Very little gets past Garin Wolf, the newest head writer for ABC's soon-to-be only soap opera, "General Hospital." After nearly a two-hour phone interview, he touches on the challenges of holding the daytime drama together, amping up favorite characters, introducing new ones and avoiding the speculation that the network may cancel the show after 48 years (word of its fate probably will be announced in 2012). Already ABC has a new Katie Couric talk show pegged for "GH's" long-time home -- 3 p.m. weekdays. "Katie" is slotted to debut in September of 2012. Meanwhile, ABC has the option of moving "GH" to another time period or getting rid of it altogether. Needless to say, he has a lot of his plate and many fans, and actors and crew members are depending on him to save the ship.
So far, his turn as head writer has been mixed by fans, but Wolf says
he's just getting started. He has plans up his sleeve. For this first
installment of this interview and what he plans to do, Wolf looks over
the characters he has on the canvas and what he wants to do with them.
He also teases about old favorites he'd like to see return.
Here are his thoughts on an array of characters:
Luke Spencer. "There's no filter. There's no facade. I love the character. He'll be dealing with his alcoholism but in a different way."
Laura Spencer: I'd like for her to return only if
she came back (being) different. People have to change. Characters have
to change. They have to get their comeuppance. They have to go from
saint to sinner back to saint again. They have to be redeemed. If she
comes back, it would have to be as someone new. That goes for anyone on
our canvas ... and just because (Genie Francis) isn't around doesn't
mean (Laura's) presence can't be felt in other ways. She could come back
and run Kelley's. (Laughing). I would NEVER do that to Laura."
Tracy Quartermaine: "What's new about Tracy to tell?
Well, she has that long history with (New York mob family) the
Soleitos. She is the widow of the godfather. She was a 'godmother.' It's
going to come back
to bite more than her, though."
Franco. "Oh, he's back, and what he does will be
felt for a very long time. I wanted to bring (James Franco) back and do
it as simply as possible because of his schedule. It's not easy getting
him. He has a huge schedule."
Jason Morgan. "When I started this job over the
summer, my buzz phrase was 'sometimes they come back.' My buzz phrase
for the fall is 'don't assume.' You don't know everything about Jason."
Damian Spinelli. "He has an epiphany coming."
Steve Webber. "I love the actor (Scott Reeves) is
great. The day I told him (Steve) has a secret he lit up. That is what
will make him fun in the next few months."
Alan Quartermaine. "I have something fun in my mind for him."
Sonny Corinthos. "He's got some things to do that
he's never had to do before. That's a fun challenge for me because (he)
has been on the show for a long time and finding something new for them
to do is not always easy."
Elizabeth Webber. "She has a new role to take on."
Bobbie Spencer. "Bobbie will have her time. Yes.
It's very interesting when it comes to the people who have contacted me
and said they want to come back."
Audrey Hardy. "Again. I would never bring her back and have her do the same old thing. She'd have to do something new and different.
Amy Vining. "You know which actress and character I
really miss? Amy. When you mention her, you bring up sadness (over the
actress, the late Shell Kepler). There are things you don't bring up
because it causes pain in the real world. You just want to remember her
for who she was. The character always said what she thought. She was a
wonderful character to use because she let things slip all the time. I
would not recast her. But you can bring on somebody like her. In my
head, I have a character like her."
Olivia Falconeri. "She has a whole new hell to deal with."
Kristina Davis. "All I can say about her is this:
Look at her roots. Look who she comes from. There's a lot to her that
can explored if you take her down that path."
Which character development are you most excited about??