General Hospital to Go Live in May

General Hospital Live Episodes

For its next, 52nd anniversary*-related trick, ABC’s General Hospital will present not one but two episodes live.

The special broadcasts will air Friday, May 15, and Monday, May 18, just as the May sweeps rating period is drawing to a close. They continue an anniversary celebration that thus far featured current cast recreating original scenes/characters from the sudser’s April 1, 1963 debut, and just this Wednesday revealed a darrrrrk secret from front man Luke Spencer’s past (watch video here).

“Taking such an iconic show as General Hospital live for two days is both exhilarating and risky,” executive producer/head writer Frank Valentini said in a statement cited by, the first to report the news. “I am enormously proud of our cast, crew and staff for all their tireless dedication and hard work that will be leading up to this daytime television event. It’s live television and absolutely anything can happen, but that is what’s fun about this and we’re absolutely up to the challenge.”

As TVLine reader “C” reminds, ABC’s One Life to Live staged an entire week of live episodes back in May 2002, in between Valentini’s turns there as a producer.

Who do you think is most up to the challenge of working without a net? And, more entertainingly, the least?

* Maybe I missed a memo, but why all the pomp and circumstance surrounding No. 52?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Eric7740 says:

    All the “pomp and circumstance” is because every year that the remaining soaps can stay on the air is a great achievement AND it should be celebrated!!!

  2. It’s the longest running drama on television right now.

    That should be celebrated every day.

  3. wrstlgirl says:

    Yeah, I don’t get all the hype for 52. It’s almost like they’re trying to one up Days of our Lives 50th which will be celebrated later this year. But I have to say that yesterdays episode of the past was one of the best hours of daytime television I’ve seen in years. It was fantastic.

    • aph1976 says:

      Maybe GH is trying to show that every year that they’re still on the air is a cause for celebration because they know ABC could cancel it at anytime.

  4. C says:

    No mention of how OLTL went live for a whole week back in 2002?

  5. jar says:

    My theory is that there are 52 weeks in a year and (OJ Simpson or Iran Contra-like drama excepting) soaps are on every one of them.

  6. Matthew B Lawler says:

    Two days big deal oltl did a whole week of live shows complete with location shoots

  7. Dude says:

    This reminds me of Soapdish and it turned out well for them…

  8. EJ says:

    The live episode of EastEnders in the UK in February (it was the show’s 30th anniversary) should be a textbook example of how it’s done.

  9. Mary says:

    Prior to One Life To Live going live for a week back in 2002: Search For Tomorrow went LIVE for one day on August 4, 1983. Search lost all the tapes of the episode and had to go LIVE to make up for it.

  10. Andy J says:

    “Edge of Night” and “As The World Turns” were live EVERYDAY until 1975. “As The World Turns” was live on November 22, 1963 when Walter Cronkite broke in with the news that JFK was shot-it was the only network program on the air at the time (NBC and ABC stations had local programming at the time).

  11. Laura says:

    As far as who’s up to the challenge I’d say Jane Elliot, Finola Hughes, Maura West, and Nancy Lee Grahn. I hope that they have a plan in place in case Lisa LoCicero goes into labor.

  12. Another reason for all the pomp and circumstance, is because Days Of Our Lives is celebrating 50 years this November and they’re trying to take some of the wind out of Days’ sails!

    • Laura says:

      Lol I have to admit that thought cross my mind as well. I wouldn’t put it past Ron and as long as it comes in under budget Frank doesn’t care.

  13. Joey says:

    I hope they do it twice each day, one for the east coast and one for the west coast. I hate these special live things that only end up being live for half of the country.

  14. sandee says:

    Maurice Benard and Laura Wright
    As for the Flashback episode. ..I didn’t watch.

  15. Christian says:

    How about firing the writers and hiring people who actually know how to write? Now THAT I would tune in to watch.

    This show seriously needs an overhaul.

  16. ed packet says:

    They are all pros there will be no screwups!!!

  17. saleen1215 says:

    The one with the most challenging are babies and children because they are the most unpredictable.