General Hospital fans will have to gear up because a major cast shake-up is incoming ahead of the touching episodes premiering on January 10. According to PEOPLE, viewers will have to prepare themselves to bid adieu to their beloved Bobbie Spencer, who was portrayed by five-time Daytime Emmy-nominee Jacklyn Zeman, who reportedly debuted on the ABC soap in 1977. Unfortunately, Zeman died in May briefly after being diagnosed with cancer at 70.
According to the outlet, the series will air two emotional episodes that will premiere on Wednesday, January 10 and 11. It will showcase how the town of Port Charles comes together to pay tribute to Bobbie.
The outlet also shares what will be primarily featured in these farewell episodes. They will reportedly constitute characters from the past and present meeting to celebrate her life, including Maxie (Kirsten Storms), Laura (Genie Francis), Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), Scott (Kin Shriner), and Carly (Laura Wright). Other members who will also be featured in the heart-touching episodes include Finola Hughes (Anna) Lynn Herring (Lucy) and Ryan Carnes (Lucas).
Per the outlet, Bobbie’s daughter and her best friend, Carly, and Felicia respectively, will also reportedly associate especially during the memorial. However, things will take a different turn with a stranger’s arrival, which will unravel a shocking secret. It will lead the duo to have a mini adventure in Amsterdam since they will shoulder the responsibility of Bobbie’s unfinished business.
In conversation with PEOPLE, Wright said, “When we shot the memorial, the entire cast was there. And it wasn’t just for Bobbie; it was for Jackie as well. I mean, walking on set and seeing her photo, seeing all the pamphlets of like when you come to a memorial or a celebration of life, the pamphlet speaking about the individual and who is going to speak, it was bittersweet. It was about Jackie and everyone was so present. … It was like we as a cast got to really say goodbye.”
The outlet also reported that at the end of the second day of shooting, when the cast and crew stepped outside into the daylight, they discovered, to their surprise, a rainbow shining over the studio. Everyone took it to be a spiritual connotation from Zeman.
Wright said, “It was incredible. Everyone leaving the studio wasn’t surprised. They were like, ‘Oh my gosh.’”
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In addition to Bobbie’s memorial that will kickstart 2024 for the series, General Hospital: 60 Years of Stars and Storytelling is a GH primetime special that will air on Thursday, January 4, on ABC. Per the network, the special is “a fun love letter to the fans.”
The special will feature a behind-the-scenes look, giving a sneak peek to the fans regarding the network and how it can manage five episodes a week. It also includes interviews with current cast members and former ones, like Amber Tamblyn and Rick Springfield.
Wright said, “It definitely celebrates the storytelling and the writing, all the actors throughout the years, who have come on who were lucky enough to use General Hospital as a springboard into other things. It’s super exciting. You see what it really takes to put a daytime show to together and how hard we work, from casting to writing, to directing, to producing. By the time it gets to the actors, it’s a whole different ball game. … And there are bloopers over years and surprise guests. There’s so many surprises, people are gonna be like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ ”
Per PEOPLE, General Hospital holds the record for the most Outstanding Daytime Drama award wins, bagging an Emmy Award 16 times.