"Missing" Debuts with ABC's Biggest Audience in the Time Period in 14 Months and As TV's Most-Watched Drama Debut in the Opening Hour of Prime in 1-1/2 Years
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.
On June 6, 2011, ABC finally announced (after months of rumors) that it had signed a deal with former "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric to host a new daily syndicated talk show, and that said show would replace veteran soap opera "General Hospital" in the 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT/CT timeslot. While initially the decision brought fear to soap opera fans, who only two months prior learned that ABC Daytime's two other veteran soaps ("All My Children" and "One Life to Live") would be replaced by two new food and lifestyle centered talk shows ("The Chew" and "The Revolution"). Now nearly a year since the announcement, it looks like Katie Couric may just be the lifesaver "General Hospital" desperately needs.
"General Hospital" is the only soap opera left on the ABC Daytime schedule and is also the longest running dramatic series in the networks history. Unfortunately, the soap is facing the same cancellation danger that its former network counterparts ("All My Children" and "One Life to Live") faced just over a year ago before ABC officially announced the two would go off the air in a press release. Before any decision on the future of "GH" is ultimately made, the drama series is showing an uptick in key demos and viewership.
On Tuesday, March 6, a presidential press conference took place and was carried live by NBC and other broadcasters. The press conference resulted in the preemption of "Days of our Lives," which pushes all episodes of the drama series back by one day.
Ten years is a longtime for a website to remain in operation. It is thanks to all of you that we've been able to provide you with the most up-to-date, current and timely information relating to the genre of soap operas between our SON Community and our reporting team. Unfortunately, in the past month there hasn't been much of any up-to-date, current or timely information relating to the genre of soap operas posted on Soap Opera Network by its reporting team.
After five months of negotiations with various guilds, hundreds of presentations to potential financial and technology partners, and a hope that we could pioneer a new network for the future, it is with great disappointment that we are suspending our aspirations to revive “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” via online distribution. It is now becoming clear that mounting issues make our ability to meet our deadlines to get OLTL on the air in a reasonable time period following its January 13, 2012 ABC finale impossible.
It was Tuesday, October 4 when Soap Opera Network first reported on the current status of union discussions between the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and Prospect Park following word back in July that Prospect Park would be launching "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" on the web. Now more than a month later, and with news that "AMC" is being delayed for various reasons, an AFTRA rep tells Soap Opera Network that they are "still in discussions with [Prospect Park]." This at some point could place a damper on the company's plan of launching "One Life" online in January if a deal isn't reached in the next several weeks.