Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem, set to return to the peacock next month, was included in some of the key categories at the Daytime Emmys this year. Soap Hub was backstage in the press room at the kudo fest and queried Frank Valentini, executive producer of General Hospital, which won the award for Outstanding Drama Series, about the possibility of original GH content being created for Hulu.
Frank Valentini on GH Content to Hulu
“You never know,” Valentini responded to the idea of new GH episodes/programming being produced solely for streaming service Hulu. (Disney owns both ABC and Hulu.) “I would love to do it. I think it’s a great idea.”
Creating digital content isn’t new to GH’s showrunner. In 2010, Valentini directed a series of short videos featuring characters from All My Children, One Life to Live, and GH. The digital series, titled What If…, was seen on ABC.com and SoapNet.com.
What If…created synergy among the three ABC Daytime serials by pairing characters from different shows together as they boarded an elevator. We saw GH’s Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) paired with AMC’s Erica Kane (Susan Lucci), and GH’s Carly Corinthos Jacks (Laura Wright) matched with AMC’s Ryan Lavery (Cameron Mathison), and many others. Ironically, Wright’s Carly is currently sharing screen-time with Mathison (now, GH’s Drew Cain).
“It didn’t have the right platform,” Frank Valentini muses of the experiment that was arguably ahead of its time. “But something like that would be great to do. I would love to do it.” GH fans would love to see it — after all, Days of our Lives fans have gotten some fun “extras” on the peacock, which has increased subscriptions to that new service.
Soaps Can Help Streaming Platforms
The devotion soap opera fans have to their shows is well-known, so it was only logical for the peacock to reach out to Days of our Lives to create programming to help build its streaming service subscriber base. “For the peacock to come to us and say, ‘We’d like you to write this spinoff,’ we were blown away,” Ron Carlivati, current DAYS and former GH head writer, says. “It’s really an exciting undertaking.”
How was the name ‘Beyond Salem’ decided upon? “We threw it out there when we were working on it and we ended up keeping it,” Carlivati says. “It’s special [and indicates the action] is outside our little town of Salem. We don’t have to worry about the continuity of [DAYS].”
Ken Corday Weighs in on Peacock and DAYS: Beyond Salem
“It’s the future,” Corday says of streaming services providing programming for viewers. “We’ll talk about it [more] in the next few years but linear is the future. Broadcast will survive but for how long one doesn’t know.” One thing General Hospital fans can agree on — is there’s never enough of their show and you can bet Hulu would benefit to follow the peacock’s lead.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.