Home Celebrity Katie Couric: Big Day for Her and “General Hospital”

Today Katie Couric goes where many have tried and failed. After being miscast as a TV nightly news anchor, Couric starts her hour long daily talk show at 3pm. Her talent is interviews and talking to people, not at single cameras. So she shouldn’t have any trouble getting her subjects to say something interesting even when they’re vacuous or not particularly scintillating.

This week it’s all Jessica Simpson (whose reason for fame is not quite clear anymore) and Jennifer Lopez comes up soon. In the next few weeks Katie will hit the rhythm of mixing real life stories with celebrities promoting their movies, music, TV shows, etc. It will take six months before anyone knows if Couric’s doing well, or what’s working on the show and what isn’t. At least we know in advance that her show can’t be nearly as bad as ABC’s “The Chew” or “The Revolution.”

Sort of lurking in the foreground of Katie’s success is the soap “General Hospital.” Given a stay of execution last spring, “General Hospital” moves today to 2pm after 49 years at 3pm. In April, the show will celebrate its 50th anniversary. But ifs life expectancy isn’t good. ABC was trying to leave the soap business last year when it cancelled “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” then participated in a strange and murky non-deal with a company called Prospect Park to put those shows online. It never happened, and made everyone angry.

Even though “General Hospital” has had a renaissance of sorts this spring and summer under new producers and writers, the ratings have remained disappointing. This could be because its 2pm lead-in was the godawful “Revolution” and then “Good Afternoon America.” Moving to 2pm means “The Chew”–not as dreadful but still not much of anything– will be the new lead-in. “General Hospital” will have to improve at least a little at 2pm–where there is no competition anymore at CBS or NBC. Otherwise, ABC will certainly think of some other new mundane, inane, cheap offering to replace it for good.

9 replies to this post
  1. GH did really well on Monday clearing 3 million viewers. This show has brought itself a lot of time on the air. It’ll be around in 2014 guaranteed.

    Katie’s number wasn’t that spectacular either Ellen did a 3.0 against her and Ellen’s show has been around for 10 years so you do the math.

  2. Lst but not least, I am pissed that ABC actually have the balls to mentioned Katie and General Hospital in the same sentence. We don’t want her. We want AMC and OLTL. Nuff Said!!

  3. Kate should be happy. ABC/Disney have put General Hospal in the middle as a way to steal ratings so her lousy show and the Chew’s ratings can go up thanks to their thieving tactics.

    If it wasn’t for helping GH rating’s go up, I would stop watching ABC altogether and watch them on soap net. A thief is a thief is a thief!

  4. It is time for TPTB at abc to admit, quite simply, they made a mistake! The Chew should’ve already been canceled ~ low ratings, and just a horrible show! As we know The Revolution and GAA both were dismal failures. Why? Quite simply ~ they had some people in the boardroom who didn’t know what they were doing ~ One Life To Live was the best show on television! Since its cancellation they have seen nothing but failure ~ they betrayed Millions of loyal ABC viewers ~ ignored pleas from millions. General Hospital is shining now and One Life To Live needs to shine again, so the abc they’re created can again become ABC and bring the ABC viewers, family home! We will not watch anything else. It’s hard to admit you’re wrong, but it is possible!

  5. “Lurking in the foreground of Katie’s success”; are you kidding me? General Hospital has viewers, although Nielson would like everyone to think that the genre is dead. The way audiences watch their shows is changing. This is not only affecting soap operas, but a lot of other genres as well. Soap viewers are alive and kicking. We are alive and kicking on social media, in public appearances of soap stars and most importantly, in our living rooms. Advertisers take notice: just because some corporate ratings bigwigs say there is no audience left, think again. We are aware of your cleaning supplies, snacks and personal hygiene advertisements during our soaps. But when we switch off our sets as Katie and the next empty talk show premieres, your ads are no longer reaching us (a key demographic).

  6. Won’t watch Katie. Period. I’m sickened by ABC/Disney more and more every day………..Quit trying to cram this crap down soap fans throats. Just yuck.

  7. General Hospital has been outstanding lately and so entertaining to watch. I’m hoping that it survives well past it’s 50th anniversary. I’m still missing All My Children and One Life to Live. Cheap talk shows can’t replace them, and I have no interest in watching them.

  8. Thank you, Mr. Friedman, for always giving us the hard facts. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading every one of your articles. The glut of new talk shows over-taking the airwaves is disappointing at best. The Networks are doing a great job at driving daytime viewers to switch to cable channels.
    I would love it if you would write an article commemorating the one year anniversary of All My Children’s last airdate. Soap fans are still very active and are still fighting to restore the soap genre.
    As far as Prospect Park goes – all they did was destroy their own reputation.

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