R.I.P. Sheila MacRae

By | Friday March 7, 2014 @ 4:32pm PST

Opening Night Of "A Catered Affair" - ArrivalsThe Honeymooners actress Sheila MacRae has died. The 93-year-old UK-born MacRae passed away March 6 , at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, NJ. She is best known to American audiences for her … Read More »

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‘General Hospital’ To Continue Next Season, Keeping Daytime’s Soap Quartet Intact

By | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 6:37pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

General_HospitalJust a short two years ago, General Hospital was staring down the barrel of cancellation as ABC took away its longtime 3 PM slot for the pricey new Katie Couric talk show. Now Katie is facing a demise, set to end its rocky two-season run in May, while General Hospital has been thriving. ABC does not officially renew its soaps, but I have learned that, not surprisingly, General Hospital will continue next season. That follows the announcements by CBS and NBC over the past week that they have renewed The Young And The Restless and The Bold & The Beautiful (CBS) and Days Of Our Lives (NBC). This means that the entire lineup of daytime dramas will remain intact as the genre experiences a resurgence. Consider this: All four soaps are in positive territory year-to-year. Leader The Young & The Restless (5.2 million viewers season to date, 1.5 in Women 18-49) is up 9% in total viewers and 7% in the female demo as it marks its 25th season as the most watched daytime drama. The Bold & The Beautiful (3.9 million, 1.1) is up 14% in viewers and even in W19-49. General Hospital (3.3 million, 1.4) is up 8% and 17%, respectively, as it closes in on Y&R in the demo, and Days Of Our Lives (2.4, 1.1) is up 10% in both categories. Days  is delivering its best season in W18-49 in 3 years and biggest season in total viewers in 4 years. General Hospital is pacing for its best season in 7 years in total viewers and is on track to post  a 3-year high in W18-49. During the most recent week of available data, the Jan. 7 episode of GH ranked as the series’ most-watched telecast in over 6 years.

Related: ‘General Hospital’ Overtakes ‘The Young And The Restless’ For First Time In More Than Six Years

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‘General Hospital’ Overtakes ‘The Young And The Restless’ For First Time In More Than Six Years

By | Thursday December 12, 2013 @ 2:44pm PST

As the citizens of Port Charles reel from learning Robin is alive, and AJ’s murder trial general_hospital_20x3continues, ABC’s General Hospital overtook CBS’ The Young And The Restless for the first time in more than six years to rank No. … Read More »

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‘General Hospital’ Adds William deVry, William Abadie Joins ‘Homeland’

By | Wednesday July 10, 2013 @ 6:14pm PDT

Bold And The Beautiful and All My Children alum William deVry will be heading to ABC’s General Hospital this month. The actor, who’s recently appeared on CW shows Nikita and Beauty And The Beast, will play Derek … Read More »

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Roger Howarth To Reprise His Role On ‘One Life To Live’ While Keeping ‘GH’ Gig

By | Monday February 25, 2013 @ 9:41am PST
Nellie Andreeva

One of One Life To Live‘s most popular characters, Todd Manning, will be back, at least for a while. I’ve learned that Roger Howarth, who portrayed the character on the ABC soap, has signed to reprise his role on the series’ revival for Prospect Park‘s Online Network. But that doesn’t mean Howarth will be departing ABC’s General Hospital, where his character migrated after the end of OLTL. I hear Howarth has signed on to film OLTL for four weeks starting in late March. He then is expected to go back to General Hospital and continue as Manning.

Howarth is one of three OLTL actors who segued to GH after the show ended in January 2012, along with Michael Easton and Kristen Alderson. The three had been the subject of legal wrangling between Prospect Park and ABC as Prospect Park made it clear it wanted the actors back on OLTL, though it indicated it was willing to make a compromise by sharing the characters with ABC’s GH as the company is in a multimillion-dollar licensing agreement with the network for its two online soaps, OLTL and All My Children. For now, Howarth appears to be the only actor to have worked out such an arrangement. Read More »

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‘Bold & Beautiful’ And ‘General Hospital’ To Return As Daytime Soaps Stage Comeback

Nellie Andreeva

What a difference a year makes. Between 2009 and 2012, daytime soaps went from 8 to 4, and by the end of 2012, Prospect Park’s effort to revive two of the departed, All My Children and … Read More »

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R.I.P. John Ingle

By | Monday September 17, 2012 @ 3:51pm PDT

John Ingle, best known as patriarch Edward Quartermaine on ABC’s General Hospital, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 84. Ingle’s passing onJohn Ingle Dead Sunday was first reported by a family member … Read More »

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‘General Hospital’ Producer Says ABC Supporting Show: TCA

By | Thursday July 26, 2012 @ 12:39pm PDT

Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.

Frank Valentini General HospitalThe cast and executive producer of the ABC soap General Hospital appeared before critics this morning at TCA, looking and sounding like people thrilled simply to still have jobs. The fate of most of their cohorts on One Life To Live and All My Children weren’t so lucky, with only a few of the cast members — and producer Frank Valentini — absorbed into GH. It was touch-and-go whether even General Hospital would survive the ax. But it’s back, and as Valentini said, the fact a panel for the show was arranged shows a certain support for the show going forward. “They invited us here, and to me that’s a great sign,” he noted. “They’re behind this 100% and very excited about the 50th anniversary coming up. I’m pretty confident. You just need to watch the show to sort of catch the energy and the momentum that we have, and the network’s a big part of that.” One of the challenges for the show going forward is that it’s being displaced from its longtime 3 PM perch by Katie Couric’s new syndie talk show Katie. But Valentini did his best to put a positive spin on things, calling the time slot change “great” in that it will “shake up the lineup a little bit. And the network is doing a big push to inform the audience about the change.” Read More »

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‘General Hospital’ To Move To New 2 PM Slot On September 10

By | Tuesday June 26, 2012 @ 3:05pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Surviving ABC daytime drama General Hospital will move into its new 2 PM slot on September 10 when it will serve as a lead-in for the premiere of Katie Couric’s new syndicated daytime talk show Katie, which will … Read More »

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ABC And ‘General Hospital’ Top Daytime Emmy Award Nominations

2012 Daytime Emmy AwardsThe nominations for the 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards were announced this morning. ABC received 56 nominations, ahead of PBS (51), syndication (46), Nickelodeon (40), CBS (33), and NBC (24). General Hospital‘s 23 nominations topped Sesame Street (16), The Young And The Restless (16), Days Of Our Lives (15), and The Ellen DeGeneres Show(12). National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Chairman Malachy Wienges says that negotiations are still taking place to have the June 23 awards telecast. The awards are presented by NATAS in cooperation with the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Here are the nominees in the main categories:

Related: Daytime Emmys Headed To HLN?: Report Read More »

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ABC Keeps ‘General Hospital’ On, Cancels ‘The Revolution’, Adds ‘GMA’ Afternoon Show For Summer

By | Wednesday April 11, 2012 @ 2:24pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC The Revolution CancelledEXCLUSIVE: Soap fans can rejoice — I’ve learned that ABC will keep its only remaining daytime drama General Hospital on the air while canceling freshman talk show The Revolution. The news ends months of speculation about … Read More »

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‘Revolution’s Renewal Chances Slim After Series Lows, ‘General Hospital’s Look Better

By | Wednesday March 28, 2012 @ 5:43am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE TURSDAY AM: No miracle bounce for Revolution, which slipped a fraction to a new series low of 1.32 million viewers for the week of March 19. General Hospital (2.25million) was steady, while The Chew (2.04 million) was down 5%.General Hospital Renewal

PREVIOUS: With the deadline looming for ABC to make a decision about which shows will take the two remaining daytime slots on its schedule next fall, things are looking brighter for the network’s embattled soap General Hospital. It is still the least-watched among the four surviving daytime dramas on ABC, CBS and NBC, averaging 2.3 million viewers for the most recent week we have data for (March 12-16). But the series had a ratings uptick recently (it hit an 18-week high among women 18-49, 657,000, for the week of March 5, which featured the death of a character), and in the female demo, it’s been actually running ahead of NBC’s Days Of Our Lives.

But boosting GH‘s chances of survival the most is the poor ratings performance of new lifestyle series The Revolution. ABC has given the series time to find its legs — it only premiered in January — but I hear the network brass are starting to lose faith in the show, which hit series lows for the last two weeks with Nielsen data. For the week of March 5, it drew 1.4 million viewers, and for the week of March 12 — 1.33 million viewers. Compare that to 2.25 million for GH and 2.14 million for The Chew for the week of March 12; that 2.14 million was a 10-week low for The Chew but still dwarfed The Revolution’s viewership. The two lifestyle series were introduced this season as replacements for departing soaps All My Children and One Life To Live. While The Chew has consistently delivered more than 2.1 million viewers, peaking at 2.6 million in December, The Revolution never took off despite airing behind The Chew. What’s more, The Chew‘s ratings are actually on par with those of the soap it replaced, AMC, at a fraction of the cost, sealing the new show’s status as a keeper. Meanwhile, The Revolution is down 40% from OLTL‘s numbers.

Related: Why ‘General Hospital’ Fans Could Hate Katie If Soap Cancelled Read More »

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Four ‘One Life To Live’ Characters Check Into ‘General Hospital’

By | Wednesday January 11, 2012 @ 10:18am PST

With One Life To Live off the air and prospects for a new life online all but gone, four actors from the ABC soap opera have been snatched up by General Hospital to reprise their roles as part of a … Read More »

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ABC NEWS: Jon Favreau To Direct ‘JKL’, James Franco To Return To ‘Gen Hospital’

Nellie Andreeva

Cowboys & Aliens director Jon Favreau‘s promotional push for the sci-fi Western continues with a directing gig on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! Favreau, who spent the weekend at Comic-Con, will helm the Wednesday episode as part of a Cowboys & Aliens-themed week of JKL featuring interviews with stars Daniel Craig, … Read More »

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The Couric-Conan Parallel: Why ‘General Hospital’ Fans Could Hate Katie If Soap Cancelled; Plus Details Of Her ABC Deal

By | Monday June 6, 2011 @ 5:56pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC Announces Deal With Katie Couric
Her Syndicated Talker Gets ‘General Hospital’s 3PM Slot

When Conan O’Brien began conversations with TBS in the spring of 2010, he had one condition that was non-negotiable: he would consider doing a show for the cable network only if the man whose … Read More »

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ABC Ups WGA ’08 Strikebreaker Garin Wolf

Is Big Media rewarding those writers who went back to work during the 2007–2008 Writers Guild strike? I know that several have since been promoted or received deals. Today, Disney’s ABC Daytime replaced Bob Guza Jr with Garin Wolf as head writer of General Hospital Read More »

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PBS, ‘General Hospital’ Top Daytime Emmy Award Nominations

Nellie Andreeva

Nominations for the 38th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards were announced this morning. PBS and ABC led the field with 57 nominations and 56 nominations, respectively. Among programs, ABC’s General Hospital landed 21 noms. followed by CBS’ The Young and the Restless (20) and PBS’ Sesame Street (16). Recently canceled ABC soaps All My Children and One Life to Live scored 13 and 12 nominations, respectively. Among the talk shows, The Ellen DeGeneres Show was once again the leader with 12 mentions. Comedy Central’s The Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear got four. Pat Sajak of Wheel of Fortune and Alex Trebek of Jeopardy! will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards, while the host of another daytime game show, Wayne Brady, will be host the ceremony on June 19, which will be broadcast by CBS. Here are the nominees in the main categories: Read More »

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FRONS SPEAKS: ABC Daytime Chief Explains Why ‘AMC’ & ‘OLTL’ Were Axed; Says ‘GH’ Is “Safe For Time Being”

Nellie Andreeva

ABC DAYTIME SHAKEUP: Network Cancels BOTH ‘All My Children’ & ‘One Life To Live,’ Replaces Them With Lifestyle Series

EXCLUSIVE: ABC’s daytime president Brian Frons is the most hated man among soap fans today after the announcement that the network is canceling both All My Children and One Life To Live. He even quipped that he “pre-entered the witness protection program prior to today’s events.” The demise of the two venerable soaps was actually a year in the making, Frons tells me. “A year ago, we started to look at our projections where the ratings for the soaps would go,” he said. When those projections came in pretty discouraging, the network began to aggressively develop replacement shows, 15 of them. Four of the 15 were picked up to pilot: The Chew, The Revolution and two others, a talk show and a dating show. Originally, the idea was to cancel only one daytime drama, Frons said. But “the way the ratings developed and the pilots turned out, the ratings developed negatively and pilots developed positively, so we decided to make a bigger shift.”

The call to go ahead with canceling a daytime soap was made a couple of weeks ago, while the final decision to axe both AMC and OLTL was made within the past week, Frons said. He confirmed that there was a brief discussion about a year ago to combine the two soaps into one, bringing together some of the best characters from each series. “It was one of my craziest ideas,” Frons said. Other crazy ideas he had for the soaps’ slots? “I looked at (Bravo executive/talk show host) Andy Cohen and thought maybe I should have talk show.”

While ABC also developed more traditional daytime fare like talk and game shows, genres CBS recently used to replace its soaps The Guiding Light and As the World Turns, the network ultimately opted for more non-traditional fare with The Chew and The Revolution, both hybrid unscripted/talk shows. That was by design, said Frons, noting that he was following advice by his former boss at NBC Brandon Tartikoff not to go for shows others already have on.

“I wanted to do shows that were unusual for daytime,” Frons said. “What’s happening now is people are looking for information to make their lives better, they’re obsessed about what they eat and they’re obsessed with weight,” Frons said about going with The Chew and The Revolution, whose titles were chosen to complement ABC’s daytime talk show The View, with which they are designed to run in a “block of talk and information that you can build your day around,” Frons said. It probably doesn’t hurt that the new shows are also much cheaper to produce than the two soaps they are replacing, even after AMC was moved from New York to Los Angeles in 2009 to cut costs. Frons declined to discuss the size of the orders to The Chew and The Revolution but noted that “daytime shows take awhile” to take hold, indicating that ABC will give both series time to establish themselves.

As for the only remaining ABC daytime drama, General Hospital, it is safe “for the time being,” Frons said, adding, “We feel very positive about its place on the schedule.” Read More »

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ABC May Be Ready To Trim Its Daytime Drama Lineup: Will ‘All My Children’ Go?

By | Monday March 21, 2011 @ 3:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

In the past couple of years, three daytime dramas bit the dust: CBS’ The Guiding Light and As the World Turns and NBC’s Passions. Despite constant rumors, ABC has been the only network not to pare down its daytime soap … Read More »

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