May 19, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

A ”24” writer and a ”General Hospital” producer switch places on paper

What would some of your favorite TV programs look like if they were run by people from decidedly different shows? We asked two of the creative forces behind 24 and General Hospital to switch places (as well as genres) and say how they would do things.


Act 1
Jack’s doppelgänger would be a seductress named Jill Beauchamp, who is going to kill his family and every woman he’s ever been with. Jill’s signature crime is tattooing a heart with her name and Jack’s on her victims with poisonous ink — meaning they are branded…forever.

Act 2
The two would first fall in love while trying to kill each other. Jack would be in bed with her and you’d see the knife under her pillow and the gun on his side. He’ll go back to his partner and say, ”This woman is driving me crazy, and yet I’m attracted to her, which I know is bad.”

Act 3
Meanwhile, the real love interest is this mousy clerk back at CTU named Elizabeth Small. Elizabeth gets some valuable piece of information to save Jack from Jill, but then Elizabeth gets in trouble herself so Jack has to save her?which jeopardizes his mission. I’d get to a showdown where you really don’t know who to root for. Jack sees himself in Jill, and starts to realize he’d be killing himself if he killed her. I have the luxury of time in daytime — I could go on forever with this — but ultimately I’d have to get rid of Jill. If I did 15 years of 24, then maybe I’d resort to giving Jack an evil identical twin.

General Hospital

Act 1
Luke, on the run in the Maarkam islands, stumbles upon a terrorist cell that’s gotten its hands on a lethal, weaponized virus they are in the process of transporting to mainland America. The terrorists kidnap Luke’s wife and children, and threaten their lives unless he turns himself in. But then he discovers one of his children is actually in league with the terrorists.

Act 2
Luke must now figure out which child is working with the terrorists. To do this, he fakes his own death by pretending to expose himself to the virus to see which child reveals himself once he’s dead. Unfortunately, Luke actually does expose both himself and his family to the lethal biological agent, so now they’re all infected and going to die within six hours. There is, of course, a mad race for the antidote.

Act 3
Fortunately, Dr. Noah Drake is on his way to the islands for some R&R. Even more fortunately, he was engaged to one of the terrorists and is able to coax the antidote out of her. In an ensuing gun battle, she is killed. Only then does he find out she was an undercover agent, and that her identity had been discovered by…one of Luke’s children. The one who’s secretly working for the terrorists.

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