The wait is (hopefully) over: General Hospital is tentatively slated to resume airing all-new episodes beginning next month. A setside source tells Soap Central that the ABC soap is currently planning to broadcast episode #14541 -- the first new episode since late May -- on Monday, August 3.
General Hospital was forced to halt production in March when mandatory stay-at-home orders were put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. At that time, GH had about a month-and-a-half allotment of episodes already wrapped. To help extend the run of original content, GH got creative and inserted additional flashbacks into episodes and aired throwback episodes on Fridays. Eventually, however, the show did run out of original content.
General Hospital aired its last original episode on Thursday, May 21. Since that time, the ABC soap has been airing collections of episodes devoted to couples, characters, and even the Nurses Ball. In anticipation of new episodes once again airing, on July 13, GH began rebroadcasting the episodes that aired immediately before the show was forced to halt production. The three weeks of episodes were designed to help remind viewers of the action that had taken place and springboard directly into new material. The source tells Soap Central that there are scenes that were taped before the shutdown that have yet to air.
The cast and crew of General Hospital were originally scheduled to report back to work on July 13, but the show pushed back its restart date to this week. GH executive producer Frank Valentini tells Soap Opera Digest that production resumed on July 22 and he is "incredibly grateful to be back to set."
"I have missed my team and we have missed our fans. In returning to work, it was important to take every precaution in order to create a safe and smooth transition back to production," Valentini shared. "In addition to regular testing and distancing measures — we have hired a dedicated Health & Safety Manager to be on set to supervise all health and safety protocols and answer any questions as they arise. It’s important that every member of the cast and crew feel safe and confident.”
The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless have both reported back to work with strict new guidelines in place to ensure a safe working environment. B&B started airing new episodes this week. Y&R is expected to follow suit within the next week or two.
It is unclear if an increase in positive COVID-19 test results and deaths will result in another stay-at-home order being issued in Los Angeles, something that could once again impact the four soaps' production schedules.
So, what will be taking place on-screen when GH does make its long-awaited return? Here's a preview.
Monday, August 3 (Episode 14541)
Nelle (Chloe Lanier) is shaken. Jax (Ingo Rademacher) is impressed with Nina's (Cynthia Watros) strength. Ned (Wally Kurth) and Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) clash. Valentin meets with Brook Lynn (Amanda Setton). Portia (Brook Kerr) has an uncomfortable encounter.
Tuesday, August 4 (Episode 14542)
Carly (Laura Wright) comes home to a distraught Sonny. Valentin and Martin (Michael E. Knight) strategize. Brook Lynn interrupts Ned. Monica (Leslie Charleson) is committed to a cause. Nelle is confrontational.
Wednesday, August 5 (Episode 14543)
Sonny has a crisis of conscience. Valentin propositions Sam. Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) gets a visit from an old friend. Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) and Michael (Chad Duell) grow closer. Nelle demands to see Wiley (Erik and Théodore Olson).
Thursday, August 6 (Episode 14544)
Jordan (Briana Nicole Henry) confides in Jason (Steve Burton). Maxie (Kirsten Storms) and Lucy (Lynn Herring) agree on a decision about Deception. Sam and Carly bond over a common struggle. Curtis (Donnell Turner) runs into Chase (Josh Swickard). Cyrus (Jeff Kober) meets with Brando (Johnny Wactor).
Friday, August 7 (Episode 14545)
Sonny visits with Brando. Cyrus continues to manipulate Jordan. Finn (Michael Easton) and Portia bond over the relationships they have with their daughters. Maxie has seconds thoughts. Anna (Finola Hughes) defends Peter (Wes Ramsey).
This article has been updated to include a statement from Frank Valentini regarding the show being back in production.
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