“General Hospital” is the has earned 21 daytime Emmy nominations, more than any other soap opera. It’s a big boost of confidence for ABC’s flagship daytime drama, whose future is uncertain thanks to the network’s decision to launch a new talk show hosted by Katie Couric in 2012. The show has a new headwriter, Garin Wolf, who is committed to saving the show. At a reception for nominees sponsored by the Television Academy, Several of GH’s nominated actors spoke about the awards, the show’s new direction, and why this is the time for longtime fans to start watching again.
Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) Outstanding Supporting Actress Nominee
Have you thought about what you’re going to say in your acceptance speech?
I have no anticipation or expectation of winning this. I don’t think for one second it’s going to happen. I’m not saying that to be coy. I really don’t.
Who do you think is going to win?
I don’t know. They say Tricia Cast (from “The Young & the Restless”). I don’t put much stock in [being nominated.] It’s just fun. I just want to keep the soaps important.
How do you feel about Garin Wolf becoming GH’s headwriter?
I’m thrilled. I love Garin. I think that he has a real understanding of the canvas and I think that he’s going to color in all of the characters, not just a few. I think he’s going to give the audience some things it’s been missing and that they felt were lacking. I’m excited. Everyone is, from the camera crew to the make-up [artists] to the actors. Nobody is disappointed. Nobody is sad. Everybody thinks, “Thank God.”
You talk a lot on Twitter about your blue boob dress. Are you wearing the blue boob dress to the Emmys?
It will not be worn at the Emmys. It will be auctioned off at my fan event on July 21st. There’s already 100 ticket sales. It’s becoming the event.
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Is it scary that ABC President Anne Sweeney is stating that whichever one of their daytime shows is lowest rated in 2012 will be canceled?
That’s the reality of this business. We know it from the inside as a community. [Anne Sweeney] sees it as a business woman. We are on the inside and we see it as something more important than she does. So we have to get the ratings up. I think the bottom line is we have to get more eyeballs. There’s three shows, two hours, and somebody’s going to go.
I think more people will want to watch GH than will want to watch someone running on a treadmill.
I hope so. People need to know that if they don’t watch GH, we’re going to go. We’re really trying to please the audience. The show is back in the direction I think where they’ll be happier. They’ve got to watch. Otherwise it’s going to be bye bye.
Jason Thompson (Patrick) Outstanding Supporting Actor Nominee
You’re nominated for best supporting actor. Have you written your acceptance speech?
No. Not even close.
“General Hospital” has the most nominations. Any predictions?
I just think it’s a good, good weekend for daytime. There hasn’t been the best run in the past year or so with the changes. So I hope we can all get together to support each other. I think that’s the most important thing about this weekend. There’s going to be some winners, there’s going to be losers, but at the end of the day, we should all be happy with what we do.
Any shows you want to see in Vegas?
I’m going to try to go to Poison and Motley Crue Saturday.
What are your thoughts on GH’s new headwriter. Garin Wolf?
We learned a little bit about Garin during the strike. I’m really excited about it. I owe a lot to Bob [Guza]. He created the character of Patrick and wrote five good years for us. But I think we’re all excited about the change.
Have you noticed any difference in the writing?
Just last week was the first week we had it. It was a little bit different. It’s a fresh start for us.
Is it frightening that GH is now competing with the new talk shows for a spot on the schedule?
It’s a change. Change is always a little scary but I don’t think any of us want to go to work scared about what’s going to happen, when the other shoe’s going to drop. So we’re just going to go and continue to do our jobs and hope that people give us a chance and watch us. GH needs some viewers. That’s just the name of the game. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure we give them good story.
Lexi Ainworth (Kristina) Outstanding Younger Actress Nominee and Haley Pullos (Molly)
Lexi, you’re nominated for Outstanding Younger Actress. Have you prepared your acceptance speech?
Ainsworth: I don’t even want to think about it. I’m just trying to enjoy every moment of it. I’m trying not to think about it because it’s overwhelming.
If they call your name, who do you want to remember to thank?
Ainsworth: Definitely the writers and the cast and my parents.
Other than you, who do you predict will win?
Ainsworth: I really hope that “General Hospital’” going to do a clean sweep. But you never know. I think it will happen.
Pullos: I really think we might win for best show. We’ve had a lot of good stuff this year.
Kristina and Ethan have a hot storyline, with her pursuing him. What’s next for them?
Ainsworth: Who knows? She’s going after him like a cat chasing a mouse. Whatever it is, it’s going to be fun and be interesting.
Do you think the two of them have a chance at a real romance?
Ainsworth: If they’re willing to work. Kristina’s pretty stubborn but she is a loving person.
Pullos: I could see them together.
The only thing Alexis and Sonny can agree on is that they should not be together.
Ainsworth: It would be the end of the world for them.
You have a new headwriter. Is he writing exciting storylines for the two of you?
Ainsworth: I’ve only gotten one of his scripts, so I’m not quite sure. I heard that he’s going to be getting new storylines for everyone. I think it will be an interesting change.
Do you think it’s time for Molly to have a storyline of her own?
Pullos: I would love to have a storyline for Molly. My parents were saying that Molly should have a boyfriend but boys are, like, the least of my worries.
Molly should be the mayor of Port Charles. She’s the smartest person in town.
Ainsworth: You should be a spy kid.
Pullos: That would be awesome! I would wear black all the time and carry binoculars.