Soaps In Depth Executive Editor Calls For General Hospital Fans to Boycott Good Afternoon America!

The peeps over at Soaps In Depth are drawing a line in the daytime viewing sand when it comes to ABC's "limited run" talk show Good Afternoon America. The publication's passionate executive editor Richard M. Simms has gone on record about the spin off of Good Morning America and why he feels it is a direct threat to ABC's sole soap opera General Hospital. Said Simms:

"If fans want to keep GENERAL HOSPITAL on the air, they need to make sure a clear message is sent to ABC," says Soaps In Depth executive editor Richard M. Simms. "Although GAA is being talked-up as a limited-run series to bridge the gap between THE REVOLUTION's demise and the premiere of Katie Couric's new program, ABC has proven that they'll happily pull the plug on a soap if they can replace it with something that's cheaper to produce."

Kudos to Soaps In Depth for making such a bold statement, which I'm sure will get them a few screeching, hissing phone calls from ABC PR minions! With only four soaps left in daytime, outlets that depend on the genre have to get braver in calling network's out on their desire to ditch scripted series in the daytime.

However, we welcome all opinions. So, do you agree with Simms that watching GAA could help close General Hospital's emergency room doors for good, or do you think there's absolutely nothing wrong with loving to watch both Sonny Corinthos break glass at someone's feet and Lara Spencer burst into giggle farts over Liza Minnelli? Sound off in the comments! 

52 Responses

  1. Profile photo of katclaws

    I have zero faith in ABC Daytime, since they think so little of the loyal viewers in the past and have proven such time & time again that we just don’t count in their big scheme of programming and trying to “train us” into accepting what they are pushing. Won’t work.

    Now, I purposely change the channel to any other daytime network EXCEPT abc. Petty, yes, but I won’t support what I can’t trust.

    Therefore I will not support ANY abc DAYTIME except for GH.
    They need me and my ratings more than I need them. JMHO

  2. Profile photo of soapjunkie88

    I don’t know if it is going to help though. It’s a nice way to support “GH”, but in the end ABC wants out of the soap genre. If “Good Afternoon America” doesn’t work it’s still not to expect that “GH” lives on after it’s 50th anniversary.

    While I’m happy that “GAA” isn’t doing well, ABC is going to try something different next year. ABC will order some pilots for early next year to replace “GH” and the soap opera then will be canceled before the new show starts.

    It’d be nice to see “GH” live for another two, three or even five years. But how realistic is this??? None of these network executives cares about daytime soap operas anymore.

  3. Profile photo of metejt

    I agree with Richard Simms 101%. If GAA is even a little bit successful ABC/D will bring the hammer down on GH. For those of you who think it won’t do any good, you MAY be right. However, we won’t know until we try and one thing is for certain. If we DON’T support GH and contribute to a rise in ratings for GAA we WILL lose our last remaining ABC soap. My hope is the longer we give GH on the air the better chance we stand of some other network picking it up.

    To J Bernard: Speaking for myself I never watch it live, always tape it and watch it later in the evening. I think most people now do something along those lines.

  4. Profile photo of Shailafreeman

    I would rather watch Sonny talk to a wall over giggle farts anyday!!!and I’m still trying to get in GH groove and know that it’s way better than stupid GAA! We will take them down!!! We’re getting pretty good at it!

  5. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    J. Bernard, I watch it live most days, and I record it to a re-writable disc, edit out the commercials and parts I don’t want to save, and then record that to a VHS tape, in case I want to have a marathon sometime down the road.

  6. Profile photo of DanielAvery

    Maybe this is a little off topic, but from looking at that cover photo…does Soaps In Depth still maintain separate issues for ABC and CBS? How could they possibly have enough material?

  7. Profile photo of ldylkng

    Yes I watch GH live most days & dvr just in case I have to be gone. I will NOT watch GAA.
    What I wonder, is how many people will be out of a job other than the actual tv crews & stars? As Mr.Simms is requesting this, I’m realizing that these mags will have to shut down too. How can they continue to operate with only 3 shows left out of the seven of 3 years ago.

  8. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    [quote=appleridge]QUESTION: If “Katie” FLOPS, Could ABC just put Good Afternoon America On at 3pm???[/quote]

    No, because as of September 10th, 3pm will no longer be a network timeslot. ABC is turning that hour over to the affiliates to program themselves, so there will either be syndicated programs or local shows in that timeslot from now on.

  9. Profile photo of marybee50

    DanielA-SID does still do both issues,ABC and CBS.They mostly concentrate on the shows of the respective network,but add Days,nighttime,and the other network.Some of it is repetitive in each issue,mostly the Days stuff.

  10. Profile photo of GHteenybopper

    J Benard– I watch GH live in the summer when I’m not working and have literally organized my timetable for both semesters to ensure I can watch it live when it starts airing at 2 in September lol

  11. Profile photo of Cindy Reid
    Cindy Reid

    Why couldn’t all three networks, ABC,CBS and NBC, at least keep one soap on in the afternoon, that is not asking for too much. We already have talk, news and food shows up our, you know what, please hear the people. I know at the end of the day it all comes down to money, I think the networks don’t really care about daytime, as long as they have something on the air. Maybe the suits would be upset if people starting boycotting prime time.

  12. Profile photo of SwanQueen59

    JBJ-During the dance season I’m a “live” watcher 3 out of 5 days when my teaching schedule kicks in after GH is over. Summer is “down time” and it’s a treat to go five days in a row. Even when there’s stuff that I wish I could fast forward through… 0:)

  13. Profile photo of kittyskisses

    I haven’t watched and will never watch the”Chew” or “GAA”.I think the concept is stupid and I couldn’t be more uninterested. I do watch GH every day and have been watching since 1976.
    I will never,ever watch Katie Couric. I love GH!!!!

  14. Profile photo of cassie67

    While I commend Mr. Simms for encouraging a lot of “General Hospital” fans to rally against “Good Afternoon, America”, I’d say that it was wrong on his part to suggest that ABC will be happy to cancel it. I think he somehow puts a foot in his mouth.:(

  15. Profile photo of momachu

    I watch only GH on ABC. Live 5 days a week. If by some chance I miss it, then I watch it on Soapnet. However, all 3 of my DirecTV receivers are programmed to turn to ABC for GH and then turn to HLN when it is over. I know it probably doesn’t count for anything but I do it anyway! No Soaps = No ABC/Disney. No Mouse in MY House! I am boycotting ALL things ABC and Disney!

  16. Profile photo of thecourt99

    I am pretty much a live viewer. The only exception is when I have a conference call, in which case I leave my TV on the channel and watch the show on DVR later.

  17. Profile photo of Mets82

    I know people or executives have the same comment “Soaps are too expensive to produce…yada, yada, yada.” So its one big coincedence that all these soaps leave the air? I dont buy it. Like I’ve said before, the people in charge have become so consumed and brainwashed with reality tv, they could care less about scripted programming. Soaps, sitcoms etc. See they think all people want to hear about how and what we should eat and about Tom and Katie and its not true.

    There is no reason why soaps shouldnt stay on the air. Im getting a little sick and tired of being told what to eat, how to eat, how to exercise etc. You know what? Who cares? I think instead of telling people what to do, people want some enjoyment in life. For some people, those are soap operas.

  18. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    It’s simple, Mets82. When there were enough viewers to justify it, soaps thrived. There are no longer enough viewers to attract advertisers to pay enough to sustain these shows, so the soaps are dying off. Of course, it’s no coincidence that all these soaps are leaving the air. The viewers are leaving, so the soaps are leaving. There’s no big conspiracy here.

  19. Profile photo of Edna Barefoot
    Edna Barefoot

    I am a Soap Fan & I will not wath ABC anything but GH. Anyone who does isn’t a tru soap fan. Thank you for the article. We will continue to fight. BOYCOTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Profile photo of mlauenstein

    [quote=TV Gord] The viewers are leaving, so the soaps are leaving. [/quote]

    It would be interesting to track the demographic numbers through the years to see how many are leaving and how many are dying.

  21. Profile photo of mlauenstein

    [quote=GHteenybopper]have literally organized my timetable for both semesters to ensure I can watch it live [/quote]

    LOL. I used to skip my 1:30 class so I could make it home by 2:00 to watch Santa Barbara live. Which was odd, since I was taping it anyway, as well as Another World at 1:00.

  22. Profile photo of sassysdreams

    [quote=J Bernard Jones]I am curious: how many posters/commentators in these forums actually watch GH at least 3-4 times a week in its regular afternoon timeslot?[/quote]

    J Bernard Jones – I watch General Hospital live 5 days a week but I also tape it to rewatch on weekend afternoons when there’s nothing else on I care to see. And if I happen to miss it live during the day, then I watch it on SoapNet later that night.

    How many times a week do you watch it live?

  23. Profile photo of tealita

    I don’t have to go out of my way to boycott GAA. Like many people. I’ve simply turned away from televised news and news magazines. I AM an information junkie, but I prefer my news feed and favorite blogs. Every once in a while I’ll catch bits and pieces of something on MSNBC or a few minutes of 60 Minutes, but that’s it.

    As far as GH is concerned, I DVR it because I can’t take the commercials. I know, I know, that’s not helping the cause any. If I remember–and if that day’s epi is up at GH’s website–I’ll run it in the back ground.

  24. Profile photo of dzzdee

    I am not going to watch GAA,or any Talk show. ABC is losing viewers every day… People are not amused with Reality and talk shows. They’re nothing but a waste of my time. Arguements and fighting. Gives me a headache. What are these network programs telling our young, It’s okay to make a fool out of yourself. Where’s dignity? Really! I just turn off the TV after watching General Hospital.
    If ABC removes GH, well I predict that ABC will have to file bankrupty. No body will be watching there programs.

  25. Profile photo of soapster

    I hate you are not a real soap fan unless you support this or that agenda, soaps are a form on enjoyment nothing more nothing less it does not hold that much importance in my life where I need to boycott other shows on abc that gives me the same enjoyment or where I need to help keep an actor/production/crew employed (especially when I don’t see this people at marches to save my job), or keep a magazine running.

    I am sorry but in this business sometimes shows are cancelled, magazines have to end, etc… My life will go on and something else will feel the void.

    So I guess I am not a true soap fan, so be it.

  26. Profile photo of Cyberologist

    I only watch GH sporadically and Scandal which is on hiatus I don’t care for the Disney Corporation haven’t done Disney in years. I’m not a Katie Couric fan I don’t see what is the big deal about her but I commend her for getting her cheddar.

  27. Profile photo of Dariclone

    Good for Soaps In Depth! They’re finally breaking the silience and saying what’s really going on here. This is why I think it’s so pointless to complain about the OLTL characters coming to GH. It’s time to put that stuff aside and fight to save GH! I’d lik,e to think the even if I wasn’t an OLTL uber fan and it was *my* soap with a bunch of new chacters coming in, I’d feel the same way.

  28. Profile photo of transfigurationjc21

    Thank you so much!
    GAA is a great show and since it’s cheaper to produce I wont blame ABC if they cancel GH and give GAA the 2pm time slot permanently. I’ve watched GH for over 42 yrs now and the quality absolutely stinks.
    Cartini have turned the show into a cartoon. In my lifetime I’ve watched over 12 soaps across the network dials. But all of their quality have crashed and ratings and demographics prove that viewership is at an all time low. The daytime serial format on network TV is archaic and not cost effective.
    I don’t blame networks for getting out of this declining business.
    If fans are still so rabidly connected to this genre they need to create a demand for a specialized Cable channel. Daytime serials are a financial liability for broadcast networks today. Whether Richard Simms likes it or not this is the truth. And its very immature and ridiculous to call boycotts against a network for maximizing their profits and cutting their losses. That’s what good businesses do to survive! SMH.

  29. Profile photo of transfigurationjc21

    Cartini ( Frank V and Ron C) are tanking GH just like they tanked OLTL. Their ridiculous take on serial drama set the genre back years!
    You may enjoy it, but there are millions of us who dont appreciate it. I started watching soaps as a small child back in 1969 beginning with GH.
    From that time I branched out to watch 15 soaps on every network.
    I started One Life in its’s classic 70s days long before Cartini.
    In my opinion Cartini and their stories reduce serials down to slapstick comedy and plots that insult viewer intelligence and make not even the slightest pretense of being adult or socially relevant( with a few small exceptions along the way).
    That being said I was somewhat encouraged when I heard they were coming to GH. I watched the last 6 months or so of One Life. And despite all of the lame characters and stories like the Ford Brothers, Jess,tess, bess and wess, I at least admired how Cartini brought back old faves and mined the history of the show.
    I thought they would do the same with GH before it faced the ax.
    But what have they done? They’ve given watered down GH’s history and Frank V wants to create a One Life/GH Hybrid show! This is so unprofessional and not fair at all to long time GH fans who didnt watch One Life.
    Believe me they have pissed off a lot of GH fans and the ratings reflect it. In it’s last month on the air One Life’s ratings finally rose and topped off at over 3 million. GH today sits at under 2!
    I fully expected GH’s ratings to rise under Cartini and they havent!
    Again you may like what they’re doing at GH and that’s all subjective.
    But to make you understand the other side. Imagine if Cartini had brought on GH characters and stories during One Life’s final days. How would you feel about them stealing precious air time from your faves during they show’s final hours? I dont think you wouldve liked that.
    GH is in dire danger now.
    Good Afternoon America’s ratings have been a modest success-no where near as low as The Revolution or the Chew.
    And GAA costs a lot less to produce than GH. So if GH’s ratings dont rise, guess what….ABC will have the excuse to do what theyve wanted since they gave AMC and OLTL to ax, cancel the show and replace it!

  30. Profile photo of transfigurationjc21

    No you are a person who thinks with your brain instead of sentimentality and fluff. Television is a business. Genre’s die and shows are cancelled. Richard Simm’s is just concerned that if soaps keep getting canned his magazine and livelihood will become irrelevant which it practically already has done so!

    Who actually buys soap mags anymore in the age of the web? Get real. Business is business, if shows cant cut the ratings mustard and best the competition they go off the air, plain and simple!

    Soaps are dying, I’ve watched them since age 5 and Ive watched 15 of them on every network, but life goes off. Time to grow up and face reality.

  31. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    transfigutationjc21, just a friendly note. You need to identify the person you’re addressing with each post. You can do that by hitting the edit key (just so we’re all clear). :-) Welcome aboard.

  32. Profile photo of transfigurationjc21

    To be brutally honest, soaps today are no better than reality shows. Reality shows are soaps just without the script! Get real-cat fights, adultery, money?
    That’s soaps. Sadly soaps have fallen far from their original premise which was to be family driven romantic fantasies that included socially relevant issues.

    One Life to live was the show that featured a black woman passing for white in the late 60s, a sexually addicted housewife prostitute in the 70s, a gang rapist and gay teen in the 90s and a realistic gay couple in the 2000s.
    But Cartini reduced it to slapstick comedy and ridiculous split personality plots and cartoon villains.
    Jess, tess, bess, and wess. The gay pornish Ford brothers wrestling in steam rooms all day. Excessively convoluted back from the dead Zombie plots. Give me a break!
    Soaps are not mature, family driven dramas anymore they are escapist, mindless entertainment today just like The Real Housewives Franchises and Jersey Shore.
    And sry to jump on you but what are soaps telling are young ppl today?
    Starr on OLTL gets knocked up by her BF and they turn it into a summer romance! Leslie Lu on GH seduces a practical stranger (Dillion Q) on a boat house floor like a common whore and then kills her baby in abortion! Starr shacksup with half naked men on GH as “room mates.”
    Give me a freakin break, what every happened to cautionary tales for the youth?
    Soaps across the dial exploit blatant lust and perversion in their story lines. We have rampant homosexuality, characters living together and getting it on out side of marriage or even a rudimentary commitment left and right. Female legs are spread from Genoa City to Port Charles!
    I’m sry but I am a soap expert having watched 15 them for over 42 yrs now. Soaps today are nothing but trash! They are no better than any reality show! You dont have a leg to stand on in your criticism! Not one limp leg!

    That being said I still appreciate the legacy of daytime serials because in the past they have been socially relevant. But in today’s entertainment climate they are not! They are mindless, escapist fluff.
    As for ABC going bankrupt over the loss of a few soaps whose combined viewership could barely muster 3 million viewers thats ridiculous.
    First of all ABC is owned by a multimillion dollar conglomerate which is Disney. And their majority stockholder is APPLE Computers- a multi-billion dollar conglomerate. Bankruptcy? I dont think so!

  33. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    [quote=transfigurationjc21]Soaps across the dial exploit blatant lust and perversion in their story lines. We have rampant homosexuality, characters living together and getting it on out side of marriage or even a rudimentary commitment left and right. Female legs are spread from Genoa City to Port Charles![/quote]

    Yes, they do, just as real life does. These are the family-driven, socially relevant issues of the day. If this is trash, how does it differ from the “sexually addicted housewife prostitute in the 70s, a gang rapist and gay teen in the 90s”? Certainly, some people considered that trash back then.

  34. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

    How many times a week do you watch it live?

    None. I watch GH on my iPad via the ABC app, at 11:30pm EST when it becomes available after its SoapNet airing.

    In many ways, I prefer this method of watching GH, both as a viewer and from a business point of view:

    • Since it is the official re-broadcast via the app, my individual viewership — though not as valuable to advertisers — is directly counted by the network.

    • There are 2 30-second ads between segments that one cannot skip through; while many people would prefer no ads at all, it is better than the 4-5-6-7-8 ads that one has to endure during regular broadcast. Because advertising actually PAYS FOR THE SHOWS & MAKES THEM VIABLE FOR BROADCAST (a fact that many fans bizarrely seem to dismiss), this is a small price to pay.*

    • Though I’m time shifting my viewing, I’m being a “loyal viewer.” By not chopping up the show, watching some bastardized edited version on YouTube, downloading episodes via torrent sites, I’m getting what I want (GH) while not undercutting ABC (which, despite the ire of many fans, actually does own and produce the show).

    • Plus, I can watch GH anywhere I have my iPad and a wifi signal/internet connection; this would be equally true if I watched via laptop….but I haven’t taken my laptop out of the house in 2 years…LOL. Not only am I not limited by time, I’m not limited by location.

    So, that’s how I watch GH.

    *Most of the ads are from ABC promoting its networks’ shows, although there are other traditional advertisers as well.

  35. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

    transfigurationjc21 wrote

    One Life to live was the show that featured a black woman passing for white in the late 60s, a sexually addicted housewife prostitute in the 70s, a gang rapist and gay teen in the 90s and a realistic gay couple in the 2000s. But Cartini reduced it to slapstick comedy and ridiculous split personality plots and cartoon villains.

    So what do you make of that whole, oh, near decade (actually 1984 though 1991) where One Life to Live was regularly #3 or #4 in the soap ratings firmament under Paul Rauch, who introduced head snapping time travel, underground cities (along with costumes) that looked like a very bad Star Trek convention re-creation gone horribly wrong, a self-satire/parody soap-within-a-soap played for laughs, a Jim Jones-like religious cult, women skiing down mountain sides in wedding dresses in Moldavia…um, Mendorra, and sent people to Heaven after having given birth to children they didn’t know had popped out of their womb?


  36. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

    First of all ABC is owned by a multimillion dollar conglomerate which is Disney. And their majority stockholder is APPLE Computers- a multi-billion dollar conglomerate. Bankruptcy? I dont think so!

    Two points of order: First, Apple Inc. (Not “Apple Computer,” which it hasn’t been for years) was and is not the majority stockholder of Disney. One Steven P. Jobs — the man, not Apple — was the sole INDIVIDUAL stockholder of Disney, with a 7% stake in the company and was also on the board of directors, following the sale of one of Jobs’ companies — a little outfit called Pixar — to The Mouse House. The current largest Disney stockholder is Laurene Jobs, Steve’s widow, last reported to control the TRUST for the $4.6 billion value of the Disney stock as of 2011.

    Second, even if Apple were the majority stockholder, with Disney & its combined economic might, it would make no difference in terms of whether or not GH should/can/ought to survive. The facts are that in the 80’s, ABC was purchased by Capital Cities, CBS was taken over by Laurence Tisch and NBC was purchased by GE, at which time the new owners of the networks broke up their various dayparts and made them self-sufficient. Since the dawn of tv time, every show has lived or died by its own ratings (and thus profitability, with only a few notable exceptions), the sea-change brought about by breaking up the divisions into self-sustaining departments in the 80’s was the true beginning of the acceleration of the death of daytime as we traditionally refer to it (soaps but also game shows, which were a huge part of the daytime landscape until the mid-late 80’s). Underperforming shows were easier to axe, newer shows were given shorter times to prove themselves (Generations, Port Charles, Texas, The City, et al) and budgets became more and more contentious over time.

    Soap used to be the “cash cows” for networks, paying for or greatly offsetting the costs of prime time acquisitions and the operations of the traditionally unprofitable news operations. After every division was broken up (including the news divisions, which in the early days were nearly decimated by budget cuts, especially CBS News), the costs of producing a soap relative to its ratings during this era became of prime importance. In other words, the daytime division — and each individual soap — needed to pull its own weight. It was under Cap Ciities that ABC bought all of the soaps in its lineup (and owned and produced all the soaps that followed) that this paradigm shift occurred, and after Disney bought ABC from Cap Cities, it has continued to this day. Thus the corporate/conglomerate money is not stirred up in one big pot and doled out like sloppy a bowl of porridge to the Tiny Tim of soaps, as the sweeping generalization quoted above implies.

    ABC always enjoyed an advantage over CBS & NBC in that they bought out and eventually owned all their soap offerings and thus had more nominal control of making sure their soaps aired in a solid block via the affiliates. But that also meant/means that ABC has to PAY for the production of those shows itself and, with falling viewership across the board, ABC was only delaying the inevitable. NBC, generally the lowest rated in the daytime mix (in soaps and games shows), was the first to get almost completely out of the soap game. CBS followed and now ABC is finally joining their ranks. And when you hear the news about soaps from the network side of things, roughly 1/2 to 3/4 of it seems to be about budgets vs. profitability.

    The early 80’s era when ABC was willing to throw money at GH and told Gloria Monty to do what she could are LONG, LONG ago in a galaxy far away. But what is always missed/glossed over: even THEN they took a gamble, because Monty only had a short period of time of 3-6 months to turn GH around, depending on various sources. If her experiment had FAILED and GH had remained in the ratings cellar, General Hospital would have been cancelled DESPITE the deep pockets of its owners, who after giving it one last shot weren’t willing to throw even more good money after bad.

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