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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.
"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.
Just before we post the dailies, which will provide a clearer picture of "One Life to Live's" final week on television, ABC has revealed that the 43-year old soap ended its run as daytime's 5th most watched program in total viewers (3,120,000), while ranking a strong second in Women 18-49 viewers (784,000) for the week of January 9-13, 2012. Only 94,000 Women 18-49 viewers separated "One Life to Live" from tying "The Young and the Restless" in that category. In Women 18-49 rating "OLTL" had a 1.2 compared to "Y&R's" 1.4. The canceled ABC soap beat its former network and studio sibling "The View" in all key ratings categories except total viewers.
After scheduling conflicts reportedly kept her from reprising her signature role of housewife turned hooker Karen Wolek on "One Life to Live" in show's final months on the air, Judith Light is finally coming back to Llanview...sort of. On Friday, January 13, just three hours before the final "One Life" episode airs, Light will set down on "The View" with several of her former co-stars to recall some of her fondest memories of the soap she called home from 1977-1983.
As in previous weeks, ratings for soaps are unavailable at press time but the numbers are out for talk shows including "The Chew," "The Talk" and "The View."
As previously reported, ABC soap opera "General Hospital" will lose its coveted 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PM CT/PT timeslot beginning in September 2012 when the network hands the hour back to its local affiliates. The move will leave ABC's daytime lineup with just three hours left to program with "The View" already secured in the 11:00 AM ET/10:00 AM CT/PT slot. New talk shows "The Chew" and "The Revolution" will go head-to-head with "General Hospital" when it comes to the almighty dollar (ie. which show brings in enough income relative to cost) in a battle for the remaining two hours (1:00 PM ET/12:00 PM CT/PT; 2:00 PM ET/1:00 PM CT/PT). In place of "GH" beginning in September 2012 will be the new Disney/ABC Domestic Television syndicated series "Katie," hosted by journalist Katie Couric, which was just cleared in over 60% of the country just six weeks after the sales period began.
You may be asking yourself why in the world would we be doing a ratings reflection that highlights ABC's canceled "All My Children" as ranking second in households (amongst all soaps) for the season when the show has already gone off the air with its last episode airing on Friday, September 23 and talk show "The Chew" already replacing the soap in its old timeslot. If I were to tell you that because ABC scheduled the series finale of "AMC" during the first week of the 2011-2012 television season that the soap would remain in the season-to-date rankings until September 2012, would you believe it? You better!
"All My Children," aired its series finale on Friday, September 23, 2011 with its largest weekly audience in over four years (since week of August 20, 2007), its largest single day episode in more than 4 1/2 years (since the May 11, 2007 episode) and tied its highest weekly household rating in four years (since week of September 24, 2007). The canceled ABC soap managed to place second in households for the first time in 16 years (since week of July 10, 1995) and placed second in viewers for the first time in nearly seven years (since week of December 6, 2004).
This morning on "Good Morning America," commentator and long-time "All My Children" cast-member Cameron Mathison (Ryan) announced that production company Prospect Park has officially started approaching the actors on his show with offers to continue on the new version of the 41-year old daytime drama that ends its run on network television on Friday, September 23. Mathison made it apparent that he is eager to commit to the show in whatever format it takes, but are his co-stars on board?
During the next week, ABC Daytime will take part in saying goodbye to "All My Children" which has been a part of their line-up since 1970. Following is details on the scheduled events which will include "Good Morning America" dedicating a special segment to the show and "The View" dedicating an entire airing to their former neighbors.