Will General Hospital Be Near the End of the Pack Ratings-Wise Again This Week?



ABC Daytime crown jewel General Hospital is starting to look a little more like Cubic Zirconia these days. Early ratings reports for Monday didn’t look good for the soap. Insiders are predicting GH could once again be the least watched ABC soap in total households for the week, which doesn’t make the network’s top brass very happy.

"More money is spent to produce and promote General Hospital than the other two soap operas combined, yet AMC and OLTL are starting to consistently beat GH is the ratings," says a source. "People are paying attention." 

Reportedly, ABC’s long-time stepchild One Life to Live is the most "cost-effective" soap opera on ABC’s daytime lineup, and currently the only Mouse House sudser operating under budget. Wow,and to think they’ve managed this without benefit of CGI!

"One Life to Live operating so effeciently it makes up for All My Children‘s overages," the source continues. "No one knows what the heck is going on with GH. For the amount of money the network shells out on this show, the numbers aren’t good."

Hmm, could breaking up popular couples like Skate (Maurice Benard and Megan Ward), Liason (Steve Burton and Rebecca Herbst) and LuSam(Greg Vaughan and Kelly Monaco) basically all at the same time without any real pay off for any of the pairings, ever, have attributed to GH’s ratings taking a hit? 

No? Perhaps then it’s continuing to waste the time and talents of amazing, popular GH stars like Rick Hearst (Ric), Carolyn Hennesy (Diane),Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) and Claire Coffee (Nadine), while shoving contrived characters played by returned GH starlets in new roles down the audience’s throats whether we want them or not?
 
Look, we love Sarah Brown as much as the next Carly 1.0 fan, but her return as Claudia, a character who was promoted to be a fierce, lady boss, but turned out to be just another mob whore, has been disastrously-crafted from jump street and NotEmily (Natalia Livingston) is off to a similar start. In fact if she does’t turn out to be Emily, what really was the point to any of this?  
 
I swear to the Soap Gods, daytime television is the only business model where the custormer is never right, yet they wonder why people aren’t watching. I am not saying fans should always get what we want, because there is no way writers can simply make all soap couples and characters happy all the time.  If they did,  there would be no soap in the opera. However, there is a decided difference between couples being organically split apart by internal and/or external conflicts, rooted in characterization, than having pairings that are popular with fans—if not the network— being broken apart by executive decision, or because this actor or that one starts to get pouty about which leading man or lady he or she wants to work with, as opposed to who the audience wants to their character with—yes that even means Steve Burton.  

GH’s executive producer Jill Farren Phelps famously killed off Ryan Harrison (Paul Michael Valley), one of Another World’s most popular heroes because she didn’t like him opposite the show’s heroine Vicky Hudson (Jensen Buchanan). Who gave a good kitty what the couple’s millions of fans thought?
 
Focus groups reportedly led to Phelps kill off one half of another AW supercouple, Frankie Frame (Alice Barrett), because Phelps needed to free up money in the budget by getting rid of one of AW’s "older actresses". For a time she contemplated killing off Love family matriarch Donna (Anna Stuart) or Mac Cory’s insanely-popular illegitimate daughter Paulina (Judi Evans). Is there really any wonder the Quartermaines, and GH’s ratings have been decimated on Farren Phelp’s watch? Don’t get me started on what the death of Maureen did to Guiding Light.

 I’m telling you, it’s the Usual Soapspects. Daytime dramas keep recycling the same three or for Soap Opera Slayers and where is it getting we the diehard fans who stick around for the abuse, hoping for one day a Soap Opera Messiah will be born in a manger in Port Charles, Pine Valley, Salem or Los Angeles? Not the real Los Angeles. The fake one on The Bold and the Beautiful where no gay people work at fashion houses and black people wear hoodies to work.

 I don’t know about y’all, but I’m tired of false prophets. President Barack Obama just asked GM’s CEO to step down, when is someone going to do the same to the people who are killing this industry? 

Maybe GH’s ratings woes can also be attributed in part to using Spixie (Bradford Anderson and Kirsten Storms) to pimp and promote the NotSOAPnet lineup, yet never really committing to them as a couple? This is especially true if GH can manage to manufacture so much as a hint of a spark between Storms, and Brandon Barash (Johnny), Jason Cook (Matt), or heck, even Mark Pinter (Agent Rayner) if they thought pairing her with him woud keep them from having to give the fans their Spixie.
 
Heaven forbid the geek actually got the girl. I mean that never works in pop culture, except,of course in every Revenge of the Nerds movie, and, you know,  those insanely-successful Ashton Kutcher reality shows. I don’t know if Guza, Phelps or Frons know it or not, but Spixie fans don’t play. We hear they’re organzing mass tune outs any given day of the week.
 
Fans of General Hospital are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and unlike so many daytime writers, a lot of them have decided to "show, not tell" by simply tuning the show out. Maybe GH superheroine Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco) can go on the Sweeps adventure to end all Sweeps adventure this May? She can actually set about to find this soap opera’s heart and soul. 

54 Responses

  1. Avatar of Johnathon
    Johnathon

    Good post, and I actually think using Sam for a awesome adventure storyline would be something worth watching :) .

    I dislike so much of GH right now its not funny, why do they have to break up EVERYONE and then make us kinda care? As people know I am a M&M fan (Matt/Maxie) but I know Spixie has a following, and so does JoMax, so here is a idea, why not have all three going for Maxie? Spin could do something to make Matt’s new car’s computer not work and not let the car drive, while Johnny is sabotaging Spins chance of arriving as well and then Johnny ends up with the girl that night.

    They can have real stories using more then just one person, there is this thing called a Triangle, Guza might want to learn about it.

    I LIKE the MOB but i am so sick of watching them 24/7.

    *Sigh* GH does deserve to be below OLTL,  I no longer watch All my children so i can’t comment on that.

  2. Avatar of McD720
    McD720

    *claps*

    Well stated Jamey. I really miss being excited to watch General Hospital. I used to be excited to watch everyday but I have completely tuned it out and it is not just because of losing Liason. There is nothing on this show anymore that has any heart. The storytelling is contrived and agenda driven. There is no payoff, no organic buildup, no balance.

    It really is a shame but they are making on watching very easy. Frons is getting what he deserves here.

  3. Avatar of disillusioned GH fan
    disillusioned GH fan

    Jamey, you didn’t crawl deep enough into to the problems at GH, you only scratched the surface. While under utilizing star talent, or killing off vets, or even breaking up popular couples has something to do with the shows downturn, the writing is really the heart of the issue.

    Most GH fans are sick of MobHospital, those steering the show have forgotten the shows core attraction, it’s a hospital and the action and adventure GH was known for was the kind of stuff that night time television once spawned it’s prime time lineups off of.

    Certain shows are defined by certain characters and families. The Quartermaines, the Spencers, the Webbers, the Cassadines and even the Scorpio’s. Where are they all today?

    The Jason and Sonny show is -over- and the fans have been saying this for a long time. The Corinthos family was, is and never will be accepted as the main family on GH. It’s not that Maurice and Steve are bad actors, but they are overused and the stories poorly reflect the talent on this show. I could stand the mob in doses, but not all the time. I want back the GH Guza and Phelps stole from all of us, which is an ensemble cast about the people of Port Charles, including veterans, core families and well written stories. If OLTL can write strong stories, using it’s core, why can’t GH? If Y&R can remain the top dog when they use actors over 40, why can’t GH?

    Gh has succumbed to poor management, poor decision making skills, ignorance to fans needs and wants, as well as poor writing. The PR about theis show is constantly negative, as it should be and when we read about other soaps going under and Fronz ready to poach their talent… we as viewers have to ask, why poach when you don’t use the talent you have???

  4. Avatar of GH LOVER
    GH LOVER

    I agree with You
    As Much as I love seeing Jason, I don’t like where his story is going….
    It’s like all the characters have bad Story lines…
    And you can’t even blame the mob cos’ in the past few weeks there isn’t a real mob story, ..
    Most of the s/I are boring and stupid……..

  5. Avatar of SusieQ
    SusieQ

    “Fans of General Hospital are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and unlike so many daytime writers, a lot of them have decided to “show, not tell” by simply tuning the show out.”

    This pretty much sums up where I am right now with this show. I’ve tuned out for about 4 weeks now and I am a happier person for it, which is sad. GH has always been the one show I have never stopped watching and now it’s just too painful watch and I’m sick of feeling that way. Hopefully, this fall in the ratings will get somebody over at ABC to wake up.

  6. Avatar of LovesDog
    LovesDog

    I’m glad that fans don’t write the show because I don’t agree with a lot of what Jamey posted. Liaison and Spixie are ridiculous couples. Spinelli gets soo much airtime as things stand.

    GH’s problem is that it is not well written, not that small vocal online fanbases don’t get what they want. The stories are boring and the characters act illogical to facilitate plot points.

  7. Avatar of GHgirl52
    GHgirl52

    BRAVO! I couldn’t agree more!
    I have been watching GH since it began and I can honestly say this is the worst tripe that has been fed to us in a long, long time.
    It is even worse than the days before Gloria Monty pulled it out of the crapper.
    It boils down to poor writing and NO imagination. It also, for me, has a lot to do with the break up of couples that you menioned. Why can’t there be a couple that lasts more than five minutes on my screen?
    I adored Spixie. Just when fans thought they were about to see the union of a couple we’ve been hoping for over a year to see, what happens? Someone thinks it’s a great idea to slip Maxie back into Ho-Mode? Gimme a break! No wonder fans are tuning out and giving up? What is there to look forward to?
    Bed hoppping, more mob and talented actors shelved for lame ass story lines.
    WAKE UP ABC BRASS! GH deserves better. We fans deserve better!

  8. Avatar of Axl4ever
    Axl4ever

    You stated it perfectly. I’m to the point where I don’t even want Spixie together anymore. I’d like them to move on with other people. Breaking up Sam & Lucky right along with Jason & Liz was stupid. What was the point of having the kid be Jason’s if they’re not going to be together. And the rumors were they were breaking them up to put Sam & Jason and Lucky & Liz back together. There were reasons why they broke up in the first place. And Sarah Brown is great, but Claudia, not so much. And use Ric. He’s such an asset and the show just wastes him every change they get. Look at the talent you currently have and use them. Oh, and stop killing off the Q’s.

  9. Avatar of KMRDaytime
    KMRDaytime

    Dare I hope that the current state of affairs will make TPB realize that it is not how much money you spend it is the quality of the writing?

    For the first time in 30 years (yes I followed GH for that long) I have stopped even reading recaps for the show. There isn’t any point. OLTL which I had only watched on and off over the years is, even at its worst, much better than the GH mess is on a good day.

  10. Avatar of Beth
    Beth

    I find it funny that NOW things are considered to be so bad on this show, when in fact the show’s been going downhill for many years now. It did not start with the end of the great and powerful Elizabeth and Jason pairing. I’ve been with this show off and on since the Gloria Monty days, and I can name off a litany of things that I feel has brought GH to where it is right now ratings-wise: Sonny shooting Carly in the head while she’s in labor, killing off a fan favorite like Stefan after completely descimating the character, choosing to put Nikolas in an affair with Courtney after the rape of his wife, chaining a pregnant woman to a wall in a plan to kill her and steal her child, turning Helena into a cartoon, slowly eliminating the Quartermaines, choosing to make a ten-year old the killer of his father before a hasty rewrite, then shooting the same kid in the head and saying that it was payback for the kid playing with guns, turning independent women like Kate and Emily into moronic Sonnybots, killing off two of the good girls (Georgie and Emily) for a idiotic serial killer story that no one cared about at the end, turning Lucky Spencer into a total idiot, using criminals as the moral and spiritual touchstones of the show, up to and including marriage counseling for two physicians (what the hell WAS that the other day?), and turning most of the women on this show into mob molls. Need I go on? I could.

    This is on top of plot point writing (something you were ranting about re: ATWT on the most recent CBS podcast, Jamey), relying on explosions to fuel any sort of drama, and rampant misogyny such as featuring Sonny ogling Claudia’s butt in a lovely close up shot the other day.

    The show’s been circling the drain for a long while, and FINALLY it’s catching up to them in terms of ratings. OLTL has been consistently telling good stories that they take their time with, and it’s starting to pay off for them with a constant audience. GH can’t hold an audience any longer because viewers are fed up with the stame schtick we have been getting for years. And I don’t feel it’s got anything to do with a pairing or lack thereof, or a character or lack thereof. A fish starts to rot from the head, to use a gross metaphor, so maybe it’s time to cut it off.

  11. Avatar of lorrainewiseman
    lorrainewiseman

    I have watched GH for years and would never miss it. But when they broke up my favourite couple Liason, I just could not watch anymore. I continue to look for spoilers that might give me some hope for a reunion for Jason and Liz, but until then I am not watching GH.

  12. Avatar of KC83
    KC83

    How right you are Beth…I totally forgot about Sonny shooting Carly in the head. One of the WORST moments in GH history, IMO.
    Let’s not forget what they did to all the female characters when Vanessa Marcil’s Brenda came back. Brenda basically could do no wrong, had a growing fan club of men, and every other woman was thrown under the bus (namely…Skye).
    But it’s more than the storylines…it’s the treatment of the actors. Anna Lee, anyone? The impression I get of the people running this show is that they all have their own personal agenda, and it doesnt matter if it’s the actors, the fans, or even the integrity of the show, NOTHING is going to get in thier way when it comes to getting what they want.

  13. Avatar of gwynnega
    gwynnega

    Word to all of this, Jamey. I’ve been watching GH almost continuously since 1980, and I find it nearly unwatchable right now. I hope the ratings drop really makes them think twice about their aimless attempts at storytelling and their inability to commit to couples who actually resonate with viewers (Spixie, Jason/Elizabeth!).

  14. Avatar of roe0824
    roe0824

    You pretty much said it all. They took away all the good couples that we all loved, not giving characters a proper storyline and waisting all the good talent. Bring back all that the fans have been complaining about and you shall see the ratings go back up. Give us back the scab writters, they did a better job than Frons and Guza.If only they would really listen to our phonecalls and letters, they would know what we want.

  15. Avatar of daisyclover1938
    daisyclover1938

    Where the heck are ETT and Daisy Clover. I actually said something nice about Spam, so I am expecting a little appreciation! Humph!

    Sorry Jamey, I had to actually get some work done today for a change, lol. When I get a minute I’m going to comment.

    And your nice comments about Sam are MUCH APPRECIATED!! :)

  16. Avatar of jpp1975
    jpp1975

    I stuck with GH for 15 years solid, and have finally stopped watching. It is ridiculous! I would be fine with them breaking up Skate, Liason, LuSam, and the rest if it had been organic instead of forced. I’d be fine with the Mob if it were balanced with some family drama and Q business shenanigans. But “Everybody Loves Sonny” (literally!!) does a disservice to both fans and Maurice Benard,and characters like Ethan, NotEmily, and Claudia just make people more angry at the absence of Monica, Ric, Alexis, and Bobbie.

  17. Avatar of EricasEvilTwin
    EricasEvilTwin

    HA! Jamey you sent up the bat signal and here comes Daisy and EET LOL

    I agree with a lot of what Jamey said and much of the comments posted by LovesDog and Beth.

    I was watching clips awhile back when Jason was shot during a mob war back in the Jason-Robin days. Jason went to the hospital and there were Edward, Monica and Alan REACTING and INVOLVED in the story. Mac came to once again try to get Robin away from Jason and the Mob. I think Jax happened to be at the hospital so of course he wanted to express his thoughts.

    So yes, we got the mob, but we got the mob storyline rippling throught the entire canvas, including non mob characters. Contrast this with the Michael shooting story. Some of it was good, but the writers opted to keep the whole story contained among a small group of characters leaving us to wonder where the extended family was. Now, we have Sonny isolated at Greystone and pretty much only interacting with other mob characters. If they are going to play sonny 3-5 days a week paired with Claudia and teamed with Jason, lets also have him interacting with Patrick, getting shredded by Monica, bantering with Luke, stopping in to see Mike at Kelly’s and running into various people etc.

    And I also agree that the break-ups and make-ups havent had much payoff. Sure Kate has gone crazy chick on Sonny a couple of times and lurked around the house a bit, but usually there is either that quiet break up where things get confessed or the raging break-up where things get confessed – sometimes even both. There are the awkward post break-up runs ins etc. Where we disagree is that this is somehow a new thing that started with S/K and J/L. I think it goes back even past JaSam. THis has become part of the SOP at GH. Here’s just one thing I would have liked – they could have had sonny confess to a sexual attraction to claudia based on power (instead of his lame I see no reason to change it speech) AND a confrontation where he admits that he does in fact somewhat blame Kate for encouraging him to try and go non-mob, non-bodyguard. Imagine if he had ripped her apart on this score – that all this time he had harbored this resentment that he couldnt look at, that even on his wedding day he felt this etc. only to THEN find out down the road that the woman he traded Kate in for was the main person responsible. I would love to have to see him later confess to Kate and have Kate turn her back on him. HA! Now THAT would be a break-up. It still gives the writers the same plot points, but it would have added some teeth to the story and something for the actors to hit home.

    Moreover, as Daisy said yesterday, we spend all this time fighting about this woman vs. that woman and settling for crumbs. Where are the female driven storylines? Could we get one once and awhile.

  18. Avatar of curacaoman
    curacaoman

    Excellent post, hopefully the ratings disaster will wake some people up. Otherwise GH will be the next to go after GL!
    Nothing about GH is working! There is really no one to root for. So, it obvious why the ratings are in the dumps.

  19. Avatar of txriotgrrl
    txriotgrrl

    beth and EET – you nailed it. this is not the GH i started watching back in the early 90s. i turned it off about 4 years ago (back when IMO the storyline issues got so bad i couldn’t ignore it), then tuned back in for liason/spixie/scrubs, then tuned out for good last october when it became clear that nothing about the show was making sense at all. the writing sucks – stories make no sense, characters written WAY out of character, nobody learning anything from their actions… i could make a laundry list but you folks have already covered it. GH was the last soap i was hanging onto. when i gave it up, i turned in to OLTL and haven’t looked back since. if OLTL goes to crap, i am probably done with soaps for good. and that’s pretty sad, because i’ve been a soap viewer ever since my babysitter used to plop me down in front of days of our lives when i was a child. and believe me that was ages ago! lol

  20. Avatar of zurge
    zurge

    I personally stopped watching GH about 4 years ago. Like others, I felt it became too much the “Sonny & Jason Show” versus “General Hospital”. It amazed me to no end that the second season of “GH: Night Shift” felt more like *true* GH than the actual mothership.

    Yes, I would love it if TPTB actually shifted focus back to the Webbers, Quartermaines, Spencers, and Scorpios, but I don’t think that has any semblance of a chance of happening.

  21. Avatar of Jenny
    Jenny

    BRAVO!! Jamey. Great post.

    When Sonny/Carly/Jason became the focus around ’99-’00, I knew the show was in trouble. S/C/J SLOWLY started to eat away at the show until they swallowed it whole. I’m not gonna lie. What got me hooked to GH in the first place was the mob s/l in the early to mid 90′s. The only difference between then and now is that the writing was 500 times better. Plus, the mob played a supporting role. They didn’t insert S/C/J into every s/l. The mob use to be an added bonus. Now, it’s become a cancer.

    However, the REAL problem with the show is the writing and the fools pulling the strings.

    *Ike has hit me for the last time* LOL!!

    FANS UNITED!! I will delete this mess off my dvr today.

  22. Avatar of WTH GH
    WTH GH

    I totally agree with the post. I’m also glad that the ratings are slipping b/c hopefully this will be the shot in the butt the executives need to make some changes at the top. The writing is definitely the root of all the problems on this show. It doesn’t matter which couples are together if they aren’t being written for correctly. I started watching GH about 15yrs ago as well and I must say definitely the last 4-5yrs have been painful to watch. But this last year has absolutely atrocious. From having Michael shot and placed in a coma, to having to watch the destruction of long time character Robin, to the shows name changing from GH to the Bada Bing show, and the list goes on and on. I can’t believe that this was my favorite show of all time for so long. I use to get so emotional watching this show because I truly believed in the story telling. Don’t even get me started on the travesty that was the return of Laura, who use to be one of my most favorite characters on the show. The way they treated her and the rest of the core older characters on this show is just a shame. I can’t even go on because I am about to write a paragraph that would have to be deleted b/c that’s how disgusted I am with this show at this point.

  23. Avatar of pxlbarrel
    pxlbarrel

    I haven’t watched the show since the toxic ball crap storyline. I just cleared about a month’s worth of recorded episodes on my dvr without watching a single second.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that, in my opinion, GH started to decline rapidly with the rapid destruction of the Quartermaines. One of the last (if not the last) of the core families still on the show.

    Fans aren’t right all the time and no, you don’t give the fans what they want all the time. Joss Whedon killed off Tara (Amber Benson) even though the fans wanted her to live but he did so for dramatic purposes and it led to a series of episodes which propelled the storyline forward.

    However…if your ratings suck beyond the pale because you’re totally ignoring your fans, it’s time to give them something. If your viewers are leaving in droves, you don’t say, “Good riddance, we don’t need you anyway.” You think to yourself, “What do I have to do to keep them.” And you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that maybe you should listen to some of the comments out there.

    It’s almost as if the executives are deliberately ignoring fans or doing the direct opposite. They’re thumbing their nose at the fans. And the fans are responding by walking. GH isn’t a necessity in life. I can live without it. Can the show live without the fans?

  24. Avatar of daisyclover1938
    daisyclover1938

    Great blog Jamey! And the comments made by everyone are terrific. GH has lost it’s way and the overall disatisfaction and disgust from fans is palpable. I was initially hopeful when I found out Fronzie was making changes, because frankly GH has been in trouble creatively and ratings-wise for a long time. But what did CLUMSILY switching pairings and changing some stories around do? Nothing, except further alienate viewers.

    There are *many* problems with GH, but what’s pissed me off most lately is the way TPTB undervalue women (characters and actresses). Jamey, you said it perfectly when you stated GH has lost it’s heart and soul. And IMO, a big part of that has to do with how female characters are maginalized on the show. The women, for the most part, no longer drive stories, even though I would argue it’s female characters that viewers most identify with, root for and provoke the most passionate responses (both love and hate). They’ve been turned into appendages (thanks EET, lol) to the men.

    Women who start off strong end up to be at best watered down versions of themselves, and at worst, weak victims whose world revolves around men and whose identities are shaped by whoever they’re involved with (see Claudia and Kate, very *different* types of women who started off strong but who are now pathetic shells of their former selves.)

    And many may disagree, but one of the reason’s the Quad From H*ll story didn’t work (IMO) is that it was mostly told as Jason’s story (the same w/ the Liason story that followed). If TPTB had any brains at all they would have realized that it was the women in that story that the fans cared most about. Yes, we all had our fave couples that we wanted, and the men mattered, but there’s a reason why TFO had a zillion pages of debate that was Sam vs. Liz – NOT Jason vs. Lucky or Liason vs JaSam/LuSam.

    GH had an opportunity to create a great frenemies relationship with Sam/Liz, but didn’t bother because *they* weren’t interested in them. And I wouldn’t trust them to write a good frenemies story. A complex rich relationship could have developed but had GH gone forward with it, we would have just simply gotten variations on “You’re a slut!” *SLAP* type fights. While fans want to see stories for their girls, TPTB could care less about them.

    I’m tired of the women being turned into shrews, victims, b*tches, sluts, nuts and irresponsible moms *just* to prop up the men. I’m not saying I want a Politically Correct show where all the women are SuperWomen. But what I do want is a show that’s just as much about the women as it is about the men, where there are different types of women whose personalities don’t change depending on their contract/job status (Robin, Kate, Sam). And I would like for the actresses to be given the respect they deserve and not be screwed over in pay, perks and appreciation.

    Sorry, that went on entirely too long, lol

  25. Avatar of KateSonnyfan
    KateSonnyfan

    Thank you for such an insightful and revealing post! I could have sworn this was just some rant on a message board because the viewers are saying this stuff over and over. But to hear someone in the soap press see the SAME exact problems with General Hospital and why the viewers are tuning out gives weight to our complaints.

    Obviously I am an SKate fan and have been frustrated with the story ending for them. But even worse to see it ended for Claudia….never in my 25 years of watching soaps have I seen a worse pairing or a character I have disliked more than that lying, scheming, selfish murderous child shooter!!! I am very angry that Megan Ward was dropped to recurring because of this emphasis on characters and stories that the audience can not stand. I hope the people in charge will reverse their decision on Megan Ward’s status and write story for Kate as well as give SKate that second chance that the audience desperately is crying out for!

  26. Avatar of supersoapfans
    supersoapfans

    Great article! When are the producers and writers going to start paying attention to their fans? Remember us, your VIEWERS??? I have lost all interest in the show because the writing lacks direction and heart. It’s all about instant gratification with no follow through! Things change on a whim and the storylines often make no sense because the writers decide to go in a different direction without the character showing us their reasons.

    You listed the prime examples above: Spinelli and Maxie, Jason and Elizabeth, Lucky and Sam. Even Robin and Patrick barely had any romance in their relationship (when was the last time they had a love scene? The night Emma was conceived?).

    I personally have been waiting over a year for Maxie to fall in love with her adorable geek. Why won’t GH go there? At the moment Spinelli is the only reason I’m still watching the show. It’s a shame because I used to race home everyday to watch EVERYBODY. Now the characters are all in their own little cliques all the time and rarely interact with the rest of the cast.

    Come on, GH! Get back to real heartwarming stories that have natural conclusions and more romance with couples that have a chance to be happy for awhile before breaking them apart. Without these important factors, viewers will stop caring. I want to care about the show again. Please fix it.

  27. Avatar of LaRoche
    LaRoche

    I registered just so I could totally agree with absolutely everything you said. Hit the nail on the head. GH is a complete mess right now. Fan want some sort of payoff in the end and we are not getting it. I’m tuning out right now although I still keep up with what is happening with the hope that things will change. So far nothing is indicating that GH will be getting any better. We need new people behind the scenes who can bring back families to GH and stop all the BS.

  28. Avatar of Tina
    Tina

    Great post Jamey!!

    Now for those who feel that Online soap viewers are a minority ….. you may be right. There are people I meet everyday that when I tell them that I do a soap podcast they say …. "There are websites for that?".  But everyday the online minority grows stronger, and I have yet to meet an offliner who is happy with the show.

    To be perfectly honest, this show has been falling apart since the late 90′s. It has just finally gotten to a point that it has become unwatchable for me. Even in the middle of the horrible stories, there always seemed to be one decent story. Now, there is nothing.

    Until something changes at the top, we will not see any changes on our screen. So, for me, that means not watching.

  29. Avatar of doodleynoodle
    doodleynoodle

    WORD Jamey!

    I’m sure you could go on for 42 pages but you summarized the current issues beautifully and I couldn’t agree more.

    I started watching GH 2 beats before Luke & Laura came on the scene and know what this soap is capable of so the last few years have been a painful exercise in patience, longsuffering and turning the other cheek.

    If I didn’t have such a long history with this soap I would have tuned out in 2002 and never returned. I keep hoping against hope that SOMEONE will step in and fire these IDIOTS who have run this flagship soap into the ground.

    Fear says it’s too late…Faith says that someone is listening and help is on the way…

    I think what you all do here is STELLAR. The voice of one crying in the wilderness… ;) In my opinion every Exec, Writer and Actor should be tuned in to what goes on here because it is informative, fair, balanced, passionate and respectful to a genre that the industry itself treats like a cheap whore including the ones who run it.

    This is BY FAR the best place ANYwhere (including those RAGS called Soap Magazines) to get the latest and greatest information…I don’t know if I’d still be around if it weren’t for you all. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! *muah*

  30. Avatar of jcp201
    jcp201

    Something went out of me during the Johnny/Maxie sleaze, which happened to occur the DAY AFTER I thought Maxie/Spin were going to be a couple.

    There’s nothing to root for, because we know we will never get any payoff.

    Blah.

  31. Avatar of tardis1975
    tardis1975

    First of all I have been a GH fan for about 18years and I havn’t given up on it yet. I think the problem is that their ratings were the best for ABC for so long that no one but the fans began to notice them writing it into a corner.
    First: make robin’s postp. realistic. my wife went through this with her second kid…i met her right before the birth.. would get home from work and she would be just looking at the wall and sometimes she would just sit and really cry for no reason..show that pain..not robin the hot whore..
    Second: keep the mob, but let the cops win sometimes…
    third: when i began watching two days atleast were sonny/jason/mob free…when did that end and why??
    4th bring me the Q’s and Cassadines ….Bobbie…alexis…OTHER PEOPLE

  32. Avatar of JasonMorganIsAHottie
    JasonMorganIsAHottie

    Thanks for the posting Jamey. I see that we GH fans here have for the moment dropped our couple vs. couple discusssions/battles and passionately agree/have taken up the issue of our concern for our beloved but struggling GH, and agree that changes are needed for GH to survive.

    I posted my own commentary/rant on this subject the other day, and it was brought on by reading on another site that one idiot boss in charge didn’t care one iota what the viewers wanted. Well, karma to you buddy, you got what you wanted and now we the viewers are responding by tuning out.

    My only response is for those of you who are writing/emailing ABC, thanks and keep trying. To those like me who have never written/emailed/called, maybe now is the time to speak up and tell them in a positive nature what you miss/want to see. They either have to acknowledge the dropping ratings and start listening/making changes or shut ‘er down. I think we all agree we want to keep GH up and running.

  33. Avatar of countrycrazy
    countrycrazy

    I also just registered to make some comments about GH.

    In addition to GH, I watch OLTL and also Young & Restless. Y&R hasn’t fallen out of the #1 spot for years, but it did lose some viewers when they got a new head writer and executive producer, both of whom were fired at the time of the writers strike. Y&R is now trying to undo everything that the other head writer and exec producer did. GH needs to do something similar…bring Alan back, even if they can’t bring him back to life, bring him back as a ghost that both Tracy and Monica can interact with…those were some great scenes between Jane Elliot and Stuart Damon when Tracy was talking to Alan’s “ghost” and Edward thought she was going crazy. These days there’s just so much ‘gloom and doom’ on GH that’s it’s hard to watch and even very tiresome to watch…there’s no comedy or even light hearted moments in the show. If the hospital isn’t burning down, someone is holding someone at gunpoint, someone’s marriage is breaking up, someone’s going crazy or someone’s going to end up in prison for life because the FBI is using blackmail tactics with someone else. There’s no ‘happy ending’s’ on GH because nobody is allowed to be happy. The only seemingly ‘stable’ couple right now on GH is Sonny & Claudia…and if that’s what TPTB consider ‘stable’ then I don’t know who they’re role models were when they were growing up!

  34. Avatar of koalygirl
    koalygirl

    So well said here. Sick and tired most definitely. I watched through the 80′s and early 90′s. I peeked in every now and then, mostly when the Scorpios came back, but I missed the great storytelling that I came to love through those days. When NS2 came up, it felt like home. Great storytelling that honored history and added interesting characters that made sense. With all the great reaction that the Scorpio family recieved and the kudos that Tristan Rogers, Finola Hughes, and Kimberly garnered, it seemed like a smart storyline move and a smart business move to use those characters back at GH. Such a move would have most certainly brought a new/former group of fans to join those already at GH.

    I hate the monotonous mob stories (I’ve tried to watch but have fallen asleep) so why not bring the poplular Scorpios back (already a big family connection there) and let them interact with the mob. Give us a balanced storyline, and give me a reason to watch. Where’s the romance? Where’s the humor and family ties? Why does everything have to be so brutal and dark? Why can’t we have good guys vs bad guys instead of the Sonny show? Give us strong good guys like the Scorpios, instead of keystone cops. Scorpios vs the mob? I’d watch that.

    Frons, Guza and Phillips seem hell bent on ignoring any logical move like that, and shun the possibility of bringing back former fans. I haven’t watched in so very long and can’t stomach returning until something major changes there.

  35. Avatar of HopeFloats
    HopeFloats

    I applaud you Jamey!!

    This is a great post and hits the nail on the head! This show lacks a heart and soul. Romance and character development is sacrificed for stunts, plot points and CGI.

    Storyline balance and character integration lies in ruin at the foot of repetitive and unimaginative storylines. Happiness and fun is sacrificed for constant angst and misery.

    Fans wishes are disregarded as unlikeable characters stay on the canvas. Newbies are showcased heavily in lieu of the vets and characters in whom we have become invested. You don’t need so many newbies if you have imaginative storylines for the characters you have.

    It makes no point to be invested in a couple. There seems to be no gratification or reward. I have been eagerly waiting for Spixie become a couple, only to watch their sensitive storyline take a abrupt and inexplicable turn at the moment when it appeared that the fans would be rewarded.This is a disrespectful way to treat the viewers on whom they depend for ratings.

  36. Avatar of katclaws
    katclaws

    Standing & Applauding!
    Excellent post! I’m doing what you suggested weeks (or was it months ? )ago — Voting with my remote!
    I can’t bear to watch GH any more after 45 years. It’s SO painful when you know the difference between what was once great to the total crap it is now!
    Keep preaching it, Jamey!

  37. Avatar of justloveskate
    justloveskate

    If they want to boost ratings they need to get the revolting character of Claudia off our screen. (No offence intended to the actress that plays her) And it is not just about Michael. If they wanted fans to like her (fans being mostly female)they shouldn’t have brought her on the show like an ally cat in heat trying to jump anything with a penis and a pulse. Then they break up Skate a couple with a fan base so they can force the MB/SJB redo on us. And as if that didn’t irk the fans enough, they assassinated the character of Kate (who also had a fan following) and forced MW to the sidelines in order to “prop up” the Claw. IMHO they blew the only chance they had at making Claudia a likable character when they ignored the chenistry between her and Ric. That could have been a hot kick-a$$ mob couple that the fans could have gotten behind.

  38. Avatar of Sparkle7
    Sparkle7

    So many of you have given voice to what I have believed for some time.

    GH has been written into a corner and it started years ago when the focus became mob and everyone else was backburned. It was short sighted and now they are reaping the whirlwind. Add the seeming inability to write robust and nuanced storylines…and you have a disaster in the making.

    They put a lot of emphasis on mob and I’m sure the actors were compensated accordingly and now it has become stale and repetitive and they have nothing else to fall back on except the revolving pairings. Problem is, once a pairing has split there is little else to hold that fanbase’s attention.

    The final death nell is the obvious agenda’s that exist. When your stories aren’t compelling and you’ve trashed fan fav’s to shove others to the forefront…well you get sucky ratings. No surprise.

    There are many other issues such as lack of minorities, women written as appendages, inconsistencies and just a lack of creativity.

    I guess that was a rant.lol. Sorry.

  39. Avatar of iheartboymeetsworld
    iheartboymeetsworld

    Bravo Jamey!

    Excellent post, and I think everyone that has commented has said it all. Everything you talked about is exactly what is wrong with General Hospital, and much more, like what the posters have explained. I am a Liason fan through and through, but their break-up and the break-up of other popular couples is only one of the things that contributes to GH’s problem. Everything from poorly written and poorly developed stories, to essentially writing characters out of character, killing off core characters, Quartermaine is a just a last name now on the show it holds no power, substance, or meaning, not utilizing veterans or excellent talent on the show (hello Ric Hearst hehe), and the list could go on and on. I just wonder if things will finally get fixed or will pride overtake TPTB once again.

  40. Avatar of LawyerGirl04
    LawyerGirl04

    Amen Jamey! The CLAW needs to go ASAP!!!!! I don’t care how she dies, but she needs to get off my screen pronto and they need to make NotEmily turn out to be RealEmily like yesterday. Have her fall for Lucky, then have everyone find out she’s really Emily so then Lucky and Emily will have to deal with the fact that they have fallen for each other. Have Sam start to get jealous so we can have a Sam/Lucky/Emily triangle. Get her away from Nik now! It’s creepy and wrong. Bring back Nadine and put her with Matt, making Nikolas sit up and pay attention to her again. Have him realize what an ass his has been and fight with Matt to win her back. Then put Liason back together and let them be happy for five minutes for crying out loud! Put Skate back together and let CarJax and Skate deal with Michael coming out of his coma without letting the Claw chew all of the scenery. Most importantly, let Spixie happen! Okay, sorry bout my rant, just needed to get all of that off of my chest!

  41. Avatar of janeb4795
    janeb4795

    I have watched GH since its beginnging, yes, I am aging myself. However, I have not watched in several months. I just do not recognize GH anymore. It is not the same soap opera as it used to be. I hope Robin and Patrick will work things out and there can be at least 1 happily married couple on the show. I do read the spoilers and cling to any hope of a Jason/Liz scene. That may bring me back. I hope the Powers to be see how low the ratings are sinking and MAYBE they will listen to the fans. Please bring back GH…a hospital based soap, not a mob based soap.

  42. Avatar of Maura227
    Maura227

    Finally! People are saying what has needed to be said for months! FRONS/GUZA are you READING?! We’re sick of your show! Yeah it’s cool that you put it in HD, hell I paid a lot for my tv.. but put OLTL in HD.. that’s your money maker right now.
    I’m 27 and I’ve watched GH faithfully since I was 11.. that’s a long time.. I can not STAND this junk they call GH.. it’s awful.. I never liked OLTL and now I love it.. and I still watch AMC.. In my opinion AMC should be last but OLTL deserves ABC’s top spot and this years emmy for best show.. it’s a SOAP..unlike GH being the wannabe version of The Sopranos

  43. Avatar of curacaoman
    curacaoman

    Awesome post Maura227, ver well put!
    An example of how stupid they think we are:
    Sonny is a big time mob boss, right? Don’t big time mob bosses have guards up the wazoo?
    Then, how is it possible for Johnny and Maxie to get into Sonny’s house and carry Sonny’s asshole of the year brother out, without any of the guards, that big time mob boss Sonny supposedly has, noticing? Then again everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, walks in and out of that house as if it were Grand Central Station
    Also:
    Maxie supposedly loves Spinelli sooooo much, she can’t live without him. Yet she feels the need to flirt with every man she encounters, even, gulp, Teethan!
    Also,
    Michael’s hand moves, Carly calls for a doctor. Two seconds later, in walks Patrick, wearing his uniform AND STETHOSCOPE. However, isn’t Patrick working at Mercy IN PORT CHARLES and isn’t Michael’s facility IN MANHATTAN?
    Am I the only one bothered by these inconsistencies?
    The problem with GH is that there are no characters to root for, so do we really care what happens to any of these jerks?

  44. Avatar of inspiron
    inspiron

    the final straw for me was the pairing of luke and tracey-thats what made me take it off my taping schedule
    they just dont get it at that show!
    jason grunts, sonny says the same thing week after week, year after year
    no romance, marriages after one week of sex, etc etc
    the worst show on tv
    i took on atwt as its replacement and i couldnt be happier,
    atwt is a soap, gh is a festival for steve burton worshippers
    you know a soap is in trouble when the fans are only watching for the actors and not the show or characters itself
    that can only go on for so long
    what will happen when the 2 yahoos, sonny and jason, are as old as the Qs and they have to be killed off?

  45. Avatar of lefthandedboy
    lefthandedboy

    Phelps and Guza need TO GO once and for all! It’s our only hope.

    They have completely destroyed this show. Can Guza come up with a storyline that doesn’t involved killing someone off??? NO. Not one good thing has come out of Phelps tenure on the show. She needs to leave daytime TV for good. Why can’t ABC figure any of this out for themselves. I am THRILLED the ratings are tanking… maybe someone will finally get it and make some desperately needed changes.

  46. Avatar of KC83
    KC83

    I have watched GH faithfully since I was 13 years old (Im 25), but Im sorry…I cannot watch anymore, in fact, I think the last time I watched was at the beginning of that toxic stomach ball CRAP. Hasnt GH’s ratings steadily declined over the past 5 years, and the executives are taking notice now because GH is the lowest ranked ABC soap? Im sorry, but It’s about time GH has come in last, it’s been a long time coming, and it is deserved.
    All TPTB have done to us is jerk us fans around year after year, and get us invested in couples just to rip them apart, or never even fully invest in giving them a chance. But the worst is that they do NOT listen to us fans. NEVER.
    And at this point, it’s hard to even be excited for Constance Tower’s return (THAT I WILL tune in for)because I shudder to think of what they will do to her…most likely make Helena into a cartoon version of what she should be.
    Im sorry, but the the solution seems crystal clear to me…it’s time for ABC to start cleaning house with the executives at the top. THEY are to blame.

  47. Avatar of Seahawksoaper
    Seahawksoaper

    Very nice post. This is the first time I have ever replied to anything here and just registered to do it. I have been watching GH off and on since summer of 79. Thanks to some creative class schedueling, the girls who were watching in the training rooms and one of the first top loading vcr`s there is not much I missed except some during the Eckert years.

    I totally agree with Jamey and Beth who are both right on. This show is reaping what it sowed, broken story lines, unfinished or unanswered stories, killing off core characters for shock value and inserting players with no defined character or direction.

    I am a fan to the mob stuff TO A POINT. I don`t expect it to be the Sappranos or want it to be. The problem there is they are doing nothing original and then over tell it to no end. They completely waste Jason, Ric, Sonny and Diane in this never ending circle.

    The show used to be an icon and so easilly recognizeable. When you hear U2 you know it is U2, when you hear Pink Floyd you know it`s Pink Floyd. Those bands among others have kept their tadition in their current sounds.

    GH has either lost or killed off what traditions in character and story telling they had. Heck, they can`t even do Christmas right the last few years. There is not one solid couple, scrubs included, on this thing. When I watch GH now, I don`t even recognize it except as just being just some other show.

    I recently got to the point 3 weeks ago I was either fast forwarding or saving to watch later. I ended up with about 10 shows on there needing to be played and the dang DVR finally died. I came here to catch up a little and determined what I already knew…I didn`t miss a thing.

    They need to get a core family back in play. Bring on that John guy from Days, have him play Jeff Weber, put him with Monica and on ELQ to fight with Tracy and Edward. Move Liz into the mansion too. Bring back Ned, let Spinelli turn out to be a Quartermain afterall. Have Robert come back and enlist Jason and Sam into the WSB to break corruption in the FBI and homeland terrorism. Just do something or my new DVR will not be set to record.

    Sorry so long…..wanted to vent a little

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