Thursday, June 20, 2024

“General Hospital” Actor Nicholas Chavez Chosen for Ryan Murphy Menendez Movie, Could Be Another Cliffhanger for the 60 Year Old Soap


It’s a good news, bad news situation for ABC’s “General Hospital.”

The good news is that their ratings are up, scab writers are sharpening the show, and they can be proud of young actor Nicholas Chavez. He’s taken off as Spencer Cassadine, getting very popular as the new guy in Port Charles.

The bad news is that Chavez has been cast as Lyle Menendez, one of the two brothers who killed their parents, in new Ryan Murphy series called “Monster.” It’s a series, meaning 8 episodes or so, so Chavez will not be able to keep playing Spencer. Yes, there was already a Menendez TV movie, as well as live Court TV, but that doesn’t matter. You can’t tell a good story too many times. And now, a witness has turned up who says the Menendez father abused him, making the brothers’ story seem slightly more plausible. (Newcomer Cooper Koch will play Erik Menendez.)

It’s good news for for Chavez, who’s already won a Daytime Emmy and is probably off to a great career launched by the soap. But it’s bad news for the soap which has recently had a lot of losses and turmoil in the cast.

The losses were the tragic deaths of 40 year veteran Jacklyn Zeman, and 15 year actor Sonya Eddy. Also, Leslie Charleson, who’s played Monica for 40 years also, has vanished from the show over the last year without an explanation. Additionally, young actress Haley Pullos — who’s been on the show since she was a kid — is off the air because she’s been charged with two DUI felonies for driving her car the wrong way on a freeway. She’s also being sued by the driver of the car she hit head-on.

Well, it’s a soap opera at a soap opera. But at least the actors can keep working even if SAG AFTRA goes through with its threatened strike. Soap actors are on a different contract, which allows them to continue without interruption. Of course, the show is being written by scabs of “fi core” writers, but I’m told it’s actually improved.

Stay tuned…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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