Home Celebrity “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 began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is 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.
3 replies to this post
  1. I wish CBS would resuscitate Guiding Light which had some really talented, interesting actors. I watched for 25 years and it left a real void in my TV enjoyment. Pure escapism is what it provided in an increasingly crude and coarse world.

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