yes. Absolutely.
DC: The show is so exciting right now. Lucas just returned. What can you tell me about what his storyline is going to be?
FV: I can’t tell you anything, because it’s a big surprise and it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s interesting because it’s Carly’s brother and Bobbie’s son and it’s Luke’s nephew. It’s all tied in nicely. It will be fun for the audience to see what develops.
DC: The Jeromes have been a real shot in the arm for the show. Can you talk about how you and Ron [Carlivati] decided to bring them back and how their story evolved?
FV: Bringing them back was all Ron’s idea and I applaud him for doing that, because I think that Maura [West] and Will [DeVry] are doing a fantastic job and they’re really mixing it up with Sonny and Morgan and Michael. The families are really crashing. It’s a lot of fun and great to see.
DC: Maura West said you walked up to her and told her that Ava and Morgan were going to be a couple based on a look that she gave him during a scene. How did their romance grow from a one-night stand?
FV: I think they’re two people who have been thrown together under crazy circumstances and are very attracted to one another and their passion has sort of given way to a bigger and more meaningful relationship.
DC: When are we going to find out what actually happened to Faison?
FV: You’ve got to watch for that one. There’s going to be clues dropped almost every other day about that.
DC: The audience is heated up over the Patrick/Sabrina baby. Other than Teresa Castillo’s real life pregnancy, why did you decide to complicate the Robin and Patrick reunion with a child?
FV: Happily ever after is never as exciting as when some new complication comes into the mix. Sabrina’s pregnancy was a nice shot in the arm for that triangle that keeps her viable and connected to Patrick.
DC: Is Heather a whack-a-mole? It seems like there’s no way to kill her.
There are ways to kill Heather, but I think people underestimate her.