Thursday, May 23, 2024

“General Hospital” — Resuscitated– May Hit 3 Million Viewers This Week


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.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
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.

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