Disney/ABC Television Group

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Call it the case of a pissed off audience or call it a fluke, but whatever it is the mystery of where “General Hospital’s” audience went by its Friday, March 2, 2012 episode is up in the air.

During the week of February 27-March 2, 2012, when ratings reports started piling in, it was revealed that “General Hospital” recorded some of its highest ratings in as many months (highest total audience since week of January 9, 2012; largest Women 18-49 and biggest Women 25-54 total since week of October 24, 2011), but had the series not nosedived to just over 2 million viewers for its Friday March 2, 2012 episode (just 2,001,000 viewers tuned in per Nielsen Media Research data) when we posted the dailies and averaged above 2.5 million viewers, as it had been trending to do on that date, the reports would have gone on to say “General Hospital” had its largest audience since the week of September 26-30, 2011 (when it averaged 2,597,000 viewers for the week). So what happened? Why such a big drop in total viewership and key demos from the four days prior (2,404,000 on Monday, 2/27; 2,509,000 on Tuesday 2/28; 2,575,000 on Wednesday 2/29; and 2,526,000 on Thursday 3/1)?

According to comments we’ve seen from our SON Community Members and responses in the weekly ratings report, it is likely that “General Hospital” received what is described as the “repeat of death” (ie. a repeat airing pulls down the weekly average for a program). Allegedly, the description for the Friday, March 2, 2012 episode of “GH” was the same as the description for the Thursday, March 1, 2012 episode for the soap, which according to DVR setup standards would result in your DVR (Digital Video Recorder) to misinterpret that Friday’s episode as a repeat and not a new episode, unless of course you scheduled all episodes (repeat and new) to record.

Of course, the other side of the coin could be that viewers were in fact turned off from what they had seen that Friday compared to the four days previously and just decided not to tune in. It isn’t an unlikely scenario as for the same week of September 26-30, 2011 data we cited above, “GH” went from nearly 2.8 million viewers on the Monday to just under 2.4 million by the time Friday came around. From Tuesday to Thursday the show consistently hovered over 2.5 million viewers (as it did during the week of February 27 – March 2, 2012).

We’ll soon find out what direction, if any, that particular episode indicated for the future of “General Hospital” when the latest ratings for the week of March 5-9, 2012 are released sometime today. In the meantime, here is a look at how the talk shows and game shows compare to the soaps based on data for the week February 27-March 2, 2012:

By Network

Network / Households / Total Viewers / Women 18-49 Viewers / Women 25-54 Viewers
1. CBS / 2.6 / 3,499,000 / 624,000 / 819,000
2. NBC / 2.1 / 2,7533,000 / 606,000 / 751,000
3. ABC / 2.0 / 2,536,000 / 541,000 / 729,000

By Show

Total Viewers
1. The Price is Right 2 (CBS) 5,163,000
2. The Young and the Restless (CBS) 4,353,000
3. The Price is Right 1 (CBS) 4,270,000
4. The View (ABC) 3,628,000
5. The Today Show 2 (NBC) 3,473,000
6. The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS) 3,099,000
7. Let’s Make a Deal 2 (CBS) 3,023,000
8. Let’s Make a Deal 1 (CBS) 2,570,000
9. Days of our Lives (NBC) 2,548,000
10. The Chew (ABC) 2,489,000
11. General Hospital (ABC) 2,403,000
12. The Talk (CBS) 2,329,000
13. The Today Show 3 (NBC) 2,289,000
14. The Revolution (ABC) 1,620,00

Note: NBC has begun counting “The Today Show 2″ and “The Today Show 3″ in the weekly ratings averages, thereby increasing its standings in the weekly averages (the network ranks second to CBS in total viewers).

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