All eyes are on the Mouse House this week, as the announcement of Katie Couric's talk show debut, Sept. 10 at 3 pm EST, means arguably the most popular soap opera in daytime history, General Hospital, will soon be out of a timeslot. As we've been reiterating, GH's only shot at survival is for ABC to cancel either The Chew or The Revolution and move the sudser into one of those timeslots.
Judging from the fact that The Chew's number have essentially matched All My Children's during that iconic sudser's final season, and The Chew is supposedly 40 percent cheaper to produce, there's no way the goofy, foodie fest is going anywhere right now. Which leaves the timeslot currently held by abysmally-rated One Life to Live replacement The Revolution as the only one truly in contention.
While it has been touted ad nauseum that The Revolution is also 40 percent cheaper to produce than a daytime soap opera, ABC spent millions of dollars promoting a series that was dead on arrival. Not to mention the fact that One Life to Live—under the oversight of General Hospital's new executive producer Frank Valentini—came in millions of dollars under budget during its final seasons; sans PR and marketing support of any kind. OLTL also managed a signficant and sustained ratings spike during its final year; topping the coveted women 18-34 demo multiple times during its final months. This was unprecedented for a cancelled daytime drama.
History already seems to be repeating itself, as General Hospital recently hit an 18-week ratings high, shortly after Valentini and former OLTL head writer Ron Carlivati came on board. Meanwhile, The Revolution is posting record low ratings. Even Katie Couric allegedly doesn't want the series as her self-titled chatfest's lead-in. Who could blame her? A show being watched by 1.4 million viewers won't exactly help Couric take a swipe at Oprah Winfrey's old daytime crown.
So what's Mickey Mouse gonna do? Turn the The Revolution into rat food and give the soap opera that once saw 30 million people tune in to watch a fictional couple say "I Do" a chance to reach it's 50th anniversay on April 1, 2013; or break the hearts of the 2.4 million soap fans who still tune in every day to witness the exploits of Luke Spencer (Tony Geary), Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Elliott), Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), Carly Corinthos Jacks (Laura Wright) and more? If it seems I'm laying it on pretty thick, be assured, that's the point!
Forbes magazine weighed in on the goings-on at ABC Daytime in a piece written by Roger Friedman. In the insightful column, Friedman pondered if ABCD is simply scared to announce the death of GH, while pointing out how the botched plans to move cancelled soaps AMC and OLTL online have already shattered the trust ABC had built with soap fans over the last five decades.
Here's a quote from the piece:
Both “The Revolution” and “The Chew” (at 1pm) are unwatchable and unnecessary. They look like they should be on a UHF channel. (You’re too young for that reference, so let’s say on an outer cable station, like 151.) ABC’s former soap viewers have left the 1 and 2pm slots, drifted over to NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” and CBS’s “The Talk,” of all things. (CBS started this avalanche by canceling “Guiding Light” and “s the World Turns”.)
What do you guys think? Will ABC finally realize how destructive their anti-scripted programming in daytime agenda has been, or should we start planning a slew of special GH memorial content now? Sound off in the comments!