Does ‘General Hospital’ Have A Fighting Chance At Survival?
by Sara Bibel “General Hospital.” (ABC) (partial article)
Jun 8th, 2011
A Real Contest
ABC President Anne Sweeney has made it explicit that “General Hospital” is battling ABC’s two upcoming daytime talk/reality shows, “The Chew” and “The Revolution” for its survival after Katie Couric’s talk show debuts. She told Deadline, “”We are not announcing the cancellation of General Hospital. It is important to look at daytime like we do at primetime — it really is about eyeballs, and we will go with the shows that have the most viewership.”
If she is sincere, and the network is truly going to cancel whichever one of its daytime shows has the lowest ratings in 2012, it bodes well for GH’s future. The odds that two new shows with relatively narrow focuses will both do better than GH seem slim. Daytime programs almost always take a couple years to build an audience. “The View” debuted to terrible ratings. It took Oprah years to become , well, Oprah. Granted, losing the soaps that have been GH’s lead-in for 40 years will probably weaken the show’s ratings. But I have to believe that more people are going to tune in to watch the continuing adventures of Jason Morgan’s black t-shirt see the exact same show as “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition” in the daytime. (Can anyone explain to me how the same producer, J.D. Roth, managed to pitch the same premise — follow one person’s attempts to lose weight over the course of one year concluding with a dramatic reveal of their new skinny body — to different divisions of the same network, and get both versions picked up? That would be like “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry persuading ABC to air a daytime soap called “Wisteria Lane” about four housewives that was narrated by a dead woman.)
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