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. 


Comments

Johnathon's picture
Member since:
10 December 2008
Last activity:
2 years 38 weeks

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

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.

n69n's picture
Member since:
6 September 2008
Last activity:
1 week 3 days

*PLUS* GH gets pimped in primetime...& its *STILL* last!!!

McD720's picture
Member since:
24 October 2008
Last activity:
4 years 35 weeks

*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.

Member since:
14 January 2009
Last activity:
3 years 51 weeks

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???

Member since:
2 March 2009
Last activity:
5 years 3 weeks

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.

GH LOVER's picture
Member since:
1 June 2008
Last activity:
2 years 9 weeks

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........

Member since:
28 March 2008
Last activity:
1 year 1 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."

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.

Member since:
22 January 2008
Last activity:
1 min 24 sec

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

Member since:
23 March 2009
Last activity:
3 years 31 weeks

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.

GHgirl52's picture
Member since:
26 March 2008
Last activity:
1 year 39 weeks

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!

Member since:
12 February 2008
Last activity:
4 years 37 weeks

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.

Member since:
24 August 2008
Last activity:
1 hour 19 min

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.

Beth's picture
Member since:
18 January 2008
Last activity:
2 years 27 weeks

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.

Member since:
22 January 2008
Last activity:
1 min 24 sec

turning Helena into a cartoon,
***
I know at least ONE viewer they gained by doing that! His name rhymes with Duke Gerr! Tongue

Member since:
13 August 2008
Last activity:
5 years 22 hours

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.

Member since:
2 March 2009
Last activity:
5 years 3 weeks

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.

gwynnega's picture
Member since:
28 November 2007
Last activity:
3 years 43 weeks

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!).

roe0824's picture
Member since:
31 March 2008
Last activity:
4 years 43 weeks

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.

daisyclover1938's picture
Member since:
14 November 2007
Last activity:
3 years 50 weeks

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!! Smile

jpp1975's picture
Member since:
30 November 2007
Last activity:
1 day 21 hours

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.

EricasEvilTwin's picture
Member since:
15 July 2008
Last activity:
5 weeks 3 days

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.

Member since:
17 May 2008
Last activity:
3 years 48 weeks

Better hope the president doesn't come in and cancel GH because it isn't performing well.

Seahawksoaper's picture
Member since:
31 March 2009
Last activity:
2 years 5 weeks

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

curacaoman's picture
Member since:
10 February 2009
Last activity:
5 hours 34 min

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.

curacaoman's picture
Member since:
10 February 2009
Last activity:
5 hours 34 min

Hear, hear, Beth!

Member since:
20 August 2008
Last activity:
2 years 31 weeks

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

Member since:
27 January 2009
Last activity:
2 years 44 weeks

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.

THEBEST's picture
Member since:
12 February 2008
Last activity:
9 hours 51 min

I am so happy that the fans are starting to ban together in order to get our show back!!!

Jenny's picture
Member since:
3 August 2008
Last activity:
1 year 6 days

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.

Dinah's picture
Member since:
14 December 2007
Last activity:
1 week 6 days

TPTB: sometime you get what you deserve
but we don't deserve the CZ show all the time