Forbes Magazine on Fate of General Hospital: “Both The Revolution and The Chew Are Unwatchable and Unnecessary”


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!

34 Responses

  1. Profile photo of giogio

    What do we guys think?? OK – I say who knows when we are dealing with a bunch of who knows what. I asked in another post before about when does anyone think the announcement be. In case anyone didnt see it who knows, how about a heads up so I can prepare myself.

  2. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    I think GH is going to get a reprieve. The fact that they are bringing characters from OLTL to GH shows they might be able to wring some of those OLTL-final-year ratings out of GH, and it will stem the tide of backlash a little bit if they give GH another year. I’m as sure as ever that we won’t see GH five years from now (or even three), but I think the addition of some of the OLTL viewers added to GH could see it survive for another year.

    If Frons were still around, I don’t think anything could save GH. His absence from the decision-making process makes a HUGE difference.

  3. Profile photo of SoapyBitch

    I am thankful that DC and Forbes are running these headlines. I think the more the public (and shareholders) know about the ratings comparisons and trends then it only helps the possibility that GH will be spared.

    I hate that I am only down to one soap, after growing up with 4 ABC dramas.

  4. Profile photo of MsAgentProvocateur1

    As much as I detest Forbes Magazine (someone sent me a year’s subscription of that tax dodging anti-government diatribe), I must agree with the author’s assessment of the current filler shows (Learning Annex-LOL) as being both unnecessary and unwatchable. As admirable a goal as improving lives is, The Revolution could easily be on any number of other cable networks (Discovery, DIY, Style, WE, etc) and if they wanted to go OTA, they could stick it on that PBS station Create and it would be accessible over the air/antenna.
    Katie rightfully should be fearful of ticking off fans of daytime drama (the few that are left). And why isn’t Katie on at 4pm??
    I realize soaps cost more to produce but if $$ is going to be the only determining factor why bother to fill the programming slots, why not run a slew of infomercials throughout the afternoon? It has to be about more than money. Or at least it should be.

  5. Profile photo of pjc722

    I have to agree with the assesment of the CHEW and THE REVOLUTION. ABC started this multi-host talk show with THE VIEW and with success it has spawned imitators from the 2 mentioned and the slightly generic and not really what they said it would be about (working moms) THE TALK. Even THE DOCTORS on CBS is moronic. The VIEWS success can be attributed to the fact it was under the direction of Barbara Walters and not all 5 hosts ALWAY interview people, they basically respect one another to allow the other to complete a sentence and the topics are intelligent.

    THE CHEW for president’s day had one of the hosts dressed as ABE LINCOLN (a woman) and I’m not sure if they had anyone else wearing custom but I just found it embarassing for the host and for me to watch. They had Gwyneth Paltrow on and she was showing a true interest in what she was talking about but with Mario Batalli flirting or joking with her and the 4 other hosts constantly talking over her I had no idea what the segment was all about. The same when Neil Patrick Harris and his partner were on, you just felt that the hosts were all scrambling for airtime that the guests got so little time to truly talk. The show is supposed to be cooking, hence the CHEW in the title, but it’s not like a true cooking show. I’d rather watch Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray because at least with those 2 I learn something.

    ABC should shock the world and annnounce the return of OLTL.

  6. Profile photo of GHFan76

    OMG I can’t take this anymore!!! I would love nothing more in this world than to see GH hit 50! Its legacy is INCOMPARABLE and will NEVER be matched in the soap world.

    I understand that the suits @ the mouse house don’t want to admit they were wrong. Man up for once, PLEASE!!! It does not make ANY business sense to keep the senseless Revolution. Cheaper to produce, maybe, but its a piece of damn GARBAGE. You get what you pay for and you’re getting half the demos! The proof is in The Revolution’s low-fat pudding! If you want to stick with your non-scripted mentality give GH a reprieve while you develop a VIABLE program!

    Let’s celebrate 50!

  7. Profile photo of pumpkin

    I guess we will know by May. Just guessing because I think Federally they have to give official notice or they will have more trouble. I believe there are enough EE’s to fall under the guidelines of the Fed notification laws.

    I would say they were going to wait until after Emmys but, as I recall, atwts was dumped before the ceremony. I think I remember the actor playing Jack on atwts won and said it was bittersweet. So they will announce when it is good for them.

    I see a possible reprieve if rating rise. But just a reprieve. I do believe they will find a talk show or pick up a syndicated show. I still think that oltl would have had a better chance at survival. It was already making money. Are some of GH actors going to take cuts? The whole show has to be revamped. All this by keeping longtime viewers and adding new viewers. Not an easy task. I don’t envy the task. But again I do see a reprieve of a year. If GH becomes comparable as Days on NBC, they should be smart enough to keep it. TPTB should know they need at least one soap to come back everyday to keep up. The other shows on daytime can be watched at the viewer’s convenience, topic or guest. Soaps, if written correctly and interesting, are must see every day.

    We will see. The saga of the show is drama in itself.

    When I say GH becoming comparable, I don’t necessarily mean rating wise. I mean if advertisers are loyal to that show. I started to read article but got distracted and couldn’t find it again. I know part said advertisers sometimes do not look at ratings alone but are starting more and more to pick certain shows they want to be associated with. I find that interesting. Like I said I wish I was able to find the article again because I didn’t get chance to get the full gist of the facts.

    I do know with primetime on the ratings site I have seen comments about two shows having the same ratings but the one show will go and one will stay for reasons other than ratings. Sometimes the industry is confusing. I would say bottomline advertisers are a main concern with any decision.

    I will add that I do hope they give this team to chance to do what they do best and that is to produce an interesting drama and still stay within budget. (Hopefully the team will get cooperation with all involved)

  8. Profile photo of SwanQueen59

    I’d like to know if Anne Sweeney is going to be called on the carpet about this. She (along with Frons) got the ball rolling on this whole cancellation mess. The woman needs to be made accountable… 0:)

  9. Profile photo of Mets82

    Where was Forbes when AMC and OLTL when they were getting cancelled? I dont know what will happen. I think The Chew stays. Only reason why I watch that show if theres nothing else on. The Revolution doesnt interest me one bit. A revolution? Looks like the fans have had a revolution because there not watching the show.

  10. Profile photo of Mets82

    Where was Forbes when AMC and OLTL when they were getting cancelled? I dont know what will happen. I think The Chew stays. Only reason why I watch that show if theres nothing else on. The Revolution doesnt interest me one bit. A revolution? Looks like the fans have had a revolution because there not watching the show.

  11. Profile photo of KeithRicks

    I agree 100%.

    I thought ten years ago each network end up with one soap, and ABC’s one soap would be a mega-soap.

    If Frons was around, he’d pull GH’s plug, no questions asked.

    I think GH may get a reprieve and we’ll go through this again a year from now. I can totally see Katie Couric doing a 50th Anniversary tribute on her show because she’s from the demographic that was into Luke and Laura.

    The irony of Frons is he wanting to supplant Gloria Monty as an innovator of daytime. He stated as such two years ago when he said he wanted to invent the successor to Luke and Laura. He will be talked about not as an innovator but as the destroyer of soaps.

  12. Profile photo of F_Y_H

    I really hope that GH is around for a really long time. However, I see the suits at ABC canceling it as they did with AMC & OLTL. Personally, I will never watch The Chew or The Revolution. I feel that daytime t.v. is already overwhelmed with talk shows.

  13. Profile photo of Cyberologist

    After listening to this entire podcast it really reinforces the billions & billions of bucks this mega-rich corporation makes serious bank…they give less than a flip about ABC network soaps…

    The 2nd to last question is in regards to ABC daytime.
    Full transcript of Iger’s response to GH’s future

    The 2nd to last question is in regards to ABC daytime.

    Q: There’s been a lot of changes at ABC Daytime. We’re just curious to how well the new shows are doing compared to the shows they replaced, and what the future of General Hospital might be?

    Iger: Actually I started at ABC in 1974 working on AMC and OLTL so they were kinda near and dear to my heart. The business of daytime television changed a lot over the years. Soap operas were once powerful profit centers for ABC and for the company. And over time due to the changes in viewing habits, the profitability decreased substantially so ABC created a new strategy that we’re in the process of implementing.

    They put on two shows that replaced AMC and OLTL, one is called the Chew and one is called the Revolution. The Chew is doing extremely well. The Revolution is just getting started. They took some of the characters and some of the stories from OLTL and put them into GH, and that is actually breathing some new life into GH, and that is a good sign, but I am not going to make any more promises beyond that right now because this is all relatively new.

    We know there a lot of very, very avid fans, loyal fans, not just for seasons but for decades of those two shows AMC and OLTL but it came down to a business decision on ABC’s part to really work hard to improve on its profitability, so the shows of many decades wound up being canceled.

  14. Profile photo of Puertoricanlips
    Puertoricanlips — Prior to our posting the press release from the Disney/ABC Television Stations Group which revealed the premiere date of “Katie,” Soap Opera Network learned via its sources that ABC had quietly been informing their affiliates of the pending cancellation of “The Revolution,” which has greatly underperformed in key demographics and viewership compared to the series it replaced (“One Life to Live”) back in January.

    While this in no way guarantees “General Hospital’s” placement on the Fall 2012-2013 ABC Daytime schedule once the network cedes the soaps timeslot to affiliates beginning Monday, September 10, the fact that “GH” continuously increases its audience over the performance of “Revolution” in all categories including an uptick of over 900,000 viewers (2.34 million for “GH” vs 1.40 million for “Revolution”), a 100% gain in Women 18-49 rating (1.0 demo for “GH” vs 0.5 for “Revolution”), and a 66% gain in Women 18-34 rating (0.5 for “GH” vs 0.3 for “Revolution”) during the week of March 5-9, 2012 places “GH” in a better position of continuing beyond this summer.

    As previously reported, a decision on the future of “General Hospital” is expected to be made in mid-April. Should the soap continue beyond the launch of “Katie,” it is expected to move to 2:00 PM ET/1:00 PM PT/CT timeslot on the ABC Television Network.

    does this mean General Hospital will be staying around ? I hope so

  15. Profile photo of MistyV76

    I really hope that ABC/D understands that if they cancel GH that they will have to start all over with picking up viewers…in all genres of their programming. However, if they were to keep GH they might be able to keep right on with their current ratings. I am sure that they have lost a lot of money by keeping those “unwatchable” replacement shows on the air for so long. Open your eyes ABC execs, there is still a market for soap operas and if you want revenue then bring One Life to Live back and cancel your two failures. I don’t care what you do with Katie, I say put One Life on at 12/1, GH 1/2 and Katie on at the 2/3 time slot. You want success? Follow that agenda, you will have grateful soap fans tuning in just to say thank you for bringing back what they want.

  16. Profile photo of MistyV76

    Couldn’t agree with you more. I will never watch the replacement shows (any of them whatever they may be) that took the place of AMC and OLTL. They are truly unwatchable. I have been in doctor’s offices and had to listen to their tv with them on and it’s unbelievable that people even tune in ever. I hate talk shows, they are annoying.

  17. Profile photo of missmuffett41

    If you don’t like something don’t watch it. All you are doing is giving THE CHEW false ratings. Therefore keeping this show on the air way past its shelf life. Their expiration date was 9-16-11

  18. Profile photo of sassysdreams

    I would sooner read a book or listen to music than watch a single episode of The Spew or The Revolting!!! :Sp :Sp And if GH is cancelled the same goes for hasbeen Katie’s show!!! :Sp

    Anne Sweeney should be fired immediately!!! Other than Iger and Sweeney, they’ve cleaned house but they left the two biggest rats behind!!! I say exterminate them as quickly as possible!!! |( |( |(

  19. Profile photo of goyankees

    I hate reading comments about what these SOAP STEALING shows are up too.



    DO! NOT! WATCH!!

    It’s as simple as that. DON’T &%#@! WATCH!!

  20. Profile photo of DevinMissesOLTL

    ITA! I know $$$ is important and $$$ has to be made but damn! The almighty dollar has corrupted television. TV is not for entertainment anymore, just $$$! The bible says that the love of $$$ is the root of all evil…What is more evil than taking off perfectly good shows that have entertained and educated its fans for generations?! TV, daytime in particular has gone to hell with gasoline draws on!! there is nothing on anymore and that is so sad.

    I have been saying for years that the networks dont care about daytime anymore. What is the good promoting the soaps only in the daytime, to the folks that are already watching?! Promote them at night and get those people back! I get so tired of little people from primetime shows popping up and flying across at the bottom of my screen! You sure dont see any characters from daytime popping up on the screen at night…Can the church say Amen?!

  21. Profile photo of DevinMissesOLTL

    True. But where has the entertainment gone? I watch TV to get away from reality. Now they want to tell me, this is what I want to watch. I want to watch scripted drama, not this reality mess. I get enough reality in real life. Enough already!

  22. Profile photo of Mets82

    Im so sick and tired of hearing “The viewing habits have changed”. Since when?? Bottom line is that a lot of these executives are so in love with reality tv, since Survivor, its sickening. THATS the viewing habits there talking about. Look at all the advertising they do for shows like The Chew and The Revolution compared to One Life to Live and All My Children?

  23. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    Someone send Roger Friedman a fruit basket!!! I can’t wait until those two jackasses, Tim Gunn and Mario Batali, are out of jobs!!! Neither should be employed in television, as both are patronizing, pretentious unlikable phonies!!

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