Saturday, May 18, 2024

Soaps: “General Hospital” Overtakes “Young and Restless” for Number 1 in Key Demo


ABC tried to kill “General Hospital” right after it cancelled “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” Somewhere an executive named Brian Frons sits in a darkened room and wonders where it all went wrong. This week, in newly posted ratings, a revived “General Hospital” is number 1 in the keyest demo in soaps– Women 18 to 49. The 51 year old soap beat long time champ “Young and the Restless” with significant numbers.

Of course the irony is that “Y&R” hired the terrible executive producer, Jill Farren Phelps, who nearly destroyed “General Hospital.” Phelps has systematically wrecked “Y&R,” forcing out key actors and letting the ratings slide precipitously. One actor, Michael Muhney, was fired, then smeared in the press, causing the show’s fans to rebel. Nothing’s been resolved, the situation is a mess, and keeps getting worse.

Meanwhile, sources say “GH” snatched away popular actress Michelle Stafford, who’d left “Y&R” to go make YouTube videos with fellow Scientologists. Her one or two weeks on “GH” have obviously helped their ratings. Praise Xenu.

The rise of “GH” is due to former “One Life to Live” writer and producer Ron Carlivati and Frank Valentini. They’ve made the show hip, and fast, and brought back a lot of popular actors who’d been driven away under Phelps’ regime. They’ve also stretched the boundaries of network censors. This past week, a male character observed of a female who’d eaten ribs with him: “She ate my meat and she liked it.”

Soap operas have really changed, I guess.

Women 18-49 rating
1. GH 1.1/7 (same/+.2)
2. Y&R 1.0/7 (-.1/-.3)
3. B&B 0.9/6 (-.1/-.2)
4. DAYS 0.8/6 (-.1/-.1)

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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