Although the likelihood was expected thanks to the loss of long-time soaps "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" in 2011 and 2012, which were preceded by the departures of "Guiding Light" and "As The World Turns" in 2009 and 2010, news broke on Thursday, March 22 that after 22 years in publication Soap Opera Weekly would end its successful run as one of the premier soap opera magazines. The final decision to end the mag was just one of many blows the soap opera industry has felt in as many years. Soap Opera Network takes a by the numbers look at Weekly and how its readership levels helped lead to its ultimate demise.
Prior to our posting the press release from the Disney/ABC Television Stations Group which revealed the premiere date of "Katie," Soap Opera Network learned via its sources that ABC had quietly been informing their affiliates of the pending cancellation of "The Revolution," which has greatly underperformed in key demographics and viewership compared to the series it replaced ("One Life to Live") back in January.
On Thursday, March 15, 2012, the Disney/ABC Television Stations Group released a press release (see below) informing stations across the country of its plans to launch the long anticipated talk show "Katie," hosted by news personality Katie Couric, on Monday, September 10. What wasn't stated was "General Hospital," which currently occupies the planned 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PT/CT timeslot for Couric's talk show, is likely to air its final episode in that timeslot on Friday, September 7. As we all know ABC is scheduled to turn over the timeslot to its affiliates, which will allow them to air various programming across their stations, including the option of airing "Katie."
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.
Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati, who took over the reigns as ABC's new executive producer and head writer for "General Hospital," are now on the world wide web courtesy of Twitter, the social networking media giant.
"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.