In the eyes of General Hospital fans, summer fun just now kicked off because the ABC soap opera has returned with new episodes after months of having to air repeats due to the coronavirus pandemic. And in true soap fashion, the brand new material is causing massive tidal waves of oohs and aahs.
"The very first few seconds of the show, I think, will blow a lot of the audience's mind because there's a big surprise that we inserted in," teases GH executive producer Frank Valentini to ABC 7 Los Angeles, adding that he's thrilled to be back on the air with new episodes. "A lot of fans were, like, 'When are you coming back? When are you coming back?' It took that long to establish the protocols and to think through every step of the production process."
One of the safety protocols in place is that COVID-19 testing had to be done before anyone could even walk into the building, with negative tests being mandatory to return to work. Testing will continue and Valentini says masks are now compulsory at work at all times, except when the actors are taping a scene. He also explains that "the amount of physical intimacy is limited. We're going to leave a lot more to the imagination."
However, the strict COVID-19 safety protocols haven't thwarted the soap opera from continuing its annual tradition of airing a music-filled Nurses Ball. Valentini confirms that the show's 2020 Nurses Ball -- which was originally scheduled to air earlier this spring -- will be taking place later this month.
Meanwhile, fans can also look forward to the conclusion of the GH storyline that involves the serious illness of Sonny's (Maurice Benard) father, Mike (Max Gail), as well as a major custody case.
Teases Valentini, "There is a bang and a surprise and a twist and it's going to be a lot of fun."
What do you think about GH being back with new episodes? What do you think about the storylines that the ABC soap opera has planned for its return with fresh content? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.