Ratings, Rants and Raves: General Hospital is No. 1 Soap Among Women 18-34!

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Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati are working similar ratings magic on General Hospital, to what they pulled out of their hats at their last soap opera. Let's just hope this time ABC gives a damn.

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GH was the Number 1 daytime soap opera among the coveted women 18-34 demo the week of May 7–11, 2012. (Source: Soap Opera Network) GH also inched up 34,000 total viewers over the previous week, and was up year-to-date 71,000. The sudser was up one-tenth of a point in households, and held steady among W18-49.

Several of the former One Life to Live duo's premiere Port Charles story arcs were exploding all over the canvas the week in question. Mob enforcer Jason Morgan (Steve Burton) stopped the alter of his mob boss Sonny Corinthos' (Maurice Benard) psychotic, socialite girlfriend Kate Howard (Kelly Sullivan) from fleeing the country; while an unhinged stripper-beater-upper Ronnie (Ronnie Marmo) was shot dead by John McBain (Michael Easton), after having kidnapped Lulu Spencer (Julie Marie Berman) and a preggars Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco).   

As if those stories weren't hot enough, Starr Manning (Kristen Alderson) almost shot Sonny; Spinelli (Bradford Anderson) found video proof Maxie (Jen Lilley) didn't kill Lisa Niles (Brianna Brown); Heather Webber (Robin Mattson) murdered Maggie and framed her for Steve's (Scott Reeves) medical crimes and Llanview exes Todd Manning (Roger Howarth) and Tea Delgado (Florencia Lozano) faced off over "Estrella". This show is officially on EFFIN' FIYA and I don't care who knows it! Haters to the left.





NBC's Days of Our Lives also had a good week. DAYS went up 103,000 total viewers, and increased one-tenth of a point among W18-49. DAYS held steady among W18-34 and in households. 

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In story, Jarlena, Bope and Cafe(?) were all presumed dead after an explosion at the safe house. It turned out err body was really still alive, having discovered a trap door. When the Bradys, Hortons et al. learned their loved ones weren't dead, Sami (Alison Sweeney) acted a plum fool. For once, who could blame her? As the Salem superheroes were planning to go undercover to finally destroy Stefano (Joe Mascolo), his daughter Lexie (Renee Jones) became resolved to stop seeking treatment for her brain tumor, while former son EJ (James Scott) was caught shirtless with Sami, by a still-struggling-to-come-out to his parents Will (Chandler Massey). If the sight of a half-naked James Scott wasn't enough to make Will blurt out he's gay, I don't know what was!

Over at CBS, The Young and the Restless tied its all-time low among W18-34, while The Bold and the Beautiful fell two-tenths of a ratings point among the same demo. Y&R began the groody storyline of Sharon Newman (Sharon Case) aching to be romanced by Victor (Eric Braeden), a long-time father figure for the heroine, not to mention the grandfather of her children. 

Jess Walton, who is much too talented for the crap she's been given to play in recent years, also exited Genoa City along with her character Jill Foster Abbott. I know Walton says her departure is temporary, but with the way veteran actors are being treated on that set, who could blame her if she doesn't return?

Another mistreated Y&R legend, Eileen Davidson, saw her iconic character be made to look like a complete and utter fool, by catching Patch and Angie, er Tucker (Stephen Nichols) and Harmony (Debbi Morgan) in bed. I'm not upset about Tucker cheating on Ashley. Sordid affairs are par for the course on soaps, but Y&R appears to be playing musical bed mates again and it makes even less sense than when Sharon was screwing everyone in town — save for Zapato the dog.

Harmony is supposed to be in love with Neil (Kristoff St. John), who is married to Sofia (Julia Pace Mitchell); so she screws Tucker, whose secret past with Laura Spencer (Genie Francis) is what had Tucker on the outs with Ashley? Meanwhile, Harmony wants Seargent Jesse (Darnell Williams) to pretend to be her man, in order to throw Neil off her scent. It's like the worst, multi-soap fan fic mash up ever!

People simply don't tune in to Y&R for Genie Francis, Debbi Morgan,Darnell Williams or Stephen Nichols — all of whom I adored in their prior soap roles. Core fans of this soap want to watch the sagas of the Chancellors, Abbotts, Newmans, Winters, Fenmore-Baldwins and Williams. This means Kay (Jeanne Cooper), Jill (Jess Walton), Jack (Peter Bergman), Ashley (Eileen Davidson), Victor (Eric Braeden), Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott), Neil (Kristoff St. John), Paul (Doug Davidson), Michael (Christian LeBlanc) and Lauren (Tracey Bregman) should be the patriarchs and matriarchs of Genoa City.

The popular actors who make up the children, in-laws and/or grandchildren of the aforementioned characters—Joshua Morrow (Nick), Sharon Case (Sharon), Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) Amelia Heinle (Victoria), Michael Muhney (Adam), Marcy Rylan (Abigail), Billy Miller (Billy), Liz Hendrickson (Chloe), Greg Rikaart (Kevin), Christel Khalil (Lily), Daniel Goddard (Cane), Bryton James (Devon) and Michael Graziadei (Daniel)—should be driving story, as opposed to those portraying poorly conceived caricatures, who have been attached to popular villains from the past. Yes, I am talking about Yvonne "Five Days a Week" Zima (Daisy) and Ricky (Peter Porte).

Essentally Daisy and Ricky are the same character; children of sociopaths, who came to Genoa City with plot driven grudges, yet possessing none of the depth or inner motivation of the iconic characters they are supposed to represent on the canvas. It is a shame that Sheila Carter's (Kimberlin Brown) legend has been destroyed by this regime's insistence on connecting a character like Daisy to it. Porte is a talented enough actor, but his storyline is almost identical to an adult Adam's origin tale. Will his dead galpal turn up alive, only to fall into a volcano too? Ricky could be salvaged by a decent, nuanced long story and some much needed characterization.

Speaking of characters with lazily, similar back stories, Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) and Daisy are also one in the same — girl rapists, who targeted legacy hunks and got pregnant. The difference, of course, is that Egan can act. Additionally, she has managed to achieve a nice chemical reaction opposite Muhney. However, this promising pairing has been backburned, while lackluster Daisy continues to drive story. Here's hoping reports of Zima's firing prove true.

Blake Hood has been a great addition as Kyle Abbott, and Jessica Heap (Eden) is growing on me. I wouldn't mind seeing more of them, epecially with a disapproving Cousin Abby and Daniel threaded. It would also be cool for Y&R to finally cast a Dr. Nate Hastings who sticks and put him in a triangle with Devon and Roxy. Since Roxy's portrayer, in demand primetime actress Tatyana Ali, likely can't go on contract, recast the role.

B&B saw Hope (Kimberly Matula) move out of Liam's (Scott Clifton) house, while a stubbornly-determined Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) began planning their Italian wedding the week in question. Pretty much the rest of the air shows consisted of Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood), Liam and Hope talking to their parents about their love triangle; that was when Amber (Adrienne Frantz) wasn't trying to convince a newbie that Rick (Jacob Young) was a cross dresser.

While B&B's frothy, light stories can be fun, this show is in danger of becoming boring. I really hope after the Italian location shoot airs, B&B can start telling more varied stories. With a new lesbian couple and Deacon Sharpe (Sean Kanan) to contend with, who knows, maybe it will happen even sooner? See you next Ratings!