With CBS and NBC issuing renewals for its daytime soap operas, many have wondered ABC would announce news about General Hospital’s fate. As expected, while ABC has not issued an official renewal, Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva reports the soap opera will continue as planned for another year.
“ABC does not officially renew its soaps but I have learned that, not surprisingly, General Hospital will continue next season,” writes Andreeva. Deadline also broke news about GH’s fate last year.
As noted in the past, ABC does not issue formal renewals for its daytime programs. Unlike CBS, which licenses The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful, and NBC, which licenses Days of our Lives, ABC owns its series.
Strong ratings and streamlined production (reduced costs) have led to a turnaround for the long-running ABC soap opera, which was on the chopping block just two years ago. ABC bumped GH from its 3 pm timeslot to make room for Katie Couric’s terrible syndicated talk show, which debuted Sept. 2012. Prior to Katie’s launch, GH earned a reprieve of sorts when The Revolution, a health and lifestyle talk show that replaced One Life to Live, was canceled four months after premiering.
In June 2012, ABC announced it was moving General Hospital to 2 pm effective September 10, where it’s experienced a ratings resurgence under executive producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati. Versus last year, the series is up 8 percent in total viewers and 18 percent in the key W18-49 demographic. In total viewers, GH is pulling in its best numbers since 2007. The soap celebrated its 50th anniversary last April.
GH’s success hasn’t gone unnoticed at the network. ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee voiced his support of the soap during ABC’s winter Television Critics Association panel last week. “I couldn’t be more supportive of General Hospital. I think Vicki Dummer [Executive Vice President, ABC Media Group, Current Series & Specials] has done an extraordinary job with it. I think General Hospital, those guys have pulled together a new version of what a daytime soap should look like and I hope it stays on ABC for a very, very long time.”
He also credited Valentini and Carlivati for the soaps’ turnaround. “They’ve reinvented the soap and a lot of people thought that wasn’t possible. They’ve not only proved it, they’re doing it every day of the week and we love General Hospital. I go down to the Prospect lot and I have a great time.”
Congratulations to everyone at General Hospital!