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General Hospital

RATINGS: GH hits new lows, while OLTL holds strong again at #3!


The ratings are out for the week of  May 30th-June 3rd, and it was an abysmal week for General Hospital! The only ABC soap that will remain in the ABC Daytime line-up come 2012, hit rock bottom of all the soaps and landed in 6th place.  Several things are most concerning for this legacy soap with the ratings stats: 1) It hit a new all time low in total viewers 2) It hit new lows in key female demographic age groups.

Obviously, the powers-that-be at GH and ABC have felt for awhile that the show was needing somewhat of a creative redirect and thus named Garin Wolf to head write the show, and are bringing in to the fold just announced OLTL headwriter, Ron Carlivati come next year.  On the converse, the canceled OLTL remains again firmly at number #3, and has been consistently performing well, even through the decision of its axing from the ABC Daytime lineup.

So this begs the question that soapers have been pondering, did ABC cancel the wrong soap? And, coudn’t the network have allowed just one soap to be canceled ( if there had to be one)  to see if one of their new reality shows would fly instead of decimating the line-up?

Check out the numbers courtesy of Soap Opera Network and the total viewership ratings after the jump!

Ratings Report for the Week of May 30 – June 3, 2011

(Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

Total Viewers
1. Y&R 4,696,000 (+49,000/-276,000)
2. B&B 2,778,000 (-54,000/-202,000)
3. OLTL 2,456,000 (-44,000/+68,000)
4. AMC 2,344,000 (-59,000/-15,000)
5. DAYS 2,340,000 (-1,000/-210,000)
6. GH 2,252,000 (-196,000/-160,000) <—- new low *

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OLTL is the only show up from last year…..the rest are declining. The ratings are still not great, but it shows where there is at least interest. I am loving the tale of the 2 Todds. I can’t wait to see how it plays out. Also, the Clint/Matthew storyline is giving Hillary B Smith some great material. I’m so happy the show is going to go out stronger than ever, but it will make it all the harder to take. Congrats to RC for getting hired at GH. OLTL is the best show in daytime and finally someone is recognizing that.

whose rc?

It seems that ABC has cut of it’s nose to spite it’s face as the old saying goes–OLTL is doing very well and for a good reason someone there knows how to write and how to integrate a cast.
If TPTB at Gh can’t tell that what they are doing right now–pushing the mob and Michael 24/7 –isn’t working then they will continue to see those types of ratings. I’ll withhold a total judgment until I see how GW writes the current cast if he continues shoving the mob in our face the ratings will stay the same–it is boring and repetitive. Sonny, jm, carly, michael–all non-starters currently and they brought that lovely 1.6 in the last batch of ratings. Get over them they aren’t working.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Brian Frons used these ratings as a reason to dump GH too!

These ratings just further prove that ABC made the right decision in dumping Guza.

I wonder how much the Casey Anthony trial is affecting GH’s ratings? Some stations are bumping GH til the wee hours of the morning, and airing the trial when GH shoud be on in the afternoon.

I’m not surprised by the low ratings, the story lines are horrible, same old crap. Why in the heck would michael want to be part of the mob when he has seen the results it causes? He’s not a freakin tough guy! Pairing him with an older woman was also a big mistake, it didn’t make him seem more mature to me. Now they are doing the same thing with Kristina and pairing her with Ethan, that just screams disgust! she’s a good actress but there’s zero chemistry because she looks like she 12 years old.

I disagree about Kristina and Ethan. They remind me of Luke and Laura of many years ago.

Um, lets not forget luke raped laura many years ago and now she’s in a mental institution.

I agree. GH is giving off a pedophile vibe that I find truly disgusting. K looks like a tarted up prepubescent glomming on to her oldest brother’s OLDEST friend. It’s ICKY. They creep me out in the worst way not to mention they have no chemistry at all. It makes Ethan creepy rather than sexy or hot. I tune out the show if I know that they are on it. Michael and the stripper leave me with a similar feeling. They remind me of the news stories about the teachers having ‘relations’ with their students. I keep waiting to see Chris Hansen from Dateline. It’s one of the reasons that I’ve tuned out.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I think ABC did indeed cancel the wrong show. One Life to Live is superior to GH in almost every way. OLTL can be over the top sometimes, but it is pure soapy melodramatic fun. Also, it is character based, so I buy into the sometimes outrageous stories. The characters and their plots collide in such a way that mixes everyone and everything up, no matter how old or what color; and character interactions and reactions are, for the most part, based in history and have a broader context. With GH, everything seems so plot driven and mob-hero-centric. I even feel like they killed off Jake and had a subsequent transplant story just for the sake of it. Meanwhile, One Life to Live looks like it is going in a similar direction of sacrificing one character to give Clint a new heart, BUT this story makes sense as there has been a well-constructed cross-layering of plots to build up to this point, so it is more believable, and I actually care about every character involved (even Clint). Just look at the stories going on with both shows right now, and the clear quality winner is One Life to Live. GH just doesn’t have it anymore. My suggestion: when Ron Carlivati takes over GH, Franco should kill off every character; meanwhile, a natural disaster in Llanview will force everyone in Llanview to relocate to Port Charles, and we can continue enjoying the best cast and most enjoyable characters on daytime.

Why are fans fighting each other? We should support ALL three soaps to the bitter end.

You do have a point, Brooke, but it’s just so hard to know we have to say goodbye to OLTL come next January. I may tune back in to GH once Ron Carlivati is writing for it.

I’m not fighting with other fans. I’m a fan of One Life to Live, so I watch and support One Life to Live. That’s because I watch and support television programming that I personally deem quality entertainment, and I vote with my remote and my cable box. I simply do not like GH, and I feel that I have given that show too much of my valuable time, hoping that it would improve, so I tuned out. Therefore, I’m not going to support GH or ABC after OLTL goes off the air. It would literally take the producers turning GH into One Life to LIve in virtually every way before I would even entertain the idea of tuning in again. That is my freedom, and that is my choice, as an American with my own personal, individual tastes.

GH biggest problem was Bob Guza jr, and now he’s gone, He was simply allowed to live in this bubble he created for far to long, he was completely oblivious to how bad he had turned GH into. I also feel like Jill phelps bares the other half of the blame along w/ BRIAN FRONS. You take them out of the equation and put anyone w/ common sense and GH can completely be saved. First of all if you put GH 40 PLUS year history next to any other soap, theres simply no comparison. I hate that both amc and oltl got cancelled, i believe abc will live to regret that, but honestly not to be mean, no network executive on any network would have picked amc or oltl over gh. Just look at GH rich history, 10 emmy as best show, more then any other soap, its record breaking luke and laura wedding (30 million)that no other show has broken. its much duplicated bj and maxie heart transplant story, duplicated but not even close to equaled, its outstanding cast, and yes other shows have great cast too, but still, its bittersweet that oltl is doing good now yet in the long run i don’t feel it can beat GH at anything, sorry but thats the truth, it will never match
gh rich history, its record emmy’s or its PORTFOLIO. So, heres what i’m hoping, i’m hoping that mr. carlivati doesn’t turned gh to cartoonish, or to soapoperish, what made gh stand out from other soaps to begin with was that it didn’ have that awful organ piano like music like YR does, or overkill on plots like oltl, example, how many people from the same family can one hospital admitt, natalie,clint, and mathew. and yet barely any family members visit, or every ford brother taking turns being naked, can you say cheeeeeeeese, and now two todds, and not one crazy, jessa, or two, moma vicki an their alter egos, but 3 with marty. and i could go on but then that would be overkill on my part.

OLTL zannieness is a big part of its appeal.

The various comments on this soap board just show that GH either cancelled the wrong soap or cancelled one too many soaps. It’s interesting how people see things so differently, which goes to show you that different people enjoy different things and different kinds of entertainment, because our brains are wired so differently, and THAT is OKAY! 🙂 The people who vote on Emmy winners obviously felt 10 times that GH’s singular good episode submissions each year entitled that show to its Emmy wins. I personally feel Y&R and OLTL were robbed many times, due to stunt episodes submitted by GH. I think most people understand the Emmy process to be a joke, but I digress. It is a shame this is happening, and I empathize with those stalwart GH fans who want their show saved. Hopefully, Ron Carlivati can make something of that show again, and it can be saved for a couple or few more years. I just won’t be watching.

OLTL is a great soap. If I catch any of the three soaps it’s OLTL. OLTL has excellent actors and great storylines.

Yes they canceled the wrong soap GH sucks in my book…

GH is absolutely horrible but it looks good…delve deeper in the story you will see misogyny personified…personally I’ve pretty much dumped this show. I’m willing to try it again under the new head writer hopefully he will be “allowed to do his job” without interference from the meddlers…clearly the vision that Guza (along with Frons he is as much to blame) is EPIC fail.

I tune in sparingly how can you have a storyline where in a previous eppy Diane said point blank that Morgan’s adoption went through; Jax application was not denied then because (I guess Ingo is leaving) they backtracked yesterday. Because its a soap is no longer an excuse for sloppy storytelling. How can you have a father lose one son he totally ignored and gave away who was recently killed be the so heavily involved in the story (the mother should have been driving it but oh.well) and to compound the horribleness have him on the screen all giddy about having another baby and the storyline runs at the same time? What kind of mess is this? They change “what has already taken place) to accommodate an agenda weekly its a whole website dedicated to sloppy storytelling.

Meanwhile, Oprah Winfrey Network crashes and burns. Ratings not great? Can’t get more than 300,000 viewers in prime time? People have had enough of reality shows about people and their problems and that’s all OWN offers. OWN should have picked up One Life to Live and it would have at least 2 million viewers for one hour. Viewers of OWN are complaining about repeats. With OLTL everyday there is a new episode–that’s what keeps people watching and coming back. It’s been working and making money for over 40 years. I would subscribe to OWN if it had OLTL, but it doesn’t and I won’t.

Yes they did indeed cancel the wrong soap. GH has absolutely abysmal writing and has been that way for many years with the focus being on characters who haven’t even been on canvas half the time of the people they’ve replaced. I haven’t enjoyed Sonny or Jason since they were involved in storylines with Robin, and Carly can just go die any day now.

She sucks in every way imaginable (the character, not Laura Wright who is the only factor making Carly bearable.) GH is notorious for completely eradicating its history in order to fit in with the writer/EPs vision of what the show should be now, even if it means directly contradicting itself and things we’ve come to accept as truth over the years. OLTL while there have been times over the years where they beat a subject to death and drag out storylines too long, I love the fact that they respect the history and showcase it when it would have impact. If I have something to do that means missing one of my soaps that day I always go with skipping GH. I wouldn’t dream of missing OLTL right now!

Breaking News

The Young and the Restless and General Hospital Actress and Writer, Meg Bennett, Passes Away at 75

Meg Bennett, who had played Julia Newman and later became a writer for the top-rated daytime drama, The Young and the Restless has died at the age of 75.  The news comes from her family who shared that she lost her battle to cancer back on April 11th.

Daytime fans remember fondly, Meg’s portrayal of Victor’s (Eric Braeden)first wife. Bennett joined the show in 1980, after her first soap stint for two years in the role of Liza Walton on Search for Tomorrow.

Impressed by her story notes, the late Bill Bell, then head writer of Y&R, had Meg doing double duty acting and writing on the show from 1983-1987. When he decided to write off the character of Julia, he also wanted Meg to stick around as a writer.  Not only did this begin a whole other daytime career for Bennett, but she was not done playing Julia either. Throughout the decades, Julia would still come back to Genoa City for a visit. Most recently, Y&R fans saw Julia in 2018, and again in 2020.

Photo: JPI

Bennett also appeared on Santa Barbara and was a writer on that show as well from 1991-1993. She played the role of Megan Richardson. It was next that Meg had her longest writing stint coming to ABC’s General Hospital. Meg wrote for GH from 1993-2011.

In 1995, Bennett won her first Daytime Emmy for writing and her personal life changed after falling in love with nine-time Daytime Emmy winner, former GH head writer, Bob Guza Jr. In addition, GH also utilized Bennett for her acting skill when she was cast as the villainess Allegra Montenegro.  Meg and Bog Guza were officially married in 2004 and purchased a home once owned by Boris Karloff and Gregory Peck.

Photo: JPI

Additionally, Meg wrote for The Bold and the Beautiful 1987-1989 and later served as a executive story consultant to Brad Bell from 2002-2004.  She also wrote for Sunset Beach, Generations and GH: Night Shift throughout her writing career. She went on to win five WGA Awards for GH and Santa Barbara.

Meg is survived by her husband of 19 years, Robert Guza Jr., two stepdaughters, four grandchildren, a brother and a sister.

Share your remembrances and condolences for Meg Bennett via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Finola Hughes Chats on Her Lead Actress Daytime Emmy Nomination, New Directions for Characters in Port Charles, and Anna’s Love Life

In four out of the last five years, General Hospital favorite, Finola Hughes (Anna Devane), has almost become a perennial nominee having once again scored a Daytime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress for the upcoming 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

Hard to believe, but Hughes won her one and only Daytime Emmy back in 1991, and has amassed a total of 11 Emmy nominations during her enduring daytime drama career. As those who have watched GH know, throughout any calendar year, you can find numerous stellar performances by Finola that could be tops on any Emmy reel.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Finola during the 10th annual Daytime Emmy Nominations Special to get her reaction to landing in the field of six fantastic women vying for gold, what scenes went on her now Emmy-nominated reel, what she thinks of how GH is shaking things up under new head writers, Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte, and the future of Anna’s love life. Here’s what she shared below.

Photo: ABC

What scenes did you wind up submitting that landed you in the running for the Daytime Emmy in this year’s Lead Actress category?

FINOLA: The whole Charlotte (Scarlett Fernandez) shooting and the accident and that whole thing. Then, talking about that with Sonny (Maurice Benard), and then a bit of the breakup with Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), and then finding out that Valentin had lied.

Who helped you put the reel together?

FINOLA: One of our producers at GH, Michelle Henry. We have these amazing producers. They’re sort of the unsung heroes. They’re in the booth all day when we’re shooting. They do this wonderful thing where they earmark something, if they think that it’s been a good performance. So, they just have this sort of little list (that helps come Emmy time). So, that’s how that worked with Michelle.

Photo: ABC

Now you’ve had a string of recent Daytime Emmy nominations. Do you think GH is  writing more for your strengths in the last several years?

FINOLA:  Yes, and I think it’s become stronger recently. I think writers really take the lead sometimes from an actress or an actor who’s going through something or moving through something in their life. Maybe, that’s they were just seeing, you know, different layers and colors and so they started to write to that.  I’m not sure. It certainly felt like I’ve had some things (material) that resonated with me.

What I have loved about Anna is that she is very complex. She often wrestles with herself over her past as a double agent, or certain guilt that she carries around. It’s interesting when the lines are blurred for her and things get messy.

FINOLA:  I do well with complex and I like messy.

So, what do you think about the nominees in the Lead Actress category with you?

FINOLA:  They are great. I don’t know Annika Noelle (Hope, B&B) very well, but I hear she did wonderful work and she sent me a lovely message. Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke, B&B) I obviously reached out to, Tamara Braun (Ava, DAYS) reached out to me, and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) and I just got on the phone last night and congratulated each other on our nominations, and of course, Cynthia (Watros) is here with me at GH.

Photo: JPI

You do like do like the fashion of it all for Emmy night, correct?

FINOLA: God, I I live for it. I’m as shallow as that. I might play some complex on television, but I’m that shallow in real life.

So, do you go by the trends of what to pick out to wear for a red carpet, or you just kind of go off what you think looks good on you?

FINOLA: I do like the trends. I really like the fact that the sleeve is having a big moment right now since the film Poor Things. It sent it into the stratosphere.

It’s been 33 years since you won your last Emmy. Do you think you’re a better actress now than when you were even 10 years ago?

FINOLA: I have no idea. It feels like a game of golf always for me, because get on set, like today, I was doing some work this morning and I just doubt myself.  I’m like, “Did I really bring it?” I do think I’m harder on myself now than I was when I was younger, because I really didn’t know what I was doing at all.  It’s a very hard question to answer. I feel like it’s different, but I’m constantly in battle with myself as to whether something works or not.

Photo: ABC

What are your thoughts then on being Emmy-nominated, at times, for more than three decades?

FINOLA: At this point in my life, I just find the whole thing encouraging and extraordinarily sort of affirming, and sweet and lovely. It’s extraordinary to even be acknowledged. That’s the truth.

Currently, on-air, Anna is taking a harder line with Sonny. There’s been a shift.

FINOLA:  Yes. That’s been really interesting. I was talking about this with Steve Burton (Jason), and we actually were working together today. We found like this level between the two of us when it comes to Sonny. It was just really like another whole level as to what I’m doing. I think what’s happened is people’s roles in Port Charles are becoming delineated, you know, where there’s less gray. It’s like we’re sort of moving into areas, right? All of us. That’s kind of great because then you’ve got the hospital, you’ve got the police station, you’ve got the mob, you’ve got the Quartermaines you’ve got Curtis’ nightclub, and so there’s these different areas. Then, your character becomes very specific.  I had those scenes with Genie Francis (Laura) that aired the other day, and it makes sense that we are sort of waking up because unfortunately Sonny’s going through something which we don’t know about, but he’s not behaving well. So, therefore we are like, “If he would do that, then we need to wake up to that Sonny has always been like that.” But, it’s not true. Sonny hasn’t always been like that. We still deal in the gray, because we are searching for the gray in ourselves, which is interesting. And then we have to make a decision, such as, “Where do you stand? Who are you actually?” I think posing those questions to the actual characters is kind of interesting.

Photo: ABC

Now, who’s going to be the man in Anna’s life?

FINOLA:  Well, I want to do some more stuff with James. Obviously, James and I text all the time about how we’re not working together. We all know what Valentin’s up to. However,  Anna doesn’t quite know.

I was originally thinking they might put John “Jagger” Cates (Adam Harrington) in a romance with Anna?

FINOLA: Oh, I know. I love Adam. He’s so wonderful, and so is Charles Mesure (Brennan). Obviously, Laura Wright (Carly) has been working with the two of them as well. They’re both looking like they are in love with Carly, so what can I do?  I’ll just take the leftovers. However, I’m hoping that I get to play Valentin. The thing that’s interesting is that he’s a Cassadine. His father has now passed on, so he’s now at the front of the wagon of the Cassadines. It’s in his blood. So, I don’t know what they’ll do.

Photo: ABC

What was our family’s reaction when you told you are an Emmy nominee? 

FINOLA: We had just taped three days of a very big event on the show. I was really tired yesterday and I was sort of laying down pretending to take a nap, as I never can nap in the middle of a day. Then, Frank Valentini (EP, General Hospital) called me to say that, Cynthia Watros and myself, had been nominated for Lead Actress. So, I actually got up and I walked outside and my three kids were sort of wandering around doing kid teenage stuff. I sort of told each of them individually. I was like, “I got nominated.”  They actually said, “Congratulations!” So, I think it actually resonated through the haze of online extravaganzas that teens are looking at it.

Make sure to check out the 2024 Daytime Emmy Nominations Special from this past Friday night below, where several of this year’s Daytime Emmy nominees stopped by the Michael Fairman Channel to share their reactions and more on going for gold come June 7th.

Now let us know, are you happy Finola was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Daytime Drama Series? Who do you hope Anna winds up with romantically down the line on GH under new head writers, Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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General Hospital

‘Knots Landing’s’ Donna Mills and Joan Van Ark Reunite for Los Angeles Ballet Season 18 Gala

The women from the the cul-de-sac at Seaview Circle, stepped out last week as the Los Angeles Ballet celebrated its season 18 gala with ceremonies at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

The evening was hosted by LAB staunch supporter, Donna Mills (ex-Abby, Knots Landing, ex-Madeline, General Hospital).  The Emmy Award-winning actress met up with her dear friend and former on-screen rival and co-star, Joan Van Ark (ex-Val, Knots Landing, ex-Gloria, The Young and the Restless) as well as her daughter, Chloe Mills, on the red carpet prior to the start of the evening.

This year’s LAB gala honorees included: Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Emmy, and Grammy nominated composer and pianist Kris Bowers, plus accomplished attorney and Los Angeles Ballet Board Chair, Jennifer Bellah Maguire. The honorees each received Angel Awards for the extraordinary contributions they have made to the arts, LAB and the city of Los Angeles.

Photo: JPI

Los Angeles Ballet is known for classical, contemporary, romantic and neoclassical ballets, for pioneering new works and for presenting relevant works by many of today’s most innovative dance-makers. LAB’s original production of The Nutcracker is an annual holiday favorite for Los Angeles residents and regional, national and international visitors.

Photo: Shutterstock for Los Angeles Ballet

Led by Artistic Director Melissa Barak, LAB performs in multiple theater venues across LA County including The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, Royce Hall at UCLA, Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, Pasadena Civic Auditorium and Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. As part of its mission, LAB wants to expand people’s knowledge of and nurture a love for ballet.

Longtime fans of Donna Mills also know that when early in her career she was a dancer. In fact, when she got her first soap opera gig as a nightclub singer named “Rocket” on Secret Storm, Mills was shocked.

Photo: JPI

In a 2015 interview with Smashing Interviews Magazine Donna recounted, “I’m not a singer. I was a dancer. Why they chose me to be a nightclub singer, I have no idea, and I actually sang on the show.”

So, glad to see Donna and Joan stepping out together in support of the Los Angeles Ballet? Miss Knots Landing’s Abby and Val? Let us know via the comment section below.

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