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Ratings, Rants and Raves: GH Spikes Before Christmas; DAYS Ties Dangerous Lows Among W18-49

Twas the week before Christmas, and all throughout the set of General Hospital, visions of impressive demos and continuing well past the soap's 50th anniversary were dancing through everyone's head! GH was the only soap to see positive gains the week of Dec. 17–21. (Source: Soap Opera Network)


The ABC sudser went up 143,000 total viewers, and was up year-to-date by 472,000. In households GH held steady at No. 3 with a 2.0. However, it was up three-tenths of a point in that demo year-to-date. Among women 18-49, GH was up one-tenth of a point over the previous week (+ two-tenths of a point year-to-date). GH was only separated from The Young and the Restless by one-tenth of a point in this demo. The Mouse House's last (daytime) soap standing was No. 1 among W18-34, up one-tenth of a point over the previous week, and a whopping four-tenths of a point over this time last year.

Anna (Finola Hughes) and the real Duke Lavery (Ian Buchanan) discovered Robert(Tristan Rogers) writhing on the floor, unable to communicate clearly following his run-in with Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle. The fabulous Lucy Coe (Lynn Herring) made her way home to Port Charles, with Quartermaines and the Nurses' Ball on the brain. Maxie's (Kirsten Storms) last minute jitters about carrying Lante's (Julie Marie Berman and Dominic Zamprogna) baby were pretty much occuring parallel to Olivia's (Lisa LoCicero) visions of Dante and Lulu ending up the parents of a dog. Both AJ (Sean Kanan) and Sonny (Maurice Benard) wanting to spend Christmas Eve with their son. Too bad, so sad. Michael (Chad Duell) celebrated the night before the Virgin Birth by banging teen mom Starr Manning (Kristen Alderson).

Lynn Herring hasn't lost any of Lucy Coe's trademark pizzazz. Whether gushing with Sabrina (Teresa Castillo) and Lucy's heir-in-fabulosity, Felix Dubois (Marc Anthony Samuel), or tangling with the Q's, Herring doesn't have to put a deposit down on her scenes, because she owns them outright!

I love all the twists and turns in the "Where In The World is Dr. Robin Scorpio Drake?" storyline. Just when we thought Robert was about to save his daughter, he was thwarted. Now lil Robin is in the clutches of Jerry Jacks (Sebastian Roche), allowing Kimberly McCullough to keep working on becoming the next Nora Ephron or Kathryn Bigelow, while popping up on GH from time to time.

Maxie and Lante's surrogacy farce is growing on me, although Dante and Lulu are the least interesting players in their own storyline. Thank the Soap Gods for Olivia's crazy ass. It's also nice to see Maxie wearing BJ's heart of her designer sleeves re: Spinelli (Bradford Anderson).

I didn't know how much I was wanting a My Two Dads reboot until Cartini gave me one. Granted, Michael is no Nicole Bradford (Staci Keanan), but it's fun to watch Sonny actually have to fight for his previously-loyal adopted son's affections.

The Young and the Restless was down an insignificant 31,000 total viewers over the previous week. Unfortunately for Jill Farren Phelps and Josh Griffith, daytime's most watched soap was down a staggering 586,000 total viewers year-to-date. U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi, those numbers are ugly!


Y&R was down one-tenth of a point in households (- three-tenths of a point year-to-date). Among W18-49, the soap fell one-tenth of a point (- two-tenths year-to-date). Y&R also fell among W18-34, dipping one-tenth of a point over the previous week and year-to-date.

Sharon (Sharon Case) almost ran off with Baby Faith, but thought better of it. She later clued Nick's (Joshua Morrow) latest squeeze, Avery (Jessica Collins), in on her bipolar diagnosis. Victor (Eric Braeden) vowed to send Sharon to jail unless Adam (Michael Muhney) helped him reclaim Newman Enterprises from Jack (Peter Bergman). Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) continued to confide in Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson) about her marital woes. Jack kept popping pills and making rash decisions. Kay (Jeanne Cooper) passed out after an argument with Jill (Jess Walton) about Tucker (Stephen Nichols) and Tyler Michaelson (Redaric Williams) showed err' body at Jabot what he was working with — in terms of his business ideas. Perverts!

There's a lot I like about JFP and Josh Griffith's version of Y&R. As I've said before, they created a character with Avery where there previously was none. It's refreshing to see so many attractive people of color in Genoa City again. Jill Abbott being in town is always a good thing. The show feels younger, fresher, but...the stories are a bit boring.

Nick buys a club. Whoopee. We've already witnessed Nick go through the whole let's-start-a-new-business-to-not-be-like-my-daddy bit twice before.  Crimson Lights? Restless Style?

In real life it might be interesting for a scion of a billion dollar dynasty to forego his birthright to plant daisies, but on a soap opera it is snore-inducing. I doubt the new Dallas would be half as interesting if John Ross decided to get out of the oil business and try his hand at becoming a rodeo clown.

Nick, Adam, Abby (Marcy Rylan) and Victoria (Amelia Heinle) should all be fighting for Newman, while Victor plays them against one another, and Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) lobbies in favor of her two spawn. Let's make the Newman dynasty actually feel dynastic again. That dinner party a few weeks back was a good start, but the stories are still greatly splintered.

Speaking of Nikki, why isn't she involved in Jack's addiction storyline? He supported her through her initial battle with pills and drugs. Wouldn't that tabloid story have sent her running over the Abbott estate to check on her ex, despite her being back with Victor?

Billy Abbott (Billy Miller) is another Genoa City heir lacking a decent story. Maybe TPTB were waiting to see how his contract negotiations would go before giving him something substantive to do? Well, he's re-upped. Let's get the next generation of the Newmans and Abbotts percolating already!

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The Bold and the Beautiful was down 54,000 total viewers over the previous week. Across the major demos, the 30-minute series held steady.


Katie (Heather Tom) confronted Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) about smooching Bill (Don Diamont) at Big Bear. Meanwhile, Taylor's (Hunter Tylo) nosy behind was all up in Bill's Kool-Aid. Hope (Kimberly Matula) learned that Rick (Jacob Young) had Hamlet lie about Liam (Scott Clifton) and Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) going to second base the night before Hope and Liam's wedding. Caroline (Linsey Godfrey) continued to crinkle her nose and baby talk. 

In 2013, I am going to need for Brad Bell to tap back into his inner perve. Two people making out—whether it happened or not—is not a significant enough plot device to split a couple up, unless the show is iCarly. Bill Spencer Sr. used the knowledge that Ridge was sleeping with (You know, like actually penetrating?) other women to bust up Ridge and Caroline the First. Now makeout sessions are relationship game changers? This show has become so vanilla.

Days of Our Lives was down 74,000 total viewers over the previous week. DAYS dropped a dangerous two-tenths of a point among W18-49, tying its all-time low in that demo. Among W18-34, DAYS fell a tenth of a point.


In story, Kristen (Eileen Davidson) continued to use her hot box to manipulate dim-witted Brady (Eric Martsolf), much to Marlena's (Deidre Hall) chagrin. Since Hope (Kristian Alfonso) has nothing better to do, Marlena got her in on the fun. Lucas (Bryan Dattilo) remembered he and Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) share a sperm donor, and decided to act all brotherly about her relationship with Daniel (Shawn Christian). I would much rather see Bill Horton return to town to explore his complicated relationships with his children and their mothers, than look at a bunch of chest-beating over Jack's widow.

EJ (James Scott) donated a ton of his kids' Christmas gifts to charity, impressing Sami (Alison Sweeney). Father Eric (Greg Vaughan) was still all beside himself about whatever went down in Africa. Maybe Kristen's hot box can cure that too? I know, I know. He's slated to do a Thorn Birds redux with Nicole (Arianne Zucker). I just want there to be more opportunities for Marlena to slap Kristen.

I always enjoy DAYS around the holidays, so my snark about Salem, U.S.A. will likely be compromised through the next two ratings cycles. I will say this, despite how brilliant Blake Berris plays it, I am not loving my Nicky Pie morphing into a homophobic douche-fart. See you next Ratings.