General Hospital: Could the Soap Move to Primetime?

General HospitalWord is that ABC is considering the possibility of moving General Hospital to primetime during the summer months.

While the ratings for ABC’s only remaining soap opera aren’t very strong (especially by primetime standards), the show is comparatively inexpensive to produce. Episodes cost approximately $200,000 to make and primetime dramas which can cost more than a million.

There’s of course also the possibility that General Hospital will stay in daytime. ABC has said that they’d be releasing the final hour of daytime (2pm Central or 3pm Eastern/Pacific) back to the affiliates in September 2012, so they can fill it with their own programming. That will leave three hours of daytime for ABC to schedule.

The View is a huge success so that’s not going anywhere. ABC-owned stations have committed to a new Katie Couric talk show for fall and that will fill another hour. That leaves one hour left up for grabs. The Chew and The Revolution aren’t performing as well as the soaps they replaced but are cheaper to produce. Only one of them, or General Hospital, will likely survive.

Another possibility is that ABC could produce General Hospital for first-run syndication. This solution would allow ABC affiliates to keep the show in its current timeslot, if they chose to buy it. If not, other stations in the broadcast area could pick up the soap and put it in an available timeslot. As with any daytime solution, the declining viewership and cost would likely be a deterrent.

What do you think? Could GH realistically make a move to primetime for limited summer runs? Would you be in favor of that solution?

46 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Nancy Landers says

    Well, what they should be on the air at night is One Life To Live and All My Children and if they take GH off during the day put it on at night. We should NOT lose our soaps and I have been a watcher for over 40 yrs. I hate what ABC has done and ending our soaps so we don’t know what happened from the ending, is wrong from every prospective. We could start a petition on and send it to all of the people that blog on all of the different sites and then they can send to their friends and we can get millions of signatures to force ABC off the air. Feb sweeps are coming and we could do a “shut-off ” of our TV’s for all programs during the week of the sweeps and then they wouldn’t get the ratings and they would lose and have no one to blame but themselves. I hate not being able to watch my soaps each day, at age almost 63 I have enough stress in my life with not so great health and poor finances that I need that escape and ABC has ruined that for me and all the rest of the millions of soap fans. Be done with ABC if they don’t change course with this idiot chew and revolution programs.

  2. Linda Weddington says

    Please don’t move General Hospital………..I have watched this to long to admit. Please you have taken 2 soap operas off… Please Please leave us this one……………

  3. Gina says

    Like it or not General Hospital is going OFF THE AIR. Many ABC affiliates around the nation don’t even have a spot for General Hospital in their afternoon line up come September when The Katie Couric show debuts at 3:00 pm.{My husband works for an ABC affiliate in Seattle}Eight ABC-owned stations covering nearly one-quarter of the nation’s population, including stations in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, have agreed to air the show in their 3 p.m. ET time slots, ABC said.
    Its enviable that the show will go, as ABC is wanting to save money and WHY would they put a show with poor ratings on in ‘Prime Time” dumb move. Also the only reason that ABC is bringing over the One Life To Live actors from that show….its called FEBRUARY SWEEPS, then their all going after a storyline ends.

    • jerri says

      First of all, there are older, homebound people that have watched these soaps for years. All the new reality shows mostly suck. People get on tv & make fools of themselves. It’s nice to take time out of your day to escapes reality. ABC will lose money and a lot of their audience for taking General Hospital off the air. Its bad enough they took Days & OLTL off, which were very good shows. But to take the only remainder soap off air is bad for business. I think Katy Couric gets enough time on tv as it is without taking away from the enjoyment of millions of people daily. Even going to primetime is not good especially once a week. Look at what happened to Dallas. CBS could pick it up, and I’m sure everyone would be happy to switch channels. They seem to be the only network that cares enough about their viewers not to take all their soaps off air, though they did take 2 off, they still have 2 running strong. I do hope ABC think long and hard before they lose the whole daytime audience. As far as primetime, the only decency shows they have are Greys Anatomy, The Practice, and Once Upon A Time. The rest are not worth pushing buttons on a remote control.

  4. Christi says

    One show a week during the summer would be better than NOTHING, but like others have posted, I don’t want it just for the summer… I really like 5 episodes a week, I love having my daily escape…
    There are so many things ABC could do… one idea would be to have a GH SPIN-OFF during primetime… I would personally love to see Spinelli, Maxie (Kirsten Storms), Johnny, Jason and Sam on during primetime on a SPIN-OFF which focuseson the PI biz that Sam and Spinelli started, Jason and Johnny having been pardoned in order to bring down Sonny, Jason agreeing because not only would he go to prison,but so would Sam… Sonny could sort of float between the two shows, but keep day and night stories separated for the most part… as new viewers loved THIS new prime-time show, they would def check out GH, and if both are consistantly amazingly well written and produced (we already know the acting is there) , then ratings for the spin-off would be great and GH ratings would go waayyyy up…
    If they did not do a spin-off as above, they could at least promote during primetime(once the show is consistantly fun and compelling, filled with heart and action and authenticity and drama and humor…they can’t risk disappointing anyone who checks it out..) If they promoted using amazing older clips which lead up to the present… and also aired edited versions of GH on Saturday nights… ratings would also go up…why would people who have never seen GH check it out..? They need to be SHOWN what they’re missing during primetime… I’m amazed that ABC doesn’t even show clips of GH during GMA or The View… I don’t understand it…but GH is a soap that ALOT of people who watch primetime would LOVE, so they shoudl deffinately promote it during prime time…people can dVR it if they work, watch as it airs on days off..
    One of these things would surely bring ratings up and we could keep GH and ABC could make tons of money, everyone woould be happy.

  5. Missy Vail says

    Soapnet is going off the air in March. It’s being replaced by another form of a Disney channel.

    I vote to keep GH where it is. I think ABC will come to realize The Chew & The Revolution was a huge mistake. I haven’t watched even a segment of either. I am that annoyed how they ended the soaps and played ads for the replacement shows ad nausea during their final weeks on the air.

  6. says

    Syndicate GH,There well be tons of viewers when they ONE LIFE TO LIVE acters. One life was so strong ,ABC dropped the ball when they ax it. Moreover you need to find a way to give credit when a show is recored or tivo-ed.Michael C. needs more air time,he is always interesting.

  7. moshane58 says

    I think it a mistake.People have nighttime shows they watch and its not gonna pick up night time veiwers.I really think they just want excuse to get rid of it comparing it to other networks primetime shows.No other network would dare so this.ABC just wants an excuse to get rid of it.

  8. Donna says

    I thing they should keep General Hospital right where it is and they should put Katie at 4 pm and put the news at 5 & 6

  9. NEK38583 says

    I thought they was going to give the hour to the aff. in hopes they would put KC show their because it is in sydication. That would leave the chiew, rev, and GH to fill the remaining two spots. That is what I thought anyways.

  10. Susy says

    I find both shows The Chew and Revolution to be insulting to an intelligent tv pm audience. I have changed to other networks except for one show: General Hospital.

  11. krogers says

    I don’t want GH in primetime. I want it to stay in the afternoon. BUT if it a choice of primtime or nothing I’ll take the primetime. Primtime is better than nothing……….I certainly don’t want them to only run if for the summer!

    • says

      phil » I don’t believe they’re considering running it five days a week. There’s no way they’d give up a third of their weekday schedule to one show.

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