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Ratings, Rants and Raves: General Hospital Hits Highest Numbers Since Cartini Took Over!

You've been asking for it, well now Ratings, Rants and Raves is back! I took a break because the ratings had become so depressing across the board for our final four daytime sudsers. That certainly isn't the case anymore, thanks to ABC Daytime's comeback kid General Hospital. (Source: Soap Opera Network)


The week of Oct. 15-19, GH was watched by almost 2.8 million viewers. That was the soap's highest viewer totals since Feb. 28–March 4, 2011. It was also the highest total viewers to tune in since Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati took over.


GH was up by 110,000; 464,000 year-to-date. In households, GH increased one-tenth of a point, and was up an impressive three-tenths of a point year-to-date. This was the soap's highest household demo since March 21-25, 2011, and also the highest since Cartini started working their magic.

Among women 18-49, GH was up one-tenth of a point, and two tenths year-to-date, giving Cartini their highest numbers to date in this coveted demo as well.

GH was the No. 1 soap among W18-34 the week in question, going up two-tenths of a ratings point, and a whopping four-tenths year-to-date. This type of ratings growth is unheard of during these trying times for soaps. Well, almost unheard of. Cartini achieved a similar feat at One Life to Live. The big difference is ABC finally has a Daytime chief who actually wants to see a soap these guys are running succeed.

In story, JaSam (Steve Burton and Kelly Monaco) confronted a maniacal Heather Webber (Robin Mattson), who had their baby on the roof of Port Charles General Hospital. Llanview Pennsylvania's Tea Delgado (Florencia Lozano) learned the baby she had been raising as Victor Lord III wasn't her son. Lante (Julie Marie Berman and Dominic Zompragna) learned Lulu was incapable of carrying a child to term. Betty Suarez told Daniel Mead that Robin (Kimberly McCullough) might be alive and in the end, Sam and Jason got their brat back. Oh and there was plenty of "Duke" (Ian Buchanan) menacing about.

You can never go wrong in the Nielsens by returning a kidnapped tyke to his parents. Hello, All My Children's Bianca (Eden Riegel) and Miranda? Throw in the deliciously-malevolent Heather Webber and a popular couple reuniting and it was a recipe for success. Okay, so JaSam isn't popular with me, but they are with a good portion of the audience. I guess we Liason-shippers will always have our fan fic!

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CBS Daytime's The Young and the Restless didn't fair nearly as well the week in question, which has to make Maria Arena Bell burst into giggle farts.  Under the new direction of Jill Farren Phelps and Josh Griffith, Y&R dropped 147,000 total viewers, and fell one-tenth of a point in households. Y&R held steady in W18-49, and actually went up one-tenth of a point among W18-34. However, it was bested by GH in that demo.

To be fair to JFP and Josh, having to clean up another person's mess is always a difficult task. Let's face it, the shape MAB left Y&R in would have made those people on Storage Wars take a pass at rifling through that junk to attempt to find buried treasure.  

The new regime quickly ended Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) being on trial for trying to mow Cricket (Lauralee Bell) and Paul (Doug Davidson) down like stray blades of grass 20 years ago. Summer (Haley King) caused a car accident that likely resulted in Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) losing Adam's (Michael Muhney) baby. Nick (Joshua Morrow) filed for divorce and Ol' Smilin Jack (Peter Bergman) seized control of Newman Enterprises.  

For the most part, I've been enjoying the first few weeks of JFP and Josh's material. I'm grateful at least one of MAB's never-ending criminal cases is over, though I would have rather they scrapped Paul (Doug Davidson) being harassed for mercifully killing Ricky (Peter Porte). I'm not crazy about everyone acting like Cricket doesn't have a right to be pissed that someone tried to kill her. Nor am I thrilled about the iconic Newman Ranch going out in a Blaze of Glory (Seriously, JFP. If you had been handed the Dallas reboot, would you have blown up Southfork?!) or the best spitfire in daytime, Abby Newman (Marcy Rylan) getting a lame-ass exit story, but I'll talk about that more in next week's RRR. What I am loving is "Navery". Avery (Jessica Collins) is quickly becoming my new favorite soap character, thanks to her cute apartment, her sexy fantasies and penchant for baking. See what a little characterization can do, MAB?

The Bold and the Beautiful fell 203,000 total viewers the week of Oct. 15. B&B fell two-tenths of a point in households, and one-tenth of a point among W18-49. Among W18-34, the 30-minute sudser was tied for last place.

As much as it pains me to note this, B&B shifted its focus away from those vapid, ratings-grabbing young'uns and started digging deep into meatier stories for the grown-ups the week in question. New mom Katie (Heather Tom) was in postpartum turmoil. Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) revealed that texting Deacon (Sean Kanan) on her honeymoon had cost her the man she's loved for 25 years. Stephanie (Susan Flannery) coughed enough to hack up three lungs, and CEO Thomas (Adam Gregory) acted a plum fool.

Sure, there was still action, make that inaction, on the Liam (Scott Clifton), Hope (Kimberly Matula) and Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) front, but they weren't nearly as prominent as they have been. Maybe those three really are ratings magic for this show? Or maybe Ronn Moss' (ex-Ridge)ever-tweeting fans tuned out?

NBC's Days of Our Lives spiked in total viewers the week in question. DAYS went up 112,000, and was up one-tenth of a point in households. DAYS held steady in the major female demos, but was dead last across the board (tying B&B for last place among W18-34).

The eternally-striking Eileen Davidson brought lethal Kristen Blake DiMera back to Salem the week of Oct. 15, and promptly squared off with former Secret Room-ate Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall). Before that, Kristen had a humorous exchange with the kid she wanted to name Baby John. To say EJ (James Scott) wasn't happy to see his "sister" was an understatement.

Kristen's former sister-in-law Jennifer Horton (Melissa Reeves) was in jail for having "murdered" Nicole's (Arianne Zucker) baby. This had Dr. Hairy Crotch (Shawn Christian) all conflicted, or was that constipated? Meanwhile, the Bradys dealt with the tragic revelation that Ma (Peggy McKay) might have Alzheimer's.

I am impressed with the way DAYS is handling Caroline's dementia. For a soap that has come to be known over the past two decades for being outlandish, they seem to have really done their homework on this one. I'm relieved that Bo (Peter Reckell) is leaving town to help his mother, as opposed to some midlife crisis brought on by budget cuts at the Salem PD.

What didn't impress me was how lackluster Kristen's return was scripted and promoted. This is one of the most infamous lady villains in soap history, yet they brought her back via a coffee klatch with Stefano (Joe Mascolo), while wearing a lop-sided hat? At least when she got to Salem, Kristen should have invited all of the townsfolk to some mysterious gala for a shocking reveal. It was all a bit anticlimactic.