Ryan's hope mashup
Credit: ABC screenshot (2), ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection.

When soap fans talk about shows they file under “gone, but never forgotten,” Ryan’s Hope is pretty much always discussed.  Michael Corbett — who played hunky himbo Michael — thinks a return of Ryan’s Hope could work because “there’s still a huge following.” That idea had him reminiscing about how “very special” that time in his career was.


“It was a family-driven [show], with the Ryan family that was the core of the show and other characters, like myself, came in,” he reflected with Soaps.com. “I think that could be a brilliantly redone show. Like Pine Valley, I would love to see Ryan’s Hope rebooted — and I could play myself 30 years later.” We know, we know, Michael was killed off the ABC series, but no one is ever dead on a soap forever. Where would his character be if he somehow escaped death all those decades ago? It’s exactly where you would expect the mobster to be. “He would be gun-running somewhere in Latin America all of this time,” Corbett laughed. “Taking revenge for his father’s death, that would be my guess.”

More: Ryan’s Hope alumni spill the tea on their popular love triangle storyline

He also recalled how differently the New York City soaps were filmed back in that era — it was shot and rehearsed more like a Broadway play. “When I was doing Ryan’s Hope and Search for Tomorrow, we would do it a completely different way,” Corbett explained. “You would show up in the morning, you rehearse it, you block it and then you shoot it sequentially. So you would run the whole show in its order.”

There was also a different feel to the East and West Coast shows, according to the actor, who also worked in Los Angeles on The Young and the Restless. Corbett described the New York City soaps as “grittier” while “the LA soaps like The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful were more glamorous.” But there was also something about Ryan’s Hope that was “very intimate” and “very moody” since it took place in Ryan’s Bar. That’s something the West Coast shows could never replicate because they each have their own unique flavor — and maybe it’s a flavor worth reviving with a reboot.

For more of our chat with Corbett — including his recent stint as executive producer on Netflix’s hit show, Life After Death — check out the entire interview above. Then visit the photo gallery below in which we take a sentimental look back at Ryan’s Hope through the years.