I think that boiling the show down to five core families and building from that point could serve to strengthen the show and give rise to some solid stories. The ones listed in the title are the ones that I would use to start building the show all over. And that is not to say that I would eliminate other characters but I would tie characters to these families.

First the Quartermaines. Monica, Drew (with a change of his last name to Quartermaine), Ned, Olivia would form the core of the Qs. I would try to get Robin Christopher back as Skye. If she didn't want to do a long term return, maybe returning to town to get Lila Rae settled in at Port Charles University. Possible a return of Brook Lynn, newly graduated from college and wanting to be a part of ELQ. Michael would remain torn between the Quartermaines and the Corinthos. He would keep working at ELQ. There would be a fight between Michael and the Corinthos and he would finally change his name to Quartermaine also. He and Drew would run ELQ with Brook Lynn working there.

Cassadines. Valentin would remain. Eventually he would reunite with Nina. He would ask Alexis to take a seat on the board of House of Cassadine, the name of the family enterprises. Nicholas would return. Valentin having helped him hide and fully recover. Then Stefan returns. Stefan and Valentin go to war over the House of Cassadine. Alexis immediately backs Stefan. Nicholas would be torn between the two. Valentin helped him to hide and fully recover but he has always seen Stefan as a father figure. Samantha also takes an interest in her cousin Nicholas. They has a friendship with him before and they develop a sibling like relationship. She is also interested in where Stefan has been all these years. Helena may show up as either a part of various Cassadine dreams or a ghost,

Baldwins. Of course there is Scotty and Franco on the canvas. Franco would marry Elizabeth, thus putting a link between the Baldwin and Webber families. Serena would come to General Hospital as a new doctor. But she also is holding a secret. Then Scotty's adopted daughter, Christine comes to town. She is well aware of sister Serena's secret and is using it to blackmail her sister. Serena, Christina and Franco meet and begin to build sibling bonds.

Webbers / Hardys. Elizabeth and her boys along with Franco. There is also Laura and her husband, Kevin. With Kevin seeing Franco professionally, they develop a friendship. Laura and Elizabeth become friends. Laura considers all of Elizabeth's boys as her grandchildren. Lulu and Elizabeth also become friends. Steven Lars is released from prison. He comes to town and can no longer be a doctor. He becomes a bartender at the newly renovated Haunted Star nightclub.. He takes an interest in Maxie!

Corinthos. Obviously, Sonny, Carly and Jason. I totally now see Jason as more of a Corinthos than a Quartermaine. Sonny and Jason now have a sibling type of bond. But then there is a drunken one night stand between Jason and Carly while Sonny is out of town!! That story writes itself. Eventually,. Kristina figures out what is going on. Will she be the one to tell Sonny??

Characters that remain on canvas - Curtis, Finn, Anna, Amy (!), Scorpio, Kim, Oscar, Ava, Kiki, Griffin. Julian, Chase and Margeaux

Bullet points:

-- Sonny (after the reveal of the affair between Carly and Jason) ends up in bed with Alexis again!!

-- its ELQ versus the House of Cassadine (again) There is an artifact that both are after (which is part of the reason for Nicholas long disappearance). ELQ hires Anna to find what they are after. Cassadines hire Curtis to search for the item. They end up trapped together and their captive is revealed to be crazy Grant Putnam!!!

--At the hospital we will now have Monica as Chief of Staff. On the medical staff is Finn, Kim, Griffin, Kevin, Kiki as a med student. Lucas would be used as the actor made himself available. Brad would be in the lab. Nursing , staff: Elizabeth, Christina Baldwin, Bobbi Spencer as the head of nursing, Felix and the woman who's name is slipping my mind! On the hospital board is Monica, Ned, Laura, Kevin, Bobbie, Alexis, a new member of the Barrington family (to honor Amanada)and Michael Quartermaine.

Well, that would be my initial set up for the show and a few bullet points to go with it.

What do you think