General Hospital Executive Producer Frank Valentini Talks Content for Hulu
Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem, which is set to return to Peacock next month, has been included in some of the key categories at the Daytime Emmys this year. Soap Hub was behind the scenes at the kudo festival press room and interviewed Frank Valentini, Executive Producer of General Hospital, which won Outstanding Drama Series, about the possibility of creating original GH content for Hulu.
Frank Valentini on GH Content on Hulu
“You never know,” Valentini responded to the idea of new GH episodes/programs being produced just for the Hulu streaming service. (Disney owns both ABC and Hulu.) “I would love to do that. I think it’s a great idea.”
Creating digital content isn’t new to the GH showrunner. In 2010, Valentini made a series of short videos featuring characters from All My Children, One Life to Live and GH. The digital series, titled What If…, was seen on ABC.com and SoapNet.com.
What If… created a synergy between the three ABC Daytime series by pairing characters from different shows as they rode an elevator. We saw GH’s Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) paired with AMC’s Erica Kane (Susan Lucci), and GH’s Carly Corinthos Jacks (Laura Wright) paired with AMC’s Ryan Lavery (Cameron Mathison), and many more. . Ironically, Wright’s Carly currently shares screen time with Mathison (now GH’s Drew Cain).
“He didn’t have the right platform,” Frank Valentini recalls the experience which was arguably ahead of its time. “But something like that would be great to do. I’d love to.” GH fans would love to see it – after all, Days of our Lives fans got fun “extras” on the Peacock, which boosted subscriptions to this new service.
Soaps can help streaming platforms
The devotion that soap opera fans have for their shows is well known, so it only made sense that the peacock approached Days of our Lives to create programming to help build its subscriber base at the streaming service. “For the peacock to come up to us and say, ‘We’d like you to write this spin-off,’ we were blown away,” said current DAYS and former GH editor Ron Carlivati. “It really is an exciting business.”
How was the name “Beyond Salem” chosen? “We threw it over there when we were working on it and ended up keeping it,” says Cartivati. “It is special [and indicates the action] is outside of our little town of Salem. We don’t have to worry about the continuity of [DAYS].”
Ken Corday looks at Peacock and DAYS: Beyond Salem
“It’s the future,” Corday says of streaming services delivering programming to viewers. “We will speak again [more] in the next few years, but linear is the future. The broadcast will survive, but it’s unclear how long. One thing General Hospital fans can agree on is that there is never enough of their show and you can bet Hulu would benefit from following the Peacock’s lead.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtime. For more on what’s going on in Port Charles, check out all the latest GH spoiler posts, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.