General Hospital, which celebrated its golden anniversary on April 1, 2013, continues its tradition of passion, intrigue and adventure that takes place in the fictional town of Port Charles in upstate New York. The glamour and excitement of those who have come to find their destinies in this familiar seaport town intertwine with the lives, loves and fortunes of beloved, well-known faces. As always, love, danger and mind blowing plot twists continue to abound on General Hospital with contemporary storylines and unforgettable characters.
At 50-plus historic years and growing, General Hospital has received the prestigious Emmy Award for Outstanding Daytime Drama a record eleven times. The medical drama is the longest running American soap opera currently in production and the longest running scripted drama on television currently in production. Filmed in Hollywood, CA, the show will air its 13,000th episode on February 24, 2014.
The producing and writing teams of General Hospital consistently deliver thrilling and action-packed storylines featuring romantic moments, lost loves rekindled, dysfunctional family dynamics, suspenseful weddings, twisted villains, adventurous heroes and so much more. As a result, the show’s ratings have rocketed this season, making General Hospital the #1 daytime network program with women 18-49. Furthermore, GH posts the biggest yearly gains out of all the daytime network dramas with women 25-54.
The show that TV Guide hailed as the "All-Time Best Daytime Soap" in their 40th Anniversary special edition, General Hospital has also won a number of awards from the Directors Guild and the Writers Guild for Outstanding Achievement. General Hospital is known for its high profile celebrity guest stars and some of the more iconic names include Milton Berle, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Elizabeth Taylor.
For many years, General Hospital has worked alongside and been praised by numerous national organizations for elevating public awareness of important health and social issues. Some of those real-life issues featured in conjunction with specific storylines include awareness of sexual responsibility, HIV/AIDS-related storylines, tolerance and understanding for gay, lesbian and transgender people, bipolar disorder, accurate portrayals of tobacco, drug and alcohol addiction, breast cancer awareness, sexual child abuse and organ donation.
Several past and current cast members have received stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for their work on the show. Notably, in 1993, both the late Anna Lee (Lila Quartermaine) and original cast member John Beradino (Dr. Steve Hardy) received their stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
General Hospital was created by husband-and-wife soap writers Frank and Doris Hursley and premiered on April 1, 1963. In 1978, Gloria Monty was brought in as executive producer and is credited with the creation of the first supercouple, characters Luke Spencer and Laura Webber. Their 1981 wedding brought in 30 million viewers and remains the highest-rated hour in American soap opera history.
The executive producer of General Hospital is Frank Valentini, and Shelly Altman and Jean Passanante head writers. General Hospital airs weekdays at 2e|1c|p on the ABC Television Network.
Altman is a multiple Emmy award-winner for her extensive work on soap operas, including “One Life to Live” and “The Young and the Restless”. Prior to her work on serial dramas, Altman wrote for several primetime shows, including “Kate and Allie,” “Counterstrike” and “True Blue.” She is also an accomplished film writer whose credits include the award-winning “Sweet Lorraine.”
Passanante previously served as head writer and co-head writer for several daytime dramas, including “The Young and the Restless,” “All My Children” and “As the World Turns.” She has won four Daytime Emmy awards, six Writer’s Guild awards and five GLAAD media awards. Passanante also has an extensive theatre background, having served as administrator of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwright’s Conference and artistic director of New Dramatists and New York Theater Workshop, among many other creative roles.
Frank Valentini, Executive Producer
Frank Valentini became executive producer of ABC's General Hospital in January 2012. Previously, he was executive producer of ABC's multi-award winning daytime drama, One Life to Live. Valentini was honored with an Emmy Award for producing in 2002 and two consecutive wins in 2008 and 2009 as a part of the One Life to Live directing team, and in 2011 for the ABC daytime “What If” webisodes. In addition, he was nominated for a DGA Award in 2002.
Prior to being named executive producer at One Life to Live, Valentini held various positions on the show, including associate director, stage manager and coordinating producer. In addition to his duties at “OLTL,” he served as a guest director on the ABC Daytime drama All My Children. In 2008, he added commercial director to his credits with the “Endless Drama” broadcast and web campaign for ESPN. He directed ABC Daytime's innovative series of “What If” webisodes that began airing on abc.com and soapnet.com on July 12, 2010. The 10-part series features well known characters from All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital answering the questions, “What would happen if two characters from different soaps ran into each other? What would they say?”
Valentini has a vast knowledge of contemporary music, which he acquired when he served as a radio station music director, talent scout for Steam Records and freelance writer for VH-1. He served for two years on the board of the New Group Theater Company. He received his degree in film & television production from the University of Buffalo. He has traveled to over 75 countries, and in 2002 he became a published photographer.