When the biggest newspaper in the country wants to do a feature story on how the remaining soaps in daytime are trying to stay alive, one would think a network airing a soap they actually want to see remain in production would have said soap participate. One would think.
This weekend, the New York Times did a very nice feature on what TPTB at Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless are doing to remain viable, yet reported that General Hospital's reps declined for ABC's sole, surviving sudser to be featured in the article. What gives?
Much like DAYS, GH has brought in a new executive producer and head writer to essentially perform a reboot. Unlike NBC's only remaining soap, however, ABC isn't doing a lick to help promote said revamp. All of this only fuels online conspiracy theorists, who wonder if this "reboot" is really a wrap up.
Okay, so there have been a few recycled features about Robin's (Kimberly McCullough) death/Anna's (Finola Hughes) return, but no actual nuts and bolts stories, where the brass at ABC admits GH is in the fight of its life, and implores people to watch, if they want to save the 48-year-old, iconic sudser.
Why isn't ABC having their PR peeps arrange a slew of mainstream interviews for Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati, where they about their plans to save the soap that put their daypart on the pop culture map? Heck, when Ellen Wheeler decided to move The Guiding Light to some corn field in New Jersey, she got a spread in New York Magazine!
The fact that the series GH is competing with for survival—the One Life to Live replacement The Revolution— has bombed royally makes ABC's lack of promotion for GH all the more suspect. Sure, according to my sources, Anne Sweeney has desperately wanted soaps off ABC Daytime for years, but is ABC really ran by such bad business people that they would continue to spend money hyping a show that's only being watched by 1.44 million viewers, as opposed to shelling out some dough on a last ditch campaign to get people to tune back into GH?
Here's hoping that, much like with their stint at OLTL, Valentini and Carlivati can cause a ratings spike sans PR and marketing support, and that maybe, just maybe, this time it will actually matter.