On June 1, 1997, PORT CHARLES aired its very first episode. The GENERAL HOSPITAL spin-off began as a more hospital-centric series before transforming completely and embracing a telenovela format as it explored far-out supernatural storylines before its final episode aired in 2003.
The original PC cast featured GH stars Jon Lindstrom (Kevin), Lynn Herring (Lucy), Kin Shriner (Scotty), and brought back the character of Karen Wexler, this time played by Jennifer Hammon (and later, Marie Wilson). New characters were introduced played by actors Michael Deitz (Joe), Jay Pickett (Frank), Matt Harmon (Mitch), Lisa Ann Hadley (Julie), Julie Pinson (Eve), Nolan North (Chris), and Rib Hillis (Jake). Debbie Morgan, who soap fans know best as ALL MY CHILDREN’s Angie, played Dr. Ellen Burgess, who was in charge of the new hospital interns.
By the year 2000, many of the medical characters had left the canvas as PC began to shift its storylines away from the hospital and into more gothic romance involving supernatural elements like ghosts and vampires. The forbidden love between Michael Easton’s vampire Caleb Morley and Kelly Monaco’s Livvie Locke became incredibly popular among fans. At this time, PC also shifted its storytelling from being open-ended to telling 13-week story arcs similar to Latin telenovelas. These storylines were referred to as “books” and given titles like “Tainted Love,” Miracles Happen,” and “The Gift.”
Sadly for fans, PC was ultimately canceled in June 2003 due to low ratings and it aired its final episode on Oct. 3, 2003. While some actors, like Shriner, Herring, and Lindstrom, returned to GH as the same characters, the supernatural elements made it difficult for other characters to make the same transition. Which is why GH now has Easton playing Finn, and Monaco playing Sam. But GH writers did revisit those characters in a 2013 storyline, bringing Herring back to the soap as Lucy the Vampire Slayer as well as Erin Hershey as Alison. And Easton, who was playing John McBain at the time, took on a dual role to play Caleb, who despite evidence he wasn’t really a vampire, still might not have been completely human!