Ratings, Rants and Raves: GH Up By Over Half a Million Total Viewers Year-to-Date; Plus Young and Restless Wishful Storytelling!

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The ratings surge for ABC Daytime's General Hospital shows no sign of slowing down. (Source: Soap Opera Network) The week of Nov. 5-9, GH was up 555,000 total viewers year-to-date.  With approximately 2.8 million viewers tuning in, GH hit a new high for the regime of Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati.

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Due to interruptions in the previous ratings cycle, caused by Hurricane Sandy, there is no week-to-week comparison for total viewers. However, the soap went up one-tenth of a point in households, among women 18-49 and W18-34. In the latter demo, GH was the No.1 soap in daytime for the week. Only one-tenth of a point separated GH from The Young and the Restless among W18-49.

In story, Dr. Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough) managed to outsmart her captors long enough to call her daughter Emma. This prompted "Duke" (Ian Buchanan) to pay her a visit. Tracy (Jane Elliot) and Carly (Laura Wright) separately squared off against Monica (Leslie Charleson) over AJ (Sean Kanan). Sonny (Maurice Benard), Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) and Trey (Erik Valdez) failed in their attempt to get Connie/Kate (Kelly Sullivan) institutionalized. Maxie (Kirsten Storms) evicted Trey and Starr (Kristen Alderson) and Lante (Julie Marie Berman and Dominick Zamprogna) wrecked their chance to adopt a baby.

GH single-handedly resurrected Cliffhanger Friday the week in question. "Duke" taking off his mask for a horrified Robin, while back in PC,  AJ came face-to-face with Carly, reminded me of the days when you had to watch at least Friday's episode of your fave "story". It's no wonder this soap's ratings are increasing. A slew of beloved, glory days vets, stories that move forward at a steady clip. GH is doing almost everything right.

Of course no soap can hit every story out of the park. Connie/Kate still proves to be a rotten apple. I was embarrassed for everyone who had to take part in those Kangaroo Court scenes. No judge on a bench would buy this woman being anything less than stark-raving mad. This story is silly and pointless. I've seen better Carol Burnett spoofs of soaps.  Sonny Corinthos is a lot of things, but he's no cuckold for a poorly recast caricature of a formerly popular role.

Days of Our Lives was up year-to-date by 259,000 the week of Nov. 5. DAYS held steady in the demos. 

The jig was up for Nicole (Arianne Zucker) in story. Daniel (Shawn Christian) finally figured out that she lied about Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) killing her baby. This led to a silly sequence where Nicole threatened to goose herself with a scalpel and/or throw herself off the one-story overhang at Purple Salem Square. Yeah...

Jarlena (Drake Hogestyn and Deidre Hall) continued to bicker about Sami (Alison Sweeney) working for Kristen (Eileen Davidson) at Countess W. Do these yahoos not realize how lucky a mother of four children by two men, who never went to college, and worked as a candy stripper for 10 years, is to be running a major, Midwest-based cosmetics dynasty? Methinks not.

Later, Kristen showed up at the Horton Cabin, where Marlena found her with John. After her last two soap stints, this is what the amazing Ms. Davidson should be singing.

The Bold and the Beautiful was up year-to-date by 10,000 total viewers. B&B also went up one-tenth of a point in all major demos.

Bill (Don Diamont) continued to bond with sister-in-law Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang), as they searched for Katie (Heather Tom), and tended to Baby WhatsHisName. Kristen (Tracy Melchior) and Felicia (Lesli Kay) came home to say goodbye to their mama and Hope (Kimberly Matula) and Caroline (Linsey Godfrey) argued over who was blonder. One of those statements may or may not have happened.

I am digging Bill and Brooke. No one does forbidden, unseemly entanglements quite like Brooke Logan. It's about time my girl did something positively scandalous again. That's why we love Logan! She can't help it, she's drawn that way.

 In truth, I'm just relieved my favorite soap sex kitten is no longer running around Los Angeles trying to force Liam (Scott Clifton) to pick her child to penetrate, over Taylor's (Hunter Tylo). 





Y&R was the only soap down year-to-date (by 142,000) the week of Nov. 5. The CBS sudser was up two-tenths of a point in households, and one-tenth of a point among W18-34, however.

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The Newman patriarch and matriarch asked Ronan (Jeff Branson) to investigate Sharon (Sharon Case) in connection with the fire at the ranch. Meanwhile, the Newman sons and grandson continued to cloak the whackadoodle's fiery sins. In the biggest, most blatantly plot-driven twist of 2012, one of Billy's (Billy Miller) old gambling debtors snatched up Victoria (Amelia Heinle) and demanded a $2 million ransom. 

Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) confronted Adam (Michael Muhney) about Sharon squatting in their dusty guest house. Avery (Jessica Collins) continued to prove the quickest way to Nick's (Joshua Morrow) heart was through his rock-hard stomach. Summer (Hunter King) cyberbullied some character no one cares about. Gloworm mercifully burned and Jill Foster Abbott (Jess Walton) returned.

I don't want to judge the Y&R reboot too harshly as of yet, but I'm not all that impressed. Exits that could have driven story for months were done in haste. Several new stories (the burning of the ranch, Vicky's kidnapping) are stemming from plot, not character and Summer is still just as vapid, and ill-defined post-recast. 

There have been improvements, though. Avery is shaping up to be quite the romantic heroine to root for. Jack (Peter Bergman) and Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) are circling one another again. Chelsea/Adam/Sharon has the potential to be an epic love triangle and I will take any storyline—even one about Kay Chancellor's mythological moguldom—that brought my Jill Abbott home.

 Here are a few Wishful Storylines to smooth out some of the transition's rougher edges:

Instead of coming up with asinine plot twists to give Villy conflict, go to history. Why not have Victor (Eric Braeden) buy Restless Style and hire former son-in-law Cole Howard as editor-in-chief? FOJ Grayson McCouch would no doubt give a sexy, cocky turn as the ranch hand-turned-novelist. Victor could hire Victoria as president of the newly-formed Newman Media, without informing her she'd be working closely with her ex.

Stop this ABC After School Cyberbulling Special before it even begins. Instead, SORAS Faith (Brittany Underwood or Kelley Missal), bring back Blake Hood as Kyle Abbott and have the Newman daughters square off over the Abbott heir, much like Lorie and Leslie Brooks once fought over men like Brad Elliot and Lance Prentiss.

Kyle could be drawn to sweet, sensitive Faith, much to the chagrin of scheming, volatile Summer. Creepy, teen boy-bitch Fenmore (Max Ehrich) could also take a liking to Faith, resulting in him teaming up with former crush Summer to keep Kyle and Faith apart. Throw in various degrees of meddling from the trios parents and grandparents (Jack, Phyllis, Nick, Sharon, Victor, Nikki), and the next generation of Newmans and Abbotts would be embarking on a YA saga tied to the core of the soap.

Have Genevieve write Tucker (Stephen Nichols) an email off screen revealing Cane (Daniel Goddard) is his son, not Colin's. Jill happens to spy the email before Tucker does, and rushes off to warn Cane. When Tucker seeks out Cane, he finds Jill telling him not to trust Tucker under any circumstances. After an overwhelmed Cane flees, a heated exchange follows between Tucker and Jill. Tucker tracks Jill all the way to the parking garage, ripping into her for meddling in his affairs.

When Tucker hops into Jill's passenger seat—just before she speeds off—it culminates in a plot twist reminiscent of Kay (Jeanne Cooper) accidentally causing the death of Phillip Chancellor II. While arguing with Tucker, Jill crashes her car, killing him instantly. This would effectively rid any residue of Kay seeing Jill like a "daughter" and reignite one of soap opera's most epic feuds of all time.

Cane, reeling from the death of his father, finds an unexpected rival in half-brother Devon (Bryton James). As Tucker's sole heir of record, Devon is now one of the richest young men in the country — and isn't too keen on sharing his birthright. This causes major friction in Devon's relationship with his adopted sister Lily (Christel Khalil), with Neil (Kristoff St. John) caught in the middle of his children.

When Devon—with the help of his sexy, savvy lawyer and lover Leslie Michaelson (Angell Conwell)—blocks Cane from obtaining a DNA sample from Tucker, Cane hires Avery to help him get what he feels is rightfully his.

Devon experiences a stark personality shift as he battles Cane. The former orphan quickly becomes drunk on money, power and sex, as Neil and Lily try everything to reach the young man they once knew. Both Victor and Jack are flying low, waiting to pick the flesh off McCall Unlimited's bones, should Devon make a disaster of his new empire.

Fortunately for Devon, he also inherits his father's love for corporate raiding, setting his sights on the struggling Fenmore's department store chain. Fenmore's new CEO, Scotty Grainger (Chad Brannon)—who dated Leslie in college—proves to be a formidable enemy. 

See you next Ratings!