Soaps TV News

'General Hospital' Heading to Primetime?

Faced with losing its timeslot this September, could ABC’s ‘General Hospital’ find life as primetime series? TV Guide reports it could be a possibility.

TV Guide’s Stephen Battaglio reports a possible scenario in which ABC’s only remaining soap opera could be saved post-Katie Couric.

According to the Battaglio, one idea is to have GH continue “as a short-run prime-time summer series, similar to Spanish-language networks’ telenovelas.” He goes on to say a primetime version of GH would be inexpensive compared to other primetime series.

If true, this makes an interesting scenario for GH. Personally I’d prefer a cable-style approach ala ABC Family — a season of 26 episodes, split into two “mini” seasons. The switch from daily to weekly might be an adjustment at first, but overall could be what is needed to revamp a fledgling genre.

Interesting note: A primetime version of GH, if it were to retain (and hopefully build) its daytime audience, would perform on-par with some of The CW’s highest rated programming. If last week’s ratings were any indication, General Hospital would be the second-highest rated show on the network.The January 12 airing of The Vampire Diaries drew 2.86 million total viewers (1.2 demo n W18-49) vs. General Hospital’s 2.29 total million viewers (.9 demo W18-49) for the week of January 2-6. 

Would you watch a primetime version of GH?

About the author

Ryan White-Nobles

Ryan White-Nobles is Editor-in-Chief of TVSource Magazine. He's a natural #Heel who loves a spirited debate and probably watches too much TV. Follow him on Twitter at @SourceRyan to discuss all things TV, soaps, sports, wrestling and pop culture.

23 Comments

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  • I totally agree with you.  I do not watch ABC daytime tv except for the soaps.  I watch some of the night time dramas like Greys Anatomy, Private Practice and Revenge so taking GH, OLTL and AMC to prime time on another network would only enhance the other network’s ratings but ABC should consider this.  It is obviously too late but , , , well now they DO have Katie, The Chew and The Revolution right.

  • I just want to see GH on air, but would rather they just left it alone! If it ain’t broke don’t fix it…and as far as I’m concerned- IT AIN’T BROKE!
    Ps- I agree with pretty much everyone else, dump the stupid self-help/cooking/talk shows and let us have our soaps.

  • I would prefer to watch it five days a week like I do now, I prefer to watch AMC and OLTL five days a week to as I have for over thirty years!!

  • I think all the ABC soaps would flourish in primetime.  There is a huge fan base that has definitely been kicked to the curb, with such varying demographics that no other genre can ever compete with.  And you have a loyal group of actors that do not play this “diva” garbage of feeling like they ARE the show so they demand pay raises to be recognized for it.  Heck, how many years did our beloved actors agree to pay cuts just to keep the shows on the air, just to get kicked in the gut later by watching AMC and OLTL get canceled anyway?

  • I would vote for OLTL to be on anorher Network like Bravo for in my opinion, ABC can only harm our favorite soap, but if Primetime is the only way to go, then I say that it is better then nothing.

  • I am a huge fan of Katie Couric, however that being said, IF General Hospital is taken off the air in order for her show to take the time slot, I will never watch Katie.  I have watched GH from the very first show and would absolutely hate it being removed.

  • Yes provided they kept General Hospital I would watch it at midnite if that is what it takes. I don’t see any purpose in taking four from OLTL to GH just to have it cancelled too. I vote for one hour of prime time!

  • As a business major and a life long soap fan, I have been suggesting this to the network for years!  New primetime shows are put on with zero fans starting out; GH, OLTL, AMC, and PC, just the ABC soaps, easily have 5 million viewers starting out, plus they would gain more and more.  Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest and such did great in no time on prime time, for many years, and they are bringing Dallas back.  My husband and I are always discussing how they could have a whole week to do OLTL or GH even better, with far less overhead and a much smaller budget!  It could air 1-2 hours one night a week, maybe even two.  This would be a win/win!  Many fans watch soaps at night anyway, either from taping them, or Soapnet, which ends 3/23/12.  I can honestly say the best and brightest actors from soaps are consistently better actors than the best in primetime, plus they are skilled in doing lots of scenes to air 5 days a week in much less time than primetime shows or movies, or even feature films.  Daytime’s loss can easily be primetime’s gain!  Long live General Hospital, whatever it takes!

  • I agree with many of the other posters, I would would watch GH if I had to get up at 3am to do so, but Ms. Couric belongs on at night. ABC’s replacement shows don’t even belong on television at all. The mass quantities of these “self-help” chat shows are getting to be ridiculous, 

  • Leave our soaps alone.  It is love in the afternoon.  ABC has screwed with the soap fans long enough.  No one wants to watch another talk show.  Give us a break.  What a mess!  Put Katie on at night.  I have changed all my abc shows to watching other shows.  You take gh and that will be it for me.  Done with the rat!!!!

  • Any changes doesn’t guarantee the GH actors will continue with the show, especially if their hours are cut tremendously. 

  • I want GH no matter what I suppose but don’t love the idea of scaling down to once a week episodes at all :(

  • I would watch a primetime GH, but since OLTL did even better in the ratings, then both shows should be on Primetime. It would be very wise for another network such as CW, Bravo, Discovery, etc. to license or buy OLTL and AMC. If ABC does not want OLTL then give the rights back to Agnes Nixon or someone of her choice and sell or license (I don’t know the correct term) to an entity that does want it.

  • I would definitely watch a prime time GH. I think it would be a great way to save $ and to bring in a larger audience.

  • Honestly, I think all daytime soaps should be scaled back and aired as prime time summer serials. This is a smart move if audiences warm up to it, and could lead to less restrictions on content and less writer burnout.