Soaps are booming. Three years ago, ABC and CBS each killed two long running shows because they said the genre was dead. ABC was getting ready to pull the plug on “General Hospital.” But last week “GH” scored 2,979,000 total viewers, the most people watching the show since Ronald Reagan was president.
This week, “GH” will cross the 3 million mark– most likely this afternoon when a continuation of a major cliffhanger will continue and play out for the next three days. Wherever former ABC Daytime chief Brian Frons is, he must be choking on a turkey bone.
No, soaps don’t make sense. They don’t obey any rules of consistency or logic. It’s daytime and nighttime in the same segment. Legal and medical “facts” are simply created. I saw two minutes of a courtroom scene on “GH” last week and did a spit-take it was so hilarious. Brian surgery patients keep their hair and wear Bandaids post-op.
But no one cares. It’s all in good fun. And it’s a relief from the reality crap on MTV and Bravo. My favorite thing about “General Hospital” is that they’ve named the local mental hospital “Miscavige Clinic” after the controversial head of Scientology in real life, David Miscavige. It seems like a signal to a couple of Scientologist actors (in soaps, not Tom Cruise obviously) that they’re not welcome in Port Charles.
ABC is in the middle of crazy lawsuits with Prospect Park over the licensing of their cancelled soaps. But soaps may be what ABC needs when Katie Couric exits later this year from her talk show.