Port Charles (commonly abbreviated as PC) is an American television soap opera that aired on ABC from June 1, 1997 to October 3, 2003. It was a spin-off of the serial General Hospital, which has been running since 1963 and takes place in the fictional city of Port Charles, New York. The new show features longtime General Hospital characters Lucy Coe, Kevin Collins, Scott Baldwin, and Karen Wexler, along with several new characters, most of whom were interns in a competitive medical school program. In its later years, the program shifted more towards supernatural themes and stories, with a reduced emphasis on the original hospital setting.
|Created by||Carolyn Culliton|
|Starring||List of cast members|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||1,537|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original release||June 1, 1997 –|
October 3, 2003
|Related shows||General Hospital|
General Hospital: Night Shift
Plans to spin off General Hospital were announced in December, 1996. ABC had previously passed on the idea of a GH spin off proposed by former head writer, Claire Labine. Tentatively titled GH2, the series was set to revolve around interns at the medical school across from General Hospital. Wendy Riche, executive producer of General Hospital, was hired to fill the same role for the new series. Riche said of the new show, "This will be a multigenerational show, which is the kind of drama we've always done at GH". It was later announced that the series would be titled Port Charles, after the fictional city the series are set, and would star Jon Lindstrom and Lynn Herring, playing their roles from GH. The series premiered with a two-hour prime time special, that aired on June 1, 1997. It started in its regular timeslot the following day, replacing the canceled The City. The series also featured the return of General Hospital characters Scott Baldwin (Kin Shriner), and Karen Wexler (Jennifer Hammon). After the series premiered, it was unclear if Lindstrom, Herring, and Shriner would remain with the series. It was later confirmed the actors would stay on the show.
Riche later recalled the creation process by saying, "We knew that The City was probably not going to last. I was having lunch with Pat [Fili-Krushel] at some event. We were talking about The City and what to do with that timeslot. I said, 'If I were a programmer, I would start the ABC lineup with a half hour of the west wing of General Hospital with the interns in a learning hospital, and cap the day off with General Hospital. I would interface the characters in Port Charles with both wings of General Hospital.' Pat thought that was a great idea. She thought about it for a few hours, ran it by upper management, and told me to write it up. I sat down, wrote down some characters and storylines, sent her back some pages, and created the show. That was a natural bridge as a programmer. I had worked as a programmer at ABC and FOX so my head also thinks in those terms. We wanted to bring continuity to the show, which was Lucy, Kevin, and Scotty."
In the first episode, tenured nurse Audrey Hardy (General Hospital's longest-running character, portrayed by Rachel Ames) was injured and an intern had to operate on her with a power drill to save her life. Despite low ratings, Port Charles celebrated its first anniversary on June 1, 1998, as the series slowly continued to establish its own audience and improve in its time slot.
In its first few years, Port Charles developed a reputation for focusing most of its energies on the medical school program, setting more of its main action at Port Charles' General Hospital than was seen on the parent show, General Hospital. As it evolved, it turned its focus to stories with gothic intrigue that included themes such as forbidden love, vampires, and life after death (somewhat similar to the earlier series Dark Shadows, which also aired on ABC in the late 1960s).
In December 1999, Julie Hanan Carruthers was promoted to executive producer after Wendy Riche wanted to step down to focus on General Hospital. Carruthers was the senior supervising producer of Port Charles, while serving the same role on General Hospital at the inception of Port Charles.
In December 2000, it was announced that Port Charles would abandon the traditional open-ended style of storytelling, in favor of 13-week story arcs, similar to Latin telenovelas. Each arc is referred to as a "book", and has its own plot line. The approach was designed to attract more younger viewers, with shorter format being easier for many viewers to keep up with. ABC's head of daytime, Angela Shapiro said of format change, "It's not about the destination, it's about the journey, still, we need to come up with [quicker] stories that have a beginning, middle, and end." The new production model allowed the cast, crew, and writing staff to only work six months out of the year.
In June 2003, Port Charles was cancelled by ABC after six years due to low ratings. The final episode aired on October 3, 2003. Brian Frons said of the decision to cancel the relatively young series, "This was an extremely difficult decision, we were very pleased with the creative execution of the show, but the 30 minute format in this time period posed significant financial challenges, which ultimately led to this decision." Since the program taped for only six months out of the year, the remaining episodes were aired with the cast not allowed to return to tape resolutions to storylines. This left the final episode as a cliffhanger; Caleb told Olivia that Alison (Erin Hershey Presley) was pregnant with his baby because of the wish that she (Olivia) made on his ring and it was revealed that Imani was a werewolf. ABC returned the 12:30 P.M. time slot to its affiliates after Port Charles ended its run.
After Port Charles, the characters of Scott Baldwin and Audrey Hardy returned to General Hospital, and many of the other actors from Port Charles moved on to play roles on other dramas, including a few who took on new roles on General Hospital, such as actors Kelly Monaco, Kiko Ellsworth, Eddie Matos, Kent King, and Jay Pickett.
The cancellation of Port Charles, along with ABC's relinquishing of what was historically a death slot at the time of the show's ending, resulted in a major impact on the first-run syndication market as ABC affiliates sought new programming to fill the open timeslot in the midst of the 2003–04 television season. The most significant impact occurred in the New York television market, where the cancellation created an opening on network flagship station WABC-TV. Taking advantage of this opening, syndication distributor Buena Vista Television reached an agreement to move Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (which had been canceled by ABC the year prior) over to WABC's open 12:30 pm slot from WCBS-TV, which had been airing the program in the 4:00 pm timeslot since it premiered in first-run syndication in September 2002. This situation arose after WCBS picked up syndication rights to The People's Court for the 2003–04 season when WNBC, which had aired the program since it was revived in 1997, dropped it from its lineup.
In 2013, the writers of General Hospital revisited the final storyline of Port Charles after actors Michael Easton and Lynn Herring joined the show, putting their own spin on the PC storyline. Easton was now playing John McBain, a role he originated on the cancelled One Life to Live, while Herring would reprise her role as Lucy Coe. To work with the previous PC storyline, Easton started a dual role, playing both John and Caleb onscreen. At the conclusion of the story arc, it appeared the Caleb character had died; however, in the morgue after Lucy Coe left convinced he was dead, the true Caleb switched bodies with the Medical Examiner and walked out of the morgue.
Popular characters such as Lucy Coe, Kevin Collins, and Scott Baldwin moved from General Hospital to Port Charles at the start of the series. New characters were introduced as doctors and interns at the local medical school. These interns included brothers, Joe (Michael Dietz) and Frank Scanlon (Jay Pickett), wheelchair-bound Matt Harmon (Mitch Longley), Julie Morris-Devlin (Lisa Ann Hadley), Eve Lambert (Julie Pinson), Karen Wexler (Jennifer Hammon), Chris Ramsey (Nolan North), Jake Marshak (Rib Hillis). Debbi Morgan portrayed the resident in charge of the new interns, Dr. Ellen Burgess. Morgan was widely known for her portrayal of Angie Hubbard on All My Children, Loving, and The City. The actress described her character, which was seen as a departure for Morgan, whose Angie was known as a generally nice character, by saying "She's everything I abhor in doctors-their abruptness, the lack of bedside manners that so many of them have. She's a talented doctor and brilliant at what she does. Her bedside manner just sucks!".
As the series progressed, the storylines became less centered around the interns, and as a result, many actors ended up leaving the series. Port Charles then started to introduce new, younger characters as a part of the supernatural storylines. These characters proved to be popular with fans and critics, mainly Alison Barrington (Erin Hershey Presley), Caleb Morley (Michael Easton), Livvie Locke (Kelly Monaco), and Rafe Kovich (Brian Gaskill).
When the series ended in 2003, Shriner returned to General Hospital, while Herring was not offered a place back on the show. The actress stated, "That was very disheartening. It never occurred to me that Lucy wouldn't still have a place in town if PC didn't work out. But you know what? Even knowing what I know now, I would still go off to do PC. I would not trade that fabulous experience for anything!" Several of the younger actors took roles on different shows, including Easton, who was cast as John McBain on One Life to Live. Monaco transferred over to General Hospital, but in the newly created role of Sam McCall. It was said that the supernatural elements of the storyline would have made it difficult for the writers to integrate Livvie into the series.
Each 13-week arc of the story was referred to as a "book". There were a total of twelve books after the series switched to that format. In order, they were:
|Fate||December 4, 2000 – March 2, 2001|
|Time in a Bottle||March 5 – June 1, 2001|
|Tainted Love||June 4 – August 31, 2001|
|Tempted||September 3 – November 30, 2001|
|Miracles Happen||December 3 – 31, 2001|
|Secrets||January 2 – March 29, 2002|
|Superstition||April 1 – June 28, 2002|
|Torn||July 1 – September 27, 2002|
|Naked Eyes||September 30 – December 27, 2002|
|Surrender||December 30, 2002 – April 1, 2003|
|Desire||April 2 – July 4, 2003|
|The Gift||July 7 – October 3, 2003|
|June 1997–December 1997||Carolyn Culliton|
|January 1998–early 1999||Lynn Marie Latham|
|early 1999–December 1999||Scott Hamner|
|January 2000–March 2000||Karen Harris|
|March 2000–May 2000||Karen Harris|
|May 2000–November 2000||Karen Harris|
|November 2000–October 2003||James Harmon Brown|
|June 1997–December 1999||Wendy Riche|
|December 1999–October 2003||Julie Hanan Carruthers|
The series received mostly positive reviews from critics. In a review of the early months, The Tuscaloosa News compared the series favorably to General Hospital, "But all in all, this was quite an auspicious start for a new show. When Port Charles was conceived, this spin off was a companion piece to the highly successful General Hospital. Since then, General Hospital has lost not only its headwriter, but its direction." During the early days, many critics felt the series wouldn't make it, but it later proved to be a critical success. The series received particular acclaim during the vampire storylines. Star-News wrote in a review of the "Tainted Love" arc, "Its well-placed edginess always underscores the danger. It was riveting. So was this story. We did not want it to end." The fast-paced style of storytelling has also been called "Edgy, unpredictable and extreme." The Vindicator described the change in the series by saying, "The series clipped along at an amazing pace and viewers became intrigued as more fantasy elements such as time travel and vampires were to the mix. The show became the Dark Shadows of its time, and although the ratings were low, it continued to grow." ABC Soaps in Depth's list of 100 Greatest Daytime Couples included Rafe and Alison at number 92, and Caleb and Livvie at number 34.
In 2003, the series was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series.Zap2it included the series on its list of The Best and Worst TV Spinoffs since 1990, noting, ""Port Charles" never got the traction that its venerable parent show did, despite attempts to introduce the supernatural and a change in production to tell more contained story arcs. It lasted six years, and after its cancellation a few characters eventually returned to General Hospital." Entertainment Weekly included the series on their list of "15 Soap Operas We've Loved, Lost", noting, "What started off as a simple spin-off of General Hospital ended up venturing way out there, with vampires and werewolves stalking around Port Charles. Having GH folks like Lucy Coe (Lynn Herring) and Scotty Baldwin (Kin Shriner) leading the show made for an instant audience base. Some viewers couldn't get behind all the supernatural happenings (a vampire/human baby conceived by a wish upon a ring?), but hey, we got Kelly Monaco out of the deal."
The Corinthos family is a fictional family from the ABC Daytime soap opera, General Hospital. Created and introduced by Bill Levinson in August 1993, current patriarch Sonny Corinthos, was the first member to arrive in the fictional town of Port Charles, New York. The family was further expanded in 1995 with the arrival of Sonny's father, Mike Corbin. The Corinthos family is known for its involvement in organized crime, the family coffee import business and the revolving love affairs of its patriarch Sonny. The family is currently represented by Sonny, Michael, Molly, Kristina, Spencer, Rocco, Avery and Jonah. The Corinthos family is the most powerful mob family in Port Charles, New York. A lot of rival mob organizations have tried to take it down and failed.General Hospital
General Hospital (commonly abbreviated GH) is an American daytime television medical drama. It is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running American soap opera in production and the second longest-running drama in television in American history after Guiding Light. Concurrently, it is the world's third longest-running scripted drama series in production after British serials The Archers and Coronation Street, as well as the world's second-longest-running televised soap opera still in production. General Hospital premiered on the ABC television network on April 1, 1963. Same-day broadcasts as well as classic episodes were aired on SOAPnet from January 20, 2000, to December 31, 2013, following Disney-ABC's decision to discontinue the network. General Hospital is the longest-running serial produced in Hollywood, and the longest-running entertainment program in ABC television history. It holds the record for most Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, with 13 wins.The show was created by husband-and-wife soap writers Frank and Doris Hursley, who originally set it in a general hospital (hence the title), in an unnamed fictional city. In the 1970s, the city was named Port Charles, New York. From its beginning, General Hospital starred John Beradino and Emily McLaughlin, and both actors stayed with the show until their deaths in 1996 and 1991 respectively. They were joined a year later by Rachel Ames who remains to date the longest serving actress on an ABC soap opera, having been continuously on the show from 1964 to 2007. General Hospital was the second soap to air on ABC (after the short-lived Road to Reality, which aired for several months during the 1960–61 season). In 1964, a sister soap was created for General Hospital, The Young Marrieds; it ran for two years, and was canceled because of low ratings. General Hospital also spawned a primetime spinoff with the same name in the United Kingdom from 1972 to 1979, as well as the daytime series Port Charles (1997–2003) and the primetime spin-off General Hospital: Night Shift (2007–2008) in the United States. Taped at The Prospect Studios, General Hospital aired for a half-hour until July 23, 1976. The series was expanded from 30 minutes to 45 minutes on July 26, 1976, and then to a full hour on January 16, 1978.Ever since the late 1970s, most of the storylines have revolved around the Quartermaines and the Spencers. From 1979 to 1988, General Hospital had more viewers than any other daytime soap opera. It rose to the top of the ratings in the early 1980s in part thanks to the monumentally popular "supercouple" Luke and Laura, whose 1981 wedding brought in 30 million viewers and remains the highest-rated hour in American soap opera history. The soap opera is also known for its high-profile celebrity guest stars who have included, among others, Roseanne Barr, James Franco and Elizabeth Taylor. In 2007, the program was listed as one of Time magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME." On April 23, 2009, General Hospital began broadcasting in high definition, making it the first ABC soap opera to make such a transition. The serial aired its 14,000th episode on February 23, 2018.General Hospital became the oldest American soap opera on September 17, 2010, following the final broadcast of CBS' As the World Turns. On April 14, 2011, ABC announced the cancellation of both All My Children and One Life to Live, leaving General Hospital as the last remaining soap opera airing on the network after January 13, 2012. The show celebrated its 50th anniversary on April 1, 2013.List of General Hospital characters
This is a list of characters that have appeared or been mentioned on the American ABC soap opera General Hospital.List of General Hospital characters (1970s)
General Hospital is the longest running American television serial drama, airing on ABC. Created by Frank and Doris Hursley, who originally set it in a general hospital (hence the title), in an unnamed fictional city. In the 1970s, the city was named Port Charles, New York. The series premiered on April 1, 1963. This is a list of notable characters who significantly impacted storylines and began their run, or significantly returned, from the years 1970 to 1979.List of General Hospital characters (1980s)
General Hospital is the longest-running American television serial drama, airing on ABC. Created by Frank and Doris Hursley, who originally set it in a general hospital (hence the title), in an unnamed fictional city. In the 1970s, the city was named Port Charles, New York. The series premiered on April 1, 1963. This is a list of notable characters who significantly impacted storylines and began their run, or significantly returned, from the years 1980 to 1989.List of General Hospital characters (1990s)
General Hospital is the longest running American television serial drama, airing on ABC. Created by Frank and Doris Hursley, who originally set it in a general hospital (hence the title), in an unnamed fictional city. In the 1970s, the city was named Port Charles, New York. The series premiered on April 1, 1963. This is a list of notable characters who significantly impacted storylines and began their run, or significantly returned, from the years 1990 to 1999.List of General Hospital characters (2000s)
General Hospital is the longest running American television serial drama, airing on ABC. Created by Frank and Doris Hursley, who originally set it in a general hospital (hence the title), in an unnamed fictional city. In the 1970s, the city was named Port Charles, New York. The series premiered on April 1, 1963. This is a list of notable characters who significantly impacted storylines and began their run, or significantly returned, from the years 2000 to 2009.List of General Hospital characters (2010s)
General Hospital is the longest running American television serial drama, airing on ABC. Created by Frank and Doris Hursley, who originally set it in a general hospital (hence the title), in an unnamed fictional city. In the 1970s, the city was named Port Charles, New York. The series premiered on April 1, 1963. This is a list of notable characters who significantly impacted storylines and began their run, or significantly returned, from 2010 to the present day.List of Port Charles characters
The following is a list of characters who appeared on the ABC daytime soap opera Port Charles, which ran from 1997 to 2003. The series was created by Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, and Wendy Riche. It is a spin-off of the serial General Hospital, which has been running since 1963, created by Frank and Doris Hursley, who originally set it in a general hospital (hence the title), in an unnamed fictional city. In the 1970s, the city was named Port Charles, New York.Lucy Coe
Lucy Coe is a fictional character from the ABC Daytime soap operas General Hospital and Port Charles. Portrayed by Lynn Herring, she first appeared in April 1986 on General Hospital, introduced as an alibi in a murder plot. In 1997, she made her second departure from the show and joined its now defunct spin-off Port Charles. There, she was involved in storylines revolving around vampires, where it was revealed that Lucy was a vampire slayer. The character stayed on Port Charles until October 2003, when the series was cancelled, and she made a brief guest appearance on General Hospital in July 2004. In November 2012, after more than eight years off-screen, it was confirmed that Herring was to return to General Hospital. She returned that December for the revival of the infamous Nurses' Ball, which she founded in the 1990s, as well as a continuation of Port Charles' vampire story arc.
Over the years, Lucy is known for having developed from a "mousy librarian" to a villainous liar, schemer and vixen to ultimately an unlikely heroine. She has been noted by critics for her manipulative yet eccentric personality. Herring's portrayal has received critical acclaim, for which she garnered two Daytime Emmy Award nominations and numerous wins and nominations for the Soap Opera Digest Awards.Luke Spencer
Luke Spencer is a fictional character in the American television soap opera General Hospital, played by Anthony Geary from 1978 until his departure in July 2015. Geary holds the record for most Daytime Emmy wins for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his work as Luke. He was the show's fifth most tenured character after Monica Quartermaine, Laura Spencer, Scott Baldwin, and Bobbie Spencer. Luke has easily been one of the most popular characters in daytime soap operas.
The character was famously paired with Laura Spencer (named Laura Webber when he met her), starting soon after Luke Spencer joined the show. The pairing, termed "Luke and Laura" by fans, was extremely popular with viewers, and led to the creation of the "supercouple" concept, which many other soap operas attempted to emulate. The pairing culminated with the couple's wedding, which took place on the episodes aired on November 16-17, 1981; the November 17 episode was watched by 30 million people, and remains the highest-watched hour in soap opera history.Luke and Laura
Luke Spencer and Laura Webber are fictional characters, and the signature supercouple from the American daytime drama General Hospital. Luke is portrayed by Anthony Geary, and Laura is portrayed by Genie Francis. Though other supercouples came before them, Luke and Laura are the best known outside of the soap opera medium and are credited with defining the term supercouple and leading other soap operas to try to duplicate their success.Despite having been raped by a drunken Luke, Laura falls in love with him. Originally, critics of the soap opera genre panned the choice of having a rape victim fall in love with her rapist, an example of forced seduction. The unlikely pairing became popular in spite of Luke's past misdeed when the story shifted to focus on love and redemption.
The couple wed at the end of the hour-long show on November 16, 1981; the event was watched by 30 million viewers and remains the highest-rated hour in American soap opera history. Viewers watched as the show followed their marriage through two decades and gave them two children. Today, their union still has a presence in fictional town Port Charles. In 1996, TV Guide included the wedding of Luke and Laura as part of its "100 Most Memorable Moments in TV History," ranking it number 35. On Internet message boards, the couple is often referred to as "L&L" or "LnL" (for Luke and Laura).Port Charles (fictional city)
Port Charles, New York, is the fictional setting of the ABC Daytime soap operas General Hospital and its spin-offs Port Charles and General Hospital: Night Shift. It was revealed that the Queen's Point setting of The Young Marrieds, a short-lived sister series to General Hospital that ran between 1964 and 1966, was a suburb of Port Charles. Locations within the town are described, below, using in-universe tone.Rae Cummings
Rae Cummings is a fictional character on the ABC daytime soap opera One Life to Live. Dano played the role from 1978 to 1980, June 28, 1999 to November 1999, and May 2000 to March 12, 2004.Ric Lansing
Ric Lansing is a fictional character from the ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital. The role has been portrayed by Rick Hearst, who joined the series on November 8, 2002 and exited the series on June 25, 2009. Following a five-year absence, Hearst returned to the series on February 24, 2014. He later left the series again on June 13, 2014. Hearst, once again, returned to the series on December 23, 2014. His last on air appearance was on July 20, 2016. His exit from the show remains unexplained.Robert Scorpio
Robert Scorpio is a fictional character on the ABC soap opera General Hospital, played by actor Tristan Rogers.Scorpio/Jones family
The Scorpio and Jones families are fictional families on the American soap opera General Hospital, which is set in the fictional town of Port Charles, New York. Over time, the two families intertwined and became one large blended family, often referred to as the Scorpio/Jones family. The Scorpio family was introduced in December 1980 by head writers Pat Falken Smith and Margaret DePriest, when Robert Scorpio arrived in town to assist Luke Spencer in locating a rare diamond called the Ice Princess. Four years later, the Jones family was introduced in 1984 by Gloria Monty when Frisco Jones arrived in town after he is hired to be the lead singer for "Blackie and the Riff Raff". The Scorpio and Jones families are known for their many adventures, with members of both families working as secret agents with the fictional World Security Bureau (WSB).Scott Baldwin
Scott "Scotty" Baldwin is a fictional character from the ABC soap opera General Hospital and its now-defunct spinoff Port Charles. The character debuted played by child actors in the 1960s until Kin Shriner assumed the role in 1977. Scotty is often remembered as part of the love triangle with Luke and Laura Spencer; when Scott's wife Laura Webber left him for Luke Spencer, his devastation led to a drastic personality change, and the character became one of General Hospital's long-running villains. However, on Port Charles, the character was portrayed in a more heroic sense.Spencer family (General Hospital)
The Spencer family is a fictional family on the American soap opera General Hospital. The family is created by Douglas Marland and first introduced in 1977 when Bobbie Spencer arrives in Port Charles. Bobbie's brother, Luke arrived a year later in 1978. Supercouple Luke and Laura Spencer are part of this family, known for their romance and many adventures. The Spencer family is characterized as an adventurous bunch, but many in the family have struggled with various types of substance abuse. They are known for their longstanding feud with the Cassadine family. The family is currently represented by: Laura, Lulu, Bobbie, Carly, Lucas, Valerie, Michael, Josslyn, Cameron, Jake, Aiden, Rocco and Charlotte. The Spencers are the owners of the Haunted Star yacht, which is a staple establishment in the Port Charles community.
Daytime television soap operas in the United States