“General Hospital” has parted ways with longtime headwriter Robert Guza. He will be replaced by one of the show’s breakdown writers, Garin Wolf .
ABC Daytime President Brian Frons stated in an ABC press release, “Garin is a talented writer and storyteller who has been a part of the ‘General Hospital’ family for nearly 15 years. His in-depth knowledge and adoration for the show’s legacy will help make a smooth transition and an immediate impact on story. I’m sure he will succeed in taking ‘General Hospital’ to new heights as he develops characters and storylines that will engage and thrill our viewers.”
This announcement comes as a surprise. Guza has been at the helm of “GH” since the mid-1990s. He initially served as headwriter from 1997-2000. He returned to the position in 2002 and has held it ever since. He started writing for the show in 1982. Under his tenure, the show has earned numerous Daytime Emmys and consistently been among the top three shows in key demographics. Though his storylines often met with vocal disapproval of fans who disliked his focus on the mob, ABC seemed very happy with his work. While its other two soaps have changed headwriters every couple years, Guza has remained in charge at “GH” even as its ratings declined.
When ABC opted to cancel “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” Frons insisted “GH” was safe. However, there have been rumors that the network plans to replace the soap with a talk show hosted by Katie Couric. Lorraine Broderick was named “All My Children’s” headwriter weeks before the show’s cancellation was announced. In the past few weeks, “GH’s” ratings have declined, falling below the canceled “OLTL” in total viewers. It is unknown at this time whether the show’s ratings woes have anything to do with Guza’s departure.
Wolf served as the show’s interim headwriter during the 2008 writers’ strike, when he opted to take financial core status with the union and continue working on the show. He has also written for “As the World Turns.” There will be more on this story as it develops.