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How DISNEY Went Overboard During General Hospital's New Year Eve Episode With References To The College Football Playoff Games!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

It wasn’t just us, but now mainstream media has caught on and is having a bit of a field day with just how many references to ESPN’s New Year’s Eve College Football Playoff games were referenced by the characters of General Hospital in just one episode, in a case of not so subtle promotion and product placement.

ESPN’s parent company ABC tried to get the word out at the last minute to drive even more eyeballs to the games between Clemson vs. Oklahoma and Alabama vs. Michigan State on Thursday seemingly using last Wednesday’s GH as a one way to try to do that.

Deadspin counted at least 7 times that the words “College Football Playoff” were mentioned by the characters of Port Charles.  (Check out their video).  They went on to say about the characters mention of the playoffs that each of them had an awkward shoehorn of dialogue talking about how much more fun watching football is than going to a party or, in this case, the playoff logo prominently featured in the background.”

So it was Dante (Dominic Zamprogna), Valerie (Brytni Sarpy), Michael (Chad Duell) and Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) as the four characters who had to say the key words the most in the episode.

Now, we are all for anything that helps GH as long as they got something out of the deal then having to write into the dialog characters speaking about “College Football Playoffs”.   We actually liked most of the New Year’s Eve episode as it was very poignant.

What did you think about the references and the mentions during the episode?  Did ABC/Disney go to far ?  Comment below!

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elm51
elm51

abc disney does exactly what the hell they want & guess what??? there is nothing we can do about but complain…………….

Geoffrey-Martin Cyr
Geoffrey-Martin Cyr

I found it typical and heavy-handed (…as most synergy between Disney/ABC/ESPN usually is!) I worked for them for two miserable yrs, so I know the value they place on cross-over synergy; sometimes it can be successful, and other times, it can appear so forced it takes you out of the action and backfires.

I seem to remember P&G pulled this crap with both ATWT and GL toward the end of their runs, prominently placing their Dawn, Bounty, Pantene, Pringles, etc. front-and-center (…and even having the camera close-in on the product!) I felt so manipulated, I swore off P&G products for about a year, esp. after having the characters use the tag-lines “Cut the grease” and “Quicker-picker-upper” into their dialogue. It broke the fourth wall along with my respect for the brand!

Sprite
Sprite

When has Disney NOT used its properties to promote synergy? GMA is a 2 hour daily Disney movie and television promotion. It’s sickening.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

I was bored and didnt pay attention to it that much but it doesnt bother me one way or the other!

Shay
Shay

It certainly wasn’t as blatant as that thinly-veiled campaign to slap down John Stamos and his brand of greek yogurt during the 2014 Nurses’ Ball when Ron C. repeatedly threw shade upon of the character of Blackie, whilst he simultaneously promoted a rival line of said dairy item with not-so-subtle product placements.

Michelle
Michelle

Well it distracted from the story and I turned GH off, so I’m going to say that it wasn’t good for GH or ESPN

Elite Advisors
Elite Advisors

So you are saying you turned off the show because they said College Football Playoff a few times? So what…so they went overboard to shamelessly promote the games…if you are a true GH fan, that has no bearing on the show.. it’s a few words.

The writers pen more lackluster words every single day…..and we still tune in because we love the show. It’s really a non- issue.

SZima
SZima

It wouldn’t have been so bad except some of those shows pushing the games aired AFTER New Years.

robert
robert

was not a fan of it. the dialogue was weird. this tells me that the network has been dictating GH creative. I think one of the reasons the quality of GH has gone down is were seeing ABC’s vision instead of the GH showrunners. Varni vision. with GH’s ratings being down and demos dismal,this is not gonna help. I saw all the backlash the episode got on social media. There are lots of problems with GH,and I’ve noticed very little change under the new writers. That tells me that Ron Carlivarti wasn’t the only problem. There’s too many new characters that I don’t care about. The Jason reveal was a dud. Now the show is really boring. After Jason Thompson leaves,GH could be looking at record low ratings. Y&R now has GH’s two most popular actors that drove story for years.

Shay
Shay

@Robert….That notion first became profoundly obvious some years back when Jason Thompson’s Patrick was doomed to that deplorable Disney-esque drivel with Cinder-brina. No self-respecting soap writer would have come up with such a hokey, childish fairytale-inspired storyline without the heavy hand of the Mouse shoving him all the way! It was especially telling when even though that entire scenario went down like a lead balloon, it took many, many months to correct its course, and yet, to this day, old Sappy still lingers, along with a good number of other marginal characters that few seem to enjoy. If that mere fact doesn’t illustrate who’s really calling the shots at GH, nothing does, since it makes absolutely no sense to keep players on the Port Charles canvas that regularly inspire viewers to tune out in droves!!!!

Jonathan
Jonathan

YR did same for Thursday Football

Joe
Joe

I love my DVR. It allows me to fast forward through stupid scenes, including that total non-believable scene between Dante and Valerie, arguing over the teams before hitting the sheets. Whatever!

Bonnie
Bonnie

It v just hurts the ratings of the show more

robert
robert

exactly. this is the last thing the show needed

Joe
Joe

Unfortunately I haven’t won the Powerball yet, so I still have to go to work everyday just so I can continue to eat and make my house payments.

maddiehayes
maddiehayes

I FF all those characters, and others .. just like you, the DVR is my friend! 😀

Bonnie
Bonnie

FF dangerous, will not get counted for ratings. ..

Daisy
Daisy

I hate Disney.

Christy
Christy

I hate football.

🙂

Pat
Pat

I had the misfortune of catching this. It was the weirdest dialogue I’ve ever heard on a soap, and it was pathetically shameless, forced cross promotion. I realize that both are Disney-owned properties. But come on, it’s two audiences that could not be any more different.

I highly doubt that there is any kind of sizable crossover between the audience/demographics that watches a daytime soap opera vs. the audience that watches college football or NFL games. Downright lame job by ABC/ESPN/Disney, and yet another example of how far GH has fallen. What’s next, the shills of Port Charles making hardwood references during a mob shooting to alert us to the NBA Finals, in June on ABC?

Linda
Linda

My thoughts exactly!!!

Jenny Brooks
Jenny Brooks

As with most things on TV, it could have been alright if it had been written well. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
I’ll keep holding my breath waiting for ABC to promote GH during its prime time lineup–the way NBC has with Days of Our Lives for years now!

Iakovos
Iakovos

I did notice the heavy handed promotion. Funny. ABC did not seem to think there was much audience for its messages when it cancelled AMC and OLTL.

Leslee
Leslee

I thought it was kind of a goofy drinking game. You know, have a shot every time you hear “college football playoff”…

Rose
Rose

Since I’m more of a baseball fan and don’t follow football unless it’s Ohio State, I didn’t even notice. But if this is the worse ABC can do in promoting what seems America’s sport’s obsession, just this once, I can live with it. It still seems a bit of a stretch to promote football on a soap. Wish the trade off would be to bring back OLTL or AMC. Just kidding, sorta.

Timmm
Timmm

I noticed it and laughed. What I dont understand is this. Most of us DVR our soaps. We dont watch commercials. Why doesnt the soaps do more product placement? I dont mind it. If Coca Cola is a sponsor, why not have Sam drinking a Coke at Kellys? We are not watching the commercials so why not put the products in the show? NO, dont be so obvious and mention the product seven times, just be normal. Its odd to see a character grab a soda out of the fridge and it just says COLA on the can. Its a COKE! Millions drink it!

Jeff
Jeff

I remember back in the day when Disney first acquired ABC and every family oriented sitcom had to go to Disneyland in their episodes. This is not the first time GH has done vulgar product placements… Characters going to the movies, and guess what movie posters were prominently displayed? You guessed it… Disney movies!

Mary SF
Mary SF

Being from Canada I didn’t get the reference– didn’t even realize it was a real thing — just thought it was just part of the show– LOL. Now if they were talking about the new Star Wars movie– I would have caught that cross promotion.

Barb
Barb

LOL Franco just did that today – mentioned Star Wars to Elizabeth when he asked if she let her sons see the new Star Wars!!! I dislike Disney also.

Dan
Dan

It reminded of that time, I think it was the National Orange Council, or whatever the hell the group was called, did a product placement on GH, and all of a sudden every character had to drink orange juice that day, and tell us how great and healthy it was, lol.

It’s cheesy and silly, and one of those things you roll your eyes at, but it doesn’t bother me, or make me not want to watch the show. If ABC doing product placements from advertisers, or advertising their own stuff on the show allows GH to stay on the air, I say do what you gotta do.

Sherri Shultz
Sherri Shultz

I didn’t mind the mention of the playoff as much as the generic “Yay my team won” or Go “my team” that was kind of funny.

Terry
Terry

It was AWFUL. Talk about stilted and obvious. Blatant, in your face. Actors should go to union about collecting fees for doing commercials too. It was an AD. This was a long way from a subtle product placement. And it was boring to watch too. Surprised it didn’t make the Soup as well. Or did it?

Kathryndenise63@gmail.com
Kathryndenise63@gmail.com

I AGREE IT WAS AWFUL&PATHETIC! GH needs to be cancelled ASAP!! THE SHOW IS BEYOND BEING SAVED & THE RATINGS SHOW IT BIG TIME! AND NOW WITH JASON (THOMPSON) leaving it does not look good or bode well for GH at all! And this coming from a person who cannot stand GH. I’m sorry for the few GH fans that are still watching. But you’ve got to face facts the show is horrible & going further downhill fast! If only we can get OLTL BACK!!! THAT SHOW MY BELOVED SHOW SHOULD NEVER,EVER,EVER HAVE BEEN CANCELLED!

Melissa
Melissa

The Soup, sadly, has been cancelled

Matt
Matt

If people are actually bothered by a mention of a college football playoff game, even if overdone, then people are taking GH and TV way too serious.

mgb357
mgb357

sort of like the Truman show wasn’t it??

awkward product placements… but if it keeps the soaps alive, why not…

– after all they are ‘soap operas’ – originally created to sell soap!!!!!

Rose
Rose

Good point!

Melissa
Melissa

They’ve done this before with awkward product placements. I can remember a very stupid scene in OLTL a few years ago where Natalie touts the ease of do-it-yourself tax preparation program. Had nothing to do with anything going on plot wise. And GH has hawked Hershey chocolates during Valentine’s Day. The Shriners Hospital plugs were a little overdone too during Spencer’s burn treatments, but at least that was for charity! What can we do but cringe? I guess the money they get from the product placements helps the soaps pay for themselves.

Dory Shea
Dory Shea

I wish that the writers could learn how to do product placement right. In this case it needed to be characters who had in the past actually showed they gave a hoot about sports at all other wise it comes of odd and forced. Like some one else said when OLTL had Natalie Buchanan an heiress doing her own taxes via turbo tax it partly rang false because someone with that much money wouldn’t be doing their own taxes. Using one of the McBain boys or Williamson sisters would have seemed more real. Integrating the playoffs on GH without it being odd would have been hard because they barely mention NY sports teams much less college teams. If writers know ahead of time that they are going to be forced to mention something they need to lay the ground work in slowly. Have a funny scene where Michael and Jason try to teach Monica about football and have Alice come in knowing everything because with Alice’s wrestling background she would. Let Bobbie and Valorie talk about how Pat loved sports and give Val positive screen time with a family member who’s husband she doesn’t want to screw.

Daisy Day
Daisy Day

I didn’t even notice. During football season, everywhere you go, you will hear people talking playoffs, bowls and their favorite teams I’m not sports fan, so I just turn it off
I’m glad to see Robin and Patrick leaving but will miss Emma. Now if they would get rid of Valerie, the new commissioner, Dylan Q. (Sp) Franco, and a few others,

Rose
Rose

I guess I don’t know what the big deal is over the football thing. Not sure it would have even been an issue had it not been made into an issue. As it is, there is product placement in all kinds of shows and movies. I don’t like it, or dislike it, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the story. And quite frankly, football viewing and chatter in a bar probably isn’t that unusual.

Dee
Dee

It was absolutely ridiculous the amount of times it was mentioned, since there was no other mention of football by any character on GH during the year. As someone mentioned ESPN does what they want even if it has no place on a soap opera.

Breaking News

Ingo Rademacher Back To General Hospital As Jax

What a fun reveal by General Hospital and Ingo Rademacher!  And with that, look who’s coming home to Port Charles?  Hot on the heels of his stop over at The Bold and the Beautiful where he took over the role of Thorne Forrester, the GH fan favorite is back at his old stomping grounds.

In the video teaser, Jax and Carly’s (Laura Wright) last goodbye scene plays, which aired the last time Ingo was on GH, and then the camera pans to the back of a man’s head watching the TV

“Oh, come on!  Well, that can’t be the end. Cause it’s not,” says the guy.  In true soap opera fashion, the camera reveals it’s Rademacher who states: “I’m coming back to General Hospital and Jax’s legacy is going to continue in a big way. See you soon.”

So, will Jax be back in Carly’s arms or someone else’s? What will happen when Josslyn (Eden McCoy) reunites with her father?  Will Jax be involved in a major mystery? Share your thoughts on Ingo’s return to GH via the comment section below.  But first, check out the teaser video that contained this exciting cast addition announcement.

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Breaking News

Dominic Zamprogna Making A Return To General Hospital

After posting a photo from an empty dressing room, Dominic Zamprogna certainly had General Hospital fans interest piqued!  Turns out, Zamprogna is back shooting at the ABC daytime drama series for what it appears to be a short appearance and reprising his role as Dante Falconeri.

As fans know, Dominic departed GH in 2018, after 9 years in the role.  In the photo he posted on social media, Zamprogna is in one of GH’s temporary dressing rooms for the day.  His original dressing room was re-assigned to Josh Swickard (Chase), when Dom exited the show.

The last time viewers saw Dante was in the Sonny-centric episode; where Dante is the mobster and Sonny is by the book.

In current GH story, the character of Dante has been recently mentioned following his wife, Lulu (Emme Rylan) being stabbed by serial killer, Ryan Chamberlain (Jon Lindstrom).  Dante’s parents, Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) and Sonny (Maurice Benard) also discussed his whereabouts. Dante had gone undercover on a major case after leaving Port Charles.

From all reports, it seems that Dominic is making a short return, but it will be more than just a one-day stint.  So, stay tuned.

So, will Dante return to Lulu’s side? Do you hope Dominic’s return means more down the line? Comment below.

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Breaking News

TONIGHT: GH’s Maurice Benard As John Gotti In Lifetime’s ‘Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter’

Fans and colleagues of Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) have been eagerly waiting to see the General Hospital star take on the role of famous mobster, John Gotti. Well, tonight (February 9th) is the night!  Make sure to watch the Daytime Emmy-winner in Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter on Lifetime at 8pmEST/7CST.

In the log lines for the movie. it relates: “Executive produced by Victoria Gotti herself, the movie takes us deep into the world of what it was really like to grow up as the daughter of mob boss John Gotti, revealing the glamour, glitz and unique hardships of her world.  Sharing never-before-revealed stories about her life, Victoria (Chelsea Frei) tells of a sensitive child growing up with a beloved father (Maurice Benard) she worried about constantly; the tragedy of her younger brother’s death; and her turbulent romance, forbidden by her father, with the man who later became her husband.  Victoria had a front-row seat to a life the world became fascinated with, all while trying to reconcile the loving father she adored with a man the outside world was determined to bring down. . The film is based on Gotti’s book This Family of Mine: What It Was Like Growing Up Gotti.  Victoria Gotti will appear on camera narrating.

Benard spoke with ABC Soaps In Depth about taking on the role and wanting to get the performance just right, where he expressed: “That’s up to the audience to decide.  I played him like a real-life guy who’s loyal to his people and loves his family — and that’s kind of what the story is about. It’s through Victoria’s eyes and told with complete compassion.”

Photo: Lifetime

As to how playing Gotti compared to his role as Port Charles’ loveable mobster, Sonny Corinthos, Maurice added: “When I was shooting the role, I didn’t really know how different it was from Sonny. But my last day, I wrapped at about 1 in the morning in Canada, flew back and went straight to work as Sonny. I remember shooting the scene and thinking, ‘Wow, Sonny’s in about second gear, Gotti’s in about fourth or fifth gear!’ It’s two different energies.”

Check out the promo for tonight’s Lifetime Movie starring Maurice as John Gotti below, and the let us know if you will be watching, and if you caught it, what you thought of Maurice’s performance, and the movie via the comment section below.

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Video du Jour

GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

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