Home Celebrity “General Hospital” Up 19% from Last Year, Beating Katie Couric by 500K...

Remember when ABC Daytime thought they’d get rid of the soaps? Well, it didn’t work. They killed “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” before anyone could do anything, and left “General Hospital” to die another day. However: “General Hospital,” revitalized beyond belief by “OLTL” exec producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati is up a whopping 19% over last year at this time. It’s scoring a 2.8 mil in overall viewers, about a half million more than Katie Couric’s talk show–which replaced it at 3pm. Let’s not forget as well that the soap’s big replacement show, “The Revolution,” lasted a short time and was killed off like a soap character–except no twin will return one day.

It’s hard to believe that “General Hospital” staged this kind of insurrection. ABC would still probably like to see it go away. But Valentini and Carlivati combined elements from “OLTL” into the show, and revived old, favorite characters who’d been done away with by former megalomaniac  exec producers and head writers. CBS snapped up Jill Farren Phelps, who nearly destroyed “GH,’ for the number 1 soap “Young and the Restless.” That show continues a downward spiral in the ratings.

Meantime, “GH” scored an inside joke this week when the last will and testament of series patriarch Edward Quartermaine was read. The billionaire left half of his estate to Habitat for the Humanity and the other half to…PBS! That was a little jab at Mitt Romney, who was angling to get rid of Public Broadcasting. Very funny. Edward was played for two decades by beloved actor John Ingle, who passed away a few weeks ago. Carlivati frequently sneaks funny one liners into the scripts. A few weeks ago, someone on the show decried the need “for more talk shows.” Considering how badly most of those are faring in the ratings, maybe it’s time to re-start the soaps. Susan Lucci, are you out there?

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
7 replies to this post
  1. [Hello Roger, this was my post you lost on 12-4-2012, still showing on my browser]
    (you can delete my PRIVATE note to you, that you posted, regarding this)

    12/4/12 7:16pm

    Great that the ratings are up. No surprise though, with the great writing and the OLTL stars on there. New life has been pumped back into the ailing GH storyline.

    I still think all three soaps characters (AMC, OLTL, and GH) should be combined into one major 2-hour night-time made for TV movie, in prime-time, once a week or every two weeks, and let the talk-shows, and cooking shows have the daytime, if ABC must change the daytime line-up.

    Even if this isn’t a viable option for night-time, it’s showing that combining the characters works very well, if the writing is good, as it is now. :) so bringing story-lines of the other remaining soap (AMC) and other characters from OLTL is a good idea, and works in skilled hands of talented writing.

    Speaking of funny lines from the new writer, I liked the mention Luke made when McBain first came to Port Chuck, about how he reminded Luke of a Vampire. Ha Ha …LOL. Making mention of that actors portrayal of a Vampire on the spin-off called Port Charles. :)

  2. Private note to this site moderator; (not for posting here)

    I’m insulted you didn’t post my comment regarding the ratings and my suggestion for the show, but instead posted the comment from Mary, from the same day I posted mine.

    Did you not like me asking you to edit one of my words for my spelling error?

    Puzzled on what you didn’t like about it, or are you just biased towards my post, and opinions?
    or maybe you’d like to claim my idea as your own?

    Quite sad this site is so false. No wonder you just have 3 comments on it.
    How sad for you and your attitude towards someone’s ideas, other than your own.

  3. shows you soap genre is not dead.ABC we will not give in until we have our other two back.Boycott will keep going until we see them.I can only hope all soap fans will not watch these replacement shows are we could loose GH.

  4. This show is intentionally hilarious & has alot of action going on now. Storylines are great. Old characters have been lured back. It is entertaining & fun to watch. The OLTL characters have been a welcome addition esp Roger Howarth’s Todd. RIP John Ingle – he will be sadly missed.

  5. OMG I did see the reading of the will on DVR LOL!
    That was funny Roger LOL!

    And Tracy reaction of all her relatives getting share of the ELQ Empire she wasn’t happy LOL!

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