General Hospital is an American daytime television medical drama. It is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running American soap opera in production and the second longest-running drama in television in American history after Guiding Light. Concurrently, it is the world's third longest-running scripted drama series in production after British serials The Archers and Coronation Street, as well as the world's second-longest-running televised soap opera still in production. General Hospital premiered on the ABC television network on April 1, 1963. Same-day broadcasts as well as classic episodes were aired on SOAPnet from January 20, 2000, to December 31, 2013, following Disney-ABC's decision to discontinue the network. General Hospital is the longest-running serial produced in Hollywood, the longest-running entertainment program in ABC television history, it holds the record for most Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, with 13 wins. The show was created by husband-and-wife soap writers Frank and Doris Hursley, who set it in a general hospital, in an unnamed fictional city.
In the 1970s, the city was named New York. From its beginning, General Hospital starred John Beradino and Emily McLaughlin, both actors stayed with the show until their deaths in 1996 and 1991 respectively, they were joined a year by Rachel Ames who remains to date the longest serving actress on an ABC soap opera, having been continuously on the show from 1964 to 2007. General Hospital was the second soap to air on ABC. In 1964, a sister soap was created for The Young Marrieds. General Hospital spawned a primetime spinoff with the same name in the United Kingdom from 1972 to 1979, as well as the daytime series Port Charles and the primetime spin-off General Hospital: Night Shift in the United States. Taped at The Prospect Studios, General Hospital aired for a half-hour until July 23, 1976; the series was expanded from 30 minutes to 45 minutes on July 26, 1976, to a full hour on January 16, 1978. Since the late 1970s, most of the storylines have revolved around the Quartermaines and the Spencers.
From 1979 to 1988, General Hospital had more viewers than any other daytime soap opera. It rose to the top of the ratings in the early 1980s in part thanks to the monumentally popular "supercouple" Luke and Laura, whose 1981 wedding brought in 30 million viewers and remains the highest-rated hour in American soap opera history; the soap opera is known for its high-profile celebrity guest stars who have included, among others, Roseanne Barr, James Franco and Elizabeth Taylor. In 2007, the program was listed as one of Time magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME." On April 23, 2009, General Hospital began broadcasting in high definition, making it the first ABC soap opera to make such a transition. The serial aired its 14,000th episode on February 23, 2018. General Hospital became the oldest American soap opera on September 17, 2010, following the final broadcast of CBS' As the World Turns. On April 14, 2011, ABC announced the cancellation of both All My Children and One Life to Live, leaving General Hospital as the last remaining soap opera airing on the network after January 13, 2012.
The show celebrated its 50th anniversary on April 1, 2013. General Hospital was created by Frank and Doris Hursley and premiered on April 1, 1963; the first stories were set on the seventh floor of General Hospital, in an unnamed midsize Eastern city. "They had this concept of the show that it was like a big wagon wheel – the spokes would be the characters and the hub would be the hospital," John Beradino reflected to Entertainment Weekly in 1994. Launched in 1963, the first stories were set at General Hospital in an unnamed midsized Eastern city; the name of the city, Port Charles, would not be mentioned until 1976 by headwriters Eileen and Robert Mason Pollock. Storylines revolved around his friend, Nurse Jessie Brewer. Jessie's turbulent marriage to the much-younger Dr. Phil Brewer was the center of many early storylines. In 1964 Audrey March, a flight attendant and sister of Nurse Lucille, came to town, was the woman who won Steve's heart. By the end of the 1970s, General Hospital was facing dire ratings when executive producer Gloria Monty was brought in to turn the show around.
Monty is credited with creation of the first supercouple, Luke Spencer and Laura Webber, played by Anthony Geary and Genie Francis. The end of their hour wedding on November 17, 1981, was the most-watched event in daytime serial history. During the 1980s, the series featured several high-profile action and some science fiction-based storylines. Location shooting at sites including Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. After Gloria Monty first left the series in 1987, General Hospital entered into a transitional phase that lasted until Wendy Riche took the position of executive producer in 1992. Under Riche, the show gained critical acclaim for its sensitive handling of social issues. In 1994, Riche started an annual Nurses' Ball, a fundraiser and AIDS awareness event both on the show and in real life; that year, a heart transplant storyline involves the death of eight-year-old B. J
Jessie Brewer R. N. is a fictional character from the ABC Daytime soap opera General Hospital. She was played by actress Emily McLaughlin, from the show's premiere on April 1, 1963, until McLaughlin's death in 1991. On April 1, 2015, Rebecca Herbst portrayed the character in a flashback for the show's 52nd anniversary. Emily McLaughlin was cast as one of the original leading actresses on the series having played Dr. Ellen Seaton on Young Dr. Malone. Registered nurse Jessie Brewer spoke the opening line of the premiere episode, "Seventh floor, nurses station," a phrase that became a staple in the show's early years; the series' original premise centered on the drama of Brewer and Dr. Steve Hardy's personal lives and experiences at General Hospital; when she died on April 26, 1991, the show wrote in the character's off-screen death. Actor and friend John Beradino gave an on-air announcement and moment of silence the week after her death. In 1976, while McLaughlin was on medical leave for internal bleeding and actress Aneta Corsaut stepped in to play Brewer for a six-week period.
Corsaut felt she had big shoes to fill, as she said to the Ocala Star-Banner, "I know everyone on the show worships her, which made it difficult for me at first." Jessie Brewer worked at General Hospital as a nurse for many years, was close friends with Steve Hardy, the hospital chief of staff and his wife Audrey Hardy. At the show's conception, she was the leading heroine, married to Dr. Phil Brewer, a younger man who caused her much heartache over the years. At one point, Phil raped her. However, their baby daughter would die. Phil would come in and out of Jessie's life for over a decade until he was murdered by nurse Augusta McLeod in 1974. Jessie briefly dated attorney Lee Baldwin who would defend her when she was accused of murdering her husband Dr. John Prentice who had committed suicide after discovering that he was terminally ill. In 1973, Jessie became involved with Teddy Holmes, a con-man who absconded with money Jessie gave him to open a business, running away with her own niece, Carolyn Murray.
Jessie's nephew, was played by a young Mark Hamill. By the mid 1970s with the show focusing on newer characters such as Dr. Lesley Williams and the Webber family, Jessie was made a supporting character, although she remained important to the storyline, she became a mother figure to vivacious nurse Bobbie Spencer who lived with Jessie for many years and tried to encourage Jessie to accept the marriage proposal of Dan Rooney, the long time hospital administrator. For a while, Dan would spend his days with Jessie at her apartment although he continued to sleep at the men's club, trying to prove to Jessie that they were compatible enough to become husband and wife. After a while, Dan tired of the arrangement and began to court Bobbie's aunt Ruby Anderson which made Jessie secretly jealous; when Ruby confronted Jessie over what she perceived as a slight in behavior, Jessie realized that she was acting childish and apologized, although she would on occasion go to concerts and other social events with Dan when Ruby wasn't available.
As the 1980s moved on, Jessie's appearances became more scattered, although she was around for various hospital crises such as the attempt by Mikkos Cassadine to freeze Port Charles with an ice machine, several hostage crises, dealing with difficult patients who needed the calming effect which Jessie excelled at. She would become a confidante for the nurses under her charge including Diana Taylor and Anne Logan. At times, Jessie would be called upon to discipline her nurses Amy Vining who had a penchant for gossip. However, when Dr. Monica Quartermaine confronted Amy over giving away her private messages to her estranged husband, Jessie stepped up to defend Amy and insisted that any complaints against the nursing staff be taken up with her. Thanks to Jessie's patience with her, Amy matured although she never stopped her gossiping. Jessie was prominently featured in a return guest appearance by Audrey's sister, Lucille March, who came back to visit in 1982. Jessie continued to be seen periodically over the next decade, in a 1988 episode, confided to Amy that she was reluctant to attend an event on the Port Charles docks due to her fear of heights.
Jessie's last appearance was in February 1991, just weeks before Emily McLaughlin's death, being seen as a guest at a wedding. While Jessie's death is never dealt with on-screen until years after, actor John Beradino did pay tribute to her by announcing McLaughlin's death at the conclusion of a show and asking for a moment of silence in her honor. In April 1993, Steve is visited by Angie Costello, one of her former patients, Steve mentions that Jessie had died some time ago. Jessie is honored in a 2013 anniversary episode along with Amy Vining at the annual nurse's ball. Jessie Brewer is regarded as one of the integral aspects of the early years of General Hospital. Gary Warner, author of General Hospital: The Complete Scrapbook, told the Los Angeles Times in 1995: "A lot of people don't know how important a character was. Pivotal for 15 years. From 1963 to the late'70s, Jessie was it, she got me into soaps. I just remember being mesmerized by those sad eyes. Anything and everything that could go wrong in her life went wrong."
Soapzone History: The Sixties Soapzone History: The Seventies
The Secret Life of Damian Spinelli
The Secret Life of Damian Spinelli is a 2011 novel written by Carolyn Hennesy. The novel is a tie-in to the television soap-opera General Hospital, as the writing and publication was featured in the series; the writing of The Secret Life of Damian Spinelli was a storyline on General Hospital, during late 2010 and early 2011. The story featured Damian Spinelli, enlisting Diane Miller to help him write a novel based on his private investigator persona. In January 2011, it was announced; the book was written by Carolyn Hennesy, known for her Pandora book series, portrays Diane Miller on General Hospital. The book was released on April 2011 which coincided with the series' 48th anniversary. Hennesy said of the book's connection to film noir, "It's not just a nod: it's a whole interpretive dance; when I was approached to write the book from Damian Spinelli's point of view, I was able to incorporate my intense love of film noir and noir fiction. Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Orson Welles -- you name it!
That combines so well with Spinellis' alter ego, right out of "The Third Man" and "Key Largo". That was just a fortuitous blessing."Hennesy spoke about being approached to write the novel during an interview with Xfinity, "About a year and a half ago Jill Farren Phelps approached me and said that all the higher up at ABC and the publishing house and Disney and because of the Pandora series they knew that I was a published author. So they’re the ones who approached me, would I like to write a fictionalized account of all the characters in Port Charles from Spinelli’s point of view. I don’t think I have the imagination to pitch the idea to them, they came to me and it took off from there."Hennesy has talked about what it was like to write the novel,"At one point I stopped and said,'I didn't write that.' In the book, I wrote'cheesy grits. Believe me, there's a difference. I've eaten my way through Georgia on book tours here, so yes, it was important to get that correct. We write. Thank you, Atlanta!
Because I am a published author, it was a tiny stroke of genius to have the actress playing the character write the book too. For months, I walked up to my'General Hospital' co-workers in the make up room and whispered,'You know, I'm writing a chapter about you in the book.' I walked up to Jane Elliot and said,'Would you mind acting out a scene for me as Tracy in an opium den?' She loved it!"" The Secret Life of Damian Spinelli follows the adventures of private investigator, Damian Spinelli, as he attempts to solves several cases around Port Charles. One year ago, the following manuscript appeared at our offices in a manila envelope bearing no return address. A note inside read "No one fires me and gets away with it. From the files of Ms. High-and Mighty Diane Miller. Publish it...and blow the lid off Port Charles." The Secret Life of Damian Spinelli received mixed reviews from critics. A more positive review noted that, "Each tale is filled with amusing language and over the top scenarios fans of GH can picture Spinelli getting into but with a Sam Spade-like flair.
The novel achieved New York Times Best Seller status
A soap opera is an ongoing drama serial on television or radio, featuring the lives of many characters and their emotional relationships. The term soap opera originated from radio dramas being sponsored by soap manufacturers. BBC Radio's The Archers, first broadcast in 1950, is the world's longest-running radio soap opera; the first serial considered to be a "soap opera" was Painted Dreams, which debuted on October 20, 1930 on Chicago radio station WGN. Early radio series such as Painted Dreams were broadcast in weekday daytime slots five days a week. Most of the listeners would be housewives. Thus, the shows were consumed by a predominantly female audience; the first nationally broadcast radio soap opera was Clara, Lu, Em, which aired on the NBC Blue Network at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time on January 27, 1931. A crucial element that defines the soap opera is the open-ended serial nature of the narrative, with stories spanning several episodes. One of the defining features that makes a television program a soap opera, according to Albert Moran, is "that form of television that works with a continuous open narrative.
Each episode ends with a promise that the storyline is to be continued in another episode". In 2012, Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Lloyd wrote of daily dramas, "Although melodramatically eventful, soap operas such as this have a luxury of space that makes them seem more naturalistic. You spend more time with the minor characters. An individual episode of a soap opera will switch between several different concurrent narrative threads that may at times interconnect and affect one another or may run independent to each other; each episode may feature some of the show's current storylines, but not always all of them. In daytime serials and those that are broadcast each weekday, there is some rotation of both storyline and actors so any given storyline or actor will appear in some but not all of a week's worth of episodes. Soap operas bring all the current storylines to a conclusion at the same time; when one storyline ends, there are several other story threads at differing stages of development.
Soap opera episodes end on some sort of cliffhanger, the season finale ends in the same way, only to be resolved when the show returns for the start of a new yearly broadcast. Evening soap operas and those that air at a rate of one episode per week are more to feature the entire cast in each episode, to represent all current storylines in each episode. Evening soap operas and serials that run for only part of the year tend to bring things to a dramatic end-of-season cliffhanger. In 1976, Time magazine described American daytime television as "TV's richest market," noting the loyalty of the soap opera fan base and the expansion of several half-hour series into hour-long broadcasts in order to maximize ad revenues; the article explained that at that time, many prime time series lost money, while daytime serials earned profits several times more than their production costs. The issue's cover notably featured its first daytime soap stars, Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes of Days of Our Lives, a married couple whose onscreen and real-life romance was covered by both the soap opera magazines and the mainstream press at large.
The main characteristics that define soap operas are "an emphasis on family life, personal relationships, sexual dramas and moral conflicts. Fitting in with these characteristics, most soap operas follow the lives of a group of characters who live or work in a particular place, or focus on a large extended family; the storylines follow personal relationships of these characters. "Soap narratives, like those of film melodramas, are marked by what Steve Neale has described as'chance happenings, missed meetings, sudden conversions, last-minute rescues and revelations, deus ex machina endings.'" These elements may be found from EastEnders to Dallas. Due to the prominence of English-language television, most soap-operas are English. However, several South African soap operas started incorporating a multi-language format, the most prominent being 7de Laan, which incorporates Afrikaans, English and several other Bantu languages which make up the 11 Official Languages of South Africa. In many soap operas, in particular daytime serials in the US, the characters are attractive, seductive and wealthy.
Soap operas from the United Kingdom and Australia tend to focus on more everyday characters and situations, are set in working class environments. Many of the soaps produced in those two countries explore social realist storylines such as family discord, marriage breakdown or financial problems. Both UK and Australian soap operas feature comedic elements affectionate comic stereotypes such as the gossip or the grumpy old man, presented as a comic foil to the emotional turmoil that surrounds them; this diverges from US soap operas. UK soap operas make a claim to presenting "reality
The Lord family are fictional characters from the American soap opera One Life to Live. They were introduced in the show's July 15, 1968 debut episode on ABC, featured for the entirety of its run until the series ended on August 19, 2013. Created by Agnes Nixon, over 40 years of melodrama surrounding the lives and family of wealthy media mogul Victor Lord and his heiress daughter Victoria Lord establish the ensemble of characters as a central fixture throughout the serial; the family resides in fictional Llanview, owning communications business Lord Enterprises and its flagship publication, The Banner newspaper. Randolph Lord Lived in the late 1800s in the Old West as of 1988. Paternal grandfather of Victor Lord, Gwendolyn Lord, Clayton-Powell Lord. Victor Lord Original character. Born off-screen September 12, 1916, dies onscreen June 16, 1976. Death revised onscreen to March 4, 2003. Gwendolyn Lord Born pre-1916. Sister of Victor Lord. Clayton-Powell Lord Sr. Born post-1916. Brother of Victor Lord.
Victoria Lord Original character. Born off-screen August 14, 1946 to Victor Lord and Eugenia Randolph Lord as of 1968. Meredith Lord Original character. Born off-screen December 1, 1950 to Victor Lord and Eugenia Randolph Lord as of 1968. Anthony "Tony" Lord Born off-screen in 1945 to Victor Lord and Dorothy Randolph as of 1975. Richard Abbott Born off-screen in the early 1950s to Gwendolyn Lord Abbott and Jonathan Abbott as of 1978. Tina Lord Born off-screen March 14, 1962 to Victor Lord and Irene Manning Lord as of 1985. Thomas Todd Manning Born off-screen January 2, 1970 to Victor Lord and Irene Manning as of 1995. Identical twin of Victor Lord Jr. Clayton-Powell Lord II Born off-screen to Clayton-Powell Lord Sr. and Margaret Lord as of 1993. Victor Lord Jr. Born off-screen January 2, 1970 to Victor Lord and Irene Manning as of 2011. Identical twin of Todd Manning. Daniel Wolek Born onscreen November 1971 to Meredith Lord Wolek and Larry Wolek. Brian Kendall Born off-screen in 1967 Tony Lord and Pat Ashley, adopted by Paul Kendall as of 1975.
Kevin Lord Riley Buchanan Born onscreen September 12, 1976 to Victoria Lord Riley and Joe Riley, adopted by Clint Buchanan. Joseph "Joey" Francis Riley Buchanan Born onscreen January 8, 1980 to Victoria Lord Riley and Joe Riley, adopted by Clint Buchanan. Jessica Eugenia Buchanan Born onscreen September 23, 1986 to Victoria Lord Buchanan and Clint Buchanan. Fraternal twin of Natalie Buchanan. Clinton James "C. J." Roberts Born onscreen April 1987 to Tina Lord Roberts and Cord Roberts. Megan Gordon Born off-screen December 1963 to Victoria Lord Gordon and Roger Gordon. Clayton-Powell "Powell" Lord III Born off-screen around 1970 to Clayton-Powell Lord II and Patricia Lord as of 1993. Sarah Victoria Roberts Born onscreen February 1991 to Tina Lord Roberts and Cord Roberts. Starr Manning Born onscreen January 1996 to Todd Manning and Blair Cramer Manning. Natalie Buchanan Born off-screen September 1986 to Victoria Lord Buchanan and Clint Buchanan. Fraternal twin of Jessica Buchanan. John "Jack" Cramer Manning Born onscreen October 11, 2001 to Todd Manning and Blair Cramer Manning.
Samuel "Sam" Manning Born onscreen February 5, 2006 to Trevor St. John's Todd Manning and Margaret Cochran, adopted by Blair Cramer. Danielle Manning Born off-screen in 2002 to Téa Delgado. Bree Victoria Brennan Born onscreen May 2006 to Jessica Buchanan Brennan and Nash Brennan. Hope Manning-Thornhart Born onscreen November 2008 to Starr Manning and Cole Thornhart. Ryder Asa Ford Born onscreen January 11, 2011 to Jessica Buchanan and Robert Ford as of 2011. Liam Asa McBain Born onscreen January 11, 2011 to Natalie Buchanan and John McBain as of 2011. Zane Buchanan Born onscreen October 31, 2006 to Duke Bu
TJ Ashford is a fictional character from the long running ABC daytime soap opera, General Hospital. The role was originated in 2012 by Krys Meyer when TJ was introduced as the troubled teenage son of Shawn Butler's deceased best friend, whom Shawn had killed in combat; the rebellious teenager attracts the attention of the good girl Molly Lansing. The two start dating in secret and Molly's mother Alexis Davis disapproves of the romance but she and Shawn let the teens continue to see each other. In 2013, the couple splits because of TJ's jealousy over Molly's friendship with Rafe Kovich. After Rafe's interference and TJ's one-night-stand with Taylor DuBois, the couple reconciles. In 2014, TJ's estranged mother Jordan TJ starts college in the fall, he struggles to rebuild his relationship with Jordan, does, but disapproves of her lying to him. TJ Ashford travels to Port Charles from Baltimore, arriving on Shawn Butler's doorstep when his mother, Jordan Ashford sends him away having decided she can't handle raising him.
He is given the choice of attending military school. At first, Shawn is reluctant to take him in until TJ reminds Shawn of his part in his father Tommy's death. Shawn moves TJ in with him at Kelly's Diner and enrolls him in Port Charles High, where he befriends Molly Lansing. Molly offers to tutor TJ. TJ is arrested for stealing a car and joyriding and Molly's mother, attorney Alexis Davis manages to get the charges dropped. Shawn encourages them to spend time together. In exchange for tutoring him, TJ agrees to help Molly make more friends by creating a fake social media account for her, he throws a wild party which ends with Molly's house being destroyed and her passing out from alcohol poisoning. TJ admits to throwing the party without her knowledge and Alexis forbids them from seeing each other. However, TJ and Molly start dating in secret after the party in February 2012. In the summer of 2012, Molly and TJ's secret romance is discovered her by sister Kristina, but Molly convinces her to keep quiet.
However, Alexis discovers the truth on the 4th of July when she discovers TJ half naked in Molly's bedroom and bans them from seeing one another again, although TJ was only changing clothes so he and Molly could spend the day at the lake swimming. After much begging, Shawn's support, TJ and Molly get their parents' blessing to continue seeing each other; when TJ and Molly are faced with death when the town's water supply is poisoned, they make a bucket list and contemplate making love for the first time. TJ celebrates with Molly when she writes her own novel but her book is stolen by Connie Falconeri. TJ fails to get the book back. In 2013, TJ gets jealous when Molly befriends Rafe Kovich, although she insists they are just friends. TJ disapproves when Molly helps Rafe hides him at her house. TJ makes plans to ask Molly to prom but she confesses that Rafe kissed her. TJ punches him, warning him to stay away from Molly. Molly breaks up with him. TJ finds comfort with his new prom date Taylor DuBois and they sleep together.
TJ regrets the decision and wants to reconcile with Molly, but those plans are derailed when Taylor reveals that they slept together. Molly forgives TJ and they reunite in September 2013; when the duo celebrates the sequel to her first book, Molly forgets that she dedicated it to Rafe when she and TJ were broken up. Though TJ understands the situation, Molly rewrites the dedication for him. Rafe and Taylor unsuccessfully scheme to break them up. Meanwhile, Shawn's job in organized crime breaks up his relationship with Alexis and TJ is dragged into when he is taken hostage by Carlos Rivera. TJ witnesses Morgan Corinthos accidentally shoot Max Giambetti and is questioned by the police after Shawn rescues him. Shawn's boss and Molly's uncle Sonny Corinthos realize that TJ might be a target for rival mob family, the Jeromes, they consider having him leave town, only for police commissioner Anna Devane to bring him in for questioning. When the Jerome family makes threats against TJ, Shawn contacts his mother because he wants to send TJ back home to keep him safe.
While the threats to his safety lessen, TJ's mom Jordan comes to Port Charles to be near her son in 2014. It is revealed that Rafe tipped the police off about TJ witnessing the shooting. In the spring of 2014, TJ is accepted to Port Charles University, his proud mom buys him a new car; when TJ and Molly decide to make love for the first time, Rafe informs Alexis of their plans and she catches them in a hotel room together. TJ is shocked when Jordan is arrested for drug trafficking working for the Jeromes and learns that she only sent him to live with Shawn because she was in prison; when TJ discovers Rafe doing drugs and warns him to quit, Rafe taunts TJ about Jordan's criminal history and punches him. In July 2014, Rafe and Molly are involved in a car wreck, despite his feelings, TJ supports Molly when Rafe dies. Though TJ disapproves of their profession, he is relieved. In January 2015, TJ is shocked when Jordan and Shawn confess that Shawn killed Tommy in self-defense. Tommy had tried to kill Shawn.
TJ is relieved to know that Tommy is indee
Franco (General Hospital)
Franco is a fictional character from the ABC Daytime drama General Hospital. James Franco originated the character in November 2009, after seeking out a soap opera role, he continued to portray the character in intermittent guest stints through January 2012. The character of Franco is a multi-media artist and serial killer who becomes fixated on Jason Morgan, a known hitman. Franco terrorizes family. Jason kills Franco in January 2012, after Franco rapes Jason's wife Sam; the character is mentioned after his alleged death, for a time it was believed that he was Jason's twin brother. In May 2013, Roger Howarth assumed the role. Franco's return brought about the revelation that his biological parents are Scott Baldwin and Heather Webber. James Franco's casting on General Hospital was met by mixed reviews. Franco used his time on the series to create a documentary, shown at the Tribeca Film Festival, turned a scene filming at MOCA into a live performance piece; the attention Franco garnered boosted publicity for the soap opera genre.
In 2009, James Franco sought out a soap opera role. Sharing the same agent as Steve Burton, who played Jason Morgan on General Hospital, he went to that series for his request. Franco signed on for a series of 20 episodes, he was credited as a special guest star, first appeared on November 19, 2009. His scenes aired through February 2010, he returned on June 2010 for a summer-long storyline. He next appeared on February 25 and February 28, 2011, bookending his co-hosting job of the 83rd Academy Awards. Franco returned for a longterm stint on September 20, 2011 that aired until January 13, 2012. James Franco recalled first approaching General Hospital to The New Yorker: "I wanted their full treatment, so all I said was that I wanted to be an artist and I wanted my character to be crazy." Franco's friend and colleague Carter, a conceptual artist who Franco was collaborating with on the film Maladies, had suggested that Franco take a soap opera role and play an artist. They would use the material in the film.
The General Hospital writing staff created the rest of the character, who they named "Franco, just Franco." Executive producer at the time Jill Farren Phelps stated, "He’s an unusual character and he has an unusual goal", promising his primary story arc would involve character Jason Morgan. The series promoted the character as "an artist whose canvas is murder". Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly compared the characters art installations to a rip off of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. Franco is revealed to be a serial killer and a sociopath, whose vendetta against Jason that becomes an obsession. Michael Logan of TV Guide called Franco's fascination of Jason an "ongoing man-crush." James Franco explained to TV Guide: "Jason is a master assassin who's murdered a lot of people and gotten away with it, attractive to Franco. He likes that danger. There's an underlying sexiness to that.... Yes, there's a underlying sexiness to that connection."In May 2013, Roger Howarth returned to General Hospital as Franco recasting James Franco's original character.
Previous scenes were re-shot. This marks the first time the character of Franco is a full-time contract cast member, rather than a special guest character, or recurring. In November 2009, Franco witnesses the cover up of Michael Corinthos's accidental murder of his stepmother, sends reenactment photos to Michael's uncle Jason Morgan. Disguised as a homeless vagrant, he spray paints the phrase CO77X around Port Charles, he witnesses a shootout involving Jason and Joey Limbo, afterwards killing Limbo and repositioning the body in an odd figure. He goes to the opening of his art exhibit, he asks to meet Jason. Maxie Jones accompanies Franco to his apartment, where he blindfolds her, photographs her in a chalk outline, they sleep together. Franco invites Jason to his apartment and says he idolizes Jason's work in organized crime, calling it "art", he tells Jason that they are the same, is upset when Jason does not agree. Franco hits police officer Ronnie Dimestico with a car and tells him to give Jason the message "you choose".
Franco kidnaps his best friend Carly Corinthos Jacks. Jason saves Carly. Franco goes to find Maxie, kidnaps Lulu Spencer instead, he holds Sam captive above bomb timers on opposite sides of town. Jason races to Sam. Sam's bomb turns out to be fake, while Dante reaches Lulu just in time to save her before her bomb explodes. Franco leaves town sending a DVD to Carly's daughter Josslyn Jacks as a christening present; the video explains his past motivations and reminds Jason he plans to kill someone for every person Jason kills. In June, Jason kills Carter, who had abused Michael in prison, his last words are "Franco says hi." In July, Franco follows Jason home. Dante and Jason continue to investigate Franco, they track down his mother, played by James Franco's real-life mother Betsy Franco. The character has changed her name from Betsy Frank to Karen Anderson, denies that she has a son. Fra