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


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.


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 with Wright, 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.



12 Responses

  1. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    It’s nice to see so much positive talk around GH these days! A deserved spike in the ratings and a whole lot of positive buzz about some returning vets! Today, it’s great to see GH stars such as Nancy Lee Grahn and Michael Easton recording pleas for donations for Hurricane Sandy victims as part of ABC’s Day of Giving. The Soup even played a GH clip this past week (the second time in the past month)! I’m starting to feel as though GH is everywhere these days!

  2. Profile photo of soapbaby

    Damn Jamey! I couldn’t agree with you more on all points. Specifically, the point about GH’s Maurice Benard having tons of more chemistry with any one of his baby’s mothers than Kate! Give me Sexis! I loved Sonny & Alexis in 2001 and thought they were hot as hell.

    The DID story is too forced but I still think the weakest story on GH right now is the Mousy Nurse pining over Patrick while he dates the Bitchy Nurse. It’s all too contrived and unnecessary. As much as any viewer, I wanted more hospital staff/hospital-focused story but not this. It’s like watching a cartoon when Jason Thompson is the best actor on the canvas. How great would a Patrick/Liz pairing be?

    You are SO correct about Y&R and the town turning on Jack. It’s ridiculous. Still, the overall show is much improved and more character-driven than the other soaps. We are slowly and steadily seeing actual character development and motivations! After the damage Maria Arena Bell dispensed, it’s going to take time to rebuild but I am already liking Avery and Chelsea when I have NEVER had a use for them. Genevieve and YoHarmony are already gone. I hope Y&R’s ratings improve as the show picks up steam.

    DAYS is unwatchable. I cannot even manage to tune in for Bo Brady’s departure. Has he exited yet?

    B&B is really good right now with both Susan Flannery & Heather Tom doing great work in strong stories. It’s too bad the ratings were stronger when the show focused on silliness of Hope/Liam/Steffy. Argh!

  3. Profile photo of SoapArmageddon

    GH is doing the thing. I actually find myself rewinding and rewatching the best parts of each epidode. I haven’t done that with GH for years.

    Jamey, my only disagreement with your RRR is that I DO believe that the DID storyline is being played for laughs.

  4. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    I don’t think it’s being played for laughs. I just don’t think they’re being as preachy about the “issue” of DID, as soaps often do (clumsily, most of the time). I want to be entertained by soaps, not harangued about whatever issue is the flavor of the week.

  5. Profile photo of Yoryla

    Wonderful GH!!! I agree with everything Jamey said regarding it, I can only see it going upwards. BUT: The Connie/Kate mess absolutely has to go – pronto. There is a real danger of that spoiling the otherwise stellar soap.

    The mere presence of Kristen is enough to totally make me love DAYS. And Caroline’s Alzheimer’s, Bo’s departure, Sami’s corporate squirming and WilSon aren’t hurting, either.

    I don’t even know why, but for some reason I haven’t gotten myself to the point of watching B&B. I have watched some of the Stephanie scenes and intend to watch the party and her dying. But everything else is FF for me. Even though I love Heather Tom and Katie, the Bill/Katie/Brooke mess is of no interest to me. I would much rather see Karen & Danielle Spencer’s love life – where are they?!

    Thomas as CEO is just prepostrous, he indeed resembles his father in all the wrong ways – pompous and arrogant. Caroline is like air to me. I don’t even know if she’s there, and more to the point – I don’t care.
    Rick should be CEO, and get away from the teenybopper scene and have a real, adult woman by her side. Paging Amber Moore Forrester!

  6. Profile photo of keanna

    As always great ratings article, Jamey!!

    I agree with everything you say regarding GH, Jamey!! The buzz has been great and nothing but positive, congrats to Frank and Ron! I also say bring back Sonny and Alexis as a couple, the chemistry is still there.
    I would say only a couple of stories aren’t good for GH right now, the DID story with Kate/Connie is too much for me, I know Ron likes these stories and Kelly likes playing it, but enough is enough. Also the Sabrina and the other nurse forgot her name pinning for Patrick, seems forced and I think Patrick should just be single for a while. But other than that great for GH.

    Kristin’s return has been great, the scenes with Marlena should be soapy goodness, and Bo’s departure should be great as well.

  7. Profile photo of logan_echolls

    When has MB ever been correct regarding a love interest. He thought him and Reese was pure gold! That man does not understand and the writers need to step in and get ConKate committed. I just don’t understand why Johnny doesn’t hook up with Sonny to get her committed. After she’s been in FernCliff, no one will believe she really didn’t kill Starr’s family. They would just think she’s saying this to get out of going. Get rid of her.

    NO to Sonny/Alexis. For years Sonny treated her like crap so I do not agree with a Sexis pairing. Back in the day yeah but not now.

    I will be watching GH faithfully until they make AJ the villian. If they do, I’m out. Also Get rid of the Britt and Sabrina storyline. It’s stupid and pointless. It reminds me of the Nik and Nurse Nadine storyline. It’s not working. I don’t feel for Sabrina.

    WHERE IS LIZ!!!!!

  8. Profile photo of ER Writer
    ER Writer

    Since MAB’s departure, I have been waiting for Josh’s stuff to air so I could get back into Y&R, but it’s not easy. I tried to watch it the other day and I was just bored. Where are the smart, sexy, intriguing story lines?

  9. Profile photo of pferrando

    On Y and R, ALL new things aside, the only three that have bothered me are:

    The burning of the ranch…still just silly to me and not necessary (so Jill could premiere a new set?). My parents remodeled their home quite nicely after about 25 years. I didn’t torch it for them so they could move into a “penthouse”.

    I don’t like Summer. Sorry. The recast isn’t working for me, and I don’t like her one note character. Bleh. Not to mention the increased air time she’s been given.

    Lastly the major departure of the characters, whether we liked them or not, wasn’t handled in classy Y and R fashion. Not only did the actors deserve better, so did we. And I’m not talking days to write them off.

    Having said all of that, I do like the pace of the storytelling and after some jarring camera work and new background music that i hated…both have been toned down.

    I do like the new Noah and as I previously said the new relationship with Chloe and Chel. Jess W. is back, Victor is on the screen less (needs that cooling off period for me) and most of the stories have been character driven (cough…Victoria’s kidnapping…cough). I like the fact that the show has slowed down. For long time fans of the show still watching (pre pyscho Latham) this is the show we want to see. Keep it going…(with my fingers STILL crossed)!

  10. Profile photo of Mets82

    I’ll be honest, the Connie/Kate story is ok. Connie is getting on my nerves but in a good way and not in a change the channel type way. I do think Connie/Kate have good chemistry with Sonny. I really think its time to bag ghost Alan and bring back real Alan. Enough of this ghost stuff. Let the Q’s be on top again.

    B&B is doing a good job with the PPD storyline and Liam and Steffy being together again. It really seems like they love each other instead of being there because once again, Liam and Hope had a fight or something. Stephanie shouldnt go this way on B&B. I just dont like it. Legends shouldnt die.

    Y&R-I have a question. Since when is Fen all over Summer? Didnt they share like one kiss and now Summer is kissing his neck and vice versa? I like the Nick/Avery story. Its nice that there taking it slow and not hitting the sheets already. I liked the scene today with Phyllis and Billy hugging and then slapped each other’s hand. Btw, was Phyllis rocking that dress today or what?? Wow!! Do you think we see a Phyllis/Victoria and Billy triangle? I do hate that Adam is lashing out because Chelsea lost the baby on Chelsea and Kevin. Leaving Tag and Grab, covering for Sharon, lying to Chelsea. The only thing is that once Adam finally comes to grips with losing the baby, those scenes should be powerful.

  11. Profile photo of tori87dec

    There aren’t any. Sorry to disagree,GenV/Genie Francis was one of the best actress’s/characters Y&R had. Her scenes with Stephen Nichols/Peter Bregman/Jess Walton/Eric Braden were entertaining and wonderful to watch. It’s the writers who couldn’t write properly for the characters. These vet actors are the best of the best and I for one found Gen interesting and funny. She and Nichols could carry a scene with jut eye contact,they didn’t have to say a word but you always felt their chemistry. Bringing in lots of new characters,actor models,young teens isn’t going to do anything for the show. When Genie left,I stopped watching. They should of kept her and Nichols together,they had gold and wasted it. It’s unfortunate when your dealing with people that don’t know their right from their left. I for one won’t be watching the continued downfall of a once great show!

Leave a Reply