Friday, May 24, 2024

ABC Daytime Is Down to Just One Show– “General Hospital”– as “The Chew” is Cancelled, “The View” is Under ABC News


Once, ABC Daytime was a mighty division. They had five or six soaps, plus “The View.”

Today, it’s down to one show, “General Hospital.” And that’s not good news.

Three and half years ago, “The View” was moved to ABC News. A few years earlier, “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” were replaced by “The Chew,” “The Revolution,” and “Katie Couric.”

All of those are now history.

A lot of people blame the former head of ABC Daytime, Brian Frons. But he carried out Disney’s orders, which was to get rid of everything.

Now “General Hospital” teeters on the brink of extinction. After falling to 4th place out of 4 soaps two weeks ago, the show made slight rebound to 3rd place for the week of May 7th to the 11th. But the total viewership, at 2.290 million, is down at least 400,000 viewers.

During the winter the soap dumped long time favorite Genie Francis. Then, on the 55th anniversary on April 1st, another four decade favorite, Kin Shriner, said goodbye. It was clear he’d also been dropped.

The networks learned long ago that the way to cancel a soap was to jettison favorite actors. Irate fans boycotted the shows, which is what the networks wanted. The ratings dropped, and the nets had an excuse to cancel the shows.

Such may be the case with ABC. Slotting in an hour of news billed as “Good Morning America” in the afternoon, they’ll replace “The Chew.” This was tried before and failed. But if they can make it work this time, ABC News will gun for another hour, and wipe out “General Hospital.”

It will be up to the producers and writers of “GH” now to give the viewers what they want, and damn the network. At least they’ll go out fighting. At CBS and NBC, the producers just did what they were told and carried out their suicide missions.

The worst case was on “Guiding Light,” where the network and the owner, Procter & Gamble, forced the show out of their sets to shoot in a real neighborhood in New Jersey. It was a sad ending. If ABC makes “GH” shoot at Cedars Sinai during slow hours in the ER, we’ll know the party is over.

By the way, the former ABC Daytime webpage now comes up with a logo and cast photo for the show “Lost”– as in you’re lost because ABC Daytime no longer exists.

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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