Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Soap Operas Become a Soap Opera: “General Hospital” Overcomes Producer Plagued “Y&R”


The backstage stuff at soap operas are more like a soap opera than a…soap opera. ABC’s nearly-cancelled “General Hospital” just whomped CBS’s long running hit “The Young and the Restless” for the second week in a row. “GH” finished first in the two key demos– women 18-49, and 25-54. This means that the only women watching “The Young and the Restless” are 55 and above. They’re either sleeping during the show or watching it as a background noise.

This was the biggest week for “GH” in seven years. What changed? They fired executive producer Jill Farren Phelps, perhaps the most loathed EP in soap history. Phelps is known for firing actors who cross her, killing off favorite characters, and doing just about anything to piss off what’s left of the audience. She did at “Another World,” Santa Barbara,” “Guiding Light”– all gone by the way– and “GH.”

For some unknown reason, CBS and Sony hired her to be EP of their number one show “Y&R.” This week she fired popular young actor (late 30s) Michael Muhney. This has caused a firestorm on the internet. Emmy winner Billy Miller is leaving, too. The show has basically been in chaos since Phelps arrived. It doesn’t look or feel the same. Now “GH” is gaining on it rapidly. The whole thing has turned into a soap opera. CBS and Sony had better act quickly, or the next murder mystery is going to be “Who Killed Y&R?” The culprit is usually Jill Farren Phelps.

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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