ABC Developing Reality TV Version of ‘General Hospital’


According to a report by the New York Post, ABC is developing a real-life version of its popular daytime soap “.” A network spokesperson confirmed the Post‘s report and said that the possible series, which recently began taping at UCLA Medical Center, is in its “earliest, pilot stages,” and is intended “either for syndication or maybe cable.” Of course, the news has put soap opera fans into a tizzy as they are now worried about the fate of “GH” when they really shouldn’t be – yet.

Disney/ABC Television Group

Since news broke, Soap Opera Network has learned that the potential series is being produced by ABC Media Productions, which has a long history of developing reality, talk and game show concepts for the ABC brand that includes ABC Family, the ABC Television Network, SOAPnet and ABC Studios. The production company previously produced “” and “” for SOAPnet, “” and “,” both syndicated, and has oversight of the game show “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?” which airs in national syndication.

While there is no guarantee that “General Hospital” will survive another possible cancellation in April, which is when ABC is expected to announce whether the series will continue for a 51st season, the soap has a 99% better chance of surviving than it did at this same point a year prior. Ratings are up for the series across the board in total viewers and in the the key Women 18-49, Women 18-34 and Women 25-54 demographics. In fact, amongst all broadcast daytime programming (soaps, game shows and talk shows) “GH” is #1 season to date* in Women 18-34, #2 in Women 18-49, while tying for 2nd place in Women 25-54. In households, GH is averaging a 2.2, +0.3 points when compared to its performance at this same point last season.

Back to reality-GH, the show is described as a reality series in which cameras follow the private and working lives of doctors at UCLA Medical Center. Personally, it sounds more like the ABC summer series “NY Med” than it does “GH,” but that’s just me.

*Season to date numbers include L+7, which are not immediately available when we post the weekly reports.

  • ABC is really not getting the message here.

  • Diana

    There are way too many reality shows on the air. None of them are reality, it is all staged and very boring. I am not interested in the portrayal of actor’s private lives. Just give me a good drama with good actors. Bring back One Life to Live. I was an All My Children fan since 1975. Honestly, the show went downhill about ten years ago. Too much Kendall and Greenlee, bringing back people from the dead and way too much Lucci. The woman refuses to act her age. How long can you play the young sexy love interest. Yes, she is beautiful but would have been nice if she played a more mature Erika Kane.

  • ABC is dead to me except for GH. Since Kelly and Michael are on CBS where I live I watch that. But my tv and DVD recorder are off the rest of the day. The way ABC is going during the daytime TPTB will be on the unemployment line like so many other people. People are sick of reality shows, they are scripted anyway. Daytime tv was a way to escape from every day life and enjoy watching a fantasy one. If ABC goes with this “new GH” say bye to the viewers because we’ll be watching other networks.

  • Jen

    Several points I want to make.

    #1 One Life to Live is never coming back and hasn’t been a ratings hit in years.

    #2. Soaps are not profitable anymore because the writers don’t have any fresh ideas and repeat the same cliches from the 80s over and over again while doing nothing to attract younger/and or new viewers

    #3 This is not a reality show version of GH. This would be the real thing that GH originally was based off of.

    I think a smarter idea would be to test out a couple of limited run telenovelas instead. Telenovelas are basically just short run soap operas and would give us some fresh characters, actors, and stories.

    • The smarter idea ABc would do is to fix what they thought was broken but wasn’t. People still show an interestin the soaps, so we can get back OLTL and AMC. They are not dead by a long shot. Check the ratings, and youll see.

  • robert

    As long as GH doesn’t get cancelled, I’m all for it.

  • Wow. Don’t think so.

  • I really don’t care what they do as long as they leave our beloved Soap GH alone.

  • janet

    I don’t know about anyone else,I personally will never watch it. real life emergency room,blood and guts no thanks. I don’t watch reel tv,most of what I watch is not blood and guts. who needs it. I can’t believe they will not listen.the show GH has improved with the new bosses,and the viewers are watching and anticipating the next days show.if they put this show on as a replacement for GH the soap they can watch it themselves!
    ABC needs to realise we don’t want to watch a hospital,we want our soaps.We enjoy it,we really enjoy it now that we have back some of our favorites,and we don’t want a reality show about it. I watch very little of the channels that dropped my ATWts and GL. The junk they replaced them with,never watch.
    ABC can also blame themselves if the ratings went down.They beat us over the head with the mob king who never paid for his sins and we just shut it off. How much do they think the fans will put up with?

  • Larry

    I think these “geniuses” who are making all these changes, cancellations, etc, should be cancelled themselve and NEVER be allowed to interfere in TV programming again. WE ALSO WANT THEIR NAMES PUBLISHED.