Ratings, Rants and Raves: General Hospital Retains Majority of Ratings Surge

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The numbers for ABC Daytime's General Hospital continued to be the driving Nielsen ratings story for the week of Oct. 22-26. (Source: Soap Opera Network) GH managed to maintain much of the surge in numbers it saw the previous ratings cycle, which is hella impressive. We're used to daytime soaps having huge spikes one week and then bleeding out those numbers the next. GH, however,  only lost 30,000 total viewers from the previous week.

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GH was up year-to-date by an impressive 378,000. In households, the sudser fell one-tenth of a point to a 2.0. Among women 18-49, GH was only separated by The Young and the Restless by a tenth of a ratings point (1.1 to 1.2). While GH also fell one-tenth of a point among W18-34, it still managed to top that coveted demo, besting Y&R. GH also posted its highest numbers among overall female viewers 18-49 since Cartini took over.

In story, Port Charles was reeling over Jason (Steve Burton) having been shot and falling into the waters off the docks. Following an intense battle between Monica (Leslie Charleson) and Tracy (Jane Elliot), AJ (Sean Kanan) turned up alive and well at the Q mansion. A devastated Carly (Laura Wright) lashed out at Sonny (Maurice Benard) over Jason's apparent demise.

Todd (Roger Howarth) enlisted Diane (Carolyn Hennesy) to somehow inform Sam (Kelly Monaco) that Daniel was Jason's biological son. Luke (Tony Geary) continued to try and prove Duke (Ian Buchanan) is a fake and Trey (Erik Valdez) learned he possibly held the key to Kate (Kelly Sullivan) getting the help she needs. 

I can't get over how awesome it is to see Kanan on GH again. With AJ back, the Q's are finally on the path to being restored to greatness!

Every time Benard shares a powerful scene withWright, Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) or Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis), I find myself banging my TV remote against my head. Sonny kills it opposite his baby mamas, yet instead of being paired with one of them romantically, he's stuck pining over goofy Connie/Kate. I know Benard likes the pairing, but I am sorry, sometimes actors simply don't know best. While sometimes humorous (Which I doubt is intentional with a mental illness saga), this story is GH's Achilles' heel. Ditch Connie/Kate NOW!

Y&R continued to stumble ratings-wise during the first few weeks of the new regime's material. Daytime's top soap lost 92,000 total viewers over the previous week, and fell one-tenth of a point in all key demos.

Victor (Eric Braeden) learned the Newman Ranch had burned to the ground the week in question. This prompted him to waste no time in proposing to Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) for the 8,765th time. Sharon (Sharon Case) was stunned when Adam (Michael Muhney) revealed to her that she was the one who torched her former in-laws' crib. 

Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) rebuffed Ronan (Jeff Branson), citing a relationship with him would cost her Summer (Hunter Haley King); while Summer's daddy Nick (Joshua Morrow) continued to flash that oh-so-sexy grin at Avery (Jessica Collins). Meanwhile, Jack (Peter Bergman) was paid a visit by a finger-wagging Kay (Jeanne Cooper), and was later almost felled by intense back pains.    

It's still too soon for me to give a full-on assessment of Jill Farren Phelps and Josh Griffith's version of Y&R, however, I am enjoying how much tighter the storytelling has become. Y&R doesn't feel all over the place anymore. Its nice to see true romance back via Navery. Morrow and Collins' chemistry is swoon-worthy. I didn't notice it the first time around, when Avery was written as a one-note viper, out to destroy her sister. Now that Avery is being written with vulnerability, it's easy to see what was hidden under plot points.

 One thing I hate—that seems to continue from regime to regime—is everyone dumping on Jack Abbott for essentially doing the same thing Victor does to him. Why weren't Kay's bejeweled fingers in Victor's face, when he stole Jabot out from under the Abbotts? I don't remember her threatening to cancel so much as one dinner date with TGVN at the Colonade Room, let alone vowing to pull her eternal support from him.

What about when Victor paid for Patty to stop looking like Andrea Evans and start looking like Stacy Haiduk in order to terrorize Jack? Even Billy (Billy Miller) is turning on his big bro! Don't even get me started on Have You Seen The Ghost of John?  Listen, I was just as heartbroken by John Abbott's death and Jerry Douglas' firing as the next Y&R fan, but enough. Christmases, Thanksgivings, when and if one of Jack and/or Billy's loved ones is on life support, fine, Ghost John can come for a visit. Other than that, let's move on.

The Bold and the Beautiful was down 89,000 total viewers over the previous week. B&B held steady in households, but fell one-tenth of a point among W18-49 and W18-34. B&B was once again last in W18-34, after seeing spikes in that demo all summer long. Stephanie (Susan Flannery) told Thorne (Winsor Harmon) she was dying, while a postpartum Katie (Heather Tom) continued to spiral. Two big, meaty soap tragedies playing out at once might be too much for B&B viewers to adjust to at one time, after a summer of frothy YA love triangles. 

I'm enjoying CEO Thomas Forrester (Adam Gregory) morphing into a cocky, manipulative asshat. When B&B began, Ridge (Ronn Moss) thought his father's old-fashioned, elegant designs lacked sensuality and innovation. Flash forward 25 years, and now Tom is the one deciding Forrester Creations is too staid and traditional. I see the parallels between Tom and Rick's (Jacob Young) feud to that of Ridge and Thorne's (then Clayton Norcross) during those early seasons of B&B, right down to their battle over a girl named Caroline.

Speaking of Caroline, Linsey Godfrey is sorta, kinda growing on me.  Don't get me wrong, I still think a stronger actress like Marcy Rylan would set the role ablaze, but after re-watching B&B's first week of air shows from 1987, I can see why they cast Godfrey. She really is a dead ringer for a young Joanna Johnson.

Days of Our Lives lost 53,000 total viewers over the previous week, but was up year-to-date by 74,000. DAYS fell one-tenth of a point in households, but held steady in the major female demos.

Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) came face-to-face with Kristen DiMera (Eileen Davidson) for the first time since 1998. What should have been an epic, heavily-promoted bitch battle of the millenium was reduced to a couple of snarky barbs and some really crappy commercials. Does DAYS want to stay on the air, or not? See you next Ratings.